National Newswatch

Once pipeline pals, Notley and Trudeau may be headed for a split

Sep 11 2018 — Gary Mason — After the initial shock of the Federal Court of Appeal’s judgment on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, life is returning to normal for Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. That is, the new normal that exists in the long, cold shadow of the court’s verdict, with the many ramifications for her government that flow from it.

The many travails of NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh

Aug 29 2018 — Gary Mason — It’s been a rough 11 months for NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Since assuming the top job in his party last October, Mr. Singh has had to exert his authority over 42 NDP MPs in Ottawa from the outside looking in. As strategies go, it’s been a washout. Many people in the country don’t know who […]

Derek Fildebrandt’s desperate bid for attention

Jul 20 2018 — Gary Mason — Once Jason Kenney kicked Derek Fildebrandt out of Alberta’s United Conservative Party, you knew there’d be a counter-move. Perhaps no one expected this one, however. Mr. Fildebrandt has announced the formation of a new right-wing political association in the province – the Freedom Conservative Party. And if that sounds a little Ayn Rand-meets-American Tea Party, […]

Is Stephen Harper pulling Jason Kenney’s strings?

Jul 18 2018 — Gary Mason — By all measures, Jason Kenney should be feeling pretty good these days. His United Conservative Party recently won two by-elections in Alberta by whopping margins. Sure, they might have been in extra-safe seats, but still, the magnitude of the victories was notable. In one, the UCP candidate was 73 points ahead of the NDP’s sacrificial […]

Does Justin Trudeau actually hate the West?

Jun 27 2018 — Gary Mason — Does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government really dislike Alberta and the West or is this just a convenient narrative, peddled by conservative politicians who have nothing but their own self-interest in mind? The question is asked again in the wake of last week’s revelation that the federal government quietly renewed, for another five years, […]

Stephen Harper comes in from the cold

May 18 2018 — Gary Mason — Stephen Harper is back! Those words will send shivers down the spines of many Canadians but not all. In fact, there are undoubtedly even old critics of the former Conservative prime minister who now miss his bland, plodding leadership style. A few years of Justin Trudeau’s travelling roadshow will do that. Since resigning from politics […]

Why a pipeline could cost Justin Trudeau the next election

Apr 13 2018 — Gary Mason — It wasn’t long ago that the thought of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau being a one-term wonder would have been unthinkable. Not any more. A confluence of issues and events – hello, India! – have reshaped the Liberal Leader’s image in the unkindest of ways. However, it’s his government’s contentious environmental agenda, and his handling of […]

How Patrick Brown’s private life became a problem for the Ontario PCs

Mar 3 2018 — Gary Mason — If there was one thing Patrick Brown’s advisers never stopped worrying about, it was the women. It was an all-encompassing concern virtually from the outset of his ill-fated leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party. Today, more than a month after a CTV report alleging sexual misconduct with two women led to Mr. Brown’s resignation, […]

Kent Hehr does not belong in cabinet

Dec 14 2017 — Gary Mason — What is Kent Hehr still doing in the federal cabinet? Mr. Hehr is the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities who has been making news recently, and not in a good way. He has been accused by a number of women of conducting himself inappropriately in meetings, mostly by making comments that were rude, […]

What of CBC’s strange corporate culture?

Dec 13 2017 — Gary Mason — Back when I was a young political reporter, a colleague and I decided to write a book about the shambolic government of Social Credit premier Bill Vander Zalm. Keith Baldrey and I were both reporters for The Vancouver Sun based in the capital, and had unparalleled contacts and access to those in the best position […]