With Albertans set to head to the polls in less than a week, Jason Kenney is seeing enemies everywhere he looks.
There’s NDP Leader Rachel Notley. And Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There are also the “foreign-funded” environmentalists and First Nations that oppose new pipelines. And then there’s B.C. and Quebec. Add in the oil executives who support carbon taxes and international banks that have stepped away from funding oil development.
Still, Mr. Kenney and his United Conservative Party are the front-runners to lead the province following next Tuesday’s election.
In an interview with The Globe’s James Keller, Mr. Kenney talks about the battles Alberta is facing.
“I think a lot of Albertans feel like they’re under siege,” he says.
Does the Alberta vs. everyone approach come with risks of alienation? He doesn’t see it that way, arguing that ratcheting up the fight now could prevent something worse in the future.
“If we don’t have mainstream federalist political leadership make the case for fairness for Alberta, then I really do believe that this will take a turn for the worse,” he says.
“That frustration and alienation could turn into a real threat to the federation. I don’t want to see that happen.”
Still, he says he’s been trying to manage expectations. Things will not happen quickly and Alberta likely can’t can win every fight.
“If we’re ambitious in our strategy, we’re more likely to win on some of them.”
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ALBERTA ELECTION UPDATE
Alberta’s two election front-runners have renewed their calls for Ottawa to jettison or significantly rewrite two pieces of federal legislation, which they warn put the province’s energy industry at risk and threaten national unity.
Two visions, one sector: The Globe’s Shawn McCarthy reports on what the UCP and NDP platforms would mean for oil sands producers.
Jason Kenney has promised that a United Conservative Party government would assess Alberta’s youngest learners in literacy and math, reigniting the debate around the value of standardized testing.
Gary Mason (The Globe and Mail) on Jason Kenney’s energy policies: “In trying to build a broad swath of support for his province, Mr. Kenney could make Alberta more isolated than ever.”
Former Treasury Board president Jane Philpott says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expelled her and Jody Wilson-Raybould using a unilateral process that violated federal law.
Most board members in Ms. Philpott’s riding association have stepped down, CBC News reported.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his threat to sue Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is about making sure there are consequences for lying in politics.
A parliamentary committee formed to address national security concerns is calling on the federal government to bring in greater scrutiny to the military’s intelligence-gathering activities.
Lawyers and advocates who work directly with refugees say they are dismayed by proposed changes to asylum laws included in the Liberals’ new budget bill.
Canada’s grain industry officials are casting doubts on China’s claims it barred Canadian canola shipments owing to unacceptable levels of weeds and fungus, and are calling for a swift resolution to the impasse that jeopardizes their most lucrative market.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada is in no rush to ratify the new trade deal with Mexico and the United States.
The federal government has introduced legislation that it says will remove a final federal barrier to the easier flow of beer, wine and spirits across provincial and territorial boundaries.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says the province is set to announce $28.5-billion in funding to build transit in the Greater Toronto Area.
Kevin Vickers, the former House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, is poised to be the next leader of New Brunswick’s Liberal party.
Brexit is causing havoc in British business investment and manufacturing.
Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to be headed toward a historic fifth term as Israel’s Prime Minister on Wednesday.
New Zealand’s Parliament passed sweeping gun laws that outlaw military style weapons.
Neil MacDonald (CBC News) on the SNC-Lavalin affair: “A Liberal deeply involved in the re-election effort tells me the JWR/SNC affair, while painful, has helped smother another issue the party considers far scarier: the carbon tax.”
Christie Blatchford (National Post) on the SNC-Lavalin affair: “For God’s sakes, why are those other people — the muscled-out and muzzled Jody Wilson-Raybould, the booted and betrayed Jane Philpott, the deeply confused members of Philpott’s riding association in Markham-Stouffville, Ont., — all still proclaiming themselves to be proud Liberals?”
Wesley Wark (The Globe and Mail) on foreign interference in elections: “There are still many gaps in our defences. The most important is the wide-open social-media space, with its lack of agreed policing strategy and its known vulnerabilities to fake news and manipulation.”
Lawrence Martin (The Globe and Mail) on Pete Buttigieg’s U.S. presidential bid: “There are now 18 Democrats seeking the nomination, and it’s a challenge to stand out in this crowd. But Mayor Pete somehow projects a different aura than the others. He’s religious, intellectual, rational. He comes across as a man of moral vision.”