National Newswatch

In Doug Ford’s Ontario, knowledge is sorrow

Apr 3 2020 — Paul Wells — “Sorrow is knowledge,” Lord Byron told us long ago. “They who know the most/ Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth/ The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.” Doug Ford, no classicist, had a similar message for Ontarians on Friday as he finally broke a short-lived taboo whose justification none of us […]

What does the COVID-19 endgame look like? Five simple steps.

Mar 27 2020 — Amir Attaran — On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”. Since then, it caught Canada badly unprepared, and it has clobbered us. People are wondering when the misery of being cooped up at home and losing paychecks will end. Obviously there is no single answer to this question. It […]

Peter MacKay chases a Pyrrhic victory

Mar 26 2020 — Andrew McDougall — Has Peter MacKay lost his mind? To be fair, lots of people are losing it over the coronavirus. But only Peter MacKay is losing it by losing sight of the virus itself. Mackay is literally the only Canadian pretending the virus isn’t upending absolutely everything. “Elections Canada is preparing for an election. We should be […]

Yes, this is a war. Do our leaders know what that means?

Mar 25 2020 — Jen Gerson — At moments of crisis, people like myself have to watch what we write. Once, my role was to offer a candid—and catchy—perspective on the world. Now I ought to provide comforting platitudes intended to soothe my readers into complacency and compliance. Flatten the curve. Sing on your balconies. We’re all in this together. Harken back […]

Coronavirus: The early show

Mar 25 2020 — Paul Wells — Allow me to quote from my trusty and freshly towelette-sanitized Big Book of Columnists’ Clichés. “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise,” Winston Churchill said in 1947. “Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government—except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” […]

Inside Ottawa’s ‘light-speed’ epidemic-driven overhaul

Mar 23 2020 — Paul Wells — Canada’s federal government is considering further restrictions on cross-border traffic to ensure a runaway coronavirus pandemic in the United States doesn’t wreck Canadian efforts to contain the outbreak, a senior cabinet minister says. And Jean-Yves Duclos says major new components of the federal government’s response to the deadly virus will come soon. Those measures, he […]

Here’s that rainy day. Remember this feeling.

Mar 21 2020 — Paul Wells — This coronavirus crisis is teaching us about shocks to the spirit. But it should also be a lesson in what we are well rid of. How’s the digital economy working for you so far? We’ve been hearing forever that instant communication would render everything else obsolete. Here’s futurist Don Tapscott quoting management guru Peter Drucker […]

Memo to Trudeau: What Canadians need to hear during the outbreak

Mar 16 2020 — Andrew MacDougall — If anyone doubts that responding to a crisis in real time is difficult, have a gander at yesterday’s impromptu press conference featuring David Lametti, Melanie Joly and a handful of bobblehead dolls. (TL;DR: it was dreadful.) Lametti and Joly went out to ‘announce’ that they had talked about some stuff and about doing more stuff […]

Coronavirus: The major breakdown at Canadian airports

Mar 16 2020 — Stephen Maher — The chief public health officer of Canada, Dr. Theresa Tam, wants me to tell you that if you have recently returned to Canada you should self isolate for 14 days to help prevent the spread of CORVID-19. Tam said at a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday that journalists should help get that message out. […]

The easiest event to cancel: Trudeau and the premiers

Mar 12 2020 — Paul Wells — In a week like this one, here’s something Ottawa can live without—a pointless gathering with an impossible agenda This week’s question is: How do governments govern in a world where the monkeys are rioting in Thailand and the Iranian burial pits are visible from space? To some extent you don’t. I’m writing this on Thursday, […]

An autopsy on the death of the Bombardier dream

Mar 11 2020 — Jason Kirby — When Bombardier launched its first Ski-Doo snowmobile in 1959, it was initially targeted at trappers, prospectors and anyone else isolated by snow and ice. But the bright-yellow machines soon became a hot toy for affluent sports enthusiasts across North America and Europe, and by the time the company went public on the Toronto Stock Exchange […]