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Alberta Diary: The ‘Self Preservation Society’ wants Jim Prentice for ‘The Alberta Job’ – but can he forgo his ambition to be PM?

“The Alberta Job.” Will the original “Self Preservation Society” get to keep the Tory gold? Is Jim Prentice – above, not exactly as illustrated – the man to help them do it? Read on to find out why we’ll probably never find out. Below: The actual Jim Prentice. Below him: Possible, rumoured, putative PC leadership candidate Stephen Mandel.

The question Jim Prentice really needs to ask himself is this: “Do I really want to ride that bus all the way to the bottom of the cliff and be sitting in it when it bursts into flames?”

The (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Allaudin Merali files suit against Fred Horne, Alberta Health Services for breach of contract, defamation

Health Minister Fred Horne: target of defamation, breach of trust, loss of income suit by former Alberta Health Services CFO. Below: Allaudin Merali.

Allaudin Merali filed a statement of claim today in the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench against Alberta Health Services and Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne.

“The statement of claim includes claims for a breach of contract, defamation and loss of income,” Mr. Merali said in a carefully worded email sent to media and bloggers.

Since the former Capital Health Region and Alberta Health Services CFO’s expense account became a cause célèbre and a political embarrassment to the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who are the Top MLAs of 2013?

TweetIt has become tradition on this blog at the end of each year that I publish a list of Members of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta who have been the best and most notable of the past year. This year was the first time I struggled to compile a list. In the nine-years since I […]

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s 13 most under-reported political news stories of 2013

Another aircraft takes off from Fort McMurray International Aerodrome loaded with CO2 captured from Alberta’s Athabasca bitumen sands. The gas will be stored in the basements of Russian buildings as part of a deal worked out through the province’s $2-billion “carbon capture” program. Actual Alberta carbon capture boondoggles may not operate exactly as described. Below: A Lethbridge student continues studying as hydraulic fracking operations take place next to her school; why is this doctor smiling? Hint: He runs a Family Care Clinic.

Soon it’ll be 2014 and the mainstream media can get back to doing what it does best: panicking (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: CBC journalist Charles Rusnell: slaying Alberta’s Tory dragon, one scandal at a time …

Your blogger with CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell. Below: Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu; Mr. Sandhu with Alison Redford in a Tory Party photo grabbed from the Daveberta.ca blog. The photo-bomber is Calgary-Fort MLA Wayne Cao.

You’d think it would be easy to run a petroleum-soaked, cash-rich jurisdiction like Alberta, but a day seldom seems to pass out here on the western edge of the Great Plains without our governing Progressive Conservative Party suffering another pratfall or embarrassment.

But how many Albertans know that so many of these scandals bedevilling our permanent governing party have been uncovered by the same (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: CBC investigation, Wildrose aggressiveness real reasons Peter Sandhu quit Tories.

TweetEdmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu has resigned from the Progressive Conservative Caucus after a CBC investigation revealed that a company owned by the politician had accumulated a trail of unpaid debt. The report, by investigative reporter Charles Rusnell, also found that Mr. Sandhu made a false statement in a sworn affidavit. It is not uncommon for [...]

Alberta Diary: Mysterious 2011 review of Alberta Labour Code explained – corporate influence, of course!

Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan, right, speaks to yesterday’s AFL news conference at the Edmonton’s Shaw Conference Centre. Your faithful blogger can be glimpsed at the far right. Beside him, the CBC’s Charles Rusnell. Below: Rusnell, Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason.

Back in the summer of 2011, as Ed Stelmach’s reign as premier of Alberta ground toward its inevitable terminal moment, then-employment-minister Thomas Lukaszuk sent around a letter advising stakeholders he was about to commence a review of the Alberta Labour Code.

It had to be done, said the minister responsible for the province’s labour portfolio, “to ensure (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: The Progressive Conservatives and Alberta’s government: one entity, indivisible, under God?

Participants in today’s Alberta Economic Summit solemnly await Premier Alison Redford’s arrival at Calgary’s Mount Royal University. Many are called but few are chosen, and they may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Stefan Baranski, Charles Rusnell and Stephen Carter.

As befits an almost exclusively political event, criticism of today’s Alberta economic summit by the Opposition Wildrose Party prompted a harsh and highly partisan riposte by the Redford Government.

