National Newswatch
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Stephen Khan quits PC leadership race

Jan 27 2017 — Paula Simons — The Edmonton region’s only candidate for the Progressive Conservative leadership is pulling out. Friday morning, Stephen Khan will make it official. The former St. Albert MLA and former Tory cabinet minister is quitting the PC race — his dream of reviving a moderate, centrist party, collapsing around him. “As a pragmatic businessman, at a certain […]

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Alberta PC Party civil war descends to new depths of incivility

Jan 19 2017 — Paula Simons — Last Saturday, the board of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta voted, unanimously, to censure Calgary political operative Alan Hallman and suspend his party membership for a year. Hallman is a longtime Tory backroom boy and strategist, known for his aggressive, elbows-up approach to politics. He’s been intimately involved in Jason Kenney’s leadership campaign. After […]

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Carbon tax no justification for racist conspiracy theories

Jan 5 2017 — Paula Simons — Alberta’s new carbon tax hadn’t even kicked in before my email inbox and my social media feeds started filling up with angry, racist comments from people convinced — so convinced — that indigenous Albertans and aboriginal businesses were all exempt from paying the new levy on carbon. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised. There […]

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Alberta politics must resist temptation of Trump’s toxic “bro-lash”

Nov 10 2016 — Paula Simons — On Tuesday, the same day Hillary Clinton lost the American presidency, two smart, articulate women — Donna Kennedy-Glans and Sandra Jansen — withdrew from the Alberta’s Progressive Conservative leadership race. The timing was mostly coincidental. The November 10th deadline to pay the $50,000 deposit to officially enter the race just happened to fall two days […]

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A legend on and off the field, Norman Kwong played to win

Sep 7 2016 — Paula Simons — There are many photographs of Norman Kwong in the Edmonton Journal’s archives. But I have two favourites. The first shows a beaming Kwong accepting the 1956 Grey Cup, surrounded by his teammates, Johnny Bright and Jackie Parker, together with team president Moe Lieberman. Four football legends — one black, one Jewish, one Chinese and one […]

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Prime Minister Trudeau offers warm words for Fort McMurray, but no specifics on disaster aid

May 14 2016 — Paula Simons — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived here Friday with warm words for Fort McMurray’s firefighters and first responders. He praised Albertans who’ve responded generously to help displaced evacuees and First Nations communities that welcomed fleeing Fort McMurray residents. He spoke warmly of the leadership Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has demonstrated during the crisis. He even had […]

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Justin Trudeau, the unlikely champion of Alberta’s oilsands

Aug 8 2015 — Paula Simons — Alberta, he was looking at you. Justin Trudeau was definitely out to charm Alberta voters Thursday night. Yup, that was Pierre Trudeau’s son up there, strategically positioning himself as the lone champion of Alberta’s oilsands and of the pipelines needed to get our oil to market. While Green Leader Elizabeth May and NDP Leader Thomas […]

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Harper can’t hide from his duty to the Senate

Jul 31 2015 — Paula Simons — “When a Vacancy happens in the Senate by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy,” says our constitution. The word “shall” is an imperative, creating a clear legal obligation. Public cynicism about the Senate is widespread, thanks in part to the antics of […]

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Harper’s NEP? Senate moratorium a lazy end run around the constitution and provincial rights

Jul 28 2015 — Paula Simons — “When a Vacancy happens in the Senate by Resignation, Death, or otherwise, the Governor General shall by Summons to a fit and qualified Person fill the Vacancy,” says our constitution. The word “shall” isn’t a suggestion. In law, it’s an imperative, creating a clear legal obligation. Public cynicism about the Senate is widespread these days, […]

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Christmas in July could prove an unruly surprise for many

Jul 21 2015 — Paula Simons — Feeling pumped about the new Universal Child Care Benefit? Your federal government certainly wants you to be. “One more sleep until Christmas in July for Moms and Dads!” Canada’s employment minister Pierre Poilievre tweeted out Sunday. Sure enough, Monday he showed up in Halifax, dressed not in Santa’s red-and-white, but in a partisan Conservative Party […]

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The justice system itself cannot be above the law

Jul 18 2015 — Paula Simons — In 1994, Brent Dancey was convicted of assault causing bodily harm and sentenced to nine months. The charges stemmed from a fight at a high school party, when Dancey was 18. Then, as the cliché goes, he seemingly turned his life around. He played football with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, helping them win a […]