Stephen Harper steps out of shadows as Conservatives gain traction

by Josie Sabatino

Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   On the eve of Joe Biden’s inaugural visit to Ottawa, Canada’s Conservative movement, public affairs professionals, and corporate leaders gathered downtown in the nation’s capital for the annual Canada Strong & Free Networking Conference. Big names crowded the speaking agenda for the two-day event, including former Prime Minister […]

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with U.S. President Joe Biden at the InterContinental Presidente Mexico City hotel in Mexico City on Jan. 10, 2023. Next week, Biden will visit Canada for the first time since taking office. Photo credit: AP/Andrew Harnick   President Joe Biden will make his inaugural trip to Ottawa next week, holding […]

Special rapporteur can’t solve Justin Trudeau’s China problem

by Josie Sabatino

The Prime Minister appears to be throwing out what feels like a new message every day on the China interference issue, to see if anything will stick. The announcement of a special rapporteur feels like a glorified stall tactic – unfortunately for Trudeau, the issue isn’t going away. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick   […]

When it comes to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, rather than taking responsibility for mismanagement, the Trudeau government is attempting to find efficiencies by chipping away at the rituals that are a core tenant of our Canadian identity. Photo credit: Immigration News Canada   The federal bureaucracy has taken a lot of heat since last […]

Foreign interference becomes issue du jour as government offers lacklustre response

by Josie Sabatino

Last week, a bombshell report came out demonstrating that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service found there was an organized Chinese-government effort to influence the results of the 2021 federal election. Conservative Party Leader at the time, Erin O’Toole (pictured) was one of the most outspoken voices on the issue of foreign interference in Canada’s internal […]

In the case of ethics violations, the fish rots from the head down

by Josie Sabatino

Justin Trudeau’s flagrant disregard for ethics set the tone early on and has allowed his caucus to flaunt the rules time and again. Pictured is Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister Greg Fergus, just the latest in a long line of Liberal MPs caught in contravention of ethics laws under Trudeau. Photo credit: The Canadian […]

Trudeau once again manages to spend his way out of political problem

by Josie Sabatino

The Prime Minister and his provincial counterparts met in the nation’s capital on Tuesday to discuss a new funding deal for healthcare. While a number of the premiers complained that the deal didn’t go far enough, there was no outright rejection by any of the provinces on the terms of the proposal. Photo credit: The Canadian […]

Lessons to be learned from Ontario Liberal Party’s misguided soul searching

by Josie Sabatino

Last weekend, a group of veteran provincial Liberals led by Deb Matthews, Greg Sorbara, and Liz Sandals wrote an open letter to Mike Schreiner (pictured), in which they urge the current Ontario Green Party leader to consider crossing the floor and vying for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Tijana […]

Reputation rehab still possible for Trudeau Liberals

by Josie Sabatino

 Less rhetoric and more action would go a long way. Photo credit: Getty Images/David Chan   Next week, politicians will flock back to Ottawa to debate the many problems facing the country, making for what is sure to be a busy parliamentary session. Cost of living, healthcare, the winter boondoggle of a travel season, and […]

Budget 2023 could set stage for federal election

by Josie Sabatino

Internal strife and economic struggles may help push the Prime Minister into an early election. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Nicole Osborne   Stay the course, or call an election? Travel in any political circle and it’s the question on everyone’s mind right now.  The reigning consensus in downtown Ottawa seems to be that there’s not […]

Federal spending on contracts points to larger, systematic problem

by Josie Sabatino

Radio-Canada recently revealed that consulting firm McKinsey & Company has received $66 million-worth of federal contracts since the Trudeau government took office. Photo credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau    Is everything broken in Canada? It’s not an optimal way to approach one’s thinking given that we are just 13 days into the calendar year, with 352 more […]

New year spells same old problems for Canadian oil and gas

by Josie Sabatino

A mere few days into the new calendar, and the Trudeau government has already started prepositioning the introduction of what is called the “just transition” bill. Pictured is Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Chad Hipolito   The start of a new year is viewed as a blank slate, masked in […]

