Tim Hoven, who is challenging the UCP’s Jason Nixon for the party’s nomination in their Central Alberta riding, kicks off his campaign last night at the James River Hall north of Sundre (Photo: Supplied).

It looks like Tim Hoven’s campaign to challenge Jason Nixon for the United Conservative Party nomination in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre got off to a pretty good start last night at a rural community hall in the Central Alberta riding. 

Leastways, a photo that turned up in my inbox shows the former Clearwater County municipal councillor addressing at least 80 people in the James River Community Hall, located about 14 kilometres straight north of Sundre.

Mr. Hoven as he appears on social media (Photo: Tim Hoven/Twitter).

We’re not talking about a densely populated region, so it’s probably fair to say that’s a pretty significant turnout – especially if you consider that just about everyone in the room likely voted for Mr. Nixon in in the 2019 general election. 

Since Mr. Nixon is one of the most powerful ministers in Premier Jason Kenney’s cabinet, the UCP House Leader, and Mr. Kenney’s de facto campaign manager for his effort to hang onto his job at his upcoming leadership review on April 9, this could turn into a major distraction not just for the honourable member for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre but for the whole party.

To add to the potential troubles faced by Mr. Nixon, who is environment minister, the Kenney Government has two reports on the future of coal development in Alberta awaiting release that are unlikely to please anyone but Australian coal magnates.

Mr. Hoven, who raises beef near Eckville, seems to have cleaned up his Facebook pages recently, but his Twitter account suggests he runs somewhere to the right – possibly quite a bit to the right – of Mr. Nixon, who’s not exactly flirting with the NDP himself. 

As one of Mr. Hoven’s supporters wrote in the private Holding MLAs Accountable Facebook group that is the online home to the UCP’s rural rebels, “Jason Nixon is likely to replace Jason Kenney in any upcoming UCP leadership race. After the past two years we know this will not bring the change we need in Alberta. Jason Nixon simply equals Jason Kenney.”

So if Mr. Hoven’s insurgency is part of something bigger that appears to be afoot throughout rural Alberta, it could spell big problems for the UCP in the next general election if present trends continue and voters in Calgary start to turn to the NDP. 

It almost certainly means this will be a bad spring for Mr. Nixon, who if he can’t find a way to beat Mr. Hoven, will probably try to find another way to ensure his challenger doesn’t have the opportunity to beat him.

As blogger Dave Cournoyer pointed out on Wednesday, the UCP has opened candidate nominations in four ridings with sitting members loyal to Mr. Kenney, and they’ve done it on a very tight time schedule with a Feb. 28 deadline for candidates to put their names forward. 

Jason Nixon is one of the most powerful figures in Premier Jason Kenney’s inner circle (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

This will make it difficult for candidates like Mr. Hoven to sign up new members in time for them to be eligible to vote in the nomination election. 

If that doesn’t work, Mr. Nixon might try to find another way to get his challenger disqualified – say, by accusing him of campaigning with Central Peace MLA Todd Loewen, the first UCP MLA to call for Mr. Kenney’s resignation, who was banished to the Independent benches for his disloyalty to the leader in May last year.

If Mr. Nixon tries that, though, it’s bound to cause an uproar at Mr. Kenney’s leadership review in Red Deer, perhaps even casting shade on the vote. 

Lawyer Paul Champ warns truckers to expect extended, expensive litigation

Meanwhile, Ottawa lawyer Paul Champ has warned truck owners still blocking streets in the national capital to brace themselves for extended and expensive litigation in his class action lawsuit seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages for the economic impact of their occupation of the city. 

Mr. Champ launched the lawsuit on Feb. 4 – before a national emergency had been declared and the truckers appeared to be firmly in the driver’s seat, being served coffee and doughnuts in their rigs by obsequious Conservative MPs.

Ottawa Lawyer Paul Champ in his video yesterday (Photo: Screenshot/Twitter).

That was then. This is now. 

“It’s time to go home,” Mr. Champ said yesterday in a video aimed at truck owners as police started arresting protest leaders. “When you get home, I strongly suggest you hire your own lawyer. You get some independent legal advice. 

“Don’t listen any more to the organizers,” he went on. “You’ve been led down a path that, unfortunately, is going to cause you some serious financial consequences. 

