National Newswatch

The stubborn state of federalism in Canada

Dec 10 2019 — Paul Wells — For a glimpse into how regional conflict might dominate our politics in 2020, watch the body language—and the response from Justin Trudeau’s office—when a provincial premier comes to Ottawa these days. Three weeks after the October federal election, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe was in Ottawa for his first face-to-face post-election meeting with Prime Minister Justin […]

The Britain I knew is lost

Dec 6 2019 — Michael Coren — I left Britain when I was 28-years-old, and return every year for extended visits. A number of my friends from university are senior MPs and journalists, while others do all sorts of jobs outside of public life. What unites them at the moment, however, is a deep sense of gloom and pessimism that I have […]

The plan to rescue Doug Ford’s unpopular premiership

Dec 6 2019 — Stephen Maher — Toronto’s happiest day in many years was not a good day for Doug Ford. On June 17, when two million basketball fans came out for the Raptors’ victory parade, the throngs of ecstatic people in Nathan Phillips Square cheered for Mayor John Tory and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau but heartily booed the premier when he […]

The Throne Speech: More will be done

Dec 5 2019 — Paul Wells — Well, they’re back. It’s hard to fault a government for doing what it said it would. “Expect some 2,000 or so words, with deliberately vague language,” Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt wrote at the beginning of the week. So I did. And I was not disappointed.

Conservative Party: Here’s a lesson on branding

Dec 3 2019 — Dennis Matthews — “Wow, that’s a Buick?” says the young, millennial woman in the ad. For years, the brand, generally thought of as a car for your grandparents, struggled to pass the generational torch. To curb sagging sales, General Motors (its manufacturer) needed to pivot. The truth is, you never want to find yourself in Buick’s position: forced […]

What room can Andrew Scheer win, if not this one?

Dec 2 2019 — Jason Markusoff — Andrew Scheer stood in front of a room full of Alberta Conservatives who were given blue “Andrew Scheer” signs to wave jubilantly as often as they pleased. With new critics of his leadership emerging almost daily—social moderates, social conservatives, Quebecers, Ontarians, assorted party veterans—the current Conservative leader delivered a well-scripted line about how uninterested he […]

Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives’ choices

Nov 28 2019 — Paul Wells — On Friday Andrew Scheer will address the United Conservative Party convention in Calgary, and the reception he gets should give us all a better sense of his chances of hanging on to the Conservative leadership. So far we’ve mostly heard from Toronto-area Conservatives who backed other candidates against Scheer for the leadership, and colleagues of […]

Saving Andrew Scheer

Nov 27 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — It’s a poor workman who blames his tools but Andrew Scheer doesn’t exactly have much in the way of money these days, does he? And so it was happy trails to Chief of Staff Marc-André Leclerc and Director of Communications Brock Harrison this week as Scheer 2.0 boots up to take on Justin Trudeau in […]

At the global security gathering in Halifax: Up the down escalator

Nov 25 2019 — Paul Wells — You get used to feeling existential dread at the Halifax International Security Forum, which after all exists to give an international who’s who of soldiers, defence and foreign ministers, academics and think tankers a spot to ponder the world’s gravest dangers. This year’s edition, the 11th since the annual meeting kicked off in 2009, heard […]

In defence of equalization

Nov 22 2019 — Stephen Maher — It is a dangerous mistake to view Canada as a piggybank into which some provinces make payments and others withdrawals. Hugh and Sybil Forbes were living in a trailer park on the outskirts of Fort McMurray when I met them. I was in Alberta looking for Nova Scotians who had gone down the road to […]

Trudeau 2.0: Je ne regrette rien

Nov 20 2019 — Paul Wells — Today we have naming of parts. If you have a minister of middle-class prosperity and a minister of economic development and an entirely separate minister of rural economic development and a minister of workforce development—remember when the workforce was part of the economy? Ok, boomer—and a minister of small business and a minister of finance […]

Andrew Scheer’s divided party

Nov 11 2019 — Stephen Maher — Andrew Scheer, who last week looked like a dead leader walking, has made it through a gruelling caucus meeting and looks ready to fight all the way to the party’s convention in April, where he will likely lose a leadership review vote. While Scheer can breathe a sigh of relief, Conservatives interested in winning the […]

The battle against Quebec’s Bill 21

Nov 8 2019 — Paul Wells — Sure, the leaders of Canada’s federal political parties didn’t have much to say during the election campaign when reporters asked what they planned to do about Quebec’s Bill 21. The law, which prohibits public servants in the province from wearing religious headgear and other symbols, is so popular politicians are reluctant to challenge it directly.

Why so many Albertans are giving up on their country

Nov 8 2019 — Jen Gerson — The baseball caps were sold to the side of the rally at the Boot Scootin’ Boogie Dancehall last Saturday night. One for $20, or three hats for $50, they came in a variety of colours, reading “Wexit” and “Make Alberta Great Again” and “The West Wants Out.” At the front of the dark, wood-panelled hall, […]