TweetGenerally speaking, Budget Day and the Speech from the Throne have been big events that gave Albertans an indication about the government’s agenda for the year ahead. This week, no real agenda was not laid out in the Throne Speech or in the provincial budget. Each event is stage-managed to allow the government an opportunity […]
Budget 2014: let the good times roll. Life’s great nowadays if you’re a Tory insider in Alberta – like these happy political staffers from the Premier’s Office. Actual political advisors to Premier Alison Redford may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former Premier Ed Stelmach as he counted up ways he could save money; Ms. Redford.
Another million dollars for the Premier’s Office?
Now that’s interesting!
As in Pravda back in the day in that other one-party state, the name of which escapes me at the moment but which you’d think was still around judging from the chest-thumping 1960s-style rhetoric (Read more…)
Thinking of bringing your friends and relations along? Don’t bring them in the government truck, Mr. Civil Servant!
“Good afternoon,” began a recent email from an assistant deputy minister to government employees of the humbler sort who don’t get to travel first class to faraway places but who may need to use a Government of Alberta vehicle now and again in the course of their duties.
You know, the type of employees who have been rewarded for the loyalty and hard work by being made subject to the unconstitutional vagaries of Bills 45 and 46 and having their pensions (Read more…)
Back in 2008, myself and a couple of young Liberals launched “Edspedia.ca“, a mock website to poke fun at some eyebrow raising travel expenses by members of the Ed Stelmach cabinet. The list included Mark Norris’ $50,000 Vegas vacation, and Rod Stevens Hawaiian stop-over to “study their gambling system”.
If I hadn’t received a cheerful letter from the Expedia lawyers back in 2008, now would be a good time to launch “Redspedia.ca”, because Alison Redford is facing a barrage of criticism over her travel expenses.
The controversy started with a $45,000 flight back from Nelson Mandela’s (Read more…)
TweetYesterday’s Speech from the Throne was old news as scandal erupted today over Premier Alison Redford’s alleged inappropriate use of government-owned airplanes. After facing criticism over her $45,000 trip to South Africa and a $9,200 trip from Palm Springs, Ms. Redford struggled to control the story today by announcing plans to pay $3,100 for costs […]
Alison Redford’s party awaits the Alberta Premier’s arrival before boarding their Government of Alberta aircraft. Actual Alberta big shots may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pompeia, the wife of Caesar, who divorced her; and Marie Antoinette, who didn’t say “let them eat cake” but came to a bad end anyway.
What goes up must come down, we used to say, and that adage appears to include both Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s in-flight fancies aboard the government’s aircraft and the first-class compartments of commercial airliners and her entire political career.
Who would have thought it would be airplane rides (Read more…)
Members of the Alberta Tory caucus consider the latest poll results as they prepare for the 2016 provincial election. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservative MLAs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Dave Hancock … leadership potential at last.
It’s probably still possible for Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party to crawl back from the abyss – if you believe in miracles – but it’s increasingly hard to believe they can do it with Alison Redford at the helm.
Even viewed from the nation’s exceedingly quiet capital, the numbers in the Leger poll published this morning by the Calgary Herald are not (Read more…)
TweetAbout 2,000 Albertans from every corner of the province braved the -33C windchill yesterday to defend their modest pension plans at a rally in Edmonton’s Churchill Square. Many municipal and provincial employees are concerned that Finance minister Doug Horner‘s proposed changes to Alberta’s public sector pension plans could impact their retirement security. Despite rhetoric about ‘gold-plated pension […]
Some of the more than 2,000 people who protested the policies of the Redford Conservative Government in Edmonton’s Sir Winston Churchill Square today.
When I was a cub reporter at the still-unhyphenated Victoria Daily Times – always a better paper than the Colonist, let it be noted – I was told by a grizzled veteran of the news business that I should always ask a police officer about the size of a crowd at any outdoor event I was covering.
“You see,” he explained, “police officers are trained to estimate the size of crowds.”
So off I went (Read more…)
Members of the Alberta Government plan their latest strategy to hold the unionized civil service’s approximately 44,000 feet to the fire in negotiations. Actual government officials may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: William Aberhart.
Bargaining with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at an impasse again, so the government of Premier Alison Redford has had the bright idea of breaking its own labour laws in desperate hopes of pressurizing AUPE members to push their union into agreeing to the latest employer offer.
This isn’t really the way labour relations are supposed to work in a society of laws, but (Read more…)
TweetWhen former cop Steve Young was elected as the MLA for Edmonton-Riverview, it was considered to be a huge coup for the Progressive Conservatives. With Mr. Young as their candidate, the Tories succeeded in scooping the traditionally Liberal voting constituency previously represented by popular MLA Kevin Taft. All indications suggest that Mr. Young has worked […]
Finance Minister Doug Horner and Alberta Premier Alison Redford attempt to skate around opposition to their planned cuts to public service pensions. Points have not yet been awarded for the maneuver. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Horner as he slipped past media and uninvited union leaders at Government House in Edmonton yesterday.
Finance Minister Doug Horner attempted to skate gracefully around Alberta’s furious public employees with some clever PR tactics yesterday when he publicly dictated the pension cuts he says they’re going to have to take, like ’em or not.
