National Newswatch

Carbon tax is the ultimate trick or treat

Oct 31 2016 — Chris Nelson — Trick or treat is the question Albertans will still be asking, long after tonight’s homage to the pagan lurking in all of us remains little more than a cold, collapsed pumpkin on an early morning doorstep. Suddenly, we’re like that fabled farmer in Saskatchewan, who, staring hard and long enough, can see the back of […]

Pondering a future without energy wealth

Oct 17 2016 — Chris Nelson — It wasn’t the “what if” game most would indulge in while standing inside Iceland’s Thrihnukagigur volcano. The sensible would ponder what if it erupts? But sense isn’t always a strong point, so instead, I wondered if Alberta could emulate this barren, lava-strewn island in the bleak North Atlantic if indeed our country commits economic harakiri […]

When Jim Prentice looked in the mirror, he saw a man

Oct 15 2016 — Chris Nelson — There were never any diamonds to be found, deep in the mines where Jim Prentice became a man. Somehow, and such is the quiet sadness of politics, he later got tarred with the moniker Diamond Jim, as though born with some mythical silver spoon in his mouth. In reality, nothing could have been further from […]

Trudeau’s carbon tax is a stab in the back to Alberta

Oct 6 2016 — Chris Nelson — Now I know how all those old rednecks felt with their bumper stickers promising not to pee away the next oil boom if only providence would provide one. After wondering aloud when our golden boy prime minister would actually get down to running the country, rather than posing for endless selfies and glossy magazine shoots, […]

Jobless numbers are a carbon tax wake-up call

Oct 3 2016 — Chris Nelson — When I first arrived in this province 34 short years ago, Alberta was in the midst of a Pierre Trudeau-inspired economic bloodbath. Unemployment was nearing 10 per cent, people were cashing in their homes for a dollar and hightailing it elsewhere, with the entire energy industry essentially following suit in waving a hurried farewell, thanks […]

Reality awaits the end of Trudeau’s lengthy honeymoon

Sep 16 2016 — Chris Nelson — It’s the longest-running honeymoon since the filming of Cleopatra, where Liz Taylor and Richard Burton locked lips for the first time — and those two were married to other people back then. At least the Vatican won’t condemn our current prime minister for “erotic vagrancy,” as it did Taylor back in 1963, inadvertently showing the […]

Winning elections is no laughing matter

Sep 9 2016 — Chris Nelson — If Stephen Harper had ever cracked a joke while heading up the federal Conservatives then it must have quietly passed us all by. Which should be a salutary lesson for Brian Jean, who had an insider’s view of the way Harper led his party to power and — despite the odds stacked against him — […]

Harper defied all the odds

Sep 1 2016 — Chris Nelson — He sat opposite, the prime minister of Canada, trying in vain to squeeze one more drop of water from a clearly empty bottle. It remains my abiding memory of Stephen Harper, for, in a strange way, it sums up the man and his approach to life, politics and power. He was back in the Calgary […]

Summertime and the living isn’t easy in Canada

Aug 11 2016 — Chris Nelson — What happens when your whole act is a one-trick pony and the audience votes to take it out back to the knacker’s yard? Well, you end up with the sort of economic numbers Canada’s posted the past few months — dire and his closest cousin direst being the words of choice to describe this country’s […]

Let politicians spend their own money rather than ours

Aug 8 2016 — Chris Nelson — You have to hand it to politicians, when it comes to sheer gall, they can’t be matched. Wise men say you always remember your first kiss, your first job and your first grey hair. Well, I’m adding a fourth line item — those relentless ads Stephen Harper’s merry lot foisted upon us each day from […]

It’s full stop ahead in Canadian politics

Jun 27 2016 — Chris Nelson — If indeed Jason Kenney believes he can resurrect the fortunes of the once-invincible provincial Tories, can he please get on with it and toss his hat in the ring. Maybe Kenney — an effective, if sometimes divisive minister on the federal stage under then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper — could then actually buck the ludicrous “slow, […]

Notley faces a great leap into the unemployment line

Apr 17 2016 — Chris Nelson — It was that sweet and slightly pudgy Chinese fellow who came up with the Great Leap Forward. That grandiose social experiment to turn China into an industrial power from an essentially agrarian country ended up costing about 45 million lives in the resulting famine. But hey, Chairman Mao never missed a meal. Neither will Stephen […]

Albertans don’t need think-tanks to figure this out

Mar 4 2016 — Chris Nelson — Be very worried, Canada — Preston Manning is on the road again trying to unite the right. Last time he was asked for his sage advice on this particular conjuring trick, Manning ended up surmising that, yes indeed, Danielle Smith and her bunch of oh-so-severely striving lackeys should dump their own Wildrose Party and join […]