[UPDATE: I wrote this in April of 2022 and, looking back at it in December of 2023, I see no reason to update it. This is still what I’m trying to do. — pw]

We have a lot to talk about.

I’ve been a political journalist in Ottawa for almost 30 years. I wrote for Maclean’s magazine for 19 years. I’ve written for the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the National Post and other publications. I’m a regular commentator on TV and radio, in English et en français. I’ve written best-selling books. Sometimes people say nice things.


Now this newsletter will be my main outlet for political writing. Federal politics in Ottawa will be my focus: it’s where I live. But federal politics doesn’t happen in a vacuum, so I’ll cover provincial politics too. And world affairs. And sometimes arts and culture: I have never viewed the work of creative people as secondary or accessory to the other things I cover.

If there’s a connecting thread in my work, it’s that it’s all about how people live, how we share space and reconcile differences. How, or at least whether, we build one another up instead of tearing one another down. 

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You’ll get my opinions, sometimes heated. But the internet is full of rants. I want everything I publish to be worth your time. So I’ll concentrate on giving you analysis and context, informed by experience. I will also work hard to deliver a steady stream of original reporting. You won’t just get what I think, but what I’ve seen, heard, learned and discovered. And what it means for you.

Why subscribe?

Perhaps you’ve subscribed to publications I wrote for. Now you can subscribe to Paul Wells. It’s simpler and more direct. (It’s also why, after spending weeks coming up with clever titles for this thing, I finally decided to call it “Paul Wells.” I want this to be easy, including for people who aren’t used to newsletters.)

For now, and for an initial period whose length I’m still figuring out, everything I post here will be available for free, so you can get a sense of what I’m up to. [UPDATE: Much of it is behind the paywall now — pw] Even after I go behind a subscription paywall, some of the content here will always be free.

But I will be encouraging everyone who is able to become a paid subscriber. This is not my hobby. It’s my new job. The more of you who contribute to its success, the more ambitious I can be. I want to post audio and video content and host live events, online and in person. I want to travel to where news is happening. I’d like to do as much here as I could working somewhere else. Ideally more. You can contribute directly to making that possible.

Paid subscribers will have access to everything I write and produce, to a complete online archive that will grow over time, and to online comment boards that will make this newsletter a community. I will never flood your inbox. I’ll take the time to do work that’s worthy of your time. I want you to feel that I’ve clarified your day, not weighed it down.

If you want to get a head start you can become a paid subscriber immediately. There’s a monthly option, an attractive annual rate, and a “Founding Member” option for those who want to make a bigger contribution to the success of this enterprise.

I’m grateful for your time and attention.

Subscribe to Paul Wells

Politics and culture as though they mattered.


Canadian politics; the state of the world; sometimes music and other arts. I'm trying to help.