The results (Read more…)
TweetFresh meat Last week, he was publicly criticizing Premier Alison Redford for her over-priced $45,000 trip to South Africa (see below) and faced a threat of expulsion from the Progressive Conservative caucus. This week, coincidentally, Edmonton-Riverview PC MLA Steve Young faces a new set of revelations dating back to his time as a Sergeant with the Edmonton […]
Former Progressive Conservative Whip Steve Young gets ready to give it to his premier and party leader at yesterday’s caucus meeting in Edmonton. Actual unrepentant Tory MLAs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The actual Mr. Young, apparently yelling something; his friend Wildrose MLA Ian Donovan; Premier Alison Redford’s executive assistant, Brad Stables.
After yesterday, it looks as if Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s government can now adopt a new motto: “Forever Young.” Or maybe that should actually be, “Young Forever…”
Regardless, it appears that if he wishes, Edmonton-Riverview MLA Steve Young can be part of her caucus (Read more…)
Tweet Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson took the the streets, and then to YouTube, to ask Edmontonians if they support expansion of Edmonton’s Light Rail Transit system. The campaign is part of Mr. Iveson’s bid to convince provincial and federal politicians to support the expansion of Edmonton’s light rail transit system, a key part of the […]
Some roles just don’t seem to be a good match for the same person. Here are five examples. Perhaps Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, below, finds himself in such a position?
Can Thomas Lukaszuk properly fulfill his dual roles as Alberta’s Minister of Labour and chair of the all-but-secret Public Sector Resource Committee of Premier Alison Redford’s cabinet?
On the face of it, it would seem not – but then, perhaps as Mr. Lukaszuk opined in an ill-tempered exchange on Twitter Saturday, your blogger just doesn’t understand the minister’s roles and responsibilities.
Still, layperson that I am, I really (Read more…)
Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, at right with Premier Alison Redford, argues with Deputy Premier Dave Hancock, in white suit and goofy glasses, about whether or not to appeal the court injunction against the use of Bill 46. Finance Minister Doug Horner is on the far left. Actual Alberta cabinet ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below right: Mr. Lukaszuk not exactly as he appears. Below left: Mr. Lukaszuk exactly as he appears.
In any normal business, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk would be finished.
After the pummelling the government of Premier Alison Redford took on Friday from a (Read more…)
Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith at the union’s news conference in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
Mr. Justice Denny Thomas of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench did not merely accept the arguments of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees when he slapped an injunction on the Government of Alberta yesterday, indefinitely suspending a law that could have forced 22,000 civil servants to live with a contract imposed on them by legislative fiat.
He delivered a withering denunciation of what his ruling suggested was the deceptive, dictatorial, and dishonourable way the government of Premier (Read more…)
Guy Boutilier in his Wildrose caucus office in Edmonton back in 2009. Notice Ralph Klein peering over his shoulder. Below: Other Fort Mac politicians Brian Jean, the Conservative Crossword King, and Mike Allen, a saxophonist, in his St. Paul Police mugshot.
Guy Boots, Member of Parliament?
Why not? When you think about it, Guy Boutilier – nowadays he pronounces Guy in the French way, Ghee, and Boutilier in the English Way, Boot-a-LEER – is one of Alberta’s most successful politicians.
At least, he was until he wasn’t.
But now he’s lookin’ good again, and with a federal by-election likely to (Read more…)
TweetA proposed amendment to Canada’s Elections Act would introduce handpicked partisan elections officials into the current non-partisan election process. The ‘Fair Elections Act,’ a sweeping act introduced by Conservative minister Pierre Poilievre, includes an amendment to Section 124 of the Elections Act which would give the incumbent candidate, riding association or political party the authority […]
A rainbow banner flies alongside the city, Alberta and Canadian flags at the city hall of St. Albert, Alberta, last weekend. Below: A really great pride banner spotted during a recent Pride Week in Vancouver.
Fourteen years ago, the Alberta provincial government led by Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein was convulsed with controversy at the thought of same-sex marriage.
In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Klein threatened to employ the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to prevent legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Only in 2005, did Mr. Klein give up this particular fight, and reluctantly (Read more…)
Furious Alberta civil service “oranges” protest high-handed Tory “apples” during their illegal st**ke of 1980. Below: Provincial Treasurer Lou Hyndman in 1976; Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, no longer missing in action.
Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!
After a spell during which he appeared to be missing in action, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk resurfaced in the news columns Thursday to offer the opinion humongous salaries paid to well-connected Tory retainers in the nosebleed seats of the civil service are a meaningless distraction from the serious business of ensuring we all live within our means.
Given what he (Read more…)
“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 – apparently they’re both baaaaaaack!
The Van Horne Institute? The Van Horne Institute? As in William Cornelius Van Horne, late of the Michigan Central Railway, the Chicago and Alton Railway, the Canadian Pacific Railway and the Cuba Railway Company?
Well, whooo, whooo, whoooooo-oooo better to advocate (Read more…)
A steward serves Alberta Premier Alison Redford as members of her entourage dine nearby during their return flight from South Africa. Don’t worry, this is satire, and actual Alberta politicians and their political advisors will never appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, obviously suffering from a defeatist attitude and a regional inferiority complex, prepares to pay for his own ham and cheese sandwich. So why is he smiling?
It only cost $946.44 for Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil to travel to and from South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s funeral last month because Nova Scotians (Read more…)