TweetEdmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel‘s announcement yesterday that he will not seek re-election in the October 21, 2013 election has made way for our city’s first real open mayoral contest in 45 years. Over those 45 years, Mandel is only the second Edmonton Mayor to leave on his own terms. In 1988, Mayor Laurence Decore stepped down [...]
TweetThe Government of Alberta re-announced plans last week to open new trade offices in Chicago and Singapore, and yet to be announced locations in India, Brazil, and California. The Alberta Government is currently operating trade offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei, Tokyo, Seoul, London, Munich, Mexico City, and Washington D.C. The re-announcement opening the [...]
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 pass out here on the western edge of the Great Plains without our governing Progressive Conservative Party suffering another pratfall or embarrassment.
But how many Albertans know that so many of these scandals bedevilling our permanent governing party have been uncovered by the same (Read more…)
TweetEdmonton City Council’s resident contrarian Kerry Diotte is holding a press conference this afternoon to announce his political future. In the wake of yesterday’s “final” vote on the proposed downtown arena project, it is expected that the former Edmonton Sun columnist could launch his campaign for Mayor today. Photos leaked to this blog last month suggest [...]
Just to set the mood, it’s Left-Leaning B.C. Premiers Day on Alberta Diary. Here’s your blogger with some former NDP premiers from that province – Dave Barrett above, Mike Harcourt and Ujjal Dosanjh below.
No one can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory quite like the New Democrats in my native British Columbia.
Still, while Tuesday’s upset B.C. election victory by Premier Christy Clark and her un-liberal Liberals is inevitably going to be, well, upsetting to a lot of New Democrats, it is not really bad news for Thomas Mulcair and the federal NDP.
This, we (Read more…)
TweetEdmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu has resigned from the Progressive Conservative Caucus after a CBC investigation revealed that a company owned by the politician had accumulated a trail of unpaid debt. The report, by investigative reporter Charles Rusnell, also found that Mr. Sandhu made a false statement in a sworn affidavit. It is not uncommon for [...]
AUPE President Guy Smith in a characteristic pose.
Who leaked the Alberta government’s response to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ unfair labour practices complaint to an Edmonton Journal political reporter, and why?
This is an important question because at the time the leak took place, the government document questioning AUPE President Guy Smith’s personal honesty in harsh and colourful terms was being kept confidential by the Alberta Labour Relations Board.
This was done as a fairly routine part of the board’s effort to effect a settlement of AUPE’s complaint that the Alberta government had broken an agreement it made (Read more…)
The Alberta government bargaining team on their way to talks with the Alberta Teachers Association in their Model-T, coloured black. Actual Alberta labour relations specialists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson and industrialist Henry Ford.
In Alberta, it appears you now have more power as the president of a neighbourhood community league than as a duly elected member of a school board!
With province-wide municipal elections scheduled to take place in October, that’s something would-be candidates for school trustee might want to think about.
Albertans had a small but significant demonstration of this axiom yesterday, (Read more…)
TweetProvincial politicians like school boards. When popular decisions are made, like opening new schools or announcing new funding, the provincial government takes the credit. When unpopular decisions need to be made, like closing schools or cancelling programs, then the provincial politicians are more than happy to let the school board trustees take the blame. As [...]
The Athabasca University board meets to discuss its vision for the future of the distance-learning institution. Actual visioning board members may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: History Professor Alvin Finkel, AU Faculty Association President Mark McCutcheon.
It took Athabasca University’s rubber-stamp board less than 48 hours to tell the university’s faculty association to forget about its suggestion an interim president be appointed to get the distance-learning institution back on track while a replacement is found for President Frits Pannekoek.
Alert readers will recall that Dr. Pannekoek, the subject of an overwhelming non-confidence motion last year by the university’s faculty (Read more…)
TweetScrambling to fill $55 million in missing funding for the proposed Katz Group downtown arena, City Councillors voted last week to postpone any final vote on financing the project. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel won the support of enough Capital Region politicians last week to potentially secure an extra $25 million for the project (though, the [...]
Wildcat strike scene, grabbed from AUPE’s website during the strike. Below: AUPE President Guy Smith, Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk.
Advice to anyone who tries to negotiate a deal with Alison Redford, Thomas Lukaszuk or any member or official of their government: take witnesses with you, and make sure you also bring a tape recorder.
You might want to bring a piece of paper, a pen, a Bible and a notary public as well. One-on-one meetings ending in “handshake deals” with these people? I don’t think so!
In what surely is one of the most outrageous Alberta news stories of the (Read more…)
Generous corporate donor drops off cash at Tory headquarters. Actual donors, who may not be exactly as illustrated, will be determined later. Below: Parkland Institute researcher Trevor Harrison and Tory Human Services Minister Dave Hancock.
It’s a conundrum!
What should Alberta’s Tories do? A study by the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute released yesterday demonstrates something almost everyone already knew anyway – that most Albertans strongly support limits on election spending.
