National Newswatch

Budget 2021: Welcome back, standard operating procedures

Apr 19 2021 — Paul Wells — The budget focuses on the sort of things a government like Canada’s should be working on right now. But the big bet is on childcare—and the devil is in the details. Maybe we should begin by eliminating some straw men. There’s nothing in Chrystia Freeland’s first budget that seems either designed or likely to force […]

Canada needs to brace itself for the next chapter of far-right extremism

Apr 15 2021 — Jenn Jefferys — In late January, a 66-year-old white man carrying 36 knives and plotting to “execute” politicians in advance of Newfoundland’s provincial election was only narrowly thwarted by Deer Lake police following a high-speed car chase. He was a Trump supporter, according to his Facebook history, and his hope was to “stop the election.” Sound familiar? This […]

The best climate plan for Erin O’Toole: Trudeau’s tax

Apr 14 2021 — Paul Wells — The best thinking in Ottawa, at the precise second I wrote these words, was that there will be no federal election this spring. Unfortunately, by the time I wrote these words, the mood had shifted and an election seemed inevitable. The good news is, at some point during this issue’s tenure on newsstands and coffee […]

Who’s really got Ottawa’s ear?

Apr 14 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Last May, in what we now know was merely the opening chapter of the pandemic, Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) posted one of the high-level help wanted ads that regularly go up on the federal government’s procurement website. ISED was seeking someone to analyze “key strategic industrial sectors,” model the impacts of COVID-19 for […]

The Liberal convention: Everything now

Apr 10 2021 — Paul Wells — On every subject before the party at its national convention the debate is over. All that is left is agreement. And no choice among priorities is ever necessary. All happy families resemble one another, Leo Tolstoy wrote, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Canada’s federal Liberals, gathered in virtual convention on […]

Prince Philip dead at 99: ‘He has been my strength all these years’

Apr 9 2021 — — For more than seven decades, Prince Philip occupied the ultimate supporting role, walking a careful two paces behind his younger wife, Queen Elizabeth II, as she carried out her duties as monarch. He stood tall, hands clasped behind his ramrod-straight back, as he accompanied her faithfully on every one of her 271 trips abroad, including […]

Canada’s public health data meltdown

Apr 7 2021 — Justin Ling — For weeks, Canadians have been casting their envious eyes to Israel, where more than half the country has been inoculated against COVID-19. Israel, less than a quarter the size of Canada, has administered nearly twice as many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Middle Eastern country has some innate advantages: It is small and centralized, […]

Is the Liberal tent big enough for a Carney?

Apr 6 2021 — Paul Wells — The news that Mark Carney will speak to the Liberal Party of Canada’s virtual convention this weekend is at least implicit acknowledgment of a question Liberals have preferred to avoid before now: what will the party look like when Justin Trudeau no longer leads it? You can’t really call that question “taboo” or “verboten” or […]

The Liberals inch closer to majority territory: 338Canada

Apr 5 2021 — Philippe J. Fournier — Even though several parts of the country are entering a third wave of the pandemic with abrupt rises in infection rates, there is reason for medium-term optimism, as most Canadians should be fully vaccinated by late summer if things go as planned. (Quebec Premier François Legault even went as far as publicly predicting that all […]

The Biden plan and the Trudeau precedent

Apr 1 2021 — Paul Wells — The critics are raving. Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan—$2 trillion for green(-ish) infrastructure, jobs and tech, following his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan and setting the stage for a $2 trillion American Family Plan in a few weeks—has its share of critics, but it’s also being hailed as a potentially historic rethink of government’s role […]

Year One: The untold story of the pandemic in Canada

Mar 12 2021 — Stephen Maher — In March of 2020, Canadians started dying of COVID-19 and the country shut down. This is a comprehensive report on the country’s mishandling of the crisis of the century. In the last hours of 2019, Dominic Cardy and Julie Smith checked into the Arenal Observatory Lodge & Spa, a hot spring resort in La Fortuna […]

That’ll teach you, Mark Machin. I’m just not sure what.

Feb 26 2021 — Paul Wells — A quasi-public official did something the government refuses to forbid. So sure, get angry. Meanwhile I keep thinking of other things you could be enraged about. I knew Mark Machin’s countdown clock was ticking when Katherine Cuplinskas, Chrystia Freeland’s spokesperson, told Bloomberg last night that the pension chief’s decision to fly to the UAE to […]

Trudeau and Big Pharma: Not a love story

Feb 22 2021 — Paul Wells — On the bright side, when it comes to vaccines, so far Canada is actually doing better than Australia. That country bet big on a thriving domestic bio-sciences sector. It was making good progress on a made-in-Australia vaccine until December, when it had to scrap its vaccine program because while the candidate vaccine did well against […]