“If you do get a lawyer, I recommend that you advise that lawyer to reach out to me. We’re prepared for those who contact us early to discuss early settlement. But if you don’t, make no mistake, this is not going to be over when the trucks finally leave, when the last car horn blares.”

Patrick Brazeau, loser in famous boxing match with PM, tweets his respect

Several times during the disturbing recent events in Ottawa, while far right opponents of Justin Trudeau indulged their obsessions with the prime minister’s appearance, former profession and fashion sense, I’ve cast my mind back to his famous 2012 charity boxing match with Senator Patrick Brazeau. 

Patrick Brazeau and Justin Trudeau after their 2012 charity boxing match, which Mr. Trudeau won (Photo: Twitter/Patrick Brazeau).

Never mind watching the fight if you don’t like that kind of thing, just listen to the soundtrack on the Youtube video. It could very well be a prequel to the way Mr. Trudeau will be seen as the dust from the “Freedom Convoy” crisis settles. 

Yesterday afternoon, Senator Brazeau tweeted his respect for the PM. “I lost to this man 10 yrs ago. It stung, it hurt but in life, we have to respect our opponents. Don’t always agree with him but I respect him. … He’s our Prime Minister. Let’s support Canada!”

As an aside, here’s some advice from a fifth-degree black belt in karate: In a match between a karate black belt and a boxer, especially if the karate practitioner isn’t allowed to kick, you should bet on the boxer. You won’t win very time, but over the long run, you’ll make money.

Join the Conversation


  1. Judging by the state of the UCP, it appears that there may be a palace coup before Kenney’s scheduled leadership review. The consensus is that Kenney and the (his) UCP executive have pulled all the strings to assure that Kenney cannot (must not) lose. Now that it appears that Jason Nixon, and likely others who are loyal to Kenney, are under threat of being ousted by their respective constituency associations. It appears that, now with Brian Jean now permitted to stand for election in his riding, it seems that Kenney’s options are fast running out.

    As for the situation in Ottawa, Kenney is playing one up on PMJT by declaring that the Emergencies Powers Act will never apply to Alberta. How? Special legislation will prevent it, the same way that the Canadian Constitution was instantly amended with that referendum. Kenney’s alternate reality is impressive — I bet he’s also 6′ 2″ while in it.

    Ottawa’s police department has decided to take matters seriously and corralled the Convoy protesters as their leadership is rounded up. With the weather turning stormy and freezing, and supplies effectively denied, the breaking point is coming. It would be ideal if the Convoy was dispersed before Parliament’s vote on the Emergencies Act. It will be a sound victory for Trudeau and another bruising for the CONs.

    In the end, timing is everything. The complaint from the CONs was why didn’t Trudeau act sooner? Then, their angle changed to why use such extreme powers? And then, the CONs’ messaging changed back to why didn’t Trudeau act sooner? Seriously? Why the CONs were trapped in their pretzel logic, Trudeau was watching events unfold, waiting for everything to be overwhelmed. Doug Ford panicked and consented and welcomed Trudeau’s action . Who cares what Jason Kenney thinks? Ford never thought the Resistance was worth it.

    Of course, Kenney will prevent any federal action in Alberta. But he should also remember that it’s his own hide that is the Convoy’s target. That impressive cache of firearms and ammunition that the RCMP seized in Coutts maybe just an indication of how dangerous Alberta has become for Kenney.

      1. I has been said that coups can move in slow motion. In the case of this coup, it’s moving at a snail’s pace.

        I think of this palace coup as a phased operation. Kenney has responded to each phase in some manner and with some effect. He could be in the middle of “Phase 9” but who’s counting at this point?

  2. Isn’t that a standard joke?
    I’m not saying every conservative is anti science ,evangelical ,racist,
    misogynistic, homophobic , anti abortion, anti education , socially backward and politically primitive.
    But if you find anyone with any of these qualities
    If you bet they vote conservative you will make money all day.

  3. A bit of turbulence for a friend, or at least a close associate, of Kenney. I suppose this shouldn’t be a surprise and it may not be a good sign for his upcoming leadership review.

