National Newswatch

UCP first weeks a roller-coaster

Aug 12 2017 — James Wood — The new United Conservative Party took a hit from the controversy surrounding one of its most high-profile MLAs this week, and some party members are warning it must ensure there are no long-term repercussions from the case of Derek Fildebrandt. Wildrose and Progressive Conservative members voted to join up in the UCP only three weeks […]

NDP abruptly changes course on political action committees. Jason Kenney is unimpressed.

Jul 22 2017 — James Wood — The NDP’s abrupt decision to reverse course and consider new regulations for so-called political action committees is raising questions by its opponents about the government’s motive. Just three weeks ago, the NDP minister for democratic renewal, Christina Gray, said the province was not considering new rules for political action committees and other third-party groups. But […]

Only half of PC members registered to cast ballot on unity deal

Jul 21 2017 — James Wood — As Tories began voting Thursday on a proposed unity deal with the Wildrose, only about half of the Progressive Conservative party’s approximately 50,000 members were registered to cast a ballot. The cut-off for registering to vote was Tuesday at midnight, but PC Leader Jason Kenney said Thursday it was a “soft deadline.” PC members are […]

Tory MLAs cautiously accept unity deal with Wildrose

Jul 21 2017 — James Wood — Some Progressive Conservative MLAs are ready to give unity with the Wildrose a chance, even as they caution the proposed United Conservative Party can’t move too far to the right. Tory Leader Jason Kenney said earlier this week he didn’t know if all the MLAs in the eight-man PC caucus would move to the new […]

Alberta NDP top second-quarter fundraising battle

Jul 20 2017 — James Wood — The NDP raised the most money among Alberta political parties in the second quarter of 2017, according to party financial statements posted by Elections Alberta on Wednesday. Newly-minted political action committees, meanwhile, have begun filing records with the chief electoral officer on their own donors. Documents show the NDP took in $553,733 donations from April […]

Notley spoke with incoming B.C. premier about pipeline impasse

Jul 10 2017 — James Wood — Premier Rachel Notley says she’s now spoken to incoming British Columbia premier John Horgan, but the conversation didn’t break the ice around pipelines. Notley and Horgan are old friends and New Democrat colleagues but the B.C. NDP’s deal to form a government in cooperation with the Greens includes a pledge to try and stop the […]

Alberta conservative leaders confident in unity deal

Jul 9 2017 — James Wood — Proponents of the unity agreement between the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties are pointing to a record number of new Wildrose memberships as a positive sign for the deal, despite ongoing dissension in each party’s ranks over unification. Wildrose had just over 40,000 members by the midnight Sunday deadline for Albertans to buy a party […]

Hehr says he’s ready for Conservative onslaught in 2019

Jul 9 2017 — James Wood — Liberal MP Kent Hehr says he’s not feeling daunted as the federal Conservatives aim to knock him out of his Calgary Centre riding in the next federal election. Newly-minted Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer told reporters Saturday that defeating Hehr and Calgary Skyview MP Darshan Kang — who in 2015 became the first Liberal MPs elected […]

UCP leadership race heating up during Stampede

Jul 9 2017 — James Wood — It may be on the backburner but the potential race for the leadership of the United Conservative Party is starting to simmer during a scorching Calgary Stampede. The contenders for the crown of the hypothetical new party unanimously say the first priority is the upcoming votes among the membership of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative […]

Trudeau will be no-show at this year’s Calgary Stampede

Jul 5 2017 — James Wood — The Calgary Stampede is looking a little less political this year. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won’t make it to the 2017 Stampede, his office said Tuesday. “Unfortunately, due to scheduling constraints, he will not be attending this year,” press secretary Cameron Ahmad said in an email. Trudeau’s absence is bound to be noted just days […]

NDP won’t tighten rules on Alberta’s ‘political action committees’

Jun 28 2017 — James Wood — The NDP government has no plans to further regulate self-styled political action committees in Alberta, despite calls from some quarters for a crackdown on their activities. Christina Gray, the NDP’s minister for democratic renewal, said the government is comfortable with the current level of oversight, introduced last year, which sees third-party entities required to disclose […]