Alberta Politics: Portrait unveiling stands in for the fond official farewell former premier Dave Hancock never had from his PCs

PHOTOS: Former Alberta Premier Dave Hancock in a typical pose, as he addresses the crowd at the unveiling of his official portrait yesterday. Below: The portrait, by artist Tom Menczel, former Tory cabinet ministers Doug Horner and Richard Starke. The unveiling of Dave Hancock’s portrait in the Legislature yesterday may have been presided over by ...

Alberta Politics: For the sake of a healthy democracy, Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission needs to extend submissions deadline

PHOTOS: Dunvegan-Central Peace … where your vote counts for more than  double! (Town of Fairview photo.) Below: Progress Alberta’s Duncan Kinney, NDP House Leader Brian Mason, Justice Myra Bielby of the Alberta Court of Appeal and former Progressive Conservative Deputy Premier Doug Horner. By trying to ensure the boundaries of Alberta’s 87 electoral districts are ...

Alberta Politics: Bygone bleats: Ray Speaker speaks again, while your blogger still awaits his letter

PHOTOS: Past and present at the Alberta Legislature. Progressive Conservative campaign vehicles may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former MLAs Ray Speaker, a Social Crediter and Progressive Conservative, Tory Steve West, New Democrat Ed Ewasiuk, and Conservative Ted Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had. Below them, Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen and assassinated Labour ...

Alberta Politics: Smoke-Free Alberta asks: Why hasn’t all of the Smoking Reduction Act been enacted?

PHOTOS: Water pipes and flavoured tobacco … Why has Alberta legislation outlawing them not been enacted? There are no secret political messages in this picture, by the way. Below: Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, NDP MLA Sandra Jansen, and Edmonton Journal Editor Mark Iype. A letter Monday from the Campaign for a Smoke-Free Alberta to ...

Alberta Politics: Brian Jean’s Wildrose Party leadership is now unquestioned: the fall of Derek Fildebrandt explained

PHOTOS: Brian Jean will be in the background no more … Back in 2015, Derek Fildebrandt was dominating the conversation, refusing to answer questions from a CBC reporter who had annoyed him, as his former party leader looked on, apparently bemused (CBC photo). Below: Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, from her Twitter page, and a very ...

Alberta Politics: What makes sense for pill presses in Alberta doesn’t make sense for firearms: Discuss

PHOTOS: An illegal pill press, with illegal firearms (Australian Broadcasting Corporation photo). Below: Progressive Conservative MLA Mike Ellis and NDP MLA Deb Drever (Edmonton Journal photo). Hmmmm… Canada’s conservative parties – first among them Alberta’s Opposition Wildrose Party and its federal auxiliary, the Conservative Party of Canada – have long found a certain segment of ...

Alberta Politics: Ric McIver’s tantrum and return to the House explained: In Alberta, being a Tory means never having to say you’re sorry!

PHOTOS: Interim Tory Leader Ric McIver, mid tantrum, tells Alberta Speaker Bob Wanner he’s not sitting down until he gets his way! Below: Mr. Wanner, looking appropriately annoyed; the notorious Dr. Benjamin Spock; and an advertisement for Brylcreem, just one of the many terrible things North American liberals keep having to answer for. Bottom: My ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Worth Watching: Shannon Phillips’ maiden speech as MLA for Lethbridge-West

Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader advocates a return to deep cuts and deep freezes for public services and public employees

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean holds forth on public jobs and public services during his Oct. 30 interview with the CBC. (Screenshot.) Below: Is this Mr. Jean’s idea of the future of Alberta’s public services? Below that: NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci. Wildrose Leader Brian Jean is starting to sketch out his party’s policies in ...

Alberta Politics: Start work at 9 in the morning? Never! Alberta’s Wildrose picks another great hill to die on

PHOTOS: You want me to be at the Legislature when? A young Brian Jean contemplates the horrors of a future under an NDP government. Younger versions of Alberta political leaders may not have appeared exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Jean as he appears today; NDP Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Brian Mason; Wildrose House ...

Alberta Politics: Reaction to this afternoon’s Budget Speech is bound to be completely predictable

ILLUSTRATIONS: A mosaic planned for some future Legislature renovation showing the Opposition and Government positions on the budget. Below: A scene from the Kabuki theatre in which actors portraying Premier Rachel Notley and Finance Minister Joe Ceci contemplate the books left them by the PC government … or something. Below that: Finance Minister Joe Ceci ...

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 23: And you wonder why the PCs lost; The Donald enters the race; atrocity of the week

Aside from a few staffing hiccups, things continue to go reasonably well for the New Democratic government. The Speech from the Throne, although limited to just two real bills, was almost universally well received. And the ‘almost’ part of that came from the stunningly clueless Ric McIver, the interim leader of what’s left of the ...

