The past is a foreign country: Labour Day in Vancouver, not so long ago. Below: The workers, united, will never be defeated! The goal of union “transparency,” “worker choice,” “right to work” and other Orwellian right-wing buzzwords is to ensure the workers are never united and always defeated. Below that: Stephen Kushner, president of the anti-union Merit Contractors Association.
NOTE TO READERS: Since the Alberta chapter of the Merit Contractors Association, a group of non-union construction companies, seems to have recycled much of its past opinion survey and press release on union “transparency,” I thought I’d recycle (Read more…)
Alberta Tory leadership candidate Jim Prentice, invisible, as everybody and their non-partisan friends pile on. Actual scenes from Alberta politics may not take place exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice, in his lucky campaign shirt; Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Derek Fildebrandt.
Jim Prentice, you’re in the crosshairs now (metaphorically speaking).
And if you manage to win the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party next Saturday – which everyone except this blogger thinks is exactly what’s going to happen – in the crosshairs is where you’re going to stay.
The Canadian Taxpayers Association fired (Read more…)
OK, I have about a million questions about the Thomas Lukaszuk $20,000 phone bill scandal. Or maybe about seven.
First, the background. It was revealed this week that Lukaszuk, the soon-to-be third place finisher in the anemic PC leadership race, rang up a $20,000 phone bill while on a personal trip to Poland. Lukaszuk first said it was because of ‘government business’, which at least had a ring of truth to it. But later it was revealed that the ‘government business’ was a call from a frantic cabinet minister who was involved in a family crisis. The police were called, (Read more…)
Thomas Lukaszuk looks cool as always, despite having just jumped the shark. Actual PC leadership candidates may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below, the real Mr. Lukaszuk.
Yesterday was the day we were all supposed to be in agog at how Alberta is awash in cash again – a long-predicted lottery win for which the governing Progressive Conservative Party understandably if unjustifiably intended to take full credit.
Instead, the capital city’s principal newspaper apparently didn’t even write a separate news story about the government’s upbeat first-quarter financial report, but rolled it into a political column about all the scandals (Read more…)
Capt. Queeg of the USS Caine channels Alberta Tory Party leaders as he describes the search for the missing strawberries. Imagine what he would have done with a purloined cell phone bill or a leaked list of Tory Party members! Below: Dave Hancock, Thomas Lukaszuk.
Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock is said to be pondering an official hunt for the perpetrator of the leak to the Edmonton Sun of Tory leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk’s $20,000 Telus bill.
According to the Edmonton Journal’s account of the impending search for the missing strawberries, Mr. Lukaszuk complained to the premier about the leak, (Read more…)
File under, “Dinner, done like”… Alison Redford serves dinner to Thomas Lukaszuk as Jim Prentice, at left, and Dave Hancock, Doug Horner and Ric McIver look on. Actual Tory premiers, former premiers, would-be premiers and former would-be premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The author with Ric McIver. It just seemed like the right time to trot this one out!
Looks like it’s time to start planning for a couple of years of a McIver Government.
Leastways, the past couple of days have not earned any gold stars for former infrastructure minister Ric McIver’s two competitors, supposed (Read more…)
TweetAnother news report this week focused on the devastation of caribou habitat in northwestern Alberta. The CBC story reported that deforestation caused by seismic cutlines and snowmobile traffic has caused irreparable damage to habitat critical to the survival of Alberta’s caribou herds. “About five per cent of range for the Little Smoky and a la […]
A future Jim Prentice caucus?
An Alberta PC leadership race devoid of ideas has its first eye-catching policy.
Presumptive front-runner Jim Prentice has pledged limits of 2 terms on the Premier and 3 terms on MLAs. This no doubt comes in response to accusations the PC government has grown stale over time, though I would point out that many of their problems stem from the actions of a politician who became Premier after just three years as an MLA, before exiting in disgrace after winning a single election as Premier.
Meanwhile, I’d be very curious if Prentice feels his old (Read more…)
These are not happy days for the party which has ruled Alberta since before Happy Days ever aired, but the PCs had something to celebrate this weekend as they passed Ontario’s Big Blue Machine to become the longest serving government in Canadian history.
There are many reasons for their longevity. An ability to portray themselves as the true defenders of Alberta against the federal government. Leveraging the resources that come with power to their maximum advantage. Inept opposition parties, who were not helped by the actions of their federal counterparts.
But above all else, the Alberta PCs are still ticking (Read more…)
Toronto Spadina MP Chrystia Freeland, a Liberal, after speaking at the University of Alberta Faculty Club last week. Below: Eleanor Olszewski, nominated Liberal candidate in the federal Edmonton Strathcona riding; Linda Duncan, NDP MP for Edmonton Strathcona.
Last Wednesday night, during an engaging talk at the University of Alberta Faculty Club, Chrystia Freeland pretty clearly laid out the arguments for why voters in Edmonton Strathcona should re-elect New Democrat Linda Duncan in the next federal election.
The Toronto MP, who is one of the bright lights of Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s caucus, wasn’t aiming to make that point, of course. (Read more…)
Alison Redford contemplates which way to turn as she leaves behind a trail of devastation, toward the capital city’s new Sky Palace Hotel, left, or toward Edmonton’s High Level Bridge, right. Actual former premiers and the landmarks they threaten may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford; Tory leadership candidates Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver.
Just when things were starting to look a little better for Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, Alison Redford blundered back onto the provincial scene like the monster from low-budget a 1950s horror flick.
So suggests the latest version of a regular (Read more…)
“A night to remember”: Jim Prentice explains to reporters how term limits for MLAs can work. Really! Below: The orchestra the Tories should have hired to play the lunchtime event.
