John Robson, Postmedia Network

John Robson, with a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D in American history from the University of Texas at Austin, has worked in academia, think tanks and politics as well as doing print, radio, TV and online journalism in Canada. He is married to Brigitte Pellerin.


Finance Minister Joe Oliver speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 12, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Travelling the world on high-flying egos

Anyone feel like gallivanting off to Paris for a day? Eh? Too much jet lag to be useful the first day? And too expensive? Well, you’d make a lousy politician.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference during a NATO foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels April 2, 2014. (REUTERS/Laurent Dubrule)

In defence of defence

With Vladimir Putin drooling over the rest of Ukraine the plan seems to be to stick our tongues out at him. Laden with sententious rhetoric, to be sure. But we can’t shake our fist at him because we haven’t got one.

The shadows of Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois (L ) greeting Gyslaine Desrosiers, her candidate in Blainville, are seen during a campaign stop in Blainville, Quebec. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

A few choice words about Quebec's election

There are many things I could say about the upcoming Quebec election, some of which my editors would even let me print. But can we start with this “fixed election date” business?

Harper’s Mideast trip was going pretty well until I opened the paper and saw him handing Jordan about $100 million. Man. That’s one expensive photo-op. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Foreign aid is pricey PR

Prime Minister Harper’s Mideast trip was going pretty well until I opened the paper and saw him handing Jordan about $100 million. Man. That’s one expensive photo-op.

(QMI Agency files)

“The son also riles”

O Canada, land of our ancestors, what hath become of thy anthem?

Former Premier Dalton McGuinty left behind a mess of multi-million dollar proportions (VERONICA HENRI/Toronto Sun)

Controlling spending, finally, must be priority for next Ontario leader

The people reaching for the reins now slipping from Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's hands trot out the usual gooblahoy about renewal and new visions and hard-working families and the middle class. But at the hard core of governing is money - raising it in taxes, spending it on programs. And Ontario has a real problem to which those who would be premier seem strangely oblivious.

(File Photo)

Equalization not unworthy, just broken

Equalization makes us poorer, encourages bad policy and fosters bitterness. Unfortunately we can't just take it out behind the barn and kill it with an axe. It's wedged into the Constitution and besides, its original purpose of protecting Canadians against the possibility of a provincial government collapsing financially is not unworthy. But we cou

REUTERS/Shaun Best

Equalization too complex to be legit

Satirist P.J. O'Rourke says, "Beyond a certain point complexity is fraud ... when someone creates a system in which you can't tell whether or not you're being fooled, you're being fooled."


Quebec proves that not all is equal in Canada's equalization payment program

Canadians have given Quebec a quarter of a trillion dollars in equalization payments since 1957, half of all the money the program has handed out. Over that span of more than 50 years, Quebec has always been the biggest beneficiary, and has never been a net contributor to equalization.

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. (IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY)

Protectionism has no place in Canada

Even for a desperate politician, B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s attack on the Northern Gateway pipeline was exceptionally mean and stupid. It’s no accident Canadian provinces are not allowed to behave like highwaymen. But it is astounding that Clark doesn’t know it.