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Stories by Susan Riley

Democracy or dynasty? It’s getting hard to tell the difference 

Opinion|By Susan Riley
CHELSEA, QUE.—It's a relief to know the one per cent will be well represented in the Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership race. Wealthy populist gadfly Doug Ford has already launched his campaign—from his mother’s basement—vowing war…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
CHELSEA, QUE.—What political junkie isn't thrilled for the return of Question Period after every seasonal break, well, until the first question, at least? Whatever the topic, the gist of opposition queries remains the same: what…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
CHELSEA, QUE.—For too long, we have been told that free trade explains our wealth and success as a nation—and, that anything that threatens our trading relationships will lead to certain disaster. We will end up…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Justin Trudeau might consider being more like Donald Trump if he wants to maintain his political standing in 2018 and beyond. More transparent, that is—without the craziness. But it probably isn’t going to happen.…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—It is outrageous that outgoing ethics commissioner Mary Dawson has yet to report on complaints about Justin Trudeau’s famous visit to the Aga Khan’s private Caribbean Island last Christmas. No matter what you think…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The adults of Canada are deeply conflicted about marijuana. By “adults," I mean most politicians over 30 years old. By “conflicted” I mean that our leaders are in the process of legalizing recreational pot,…
GATINEAU, QUE.—Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won widespread applause in Canada for privately unbraiding Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for his brutal human rights abuses. This week, unsurprisingly, the abuses continue. Not only that, the…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The flaying, filleting and deep-frying of Finance Minister Bill Morneau is a vivid illustration of how punishing a life in politics can be. Whatever his failures when it comes to disclosing his personal fortune—and…
Author
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The decision by TransCanada to mothball its proposed Energy East pipeline some days ago risks becoming flotsam in the all-consuming whirl of daily news—from Harvey Weinstein, to Donald Trump’s threats to dump NAFTA, to…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Almost lost amid the furor over those modest Liberal tax changes, the shock and misery of Las Vegas and the random terrorist incident in Edmonton last week was another piece of very bad news.…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—By some accounts, politicians and public figures live in dangerous times—only one glib remark, or one youthful mistake, away from pubic disgrace, even career suicide. But it isn’t that simple. Consider the troubling story…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—At the mid-point of his mandate, Justin Trudeau must be a happy prime minister. He retains a comfortable edge in the polls, he has survived many mostly self-inflicted errors, and, there are no obvious…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Justin Trudeau’s proposal to eliminate loopholes in the small business tax is a modest step in the direction of tax fairness and Finance Minister Bill Morneau is, in many ways, an ideal spear-carrier for…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The influx of mostly-Haitian asylum seekers across the Quebec border could hardly have come at a more delicate time. In the United States, of course, the embers of racism and xenophobia are regularly fanned…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—When Peter C. Newman's controversial and sensational book The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister was released in 2005, it created a national buzz. The book was based on hundreds of candid…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Freed from the tendentious and often tedious rituals of Question Period, Justin Trudeau appears to be having a wonderful summer. He is everywhere: hugging drag queens at Halifax’s gay pride parade; enjoying the white…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Amid a cascade of half-measures, the Trudeau government wrapped up its second session last week with a decidedly mixed record. If you were weighing Liberal accomplishments, one side of the scale would be piled…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Justin Trudeau was undiplomatically curt, but quite correct in dismissing Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard’s recent, mystifying proposal that we revisit the divisive and debilitating constitutional debates of past decades. As Trudeau pointed out—to near…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Justin Trudeau’s signature climate strategy risks being shredded by two unforeseen developments—political upheaval in the western provinces and uncertainty about the future value of oil, particularly of tarry oilsands oil. British Columbia Premier Christy…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—You would think it was deliberate: the country’s federal politicians conspiring to actively discourage the sympathy and support of the people who elected them. It makes no logical sense, but how else to explain…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—After an extraordinarily eventful week in politics, we are down to two main choices: Justin Trudeau or the crazy people. One of the crazy people, Kevin O’Leary, ended his long-distance campaign for the Conservative…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Just when you thought politics couldn’t get any more trivial, or annoying, up pops Conservative MP Tony “Gazebo” Clement in Question Period last week to lambaste the prime minister for claiming—falsely, say fake-furious opposition…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Our media culture is so drenched in cynicism that the most outrageous, even despicable, pronouncements—from Conservative leadership candidates, for instance—are treated as mere strategy, even tactical coups. The underlying assumption is that once someone…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—It is odd the way Canadian politicians—notably Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley—continue to promote oil pipelines as a key to economic prosperity. It's odd, because that isn’t the way the…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—Imagine, for a moment, prime minister Kevin O’Leary presenting his first Speech From the Throne, amid the smouldering ruins of politics as we know it. He’s not going to like it. First, the timing…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The once-mainstream Conservative Party of Canada is in danger of turning into something ugly—a vehicle for intolerance, anger, harsh economic and social remedies, coloured by a sour mistrust of anyone who sees life differently.…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The honeymoon—more like a fairytale, actually—is decidedly over. Given the continued excellence of Justin Trudeau’s hair and the mediocrity of alternative suitors, this will still sound premature to some. But the prime minister’s apparently…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
OTTAWA—There have always been hucksters in political life, the Sen. Foghorns, Col. Blowhards and Capt. Windbags, who combine dubious accomplishments with inflated self-regard. They once appeared regularly on the Saturday morning cartoons. They preen, they…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The least edifying moment in an eventful week in the Conservative leadership campaign came in the form of a shame-free lie from Kellie Leitch’s campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis. Kouvalis—a political organizer for hire, who…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—One of the unusual, and little-remarked, aspects of Justin Trudeau’s personality—and, perhaps, of his enduring political appeal—is his tendency to cry when he is emotionally moved. Even if the tough-guy culture of politics is…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—There is no doubt that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approval of the twinning of the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline last week increases the danger of a devastating spill in the waters around Vancouver and…
Opinion|By Susan Riley
GATINEAU, QUE.—The election of Donald Trump is not good news for the environment, but it doesn’t mean the end of progress and it certainly doesn’t mean that Canada should abandon its timid steps towards sustainability—including…

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