National Newswatch

Conservative field shrinks as Harper talk starts

Jan 24 2020 — Don Braid — The talent void in the Conservative party leadership race is prompting strange scenarios among Alberta loyalists. Their first and faintest hope: Stephen Harper comes back, wins the leadership with ease, runs off Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and recreates a Conservative national government. There is no hard evidence for this, but you have to wonder why […]

Ambrose remains an ideal candidate for Conservative leadership

Jan 16 2020 — Don Braid — Quebec’s La Presse has declared that Rona Ambrose won’t run for the Conservative leadership. Albertans who know her scratch their heads and say, what the . . .? “A plant from a Quebec rival, no doubt about it,” says one. Who would that be, if not Jean Charest? Ambrose still hasn’t decided. That’s today’s understanding […]

New poll shows contented Quebec and angry Prairies — and no wonder

Jan 15 2020 — Don Braid — It was damned near impossible for the Liberals to turn Quebec into Canada’s happiest, most optimistic province, while killing hopes for millions of people in Alberta and Saskatchewan. But they’ve done it. Brilliantly. We already knew discontent was deep on the Prairies. A new Angus Reid Institute poll shows it’s almost bottomless. Seventy-one per cent […]

UCP will erupt if looming federal decisions go against Alberta

Jan 8 2020 — Don Braid — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland visited Alberta relatives, talked to key politicians, including Premier Jason Kenney, and then blew town without a public word. That was odd, considering the gravity of the issues she’s supposed to be managing. This was a fleeting glimpse of the minority federal Liberals — more cautious, less blustery, less often […]

UCP acknowledges troubled launch of war room

Jan 6 2020 — Don Braid — Disappointed in the Canadian Energy Centre, better known as the war room? You have plenty of company there — including the Alberta government. UCP patience is fading, although not yet exhausted, over slips involving logos and clumsy attacks on Alberta critics. “We obviously would have preferred for things to go more smoothly,” says Christine Myatt, […]

Notley’s bad year ends with near miss on the highway

Dec 27 2019 — Don Braid — The Alberta NDP’s very bad year almost got much worse on Dec. 9, when Leader Rachel Notley’s vehicle ran off the Queen Elizabeth 2 Highway just north of Olds. Notley had a twinge of fear before staffer Dylan Sloan managed to steer the vehicle into safety fencing on the median. “I did have a moment […]

Kenney sees no change in fiscal or ‘fair deal’ plans in 2020

Dec 26 2019 — Don Braid — As 2020 nears, there’s no sign that Premier Jason Kenney will change his tough stance on finances and spending cuts, or his “fair deal” strategy for Alberta’s role in the nation. In a year-end interview, the premier insisted he’s not fomenting Wexit, just channeling frustration in a positive direction. And he insisted his cuts do […]

Kenney says Rona Ambrose would make a ‘brilliant’ Conservative leader

Dec 12 2019 — Don Braid — “Rona would be my first call,” Premier Jason Kenney said about 20 minutes after learning that federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer will resign. He was referring, of course, to Rona Ambrose, former Alberta Conservative MP, minister in the Stephen Harper years and interim party leader after the 2015 defeat. “She would be a brilliant leader,” […]

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 […]