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Stories by Les Whittington

Expect Liberal budget to focus on science, women’s role in economy

Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Thomas Mulcair got it right a few years back when, commenting on the approach of Stephen Harper’s government to the role of science in policy development, he said the Conservatives relied on “decision-based fact-making.” But,…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Toward the end of the 2015 election campaign, Justin Trudeau was chatting with reporters on the tarmac near his chartered Liberal aircraft when someone asked if he really thought his party could win big on…
CAYO COCO, Cuba—Uprooted mangrove thickets are still piled up behind the beaches along Cuba’s north coast, interspersed with shards of concrete and steel and other flotsam left over from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma.…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Donald Trump, the first Twit-tator, is changing the world, whether we like it or not. Backed by the malleable and undiscerning base he energizes through social media, the president is single-handedly undermining the principles of…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—It’s fascinating, in the eruption of excitement over a possible United States presidential run by Oprah Winfrey, to hear the cognoscenti prattling on about her lack of qualifications and experience for the office. One has…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—When the CBC sought comment about efforts by Tim Hortons heirs Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Lynn Horton-Joyce to recoup benefits from employees soon to be making $14 an hour, the reporter was told the…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Even before President Donald Trump’s latest invocation of his “America First” thinking, it was clear the close relationship with the United States that has shaped life in Canada for many decades is changing in profound,…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals have spent another year sort of getting a feel for governing. In many ways, it seems the government is still spinning its wheels at mid-term. That makes 2018 very much…
Author
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Just when one thought things couldn’t get any worse in Washington, United States President Donald Trump appears to be veering completely out of control. The result is a crisis in U.S. democracy, whether Americans realize…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—If the rise of Donald Trump proved anything worth knowing, it’s the risk to democracy posed by an uninformed electorate. The story of the 2016 United States election woke everyone up to the extent of…
OTTAWA—The House of Commons regularly reverberates with paeans to equality, the aspirations of Canadians seeking to better themselves, and fairness for all. Yet only a few miles down the street in Ottawa, these values are…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—In what was widely seen as a litmus test of Donald Trump’s appeal a year after the norm-shattering United States presidential election, voters in Virginia overwhelmingly rejected a Republican nominee who attempted to cash in…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—For a journalist working in Ottawa, trying to cover issues of ethics was always a frustrating, time-wasting affair. The people appointed to the largely thankless job of overseeing the conduct of federal MPs and cabinet…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Justin Trudeau’s enemies were beside themselves with derision back in 2014 when he said “the budget will balance itself.” The full quote, ignored by the critics, was, “If you grow the economy,” the budget will…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Finance Minister Bill Morneau set out a good news fall fiscal update in hopes of helping the government recover from its mid-term stumbles and reset his and the Liberals’ political course. Morneau cited the government’s…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—On Jan. 16, 1965, prime minister Lester Pearson sat next to U.S. president Lyndon Johnson at an outdoor table at Johnson’s ranch in Texas to sign the papers bringing the Canada-U.S. Auto Pact into existence.…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA— U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest internal party feud has broken out in spectacular fashion with prominent Republican Senator Bob Corker. After Trump repeatedly slammed former ally Corker on Twitter, saying he was personally responsible…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—What can you say about a country where there’s a hierarchy of mass shootings that allows everyone to state that the incident in Las Vegas was the worst in modern American history? Or how a…
OTTAWA—More than a year after Britain voted to leave the European Union, the ruling Conservatives have made almost no progress when it comes to defining a practical, realistic post-Brexit relationship with EU countries. In a…
 OTTAWA—With the House back after the summer, the war of words on Parliament Hill continues. Thousands of pages of transcripts from Commons speeches, committee hearings, and other events attended by MPs and public officials will…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Gone are the days when the likes of Ruth Ellen Brosseau could trade in a campus bartender gig in Ottawa for a seat in Parliament on the strength of the late Jack Layton’s appeal in…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONT.—It was clear from the moment they handed out the “Budget in Brief” in the media lock-up for the Progressive Conservatives’ 1979 budget that Joe Clark’s minority government was done for. “Part of the…
OTTAWA—Nearing the mid-point in the Liberal mandate, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet Aug. 28 in recognition that the realities of government are a far cry from wishful campaign musings. Prompted by the resignation of former…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—No one seemed to notice United States President Donald Trump’s analysis of his trade negotiation aims at a Buy American event at the White House last month. Trump, who looks at trade through a simplistic…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—If you’re reading this, that means you’re still alive. Imagining that a nuclear war could actually happen after decades of its constant threat in the background is nearly impossible, and everyone goes on with their…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
LONG SAULT, Ont.—To some people along the St. Lawrence River south of Ottawa, July 1 has a very different meaning than it does to most everyone else. They call July 1, 1958 “Inundation Day.” At 8 a.m. that morning, engineers…
OTTAWA—There they were, young men and women in their early 20s going off to church to make their peace with God. Others were hoarding food and gasoline. Millions learned a new kind of fear. It…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—The current probe of the Trump organization’s—and Donald Trump’s family’s—ties to Russia is so beyond anything in United States history it's almost unimaginable. The campaign team of a U.S. president is under investigation for possibly being…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—It’s hard to imagine that relations between Canada and its long-time United States ally could ever come to this. Just weeks before the start of renegotiation of the free-trade concepts that have shaped Canada-U.S. commercial…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Progress at G20 summits is always difficult and incremental at the best of times. They bring together leaders of the G7 countries along with those of the developing nations of China, Brazil, Mexico, India, and…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—Anyone who was in Canada in 1967 remembers the excitement of Expo—and the bewilderment and anger over French president Charles de Gaulle’s “Vive le Québec libre” remark during his visit to Montreal for the centennial celebration. In…
Opinion|By Les Whittington
OTTAWA—It’s hard to imagine a worse time for Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard to start floating the issue of Quebec and the Constitution again. While Canadians seem generally unaware of the risks bearing down on them,…

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