Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream - Alberta politics: Tories hope for a Hancockian era of stability

TweetOn March 20, 1989, Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives were re-elected with a majority government but Premier Don Getty was defeated by voters in his Edmonton-Whitemud constituency. It was a stunning embarrassment for the then 18-year governing PC Party. Twenty-five years later, on March 20, 2014, Alberta’s still-governing PCs selected Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Dave Hancock to serve as Premier […]

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

- Lana Payne comments on the biggest of the Cons’ many lies about the role and capacity of the federal government: Canada’s $18.7-billion deficit has (its) roots in failed economic policies, decisions made before the world financial crisis, including reckless corporate tax cuts.

Remember, because the Conservatives would like us to forget, that this is a government that inherited $13 billion in surpluses.

They quickly emptied the cupboard with one tax cut after another.

Harper’s deficit has become, in many ways, a manufactured and convenient bogeyman. Bogeymen are useful especially when your goal (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Ontario’s by-elections: potentially a perfectly acceptable result for Premier Kathleen Wynne

Ontario Conservative Tim Hudak’s Vandal horde sacks Rome Upon Lake Ontario, the media narrative for last Thursday’s Ontario by-elections that was sensibly ignored by the province’s voters. Below, Ontario Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. Was she taking a page from the Book of Alison Redford, also below?

One can read too much into any by-election result, I suppose. And it’s particularly dangerous for a commentator from far away to divine profound truths from the results of an election to which he paid scant attention until the final tally appeared on the Internet.

Still, maybe distance lends an opportunity to see the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Sorry about what we said, Tom, but spare a sigh for Alberta, latest victim of Dutch Disease

These typical Albertans may be victims of Dutch Disease. Who would have thought just weeks ago they were wearing slim-cut jeans, ostrich-hide boots and nice Resistol hats like the people below? It’s pathetic, really! Below: Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, sorry Tom; Alberta Premier Alison Redford. All images just found on the Internet.

Who would have thought Alberta, of all places, would end up suffering from Dutch Disease?

Surely it was just weeks ago we Albertans, always ornery and lightning quick to take offence, were excoriating the likes of federal Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and then-Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty for

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Sorry about what we said, Tom, but spare a sigh for Alberta, latest victim of Dutch Disease - Alberta politics: Welcome to Queen’s Park West.

TweetThe staff overhaul in Premier Alison Redford‘s Communications Office has resulted in two new hires. One was already working in Alberta’s Legislature and the other comes direct from Ontario’s provincial legislature. Already under the dome, Michael Norris left his job as Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths‘ press secretary to become the Premier’s Issues Manager. Mr. [...]

The Canadian Progressive: OPSEU congratulates Wynne, calls for commitment to “the 99 per cent”

by Ontario Public Service Employees Union | Jan. 27, 2013: TORONTO – The president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has congratulated Kathleen Wynne on her victory in the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race and is calling on her to make fairness the guiding principle of her government when she becomes the province’s first-ever female Premier. “Our READ MORE

The Ranting Canadian: Here are a few photos from the January 25, 2013 protest against…

Here are a few photos from the January 25, 2013 protest against the incompetent, unethical, non-progressive Ontario Liberal Party, outside their leadership convention in downtown Toronto.

Hopefully our new temporary premier, Kathleen Wynne, will admit to the many mistakes that she and the Dalton McGuinty government have made, and will work tirelessly to repair the damage that they have inflicted on the province. If she is serious about turning this have-not province around, she and her minority government will cooperate with Andrea Horwath and the Ontario New Democratic Party (NDP), and follow their advice.

Also, hopefully Ontario’s teachers and other

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Here are a few photos from the January 25, 2013 protest against…

Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: Austerity is the Real Story at the OLP LDR Convention

Eric Hoskins | Gerard Kennedy Sandra Pupatello | Charles Sousa | Harinder Takhar | Kathleen Wynne

Slush filled sidewalks are tough enough to traverse first thing in the morning. They’re even more difficult when protesters form a narrow gauntlet to the entrance of Maple Leaf Gardens.

Omar Ha-Redeye speaks to protesters.

Omar Ha-Redeye speaks to protesters.

Teachers are in full force today, despite the cold and the snow. They’re protesting Bill 115, which unilaterally cut pay and benefits for some Ontario teachers. Meaningful collective bargaining, the protesters claim, have not been achieved in this process.

But Bill 115 has

. . . → Read More: Toronto Lawyer | Omar Ha-Redeye, J.D. » Politics: Austerity is the Real Story at the OLP LDR Convention

A BCer in Toronto: Day 1 is for Dalton at #olpldr

I’m increasingly of the belief that the way to cover a political convention, social media-wise, is to Tweet during the day, and provide a more thought-out perspective at night. So that’s what I’m going to try to do for my coverage of the Ontario Liberal Party leadership race this weekend, where I’m a Gerard Kennedy alternate and unofficial blogger at large.

Below you’ll find a Storify of my tweets during this first, short day of #olpldr. And I do mean short. All that was on the agenda was the official opening and a tribute to outgoing leader Dalton McGuinty. At (Read more…)

Impolitical: Dalton McGuinty farewell speech

Well since I’m here on the blog dime, I best say something about the big event of the night. Dalton McGuinty’s sign-off speech is what everyone was here for. The main event before everyone piles out of here and heads off to hospitality suites where delegates will be wooed in this last of a kind delegated convention world.

At the beginning of the speech, McGuinty recalled his election as leader here in Maple Leaf Gardens with a joke. His wife leaned over to him and whispered, “I thought you weren’t going to win!” Who knew. It’s been 16 years.

