National Newswatch
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Can Alberta handle a taxing truth?

Mar 22 2017 — Gary Mason — There is a day of reckoning coming in Alberta if it hasn’t arrived already. The ugly state of the province’s economic condition was once again laid bare in the NDP government’s latest budget. The debt numbers seemed to catch most off-guard; projected accumulated arrears of $71-billion by 2019-20. By pan-national standards it isn’t that extraordinary, […]

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Alberta PC candidate Kenney owes a debt of gratitude to Notley

Mar 18 2017 — Gary Mason — Whether it was intended or not, the budget tabled this week by Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government may have helped change the course of Alberta political history. It gave her opponents a huge stick with which to beat the New Democrats from now until the next election. Budgets are always analyzed in terms of winners […]

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Will Kevin O’Leary be stopped?

Jan 6 2017 — Gary Mason — If you needed any evidence of just how much of a concern the prospective candidacy of businessman and reality television star Kevin O’Leary is to those seeking the leadership of the federal Conservative Party, you got it this week. Lisa Raitt, the former Conservative cabinet minister and current Opposition MP, held a news conference to […]

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Rachel Notley’s visit to B.C. sends a strong message to Alberta

Dec 7 2016 — Gary Mason — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley wrapped up a two-day Kinder Morgan sales mission to Vancouver this week, where she tried to convince locals of the pipeline’s merits. There may be more unenviable tasks in this world, but not many. A member of Premier Christy Clark’s security detail could be seen patrolling the halls of the hotel […]

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Sorry, Vancouver: The rest of Canada needs pipelines

Dec 2 2016 — Gary Mason — Alberta Premier Rachel Notley should bundle up when she comes to Vancouver next week to sell the merits of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline. She is in for a frosty reception. There is no bigger opponent of the pipeline than the city’s mayor, Gregor Robertson. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the project’s approval this […]

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Are Tory candidates grasping for a poisoned chalice?

Oct 14 2016 — Gary Mason — When you can’t raise money, it’s hard to mount a serious bid to lead a political party. Just ask Tony Clement. Mr. Clement announced on Wednesday that he was shuttering his campaign for the leadership of the federal Conservative Party. Despite being one of the bigger names in the race, the Ontario MP and former […]

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The politics behind the go-ahead for the LNG project in B.C.

Sep 30 2016 — Gary Mason — There was good reason that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley was so heartened by the federal government’s approval of a major liquefied natural gas project next door in British Columbia. It all but guarantees she will be getting the pipeline she so desperately covets. The decisions that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government faces with regard to […]

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Tough calls ahead for Trudeau on aboriginal issues

Sep 16 2016 — Gary Mason — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it seems, is getting ready to put away the selfie stick and get serious about governing. An article in The New York Times this week suggested that Canada’s celebrity politician will soon begin showing that he is more than the sometimes shirtless social-media sensation the world has come to know, that […]

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Backroom battles begin ahead of Alberta PC leadership race

Sep 10 2016 — Gary Mason — For a party that was given up for dead not long ago, Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives are generating a lot of news these days. And even though the race to find a new leader hasn’t officially kicked off yet, it has unofficially kicked off with all the attendant backroom viciousness and knife-twisting we now come to […]

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Ill-considered words may close the book on Wildrose leader

Sep 2 2016 — Gary Mason — For most of his time as Leader of Alberta’s Wildrose Party, Brian Jean has been a benign force, doing little to convince disgruntled conservatives in the province that he is the person around whom to rally and place their trust. Behind the reluctance to embrace his leadership has been a nagging doubt about his judgment […]