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Alberta Diary: Oh to be a fly on the cabinet room wall today! Court grants stay on application against AUPE of Bill 46 until Valentine’s Day

Steam vents from the cabinet room at the Alberta Legislature. Actual eruptions of Tory fury may not be exactly as illustrated – and, actually, that’s the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Well, whatever, it’s better than a file shot of the law courts sign! Below: AUPE President Guy Smith.

Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on the wall at today’s meeting of the Redford cabinet when the topic of yesterday’s ruling by Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Denny Thomas on the matter of Bill 46 comes up?

One imagines the air will be pretty blue behind the closed doors of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Former federal Tory Chuck Strahl’s lobbying activities break no laws, but highlight a problem

Lobbyists gather in the lobby of the House of Commons at Westminster. Below: Politician turned lobbyist Chuck Strahl, B.C. Lobbying Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.

Notwithstanding his classification as a Designated Public Office Holder under the federal Lobbying Act, former Reform Party, Canadian Alliance and Conservative office holder Chuck Strahl is breaking no laws or regulations by registering and operating as a lobbyist in British Columbia.

Something is wrong with this picture if you accept the rationale for most Canadian lobbying legislation, but you can hardly blame Mr. Strahl for it unless you’re one of those folks who thinks citizens should (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory: lessons from B.C. for NDPers everywhere

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…)

350 or bust: B.C. Votes Against Its Future

I don’t live in Canada’s most westerly province, but I know that British Columbians pride themselves in their slogan, “Beautiful British Columbia”. It is a province of vast wilderness, ancient mountains, and pristine waters, although its beauty has been marred in recent years by the pine-beetle-destroyed pine trees covering vast regions of the Rocky Mountains. […]

Alberta Diary: A Tale of Two Provinces: B.C. NDP and Wild Rosehip Tea Party show why opposition matters

Razzle-dazzle, sis-boom-bah, balanced budgets, rah-rah-rah! Danielle Smith and the Wild Rosehip Tea Party yell squad cheers for Alison Redford’s Tory team’s worst plays on the field. The actual Alberta opposition may not be quite as illustrated. Below: Ms. Redford and B.C. Premier Christie Clark. Why are these two premiers smiling?

British Columbia and Alberta, Canada’s two westernmost provinces, have lots in common.

Both have economies that rely heavily on volatile natural resources, well-educated, diverse and generally socially progressive populations, and Westminster-style parliamentary legislatures in beautiful old buildings.

Both are also governed by irresponsible neoconservative coalitions with misleading names that

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Alberta Diary: Remember where you heard it first: foundering B.C. premier hires Alberta strategist Stephen Carter

Your blogger, looking rather stout and unkempt, with political strategist Stephen Carter, who popped up in British Columbia yesterday to try to work his come-from-behind magic for B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s foundering conservative Liberals. Below: Ms. Clark.

As predicted here at Alberta Diary, British Columbia Premier Christie Clark has hired Alberta-based political strategist Stephen Carter in hopes of turning around her foundering campaign against the province’s New Democrats.

As we explained the situation back on Sept. 28, with Ms. Clark, “a conservative Liberal, desperately low in the polls, facing an election in less than eight months, having just been

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Remember where you heard it first: foundering B.C. premier hires Alberta strategist Stephen Carter

350 or bust: Oil Poisons Everything – Defend Our Coast And Our Democracy

* Today there are community actions happening at MLA offices across BC. People are participating in the Defend Our Coast Campaign, and are showing up across the province to link arms and symbolize BC’s unbroken wall of opposition to tar sands pipelines and tankers. For more information, go to DefendOurCoast.ca

Alberta Diary: Are storm clouds forming in Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s sunny skies?

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, gives a member of her caucus his marching orders. Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford, Stephen Carter.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford would appear to be unassailable.

A recent cross-Canada poll by Angus Reid found her to be the country’s second-most popular premier after Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, with a 55-per-cent approval rating among Alberta voters. That’s practically “beloved” territory!

Another poll conducted last month by Trend Research of Edmonton put her in an even more commanding position, with 62 per cent approval of the way she is doing her

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Are storm clouds forming in Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s sunny skies?

Alberta Diary: The Great Wall of Saskatchewan: popular, yes, but a peacemaker?