    The divides between rural and urban are becoming wider. I guess that can happen when there is polarizing leadership that recklessly plays to them to start with. Those in the UCP that try to straddle the divides may eventually fall into the chasm as the gap widens.

    If Kenney thinks he can ease COVID restrictions now and all will be quickly forgotten or forgiven, he may be surprised. It seems his lieutenants are already unexpectedly feeling the heat too.

  4. Not a good time to be an elected official or a public servant in the age of social media. If they look cross eyed at a right wing malcontent it’s instantly recorded and posted. Let’s face reality, it’s a powerful tool with amazing reach. I watched a clip on TikTok of PMJT our duly elected Prime Minister being subjected to the most vile,hate filled vitriol as he walked down the street.No citizen of Canada let alone an elected official should be subjected to that.

    I really didn’t understand why he would invoke the emergency act or what it even means until I saw the arrests happening and I realized what a precarious situation are country is in. For all those that are lambasting the PM for this measure, realize the fault lies with the seditionists not him. When I heard that rabble rousing street preacher was denied bail and saw Tamara getting the cuffs slapped on the true power of the act started to sink in. I think they can arrest and hold anyone they want. It’s a sad day for our democracy but when the seditionists are using the power of social media and openly defying the rule of law…what are the choices, do nothing and roll over or start making arrests.
    My advice: Start the arrests at the very top and work your way down.

    The last few weeks there have been many comparisons between these anti mandate protests and the native protests and the difference in the way they were policed. The take away is the right wing groups were being coddled compared to the harsh treatment of the natives. People were watching. Now the coastal gas link project was attacked, workers were threatened, property destroyed, weapons used and the police response was impeded in a planned, co- ordinated assault. This can also be laid at Tamara Lich’s feet for she opened the door to this lawlessness but she too is probably just a pawn in the game. The name of the game is nationalist based fascism. This game is rooted in hate. The players are the easily manipulated discontented masses,misinformation,social media,unscrupulous right wing politicians and a lust for power and control. Personally I point the finger at Trump and his Maga movement.

  5. With two ringleaders arrested in Ottawa yesterday and a third on the run, parliament is not in session today. It’s storming in Ottawa in more ways than one.

    Why is it that people think the cure for right-wing governments in Alberta is to move even further right?

  6. I zoomed into the picture of Mr. Hoven’s meeting until the images started to blur, but I could only find one attendee wearing a mask – and it was what appears to be a child. On the provincial government website this morning I found this:

    “To help protect health, masking and physical distancing requirements are in place.”

    Thus it appears that Mr. Hoven’s meeting was illegal.

    I have felt for some time that our conservative ‘law and order’ parties really think it is important that other people obey laws.


    Considering some of the things Mr. Hoven deemed worthy of retweeting, I would say he leans very far to the right.

    1. I have felt for many years that “law and order” is a dog-whistle that translates into “we’re going to make sure lots of non-white people go to jail.”

  7. So at what point do those wanting an NDP government in Alberta buy a UCP membership to ensure Kenney and those loyal to him stick around? I doubt there are enough in Nixon’s riding but there could be in some Calgary and Edmonton ridings.

    Never have been a big fan of lawfare tactics attempting to tie up political opponents in this manner weakens your argument. It isn’t hard to see where this goes if successful, there is an even bigger pot of money available from fundraising activities for last summers protests. There are also several unions who would become targets during any strike action.

    1. JIM: Is this like what happened when Ted Morton wanted to be Alberta’s premier, and Albertans bought Alberta PC membership cards to stop it? Things are different now. There are many indicators the UCP are finished, so unless the UCP uses underhanded tactics to win; basically by cheating, they won’t be in power for much longer.

    1. Phlogiston: A time warp? Doesn’t that assume progress? I would think it is more a reversion to the mean. Since 1935, and certainly after 1947, Alberta has always been an authoritarian single party state. The real elections take place within the nomination processes of “The Party.” The results of those private elections are later ratified with a heavily gerrymandered general election.

      Mr. Hoven is one of a long line of rural people who have tried to make Alberta democracy (forgive the oxymoron) work for their communities within that authoritarian framework. Soon enough he will find the impunity of big business will stay running the show, continuing the Alberta tradition of taking private land away from its owners in the interests of big business and then claiming it is in the public interest.

