The COVID-19 crisis is a gift for savvy politicians

Trudeau, for example, has learned that just standing in front of a mic and sounding sincere is about all he needs to do to emerge a political winner

The COVID-19 crisis is a gift for savvy politiciansA lot of us are finding we have the luxury of unexpected spare time while we wait to bust out of COVID jail. I am happily using some of my newfound time to slog my way through Churchill: Walking with Destiny, Andrew Roberts’ brilliant and exhaustive examination of one of the greatest leaders of the…

A perfect economic storm for Alberta

Province struggles to deal with a devastating drop in oil prices, the impact of COVID-19 and the federal agenda to kill the industry

A perfect economic storm for AlbertaThree concurrent and independent elements are preventing Alberta from realizing the full potential of its energy resources. It’s generally said that good things come in threes. The Latin expression ‘omne trium perfectum’ conveys the idea that things that come in threes are more complete. The expression has an optimistic ring – but not for Alberta’s…

O’Toole gets a significant boost from Kenney

How one endorsement could change the federal Conservative leadership race, pushing MacKay into the background

O’Toole gets a significant boost from KenneyAlberta Premier Jason Kenney endorsed former Veterans Affairs minister Erin O’Toole in the federal Conservative leadership election on March 5. Quite a few political observers were surprised by his decision. Some wondered why Kenney did it so early, since a new leader won’t be chosen until June 27. Others were puzzled why he backed O’Toole,…

Political leadership in Alberta missing in action

The province is stuck in a one-generational political rut that’s built on memories of easy money

Political leadership in Alberta missing in actionI have to admit that I don’t live in Alberta anymore. After a 35-year work sojourn, my wife and I left for B.C.’s Sunshine Coast, returning to roots and escaping the prairie winters in our retirement. Our adult children have also left, choosing to live in London and Vancouver rather than Calgary, their birth home.…

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education system

Being tested and labelled at an early age can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem and intellectual potential

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education systemIf Steve Bannon isn’t on the Alberta government’s payroll, he certainly is its muse. Bannon is the notorious former strategic adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump. His views on the benefits of disruption might well inform Premier Jason Kenney’s government tactics of mass disruption in many sectors. These include the most vital areas of health…

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course ahead

Too many right-wing politicians base their policy thinking on antiquarian dogma, and not contemporary science or even democratic values

Keeping an eye on the uncharted course aheadThe other day my wife looked at me in a familiar way and said, “You are such a ‘rowboat’ thinker.” I knew immediately what she was getting at. Maybe it’s because I grew up with a father and grandfather who were inveterate hand-line fishers out of clinker-built rowboats. They first got me out on the…

Alberta independence push requires care

Quebec’s experience should offer a roadmap – and a cautionary tale – for Albertans intent on quickly divorcing from Canada

Alberta independence push requires careWhether they endorse or oppose the notion of an independent Alberta, Albertans would do well to proceed with caution. While Quebec went through two referendums in 15 years, it took decades for that province's sovereignty movement to develop. After the near-victory in 1995, the Bloc Québécois leader spoke about the need for “winning conditions” before…

Alberta’s UCP needs the feds to get Trans Mountain done

It was actually the federal Liberals and Alberta’s previous NDP government that did the heavy lifting needed to get the project started

Alberta’s UCP needs the feds to get Trans Mountain doneIt was more than a little disingenuous for Alberta’s still newish UCP government to stand up and claim last week that its “perseverance” led to the start of construction of the long-delayed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. “Perseverance has got us to this point,” clucked Alberta Energy Minister Sonya Savage. “When others were criticizing our energy…

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgeting

The Alberta government has not only set out a better direction on program spending, it also has a better plan on taxes

Alberta has much to teach Ontario on budgetingAlberta Premier Jason Kenney’s government delivered its first budget in October following the United Conservative Party’s victory over the NDP earlier this year. That budget sets a course Ontario should follow. Kenny’s mandate from voters was similar to that of Ontario Premier Doug Ford: to reverse course on the previous administration’s overspending, deficits and tax…

Wexit threatening Alberta’s economic recovery

The worst thing Alberta can do is let the Wexit debate linger. A never-ending debate will only trigger a permanent loss of economic power and status

Wexit threatening Alberta’s economic recoveryWhen the topic of political separation comes up, there’s one thing most of us can agree on: it’s bad for business. Recent grumblings in Alberta about breaking free of Ottawa’s shackles – which are, less face it, profoundly annoying and bad for business in their own way – brought back memories of that other separatist…