Federal Politics

Why not ring in the New Year with a Senate seat?

A new year is the time for new beginnings, isn’t it? A time to accept new challenges and seize new opportunities.

So, if anyone is interested in a really new beginning in 2019, here is a suggestion.

Why don’t you apply for a seat in the Senate of Canada?

Yes, you can! It is no longer your grandfather’s Senate: a refuge for defeated candidates and clapped-out cabinet ministers and a reward for generous donors to the party in power. But it’s still a good gig, with an annual salary of $150,600 plus expenses and a pension on mandatory retirement at 75.

2018 was a miserable year. Will 2019 be any better?

The headline in Saturday’s Toronto Star made no bones about the newspaper’s verdict on the year that ends today:

“That’s enough, 2018. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

The Star was reflecting on the miseries experienced in 2018 in the Greater Toronto Area, but a similar verdict could be rendered just about anywhere. It was a year to be forgotten, a year when we were pounded day after day by bad, often alarming, news.

Conservatives’ “Odd Couple” hits the election road

They could be billed as the Odd Couple of Canadian politics: Andrew Scheer and Kevin O’Leary.

Yet there they were last week, the federal Conservative leader and the Canadian-born celebrity from U,S. television’s Shark Tank, on the hustings together as the Tories tested their training wheels for next October’s federal election.

Carbon taxes are another historic political gamble

It is far too soon to know whether climate change and carbon pricing will be the defining issue in next October’s federal election.

With Donald Trump, the erratic child president calling the shots from Twitter Control in his bedroom, new issues are bound to be created and old ones re-invented. Any one – new trade demands, tariff barriers, border security, nuclear confrontation with North Korea, a Middle East crisis with Saudi Arabia, and so on – could take centre stage in the Canadian election, as could an unexpected purely domestic issue.

Stormy weather lies ahead in federal-provincial affairs

Doug Ford and Jason Kenney had a grand old time in Alberta the other night.

Appearing together before an overflow crowd of 1,500 true believers in Calgary, the two provincial leaders – one in power, the other in waiting -- pledged their mutual, undying opposition to carbon taxes, and they took turns swatting enthusiastically at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.