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daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Nomination update: Yellowhead by-election, Bow River Tories vote, and Anybody but Xiao

TweetPremier Jim Prentice announced this week that five-term Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Merrifield would be appointed as Alberta’s representative in Washington D.C. Mr. Merrifield’s resignation from the House of Commons means that a federal by-election will need to be called in the Yellowhead riding by March 17, 2015. This would be the fourth federal […]

Alberta Diary: The Calgary perp walk: it’s a routine disgrace, and it’s about time someone spoke up about it

Angela Davis does the “perp walk” after her arrest in New York City in 1970. The “perp walk” – discredited, but still popular with the Calgary media and Calgary Police Service – is designed to make the suspect look guilty. Ms. Davis was acquitted by a jury just the same. Below: A disgraceful image apparently created to carry the implication of a perp walk, ginned up from more than one image for the Edmonton Sun, shows the power of the meme; the most famous perp walk in history; a real, recent, perp walk in Calgary, one of hundreds of such (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.)

While the Canadian Taxpayers Federation claims to be a “tax watchdog” that opposes waste and advocates transparency in government, evidence suggests its principal purposes are to provide partisan support for the Harper Government, fulfill the corporate agenda and undermine the rights of working people.

(Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Master of survey spinning takes potshot at poll showing Jim Prentice far ahead in Progressive Conservative leadership race

Stephen Carter, back in the day, looking very pleased with himself. Below: Former Carter clients Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi and Alison Redford. Below them: Pollster Janet Brown.

What would happen if a new poll put Thomas Lukaszuk in third place in the Tory leadership race?

Oh, wait! The former labour minister is in third place. But then, there are only three candidates.

According to a public opinion poll published yesterday by the Calgary Herald, frontrunner Jim Prentice is running so far ahead it’s all likely to be meaningless anyway, notwithstanding the apparent flaws of the survey.

The Herald reported that (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A blast from the past: Oh, those Tories and their stories!

A postal worker searches for David Climenhaga’s lost letter from the minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Ray Speaker. Nope. That’s not it … Nothing’s turned up just yet. Below: Mr. Speaker and NDP MLA Ed Ewasiuk.

On May 7, 1991, Ray Speaker, the minister of municipal affairs in the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta, rose in the provincial Legislature in response to a member’s question about a story that had appeared the morning before in the Calgary Herald.

The question was asked by Ed Ewasiuk, the New Democrat MLA for Edmonton-Beverly, who was well known as an aggressive advocate (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Finance minister’s joint news conference with civil service union leader sure looked like a total climb-down

AUPE President Guy Smith, left, and Finance Minister Doug Horner on the podium together at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton. Below: NDP leader Brian Mason as he spoke to reporters moments afterward.

There’s no question, after a year of something approaching total warfare between the Government of Alberta and its civil service union, it was unnerving to see Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith and Finance Minister Doug Horner sharing the same podium at a joint news conference yesterday morning.

The backstory for the public? Former premier Alison Redford is gone, taking her war on public employees with (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Rob Anders loses by a nose in Signal Hill as Cowtown Cons make the best of a bad choice

Lost by a nose … but what a nose! A 22-year-old Rob Anders in 1994, heckling an Oklahoma politician. Below: Calgary Signal Hill nomination victor Ron Liepert; Mr. Anders as he looks today.

There was blood in the water of the Bow River as it flowed through Cowtown last night.

After a while, it became clear the metaphorical blood had been shed by the ever-embarrassing Rob Anders, who at a mere 42 years of age had served an excruciating six terms as the Reform, Alliance and Conservative Member of Parliament for the Calgary West riding, which will soon cease to (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Did Calgary Herald Disappear Editorial Re Ezra Levant?

It looked like it might be mildly Ezra-critical:

But now, not two hours after it appeared, all you get is a 404 error.  Someone send in their army of lawyers?

Alberta Diary: The Ides of March: Alison Redford under ‘friendly fire’ from coup plotters in her own caucus

Premier Alison Redford and an aide, at right, look on as Progressive Conservative caucus coup plotters try to remember if the signal to make their move is “Toga! Toga! Toga!” or “Tory! Tory! Tory!” Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Rumoured Redford replacements Gary Mar, Stephen Mandel and Jim Dinning.

It’s less than a week until the Ides of March and signs are now plentiful an attempt to topple Alberta Premier Alison Redford is under way.

