National Newswatch

Playing the numbers game

Jun 8 2022 — Tim Powers — What is in a number? For example, the number 600,000—the unconfirmed and yet-to-be-denied figure that could represent the people who have signed up to be members of the Conservative Party of Canada for the forthcoming leadership vote. Since hearing the 600,000 figure, I’ve thought often of Saddam Hussein’s legendary information minister Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf, a.k.a. […]

Kenney caught in quagmire of his own making

May 25 2022 — Tim Powers — Prior to the pandemic, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was arguably the most powerful and influential conservative leader in Canada. Andrew Scheer, when he was federal opposition leader, had Kenney campaign for him in Ontario, while at the same time staying away from Ontario Premier Doug Ford. When Erin O’Toole was seeking to replace Scheer, he […]

Time for Tory leadership race to climb out of the sewer

May 11 2022 — Tim Powers — Apologies. Yet another commentator is going to wade into last week’s Conservative leadership debate hosted by the Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly the Manning Centre. While its dramatic appeal may have been its very raw nature—and some partisans love that—it came across as one of those old, then-named World Wrestling Federation mega events. You […]

Jason Kenney fights to keep dancing to the tune he composed

Mar 30 2022 — Tim Powers — Many, many years ago, when I was a young political staffer, I had to travel to Alberta to get then-Progressive Conservative premier Don Getty to sign an important document. Worn down from travel and not fully alert, I did not notice that I had uncapped the pen that would be used to sign the material […]

Dear Conservatives: smarten up

Feb 2 2022 — Tim Powers — An open letter to the Conservative caucus: The vast majority of you are well meaning, decent, and enthusiastic public servants. You always do the best you can for the people you represent. As the official opposition, you work hard to hold the government to account and offer different options to Canadians. So, it is with […]

You never know who’s listening when the old guard speaks

Nov 3 2021 — Tim Powers — It has been a busy two weeks on multiple political fronts. Over the past 14 days, we have seen two successful former prime ministers return to the national stage to, among other things, offer commentary and advice to those who now lead their party or version of their party. And when Jean Chrétien and Brian […]

Election returns a familiar Parliament, but it won’t be so friendly for some

Sep 22 2021 — Tim Powers — Quick. What does $600-million get you? A doppelganger Parliament. Some 36-plus days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an election, it has ended with an outcome almost identical to when the race began. Canada now has its second consecutive Liberal minority and fifth already of the 21st century. Major political leaders may like majorities, Canadians […]

Party leaders putting party staffers in dicey position by taking wrong-smelling wage subsidy

May 27 2020 — Tim Powers — On the surface, it is symbolically stupid for Canadian political parties—including the federal Liberals, Conservatives, and New Democrats—to be claiming the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). While they are eligible to receive this support because they are classified as not-for-profit organizations and therefore able to get assistance, it just smells wrong. Why? While this likely […]

Big ideas needed in CPC’s snoozefest of a leadership race

May 20 2020 — Tim Powers — A key date has been passed in the Conservative Party’s leadership race. Friday, May 15 was the last day for people to join the party to vote in the contest. Peter MacKay’s team claims to have out-done his competitors in signing people up. While it is hard to verify the accuracy of the campaign’s assertion, […]

Pausing CPC race was the right move, and campaigns should seize the chance to retool

Apr 1 2020 — Tim Powers — The Leadership Election Organization Committee (LEOC) of the Conservative Party eventually made the right decision last week in deciding to postpone the leadership vote originally scheduled for June 27. The official reasoning the party provided was that staff resources and logistical challenges made it impossible to continue. It is right the party is making the […]