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daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sharpen Your Pencils, Alberta. Slash-and-burn is back.

Living in the land of the lowest taxation rates in Canada allows many personal benefits but long-term government stability has not been one of them. Relying heavily on natural resource revenues, our political leaders continue to stumble from embarrassment of riches to poverty and never… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: So long Liberalberta! Raj Sherman calls it quits.

All four main political parties will have new leaders going into the next election after today’s announcement by Liberal leader Raj Sherman that he is resigning as leader and will not seek re-election as the MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark. Like the Wildrose Party, who… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Goodbye 4H Club – Horne, Horner, Hughes and Hancock now gone

The announcements this week by former Finance Minister Doug Horner and former Health Minister Fred Horne that they are leaving politics did not come as a surprise to anyone watching politics in Alberta. Once powerful ministers in Premier Alison Redford’s cabinets, the two men were… Continue Reading →

atypicalalbertan.ca: My MLA? Ol’ Whazhizface?

I have a question for you, dear reader. What factor was the biggest factor that drove your voting decision in the 2012 Alberta election? Did you base your vote on a platform, a leader, a party, a local candidate or was it a combination of two or more factors?

The 2011 Canadian Election Study asked a similar question of 2500 voters after they voted in the 2011 federal election. Responding to the question, “Which of the following was most important in your decision to vote for this party,” most voters said they liked the policies of the party they voted for (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Albertan Graffiti: Jim Prentice buys a 1956 Ford Thunderbird

After months warning Albertans that declining oil prices will have dire consequences unless we ‘tighten their belts‘ and make ‘tough choices,” Alberta Premier Jim Prentice has made some tough decisions of his own. Returning home from an official government visit to Houston, Texas… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Small town cheap? Tories secretly cut public ice rink and plaza from Federal Building renos

It it weren’t facing north, the architecturally beautiful Federal Building would cast an ominous shadow over the Legislature Grounds in Edmonton. Abandoned after the Government of Canada relocated to Canada Place in the early-1980s, the beautiful art deco building sat empty after 1989… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Keystone XL, Alberta Oil Sands and International Travel in 2014

TweetAs the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline dominates political debate in Washington D.C., Alberta Premier Jim Prentice announced that he will soon travel to the American capital to lobby in favour of the pipeline. Although most politicians in the capital appear to support the pipeline’s construction, United States President Barack Obama has not made public whether he supports or … Continue reading Keystone XL, Alberta Oil Sands and International Travel in 2014

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Will Liberal wild card spoil NDP gains in Edmonton?

TweetTwo polls released in the final weeks of 2014 could give an indication of the direction Alberta political might take in 2015. The polls show Jim Prentice‘s Progressive Conservatives dominating in Calgary and rural Alberta. And with Wildrose Party support in decline across the province, Mr. Prentice could be tempted to call an election sometime in early 2015. The polls … Continue reading Will Liberal wild card spoil NDP gains in Edmonton?

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Top 10 moments in Alberta Politics in 2014

TweetIn my nearly ten years writing about politics in Alberta on this blog, 2014 was easily the most exciting. The sheer number of scandals, controversies, fumbles and resignations made for new content on a daily basis. If I had the time and resources, I could have easily written three or four posts a day for most of … Continue reading Top 10 moments in Alberta Politics in 2014

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: What a year 2015 has been in Alberta politics!

TweetDecember 29, 2015 Column by: Dirk Pranter, Provincial Affairs columnist, Edmonton Journal-Sun Tories re-elected for 14th time A snap mid-Summer election returned Jim Prentice’s renamed “Conservative Party of Alberta” to its fourteenth term as government. In an unexpected twist of fate, Finance Minister Danielle Smith was defeated in her home riding by Wildrose Party leader Randy Thorsteinson. But don’t feel sorry for … Continue reading What a year 2015 has been in Alberta politics!

