National Newswatch

Budget 2021: The Big Spending Plan

Apr 20 2021 — Kevin Page — Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget is titled “A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth and Resilience”. It is a big-spending budget. There is new deficit spending for COVID relief, economic recovery and a transition to a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient economy. If there is an election in the fall, this is the type of budget […]

The Red and Green Budget

Apr 19 2021 — Don Newman — Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland gave us their vision of Canada Monday in the Liberal Government’s first budget since 2019. It is a Canada that is both green and red. Green because it will accelerate spending on a variety of environmental programs and create stronger targets for reducing greenhouse gases. Red because deficit spending to […]

A Budget to Break the COVID Catch-22

Apr 19 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — It was only three words, but as a former journalist, Chrystia Freeland would have known that describing the COVID-19 pandemic as “a window of opportunity” for her budget last week could be easily misconstrued. More on point, the finance minister has been saying Budget 2021 would be “among the most significant of our lifetime.” Turns […]

Prince Philip’s Farewell

Apr 17 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — It was one of those sun-blasted British days that invariably remind you of how one day like this in England can make up for 100 rain-soaked ones. The funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, carried both emotional poignancy and disproportionate symbolism as a nexus of some […]

Making Air Canada Viable and its Passengers Whole Again

Apr 14 2021 — Karl Moore — After a year during which Canadian airlines have been existentially threatened by the decimated demand and operating constraints produced by the COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra have announced a lifeline package for Canada’s largest airline and national flagship carrier, Air Canada. With up to $5.9 billion provided through the […]

‘One Phone Call’? Who’ll Stop Myanmar’s Democide?

Apr 8 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — In an interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson on Wednesday, Salai Maung Taing San (known as Dr. Sasa), the United Nations special envoy of the democratically elected, violently deposed government of Myanmar, responded to the crucial question of what neighbouring China and its anti-democracy sidekick, Russia, could do to stop the rampage of post-coup terrorism being […]

Hostages to History: The Two Michaels and Post-Trumpian Geopolitics

Mar 22 2021 — Lisa Van Dusen — While Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor await the next instalment of their fates as targets of hostage diplomacy, it may be some small consolation for them to have starred in an instructive object lesson. As Kovrig’s wife, Vina Nadjibullah, told CBC’s Rosemary Barton on Sunday, the day before her husband’s “trial”, like Spavor’s three days […]

The Canada-US Roadmap: Getting it Done

Mar 14 2021 — Colin Robertson — Are we ready to take our most important relationship to the next level of partnership? The “Roadmap for a Renewed Canada-US Partnership”, announced during the virtual meeting in February of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden, is the latest iteration in managing neighbourly relations. Beginning with the last century’s trade and security agreements […]

Getting the Vaccination, Just like That

Mar 11 2021 — L. Ian MacDonald — It came Monday morning in an envelope from the Quebec government, which I threw on the coffee table and ignored for most of the day, thinking it had to be about taxes at this time of year. When I finally looked at it, it turned out to be from the Health Department, in English as […]

Lessons from the Pandemic

Mar 4 2021 — Don Newman — As 2021 unfolds and the COVID-19 pandemic, hopefully, recedes, Canada will have to adapt and adjust to some of the lessons we have learned from the pandemic and other events of the past year. Some of the adjustments will be difficult. Some will appear contradictory. We will have to be more independent and assertive, both […]

The Great Budgetary Pivot: But to Where?

Mar 3 2021 — Kevin Lynch and Paul Deegan — What a difference a year makes. We are living with unprecedented economic uncertainty and personal insecurity that harken back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. The deadly, global pandemic was the dominant health, political and economic story in 2020, and continues to be in 2021. Indeed, its aftermath will affect future generations. Today, we […]

Official Languages Reform: Failure is not an Option

Feb 25 2021 — Stéphanie Chouinard — On February 19, Official Languages Minister Mélanie Joly presented her working paper on the modernization of the Official Languages Act (OLA). Breaking from Liberal tradition, which always placed French and English on a scrupulously equal footing, the document recognizes the vulnerability of the French language in Canada. It vows to implement “substantive equality” between the […]