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

Winter is coming, and so is an uncharted economic abyss: Neil Macdonald

Governments have printed unimaginable amounts of money, inflating the money supply, since 2008. A bank in Denmark just offered the first negative-yield mortgage. Another recession is inevitable. What will we do this time?
Opinion

Canada glories in summer, while Trump feeds and waters his racist mooncalves: Neil Macdonald

It's not that Canada doesn't have racists and criminals with guns. We just don't elect racists to lead the country, or enshrine a legal right to buy unlimited combat guns that can kill 20 or 30 people in 60 seconds.
Opinion

If the Democrats have any spine, they'll nominate Elizabeth Warren to take on Trump: Neil Macdonald

Warren offers the lovely prospect of intelligence, unbending principle and policy — versus vulgar boorishness.
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.