Alberta Diary: This is the last post on Alberta Diary, sort of: Welcome to AlbertaPolitics.ca

Your blogger with Alberta Premier Jim Prentice. Your blogger with another Alberta premier, whose name escapes him at the moment, and with a former Alberta opposition leader.

Maybe it’s evidence of the “seven year itch”? Leastways, it was seven years ago on Dec. 31, 2007, that I started this blog, promising commentary on politics, baseball and Uechi-ryu karate. It was called St. Albert Diary.

Well, I managed to deliver one of those promised topics. I think maybe I wrote about karate once or twice. Baseball? Not so much.

Eventually I changed the name to Alberta Diary, since I seemed (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta, I give you Alison Redford, Person of the Year for 2014!

Former premier Alison Redford at the moment of her leadership campaign victory in 2011. Former opposition leader Danielle Smith in a typical campaign pose last summer.

Back in the mists of time, or rather, Time, there used to be a regular December feature called “Man of the Year.”

That was amended to “Person of the Year” in the 28th year of Progressive Conservative rule here in Alberta, and no doubt many in that party are still upset by the change, being symptomatic, as it were, of that other kind of PC they so love to disparage.

Other (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015

TweetAs 2014 reminded us, politics can be an extraordinarily unpredictable and forecasting the future can be a tricky business for political pundits. Aside from the obvious choice of Premier Jim Prentice, here is a list of a dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015. Rob Anderson (Airdrie): The outspoken rookie MLA left the PC Caucus in 2010 … Continue reading A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015 →

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Iveson and Nenshi in strong position for City Charters

TweetAs the collapse of the Wildrose Party and speculation about Alberta’s next provincial budget dominate political discussions, one of the most politically important discussions impacting governance in our province next year could be about the creation of City Charters. In his first month as Premier, Jim Prentice met with Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi … Continue reading Iveson and Nenshi in strong position for City Charters →

Alberta Diary: Blogger Brian Mason explains why Jim Prentice, ‘Alberta’s first Wildrose premier,’ is preparing to call a snap election

Former NDP leader Brian Mason in a couple of typical poses, above and below. I’ll bet you didn’t know he was a terrific political blogger too!

Jim Prentice is Alberta’s first Wildrose premier and he will soon call a snap election to ensure he can push forward a Wildrose program of using temporarily low oil prices as justification to roll back public sector salaries, attack pensions, reintroduce health care premiums and lay off nurses and teachers.

This sharp and credible warning comes from someone who should be better known as a political blogger than he is, a shrewd analyst of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Hatched in secret, today’s expected mass Wildrose defection to PC benches, brings party to a pathetic end

The captain of the RMS Wildrose and her officers slip quietly away from their sinking ship in the darkness. Actual Wildrose leaders may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson. Both are expected to be rewarded for abandoning ship with cabinet posts in PC Premier Jim Prentice’s government.

As of today – even before we are certain of everything that has happened in the last 48 hours or what will happen in the next 48 – we can be confident of this: the Wildrose Party is finished.

I do not mean (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Prentice Government takes Alberta from boom to bust in one weekend, breaking all records

Premier Jim Prentice points the way for public spending in Alberta now that our boom has gone bust again. Oil prices, ya know… But read the Reaper’s grim lips: “No new taxes!” Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Robin Campbell, Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Labour Minister Ric McIver, three of the Seven Horsepersons of the Alberta Fiscal Apocalypse

Guess what, we’re broke again out here in The Richest Place on Earth! ™

Yesterday, citing the spectacular recent drop in oil prices, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice pulled his Grim Reaper’s hood over (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta is always in Tough Economic Times

Tweet“They don’t know what to do with tough economic times. It was easy enough to govern when the money was flowing in, when things were going well. They took all the credit for it at that time. It’s much harder to govern, and the mark of a good government is how they handle it, when […]

Alberta Diary: The Santa Clause: A holiday gift of biting humour from Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley

NDP Leader Rachel Notley, helping to improve the New Democrats’ game in Alberta. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks, restored Tory MLA Peter Sandhu and former PC cabinet minister Evan Berger; Alberta Premier Jim Prentice.

