National Newswatch

Canada’s Conservatives need to think hard about their future

Nov 8 2019 — Shachi Kurl — That Conservative MPs did not move immediately to oust leader Andrew Scheer this week should not be mistaken for a signal that his caucus or the party intends to keep him around long-term. After all, Conservatives defer to their membership arguably more than any other major federal party. Pre-empting the grassroots is therefore unthinkable. That […]

Andrew Scheer’s curse was Justin Trudeau’s weakness

Nov 7 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — In politics, second place sometimes feels like a win. Just ask the NDP, who stormed to a surprise second place finish in the 2011 election as Stephen Harper went on to claim his coveted majority. Despite falling (way) short of the ultimate prize, Jack Layton’s famous “orange crush” relegated Michael Ignatieff’s Liberals to third place […]

The seeds of Scheer’s defeat were planted in 2017

Oct 24 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — If everything old is new again, Andrew Scheer is guilty only of impatience in resuscitating Stephen Harper’s policy agenda. Four years after voters said “no” to the raft of tightly targeted micro-tax credits (and sharp politics) that typified the last Conservative government, they said “no” to a quick return under Scheer’s banner. It turns out […]

This election, Andrew Scheer is betting that bland works

Oct 4 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — “He’s … beige.” That’s how someone here in London described Conservative leader Andrew Scheer to me after watching his announcement on reprioritizing Canada’s foreign aid away from wealthier nations. Beige. As in bland. The comment was meant as a slight, but dollars to doughnuts it’s the Conservative strategy. After years of Justin Trudeau’s celebrity flash, […]

Scheer’s tax cut pledges spell opportunity for Trudeau

Sep 27 2019 — — Campaigning on promises to reduce taxes has been part of the Conservative playbook for decades now. Even if most Canadians do not feel they are much better off than they were 20 years ago, Stephen Harper did manage to reduce our overall tax burden. So it is that Andrew Scheer is following in his footsteps. […]

Trudeau can bounce back from ethics ruling on SNC-Lavalin

Aug 18 2019 — Gloria Galloway — The federal integrity commissioner’s finding that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau violated the conflict of interest rules is an aftershock to the earthquake that rocked the government through the first few months of this year. The SNC-Lavalin scandal had already inflicted permanent damage on Trudeau’s personal brand. And the timing of Mario Dion’s report, which comes […]

The pre-election script Trudeau could be reading, but isn’t

Aug 15 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Rejoice, Canada! Say so long, first-past-the-post, and hello to the brave new world of proportional representation. Final campaign preparations under the new voting regime are now being made by all parties. Entire armies of political strategists weaned on the vicious norms of two-party battles are taking one final look at their draft battle plans under […]

Trudeau should try killing the Conservatives with kindness

Jul 18 2019 — Andrew MacDougall — Going negative works. The Conservative Party proved it for years with successive attacks on Liberal leaders Stéphane Dion and Michael Ignatieff. Both men had much to offer, but the respective Tory counters of “not a leader” and “didn’t come back for you” had too much truth to be ignored by voters. Indeed, Ignatieff was so […]

Melnyk dismisses ‘flippant’ apology from Lisa MacLeod for profane tirade

Jul 6 2019 — — Senators owner Eugene Melnyk says he was unimpressed by MPP Lisa MacLeod’s “flippant” apology for an f-bomb laden tirade at last weekend’s Rolling Stones concert. Melnyk and MacLeod spoke briefly by phone on Thursday afternoon, then MacLeod tweeted Friday morning acknowledging her “blunt” language. “Let me set the record straight,” MacLeod said in a 6:10 […]

Egan: Ousted MPP Hillier says Ford may not survive as premier

Jul 6 2019 — — At his 1850s stone farmhouse at the end of a winding lane, on the edge of a forest, MPP Randy Hillier is reclined in an Adirondack on the porch, coffee in hand, as two grandchildren skitter about the lawn on a sweltering July morning. Birds are chirping and the old maples are swaying in the […]