By all accounts the coup plotters come from within the premier’s own Progressive Conservative Party. They are (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The End is at Hand! Sure looks that way for Alberta’s PCs, anyway…

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.

OTTAWA

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…)

Alberta Diary: A serious question for Albertans: Is the Redford Government out of control?

Whose House is it? In Alberta, not yours! Public service union members tried to enter the Alberta Legislature yesterday to protest Bills 45 and 46, and soon found the doors barred. Below: Some more of the 400 or so people who braved the coldest spot in Edmonton for an impromptu rally organized by public service workers yesterday.

Albertans got a first look at the Redford Government’s suspiciously timed public employee “restraint” legislation yesterday – which effectively bans meaningful collective bargaining in the public sector and allows the province to impose agreements by fiat.

Many of them, of course, won’t (Read more…)

Let Freedom Rain II: Man, Licia Corbella is a shitty journalist

I haz free speech

UPDATE: In light of the controversy ignited by Calgary Herald’s most out-of-touch journo, blaming Vancouver for Kelly Montieth’s death, I thought I’d go back in LFR’s wayback machine and present another gem from Ms. Corbella sometime in the past year or so.

I don’t know how I came to this webpage (Ed: now removed) of the Calgary Herald but somehow I landed on an article by one Licia Corbella. The questionable, chest-beating headine, “Society the biggest winner from ruling”, should have been the give-away.

Instead of a substantive report on two students whose probation by the University of Calgary for (Read more…)

calgaryliberal.com: Alberta Liberal and Federal Liberal Cooperation? Lets Go.

I was talking to one of my friends around the the university the other day and I brought up Raj Sherman’s interview in the Calgary Herald on some form of cooperation between the two Liberal parties in Alberta. It was an off-hand comment and I didn’t really expect a conversation to come of it. He [...]

Alberta Diary: ‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!

Freddy Lee Morton, in happier times, with your blogger. Below: Firewaller Tom Flanagan; the entire separatist 2001 Firewall team (grabbed from the National Post).

Freddy Lee “Ted” Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, was back in the pages of the Calgary Herald the other day, bloviating at length about the need for brutal attack on public service salaries because this province’s frequently fluctuating principal revenue source has gone and fluctuated again.

Alert readers will recall Dr. Morton describing himself as “every liberal’s nightmare, a right-winger with a PhD.” He was also the owner of the mysterious “Frederick Lee”

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: ‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!

Alberta Diary: Who leaked Alberta’s budget details? And who plugged the leak?

Some of the members of Alberta’s Treasury Board are pictured above. While not exactly as illustrated, they are all suspects in the leakage of budget details, in the office, with an email to the Calgary Herald. Below: Columnist Don Braid, detective Sherlock Holmes and Treasury Board President Doug Horner.

It’s a whodunit, a little like the one about the dog that didn’t bark.

Why didn’t the Calgary Herald create a huge front-page brouhaha when its columnist Don Braid ferreted out some pretty startling facts about Alberta’s March 7 budget?

Certainly, that’s what most newspapers would have done if their trusted

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Who leaked Alberta’s budget details? And who plugged the leak?

The Canadian Progressive: West-East Tar Sands Pipeline: New Brunswick Premier David Alward Goes to Alberta

by Obert Madondo | The Canadian Progressive, Feb. 3, 2013: New Brunswick Premier David Alward really wants Alberta’s tar sands to flow to the world through his province. To accelerate Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s dream of converting Canada into a China-dominated petro-state, I should say. Alward is currently on a three-day visit to the heartland of Canada’s dirty READ MORE

Alberta Diary: Putting Christ back in Christmas: maybe Christians themselves need to ‘press reset’

Jesus, centre, separates the sheep from the goats. Don’t ask what happens to the goats. Below: St. Paul and modern Evangelical favourite Ayn Rand.

Today is Christmas, and thus an opportunity for many who think of themselves as adherents of the Christian faith to lecture everyone else sternly about the need to “put Christ back into Christmas.”

This is, after all, His birthday, they remind us – although, actually, it’s almost certainly not, but that doesn’t really matter as Dec. 25 stands in for it at a conveniently miserable time of year when European pagans would otherwise quite

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Putting Christ back in Christmas: maybe Christians themselves need to ‘press reset’

calgaryliberal.com: I’m with Raj. (Mergers, Kent Hehr, cont.)