A news release issued yesterday on government letterhead over the name of Stefan Baranski, Premier Alison Redford’s communications director, accuses Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith of a “deliberate misinformation campaign” against the

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Progressive Conservatives and Alberta’s government: one entity, indivisible, under God?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Scandal, controversy, and electoral fortunes? What does 2013 hold for Alberta politics?

TweetWhat does 2013 hold for Alberta’s political leaders? Do their performances in 2012 shed any light on how the next year will play out? Saved from defeat by controversial comments made by social conservative elements of the Wildrose Party, Premier Alison Redford led the Progressive Conservative Party to its 12th consecutive electoral victory since 1971. [...]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose MLAs stage walk out during dramatic tobacco conflict.

TweetTheatric and dramatic antics dominated this afternoon’s hour-long Question Period in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly. To start the drama, the official opposition Wildrose Caucus raised a point of personal privilege claiming that Premie… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Wildrose MLAs stage walk out during dramatic tobacco conflict.

Alberta Diary: Potted history: why the winter of 2012 feels like the summer of ’73

Richard Nixon after his overwhelming 1972 re-election victory. Below: George McGovern, Alison Redford. Here in Alberta’s icy capital, the winter of 2012 is starting to feel like the summer of ’73. If you’re an Alberta Progressive Conservative, this is not a good thing. Let me explain. In the spring and summer of 1972, Richard Nixon, … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Potted history: why the winter of 2012 feels like the summer of ’73

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A smoking gun? Premier Redford accused of conflict in tobacco case.

TweetAnother exclusive story from CBC investigative reporter Charles Rusnell: Premier Alison Redford, while justice minister, personally chose her ex-husband’s law firm for a government tobacco-litigation contract worth potentially tens of millio… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: A smoking gun? Premier Redford accused of conflict in tobacco case.

Alberta Diary: Cone of Silence won’t make Albertans any less angry at expense account shenanigans

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, at right, and a representative of the media go inside the Cone of Silence to discuss the latest health care expense account revelations. Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated, but, boy, Maxwell Smart sure looks like Dalton McGuinty! Below: Premier Redford’s sister Lynn, CBC reporter Charles Rusnell and … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Cone of Silence won’t make Albertans any less angry at expense account shenanigans

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Something was rotten in the former Calgary Health Region.

TweetIntrepid CBC investigative journalist Charles Rusnell has uncovered another swath of illegal political donations made to Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party: Lynn Redford, sister of Alberta Premier Alison Redford, attended Progressive C… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Something was rotten in the former Calgary Health Region.

Alberta Diary: The XL Foods E. coli Crisis: Is the media asking the right questions?

The Edmonton Journal’s front page on Friday. Below: Brian Nilsson apologizing, Lee Nilsson, the Mannix brothers, Fred and Ron. All photos grabbed from the Internet.

Postmedia News, owner of Alberta’s two largest newspapers, was so relieved when one of the brothers who own troubled XL Foods Ltd. in this province’s southeast finally emerged and apologized for the E. coli mess at the company’s meatpacking plant the Edmonton Journal devoted a massive four-line headline to the story.

Normally, this is the sort of treatment reserved for humans landing in another part of the solar system or reports of the second coming,

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The XL Foods E. coli Crisis: Is the media asking the right questions?

Alberta Diary: No buyout for former Alberta Health chief financial officer? Really?

Back in the days of Capital Health… Very little may be exactly as illustrated. Below: Dr. Chris Eagle, Alllaudin Merali, Fred Horne, Sheila Weatherill.

Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Chris Eagle announced categorically in a news release today there will be no buyout for Allaudin Merali, the health care agency’s former chief financial officer whose controversial expense account practices in a previous job were at the centre of a storm of controversy last week.

But are we seriously expected to believe a man who would claim a single loonie plugged into a parking meter is going to say goodbye to

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: No buyout for former Alberta Health chief financial officer? Really?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: allaudin merali’s extravagant expenses a blow to alberta health services, redford government.

TweetThe highest echelons of Alberta Health Services are once again being rocked by a firestorm of public criticism after it was revealed that AHS Chief Financial Officer Allaudin Merali had claimed more than $345,000 in expenses to the province-wide health authority. Mr. Merali was fired by AHS hours before CBC aired the story about how [...]

