National Newswatch

Andrew Scheer and the two big Conservative fears

Nov 30 2019 — Don Braid — Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer had every right to expect an enthusiastic reception Friday at the United Conservative Party convention in Calgary. His party won 69.2 per cent of the provincewide federal vote on Oct. 21. He elected 33 of 34 Alberta MPs. The Conservatives reduced the Trudeau Liberals to a minority. Scheer’s economic policies […]

Ottawa will be judged by action, not visits and talk

Nov 26 2019 — Don Braid — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland arrived in Alberta Monday amid genuine crisis. Listening “very, very hard” — her words — won’t do a thing to fix it. Only action will. The Canadian National Railway strike has shut down the delivery of 170,000 barrels of oil a day. Grain shipping is clogged. Alberta refiners are facing […]

Alberta’s premier shouldn’t take Bloc Quebecois bait

Nov 15 2019 — Don Braid — There’s no anti-Alberta character Jason Kenney won’t attack. But sometimes, he should cool it. The premier is giving Bloc Quebecois leader Yves-Francois Blanchet too much oxygen by snapping back at his provocative anti-oil statements. Blanchet is the boss of a Quebec-only, separatist federal party. He doesn’t run a government. Unlike earlier Bloc bosses, he’s not […]

Encana departure a blow to UCP prosperity promises

Oct 31 2019 — Don Braid — The myth of the United Conservative Party has taken a beating this week. Many felt that once Jason Kenney routed the NDP and became premier, investors would dance in the streets, the unemployed would flock back to work and the valleys would be green again. Exaggerated as this may be, the expectation of reborn prosperity […]

Justin Trudeau’s crocodile smile for the West

Oct 31 2019 — Don Braid — Deaf to Alberta and Saskatchewan for four years, Justin Trudeau wants us to believe his hearing is suddenly restored. The Liberals won no seats in the main energy provinces. Now the prime minister, reduced to a minority, yearns to listen and understand. But his sop to westerners — engaging an advisor who happens to be […]

The needlessly petty parts of the UCP budget

Oct 29 2019 — Don Braid — There was a budget in the spring of 2015 that raised taxes for individuals but not corporations, and included many hikes to taxes, fees and other charges for citizens. Albertans did not like it. The final PC government, led by Premier Jim Prentice, promptly got slaughtered by the NDP, thus ending a 43-year reign. Now […]

In French debate, Trudeau lumps oil industry with enemies

Oct 12 2019 — Don Braid — Some federal leaders are getting close to declaring the oil and gas industry a hostile force. That’s one result of this dismal campaign. To score climate-change brownies, they’re pushing the country down a dangerous, divisive road. In the French-language debate Thursday, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said he has to continue the fight against conservative premiers […]

The final, lethal pipeline threat — a Liberal minority

Sep 24 2019 — Don Braid — As this federal election campaign slips deeper into uncertainty, an awful realization dawns in the east. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will never be built unless a majority government is elected. After Justin Trudeau’s blackface fiasco, polls show the Liberals and Conservatives are virtually tied, making a minority very likely. To govern, either big-party leader […]

Report shows Alberta in for deep cuts and big fights

Sep 3 2019 — Don Braid — The MacKinnon report, at its fervent heart, is a radical document. It calls for a wholesale remaking of Alberta government in order to eliminate deficits and debt. If Premier Jason Kenney’s UCP goes ahead with these recommendations or even attempts a good number of them, Alberta is in for prolonged conflict that could make the […]

As ‘kamikaze’ scandal grows, so does Kenney’s popularity

Jul 19 2019 — Don Braid — In another world, at another time, a government would be in deep trouble over current voting and financing scandals. The UCP leadership vote, allegedly involving bogus email addresses, is being investigated by the RCMP, with a special prosecutor from Ontario appointed. The Mounties have interviewed five UCP cabinet ministers. One leadership candidate, Jeff Callaway, has […]

UCP solidarity, never a sure thing, shows some early cracks

Jul 17 2019 — Don Braid — Alberta’s politics are carved in stone right now. It seems that the UCP dynasty, like the Sphinx, won’t begin to erode for a couple of millennia. That’s the prevailing thought, especially among conservatives. They earnestly believe that with a stark right-left choice the NDP will now start to fade and lose most of its 25 […]

One last pipeline to pay for Trudeau’s national dream

Jun 19 2019 — Don Braid — Tuesday’s Trans Mountain pipeline approval was no whoop-de-do moment. There won’t be a Raptors-style victory parade in downtown Calgary. As Premier Jason Kenney said, the real test is construction — not the courtroom stop-and-start kind, but continuous physical progress of the pipe to Burnaby. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said several times that construction will start […]

Trudeau paints conservative premiers as a threat to Canada

Jun 12 2019 — Don Braid — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, bent on re-election, is already playing a divisive, dangerous game with the country he claims to lead. On Tuesday, six premiers including Jason Kenney sent him a letter warning that Bill C-69 in its original form, as well as Bill C-48, will damage the economy from coast to coast. On Bill […]