      Jason Nixon, in that very hall just before the NDP lost the last election, left people with the impression their property rights and water supplies would be protected against fracking. Instead, we got mountain top removal coal mining and more fracking, all continuing to strip mine communities and the public trust.

      1. @Kang, yes, I meant that there has been no progress at all since the days of James Keegstra, who taught hateful antisemitic holocaust denial to his impressionable social studies students for many years. I am sure that there were a few of his former students in that hall. He left a stain on that region of the province and did incalculable damage to its residents through his poisonous ideology.

        That region of the province seems to be a breeding ground for wacky right-wing delusions. Let’s not forget that the leader of the notorious Aryan Nations, Terry Long, attempted to set up a training camp in the neighboring community of the Caroline around the same time as the Keegstra trial. Just saying. Is it surprising that a more right-wing candidate than Nixon might find some fertile ground here for his right-wing ideologies to find purchase?

        I couldn’t agree more that a lot of these rural UCP voters are rubes who vote against their best interests for politicians who will sell them out in favor of their corporate masters – big agriculture and big oil, primarily.

  8. “…you should bet on the boxer…”
    Likely good advice, Mr. Blogger. However in this one off match the media reported that Trudeau took things more seriously by hiring a professional trainer and working himself into fighting shape. It seemed that Brazeau trained not nearly as hard and probably took his opponent too lightly. Had he prepared as well as Trudeau, the outcome might have been different. Regardless, the Senator took his loss with dignity both then and now.

  9. Kudos and respect to Patrick Brazeau. Several years ago he seemed to be spiraling out of control. Now he seems to have got his life together to the point that he is two years sober, shows deep and honest respect, and articulates a powerful message for Indigenous people and against the convoy.

    Good for you sir!

  10. Agree 100% with your ‘boxer vs black belt’ take. I would not willingly box against a boxer unless it was very friendly, or very, very important, cause I’d get my arse handed to me. If I can’t kick, and can’t use wrist-locks, throw or grapple, and can’t use my environment, and am stuck in a ring, most of my techniques are useless except for punching, and boxers are the best pure punchers I’m aware of. I have heard that boxers who fight in real life often break their fists punching their opponent because apparently when you use a boxing glove you don’t need to learn to form a fist properly? Not sure if it’s true, am sure I don’t intend to find out for myself.

    Reminds me of Karate tourneys in the NWT where a Tai Kwon Do dojo would spar vs us Karatekas (I never got anywhere close to black belt :P). Apparently in TKD you are not allowed to strike your opponent in the back (hopefully this is different now, this was the early 00s), so they kept using this goofy kick where they turned their back to you then turned it into a spinning roundhouse. Dumbest thing ever, we used to joke about ‘hopefully if we ever get into a fight it will be with a TKDer, they’ll be trying to look cool and we’ll be trying to fight’. Might win you points in a tourney, but that nonsense will get you hurt real bad if you ever try it for reals. There’s a lot of mystique built up around the idea of the ‘black belt’ but depending on the dojo and tradition there can be some real nonsensical ideas.

    1. Neil: As you know if you have pursued Japanese karate for a while, all black belts are not created equal. Likewise, all high-school graduates are not of the same calibre, even though they all completed the same curriculum. After trying karate out and quitting in my 20s, I took it up seriously in my late forties when I went along to the dojo with my pre-teen daughters, whom I wanted to learn some self defence. I qualified for my godan rank two months before my 70th birthday, so when I do sparring drills with 20 year olds, I’m lucky if my hand’s halfway to my head by the time their foot gets there. Still, I’m faster than most people my age, and (as a friend of mine, a boxer, puts it) I can take a hard punch without peeing my pants. Your observation about wrists matches my experience – especially when you have thin wrists, you must learn how to make a proper fist and keep your wrist straight. Practice on a heavy bag before hitting a stranger. You really don’t want to discover you’ve really pissed someone off right after spraining your wrist trying to smack them! Actually, if you’re smart, you’ll never get in a fight with a stranger if you can avoid it, for all the obvious reasons. That said, if you must … one of the blessings of the martial arts, in my opinion, is that they teach you how to act. I’m sure you’re familiar with the karate stare. I once had a thirty-something road-rage sufferer follow me into a parking lot and threaten to beat me up. I didn’t say a word. I made him run away just by looking at him. The last thing he said as he ran away was, “I’m calling the cops.” I didn’t make that up. DJC

      1. Very good points and entertaining read! It has been a long time since I trained, my training has been about half Karate and half Aikido, I think the two synergize really nicely. Biggest weakness I saw to Aikido is that sometimes you have to attack, and Aikido is not great in that area. Biggest weakness I saw to Karate (possibly coloured by the individuals I met) was that it lacked ways to subdue people without harming them.