Alberta Diary: Understanding AHS: Carmangay nursing home repairs? We need the money for Allaudin Merali!

Village of Carmangay: Sorry, your nursing home will have to close. Below: Former Capital Health CEO Sheila Weatherill, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne.

Let’s cut right to the chase: If Alberta Health Services can afford to buy out Allaudin Merali, again, it can afford to keep the doors open at the Little Bow Continuing Care Centre in Carmangay.

The Little Bow centre in the village of 275 souls way down in Wildrose country is home to 18 elderly dementia patients. AHS says that at 54 years old, the building just too expensive to renovate and too rickety to keep

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Understanding AHS: Carmangay nursing home repairs? We need the money for Allaudin Merali!

Alberta Diary: Something hits the Alberta fan: Allaudin and his wonderful expense account revealed by CBC

Allaudin and his wonderful expense account? Departing Alberta Health Service executives may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: One of the few photos available of Allaudin Merali; CBC investigative journalist Charles Rusnell.

One is practically struck dumb by the astonishing CBC revelation that the Chief Financial Officer of Alberta’s massive single public health care agency was once accustomed to spending public money on his expense account as if there were no tomorrow.

Indeed, after yesterday’s revelation by the only investigative journalist still gainfully employed in that field in Western Canada that Allaudin Merali submitted expense claims for such items as

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Something hits the Alberta fan: Allaudin and his wonderful expense account revealed by CBC

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: illegal donations continue to dog alberta’s tories.

Tweet

Another case of illegal donations to the PC Party has been relvealed.

In the weeks leading to the election call earlier this year, it appeared that a series of illegal donations collected by Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Association could become a defining issue of the campaign. The donations, made public through the great investigative work of CBC reporter Charles Rusnell, revealed that many public institutions, municipalities, and organizations that receive public funds had made financial or in-kind donations to the PC Party. Under the laws that govern Alberta’s political financing, these types of contributions are deemed illegal.

As the

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: illegal donations continue to dog alberta’s tories.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: why don’t i feel outraged about the illegal donations scandal?

I feel like I should be outraged about recent allegations that Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have received thousands of dollars in illegal donations from municipalities and public institutions including the University of Lethbridge, but I am not.

Under elections finance legislation in Alberta, it is illegal for these entities to make financial contributions to a political party.

Perhaps it is the ingrained institutionalism of the Progressive Conservative Association as Alberta’s governing party for more than 40 years that has made these types of allegations seem unsurprising and feel normal. Is this just how municipalities and public institutions do business in

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: why don’t i feel outraged about the illegal donations scandal?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: wildrose behind mysterious ‘push poll’ attacking alison redford.

Politics in Alberta got a little meaner this week when word of a new ‘push poll’ attacking Premier Alison Redford began to circulate among political circles. In typical push poll fashion, the automated telephone survey asks participants to answer a series of loaded negative questions about Premier Redford, and then respond to whether they would [...] . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: wildrose behind mysterious ‘push poll’ attacking alison redford.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: cbc uncovers den of “pork-barrel politics” near canada’s ufo landing pad.

  Welcome to St. Paul, Alberta, the home of Alberta’s first official UFO landing pad and now pork-barrel politics” according to an investigation by intrepid CBC reporter Charles Rusnell: A top municipal official in St. Paul, Alta., used the city’s email system to solicit votes during the Conservative leadership race in a bid to ensure [...] . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: cbc uncovers den of “pork-barrel politics” near canada’s ufo landing pad.

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: The ‘Freddy Lee’ Loser Factor: Albertans plain didn’t like a sneak

Finalists Gary Mar, Alison Redford and Doug Horner. The remaining Alberta Progressive Conservative candidates are, well, pretty much exactly as illustrated! Below: Dr. Freddy Lee Morton.Never mind the winner. Yeah, Calgary lawyer Gary Mar got way more … . . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: The ‘Freddy Lee’ Loser Factor: Albertans plain didn’t like a sneak

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: ted morton aka frederick lee and the shredder.

After a week of dodging questions from intrepid CBC reporter Charles Rusnell about a covert email alias and shredded ministerial documents, former Finance Minister Ted Morton‘s campaign for Alberta’s Progressive Conservative leadership has taken its first big hit with just more than a week before the first ballot vote. After making ‘government transparency’ a key [...] . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: ted morton aka frederick lee and the shredder.