National Newswatch

Preparing for the worst: On NAFTA, America, Canada and Mexico are miles apart

Oct 19 2017 — — THESE are troubling times for Roberto Santana Flores, a Mexican maker of charro shirts, a modern take on the Mexican cowboy aesthetic. He recalls life before the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA), a trade deal linking Mexico with America and Canada. He remembers his shirts incurred a whopping 37.5% tariff if exported to America. Now […]

Prince Charming and his taxes: Justin Trudeau’s flying unicorn hits a storm

Oct 12 2017 — — To Oppose the government of Justin Trudeau has been no fun. Canada’s prime minister has shrugged off controversies that would have hurt a less charismatic politician. Few Canadians seemed to mind when he accepted a helicopter ride from the Aga Khan to holiday on his private island in the Bahamas; most yawned when the government […]

Can the world thrive on 100% renewable energy?

Jul 17 2017 — — A WIDELY read cover story on the impact of global warming in this week’s New York magazine starts ominously: “It is, I promise, worse than you think.” It goes on to predict temperatures in New York hotter than present-day Bahrain, unprecedented droughts wherever today’s food is produced, the release of diseases like bubonic plague hitherto […]

Chasing Trudeau – A battle for the soul of Canada’s Conservative Party

Mar 2 2017 — — The annual Manning Centre conference in Ottawa is popularly known as Woodstock for Canadian Conservatives. It is not obvious why. At this year’s edition, held from February 23rd to 25th, booths manned by clean-cut millennials offered pamphlets on such subjects as child discipline and taxing carbon emissions. A few delegates sported “Make America Great Again” […]

Germany and its chancellor are still too hesitant to be able to lead the free world

Nov 17 2016 — — TO VISIT Berlin is to be confronted at every turn by reminders of the evils that Germans do. Memorials to the Holocaust and other wartime atrocities dot the city. In Kreuzberg, a scruffy-but-hip neighbourhood, posters and leaflets denounce milder German iniquities, from urban gentrification to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a hated trade […]

The last liberals – Why Canada is still at ease with openness

Oct 27 2016 — — Most people “would give anything to trade places with you,” Dwight MacAuley, the province of Manitoba’s chief of protocol, tells his audience. No one disagrees. In a packed hall in Winnipeg’s century-old train station, 86 immigrants from 31 countries are becoming citizens of what Mr MacAuley characterises as one of the “greatest, freest, richest nations […]

Why Canada’s economic policy is winning fans

Jul 8 2016 — — MORE than seven months after the affable leader of Canada’s Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, became prime minister, there is no sign of an end to his political honeymoon. Polling shows that the Liberals are just as popular as when they swept into power, while Mr Trudeau is the preferred prime minister of more than 50% […]

Why so many Canadians privately sponsor Syrian refugees

Mar 4 2016 — — CANADA’s three main parties indulged in a curious game of one-upmanship during last year’s general election campaign. Each boasted that if they were elected they would bring in great numbers of Syrian refugees. The Conservatives pledged 10,000 over three years. The New Democrats said they would take in 10,000 by the end of the year […]

Trudeaumania 2

Mar 3 2016 — — Can the new prime minister parlay his celebrity into influence? SINCE leading his Liberal Party back to power in Canada last October, Justin Trudeau has been profiled in such glossy magazines as Vanity Fair and Vogue; Hello’s photo spread featured his wife and children. On March 10th he will sit down with Barack Obama at […]

Canadians argue over how to promote religious freedom abroad

Feb 21 2016 — — Should Western democracies make the defence of religious freedom around the world a separate, fenced-off part of their foreign policy? Or is it better simply to subsume that concern under the general heading of human rights? In an age when blasphemy laws are horribly abused in many countries, and regimes like those of China, Iran […]

Why Trudeau wants the pope to make an apology

Jan 4 2016 — — FOR more than a century the government of Canada ran a system of residential schools for indigenous children, taking them from their parents—by force if need be—and putting them into institutions where many were physically and sexually abused. Seven years ago Stephen Harper, then Conservative prime minister, apologised on the government’s behalf to the 150,000 […]

Struggling to stay afloat : Stephen Harper’s long tenure as prime minister may be nearing its close

Oct 15 2015 — — THIS summer visitors to Ottawa were treated to a free sound-and-light show beamed against the neo-Gothic façade of Canada’s parliament and its “peace tower”. To lush violins and a tremulous soprano, “Northern Lights” recounted the high points of Canadian history, from the “first great collaborations” between Europeans and indigenous folk to 20th-century wars.

Veiled attack: Muslim-bashing is an effective campaign tactic

Oct 9 2015 — — SINCE Canada enacted a rule in 2011 requiring veiled women to reveal their faces during public citizenship ceremonies, the country has sworn in 680,000 citizens. Just two have refused to comply. This seemingly marginal issue has come to the fore in campaigning for the national election to be held on October 19th. It could well […]

Canada’s economy: The new rustbelt

Aug 31 2015 — — IF YOU visit south-western Ontario and the Niagara peninsula you will see scenes of industrial decay. Steel mills, vehicle-parts factories and food processors sit abandoned, their car parks studded with tufts of grass. The region has the look of a rustbelt, and that has Canadians worried. Manufacturing took a beating in the late 2000s and […]