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Alberta Diary: A political oddity hits the big time – but what do we really know about Michael Cooper?

Michael Cooper turned up door knocking on your blogger’s doorstep in St. Albert last summer. A photo was required! Below: Independent St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, former Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and journalist Paul Wells.

ST. ALBERT, Alberta

Every few years, Michael Cooper seems to pop onto the national news radar. The first time, it was as a political oddity, a sort of human-interest story with an edge.

The story appeared under a headline in the National Post that read, “Not your average high school senior: ‘Blood sport’ of politics has lured Michael Cooper most of his (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Wildrose Party endures its cruelest day as two MLAs quit to join Jim Prentice’s PC government

Ian Donovan, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Kerry Towle at yesterday afternoon’s floor-crossing news conference in the Legislature Building. (Ici Radio-Canada photo.) Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and quotable former prime ministers Harold Wilson, Brian Mulroney and Winston Churchill.

There was the cruelest sort of irony in the battering suffered yesterday by Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition, which lost two MLAs to the apparently rejuvenated Progressive Conservative Party of Premier Jim Prentice.

Kerry Towle, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and last week the party’s seniors and human services critic, and Ian Donovan, MLA for Little Bow and the party’s agriculture (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Socialist Stephen Lewis Roars Once More in Takedown of the Stephen Harper Government

By: Tim Harper National Affairs, Published on Sun Nov 23 2014

At the age of 77, Stephen Lewis describes himself as being “happily in his dotage,” a man free to bare his soul and dispense with diplomatic niceties.

He did just that in Charlottetown last Friday. The one-time lion of the left unleashed a withering roar over eight years of Stephen Harper government that deserves to be moved from the relatively tiny confines of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and into a larger forum.

Lewis focused on five fronts of perhaps irreversible decline in this country, five only, because (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Sun Media – not its squalid commentator Ezra Levant – is the problem

Ezra Levant, on the job with his Sun News microphone. Mr. Levant is not the problem. Sun Media is the problem. Below: Justin Trudeau, Bernie Farber, and Brian Mulroney.

Ezra Levant is a squalid nuisance, barely worth contemplating.

Sun Media is the problem.

On Monday, Sun Media apologized for Mr. Levant’s repellent and sexually obsessive hysterics about Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau’s parents, one dead and the other an elderly grandmother and thus neither in a position to defend themselves.

This only happened, of course, because Mr. Trudeau threatened no longer to talk to legitimate Sun Media journalists, of which we (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Did Brian Mulroney Order the Humiliation of Ezra Levant?

Yes, according to Robert Fife:

Brian Mulroney called Liberals to say Sun Media will apologize tomorrow for offensive rant by @ezralevant vs @JustinTrudeau. #cdnpoli— Robert Fife (@RobertFife) September 28, 2014

You know, the CTV reporter who first exposed the Senategate scandal.And if it's true it couldn't be more delicious.Or more humiliating for Levant.Read more »

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59.

As the present now will later be past

The order is rapidly fadin’

And the first one now will later be last

For the times they are a-changin’ …

— Bob Dylan (age 73)

If anyone has the right to be bitter about bright young Liberal leaders with good looks, great hair and supposedly thin resumes like those of New Brunswick (Read more…) - Alberta politics: Jim Prentice appoints another Pipeline Focused Cabinet

TweetAs he prepared to be sworn-in as the 16th Premier of Alberta at Government House today, Jim Prentice aimed to project the image of a leader who is in command and in control of the situation. And today’s tightly controlled cabinet shuffle achieved that goal. Unlike previous cabinet shuffles, the news around today’s appointments were […]

Alberta Diary: Dispatches from your crazy Uncle Steve: It’s all the fault of the media elite!

“Isn’t that Brian Mulroney talking to some guy … Hey! Isn’t that one-a those Trudeaus?! Mulroney’s just another Trudeau lover! Like the Ottawa media elite!” Yadda-yadda… Below: The real Crazy Uncle Steve, Mr. Mulroney again, Heather Mallick. You can tell she’s a member of the urban Ottawa media elite because she’s wearing pearls!