Federal leaders should look to upend status quo in 2023

by Josie Sabatino

This past year was challenging, but harder times are likely ahead. Canadians deserve a government, and political leaders across the spectrum that will be willing to compromise and challenge the status quo for the betterment of our country. Pictured is Conservative Party leader and head of Canada’s Official Opposition Pierre Poilievre. Photo credit: The Canadian […]

Healthcare posturing threatens future of the Liberal-NDP agreement

by Josie Sabatino

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh (pictured) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first signed their so-called ‘supply and confidence’ agreement in March. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick    Oh, how quickly the tides can turn. Last Sunday, Jagmeet Singh appeared on CTV’s Question Period singing the praises of the Liberal-NDP supply and confidence agreement that has […]

By-election comes at critical point as parties set sights on next election

by Josie Sabatino

Next week’s seemingly benign election for the vacated Mississauga—Lakeshore seat serves as a litmus test for the popularity of Justin Trudeau, Pierre Poilievre (pictured, right), and their respective plans for Canada’s future. Photo credit: Facebook/Pierre Poilievre   Next week, voters in the federal riding of Mississauga—Lakeshore will head to the polls to cast their ballot […]

West can no longer ignore existential threats posed by autocratic regimes

by Josie Sabatino

As U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said in an address to security leaders in Halifax last month, China and Russia both “seek a world where disputes are resolved by force and where autocrats can stamp out the flame of freedom.” Pictured is Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photo credit: AP via PBS   A few weeks […]

Emergencies Act Inquiry testimony tells an imperfect story

by Josie Sabatino

Pictured are Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) Deputy Director, Operations Michelle Tessier (left), Director David Vigneault (centre), and Integrated Terrorism Assessment Executive Director Marie-Helene Chayer at the Public Order Emergency Commission in Ottawa, Nov. 21, 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   The chaos underway at the Emergencies Act Inquiry should concern all Canadians, […]

American election results serve as cautionary tale for Canadian political parties

by Josie Sabatino

The results illustrate that who a party runs in local races really does matter. They also serve as potential good news for Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre (pictured at a recent news conference), should the Republican Party finally cast aside Trump and his ill-fated endorsements as fringe and out of step. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Marissa […]

Few surprises in mini budget as broad-based tax relief left off priority list

by Josie Sabatino

Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland (pictured) presented the Liberal government’s 2022 fall economic statement Thursday afternoon in Ottawa. Photo credit: Reuters/Blair Gable   It wouldn’t be “mini-budget” day without some Liberal back-patting for a job well done. While yesterday’s fall economic statement brought dire warnings of a world about to shift […]

Ballooning bureaucracy deserves scrutiny in light of service delivery failures

by Josie Sabatino

The federal government continues to expand at a rapid rate, and yet Canadians continue to endure what seems like ever-worsening service delivery. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Paul Chiasson   Canadians spent the summer complaining about government services.  You’d be hard pressed to ask a colleague or neighbor how they were doing without being on the […]

Freeland flips the script on government spending as recession looms

by Josie Sabatino

For the first time in a long time, it at least feels like the Liberal government is getting honest with Canadians about the current state of affairs. Photo credit: Facebook/Chrystia Freeland   As we head into the winter season, one message has become increasingly clear across much of the western world. Brace for impact because […]

Canadian Armed Forces not prepared for future threat environment

by Josie Sabatino

At a recent parliamentary committee hearing, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff (pictured) said he was “very, very worried” about the military’s dwindling numbers. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick    Houston, we’ve got a problem. The Canadian Armed Forces officially sounded the alarm on the recruitment crisis happening within its ranks. According to General Wayne […]

The freedom convoy is back in the spotlight, as Trudeau gets set to testify

by Josie Sabatino

The Prime Minister will look to defend his government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act back in February. Photo credit: AFP/David Chan   This week, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed that Justin Trudeau will testify before the Public Order Emergency Commission to defend the Liberal government’s invocation of the Emergencies Act during last winter’s occupation of […]