Just pointing something out here. Raj Sherman says Kent Hehr can speak his mind on mergers and the very base frustration that the Liberal MLA from Buffalo has with politics as they stand in Alberta. Hehr giving voice to that fundamental frustration is fine and well. People who care deeply about the process are frustrated. I’m [...]

Alberta Diary: HMS Alberta Tory: All hands to damage control! Is Commodore Mar aboard?

The scene in the Alberta Legislature yesterday, with Premier Alison Redford at the centre of things. Actual Alberta politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Gary Mar, Premier John Brownlee, Vivian MacMillan. I suppose the question has to be asked: Is it too late for the Tories bring back Gary Mar? Mr. Mar had … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: HMS Alberta Tory: All hands to damage control! Is Commodore Mar aboard?

calgaryliberal.com: By-Election Update: Tories Flipping to Liberals in Calgary-Centre

There’s a split in Calgary in the conservatives. And it’s about principles. Calgary Herald: Provincial rift spreads to federal realm Calgary Herald: “Pat Moore says she doesn’t like the way the Conservative nomination was controlle… . . . → Read More: calgaryliberal.com: By-Election Update: Tories Flipping to Liberals in Calgary-Centre

Alberta Diary: Brock Ketcham, 64, newsman and trade unionist; polite, positive and determined

Brock Ketcham, left, and the author on the picket line at the Calgary Herald, circa 2000.

My old brothers and sisters from the Calgary Herald strike will be saddened to learn of the death on Saturday of our dear comrade Brock Ketcham, a solid journalist, a sweet guy and an unlikely student of the sweet science. He was 64, less than a year shy of qualifying for a well-deserved retirement.

Precisely spoken, carefully dressed, sober of mien, unfailingly polite, perpetually upbeat, willing to pitch in and finish the rotten jobs that prima donnas disdain but that must nevertheless be done

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Brock Ketcham, 64, newsman and trade unionist; polite, positive and determined

Alberta Diary: Chuckwagon carnage: Three horses die and Calgary Stampede blames the lead horse!

A chuckwagon race at the Calgary Stampede in 1957. Canada’s greatest city? Below: One resident of Canada’s greatest city camps it up for the occasion.

“Autopsy shows lead horse in chuckwagon accident died of ruptured aortic aneurysm,” shouts a headline in yesterday’s Calgary Herald.

So… what? The Calgary Stampede’s going to blame the chuckwagon crash that killed three horses Thursday night on “equine error”? Shoulda seen a vet, that dumb hoss…

Have you noticed that in such situations it’s usually the driver that gets blamed? If a passenger jet skids off the runway with fatal results, it’s pilot error. If

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Chuckwagon carnage: Three horses die and Calgary Stampede blames the lead horse!

Alberta Diary: Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald to shed more staff as newspapers struggle to survive

Peering through the fence at the newspaper business in 2012. Canadian newspapers may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Edmonton Journal editor in chief Lucinda Chodan.

The newspaper industry was officially pronounced a dead man walking on Sunday, July 8, 2012.

The declaration was made by no less an authority than the New York Times, the world’s remaining newspaper of record, which hopes to be the last newspaper standing when all the others have fallen at its feet. So it should know, eh?

Times journalist David Carr began his gloomy story with a terrific lead – worthy of those days

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Edmonton Journal, Calgary Herald to shed more staff as newspapers struggle to survive

Alberta Diary: Big money speaks quietly to the recalcitrant Calgary Stampede on its 100th anniversary

Cowboys in the aftermath of a bad chuckwagon spill at the 1937 Calgary Stampede. Below: Chuckwagon races as they’re supposed to appear; Stampede Programming VP Paul Rosenberg; Bell Canada logo of yore.

Money talks, and what money is saying now, the day before the 100th opening of the Calgary Stampede, is that Canadians are turning away from animal cruelty as entertainment.

Sometimes a whisper is louder than a shout, and the big money was barely whispering on the topic of harm to animals at the Calgary Stampede, which opens for the 100th time tomorrow. But rest assured those sibilant sounds

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Big money speaks quietly to the recalcitrant Calgary Stampede on its 100th anniversary

Leftist Jab: Calgary Herald’s Licia Corbella’s Courageous Position on the "Dismemberment Video" Teacher

It takes courage to go against the grain. When a conservative columnist feels the need to voice her unique insights regarding the Montreal teacher that showed the Luka Magnotta dismemberment video, you simply must take a step back from the right versus left divide and acknowledge the courage of her conviction.

Licia Corbella injected her own subtle perspicacity into her Calgary Herald column