No one can say Rachel Notley hasn’t upped the Alberta NDP’s game since she was elected party leader in October.

Yesterday, the provincial New Democrats put out a biting public statement on their proposed amendments to Premier Jim Prentice’s so-called Alberta Accountability Act that was funny enough to make me laugh out loud.

The Progressive Conservative government’s Bill 2, as noted in this space earlier (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The accountability ship has sailed, Bill 2 notwithstanding; Premiers Jim Prentice and Ralph Klein compared

A pensive Ralph Klein, maybe thinking about his worst political mistakes. Below: Jim Prentice and Alison Redford, also Alberta premiers. Premier, you’re no Ralph Klein!

Accountability legislation?

Oh, well … that changes everything!

All sarcasm aside, people, I think that ship has sailed, actually …

Bill 10, legislation designed to make it hard to form gay-straight alliances in schools, having turned into an embarrassing flop that won’t go away, Premier Jim Prentice yesterday introduced Bill 2, a law that in the words of the headline on the government’s news release, “aims to improve accountability and restore trust with (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Bill 10 gong show’s bungled effort to pander to PC Party’s worst elements proves Jim Prentice is no political superman

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, as he appeared to almost everyone until yesterday, except there are no ships here in Alberta, which is why we need all those pipelines. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks; humiliated PC MLA Sandra Jansen, official sponsor of Bill 10; and Liberal MLA and Bill 202 sponsor Laurie Blakeman.

If the gong show that erupted yesterday over the Progressive Conservative government’s bungled effort to pander to its troglodytic social conservative faction by roadblocking LGBTQ students’ rights illustrates anything, it is that Premier Jim Prentice is not the political superman we imagined, before whom all must bow.

It (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: What are Premier Jim Prentice and his three ‘agents of change’ planning for Alberta’s public service?

Alberta civil servants: do you get the feeling someone may have their eye on you? Below: Agents of change Richard Dicerni, Ian Brodie, Oryssia Lennie and Steve West.

Premier Jim Prentice says he intends to “reform” Alberta’s public service, fix its low morale, reverse its “shocking” turnover and deal with its other “very significant problems.”

He’s appointed a former senior federal civil servant and well-connected business professor to be his “agent of change,” along with a couple of right-hand persons to assist with this change agentry. Their work will start immediately.

Sounds way better, huh, than former premier Alison (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Child poverty a problem worth eliminating in wealthy Alberta

Tweet November 24, 2014 marked 25 years since members of the Canadian Parliament voted unanimously to end child poverty in our country. The motion introduced by then-NDP leader Ed Broadbent supported of abolishing child poverty in Canada by the year 2000. Twenty-five years later, we are far away from reaching this goal. Although Alberta has benefited from rapid […]

Alberta Diary: Alberta Tories are swinging right, paradoxically because of the implosion of their right-wing brethren in the Wildrose Party

Family values: Not so long ago they were all swinging left, but now the Progressive Conservative caucus of Premier Jim Prentice is swinging right. Getting ready to launch, from left to right, new PC caucus member Kerry Towle, Mr. Prentice, new caucus member Ian Donovan, and an unidentified former Redford Government cabinet minister. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice, NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark were onto (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Collapse of rickety Wildrose coalition of market fanatics and religious fundamentalists could be bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s NDP

A recent meeting of the Wildrose Party Legislative caucus. Actual members of the official Opposition party may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

Monday’s bombshell that the rickety coalition of ideological market-perfection fanatics and social-conservative religious fundamentalists called the Wildrose Party was coming unstuck may turn out to be a bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s New Democrats.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith’s big problem – other than the fact she appeared to have been completely out of the loop last week about the upcoming defections of MLAs Kerry Towle and Ian Donovan – (Read more…)