National Newswatch

Five takeaways from a very cautious 2021 Throne Speech

Nov 23 2021 — Marie-Danielle Smith — Nothing to see here, folks. Well. Nothing surprising, anyway. While Speeches from the Throne are sometimes used to announce major new initiatives, that was not the case on Tuesday, as Liberals previewed their priorities for the new Parliament. We saw, instead, the repetition of promises from a couple of months ago, and statements of values […]

What will happen when Jason Kenney’s dissidents—and even some fans!—spend a weekend together

Nov 18 2021 — Jason Markusoff — Folks were quick to draw comparisons when now-former Conservative Senator Denise Batters publicly declared her petition to depose Erin O’Toole as party leader. Why, it’s open dissent in the ranks, just like the United Conservative Party unrest plaguing Jason Kenney! If you couldn’t see me flailing my hands in disagreement from Calgary, rest of Canada, […]

‘Do not underestimate Erin O’Toole’

Nov 17 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — So, as I was flipping through the day’s news to write up this newsletter, I read my colleague Paul Wells’s column about how Erin O’Toole has gone extremely to ground, even with an attempted public knifing in the offing by Senator Denise Batters, who has publicly petitioned for a leadership review. Paul traces the similarities […]

Erin O’Toole, unresponsive

Nov 16 2021 — Paul Wells — Without power or focus once again, the Conservative Party has been left disappointed—and alone with the voices in its head. My favourite bit of any story about Erin O’Toole’s leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada these days is the part where his office declines a chance to defend him. “Batters did not respond to […]

Shelly Glover, the self-declared premier Manitoba doesn’t need

Nov 5 2021 — Jason Markusoff — As surely as I live in Manitoba, Shelly Glover is my premier. Actually, I live in Alberta, though my dad was born and raised a Winnipeg north-ender. And while we’re being precise, Shelley Glover is only premier in a darkly fantastical world in which the ugliest of political conspiracies hold true. Last Saturday, the governing […]

There’s no you in Team Trudeau

Nov 3 2021 — Paul Wells — So it turns out that when Justin Trudeau kicked all the senators out of the Liberal caucus, he was just getting warmed up. On Monday the Prime Minister will meet with the Liberal caucus for the first time since the 2021 federal election. It has been a while—long enough for the NDP and Conservative caucuses […]

All the good politicians are in Montreal

Nov 1 2021 — Paul Wells — I used to wonder where all the politicians with heart and wit went. Turns out they’re in Montreal, trying to turn a parking lot into a place where people actually live. Plante leads a rarity in Montreal city politics: a party that existed before she came along and may yet outlast her (Paul Chiasson/CP) One […]

Jason Kenney is sinking. How it all went wrong for him.

Nov 1 2021 — Jason Markusoff — The premier fumbled Alberta’s pandemic response so badly that his job is now in jeopardy. Saturday morning at a rec centre parking lot in south Calgary. Flapjacks. Mediocre coffee. Disposable plates. Boots. Belt buckles. Cowboy hats of black, white and straw. Smiling kids. Glad-handing politicians. In some ways, it seemed like any traditional Calgary Stampede […]

Liberal and NDP officials mull over a potential deal

Oct 29 2021 — Stephen Maher — Senior Liberals and New Democrats are kicking around the idea of reaching a deal that would allow the government to go three years without falling on a confidence vote. Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh met secretly to discuss the parliamentary session ahead. Officials would not say that they discussed a deal that would see the […]

Conservatives have a vaccine problem

Oct 21 2021 — Andrew MacDougall — Andrew MacDougall is a director at Trafalgar Strategy, and a former Head of Communications to Prime Minister Stephen Harper You have to hand it to the Conservatives. Having just lost to Justin Trudeau and his Liberals in the federal election, they’re now working overtime to ensure the Grits win the next one by refusing to […]

Michael Wernick has some advice

Oct 12 2021 — Paul Wells — Paul Wells talks to the former clerk of the Privy Council about his advice to Prime Ministers, the time pressures of governing, and political exits. Brian Mulroney was the prime minister the first time Michael Wernick sat at the back of a cabinet committee room, taking notes. One time the young civil servant found himself […]

How to make an entire country furious

Oct 6 2021 — Shannon Proudfoot — Hyperbole and a Half is a slyly brilliant web comic in which author Allie Brosh uses manic, deliberately crude drawings to dismantle ordinary human experiences into shards of genius and madness. In one, she laid out the “sneaky hate spiral,” a toddler-level total meltdown that otherwise reasonable adults fall into from time to time. “Sneaky […]

How close did the Liberals come to losing?

Oct 5 2021 — Justin Ling — The Liberal Party’s pyrrhic victory in last week’s federal election may have been closer to a defeat than the final tally would suggest. According to interviews with Liberal supporters conducted after the Sept. 20 vote, voters were less than enthusiastic about staying with Justin Trudeau’s party—but his oft-touted childcare plan may offer some clues as […]