National Newswatch

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 […]

No one is going to fix housing

Apr 13 2022 — Jen Gerson — Hello fellow home-owning millennials, and the Gen-Z plebians desperate to join us. I understand house lust. I do. You want an okay spot in the city free of the oppression of the landlord. Or, if you’re at that certain time of life, maybe you want a detached house in a decent neighbourhood. Nothing too fancy, […]

On Big Macs and empires

Mar 11 2022 — Jen Gerson — If you happen to be seeking a slice of optimistic post-Cold War nostalgia, may I recommend the following clip from the CBC’s archives. Dated 1990, and featuring a young-ish Peter Mansbridge, it features the opening of the first McDonald’s in Moscow, a cultural milestone, and the beginning of the end of the Soviet era and […]

Ukraine is winning the propaganda war. That will matter, one day

Mar 2 2022 — Jen Gerson — Perhaps it’s simply the inevitable consequence of protracted news overload, but the war in Ukraine feels surreal. Pulling up the news, following Twitter, none of it feels like reality, but rather like we’re all collectively remembering an event that was always destined to happen. Perhaps I’m the only one suffering from this dissociative state? Or […]

Dispatch from the Coutts Front: God, guns, Jenga and Bob Seger

Feb 15 2022 — Jen Gerson — It’s difficult to describe how remote a place Coutts, Alberta really is. To those of us who live in the province, the vast expanse of dun-coloured land and grass, the pump jacks and cattle and dust, the subtle shift of blue and gray sky, the rolling foothills and distant mountains all become so normal after […]

The Backlash

Feb 8 2022 — Jen Gerson — Everyone is a hypocrite. Perhaps this is just a feature of human nature, and I should learn to be more compassionate toward hypocrisy — including my own. No one is consistent all the time, and we all go a little cross-eyed when we’re angry. But, Jesus. In the last few weeks, I’ve watched lefties who […]

The Conservative Party’s identity crisis, post-O’Toole

Feb 3 2022 — Jen Gerson — Well, it looks like the Conservative caucus has decided to do the stupid thing. Shortly after the election, I wrote here at Maclean’s that dumping leader Erin O’Toole would be short-sighted—regardless of how angry anyone was over the disappointing results or their leader’s performance. Very few nail it on their first time out, and there […]

The strange truth is that Alberta wants to be more like Quebec

Oct 19 2021 — Jen Gerson — No doubt a few “Have-Not” provinces will be eyeing the informal results of Alberta’s equalization referendum darkly. The final tally is not expected until next week. It does appear as if the “yes” side will carry the day, although not by as wide a margin as one might have expected given just how unpopular the […]

Cheer up, Tories. And don’t do that stupid thing you’re thinking of doing

Sep 22 2021 — Jen Gerson — It’s come to my understanding that there is some considerable consternation about the future of Erin O’Toole, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, on the grounds that he underperformed in this week’s election. I cannot help but wonder whether those now implacably resolved to booting the man for being inadequately conservative might, perhaps, consider […]

I have concerns

Sep 17 2021 — Jen Gerson — Throughout this election campaign, I have written weekly round ups on Fridays at The Line. I’m not on the campaign trail, mind, and what I’ve tried to offer here are not daily gaffes or horserace analysis, but rather a sense of the overall themes of the election. This Friday’s blast will be the final summation […]

Well, I guess Kenney’s f#cked, eh?

Sep 16 2021 — Jen Gerson — We all hoped it would work. I did, certainly. Only a sadist would want Alberta’s Open for Summer plan to fail. In this I will offer some defence of premier Jason Kenney and, by extension, myself — it wasn’t crazy to announce the lifting COVID-19 restrictions back in May, back when all of the comparative […]

On questions of compassion and competence

Aug 27 2021 — Jen Gerson — What would have happened in the election of 2021 if Afghanistan hadn’t fallen? If the writ had been drawn up just a few weeks before, or a few weeks after August 15, the day Kabul fell to the Taliban? This is the sort of question political science nerds will debate over weak beer for decades […]

Exclusive Interview: The Line chats with CPC leader Erin O’Toole

May 20 2021 — Jen Gerson — This week, Conservative Party Leader Erin O’Toole chatted with Line columnist Jen Gerson to discuss a range of issues, from C-10, to climate change and COVID-19. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. On revisiting the Netflix tax, anti-trust legislation, COVID-19 rapid testing, and the carbon price that isn’t a tax.