National Newswatch

Is there an urban-rural divide in Canada?

Oct 16 2019 — Andrew Parkin — With Canada’s population increasingly concentrated in a small number of large metropolitan areas, the question often arises: do the values, interests and concerns of citizens in cities differ from those of their counterparts living in smaller cities or towns across the country? Is there a specific metropolitan mindset or set of experiences that distinguishes those […]

In politics, a photo can carry powerful subtext

Oct 9 2019 — Paul Adams — Frederick Douglass was arguably the first person – I hesitate to say “politician” – to use photography for a political purpose. Douglass was an enslaved man who at about twenty years of age escaped a plantation on the Eastern Shore of Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, where he had endured brutal whippings alongside all the other […]

How effective are federal minority governments?

Oct 8 2019 — Geoff Norquay — A look at Canada’s seven minority governments over six decades shows a broad range of results that were not always so obvious at the time. With the two leading contenders locked in a virtual tie and “fighting to the death within the margin of error,” as one observer recently put it, a minority government after […]

Can Canadian politics ever achieve a climate consensus?

Oct 7 2019 — Jennifer Ditchburn — We should demand that our political leaders stop trying to win partisan points on climate change, and reach a consensus on action as other nations have. In Germany in September, the coalition cabinet led by Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union announced a sweeping $74-billion climate policy package. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom is working through […]

The revenge of expert sources in Election 2019

Oct 4 2019 — Paul Adams — Expert sources drawn from academia and elsewhere are playing an important role in Election 2019, and at a time when expertise itself is under attack. Election 2019 has provided an illustration of what the American journo-wonk Ezra Klein once called the “revenge of the sources.” Whereas experts, including academics, were once dependent on journalists to […]

What Trudeau’s Arabian Nights says about cultural appropriation

Oct 3 2019 — Joanne St. Lewis — Images of Justin Trudeau captured in brownface in 2001 stream across international media. The outrage takes many forms. For some, his position as leader of our multicultural nation not only requires an apology but also calls into question his fitness for office and the sincerity of his policies. For others, the incident was theatrical expression […]

We’re failing edge-of-range endangered species

Sep 30 2019 — — Being a good neighbour is a nicety. But when it comes to saving the biodiversity that sustains us, being a good neighbour is a necessity. Decisions about whether to be a good or a not-so-good neighbour are playing out in our governments’ oversight of species at risk. In its Pan-Canadian Approach to Species at Risk […]

Why election coverage neglects climate change

Sep 25 2019 — Paul Adams — In March of 1935, Adolf Hitler announced the rearmament of Germany in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. It had been just 17 years since the First World War had ended, a war that had resulted in roughly 700,000 British deaths and many more casualties. And yet, when the UK held an election eight months […]

Election candidates have become brand ambassadors

Sep 23 2019 — Alex Marland — An election candidate with a Canadian political party is not a free agent. Similar to the local franchisees of an established corporate brand, party candidates benefit from their party affiliation, but that affiliation comes with terms and conditions. Candidates enter politics with visions of being grassroots representatives or purveyors of independent thinking. They quickly learn […]

A watershed month for medical assistance in dying

Sep 20 2019 — Jocelyn Downie — September 2019 has been an extraordinary month for medical assistance in dying (MAiD), with two major developments only seven days apart. As a result, more Canadians with grievous and irremediable medical conditions will be able to end their enduring and intolerable suffering on their own terms at a time of their choosing.