National Newswatch

Judicial jousting emerges at Supreme Court of Canada

Dec 27 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — This is what brawls look like on the top court bench. Judges don’t throw off their robes and come to blows. What they do — judicial jousting — is more subtle. Split rulings. Lengthy dissenting opinions. Constitutional decisions that see judges split not only into two groups, but sometimes going three or four different ways. […]

Is Trudeau finally finished with selfies?

Dec 22 2019 — Susan Delacourt — Selfies: friend or foe of democracy? Though Prime Minister Justin Trudeau likely has much in common with the candidates vying to lead the U.S. Democratic Party, a divergence of thought emerged this week on the subject of selfies: those ubiquitous self-taken photos that clutter social-media feeds.

Jagmeet Singh admits things looked bad for the NDP before this fall’s election

Dec 20 2019 — Alex Ballingall — Even Jagmeet Singh, a politician who carries himself as the embodiment of positivity, admits things were bleak for his New Democratic Party — very bleak, indeed. At the outset of the 43rd federal election, Canada’s national social democratic party faced the prospect of annihilation. One source describes meetings in late summer where officials discussed how […]

Is Trudeau’s national pharmacare program already doomed?

Dec 18 2019 — Chantal Hébert — Is Justin Trudeau’s signature promise of a national pharmacare program headed for the same policy graveyard as the prime minister’s 2015 electoral reform commitment? It’s early days but the stars are not aligning for the advent anytime soon of a new national social program designed to offer all Canadians universal prescription drugs coverage. Notwithstanding the […]

How the U.K. can unite, but probably won’t

Dec 16 2019 — Robin V. Sears — It is hard to describe the depths of the poison that the tedious Brexit battle has injected into British life. It has deeply divided families, partners, towns, companies and regions of the country in a manner reminiscent of our own flirtation with national ruin. Fortunately, in our case there were several statesmen and women who […]

Messy path forward for Tories

Dec 15 2019 — Penny Collenette — The last few days have reminded us that politics can be a blood sport. Two leaders of the opposition, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer and Jeremy Corbyn, U.K. Labour Party leader, were unceremoniously left by the political wayside in different ways. Scheer was taken down by his own party, weeks after an election defeat, while Corbyn […]

A look at the year that was and predictions for 2020

Dec 15 2019 — — Most underrated politician of 2019: Only one federal party leader managed to unambiguously improve their party’s lot in the last election: Yves-Francois Blanchet revived the Bloc Québécois with a sharply executed pivot from sovereignty to nationalism. The fifth Bloc leader since 2015, he turned in a tight, eloquent performance in the French-language debates, and then […]

Jailed for seven years, Canada to press the case of human rights blogger Raif Badawi with Saudi Arabia

Dec 14 2019 — Tonda MacCharles — Canada’s new foreign affairs minister is raising fresh concerns about two human rights advocates jailed in a Saudi Arabian prison who have begun hunger strikes, among them Raif Badawi, whose wife and three children live in Canada. Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, speaking after attending an international human rights conference in Berlin and travelling to […]

Scheer facing an internal audit over use of Conservative Party funds

Dec 13 2019 — Alex Boutilier — Outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is facing an internal audit over the use of party funds to cover his children’s private school tuition. Two sources told the Star Friday night that the Conservative Fund board, which manages the party’s finances and counts former prime minister Stephen Harper as a member, has ordered a forensic audit […]