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Jason Kenney's Guardian Role

A number of years ago, I wrote a book about how to become a premier of Alberta.  In it, I suggested one of the keys was to cast oneself as the Guardian of the province's interests.  The findings were based on a study of over 70 years worth of premier speeches and campaign materials.  I found that the most successful premiers (from Bible Bill Aberhart to Ralph Klein) had spoken in a distinct "code" of Alberta politics that defended the freedom of the province - freedom for individuals to pursue happiness and businesses to pursue profits, but also freedom from foes outside Alberta's borders.  Most frequently, this meant casting prime ministers and other premiers as antagonists. Peter Lougheed chose Pierre Trudeau, just as Ralph Klein villified Jean Chretien. (The plot seems most convincing when Liberals are in power in Ottawa. Less successful PC premiers Don Getty, Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford, and Jim Prentice lacked a suitable foils in Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harp…
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No More Seats at the Table: Canada's Premiers and National Aboriginal Organizations

This post has been revised and published by the Institute of Public Policy Research: http://policyoptions.irpp.org/magazines/august-2017/national-indigenous-groups-and-the-premiers


Three of Canada's five major National Aboriginal Organizations (NAOs) opted to skip this month's annual meeting with the premiers in Edmonton.  The move prompted several media outlets to run lead stories featuring leaders of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Metis National Council (MNC) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) condemning the premiers for failing to invite them to the "main table" of the Council of the Federation (CoF) -- a body exclusively reserved for the thirteen provincial and territorial premiers.  They accused premiers of "segregating" Indigenous leaders from high-level discussions, relegating them to a pre-event conversation.

For their part, premiers were reserved in their response, extending an open invitation to all NAO leaders to meet with them again next su…