You may think the Harper Tories are getting ready to do battle with the Liberals under Justin Trudeau (whom former Conservative prime minister Brian Mulroney just called “a potent package”) and the New Democrats under Thomas Mulcair (whom Mr. Mulroney called “the best (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: A Voice From The Past

The always mellifluous Brian Mulroney offers some less than sweet-sounding words for the Harper government. As reported in The Globe and Mail, in an interview with Don Martin on CTV’s Power Play, the former prime minister is quite critical of aspects of of the current, and warns that the electoral appetite for change is real and needs to be respected.

About Harper’s very public and disgraceful dispute with Canada’s Chief Justice, he says:

“You don’t get into a slagging contest with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, even if you thought that he or (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: Feminist Therese Casgrain Disappears From Public History Under Harper Government

Richard Hughes-Political Blogger


This shows the smallness of Steve Harper. What the hell is going on that we allow ourselves to be governed by this miserable piss-ant!

Our structures are failing us. Canada’s democracy is not much more than an elected dictatorship.

Check out this story by Canadian Press reporter Dean Beeby


The Therese Casgrain Volunteer Award, was started in 1982 by the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau.

It honoured Canadian activists such as June Callwood until it was eliminated — unannounced —by the Harper government in 2010.

An image of Casgrain and her namesake volunteer-award medal also disappeared (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Once a Tory leadership front-runner, Gary Mar reaches out from Asia to haunt Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives

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…)

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even on the media’s Top Ten List from the government’s so-called Sunshine List of 2013 civil service salaries!

Just for the record, Alberta’s top paid civil servant is Janet Davidson, deputy minister of health and an Officer of the Order of Canada, with a spectacular annual (Read more…)

ParliamANT Hill: AlbertAnt country singer, seeks ConservAntive nod

Inspired by this headline:

Calgary Grit: Canada’s New Government Turns 8

Today marks the 8th anniversary of Stephen Harper’s election as Prime Minister. At the time, a lot of Liberals figured they could turn him into Joe Clark after a quick leadership change. Yet, by this time next year, Harper will have passed Louis St. Laurent, Robert Borden, and Brian Mulroney, to become the 6th longest serving Prime Minister in Canadian history – and most succesful conservative in over a century.

That’s the good news. The bad news for Harper is that it’s hard to fight the “time for a change” bug. Trudeau and King both lost elections after around a (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Why I voted for Jim Coutts in 1984 and probably would again, a lesson in retail politics

Jim Coutts, son of the Great Plains and, as long-time principal secretary to Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau, once said to be the second most powerful person in Canada. (University of Lethbridge photo.) Below: The Lancaster bomber arrives in Nanton, inconveniently huge, but still too small to house a roadside café; my uncle, Fred Garratt, who ran Nanton’s hardware store.

I only met Jim Coutts once, almost 30 years ago, and only for about 30 minutes, but he left an impression that has proven indelible and taught me a couple of worthwhile lessons about retail politics in the process.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Warning to Canadians: Reefer Madness in Colorado and Washington could mean the end of civilization as we know it!

Your intrepid blogger with one of the wholesome and touristic murals of Legal, Alberta – evidence Civilization As We Know It survives in Canada, thank goodness! Note the crowds of tourists. Below: Perfesser Dave; Mural on the Legal Post Office; Mural on the wall of Denver Airport; So, do you stand with civilization (Legal murals), or Colorado chaos (legal marijuana)?

MEMORANDUM: Suggested Federal Tory Campaign Strategy TO: CPC Strategical Staff, Prime Minister’s Office FROM: Perfesser Dave, Political Consultant

Reefer Madness hit Colorado and Washington State yesterday, the first day of 2014. As a result, civilization as we know it (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper’s South Africa Trip Starts Badly

Well I see Stephen Harper's trip to the Mandela funeral started off on a high note, with a macabre political version of the Mile High Club.With Harper obviously glad to leave the sordid Senate scandal behind him, and consorting with three former Prime Ministers.Even tweeting this photo of him and his old arch enemy Jean Chretien…

But I did notice that Great Ugly Leader was the only one drinking, and no wonder eh?Read more »

Alberta Diary: No surprise, Alberta PCs endorse Alison Redford with the traditional 77% Solution

A couple of political pundits try to explain to Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, why the 77 Per Cent Solution may not be a good thing after all. Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Note that the previous reference has nothing to do with illegal drugs or Rob Ford. Below: Ed Stelmach, Clint Dunford and Ralph Klein.

