Scott's DiaTribes: The Political BBQ Season begins

Parliament is now in summer recess.. so MP’s will be able to go home for awhile and spend time with their families and constituents.. kissing babies, going to BBQ’s and so forth. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any political activity. It is a fascinating bit of political theatre going on out in BC, where ...

Alberta Politics: Explaining Derek Fildebrandt’s ambitions: Jason Kenney vows to stifle ‘bozo eruptions’ in the UCP

PHOTOS: Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney. He vows to find ways to ensure there are no bozo eruptions in the ranks of the United Conservative Party. This will not be easy. Below: Frequent eruptor Derek Fildebrandt, who says he’s considering running for the leadership of the UCP himself; former Alberta deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: Trans* Human Rights Bill C-16: A Look Back

Although I’ll be remarking on the passing of Bill C-16 elsewhere, I wanted to post Bill Siksay’s closing speech from February 7, 2011, back when the bill was in its third incarnation (of five), Bill C-389.  To me, it’s a profound moment to look back on, and realize just how far we’ve come. It took ...

Alberta Politics: The full-court press is now under way to get Canadians ship their tax dollars to right-wing ‘legacy’ media

PHOTOS: Canada’s newspaper publishers are finally getting a grip on how to deal with this new-fangled technology stuff, like that Internet thing. Just pick up the phone and get the federal government to give you money! Below: Postmedia columnist Andrew Coyne, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey, former Globe and CBC journalist Paul Adams, and Liberal Prime ...

Canadian Dimension: Fourth NDP Leadership Debate: A New Format Sparks Real Debate and Discussion

Photo by CTV News This past Sunday in St. John’s, the Federal NDP held its fourth leadership debate. The last one brought in two new contestants in Jagmeet Singh and Pat Stogran, the latter of whom has dropped out, leaving a field of five. Since the last debate, events beyond the race have brought new ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 21: Alberta’s legal disgrace

This week we heard one of those stories that just makes you shake your head (if it hasn’t already lowered in shame) and wonder how this kind of thing can happen. Here’s the shocking story. An Aboriginal woman (there is a publication ban on her name, a typically Canadian thing to do, especially galling in ...

Canadian Dimension: BC Election Post-Mortem: Fifteen Perspectives on the Campaign and its Aftermaths

Photo by BC NDP After sixteen years in power, British Columbia’s Liberal government is teetering on the brink of collapse. On May 31, 2017, the BC NDP inked a deal with the BC Greens and set in motion a process that will all but certainly end with the toppling of Christy Clark’s premiership. We asked ...

Canadian Dimension: Third NDP Leadership Debate: Two new Contestants and a bit more Conflict

Photo by Gino Donato/Sudbury Star/Postmedia Network This past Sunday, the Federal NDP held its third debate in Sudbury, Ontario, the first such meeting in almost two months. The timing of this debate was significant because it was one day after Andrew Scheer’s coronation as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and it has welcomed ...

Alberta Politics: Corporate media have reached consensus about Andrew Scheer: He’s Stephen Harper with a human face!

PHOTOS: Andrew Scheer, demonstrating his vaunted smile. (Photo: Rabble.ca.) This fills corporate media with hope. It shouldn’t. In Canada, with or without a smile, social conservatism is ballot-box poison. Below: former prime minister Stephen Harper, who really doesn’t have a very nice smile at all. Below him, former PM Joe Clark and serving PM Justin ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 19: Will there be ‘Scheer madness’?

At long last, the federal Conservatives have a new leader … and it’s NOT Maxime ‘Mad Max’ Bernier, who would have been the first deeply libertarian leader of a major Canadian political party. After a vote counting process that was only slightly less difficult to understand than watching Game of Thrones midway through a season (the ...

Alberta Politics: ANDREW WHO? Oh, wait! I grabbed the wrong picture from the file cabinet!

PHOTOS: Andrew Scheer … I mean Joe Clark, a then-almost-unknown MP from Alberta, celebrates his victory in the Tory party leadership contest with his wife, Maureen McTeer, on Feb. 22, 1976. (Photo: Toronto Public Library.) The real Andrew Scheer, seen below, an almost-unknown MP from Saskatchewan, was doing the same thing this evening after a ...

Alberta Politics: ‘Foreign influence’ had nothing to do with Tory Joan Crockatt’s Calgary Centre election defeat in 2015

PHOTOS: Joan Crockatt, during her brief spell as Conservative Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre. Below: Liberal Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr, who beat Ms. Crockatt in 2015; environmentalist Chris Turner who ran against her for the Greens in 2012 and did very well; and environmentalist Harvey Locke, who ran against her for the Liberals ...

Canadian Dimension: How will Jagmeet Singh Shape the Federal NDP Leadership Race?

