National Newswatch

View from Washington: Buying Time, Not Certainty

Mar 23 2020 — Scott Pattison — The term “uncharted territory” being uttered by many elected officials about the current health and economic crisis throughout the world seems to be an understatement. In the United States a few short weeks ago, the economy was roaring with a record-setting February 12th Dow Jones stock market index peak of over 29,500 points. Today, the […]

Should Canadian Airlines get a Bailout?

Mar 21 2020 — Karl Moore — This is the most troubling time for Canadian airlines in living memory. The previous crises of 9/11, SARS, H1N1, the Icelandic Volcano and the 2008 financial crash were all very challenging times for the industry around the world. Yet within nine months, even in the U.S., the impact of the worst of these, 9/11 was […]

Meanwhile…Alberta’s Double Jeopardy

Mar 19 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — As the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic justifiably monopolizes public attention these days, another major story — also with serious economic implications — is playing out in Alberta. When the Alberta government released its budget estimates for the coming fiscal year on February 27, Premier Jason Kenney’s numbers were based on oil priced at US$58 a barrel.

Donald Trump’s Perfect Storm

Mar 11 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — The coronavirus already had the world on edge when the stock market crashed on Monday because of a race to the bottom on oil prices between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The Saudis wanted to cut production among Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to keep prices up in a world economy struck by COVID-19, while […]

The Audacity of Logic: Joe Biden’s Super Tuesday

Mar 5 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — When James Clyburn, the elder statesman of South Carolina Democratic politics and African-American political icon, took the stage Saturday night in Columbia to celebrate Joe Biden’s remarkable win in the state, he didn’t quote Yogi Berra. A student and teacher of history, Clyburn plucked from time the words of America’s most famous tourist. “If Americans […]

From Failure to Finalist

Mar 4 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — Never in the history of presidential primaries has there been such a stunning reversal of fortune as the one that, in just seven days, has vaulted Joe Biden from failure to finalist in the race for the Democratic nomination. Only a week ago, Biden’s campaign was deemed doomed to failure unless he could salvage his […]

A Time for Leadership

Feb 21 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — The quote of the week definitely goes to Justin Trudeau, delivered after the railway blockade forced cancellation of his Barbados visit. During special statements by leaders at midday on Tuesday, Trudeau observed that “Patience may be in short supply, and that makes it more valuable than ever.” Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, calling the protesters “radical […]

Baird Demurs: The Conservative Race that Isn’t

Feb 15 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — With John Baird standing down, that makes four first-tier candidates who’ve taken their names out of consideration before even entering the Conservative leadership race. “I’m incredibly grateful for all the support that Conservatives from across this great country have offered in the last few weeks,” Baird began in a three-part Twitter post Thursday evening, going […]

Peter MacKay and the French Factor

Jan 30 2020 — L. Ian MacDonald — It’s a matter of political convention that Canada’s prime minister be able to speak both English and French. Lester B. Pearson was the last unilingual prime minister, and that was two generations ago. It was in 1968 that Pearson handed the reins of office to his successor, the thoroughly bilingual, bicultural Pierre Trudeau. Every one […]

When is a Peace Plan not a Peace Plan?

Jan 29 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — In the old days — not the old days in Middle East terms, but the pre-post-truth old days when things were normal…like, 10 years ago — the Israeli-Palestinian stand-off was generally considered by invested observers to be a sort of holy prototype for conflict resolution. Its notorious intractability, epic and fine-print complications and the heartbreaking […]

Jean Charest and the Party that Snubbed Him

Jan 22 2020 — — Jean Charest acknowledged one problem with the prospect of running for leader of the Conservative Party more than two decades after leaving Ottawa to become Liberal leader and three-term premier of Quebec. “It takes time to reintroduce yourself,” Charest said Tuesday after announcing his decision not to run for the Tory leadership, 22 years after […]

Oops: Donald Trump, Iran and the Perils of Multiple Choice

Jan 6 2020 — Lisa Van Dusen — Of all the sectors, industries and cultural phenomena — from coal to oil to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — that have benefited from Donald Trump’s unlikely presidency of the world’s flagship democratic superpower, ironic nostalgia may be the most unappreciated. In the same way that Trump’s impeachment has made us pine for the days when […]

Keep Calm…or Not. We’ve Seen Worse.

Jan 5 2020 — Don Newman — Alberta and Ottawa at each other’s throats. Separatists winning votes in Quebec. Britain collapsing over Brexit. And the rolling cataclysm of Donald Trump’s presidency colliding with impeachment proceedings in the United States. The world’s going to hell in a handbasket, right? Don’t worry. We’ve seen it all before. Most of it, 30 or more years […]