The members of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party – whoever they may be at this particular moment in history – endorsed Premier Alison Redford yesterday to the tune of 77 per cent.

What good will come of that, you wonder?

“Why (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: 70%? 66.9%? 55.9%? 50%+1 good enough for Alison Redford this evocative weekend

Alison Redford, ready for her endorsement vote tomorrow, as rendered by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Below: former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark, late U.S. president John F. Kennedy, both of whom figure in this blog post about Alberta politics for some reason.

Was it insularity and tone deafness, or Machiavellian cleverness, that led the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party to time the opening of the convention that includes Premier Alison Redford’s leadership review to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination?

Or is 50 years long enough that it’s just a weird coincidence that was (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper, Brian Mulroney, and the Big Tomato

Well there he was the other day, trying to run away from the Senate scandal, while claiming scandalously that his trade deal with the Europeans was bigger than Brian Mulroney's free trade deal. Prime Minister Stephen Harper touted the benefits of the Canada-EU free trade agreement to a business crowd in Montreal that included the architect of the Canada-U.S. free trade deal negotiated 25 years earlier.Even though we don't know what's in his new trade deal. Even though the Europeans are secretly bragging that they took Canada to the cleaners. And even though the Euro zone's economy (Read more…) - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal […]

Alberta Diary: How will we get back to the 19th Century without Stephen Harper? Why he should go, and won’t

A forlorn Richard Nixon waves goodbye to Washington for the last time from the steps of the presidential helicopter on Aug. 9, 1974. Don’t count on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to do the same thing any time soon, even if it destroys his party. Below: Stephen Harper looking appropriately gloomy in a Toronto Star photo grabbed from the Internet.

My first exposure to the news business from the inside was during the summer of 1973, the year the Watergate Scandal really rattled the United States and the cracks began to appear in the administration of President Richard Nixon.

The newsroom (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Former Tory strategist Allan Gregg rips Harper Cons’ ‘systematic attack’ on facts and reason

A couple of old guys born just before the last King passed on, one of them your blogger, the other the pollster and former Tory strategist Allan Gregg. Below: Mr. Gregg in his iconoclastically Conservative heyday.

Long-time Tory pollster and strategist Allan Gregg ripped into the Harper Government on Saturday for what he termed its “systematic attack on evidence-based research.”

But since Mr. Gregg was speaking to the annual convention of the Alberta Federation of Labour, his startling comments went completely unremarked by Alberta’s mainstream media – notwithstanding the readily available “local angle” of an Edmonton native who did (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Wicked Witch war of words: ‘Has Thatcher bashing crossed a line?’ Well, er… no!

The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Below, Ezra Levant in an orange wig with a can of Orange Crush mocks Jack Layton’s funeral. RIP or give it a rest?

Oh my – quelle horreur! – naughty Britons still appalled by the depredations visited upon their country by Margaret Thatcher’s government have shocked and appalled the world by pushing “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!” to the top of the charts.

In case you missed it, the former British prime minister, who was in office from 1979 to 1990, died on Monday at 87. But (Read more…) took until yesterday for the song from the Wizard of Oz – an apt metaphor itself for the operational side of neocon governments everywhere – to mischievously reach No. 1 on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s weekly music chart.

The right-wing media in Britain and, quite naturally, here . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Wicked Witch war of words: ‘Has Thatcher bashing crossed a line?’ Well, er… no!

The Ranting Canadian: Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official…

Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official gaggle of groupies at Maggie Thatcher’s Bukkake party on April 17, 2013 in London, England.

Yes, that Mulroney; the disgraced former prime minister who took bribes, defrauded Canadians of millions of dollars, cheated on his taxes and resigned under a cloud of corruption (not necessarily in that order). Stephen Harper, Canada’s disgraced current prime minister, is the shithead who invited him for the free ride.

No doubt the dishonourable John “Angry” Baird will be there too. He met Thatcher once, and even named his cat after her. What a pussy!

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Brian Mulroney is going to be part of Canada’s official…