Exclusive interview with an avid reader, Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney

Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney, pictured in front of his bookshelves. (source: Alberta Politics)

I have known the Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney, for almost 20 years and I’m proud to count him as a friend. As well as enjoying pancakes at the traditional breakfast he traditionally organized as federal Member of Parliament, I fondly remember eating poutine with him when my family and I participated in the Calgary Stampede in 2012. If there’s one thing we invariably always talk about (other than politics of course), it is books. He’s a consummate avid reader, a fellow bookworm.

Like every elected official, the Premier is fighting Covid-19 and its dire consequences in his home province of Alberta, making headlines. These are tough times. But I won’t get into that. Don’t expect anything controversial here. This is about books, which I found to be a source of solace in these difficult months. I was therefore extremely pleased when Mr. Kenney accepted to take a few moments within his brutal schedule to respond to a few questions for this blog.

I hope you enjoy this simple yet insightful exchange.

______________

Premier Kenney, I remember, when you were a federal cabinet Minister, those amazing pictures of boxes from a famous Canadian bookstore filled with books you received. Have your reading habits changed since you have become Premier of Alberta two years ago?

Continue reading “Exclusive interview with an avid reader, Premier of Alberta Jason Kenney”

Pragmatism will determine Naftali Bennett’s premiership

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (source: The New York Times)

Last year, I had the tremendous privilege of obtaining an exclusive interview with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Despite a busy schedule, he accepted in the last couple of days to answer a few questions about the designation of Naftali Bennett as 13th Prime Minister of the country. I always appreciate his straightforward style.

Here is therefore the content of our exchange.

Mr. Olmert, what are your personal impressions of Prime Minister Bennett? Do you know him personally and what are your first impressions upon his designation?

I am very happy that Naftali Bennett was sworn in as Prime Minister. I know him, of course, and I think that he is a worthy person. Obviously, he doesn’t have a longtime experience considering his short time in national politics. But how experienced was President Obama when he was elected President?

Continue reading “Pragmatism will determine Naftali Bennett’s premiership”

Putin was certainly quite pro-Netanyahu

Russian President Vladimir Putin and then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (source: The New York Times)

In his last speech as Prime Minister of Israel last Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu evoked his proximity with President Vladimir Putin the following way:

“We developed special relations with Russia, not just with Russia as a state, we also nurtured a direct close line with the president of Russia. And in so doing, we guaranteed the freedom of maneuver of the Israeli Air Force in the skies of Syria in order to prevent Iran entrenchment on our Northern border.”

A news outlet stressed the fact that the former Prime Minister of Israel “[…] boasted of his friendship with Putin and was a frequent guest in Russia.

I have always found the closeness between Putin and Netanyahu to be extremely interesting, not to say simply fascinating. Notably in the context of the increasing presence of Russia in the Middle East.

Continue reading “Putin was certainly quite pro-Netanyahu”