Conservative star on the rise while Liberals, NDP fade into the night

by Josie Sabatino

Recent polls show a Poilievre-led Conservative Party would likely win over a majority of voters if an election were held today. Photo credit: Facebook/Pierre Poilievre   Pierre Poilievre couldn’t ask for a bigger, or better welcome as Leader of the Official Opposition than a series of polls that all seem to be pointing to one […]

Justin Trudeau has made far worse mistakes than Bohemian Rhapsody controversy

by Josie Sabatino

Though perhaps awkward and embarrassing, the Prime Minister’s drunken rendition of the 1975 British rock classic, sang while in the U.K. for Her Majesty’s funeral, is hardly his most consequential blunder made overseas in recent years. Photo credit: Getty Images via Inside Edition   The fall session of Parliament kicked off this week, as Members […]

Economic turbulence tops agenda for all parties heading into fall session

by Josie Sabatino

With the business of government set to restart soon, expect the freshly elected head of the CPC Pierre Poilievre to exploit Canada’s myriad economic woes to cudgel both the governing Liberals and the party propping them up. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Justin Tang   We’re off to the races. After a sleepy summer, we finally […]

At a recent cabinet retreat in B.C., the prime minister reportedly told government colleagues he intends to stay on as leader into the next election. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck    In 2013, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper was asked by a reporter whether he had plans to run in the next federal election. […]

Losing sight of importance of public service is the true threat to democracy

by Josie Sabatino

Video of an Alberta man verbally attacking Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland last week led many across the political spectrum to claim such harassment of politicians is a threat to Canadian democracy. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld    In the wake of Canada’s finance minister being accosted by a man […]

Healthcare debate steals centre stage as political leaders grapple with reform

by Josie Sabatino

Premier Doug Ford met with his counterparts from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island earlier this week. What emerged from the maritime meeting was a consensus that, as a whole, Canada’s healthcare system needs to not only change, but that new solutions must be introduced in order to address the fundamental flaws exposed […]

Conservative leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis at a GTA engagement last month. Lewis recently suggested the party could better appeal to new Canadians by championing social conservative values. However, instead of reopening divisive debates around abortion and assisted dying, wouldn’t a more attractive approach involve a focus on compassion, prosperity and community? Photo credit: Twitter/Leslyn Lewis […]

Canada pleads ignorant in matters of life and death assistance

by Josie Sabatino

A new report from the Globe and Mail this week uncovered that Canada knew weeks in advance that there was a strong probability of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, and yet the government did nothing to protect embassy staff in Kyiv. Pictured is Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, who in the wake of the […]

If players, coaches, and management are proven to have been complicit in the serious allegations that have emerged in recent weeks, they must pay for their roles in these allegations. Photo credit: Getty Images/Kevin Light   The maple leaf is one of Canada’s most prominent national symbols, representing pride, peace and unity. Even before it […]

Jagmeet Singh holds the balance of power when it comes to the Canadian economy

by Josie Sabatino

But thus far, despite having a golden ticket to force the government’s hand, Singh has missed every opportunity to be an effective Opposition leader. Photo credit: Reuters/Blair Gable   The drama of the Conservative Party leadership race has dominated so much news coverage over the past several months that the average person could be forgiven […]

Late Tuesday evening, news broke that Patrick Brown (pictured) had been disqualified from the Conservative leadership race over allegations of wrongdoing that appeared to violate the Canada Elections Act. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh   Talk to any Ottawa ‘insider’ over the last number of weeks and you would probably have realized one foregone […]

Is 2022 the year Canadians finally start caring about government spending?

by Josie Sabatino

The Conservative Party – particularly current front-runner to lead the party Pierre Poilievre – is certainly counting on it. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld    Let’s talk about the deficit. Everyone’s favorite topic in Canadian politics, I know.  Just a few weeks into the 2021 federal election, a poll conducted by Ipsos found that […]

Liberal affordability plan applies old solutions to new problems

by Josie Sabatino

Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland. Photo credit: Bloomberg/David Kawai   Yesterday, in a prime-time speech that felt more like a State of the Union address, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland ditched the glitz and glamour of the downtown lunch circuit to speak directly to Canadians. In her opening lines, she acknowledged that the government has made […]