There was no orchestra at Tory leadership candidate Jim Prentice’s lunchtime speech in Edmonton yesterday. But if there had been, it would have been playing “Nearer My God to Thee.”
Many of the journalists who turned up for what had been billed as a major event in a sustained Twitter fusillade in the hours before the microphones were turned on were persuaded Mr. Prentice was about to announce the (Read more…)
TweetYou are Jim Prentice. You have the podium and the attention of Alberta’s media. You are the next Premier of Alberta. You can dream big. You could promise to replace all of Alberta’s aging hospitals by 2020, to build a high-speed railway from Calgary to Edmonton, to forge a new relationship with municipalities through Big City Charters, or reinvent the […]
TweetToday, Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leadership candidate Jim Prentice proposed term-limits for Premiers and MLAs. The following is an excerpt from an editorial on term-limits for MLAs that was printed in the Progressive Conservative Party’s “PC People” magazine, published in September 2010: Another concept being promoted in some quarters is the idea of term limits. These laws restrict […]
TweetSo you’re a new Premier, looking for a way to make a splash – to make the public forget about the previous regime. You could do something simple like reduce Cabinet to 20, which is essentially the size of Cabinet (Associate Ministers are not actually Cabinet ministers). But that’s not really bold. Bold would be […]
Alberta Tories contemplate their departure from the Legislature. Actual Progressive Conservative Government officials may not leave office in exactly the manner illustrated. Below: But if they do, is this the fate of their secrets? Below that: the late premier Ralph Klein and privatization advocate and cabinet minister Steve West.
There’s a whiff of panic in the air nowadays in some of the most politicized corners of the Alberta government.
Of course, every government that has been in power for more than a few years, regardless of its ideology or party name, has secrets it would rather not reveal.
But with (Read more…)
TweetSee more photos of the “Team Trudeau” rally on Flickr. Tweet
The Three Tory Amigos just before last night’s Edmonton debate. Below: Mr. Lukaszuk, who your blogger says was the debate winner, frontrunner Jim Prentice, and the challenger with the best chance, Ric McIver.
If last night’s Alberta Progressive Conservative Leadership debate in a North Edmonton Ukrainian community hall shows anything, it’s that candidates Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk were slightly better brawlers than leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice.
But you’d expect the two challengers to pile onto the favoured candidate at an event like this – the only forum in the entire leadership campaign not carefully scripted by the PC Party (Read more…)
TweetTwenty-one years ago, in a federal election that reshaped the Canadian political landscape, the Liberals swept Edmonton, electing Members of Parliament in four of the city’s six federal ridings. That year was a high-water mark for the federal party, which last elected an MP in Edmonton in 2004 and has not come close to electing a candidate since. […]
TweetIn 1971, The Jackson 5 were topping the billboard charts and Peter Lougheed‘s Progressive Conservatives were just starting what has become an uninterrupted 43-year reign as Alberta’s governing party. Recent messaging from the PC Party have certainly drawn inspiration from the band’s famous song – I Want You Back – as the PC Party tries to convince its former […]
Neil Brown interviewed by a reporter – Darcy Henton of the Calgary Herald, not Matt Dykstra of the Edmonton Sun – on the day the Tory caucus gave Alison Redford her “work plan.” Not long after that they skidded her. Below: PC leadership candidate Jim Prentice.
With friends like Neil Brown, does Jim Prentice need enemies?
Dr. Brown, QC, is a lawyer and PhD biologist, so while he is not actually a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon, he is presumably a fairly smart guy.
Mr. Prentice is a lawyer, corporate lobbyist, former bank vice-president and former federal (Read more…)
Jim Prentice tries to figure out what to do about his incredible shrinking party. Actual potential Progressive Conservative leaders may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: the real Mr. Prentice, plus candidates Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk.
An intriguing rumour – impossible for an outsider to verify – did the rounds of Alberta political circles yesterday. To wit: That the Progressive Conservative Party has sold fewer than 24,000 memberships since the 2014 leadership race began.
If the three candidates have managed to sell only 23,700 memberships, this is not very good news for a party that hopes somehow to cling (Read more…)
Tory leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice: Yeah! That’s it! I’ll give away memberships! Below: Candidates Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk.
Holy Cow! Not only does Alberta Tory leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice admit his campaign has been giving away free memberships, but he says the idea’s OK with him and he intends to keep on doing it!
Here’s what Mr. Prentice told the Calgary Herald a day after his leadership campaign was busted handing out free membership cards to would-be supporters: “There will be free memberships.”
Seriously? I confess I didn’t think it was possible for the Progressive Conservative leadership campaign (Read more…)
Finance Minister Doug Horner on his Alberta politics Most Wanted card. Below: The real Mr. Horner; Hamilton Burger, “incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial!” Sgt. Shultz: “I see nothing!”
If you want evidence the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party is done like dinner – with or without former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice sitting at the head of the table – look no further than the recent statements of Finance Minister Doug Horner.
Mr. Horner had the opportunity to do the right thing, shoulder the blame as the minister responsible for Alison Redford’s misuse of government aircraft and bow to doctrine (Read more…)
Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock’s official portrait imagined. Actual Legislative Building paintings may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Ed Stelmach as seen by Tunde Vari; Ralph Klein by Xin Yu Zheng; your blogger by Ryn Climenhaga.
“I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don’t interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.” — Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
Unlike our neighbours in British Columbia, where since Oscar Wilde was alive a modest photograph has been sufficient to honour each of the province’s 35 premiers, Alberta’s premiers are memorialized with (Read more…)