National Newswatch

Seriously: Won’t somebody please think of the children?

Sep 2 2021 — Matt Gurney — A year and a half into this pandemic, I find myself thinking, often, about the toll taken on children. They have sacrificed enormously to help keep others safe, and in the main, weren’t asked or consulted. It’s not that we were wrong to expect this of them — life isn’t fair, and this is a […]

How much does Ontario really matter to the federal election?

Aug 30 2021 — David Moscrop — The House of Commons is made up of 338 seats, 121 of which are allocated to Ontario. But when you’re tracking federal campaigns, you might at times be forgiven for thinking there are few, if any, races going on outside the vote-rich province. Media coverage and the energy that parties, particularly the Conservatives and Liberals, […]

Looks like we’re heading for another classic Doug Ford reversal

Aug 30 2021 — Matt Gurney — Late last week, David Akin, of Global News, took a brief break from covering the campaign to reveal that his sources were telling him Ontario would soon be getting a vaccine passport of some kind. “Hearing word from Queen’s Park that @FordNation will announce some form of vaccine passport for Ontario next week,” Akin tweeted. […]

Trudeau wants to bribe cities to build housing. He should bribe provinces instead

Aug 24 2021 — John Michael McGrath — The federal Liberal party’s housing platform, released Tuesday morning, is a grab-bag of ideas: some have merit (introduce a federal agency tasked with investigating money laundering in the housing market); others not so much (the criminalization of blind bidding would face a rocky journey through the courts). A few align with proposed Conservative policies: supporting […]

Are the federal leaders ever going to answer our questions?

Aug 17 2021 — Steve Paikin — Call me quaint and old-fashioned, but I thought election campaigns were about getting answers to questions that voters, understandably, have about the leaders, their parties, and their platforms, no? I mean, that’s why they expend so much effort and marshal so many resources to create these party platforms in the first place, right? And why […]

It just doesn’t make sense to reopen schools now

May 27 2021 — Matt Gurney — It was just last week here that I proposed ending the school year early and aiming for a safe restart of in-class learning in September. That column got a lot of reaction, mostly good, mixed in with some respectful disagreement. The issue has remained a live one. Provincial and local officials are talking openly about […]

So you got your first dose. What’s Ontario’s plan for the second?

May 25 2021 — Matt Gurney — Sometime in the next few weeks, an amazing thing is going to happen in this province. It’s inevitable. It’s close at hand. And it’s going to be good news. But it will also pose challenges that we must be ready to meet. The provincial vaccination effort is going well and has ramped up as supply […]

Doug Ford is pulling a vanishing act — again

May 14 2021 — Matt Gurney — Premier Doug Ford‘s press conference on Thursday went about exactly the way you would have expected. It was perhaps one of the least-surprising press conferences I have ever seen. Much of what was announced was not only predictable but had been predicted. Ontario will, as widely rumoured, extend the current stay-at-home order until at least […]

Paid sick leave: Why three days? Why now? Why?

Apr 28 2021 — John Michael McGrath — Why three days, and why now? Those are the two most obvious questions to ask the Ontario government regarding its new proposal, unveiled on Wednesday at Queen’s Park, to guarantee a measure of paid sick leave. The answers: politics, and politics. Premier Doug Ford’s cabinet has for months been urging the federal government to improve […]

How the premier of Ontario made himself irrelevant

Apr 22 2021 — Matt Gurney — If we strip away all the sideshows and diversions, there are three stories that matter in Ontario’s third-wave response today. They matter more than the premier’s obvious emotional struggle as he faced voters for the first time in nearly a week — via a video press conference from isolation at his late mother’s Etobicoke home […]

It’s too late for apologies. The crisis is here

Apr 22 2021 — John Michael McGrath — Premier Doug Ford is sorry. Sorry, he says, for his government’s panicked reaction to the legitimately frightening modelling it was presented with last week. It went too far because the cabinet moved too fast, he says, and he sincerely apologizes. The opposition at Queen’s Park — the New Democratic, Liberal, and Green MPPs — are […]

Stephen Lewis is fighting for his life

Apr 21 2021 — Steve Paikin — This country’s greatest political orator is battling abdominal cancer as he continues to fight for causes near and dear to his heart. It was August, during the federal-election campaign of 2015, and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair was giving a stump speech near the west end of Queen Street in downtown Toronto. At this moment in […]

There is no one at the wheel in Ontario

Apr 19 2021 — Matt Gurney — Where the hell do I even begin? That’s not really a rhetorical question. The past 72 hours in Ontario have been, with no exaggeration, the most bizarre three days I’ve ever covered — or even witnessed. There are four or five different columns I could write about it, and all would cover some entirely distinct, […]

Who’s in charge in Ontario, and what the hell is going on?

Apr 12 2021 — — I have been living under some form of “lockdown” for 140 days. I put that in quotes for a few reasons. One is that the precise terminology keeps changing, at least as far as the government is concerned. Another is that this isn’t really a lockdown, which is why my kids have been going to […]