Robyn Urback


Robyn Urback is an opinion columnist with CBC News and a producer with the CBC's Opinion section. She previously worked as a columnist and editorial board member at the National Post. Follow her on Twitter at:

Latest from Robyn Urback


Andrew Scheer's narrow vision of conservatism was his party's failing: Robyn Urback

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer's message was that he would make Canadians' lives more affordable, which was the Liberals' promise, too. But the Liberals' affordability measures came without the threat — real or perceived — of a backward slide on social issues and environmental measures.

This election presented would-be prime ministers with a moral test. They all failed: Robyn Urback

In this election, the leaders of the three major parties had the opportunity to demonstrate they had the courage and conviction to take a stand on a contentious moral issue — Quebec's secularism law — despite political consequences. They all declined that opportunity.

If Scheer wants to stop being questioned on his views on gay marriage, he should offer an answer: Robyn Urback

Conservatives will say it shouldn't matter what leader Andrew Scheer's personal views are on issues such as same-sex marriage as long as he won't base policy on them. That is a nice, idealistic — and perhaps unrealistic — way of thinking about how elections are decided.

What's the difference between the Conservative and Liberal platforms? The colour: Robyn Urback

At a policy level, what the two leading parties in this election propose isn’t all that different: lower income taxes, a mishmash of credits and subsidies for parents and homeowners, and at least four more years of deficits. With either option, we’re not looking at dramatically different Canadas.

Justin Trudeau — a self-appointed moral steward in blackface: Robyn Urback

When you run on sanctimony, govern on arrogance and expect perfection, you find yourself in an awful quandary when you fall short of your own standards.

The NDP should've been the 'change' option this election. Instead, it's grasping for relevance: Robyn Urback

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh could, theoretically, harness the desire for change that the Liberals left unfulfilled because they used the same sort of Harper-style governing tactics during their tenure. If only the NDP could figure out what it's doing.

Quebec's secularism law is a national disgrace — and yet barely an election issue: Robyn Urback

In another universe, with a different electoral map, Trudeau would be harping on Quebec's secularism law at every opportunity, with every minister on board, and with the fury this sort of state-sponsored intolerance demands.

A Prime Minister's Office drunk on its own arrogance: Robyn Urback

This is a government so convinced of its own moral virtue that it can rationalize trading text messages with a criminally charged organization over a pressure campaign on the attorney general.

Trump is not a racist. He's simply intolerant of the bad kinds of people: Robyn Urback

If these U.S. congresswomen can't appreciate how Great America Is Again, they should go somewhere they can express their dissent freely, like Beijing.

Doug Ford's dumpster fire explains why Ontario tolerates years of Liberal mismanagement: Robyn Urback

In its first year in office, Ontario's Progressive Conservative government led by Doug Ford has brought back many of the same gross-looking antics as the previous Liberal government, with a spread of malicious-seeming cutbacks to boot.

Andrew Scheer needs to up his flaccid performance: Robyn Urback

Stephen Harper’s challenge was that he came off as too authoritarian, too controlling. Scheer’s is the opposite: he’s mild, flaccid. He’ll demand the prime minister resign — and then demand again.

The political quagmire of the prime minister accepting his country's complicity in genocide: Robyn Urback

If Trudeau is serious when he says "this was genocide," agreeing with the conclusion of the MMIWG report, legal proceedings will be forthcoming. If that doesn't happen, which is more likely, Trudeau sends a message about how serious he is when he calls the treatment of Indigenous people "genocide."

We're adopting U.S. abortion anxieties as our own. They don't fit: Robyn Urback

Canada is probably a generation ahead of the U.S. when it comes to social progress. We lack the highly politicized Supreme Court that is central to the U.S. debate over abortion, as well as grossly loose election financing laws that allow religious mega-donors to wield political influence. 

Canada's wireless Amber Alert system can be improved. That shouldn't be a taboo suggestion: Robyn Urback

It takes a unique combination of dumb and evil to call 911 because an alert about a missing child roused you from your sleep. Having said that, it's possible to both care about missing children, and believe the wireless Amber Alert system needs a few fixes, Robyn Urback writes.

Mohammed Shamji is an example of how intimate partner violence doesn't discriminate: Robyn Urback

References in headlines to Mohammed Shamji's former profession as a neurosurgeon can seem inappropriately deferential. But one effect is to remind us that, despite the trends, intimate partner violence isn't the exclusive domain of the uneducated, or the poor, or the unemployed.