        Haha I had forgotten all about the Karate stare! I used it once too, without even realizing, a few years back while walking somewhere in Edmonton. Was suddenly confronted in the street after dark, felt threatened, as though things might escalate, and instead of feeling fear, felt anger and preparation, and something in my body language and eye contact made buddy decide he didn’t want to fight anymore. I am not physically imposing, I never realized why buddy wilted like a thirsty plant until just now!

  11. The UCP are the worst provincial government Alberta has ever had. They make Ralph Klein look spotless, by comparison, and Ralph Klein was terrible. The UCP are going to have to get the old heave ho.

  12. Even though the conservatives in my world aren’t fans of Trudeau we are glad he is on our side at this time. You know these reformers aren’t smart enough to figure it out. While they wet their pants over the truckers and their leaders being jailed, and their money being confiscated we wonder how much of it could have been used to buy more guns. You can bet they weren’t smart enough to consider that.

  13. Nice, punchy, pugilistic reporting: “The Champ” promising no corner until the last horn rings—unless of course the challengers concede first—which has left ringside lightweights itching for scratch protection before getting the jab: it’s all about “Rocky” nixing the UCP titleholder by popping him right in a high oven. The heat is on and it’s getting to be quite the card.

    Looks like the fix is in for the K-Boy: he’s looking more like Don King every day.

  14. Well, they finally put the twist ties on Pat King! He’s part of the brain trust who organized this mess that conservatives ran to serve coffee and donuts to. Whoa! Good people on both sides you say? I’d like to play this video in the next sitting of the house of commons! https://youtu.be/la4UjBno-Tc

    1. Anonymous and pogo while Jason Kenney hurled sarcastic comments at David Suzuki for daring to warn him about getting serious about global warming, he ignored the fact that there could be another Weibo Ludwig out there and there is.

      When you have nut cases like Pat King out there promising gun violence these stupid people bring their children, or grandchildren like this fool Grant Hunter did to put their lives in danger. You never know what could happen.

  15. Regarding Paul Champ — if ever I was in need of a lawyer ,he’d be at the top of the list. I especially liked his ” compounding” interest.. how much the citizens of Ottawa will actually see from the ” unemloyed” truckers , is another story, but that’s for another day.
    Listening to the 2 criminal defence lawyers on CBC, as far as the arrests and subsequent charges , i realized the irony of the situation..
    The “supposed” convoy was truckers fighting covid mandates that were stopping them from being able to cross the border … now with criminal records added to their names , they won’t be able to cross the border …..

    Chris Barber being released on bail is just beyond comprehension ,unless?? But from all the other “missed” signals, which was obvious to alot of people, but seemingly not to the ones whom one would have thought it was their job to know, seems like another case of closing the barn door….Jan 6th 2.0 Canadian version , especially after reading the Canadian Anti-hate information ….blinders ?? More questions than answers, none of which make me feel any better. Education is a powerful tool ,but if you keep distracting and deflecting the masses ,they end up following the black tarred road off to get their ” Freedumb”.

    And as for leaders, awh, sorry, got to go minions, you’re on your own, I have an appointment with Tucker, …later, have fun. …. and turned himself in with a rather cryptic message, but hey, what do I know,

  16. I’m sure that will be that, and Li’l Magus can go on implementing the neoliberal 3P program with which he and his fellow WEF members are inculcated and for which Candians definitely voted.
    Despite the best efforts of the people who saved us all from Drumpf, it seems that Pooty-poot just cannot be moved to undertake his conquest of the ravaged Donbas. Despite the murder of most of the effective military and political leadership in the People’s Republics (likely at Pooty-poot’s own hand, if the British press is to be believed, which they are!), he just won’t send that tank armada on it’s speed-run to Paris, so Li’l Magus and Freeland can get back to business giving us the thing we all want:
    “Stakeholder capitalism,” a model I first proposed a half-century ago, positions private corporations as trustees of society, and is clearly the best response to today’s social and environmental challenges.”