So not setting limits on donations from corporations and unions, or enforcing the rules about how donations are made – Hey, Daryl Katz, c’mon down! – potentially spells big (Read more…)
TweetGoogle, working with the United States Geological Survey, NASA and TIME, have released time lapsed satellite maps of the Earth from each year from 1984 to 2012. You can search the site for time lapsed images of locations from around the globe. The population of the province of Alberta has grown by more than a [...]
Athabasca University’s isolated headquarters in winter. Below: Athabasca U President Frits Pannekoek and Alberta Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
Athabasca University’s Faculty Association called yesterday for the institution’s president to be replaced by an interim president chosen from among senior staff.
On the face of it, this idea makes a lot of sense, since the president in question – Dr. Frits Pannekoek – announced back in December 2012 he’s going to retire anyway, although a date has never been set for a departure that is certain to be greeted with relief by staff and faculty whenever it comes.
The association’s (Read more…)
How Albertans should see Progressive Conservative and Wildrose policies and procedures. Below: The clever Wildrose Facebook attack on PC Premier Alison Redford’s faintly unsavoury taxpayer-funded mail out, which makes it look a little worse than it really is.
Am I the only one who sees irony in the leader of Alberta’s ultra-conservative Wildrose Party working up a full head of steam because the merely very conservative government of Premier Alison Redford plans to mail a colourful budget brochure to every household in the province – at taxpayer expense, of course?
After all, the Wildrose Party of Danielle Smith is effectively (Read more…)
TweetPremier Alison Redford was criticized this week after she harshly denounced her opposition in a campaign-style speech to a group of school children in Calgary. In response to the Premier’s fiery words, book publishers jumped on the opportunity to reach impressionable young minds by releasing a series of children’s books about Alberta politics. Both Premier [...]
Alberta Premier Alison Redford, right, meets Opposition Leader Danielle Smith, left, while on her way to announcing a new school opening. Actual Alberta politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Premier Redford, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith.
Once upon a time, while Alberta’s premier was telling fairy tales to impressionable children, some of her senior officials were spinning fairy stories of their own.
Actually, this all happened yesterday.
The premier told a group of Grade 1 students at an Edmonton school library a story about a good princess named Alison, who built schools (Read more…)
TweetThe billionaire walks… There was little surprise among the cynical pundit class yesterday as Elections Alberta announced that it had found billionaire Daryl Katz and his Katz Group broke no laws when the company delivered a donation in the form of a $430,000 bank draft to Premier Alison Redford‘s Progressive Conservative Party during last year’s [...]
The picket line during the five-day strike by Alberta Correctional Peace Officers, which ended last night. Below: Another scene from the strike; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk; AUPE President Guy Smith.
Even without last night’s deal with the Alberta government, Alberta’s defiant jail guards would have been entitled to declare a victory in their illegal five-day wildcat strike.
And that was before the illegally striking guards reached the agreement to end their walkout largely on their terms.
The agreement came last night after negotiations between the government and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees – politely termed discussions to allow the (Read more…)
TweetBy Dave Colburn When the Edmonton Public School Board ended its two year moratorium on school closures in Nov. 2012 it generated a good deal of public discussion. Parents and communities wanted to know what this new world would mean for schools with falling enrolment. People speculated on whether this moratorium had achieved anything and [...]
TweetHas Councillor Kerry Diotte‘s Mayoral ambitions been outed? Famous Edmonton-based photographer Con Boland posted these portraits of Councillor Diotte on his Facebook page today. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has yet to announce whether he will seek a fourth term in office. Tweet
The scene on the darkened lane that runs past Edmonton’s giant new Remand Centre has resembled the set for an apocalyptic movie the past couple of nights, with striking jail guards’ huge-wheeled four-by-fours crowding the ditches, AUPE banners flapping in the dark and strikers gathered around burn barrels.
With Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk at the helm, the stalemate in Alberta’s provincial jails continued through the night with wildcatting Correctional Peace Officers still manning picket lines and the government making dubious claims guards were returning to work.
The dispute started months ago over occupational health and safety concerns about Edmonton’s just (Read more…)
Wildcatting Correctional Officers on the picket line at the Edmonton Remand Centre just before midnight last night, long after the government’s ultimatum ordering them back to work. Below: Trade unionists occupy an Alberta Labour Relations Board boardroom yesterday afternoon in support of the striking guards. Below that: Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk as he appeared during a post-news-conference visit last night to the Edmonton Beerfest.
“You know what a tense, sensitive and dangerous situation like an illegal strike at a prison needs? Thomas Lukaszuk.”
So Tweeted well-known Edmonton New Democrat Lou Arab yesterday, the self-described political geek, Internet junkie, father, (Read more…)
Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan, right, speaks to yesterday’s AFL news conference at the Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre. Your faithful blogger can be glimpsed at the far right. Beside him, the CBC’s Charles Rusnell. Below: Rusnell, Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason.
Back in the summer of 2011, as Ed Stelmach’s reign as premier of Alberta ground toward its inevitable terminal moment, then-employment-minister Thomas Lukaszuk sent around a letter advising stakeholders he was about to commence a review of the Alberta Labour Code.
It had to be done, said the minister responsible for the province’s labour portfolio, “to ensure (Read more…)