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Navigator Sponsors 2019 Canada Winter Games

Navigator is proud to be a gold sponsor of the 2019 Canada Winter Games being held next year in Red Deer, Alberta. Up to 3,600 youth athletes from across Canada will gather in Red Deer to compete in the 27th edition of the Canada Winter Games in 19 different sporting events, providing a platform for Canada’s next generation of international athletes to cut their teeth on one of our country’s biggest sporting stages and experience the thrill of competing at the highest national level.  

Jaime Watt, Navigator’s Executive Chairman explains, that as a national firm, “Navigator understands the importance of sport to Canadians, as well as the benefits that youth sport brings to communities across the country. Navigator has a history of supporting large-scale sporting events such as the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto. At Navigator, we understand the important role events like the Canada Games play in building strong and healthy communities – and we are thrilled to support the hard working and talented athletes across the country. 

Lessons learned from participating in sport at a young age are applicable throughout life. Teamwork, discipline, and leadership are valuable traits which help shape today’s young athletes into the leaders of tomorrow.” 

Jason Hatcher, Managing Principal of Navigator’s western Canada operations, is a former Canada Games athlete. Jason competed in the 1989 Saskatoon games as a swimmer and has taken lessons learned in the pool as a teenager and young adult and used them throughout his career. “Sport teaches life lessons like almost nothing else can. Those hours training develop qualities such as hard work, commitment and leadership which I still use today. These kids competing at the games are not just Canada’s next generation of athletes, but also Canada’s next generation of leaders and business people.” 

Navigator also understands the importance of corporate sponsorship in keeping grassroots events like the Canada Games alive. The benefits of these events stretch far beyond the personal stories of former athletes. The economic and cultural benefit that these events create is equally important. The 2019 Canada Games has given Red Deer the opportunity to new community infrastructure such as the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre which will be used by members of the Red Deer community and athletes from across the province for generations to come.   

For the first time ever, the 2019 Canada Winter Games will feature a major cultural festival including concerts by local and national Canadian musicians, indigenous artists, and local groups. Another new addition to the Games is the MNP torch relay in which the torch will travel from coast to coast stopping in 48 communities across Canada before finishing in Red Deer for the opening of the Games. 

Navigator is proud to partner with the Canada Winter Games and is looking forward to watching the success of athletes from all across the country in Red Deer.  

Tory divide a painful lesson not learned by all

Ask any Canadian conservative about federal politics during the mid-’90s, and you will be met with a grimace. Just when right-of-centre provincial parties were making substantial headway across the country, the Reform, Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties were insisting on a futile battle for voter support that saw them languish in second, third or even fourth place.

Forming government became a distant dream as Jean Chrétien’s Liberals piled up victory after victory. The Liberals, powered by a divided conservative vote, won dozens of seats. They were able to dominate the federal landscape with the slimmest of pluralities.

The frustration of the divide eventually convinced partisans of its futility and intra-family reconciliation became sensible. Stephen Harper and Peter Mackay led a coalition of the willing into a united party that has proven successful: since the re-unification of the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance, the Liberals have won only one majority government in five elections, and one slim minority.

It was a difficult and sometimes painful lesson. But now it seems it wasn’t a lesson learned by all.

Maxime Bernier has long been a unique character in the Conservative Party of Canada.

One of the Conservative party’s first Quebec members of Parliament, Bernier is a dedicated libertarian who has not always followed party orthodoxy and who ran afoul of Prime Minister Harper more than once.

Bernier, who lost the leadership of the federal Conservative party to Scheer by the slimmest of margins, has spent the last year chafing at the constraints of party discipline. As the year has dragged on, he has grown bolder and bolder with his comments, criticizing the direction of the party more loudly and publicly with each passing week.

Finally, the inevitable happened: Bernier announced that he could no longer sit as a member of the caucus, and that he would be forming his own party, the People’s Party.

Although Bernier’s party reflects his ideological leanings, his intention was clearly to poach from the Conservative base. Out of the gate, Bernier has criticized Andrew Scheer directly on a range of issues.

From Scheer’s commitment to maintaining the unfair dairy supply management system to his comparatively light-handed criticism of Canada’s refugee crisis, Bernier tacked right and did everything he could to position Scheer as a mushy moderate.

Such positioning may have worked in the 1990s with partisans, but the reaction to Bernier’s split among Conservatives was anything but warm. Joined by not a single member of caucus or high-profile Conservative party member, Bernier was left trumpeting that he was the voice for “the people.”

Let me not discount Mr. Bernier here: he is not wrong that there is a significant chunk of Canadian citizens who are frustrated with many of the issues he is championing. There remains a deep well of frustration on the same hot-button issues that got Mr. Trump elected.

What I would caution is that conservatives, both partisans and every-day voters with right-wing values, remember with great frustration the decade spent in the wilderness under a split conservative vote.

When the Reform party undercut the incumbent Progressive Conservative Party so effectively, it was because to a large extent it was able to exploit a significant feeling of alienation among western Canadians with the clarion call “the West wants in.”

The same mood does not exist today. What’s more, the Conservative Party’s most recent decade in power left many partisans satisfied with its advances. And its new leader is a conservative that is deeply familiar with the party membership’s values.

It’s not 1993. Mr. Bernier’s party is not going to take off merely by undercutting the Conservatives. Indeed, if his party is to find any success, it will rely upon scooping up votes of dissatisfied Liberals and Bloquistes in addition to disaffected Conservatives.

More likely than anything? Mr. Bernier’s party will fizzle, much as his parliamentary career did.

He has taken the first step, but that may well have been the easiest one.

Jaime Watt is the executive chairman of Navigator Ltd. and a Conservative strategist.

Welcome to Season 4 of Political Traction

Welcome to Political Traction, the podcast that takes a closer look at the political issues of the week to see how well they are resonating with the public. In this season’s brand new segment, we will be sitting down with political figures, industry professionals and strategists to find out more about who they are, but more importantly, why you should care. Join us every Thursday, beginning September 27, with our host Amanda Galbraith to unpack what’s making headlines.