In 2019, Canada's National Observer readers flocked to stories about Doug Ford’s cuts to provincial services, Jason Kenney’s theories of an oilpatch under siege and Andrew Scheer’s doomed run at the nation's top job.
These three well-known lawmakers in Canada — Ford, the premier of Ontario; Kenney, the premier of Alberta; and Scheer, the (soon to be former) leader of the Conservative Party of Canada — dominate the list of our most-read news, feature, opinion and analysis stories published this year.
As the last year of the decade comes to a close, we’ve sorted these stories into two categories for your convenient browsing: News & Features and Opinion & Analysis.
A note on our process: We didn’t include stories that were published in previous years, even though some of those are still among the most-read stories on our site. We also left out the Canadian Press content that we publish.
News & Features
1. A fake Justin Trudeau sex scandal went viral. Canada's election-integrity law can't stop it
Oct. 10, 2019
Did you know the prime minister left his former teaching job due to a sex scandal? Perhaps you think you know that because you remember hearing it somewhere. This story was an unsubstantiated rumour, but it reached tens of millions of people during a pivotal election campaign. McIntosh reported how the rumour spread — thanks in part to a website known for false Canadian news — and why the federal government’s anti-election-meddling panel wasn’t intervening.
2. Doug Ford didn’t tell you Ontario cancelled 227 clean energy projects
July 9, 2019
Ford's decision to pull out of cap and trade put in jeopardy over 200 green projects that would have made life less carbon-intensive in Ontario. Syed obtained a full list of the cancelled projects, revealing them to be things like green social housing, battery-powered bus fleets and electric vehicle charging stations, energy retrofits for schools and geothermal heating for buildings. She also found the biggest portion of cap and trade money had been going to Toronto — some of it even went to Ford's own riding.
3. Here's everything the Doug Ford government cut in its first year in office
June 7, 2019
From trimming financial assistance for college and university students to cutting funding for legal aid and initiatives on anti-racism, sexual assault and Indigenous culture, Syed showed that the province's knife knew few bounds. The list includes dozens of items related to the environment, health, education, arts and culture, social services and research, as well as key positions like Ontario's chief scientist and the provincial child advocate.
Here are the rest of the most-clicked news and feature stories published this year:
4. Ontario may let developers pay fee in lieu of ‘onerous’ Endangered Species Act protections
April 18, 2019
5. Noam Chomsky: 'In a couple of generations, organized human society may not survive.'
Feb. 12, 2019
6. Ford Government cuts Ontario paramedic services
April 16, 2019
7. Doug Ford shuts service that helps Ontario citizens fight wealthy developers
Feb. 22, 2019
8. Indigenous matriarchs stand together in dark times
May 7, 2019
9. SNC-Lavalin announced confidential deal with feds, four days after Trudeau's first throne speech in 2015
March 11, 2019
10. We fact-checked a fake video of Raptors fans cheering for an injury
June 12, 2019
Opinion & Analysis
1. The hidden key to the SNC-Lavalin scandal
March 8, 2019
This year, the Canadian political class wrapped itself up in discussion over the SNC-Lavalin affair, the jobs at stake, and whether the prime minister or the former attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, had acted appropriately. Garossino’s column tried to make the case that the real story should be the Quebec-based company’s dealings in Libya, which was the basis of its criminal charges. She explored the firm’s relationship with the Muammar Gaddafi family in Libya, which she called infamous for murder, torture, rape and abductions.
2. If Scheer wins, Albertans can kiss their economic future goodbye
Oct. 18, 2019
Tory leader Andrew Scheer said during the election campaign that he would repeal the federal carbon tax should he be elected prime minister. But Lourie argued that this rancounter to the public statements from several oil company CEOs about the need for predictable climate policies. Looking at a potential Scheer victory, Lourie predicted that, instead of driving jobs and investment, Scheer’s policies would cement Canada's pariah status internationally, leading to further anti-Alberta movements that would help turn off the investment taps further.
3. Tesla Cybertruck carbon crushes Ford F-150
Chris Hatch & Barry Saxifrage
Dec. 5, 2019
In the wake of the controversial unveiling of Tesla’s new Cybertruck, Hatch and Saxifrage compared the carbon pollution of a Ford F-150 over its lifetime to those of the new, not-yet-available electric vehicle. The two authors said that by their calculations, the F-150 would pollute more than 140 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Meanwhile, depending on where the Cybertruck owner lives, and how much clean electricity it can access, it could emit as little as one tonne over its lifetime.
Here are the rest of the most-clicked opinion and analysis stories:
4. Will Andrew Scheer ruin Canada?
Oct. 2, 2019
5. A data-based dismantling of Jason Kenney's foreign-funding conspiracy theory
Oct. 3, 2019
6. We fact-checked a viral claim about who's killing MMIWG. It was wrong.
June 7, 2019
7. We fact-checked a Trudeau staffer's tweet about the Harper years
July 16, 2019
8. Belot: Albertans have been fooled by a myth about pipelines and the oilsands
April 23, 2019
9. Greta has landed. Kenney's tortured logic crumbles
Oct. 17, 2019
10. Trudeau’s oilsands supply outlook reflects a future that doesn’t exist
Jan. 25, 2019