National Newswatch

Bob and Ned and Justin and Pierre

Sep 20 2023 — Paul Wells — When eating at Scout Café & Restaurant, across King Street from the historic site of the 1813 Battle of Stoney Creek, try the meat. In fact, good luck avoiding it. Featured dishes at the sprawling multi-level Croatian community hangout include Cevapi (meatballs), Ustipci (different meatballs), Karadjorjeva (rolled-up schnitzel stuffed with cheese, then breaded and deep-fried […]

Grounded: The PM’s plane is transformed into a metaphor

Sep 10 2023 — Paul Wells — I stopped by the Conservative Convention on Thursday night, just briefly. The mood (which I ascertained by asking several Conservative acquaintances “What’s the mood?”) was cautiously optimistic. The Conservatives I met — a random sample, skewed older because I haven’t met a new generation of Conservative activists — sounded pleased with Pierre Poilievre’s summer. But […]

Pressure for a COVID inquiry mounts

Jul 25 2023 — Paul Wells — There’ve been news stories about it, but you really should see the extraordinary suite of articles and opinion pieces on Canada’s COVID-19 response in The BMJ, the leading British medical trade journal. It’s two editorials, an opinion piece, and four analyses of different elements of Canadian governments’ response to COVID. The common theme: Justin Trudeau’s […]

Ostriches on the runway – Dominic LeBlanc says it’s time to rise above partisanship. Watch the skies

Jun 10 2023 — Paul Wells — “The protection of our democracy demands that we rise above partisanship,” Dominic LeBlanc told reporters Saturday morning in the lobby of the West Block’s backup House of Commons. “Canada isn’t the only country facing the threat of foreign interference. Many of our allies are, even now, having discussions on ways to protect their democracies against […]

How did Canada do on COVID? What’s the plan to find out?

Jun 8 2023 — Paul Wells — A health minister promised a “full investigation” at the “appropriate time.” Well… Here’s Patty Hajdu in April, 2021, after then-Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, who was heading toward a national election campaign, promised a national public inquiry into “every aspect of the government’s pandemic response.” Hajdu was the health minister. Reporters asked for her reaction. She […]

At the National Gallery, an olive branch

Jun 7 2023 — Paul Wells — I’m amazed by news that the new director of the National Gallery of Canada will be Jean-François Bélisle. In important ways the appointment of Bélisle, who had lately been running the art museum in Joliette, northeast of Montreal, is a repudiation of a management style that had rocked the Ottawa-based national art museum. Expect nobody […]

Chrystia Freeland talking to Americans

May 9 2023 — Paul Wells — On complementary investments and things left unsaid. The middle ground between “public” and “secret” is vast, and it’s where most of the fun is. The above photo appeared, I learned just now, on Chrystia Freeland’s Twitter account a week ago, on May 2. So it’s pretty public. It’s from the first meeting, in Washington, of […]

“We do want to avoid enforcement”

Apr 5 2023 — Paul Wells — Ottawa’s new police chief on the delicate work of handling big protests. I was grateful, and a little surprised, when the new Chief of the Ottawa Police Service, Eric Stubbs, agreed to talk to me about how the force has changed since 2022’s Freedom Convoy debacle. Stubbs’ hiring was announced in the middle of the […]

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