Dispatch from the Front Lines: A separation in Ottawa, a ruling in Alberta, a TBD in Ontario
And a spread in, uh, People magazine. Lord help us.
Oh, gosh, we guess we have to talk about The Thing. Right?
Okay, just a few housekeeping items before we get into, uh, all that. First, a reminder: Substack changed how articles are published, and this may result in this message being longer than your email client can display. As always, if it seems to cut off mid-sentence, click the headline and read it all right on the web.
Second, The Line will be a going concern this week, but we are on holiday the week of Aug. 14, returning to business the week of Aug. 21.
And last, of course, before diving into the meat of the dispatch, please enjoy your video.
Podcast here, too, for your listening pleasure.
OK dear readers, we’ve stalled as much as we can. Look, we’ll just level with you. We feel gross having to talk about a couple’s divorce. We know we’ll be attacked for trying to protect Justin Trudeau or shield him or carry his water for saying that: We have already been accused, in fact, of this very thing, by people who clearly haven’t read a word either of us have ever written. (Yup, Trudeau water carriers, that’s us to a T, here at The Line, yes indeed.)
The thing is, we really do buy into the widely shared belief among the Canadian media that the personal and family lives of our public figures ought to be broadly off-limits.
Not always! There really are some parts of the personal lives of our elected officials that do constitute a valid public interest warranting news coverage. We believe that the PM’s separation does meet that bar. This is a genuinely important story that directly affects the head of our government and it should be reported. We further think it’s valid to ask what effect his failing marriage has had on him and his job performance; it’s also fair to question what the split may mean for his career choices going forward. These are fair topics for discussion, and in a minute, we’ll discuss them.
But we won’t rumour monger. We won’t play games with you. The breakup of a marriage, particularly when there are young children involved, is tragic.
And that’s how we will try to approach this: we consider this news item to be a personal tragedy for the PM, and we will be respectful of his privacy, and of his family. But a divorce will have an effect on the man; it undoubtedly already has. What will that effect be? What will it mean?