National Newswatch

How a Conservative party BBQ became Pierre Poilievre’s red-meat cookout

Jul 10 2022 — Jason Markusoff — The hats were off for would-be leaders Poilievre and Danielle Smith. Boos were out for Jean Charest. At a fundraiser for today’s federal Conservatives, nearly everything is designed to be an applause line. Even the take-home party favour gift bags. Visitors to the Conservatives’ 1,400-person Stampede barbecue Saturday night were offered gift bags, or tiny […]

Jason Kenney didn’t know when to stop talking. Doug Ford did

Jun 4 2022 — Jason Markusoff — There he was, a re-elected and relaxed-looking Premier Doug Ford on the morning after his win in Ontario. He parried media questions about future cabinet-making, proportional representation and more, his every pivot back to his own talking points punctuated by applause from the assembled Progressive Conservatives somewhere off-camera. Flashing those pearlies, lightly joshing with reporters. […]

For Alberta conservatives, Jason Kenney became yesterday’s man

May 19 2022 — Jason Markusoff — UCP members loved Campaign Kenney, but not Premier Kenney. Now to find another leader. In these strange times for politics in Alberta, the following two things can be true at the same time: Jason Kenney is one of the most ideologically conservative people to ever occupy a senior federal cabinet post or the premier’s chair […]

What will happen when Jason Kenney’s dissidents—and even some fans!—spend a weekend together

Nov 18 2021 — Jason Markusoff — Folks were quick to draw comparisons when now-former Conservative Senator Denise Batters publicly declared her petition to depose Erin O’Toole as party leader. Why, it’s open dissent in the ranks, just like the United Conservative Party unrest plaguing Jason Kenney! If you couldn’t see me flailing my hands in disagreement from Calgary, rest of Canada, […]

Shelly Glover, the self-declared premier Manitoba doesn’t need

Nov 5 2021 — Jason Markusoff — As surely as I live in Manitoba, Shelly Glover is my premier. Actually, I live in Alberta, though my dad was born and raised a Winnipeg north-ender. And while we’re being precise, Shelley Glover is only premier in a darkly fantastical world in which the ugliest of political conspiracies hold true. Last Saturday, the governing […]

Jason Kenney is sinking. How it all went wrong for him.

Nov 1 2021 — Jason Markusoff — The premier fumbled Alberta’s pandemic response so badly that his job is now in jeopardy. Saturday morning at a rec centre parking lot in south Calgary. Flapjacks. Mediocre coffee. Disposable plates. Boots. Belt buckles. Cowboy hats of black, white and straw. Smiling kids. Glad-handing politicians. In some ways, it seemed like any traditional Calgary Stampede […]

The two pols on the prairie who kneecapped Erin O’Toole

Sep 21 2021 — Jason Markusoff — Erin O’Toole must have cast a scornful eye Monday night toward Alberta and Saskatchewan. He was poised to win nearly all of those provinces’ 48 seats, though a few shy of the 47 the Conservatives got last time. The likely cause of his ire? Two former Conservative MP colleagues were out on the prairie, having […]

This is not what Jason Kenney came back for

Feb 11 2021 — Jason Markusoff — He returned from Ottawa with a suitcase full of ideas about who Albertans are and what they want from their premier. How a seemingly perfect political match went wrong. Jason Kenney had a series of ambitions for himself and Alberta when he began, five years ago, on a quest to restore the province. He’d become […]