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

Talking honestly about the carbon tax requires serious political courage: Neil Macdonald

Catherine McKenna just confirmed that the carbon tax will stop once it reaches a piffling $50 a tonne, three years from now. Why? Because Justin Trudeau wants to be re-elected.
Opinion

Canada's health care system is hopelessly sclerotic. We need to wake up: Neil Macdonald

Either we fund it all properly, which means more taxes, or we allow people to spend their money on their own care, which is un-Canadian, but is what the rest of the world does. Even in Scandinavia.
Opinion

Our casual racism causes Indigenous suffering: Neil Macdonald

Quibbling over the definition of genocide does nothing but help obscure the long history of vicious racism and undeniable suffering of Indigenous people in this country. It's bad enough whatever you want to call it.
Opinion

The U.S. in 2019 is more King's Landing than Winthrop's shining city on a hill: Neil Macdonald

As Canada heads into an election, we should gaze south unblinkingly and be thankful that our issues are so wonky and bland by comparison.
Opinion

Paying some piddling carbon tax will do nothing to defend us from what lies ahead: Neil Macdonald

The tax provides an excellent diversion to keep the public's attention away from something our politicians are not saying a word about: the monumental cost of preventing, or paying for, the damage climate change will deliver from now on.
Opinion

Updated flood plain maps will send the housing market underwater: Neil Macdonald

Next year, the federal government will begin uploading nearly 2,000 user-friendly flood plain maps, updating them with the most recent geospatial data. The impact will be devastating.
Opinion

If newspaper health is a measure of democracy, our democracy is in decline: Neil Macdonald

I walked through the doors of the Citizen in 1976 as a student, and strutted out half an hour later as a newspaperman.
Opinion

Probing for facts in a fog of online marketing: Neil Macdonald

A Google search for almost any consumer item will turn up a raft of review sites, most of which are clearly for-profit operations offering to rank companies’ products in return for payment, or want to solicit customer complaints as a profitable means of developing leads for lawyers.
Opinion

Justin Trudeau's carbon tax is revenue neutral... for now: Neil Macdonald

There isn’t really much history of revenue-neutral taxes in Canada, but what there is suggests all that new revenue will indeed prove hard for Ottawa to resist.
Opinion

Why is conservative politics such a natural home for white supremacists?: Neil Macdonald

Conservatives in Canada might also ponder why there have been so many racist and anti-gay bozo eruptions in Alberta's United Conservative Party, rather than in, say, the governing NDP.
Opinion

SNC-Lavalin has helped smother an issue far scarier to Trudeau — the carbon tax: Neil Macdonald

Liberal election strategists expect their conservative opponents to blame every price hike on the carbon tax, and know they will find a receptive audience in, say, Toronto's densely populated 905 belt, where people are stretched tight and everyone drives.
Opinion

Report on devastating Canadian climate change a far bigger issue than Jody Wilson-Raybould: Neil Macdonald

The main takeaway from a new government report on climate change is that not only is it much more frightening and immediate than we all thought, as the UN reported six months ago, it's at least twice as bad in Canada. Twice. As. Bad.
Opinion

Reporters are 'used' all the time. The Wilson-Raybould story is no exception: Neil Macdonald

The idea that the reporters filing on the ongoing Jody Wilson-Raybould vs. Justin Trudeau story are anyone's unwitting tools is the foolish notion of political partisans who cannot imagine anyone else not being a political partisan, Neil Macdonald writes.
Opinion

At this point, the Philpott-Wilson-Raybould end game is obvious — destroy Trudeau: Neil Macdonald

Ex-cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott are politicians who are being treated as though they aren't politicians — which is every politician's dream — despite executing a most politician-like attack on their party leader, Neil Macdonald writes.
Opinion

Debt is a vast, sucking field of muck, and we're all flailing to get out: Neil Macdonald

Unrepayable lifetime debt now seems to be a business model. Students enter the professional world owing hundreds of thousands, and otherwise sane people carry heavy credit card balances, with the usurious vig that comes with them.