Neil Macdonald

Opinion Columnist

Neil Macdonald is an opinion columnist for CBC News, based in Ottawa. Prior to that he was the CBC's Washington correspondent for 12 years, and before that he spent five years reporting from the Middle East. He also had a previous career in newspapers, and speaks English and French fluently, and some Arabic.

Latest from Neil Macdonald

Opinion

Ontario election promises a tax-and-borrow-and-spend jamboree: Neil Macdonald

The battered, unpopular premier, Kathleen Wynne, and the apparently ascendant NDP leader, Andrea Horwath, are competing over how much they'll spend. And Doug Ford is no more credible than the other two.
Opinion

Hard power long ago eclipsed the pursuit of peace in Israel. IDF bullets in Gaza confirm that: Neil Macdonald

The official status of Jerusalem matters only to those who prefer to pretend that a "peace process" still exists, along with its promise of a two-state solution, and a negotiated sharing of the city.
Opinion

Jagmeet Singh says he always believes survivors. Well, here's another one

NDP MP Christine Moore, who alleged improper conduct against MP Erin Weir, is facing troubling accusations herself.
Opinion

The government will make a lousy, uncompetitive pot dealer: Neil Macdonald

Given a chance to bet on the agility, efficiency and adaptability of the black market, versus a sheltered monopoly like Ontario's LCBO, I know where my money would go.
Opinion

Trump reflects America at the moment, which has hardly anything to do with traditional values: Neil Macdonald

What would be the reaction if, say, a foreign leader flatly stated that Trump personifies all that is best in America? My guess is that a lot of Republicans would take that as an insult. Or at least be taken aback. Because everyone knows Trump personifies few of the values Americans are brought up to believe their country stands for.
Opinion

Call me radical, but journalists should be able to pledge support for Palestinian journalists: Neil Macdonald

Earlier this month, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) tore into Israel, and learned that sometimes, it's best to temper your outrage. Sensitivities matter. So, evidently, does the nationality of the journalists being attacked.
Opinion

The anti-Trump resistance should stop bringing knives to a gunfight: Neil Macdonald

In response to Laura Ingraham Twitter taunts, 17-year-old David Hogg employed exactly the sort of hardball that far-right activists play, and boy, did it work.
Opinion

Can you trust a government pot dealer?: Neil Macdonald

Will customers have to identify themselves? Will their purchases be recorded? Perhaps, says Bill Blair, but that data would be protected by privacy laws, and never divulged. A matter of trust.
Opinion

Here's why we pay more for everything in Canada — and always will: Neil Macdonald

Raising the de minimis would be a savage disruption. And Canadians aren't big on creative destruction or competition theory.
Opinion

Censorship is patronizing. Always has been, always will be: Neil Macdonald

The censor never accepts the notion that his or her own values are damaged by reviewing offensive material. Rather, the censor believes he or she is acting to protect those with feebler, more gullible minds.
Opinion

Canada's scorn of Donald Trump's protectionism stinks of hypocrisy: Neil Macdonald

We insist on maintaining a lopsided, non-reciprocal system, in which our retailers can sell up to $1,000 Cdn worth of goods with no impediment whatever. American retailers wishing to sell into Canada, meanwhile, face a slurry of taxes, duties and red tape on any shipment worth more than $20 Cdn.
Opinion

Why wasn't Jaspal Atwal on Canada's no-fly list?: Neil Macdonald

How in heaven's name was that man allowed to set foot on a passenger aircraft, in an age of no-fly lists so strict that babies with names similar to violent extremists are denied boarding?
Opinion

It is too late for gun control in America: Neil Macdonald

The teen activists today are probably too young to remember the awful despair of the Sandy Hook families — who pushed for, yet failed to see change — but they should prepare to experience it themselves. Because they will.
Opinion

A bold prediction for the upcoming budget — more debt: Neil Macdonald

It's a tremendously appealing political solution, for obvious reasons: the government harvests credit and votes for spending now, while some other government down the road is stuck with the reckoning.
Opinion

Cases like Colten Boushie's are handled unjustly, and there's nothing wrong with saying that: Neil Macdonald

Had an all-Indigenous jury, selected under the supervision of an Indigenous judge, acquitted an Indigenous farmer of murdering a young white man, what would the reaction have been? That scenario is utterly unrealistic, but to ask the question is to answer it.