    Man, I know Ineed private corporations acting as trustees of my society, and I thank God that Freeland is on the Board of WEF, helping to make that happen, just like we asked her to when we voted.

    No doubt everyone posting on this site has watched this CBC documentary about how the police deal with terrorists like Trucker Qaeda, but if you haven’t, it’s a good one. Fortunately, Li’l Magus saw fit to put the brilliant and decisive Bill Blair in charge of the Privy Council and made him Minister of Emergency Preparedness (formerly
    Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness). I know I’m feeling safer just writing this.
    There’s just so much awesomeness about Li’l Magus and Co, and he has saved the country from the fascists and Covid, which was literally going to suck the life from my child like a scheming Tomcat, and by golly, I’m glad a man like Bill Blair is there to help steady the hand of the First Among Equals.

    Now the actions in 2010, in Toronto, of Blair and friends, among them not a few Calgary Police Service “members” with whom I have had the distinct pleasure of interaction, were highly professional and justified, which, I am sure, is why Li’l Magus gave Blair the position he so undoubtedly deserves, and, to be sure, the position in which we deserve to have him.
    Here’s another bit of video from 2010 that only serves to bolster my faith in the police and Blair, and Li’l Magus.

    I’m going to go put a cold compress on my forehead. What with all the karate talk and such, I worked myself into quite a lather.

    If you like Jason Kenney, you folks are going to love the Nixon era. Kenney, the embodiment of the original Nixonian duality of ambition and self-loathing, remains an outsider and more of a failed project from your rulers. Jason Nixon is going to give you people a taste of the real power of the people who dine in the Petrolum and Ranchmen’s Clubs in Calgary, the likes of which has never been seen in this province. Think of Steve West’s evil twin, tortured by School of the Americas graduates in Guatemala, then turned loose with the reins of government in a late-stage capitalist petro-state.

    The back-lash from second-tier, traditional industrial capitalists and their bourgeois, reactionary supporters, against the globalist first-tier is coming. Will we get to enjoy the exciting times enjoyed by our latin American cousins during Operation Condor? Only time will tell!

  17. Follow-up on Paul Champ……”darn” I am impressed…..just found a ” feel good ” moment of the day ( okay, so the look on the passenger’s face in the yellow, I’m saying maybe a baby hummer )…
    .Anyway..Article in the Globe and Mail Ontario court freezes millions…a
    Mareva Injuction…..Well!!
    Maybe the people in Ottawa might get some compensation ….here’s hoping.

  18. No question, we are living in the most hilarious of times.
    CBC, ever vigilant, quickly helps us understand that, yet again, the conspiracy theorists are out to trick us:

    “Poilievre linked Trudeau’s comments to a call for a “great reset” made in June by Klaus Schwab, the executive director of the World Economic Forum, an independent organization best known for hosting a high-minded gabfest in Davos, Switzerland each year. (Trudeau has been to that summit twice — the same number of times Stephen Harper attended when he was prime minister.)

    Scary stories

    In doing so, the prominent Conservative MP brushed up against conspiracy theorists who imagine that powerful, shadowy figures are plotting world domination and tyranny.”

    This is what the Council for Canadian thought of Harpo’s interactions with the WEF:

    Maude Barlow and those kooky, racist misogynists! When will they give it up?

    But what does this benign group advocate at their “high-minded gabfest”, in particular with regard to healthcare?

    “Navigating joint governance – determining
    the exact manner in which governments and
    the private sector will share decision-making authority can be a significant challenge.”d

    Lil’ Magus’ relationship to the WEF is a little more hot-n-heavy than a couple of visits, but CBC can’t always get it right. Regardless, I love the idea that the legislative and executive bodies of so many countries have embraced the spirit of co-operation and recognized the need for our democratically-elected governments to share decision-making authority with privately owned corporations.
    Hopefully we can get a new flat with Blackrock’s logo interwined with the Maple Leaf.


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