Photo by BGM Riding Association About a week ago, Ontario NDP MPP Jagmeet Singh ended months of speculation by officially throwing his hat into the Federal NDP leadership race. While there are potentially more than a half-dozen contenders to succeed Tom Mulcair as leader, Singh instantly upon his announcement has become a favourite. Indeed, the ...

In This Corner: The Return of Stuff Happens, week 18: Will the right united; the ‘I’ word is spoken.

There was a seismic shift in Alberta politics this week. Only time will tell if it’s a real earthquake that brings down two (or maybe three) parties, or whether it just grunts and groans and nothing happens. On Wednesday, Wildrose party leader Brian Jean and new Progressive Conservative party leader Jason Kenny officially signed a ...

Alberta Politics: Worthwhile Canadian initiative … Rona Ambrose said to be departing politics to help out the Wilson Centre

PHOTOS: Outgoing interim federal Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose listens seriously to someone in this Government of Canada shot found lingering on the Internet. Below: Ms. Ambrose and her domestic partner, J.P. Veitch, grabbed from her Facebook page, and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, plucked from the author’s vast collection of political mugshots. Well, that’s no fun! ...

Scott's DiaTribes: Political Prediction For BC

The BC Liberals and Greens have been on far more friendly terms with each other – both personally and politically – then the NDP and the Greens. NDP supporters still are attacking Greens as robbing them of winning government when it in fact appears disaffected Liberal voters went to the Greens. That said.. the Greens ...

The Sir Robert Bond Papers: The unbroken machine #nlpoli

The best little book on Canadian politics and government in a long time. Starting with the basics,  Dale Smith describes how the Canadian political system works and why things are like they are.  The language is plain and that makes the idea understandable for as wide an audience as possible. Every politician, pundit, and plumber ...

Alberta Politics: Who needs old-time climate change deniers when we’ve got the ‘New Climate Denialism’?

PHOTOS: Shannon Daub, associate director of the CCPA’s British Columbia office and co-director of the Corporate Mapping Project, at the mapping project’s 2017 Summer Institute at the University of Victoria this week. Below: CCPA B.C. Director Seth Klein (Twitter) and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. VICTORIA, B.C. Just because there are hardly any climate change deniers ...

Canadian Dimension: As B.C. Election Approaches, Greens Get Cozy With Liberals

From left, B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver and NDP Leader John Horgan • Photo by B.C. Broadcast Consortium Is the Green Party in a tacit alliance with the Liberal Party of Christy Clark in B.C.’s election? A lot of people in B.C. think so and here in Powell River the ...

Alberta Politics: Inclusion of 1905 act in Constitution means Brad Wall’s ‘Notwithstanding Clause’ gambit is no slam-dunk

PHOTOS: Premier Brad Wall of Saskatchewan (Photo: CBC). Below: Edmonton lawyer Simon Renouf. If Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall thinks he can just snap his fingers and the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms will make his Catholic school troubles go away, he may need to think again. In a comment about ...

Alberta Politics: Russia seeks international arrest warrant for former Ukraine PM, reported to now hold Canadian citizenship

PHOTOS: Arseniy Yatsenyuk, former prime minister of Ukraine, with then Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper in July 2015. (Screen capture of CBC news broadcast.) Below: Alberta Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, federal Conservative leadership candidate Chris Alexander (Wikimedia Commons) and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, all of whom figure in this story. Earlier this spring, a ...

Dented Blue Mercedes: What the “Walk on the Wild Side” controversy says about trans* awareness and a changing social movement

A little over a week ago, a University of Guelph student union drew international ire for condemning Lou Reed’s 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side” as transphobic.  This occurred after the Central Student Association apologized on social media for playing the song at a campus event.  Although this might seem like a minor thing ...

Alberta Politics: Good news-bad news for Tory candidate Maxime Bernier as Boston Stranger packs up his carpet bag and heads home

PHOTOS: Kevin O’Leary, until yesterday a front-running candidate to lead the Conservative Party of Canada. (Photo: Ontario Chamber of Commerce.) Below: CPC candidates Maxime Bernier and Kellie Leitch (both from Wikipedia); and Ron Paul, the crazy uncle of the American Right, whose economic views are similar to Mr. Bernier’s. The good news for Maxime Bernier? ...

Alberta Politics: Donald Trump helps build the case for Rachel Notley’s social license policy on energy exports

PHOTOS: U.S. President Donald Trump – he’s lookin’ at you, Canada. (Photo by Gage Skidmore, Flickr.) Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. If Alberta’s conservatives imagined U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision immediately after his election last November to push the Keystone XL Pipeline project forward would provide an opening for them to attack the Alberta NDP ...

Alberta Politics: Make American Dairy Farms Great Again! Adopt supply management

PHOTOS: Dairy cows in a mass milking machine at a U.S. farm, a pretty well run one from the look of this photo from the Wikipedia. Below: Not what dairy farming looks like any more; U.S. President Donald Trump, hero to the Globe and Mail editorial board, giving Canada, or someone, the what for. Never ...