Let’s not forget we’re choosing our politicians while the world burns down around us

“To be clear: It is the responsibility of high-office holders to put policies in place that will facilitate positive systemic change; it’s also their responsibility to hold large polluting companies to account. If Canada were anywhere close to meeting its own climate targets, Wilkinson’s support of Shell’s advertising ploy might have been forgivable. But we’re not. And until we are, the only message we should be hearing from politicians like Wilkinson or companies like Shell is what they are doing to decarbonize. That being said, let’s not forget who’s been choosing our politicians while the world burns down around us.”

Arno Kopecky – The Narwhal – August 2021


The doomed 30-year battle to stop a pandemic

“You will be disappointed or relieved to learn that, despite this grim little stroll down memory lane, this is not a story that attempts to blame Justin Trudeau for a global pandemic. The ‘severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2,’ to use the devious beastie’s formal name, had already jumped plenty of international firewalls before it started to wreak havoc in Canada. The most lurid example of system failure and leadership abdication, with a human cost proportionately far higher than in Canada, was taking place next door in Donald Trump’s United States.”

Paul Wells – Maclean’s – April 2020

Blazing a trail in familiar territory

Nadine Yousif – Maclean’s – March 2020

How Ethical is Alberta’s Governing Party?

Graham Thomson – Alberta Views – March 2020

My Weekend Canvassing for Bernie

Martin Lukacs – The Walrus – March 2020

Elizabeth May Fights by Her Own Rules

“While she remains intent on the papers in front of her, her frequent glances at the Speaker make it clear she is listening. Being the Green Party leader doesn’t mean much without official party status. That would entitle her to a slate of privileges, including a research budget and automatic membership on committees. As it stands, she has equivalent status to an independent, limited by tightly prescribed protocols that govern, among other things, who speaks, in what order, and for how long. She can claim only one question per week during question period, the final slot. She comes last in the speech rotation when legislation is debated, sharing the spot with the four Bloc MPs.”

Susan Harada – The Walrus – May 2012

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh responds with unsinkable optimism in a campaign weighed down by the politics of race

Ann Hui – The Globe and Mail – October 2019

Can Canada Ward Off a Populist Surge?

“On a hot day in early September, Maxime Bernier stood in line at a Booster Juice waiting for a smoothie. Bernier, who is 56 years old, looks tall in person. He has graying brown hair that flops to the right across his forehead, in an aging prep-school kind of way. In the student union building, at Ontario’s Western University, he didn’t look out of place. He might have been a business professor. He might have been someone’s dad. He didn’t, in other words, look much like what he is: Canada’s patient zero for the kind of right-wing populism—shouty, nativist and outside the mainstream—that has remade politics all over the Western world.”

Richard Warnica – Politico Magazine – October 2019

Reckless vigilante or heroic watchdog?

“To his supporters, Plecas’s relentless quest to expose wrongdoing — which last November led to the suspensions of Craig James, the clerk responsible for day-to-day running of the legislature, and Gary Lenz, the sergeant-at-arms in charge of security — has led to greater oversight of the public purse. (James subsequently resigned. Lenz was cleared of wrongdoing by McLachlin, but remains suspended with pay amid ongoing investigations.) But to critics, the former criminologist is a reckless vigilante who needs to be reined in. His crusading, they say, has led to instability and a toxic work environment. Rather than referee political fights, he’s the constant subject of them.”

Douglas Quan – National Post – September 2019

Misplaced Anger

“It’s easy to attack equalization, as many politicians do. Alberta receives nothing from it, and hasn’t in over a half century. But this isn’t because the program is unfair. Among the ranks of ‘have’ provinces, Alberta reigns supreme. No tweak to a program meant to transfer funds to lower income provinces should ever transfer to the richest.”

Trevor Tombe – Alberta Views – September 2019