John Geddes

John Geddes is Ottawa bureau chief at Maclean's and has covered federal politics and policy for more than two decades. He also writes regularly about art.
A rally opposing COVID restrictions, near the Legislative Building in Regina, on Feb. 5, 2022 (Michael Bell/CP)

What’s actually standing in the way of right-wing populism in Canada?

John Geddes: The convoy chaos suggests Canadians are just as susceptible to Trump-like forces as Americans. Our real advantages lie in our political system.

An illustration from Harper’s Weekly, November 28, 1885: “An incident of the smallpox epidemic in Montreal,” by Robert Harris (Courtesy of The New York Public Library)

When the plague won: a history of vaccine hesitancy

In Montreal in 1885, disease and vaccine resistance mixed with devastating results, not unfamiliar to today

Carl Moll’s “At the Lunch Table”, 1901, oil on canvas, 107 x 136 cm. Purchased 2018 (NGC)

The long, dark past behind the National Gallery’s latest acquisition

John Geddes: The painting shows ‘a peaceful, rich life’. In reality, the Nazis murdered the painting’s Jewish owner and the artist was on the Nazi side.


An outbreak warning from a decade ago

John Geddes: The 2010 film ‘Outbreak’—featuring Theresa Tam—focused on epidemics in Montreal, showing that little of what’s happening now is novel

Chief of National Defence General Walter Natynczyk gives the thumbs up to veterans who arrive by military trucks in Ottawa on June 6, 2009 to take part in the 65th anniversary of D-Day (CP/Fred Chartrand)

When Canada finally started to remember World War II

A new book by historian Tim Cook looks at how World War II fits in Canada’s historical imagination, and why it was vulnerable to neglect for so long

'Night Ferry, Vancouver,' 1937 (F.H. Varley/McMichael Canadian Art Collection)

Rediscovering the Group of Seven

This year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Group of Seven’s first exhibition. John Geddes revisits the group’s work in a bid to see their art as art, rather than ‘the over-familiar illustrations of a nation-building saga.’

A man walks through an empty shopping plaza in Toronto on March 25, 2020 (Creative Touch Imaging Ltd./NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Walking and reading alone through pandemic days

John Geddes: Reading lists for outlasting COVID-19 have leaned on plague stories. But what about the personal, interior aspects of this coronavirus year?


Solving the climate crisis isn’t on consumers. It’s on the people in power.

Mark Jaccard’s latest book on the climate emergency argues consumers should stop feeling guilty about their habits. But as citizens, they need to elect better leaders.


The person with the most pressure-packed job in Canadian art

Alexandra Suda wants to bring the crowds to a livelier National Gallery of Canada. Think ‘Voice of Fire’.

Economic analysis

Deficits are here to stay. But how sustainable is that?

The days of endless deficits are back, and with minority government pressures and economic trouble ahead, that’s a problem


A disturbance in the Throne Speech continuum

For comment on the Governor General’s contribution to the Speech from the Throne, we turn to a professor of philosophy of physics


From residential school runaway to trailblazing MP

Ethel Blondin-Andrew, this year’s Maclean’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner: ‘The way you treat people is the way that you will be remembered’