2018

7 June Horwath to lead opposition, after dreams of becoming premier dashed

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath handily won her Hamilton-Centre riding on Thursday night, but her hopes of becoming Ontario’s next premier were dashed just half an hour after polls closed. …

20 April Kinder Morgan pipeline supporters and detractors are being swarmed by online ‘bots’

… this ad is only one example of the style of online warfare that has pitted fossil fuel supporters against clean energy advocates in a battle to win the social media newsfeeds of the nation. The online war also includes automated messages and accounts — or “bots” — designed to amplify the reach of targeted statements to manipulate public opinion. Programming automated messaging can promote fake social media profiles to share and repost desired messages, ensuring that people see them while creating a sense that an opinion is popular and held by many people already. In the last two years, people have become more familiar with “Russian bots,” or automated message swarming aimed at influencing public opinion, most notably in the last U.S. election. But researchers find bot activity on other issues, too. And it can be difficult to narrow down where bots originate, in terms of where the people who put them to work live in the real world. …

16 March How Doug Ford skated around the media in his first week as Ontario Tory leader

National Observer watched, listened and transcribed parts of seven one-on-one broadcast interviews Ford has given since becoming Tory leader. While it would not be fair to say that media members only lobbed softball questions at the public figure — with questions about whether he is similar to U.S. President Donald Trump or what his deceased brother former Toronto mayor Rob Ford would think of his new job — many nonetheless gave him a great deal of space to touch broadly on his winning platform without pinning him down on what he would actually do if elected. …

March Salestaxphobia: Can we get over our unique aversion?

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“Time for a sales tax?” is the whack-a-mole question of Alberta politics—one that pops up in the Legislature, in press scrums, in newspaper headlines. No matter how long it’s been since the last answer, the question won’t go away. …

18 February Jagmeet Singh takes same position as John Horgan in Kinder Morgan pipeline dispute

Speaking to National Observer as the party’s weekend policy convention was concluding in Ottawa on Sunday, Singh said that the $7.4-billion Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion needs a more thorough environmental assessment before construction. This lines up with a recent British Columbia proposal to do more scientific research before allowing a massive increase in oil exports on tankers shipping out the heavy crude from the Kinder Morgan project. …

12 February Rachel Notley moves to online warfare in Alberta’s battle with B.C.

Premier Rachel Notley is signalling that her government plans to accelerate its online warfare in support of a controversial pipeline project.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Notley explained that this would drive home Alberta’s message in the “ongoing dispute that British Columbia has triggered with Alberta and with all Canadians.”

“Albertans (will) be able to engage with people in other parts of the country to help make our point around why this is so important for Canada, for the Canadian economy, for Canada’s environmental progress, for all these issues,” Notley told a press conference in Edmonton, Alta. …

10 February Christy Clark weighs in on B.C. and Alberta’s trade war

Christy Clark accused B.C. Premier John Horgan’s new government of “intentionally trying to frustrate” the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project on Saturday.

At the Manning Networking Conference in Ottawa, Clark delivered her first public speech since she resigned as premier of B.C. last year. Speaking to gathered conservatives, she emphasized the importance of oil pipelines and liquefied natural gas. …

 

 

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