Alberta Politics: Inside baseball: Legislature picks Speaker; Albertans to get first glimpse of NDP policy Monday

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean, at left, and Premier Rachel Notley, far right, drag the new Speaker, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner, to his chair, a tradition dating to the days when chairing the Legislature wasn’t as desirable a job as it is today. Below: Another shot of Mr. Wanner, like the one above provided ...

In This Corner: A few kinds words about a Progressive Conservative. Seriously.

This is one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to write. But I feel compelled to say a few kind words about — shudder — a member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Oh, this is gonna hurt. Dave Hancock has announced his retirement from politics. At 59, and after 17 years in ...

Alberta Diary: Miraculously, no one trampled as Tories race for Alberta Legislature’s exits

Alison Redford crashes through the Alberta Legislature. Below: Frightened and relieved, Alberta Progressive Conservative MLAs race from the vicinity of the Legislative Building in Edmonton yesterday; Nostradamus; Moses. Actual Alberta politicians and legislative architectural renderings may not appear exactly as illustrated. It must have seemed a little like the panic scene in post-war Japanese monster ...

Alberta Diary: PS, Tories love you! Is Alison Redford leading predators away from her party? Or what?

The now-famous cell-phone camera shot of Ms. Redford dining with her daughter at Lulu California Bistro in Palm Springs, grabbed from the Internet. VICTORIA, B.C. Truth be told, former premier Alison Redford is not the first Alberta cabinet member to just say to hell with it and take a few days off in a sunny ...

Alberta Diary: Electoral math is calculus, not arithmetic, so 15 more Tory defectors won’t necessarily bring down Alison Redford’s shaky government

Alberta Premier Alison Redford and her crack team of Tory political strategists consult the Billion Dollar Brainiac, the Alberta government’s carbon- and vote-capture supercomputer, to figure out how many members must remain in her shrinking caucus for the party to survive a non-confidence motion. Actual crack Alberta political strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. ...

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday. Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier ...

Alberta Diary: High-speed rail in Alberta: a terrible idea that just won’t go away

“Modern high-speed passenger trains are not pushed forward on billowing sails…” Although, when we’re done paying for a multi-billion-dollar high-speed rail link between Edmonton and Calgary, this may be how many of us have to get around if we fancy using public transit. Below: William Cornelius Van Horne and the typical high-speed rail advocate – ...

Alberta Diary: The little government that grew: Alison Redford shuffles deckchairs on her cabinet

After her change of heart, Alberta Premier Ebenezer Redford, top left, accompanied by Speaker Gene Zwozdesky in his ceremonial robes, watches as some of the members of her cabinet sit down for an unexpected dinner of Christmas turkey. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservative movers and shakers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: actual deck chairs ...

Alberta Diary: CBC journalist Charles Rusnell: slaying Alberta’s Tory dragon, one scandal at a time …

Your blogger with CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell. Below: Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu; Mr. Sandhu with Alison Redford in a Tory Party photo grabbed from the Daveberta.ca blog. The photo-bomber is Calgary-Fort MLA Wayne Cao. You’d think it would be easy to run a petroleum-soaked, cash-rich jurisdiction like Alberta, but a day seldom seems to ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Ms Soapbox’s Great Adventure—Off to the Leg (it rhymes with “edge”)

Last week Ms Soapbox was introduced to the Legislative Assembly by Liberal MLA, Laurie Blakeman, the oldest (as in longest-serving, not age!) opposition MLA.  Ms Blakeman noted that Ms Soapbox was a lawyer but said the House wouldn’t hold that against her.  Ms Soapbox stood to receive the “traditional warm welcome” of the Assembly.  The ...

Alberta Diary: Close enough for government work: Alberta Tories manage to hold their centre-right turf

Finance Minister Doug Horner preps Albertans for yesterday’s budget. Actual Alberta finance ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated – but that’s the trick, isn’t it? Below: The real Doug Horner. All in all, I guess, you could make a good case this was a pretty lousy budget. It’s deeply confusing, as without any doubt ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta budget primer: when they say ‘tough decisions,’ they really mean … ‘decisions that will be tough on you’

Typical Albertans await tomorrow’s budget aboard the Good Ship Richest Place on Earth. Alberta may not actually be as damp as illustrated. Below: Premier Alison Redford. Why is this woman smirking? Oh, we’ll squeeze you till the pips squeak, Premier Alison Redford seemed to be promising Albertans yesterday, as we nervously awaited the provincial budget ...

Alberta Diary: Taxpayers and students have a right to know what’s happening at Athabasca University

Athabasca University from the air, with the town of Athabasca in the background. Below: Former VP Academic Margaret Haughey, President Frits Pannekoek and former VP IT Brian Stewart. What the heck is going on at Athabasca University? It was revealed to the university’s faculty earlier this week that four senior administrators have left the on-line ...