National Newswatch

With Danielle Smith’s win, the Wildrose Party has firm control of Alberta

May 31 2023 — Jen Gerson — I had a run-in with a card-carrying member of the United Conservative Party prior to election day in Alberta – a sensible, establishment, man-in-good-standing type. This person, who shall remain unnamed to protect that very good standing, had questions about Danielle Smith, certainly; further, he noted that the party’s signature electoral promises, which included income […]

Okay, but I don’t trust you

May 25 2023 — Jen Gerson — The facts before me don’t warrant any extraordinary leave from my ordinary degree of cynicism. Far be it from me to steal the thunder of my fellow editor, Matt Gurney, who did yeoman’s work combing through the Johnston report shortly after it came out on Tuesday. I think he did some of the most able […]

Is this what failure looks like?

May 17 2023 — Jen Gerson — I couldn’t help but ask myself: “How much larger will this tent city be allowed to grow before someone cracks down on it?” Literally. What street will prove the border? Forgive me for starting today’s column with an old anecdote: when I was in high school in the late ’90s, early aughts (which does not […]

Yes, Canada’s new passport really is that bad

May 12 2023 — Jen Gerson — It’s actually pretty rare for something to come along that manages to transform the nation from perfect indifference to utter pique in the course of one day, but somehow this government has managed it. I am talking, of course, about the most important news to emerge from this week – our passport redesign. Ottawa has […]

Everybody is being dumb

Apr 19 2023 — Jen Gerson — If you want to fight, you have to know which battles are worth winning. Fight smart, not hard. Everybody is being dumb. Yes, I realize that most of my columns could start this way, however in the case of the incident in question, I believe the sentence above can truly be applied universally. This time, […]

Pols vs. Media: Suing the media is usually unwise. In these cases, it may also be fascinating

Apr 6 2023 — Jen Gerson — In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed two once-rare phenomena occur nearly simultaneously. Two politicians have filed libel claims against media outlets, alleging that their reputations have been damaged by reporting based on statements by anonymous sources. There are two very different outlets involved, and the claims are coming from politicians sitting at opposite ends of the […]

The Liberals, masters at winning themselves to death

Mar 24 2023 — Jen Gerson — I have no sympathy for the predicament the Liberal party now finds itself in. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and all his hangers-on are the authors of their own misfortunes. When it comes to the stories of Chinese electoral interference now dominating the headlines, this government is the victim of its own short-sightedness and arrogance, and […]

Quit wine. Do heroin

Jan 19 2023 — Jen Gerson — Have our public-health communicators learned nothing from the pandemic? The audience isn’t experts. It’s normal people. The bad news is that you’re going to die. The good news is that you might be able to squeak out a few more good years if you cut out all the things that make not dying worth the […]

The Sovereignty Act: Zen Koan, bad joke, or a prelude to chaos?

Dec 1 2022 — Jen Gerson — I have to be honest: my first reaction to reading Alberta’s Bill 1, the Alberta Sovereignty Within A United Canada Act, was laughter. Just a deep, body shaking chortle. It’s so dumb, so utterly, obviously bizarre that it doesn’t even read like a real bill. But I’m no legal expert, so I grabbed Ian Holloway, […]

Danielle Smith’s walk has not matched her talk as Alberta’s premier

Nov 29 2022 — Jen Gerson — “Albertans have had just about enough of this!” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith told Jordan Peterson near the start of an hour-and-a-half-long interview posted online two weeks ago. Well, calling it an “interview” is generous: The good doctor fails to challenge Ms. Smith on any of her sometimes misleading characterizations of Alberta’s plight, and he frequently […]

A little crazy is fine, for a pundit. Not a premier

Oct 20 2022 — Jen Gerson — I had the great joy of catching up with an old friend the other day and the subject of our conversation came around to politics, as it sometimes does. “It seems like the media is giving Danielle Smith a hard time,” she noted, implying that we had not given this woman so much as a […]

Pierre Poilievre’s dominant win is the death knell of moderate conservatism in Canada

Sep 13 2022 — Jen Gerson — With Pierre Poilievre’s decisive victory in the federal Conservatives’ leadership race, the party now has a generational opportunity to radically reimagine what Conservative policies could be palatable to the Canadian public. A strong mandate at his back, the man nicknamed Skippy need only to win the trust of a plurality of the electorate to implement […]

The Glorious Ungovernable Province of Alberta

May 20 2022 — Jen Gerson — The first time I had a proper conversation with Jason Kenney was about six years ago. The NDP were in power in Alberta; the federal Conservatives had cast about for a successor to Stephen Harper and, it was decided by silent consensus, said successor would not be Jason Kenney. So the former federal cabinet minister […]

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