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…)
A search for a member of Alison Redford’s cabinet or caucus who knew what was going on in the premier’s office might look something like this. Nothing like this is necessary in Alberta, though, because no one knew anything. It’s hardly necessary to say that real Alberta Tories may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below, left to right: Dave Hancock, Doug Horner, Thomas Lukaszuk back in the day when they were ministers in premier Alison Redford’s cabinet; Mark Twain.
“When in doubt tell the truth,” Mark Twain famously advised. “It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.”
No (Read more…)
There’s an episode of The Simpsons where Homer becomes a Krusty the Klown impersonator for hire. At the opening of a new Krusty Burger, he savagely attacks the Krusty Burger version of the Hamburgler for stealing Krusty Burgers. Watching the beating, a child in the crowd says “Stop! He’s already dead.”
That’s the way I feel about Alison Redford. The announcement that Premier Dave Hancock has asked the RCMP to look into Redford’s use of government aircraft makes me think, “Stop! She’s already dead.”
Redford has already resigned in disgrace, mostly for being insufferably arrogant. She has been (Read more…)
TweetWith today’s release of Auditor General Merwan Saher‘s report on Alison Redford‘s travel habits, and as Premier Dave Hancock, leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice and Progressive Conservative MLAs desperately try to distance themselves from their former leader, it is important that we look back to a more optimistic time. During the 2011 PC leadership race, and […]
Her era drawing to a close, Alison Redford is sent out of a Progressive Conservative Caucus meeting on March 13 while Tory MLAs argue over her fate. Below: Premier Dave Hancock; Tory leadership aspirant Thomas Lukaszuk.
Former premier Alison Redford signed off from public life in Alberta yesterday morning with the words, “I truly believe we made a difference.”
Well, if nothing else, Ms. Redford got that part right! In less than three years Hurricane Alison, the royal plural and all, shook the place to its foundations.
After the lingering Air Redford scandal, the astonishing Sky Palace affair, the (Read more…)
Former premier Alison Redford with your blogger in, as they say, happier times.
The reaction to former Alberta premier Alison Redford’s resignation as Calgary-Elbow MLA this morning among Opposition politicians was universal and predictable.
To wit: the problems with the 43-year-old Progressive Conservative Dynasty are bigger than just Ms. Redford’s political failings, however spectacular they may have been, and there’s no way the people of Alberta will ever forget that!
If you’ve been paying attention, it’s hard to argue with the first part of that proposition. But are voters paying attention?
The thing to remember about the disgraced former premier’s (Read more…)
Your blogger with PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk. We’re not usually as friendly as this picture makes us look – especially on Twitter. Below: Tory leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice, candidate Ric McIver and the late federal NDP leader Jack Layton.
What Alberta’s foundering Progressive Conservative dynasty needs to do now is pick the leadership candidate most like Jack Layton! Who could that be?
They need to do this because, as Dave Cournoyer, author of the Daveberta.ca blog, shrewdly suggested the other day, the PC Party could now be choosing the next Opposition leader.
After the catastrophe of Alison (Read more…)
Ed Stelmach, Alison Redford and Doug Horner together on the stage on the night of Ms. Redford’s election as PC Party leader in October 2011. Below: Mr. Horner, Ms. Redford and Mr. Stelmach.
If the Parliamentary convention called ministerial responsibility still has meaning in Alberta or Canada, Finance Minister Doug Horner must resign.
Everyone in political Alberta has been focusing on another question: what should happen to former premier Alison Redford in the wake of the many recent revelations about her controversial conduct in office?
This serves a political purpose for those with a partisan axe to grind, but as (Read more…)
Alison Redford, in days past, somewhere in the skies over Alberta. OK, I never said I was a master of Photoshop! Below: Disgraced Canadian Senator Mike Duffy, Alberta Tory leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice, leadership candidate and former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk.
Will Alberta benefit from a police investigation of Alison Redford’s use of the government’s small fleet of passenger aircraft?
Here’s why: Notwithstanding the hyperbole from a number of elected officials of more than one political persuasion, not to mention the opinions of numerous columnists, bloggers and Twitterers, a trial, let alone a conviction, is extremely unlikely.
For (Read more…)
De Plane! De Plane! Tattoo calls out from the tower to announce the arrival of the premier’s plane at Calgary International Airport. Actual members of former Premier Alison Redford’s staff may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Ms. Redford; Alberta Auditor General Merwan Saher.
Those ghost riders on Alison Redford’s government flights aren’t going to go away. They will be the death of the party she led to government in 2012.
As Tattoo used to cry from the bell tower in the creepy Fantasy Island TV series: “De plane! De plane!”
