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Stories by Susan Riley

Trudeau’s extra-parliamentary opposition

Opinion|By Susan Riley
The future of Canada’s oil industry, the future of oil itself, is a complicated and divisive issue, ridden with false claims. It may also be the defining issue of the next federal election.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
The threat lies south of the border where a crazed, but effective demagogue has turned lies into truth and the media into the enemy. We can’t let that happen here.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
The federal Liberals, self-described champions of climate action, are approving giant fossil fuel projects at breakneck pace, even compared to their predecessors, the oil-friendly Harper Conservatives.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
But there is a sea change in the air as more elections—provincial and federal—loom.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
History has a way of turning on former leaders, often long after the fact. They might want to consider what is happening to Sir John A. Macdonald.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Trying to please the party's various factions on the pipeline-climate change issue has kept the NDP silent, or disjointed, on a crucial policy front.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
As with electoral reform and, increasingly, the environment, Trudeau is throwing that constituency overboard in an attempt to mollify, or win over Canadians who would never vote for him in the first place.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
It is something to think about the next time you enjoy some shady park, or quiet beach, or lakeside boardwalk—or even breath in surprisingly fresh summer air. It takes politicians, and bureaucrats, with vision, shrewdness, and community support to beat back the greedy, self-interested, banal armies of the status quo.
Author
Opinion|By Susan Riley
And, brace yourself: it is almost certainly bound to get worse, as we head into an interminable pre-election period starting in the fall.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Those who urge Trudeau to jettison the supply management program are wrong. Canada would not be liberating its farmers to conquer the world as its critics claim. We'd be putting further distance between what we produce.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Justin Trudeau not only imperils his re-election chances in 2019, he risks squandering the small, progressive steps his government has taken over the last few years.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
One that embodies the prudent policy and personal rectitude of a Peter Loughheed, Bill Davis, Joe Clark, or Robert Stanfield, not the extremism, vitriol, and defiant ignorance on offer from today’s right.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
The future is unknowable, but perhaps Alberta oil will find a market in Asia. Maybe the oil will flow for 40 years so that Kinder Morgan makes back its investment. Maybe governments will kick our climate targets down the road a few more decades and keep pretending.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Kathleen Wynne’s party has been in power 15 years, long enough to accumulate a huge backlog of mistakes, mis-spending, broken promises and a patina of institutional arrogance. The premier could promise every Ontarian two free weeks in Cuba at this point and still lose, writes Susan Riley.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Now that Jagmeet Singh has, finally, condemned the authors of the Air India tragedy, he can move on to more universal concerns. And he may find that the media will stop persecuting him, too.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Reconciliation with First Nations and the future of Canada’s fossil fuel sector—are urgent and complicated. We need more clarity, fact-checking, and focused questioning from our politicians.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
As for Caroline Mulroney, money and friends in high places can get you to the top of the ladder. But they can’t help you fly. That takes a rare combination of discipline, humility, and conviction. Politics can’t just be a hobby, or the next interesting life challenge.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
A shift to questions that spring from open-minded inquiry would only make the government’s non-answers look more shabby and inadequate. Reform has to start somewhere. The daily show is getting intolerably stale, even for its most dedicated audience.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
If the deal does unravel—and it will be a long, complicated process—we will revert either to the original Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (although it includes several of the NAFTA provisions that Trump finds objectionable), or, trade between our countries will be regulated under World Trade Organization provisions. Not exactly the Wild West.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
All we know of the man is that he is a fit, good-looking, speech-making machine with nothing surprising, or even interesting, to say. 
Opinion|By Susan Riley
We need political leaders who put ethical behaviour ahead of partisan advantage and we need a vigorous, well-financed media to search out and expose wrongdoing. But do we need a federal ethics commissioner? Not if it is going to be more of the same.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Our leaders are in the process of legalizing recreational pot, but they don’t want anyone to think they approve. The grudging message seems to be: you can smoke, as long as you don’t inhale.
In the end, it is hard to see how Justin Trudeau’s earnest entreaties to flinty dictators, or authoritarian kleptocrats, to behave more like virtuous Canadians accomplish anything for those being starved, tortured or jailed in foreign lands.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
The deepest irony of the whole Bill Morneau affair is that what started as a well-intentioned attempt to recoup tax advantages from the richest Canadians has turned into hysterical accusations that the boy-scout finance minister is a devious elitist, intent on protecting his own enormous wealth while relentlessly pursuing struggling women doctors, hard-working farmers and loveable corner store owners.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
We shouldn’t let the issue fade without hacking away the false claims and apocalyptic predictions surrounding the massive, now doomed, infrastructure project.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
•Federal governments have missed two more recent reduction targets and are likely to miss the latest one as well, which calls for a 30 per cent reduction over 2005 levels by 2030. •In her report to Parliament last week, Canada's Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand urged MPs to push the government 'from seemingly endless planning mode into action mode. That shift needs to happen and it needs to happen now because Canada is already experiencing the impacts of a changing climate.'  •The laggards include Catherine McKenna’s own department, Environment Canada and Climate Change, which was supposed to take the lead.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
Moral clarity is difficult in an political environment so riddled with ironies. It is unusual that the New Democratic Party, party of progressive policies and United Church values, is wrestling with accusations of racism and sexism.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
But the present can be the worst predictor of the future. Politics is full of shocking reversals, unforeseen calamities and personal revelations straight out of the afternoon soaps.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
•What the Liberals need now is nerve, a more detailed defence of their policy and faith that average Canadians will stand with them, despite the noise coming from a well-heeled minority, and their well-paid lobbyists, who are loudly protesting this unexpected attack on their long-standing privileges. •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 reform.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
In Manitoba this winter and now in Quebec, the Trudeau government has too often been invisible on the issue of asylum-seekers.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
The comparison with Trump isn’t exact, of course. The American president is more dangerous, more bellicose, and far less adept at deal-making than Mulroney was. But neither are ideologues—they are conservatives of convenience, more intent on putting their personal mark on politics than advancing a coherent ideal.
Opinion|By Susan Riley
But those photo-ops. They appeal to a constituency—a constituency of the soul, perhaps—that may be underestimated in size and influence by pundits and pollsters.

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