National Newswatch

What room can Andrew Scheer win, if not this one?

Dec 2 2019 — Jason Markusoff — Andrew Scheer stood in front of a room full of Alberta Conservatives who were given blue “Andrew Scheer” signs to wave jubilantly as often as they pleased. With new critics of his leadership emerging almost daily—social moderates, social conservatives, Quebecers, Ontarians, assorted party veterans—the current Conservative leader delivered a well-scripted line about how uninterested he […]

Jason Kenney slashed the budget—hey, Trudeau made him do it!

Oct 25 2019 — Jason Markusoff — After this week, may we never again doubt Jason Kenney’s willingness to identify a crisis, stoke public sentiment around it and then take full advantage of it. The Alberta premier timed it this way, of course—three days after Monday’s federal election, his first provincial budget to reshape Alberta in his United Conservative Party’s image. Much […]

Andrew Scheer: Canada’s first American prime minister?

Oct 5 2019 — Jason Markusoff — Boris Johnson was bidding to shed his United States citizenship back in 2015, when he was mayor of London and long before he ascended to the prime ministership of Britain. The New York-born moptop said then that he planned talk to the American ambassador, but wasn’t confident of finding any fast lane. “It is a […]

Andrew Scheer glowers at the Man Who Wasn’t There

Sep 13 2019 — Jason Markusoff — More than two years after Andrew Scheer became leader of Canada’s Official Opposition, polling suggests nearly one-third of Canadians still don’t know the man—or at least, don’t know enough to get a measure of him. This campaign serves as a pivotal, 40-day introduction to the Conservative leader for Canadians unsure whether he should be the […]

The Tory premier who plays nice and doesn’t sound very blue

Jul 22 2019 — Jason Markusoff — In April, Prince Edward Island became the fifth straight province to reject its Liberal or NDP government in favour of a more right-leaning party. But anybody expecting Progressive Conservative Leader Dennis King to join the anti-Trudeau, anti-carbon-tax movement quickly had their hopes dashed. King has kept in place his province’s carbon levy, while working collaboratively […]

Carbon tax ruling is a modest win for Trudeau—but after a string of losses, whatever works

May 3 2019 — Jason Markusoff — Let’s recap the last six months for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He became landed in the middle of a tug-of-war between China and United States over Huawei, prompting the vise of Chinese pressure upon imprisoned Canadian citizens and restrictions on agricultural products. He lost two top cabinet ministers and his principal secretary in a cascading […]

The RCMP have questions for Jason Kenney’s team on voter fraud allegations

Mar 28 2019 — Jason Markusoff — A conservative operative named Hardyal “Happy” Mann was fined $9,000 Wednesday donating someone else’s money to the 2017 UCP leadership campaign of Jeff Callaway, the “kamikaze” candidate that Jason Kenney’s campaign coordinated to attack his key rival, Brian Jean. Alberta’s election commissioner has now levied $35,000 in fines for improper donations and other misdeeds on […]

Where in Canada will the Greens win next?

Jan 9 2019 — Jason Markusoff — Peter Bevan-Baker got sent to the basement in 2015 when he first won a seat as Green party leader in Prince Edward Island. The legislative office building’s main floors were always set aside for Liberals and Conservatives, with one tiny basement space for rare times in provincial history anybody else had won. Then a by-election […]

Stephen Harper’s own words: ‘I was never in the job to be liked’

Jul 12 2018 — Jason Markusoff — In mid-June, former prime minister Stephen Harper gave speeches to small chambers of commerce in Lloydminster, Sask., and Leduc, Alta. In keeping with his desire not to comment on what his successors are doing, his speech largely stuck to global political trends, trade and business opportunities. But the audiences wanted to know about his views […]