U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden greet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau during the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, June 8, 2022. Photo credit: AP/Evan Vucci   It’s been a busy week on the foreign affairs scene, and one that feels oddly reminiscent of the pre-COVID […]

Sunny ways turns into worst days for Justin Trudeau

by Josie Sabatino

 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on route to a press conference in Ottawa, June 8, 2021. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick    June is often dubbed ‘silly season’ in Ottawa. As the tulips surrounding Parliament wither in the early summer sun, federal politicians are akin to school children waiting for the last bell to ring […]

When it feels like every Canadian premier has at least acknowledged the problem, why is Justin Trudeau avoiding all talk of soaring gas prices? The answer is simple. To lend credence to the problem would mean having to admit that there is a solution. Photo credit: CBC/Ben Nelms   There’s a saying as old as […]

Conservative movement at a pivotal moment

by Josie Sabatino

As it stands, there is no room for forgiveness in the Conservative movement, just ask former CPC leader Erin O’Toole (pictured) or Jason Kenney. The precedent has been set that it is easier to turf a leader than it is to come together as a movement, fight for the things we have in common, and […]

Conservative leadership debate reveals a party inching closer to prime time

by Josie Sabatino

From left to right: Leslyn Lewis, Roman Baber, Jean Charest, Scott Aitchison, Patrick Brown, and Pierre Poilievre at the Conservative Party leadership debate in Edmonton, May 11, 2022. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Jeff McIntosh   To sum up the first official Conservative leadership debate in Edmonton on May 11, I will borrow a quote from […]

Women’s rights once again take centre stage in Canadian politics

by Josie Sabatino

Without skipping a beat, Prime Minister Trudeau jumped at the opportunity to capitalize on a convenient controversy from across the border. Photo credit: Reuters/Chris Wattie   Nearly eight years ago, the leader of the third party in the House of Commons proclaimed that any candidate who wanted to run on his team would be expected […]

Post-budget slump spells trouble on the horizon for federal Liberals

by Josie Sabatino

 The latest national poll numbers from Nanos Research had the Conservative Party at 35.6 per cent ballot support, with the Liberal Party down to 30 per cent even. Photo credit: The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld   The weeks following the release of the federal budget are typically reserved for a blitz of media availabilities, quick hits […]

Cost of living crisis no time for crass politics

by Josie Sabatino

The once in a generation crisis serves as both an opportunity and a reminder for politicians about what is at stake here. The challenges facing Canadians are immediate, and action in this moment matters. Photo credit: Pexels/Mikhail Nilov    Anyone who has spent enough time in Ottawa knows that at its very core, politics is […]

Optics matter when it comes to Conservative leadership race

by Josie Sabatino

Love him or hate, one thing is for sure: Pierre Poilievre can draw a crowd. Several thousand spectators packed the Spruce Meadows sports facility in Calgary on Tuesday, April 12 to watch the leadership hopeful speak. Photo credit: Twitter/Pierre Poilievre   It was the summer of 2015 and the election had just been called. As […]

Liberal budget serves as self-fulfilling prophecy on tax and spend agenda

by Josie Sabatino

 It’s increasingly clear that the Trudeau government believes the economic path forward isn’t through innovation, job creation and an investment climate that leads to stable long-term growth, but through higher taxes. Photo credit: PMO   Yesterday’s budget marked the sixth installment of Justin Trudeau’s economic roadmap for Canada, but unlike in years past, the Liberal […]

While the Liberals have failed to deliver a net neutral ‘price on pollution’, let alone actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Conservatives have failed to convince the public that a carbon tax is bad policy. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (pictured) announces the federal carbon tax at Humber College in Toronto on Oct. 23, 2018. Photo […]

Liberal-NDP pact the ghost of elections past

by Josie Sabatino

Former Conservative leaders Andrew Scheer and Erin O’Toole both warned of an impending alliance during their tenure at the top. Photo credit: PMO/Adam Scotti   “The coalition you can’t afford.” “There aren’t five choices for Canadians – there are two. Canada’s Conservatives on one side and the Liberal-NDP-Green-Bloc coalition on the other.” It might surprise […]


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