11.27.2015 08:09 AM

In next week’s Hill Times: Adam Radwanski is still the worst journalist in the world

A sampling of next week’s column:

Good God! It’s a veritable constitutional crisis. Just ask Adam Radwanski: the scandalous understaffing issue has “cast a surreal haze” over Ottawa, he wrote in the Globe. Governance is accordingly moving “at a glacial pace” – and, accordingly, “Ottawa crawls.” Says he: “Settling into any sort of rhythm has been made impossible by Justin Trudeau, his chief-of-staff and others spending much of the time since his swearing-in halfway around the world at international summits.”

Ah, yes, those silly international summits, dealing with piddling issues like climate change, refugees, the international economy and what happened in Paris on Friday the 13th. I mean, who cares, really? Can’t you just see Prime Minister Trudeau, being jarred awake by his frantic spouse during the wee hours at the Commonwealth Conference in Malta?

“Justin, Justin!” says the panicked Sophie Trudeau. “This shocking neglect has gone on long enough! You must finally decide who will be the speechwriter to our nation’s Minister of Sport!”


  1. Kenneth Tufts says:

    Yeah I wondered about that column, too. Does he think all the ministers are dimwits who can’t tie their own shoelaces?
    Oh right, he’s only been in Ottawa during the Harper years …

  2. ruder boy says:

    I think that Catherine Porter may have nicked the crown while Adam was sleeping.

  3. cgh says:

    I suspect you’re dead wrong on this one and Radwanski is right. There’s a host of appointments governments need to make to start to function. These include appointments of DMs and ADMs, PCO, heads of assorted crown corps. This list involves hundreds of people, both on the list and those appointing them. If JT isn’t making appointments, then who is? How many government decisions are going to be suspended because, “Oh, he’s the old regime. We need our guy in place to deal with this, first.”

    He also needs to fill the Senate. SH left a lot of vacancies in the supposed house of sober second thought.

    Yes, some ministers are dimwits who can’t tie their own shoes. Happens in every government. At least one quarter of any given cabinet, particularly for a new government, needs their hands held.

    As for international summits, at least one, COP 21, is an irrelevant gab-fest. Particularly so since the government is taking nothing more than the previous policy established by the CPC.

    • DougM says:

      Filling the Senate won’t be happening any time soon. From their platform: “We will create a new, non-partisan, merit-based process to advise the Prime Minister on Senate appointments.” That is going to take some time to figure out and develop.

    • Matt says:

      Do Deputy Ministers and Associate Deputy Ministers change with the government?

      Aren’t they non partisan bureaucrats?

      • dean sherratt says:

        They are important but non-partisan appointments. When Clark became PM in 1979, he kept his departmental DMs from the Trudeau years in place. However, given the propensity of the Prime Minister for symbolism, he may well make a number of appointments to colour the bureaucracy the shade he likes. DMs get moved around every 2-4 years in any event but there should be a shake-up more profound than that with the new government.

      • cgh says:

        It’s been pretty routine for changes in DMs and ADMs for at least the last 30 years.
        It’s also routine to look at the heads of the various crown corps, agencies and independent bodies, particularly if they are in areas where the government of the day wants to introduce new policy or direction.
        Since they are often used as patronage appointments, it’s also routine to replace ambassadors and high commissioners where necessary. This is particularly important for Canada’s largest trading partners, because the ambassador is expected to have the confidence of the government.

        • Tim Sullivan says:

          No it hasn’t. Not at all. The Americans change around their public service with 1000’s of appointments. Canada has a professional PS and the DMs / ADMs etc. rarely changed by virtue of a change of government.

          As for the heads of Crown corporations, they are often renewable term appointments, sometimes “at pleasure” of the current government, usually of a partisan nature.

          The only thing Trudeau has to rush home to do is to undo the irresponsible and undemocratic “future” appointments made in June and July.

          Sorry cgh, you have a misunderstanding of how things work.

  4. Larry Schwartzenberger says:

    I believe his frantic spouse’ name is Sophie Gregoire.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    By necessity you simply can’t put international summits on the back burner. They must come first — unless you are dealing with a monumental terrorist attack as Hollande has had to do.

    No one needs to give the Public Service training wheels in the interim. As for merit appointments — G-I-C, the patronage pig can slumber a bit longer.

  6. lou says:

    One breeze through the Toronto Star makes Radwanski look like a pulitzer prize winner. Hume, Cohn, Porter, Siddiqui, and Mallick are top notch bird cage material.

    • SG says:

      Not to mention Leah McLaren at the Globe, a woman who dedicated a lengthy article to bragging how much Jian Gomeshi used to flirt with her (seriously – look it up).

  7. SG says:

    Wasn’t it his dad who billed the taxpayers for chewing gum?

    Or was that Dingwall? or another Chretien-era character?

    • dean sherratt says:

      AS Privacy Commissioner he exemplified “living the high life” though acquitted of fraud while also found in contempt of parliament. But he insisted on every possible perk as he carried out his job. My memory is that he also attended lots of conferences with little evidence that he did anything in them…he loved to travel.

    • cgh says:

      There needs to be a little more truth about Dave Dingwall. Yes, his oft-repeated quote was infamous, but Canadians got very good value for their money. At the time he took over, the Royal Canadian Mint was more than a bit of a mess. He inherited a situation where among other things the mint had lost significant amounts of bullion over the years. The Mint itself was losing money.

      Dingwall turned all that around. He brought in new currency contracts, made the place much more efficient, and the Mint started producing net revenue instead of net losses.

      And his reward for being a good CEO of an important government corporation? Miserable treatment from all sides including a lot of Liberals. This is a reason why good people don’t want to go into public service any more. The result is almost always ingratitude and character assassination.

    • Jack D says:

      Of course a Conservative could never be accused of billing tax-payers for such frivolous expenses. Such is the prudence of politicians who commission vanity videos paid by the taxpayer and posses acquired tastes for the higher quality of the Tropicana variety.

  8. Jack D says:

    This is more indicative of journalism today. I’ve never witnessed a jumpier bunch of self-important people in politics. Don’t get me wrong, I respect journalism and believe its imperative to the dispensing of information to the public but in a day and environment where everyone now has access to a medium through which to communicate to the masses, many journalist often fail to make a case for their own superiority over the opinions of the average observer.

    There are many, many journalists whom I respect from a variety of outlets. It would be unfair to indict the entirety of journalists based on the foolishness of some. However, un-informed journalism combined with the un-quenchable thirst for information results in a lot of conjecture, too often vehemently defended by it’s authors. I think opinions or perspectives of writers have a place in public discourse because it enriches the discussion, but I think prudence should be exercised in the communication of personal views and facts. Some journalist do a great job of this though their tone and style of writing, others try, don’t succeed then over compensate with self-importance.

  9. smelter rat says:

    He’s not worse than Glen McGregor.

  10. Tim Sullivan says:

    With the significant election we just had, I wonder if it also time to change columnists.

    Anyone at the Sun and Margaret Wente, to start, but Adam Radwanski and Rex Murphy are due to be changed.

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