POLITICS
12/02/2019 18:31 EST | Updated 12/04/2019 15:48 EST

Conservative Premiers Walk Back 2018 Maclean’s ‘Resistance’ Cover

The resistance is, supposedly, giving way to consensus.

The resistance is no more — or so say the Tory premiers who graced the December 2018 cover of Maclean’s magazine.

At this week’s annual gathering of the Council of the Federation in Mississauga, Ont., Conservative premiers walked back the magazine cover that depicted them as “the resistance,” saying instead that they were working towards consensus. 

“None of us knew that was going to be on the front page or none of us would’ve even taken the picture,” Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters Monday. 

The controversial cover featured Ford, federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and soon-to-be Alberta premier Jason Kenney.

The five were shown in a defiant pose with the headline “The resistance” and an accompanying story on how the leaders were positioning themselves as resisting the federal carbon tax. 

However, the cover was widely mocked online. That’s what happens when you put a bunch of older white guys together in blue suits and call them underdogs. 

The cover was compared to everything from mayonnaise to the world’s worst boy band.

‘Wasn’t my word’

At Monday’s press conference, Moe gave a window into a little magazine magic, noting that the group wasn’t even in the same room for the cover-shoot.

“That cover speaks to the power of Photoshop,” Pallister added.

While it’s disappointing to know all five of them didn’t meet up to co-ordinate their suits, laugh over ice-cold glasses of milk and trash-talk the carbon tax, it makes sense it would be hard to co-ordinate a photo shoot with all five. B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan joked he was trying to get in with his more right-wing colleagues.

“I wore a blue suit today, so I was hoping Maclean’s would Photoshop me in,” Horgan said.

Kenney, whose United Conservative Party overwhelmingly won the Alberta provincial election in April, said the group wasn’t consulted about the word “resistance.”

“That wasn’t my word, I don’t think it was the word of any of my colleagues,” Kenney said.

Consensus

At this week’s council meeting, the premiers preached “consensus” rather than resistance as the guiding principle for their relations with Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government.

“What you’re seeing today, as opposed to any kind of resistance, is a consensus of leaders from coast to coast to coast of this nation,” Moe said. “A consensus when it comes to the fact that they want to be involved and consulted with and work closely with the federal government.”

Ford said all of the premiers were ultimately united.

“We may have our differences, but Canada is united, we’re a united nation,” Ford said.

Whether or not this new “consensus” approach will lead to a magazine cover with all 13 premiers holding hands in a meadow and singing a song of solidarity remains to be seen.

If they do, let’s move on from the all-blue-suit look next time — it’s so 2018.