Yesterday the CBC revealed that when she (Read more…)
TweetHere’s a question that isn’t often asked in Alberta: Which of the three Progressive Conservative leadership candidates would make the best Leader of the Opposition? An insane trail of scandal continues to leak out of the 43-year-long governing PC Party as it lurches towards a leadership vote on September 6. A CBC exclusive story alleged today […]
Ice cream on a hot day – melts almost as fast as an Alberta Tory management wage freeze! Actual PC promises of “leading by example” may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Doug Horner, nowhere to be seen yesterday; leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk, bemoaning the decision last night.
Senior Alberta government managers had to be rejoicing yesterday – and presumably resolving to update their lapsed memberships in the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.
Leastways, word leaked out yesterday to us in the Hoi Polloi that the government’s three-year freeze on civil service executive salaries, which began amid great fanfare (Read more…)
Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue at 4 a.m., as imagined by Ric McIver, would-be Tory leader and premier. Actual Alberta street scenes are unlikely ever to be as described with regard to the availability of taxicabs. Below: Mr. McIver, candidates Jim Prentice and Thomas Lukaszuk.
Well, no one can say that Ric McIver hasn’t set himself apart from the other two candidates for the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party leadership.
While frontrunner Jim Prentice and tail gunner Thomas Lukaszuk have each offered five largely meaningless anodyne platitudes as their priorities, Mr. McIver has been right out there with some fairly definitive (Read more…)
Thomas Lukaszuk is an entertaining speaker with a full range of facial expressions. His party is going to make darned sure he doesn’t have a chance to use those talents in the service of his leadership bid. Below: PC leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice and candidate Ric McIver.
While Thomas Lukaszuk’s chances of succeeding in the race to become leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party always seemed like a long shot, one has to feel a certain sympathy with the Edmonton MLA’s protest his party won’t permit a real unscripted debate to take place among the three candidates for the (Read more…)
TweetBy my count, there remain eight Progressive Conservative MLAs who have not endorsed a leadership candidate Jim Prentice in the race to become that party’s next leader. As of this week, 49 of 59 PC MLAs have endorsed Mr. Prentice’s candidacy to become their next leader. Leadership candidates Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk have not earned any endorsements from their MLA colleagues. […]
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. All the money’s on Jim Prentice – but is it the smart money? Below: Ric McIver, Jim Prentice, Jim Dinning and Gary Mar.
Could Ric McIver actually win the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race?
Or, to put that another way, could Jim Prentice lose?
Maybe that seems like a theme for a political science fiction story to you. After all, Mr. Prentice – the former banker, corporate lobbyist and federal cabinet minister – is the choice of the PC establishment.
What’s more, he’s now backed by 49 of 59 PC Members of the (Read more…)
Brian Mulroney, right, famously responds to the claim made by John Turner, left, that he had “no option” but approve Pierre Trudeau’s patronage appointments. Below: Gary Mar in 2011.
Advice to Jim Prentice: If, in some future pre-election leaders’ debate someone asks you about Gary Mar’s 2013 compensation package, don’t say: “I had no option.”
In fact, that would be true if Mr. Prentice were to say it. Ditto Ric McIver, the second- or third-runner, depending how you calculate it, in the 2014 version of the Progressive Conservative Party leadership race.
As for Thomas Lukaszuk, he was in cabinet (Read more…)
TweetA report from Auditor General Merwan Saher released this week found no evidence that the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has properly monitored the performance of the PC Government’s climate change strategy which was first implemented in 2008. The report also uncovered serious problems with the province’s expensive Carbon Capture and Storage strategy. Since it […]
Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tory MLA Mike Allen: Excited to be back in the Tory caucus. (Dave Cournoyer photo, used with permission.)
Say what you like about the many flaws of former Alberta premier Alison Redford, she never would have let Mike Allen back into the Progressive Conservative caucus, not as long as the Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tory MLA lived, breathed and managed to get reelected.
It was on July 16 last year when the once and future professional jazz musician was in St. Paul, Minn., as a representative of the Government of Alberta when he was caught by (Read more…)
The Hancock Conservatives do good-cop-bad-cop? At left, Jeff Johnson as Jim Prentice, at right, tries to get him to straighten up and fly a little less far right. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservatives may not appear exactly as illustrated, especially in this unlikely scenario. Below: My only picture of the real Mr. Johnson; one of many of the real Mr. Prentice.
Anti-teacher sentiment runs deep nowadays in Alberta conservative circles.
Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s war with the Alberta Teachers Association over how its members ought to be disciplined on those rare occasions when they misbehave is only the latest manifestation of (Read more…)