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

Lose your illusions. It's an ugly, dystopian world: Neil Macdonald

People my age grew up believing the world, led by the West, was becoming ever more progressive. It wasn't, and it isn't. All it took was one ambitious real estate huckster to dispel the illusion.
Opinion

With its new trade deal, Canada surrenders sovereignty to a bully: Neil Macdonald

Ottawa's calculus, in the end, was pretty obvious. Surrender to American bludgeoning on the big-picture stuff, and hang on if possible to barriers and protections that force Canadian consumers to pay for our lack of competitiveness.
Opinion

Luck is nearly impossible to beat, and Justin Trudeau's has no end: Neil Macdonald

My guess is that Trudeau spent his summer vacation up on the roof of Rideau Cottage with his wife, staring at the night sky, watching the stars align perfectly.
Opinion

Washington's exceptional logic — laws should be applied equally, except to Americans: Neil Macdonald

America considers consumption or trafficking in cannabis a crime of moral turpitude, and grounds for permanent exclusion from the country. And yet, the recreational use of cannabis is perfectly legal in nine states representing a huge chunk of the American population.
Opinion

Canada betrays its own citizens. Hassan Diab's case is among its most egregious: Neil Macdonald

The real problem is that Canada's eagerness to please foreign allies supersedes concerns for its own citizens
Opinion

Trump lies. That makes negotiating NAFTA impossible: Neil Macdonald

Normally, trade negotiations are a poker game in which nothing is real until it's signed. Under Trump's leadership, any eventual deal might be no more real than the education all those poor suckers paid for at Trump University.
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

By secular standards, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization: Neil Macdonald

Solutions for priestly abuse: wiretaps, search warrants, informers and ordaining women.
Opinion

Maxime Bernier is challenging orthodoxy. He deserves a civil reply: Neil Macdonald

Dismissing Bernier as a nativist, or white nationalist, or simply racist is just more of the reflexive, ad hominem groupthink that's currently so fashionable.
Opinion

The Saudi temper tantrum could land one devastating blow — to Canadian health care: Neil Macdonald

This year, there are 800 Saudis in addition to the 3,308 Canadian-government-funded positions, meaning the Saudis comprise about 20 per cent of the 4,108 residents in Canadian hospitals. We can't afford to lose them.
Opinion

Alex Jones deals in vicious stupidity. It's not free speech — it's incitement: Neil Macdonald

Free speech has never been absolute, even in America. Alex Jones's horrifying incitement goes too far, even for the speech libertarian in me.
Opinion

Enjoying the gift of nothing, for a few moments in July: Neil Macdonald

In July, institutions the media depend on to provide the tonnage necessary to fill pages and newscasts tend to shut down. In their absence, the level of populist material rises accordingly.
Opinion

Private pot shops are wonderful and probably doomed: Neil Macdonald

A cannabis store has opened right in my Ottawa neighbourhood. Such variety. Such pleasant service, with a buzzy little vibe. And such reasonable prices. Which of course means the government will be along soon to shut the place down.
Opinion

This is not America? Oh, yes, it is: Neil Macdonald

Trump has sensed that his voters want ruthlessness, and that they can easily be persuaded to see the separation of children from their border-crossing parents as patriotic.
Opinion

No one tell Donald Trump about Italy's new populist government: Neil Macdonald

The Five Star Movement and the Northern League coalition are threatening to swing a Trump-like hammer, advising immigrants deportations are about to begin, expanding spending, even demanding that the Euro authorities simply write off 250 billion Euros of Italian debt.