Brad Wall, Christy Clark, Alison Redford and Greg Selinger discuss the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline while visiting China. Actual Canadian premiers may not appear to their Chinese hosts exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Wall, Ms. Redford, Mr. Selinger and Ms. Clark.

No sooner did Trend Research of Edmonton publish a poll showing Alberta Premier Alison Redford was way more popular than Opposition Leader Danielle Smith (62 per cent to 42 per cent) than Vancouver-based Angus Reid was on the spot with considerably different results (55 per cent to 50 per cent for the same match up).

So I guess we’re

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Great Wall of Saskatchewan: popular, yes, but a peacemaker?

Alberta Diary: Ethical Oil charity complaint sparks Alberta corporate complaint

Commentator Ezra Levant lets go a broadside at Tides Canada on his Sun News Network program. Below: Researcher Tony Clark; Jamie Ellerton, executive director of Mr. Levant’s Ethical Oil Institute; National Revenue Minister Gail Shea.

As is well known, the “Ethical Oil Institute,” the Edmonton-based organization founded by Sun News Network commentator Ezra Levant to support petroleum extraction companies in Alberta, has complained to the Canada Revenue Agency demanding the charitable status of Tides Canada “be reviewed for violating Canada’s charities law.”

Last week, Ethical Oil accused the Vancouver-based environmental and social issues charity of “‘laundering’ money from contributors

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Ethical Oil charity complaint sparks Alberta corporate complaint

Alberta Diary: B.C.’s pipeline bargaining position stirs Alberta outrage, but makes political sense

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, left, negotiates with B.C. Premier Christy Clark, holding carrot, as seen by the Alberta media. Actual neo-conservative Western Canadian politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below Ms. Clark, Ms. Redford and former Tory insider Norman Spector.

Christy Clark’s bargaining position in the squabble between British Columbia and Alberta over provincial pipeline danger pay may be unconstitutional, and it may not be “legal” in the sense of commercial or common law. But it doesn’t need to be. That’s because it sure as heck makes political sense!

It makes good sense politically both from the point

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: B.C.’s pipeline bargaining position stirs Alberta outrage, but makes political sense

Alberta Diary: B.C. Bitumen Busters! Who ya gonna call? Greg Selinger?

Alberta and British Columbia Sheriffs see who can stomp the highest at the increasingly tense inter-provincial border near the disputed town of Field. B.C. and Alberta peace officers, of course, may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Just for someone completely different, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger.

Who ya gonna blame? Thomas Mulcair? Pierre Trudeau?

Sorry, but that great regional block of market-fundamentalist premiers that was supposed to speed environmentally iffy projects like the Northern Gateway Bitumen Pipeline toward completion with a minimum of democratic fuss appears not to be performing up to specifications.

Here we are, less than a

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: B.C. Bitumen Busters! Who ya gonna call? Greg Selinger?

Alberta Diary: Premiers’ private parley – a summit so secret if you knew what they’d talked about, they’d have to kill you!

B.C. Premier Christy Clark, left, meets Alberta Premier Alison Redford, in snap-brim hat at right, to discuss things too secret for the Western Canadian public to know about. Actual Western Canadian politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated, nor may the vehicle at the front of the Legislature, or the one at the back, pictured below. Below them: the real Christy Clark and the real Alison Redford.

Surely the weirdest political news story so far in the dull dog days of Summer 2012 was British Columbia Premier Christy Clark’s secret meeting last Thursday with Alison Redford, her Alberta counterpart.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Premiers’ private parley – a summit so secret if you knew what they’d talked about, they’d have to kill you!

Alberta Diary: It’s semi-official… the Enbridge Northern Gateway project is kaput!

Enbridge Inc., as seen and described by the U.S. National Transportation Board. Below: Federal Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, Alberta Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and B.C. Opposition Leader Christie Clark. No! Wait! Ms. Clark’s still the premier!

If you thought NDP Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair was mistaken – or, worse, just being “divisive” – when he said about a week ago that the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline was finished, think again.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper may still officially love the project and dream of fast-tracking it, but you can take it as given that its demise is

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: It’s semi-official… the Enbridge Northern Gateway project is kaput!