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Dalton McGuinty farewell speech

The Progressive Right: Day One Over #olpldr

Today was mostly about registering delegates and getting everyone organized. The vast majority of the time was the tribute to outgoing premier, Dalton McGuinty. Premier McGuinty thanked his family, his mother – and regretted that his father could not see him enter public life.

Tomorrow, I rejoin the blogging crew and bring you coverage of the leadership ballots.

As always, check out the photos on

Calgary Grit: The Case For Kennedy

This weekend, Liberals from across Ontario will gather at Maple Leaf Gardens for what is likely to be one of the last grand old leadership conventions in Canada. Having 2,000 delegates decide who governs a province of 13 million doesn’t scream “grassroots”, but it makes for one heck of a show. There will be signs, there will be noise makers, there will be t-shirts, there will carefully orchestrated spontaneous outpourings of enthusiasm.

Rumours will fly, candidates will lead their delegates across the floor, and the TV cameras will scramble to find a heartbroken teenager in tears. Whether or not you

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: The Case For Kennedy

The Ranting Canadian: Julian Fantino: once a dirty cop, now a dirty politician The…

Julian Fantino: once a dirty cop, now a dirty politician

The dishonourable Julian “Mussolini” Fantino, Canada’s minister of international cooperation, was recently busted for ordering a pro-Conservative propaganda letter (signed by him) to be published on the website of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), a non-partisan federal agency. After the MP for Vaughan was called out on his infraction, CIDA took the partisan letter off its website.

In addition to being full of lies and distortions about the centrist New Democratic Party (NDP), the attack ad broke government rules by being posted on tax-funded, party-neutral, public sector

. . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Julian Fantino: once a dirty cop, now a dirty politician

the reeves report: Urban River Valleys Mean More Growth for Ontario Greenbelt

Ontario’s Greenbelt – Halton Region

It’s a new beginning for Ontario’s 1.8 million acre Greenbelt.

On January 10, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty was in Newmarket to announce a significant new designation to Greenbelt legislation, which will make it easier for municipalities to add public land to what is already the largest greenbelt in the world.

The new Urban River Valley designation will allow municipalities to retain flood protection controls over the urban rivers they intend to make part of the Greenbelt.

Why is this significant? Burkhard Mausberg, CEO of Friends of the Greenbelt, explained it to

. . . → Read More: the reeves report: Urban River Valleys Mean More Growth for Ontario Greenbelt

The Canadian Progressive: Andrea Horwath: “We’re not interested in a coalition government”

Earlier this week, someone suggested that, if chosen to succeed Dalton McGuinty as Ontario premier next weekend, Liberal leadership front-runner Kathleen Wynne would invite the Ontario New Democrats to form a coalition government. NDP leader, Andrea Horwath, has dismissed the idea. In a letter recently mailed to supporters, she said the coalition government talk is “a distraction from the issues.” “With so many READ MORE

THE FIFTH COLUMN: The Teachers Dilemma

Nobody wants to give in to a bully. Indeed teachers teach students not to give in to bullies and teachers are expected to be role models and teach by example.

So the teachers, when the bully took away their collective bargaining rights with draconian legislation that took away their right to strike, used the only legal avenue they had to fight back against the bully and refused voluntary

THE FIFTH COLUMN: Teachers Political Protest Not a Strike and Not Illegal

First of all it is not a strike because it is not part of the collective bargaining process because with a government imposed contract, imposed under a draconian law whose constitutionality is under challenge, there is no collective bargaining process. Secondly the political protest is aimed at the government as policy maker and legislator, not as employer.

It is not illegal because political

Calgary Grit: 2012 Woman of the Year

Every December, I like to name a “Person of the Year” – the individual who left their mark on Canadian politics over the past year. The only rules are that the PM is too obvious a choice, and that lame picks (“You!”) are strictly verboten. The Person of the Year doesn’t need to be someone who used the force for the powers of good, or someone I like – just someone who made a difference. Below is a list of recent choices:

2011: Jack Layton 2010: Rob Ford and Naheed Nenshi2009: Jim Flaherty2008: Stephane Dion2007:

. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: 2012 Woman of the Year

The Ranting Canadian: The below updated lyrics to the Phil Ochs classic “Love Me…

The below updated lyrics to the Phil Ochs classic “Love Me I’m a Liberal” (click on the Justin Bieber — I mean Trudeau — photo for a Youtube video of the original song) were inspired by recent stories about Liberal Party wrongdoings in Canad… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: The below updated lyrics to the Phil Ochs classic “Love Me…

Alberta Diary: Alberta health minister to doctors: shut up and take your medicine!

Long memories? D’ya think? Tory Health Minister Fred Horne overturns an Alberta physicians’ vehicle yesterday. Alberta Progressive Conservative ministers may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Fred Horne, Alberta Medical Association President Dr. Michael Giuffre, former AMA President Dr. Linda Slocombe. When Alberta’s most powerful union – the Alberta Medical Association, which until … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta health minister to doctors: shut up and take your medicine!

The Ranting Canadian: Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park,…

Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park, Toronto This year, since November 11 fell on a Sunday, I managed to attend two Remembrance Day ceremonies at Queen’s Park in Toronto. First I obse… . . . → Read More: The Ranting Canadian: Remembrance Day 2012 at Queen’s Park,…

John Laforet: John Laforet: Is 2013 Going To Be The Year of Three Premiers?

Dalton McGuinty has announced his intention to resign as Premier, once the Ontario Liberal Party chooses a successor for him, which is expected to happen at the end of January. Whomever wins McGuinty’s crown in 85 days, will be sworn in as Premier likely two or three weeks later.

With support for the Ontario Liberals plummeting over the last number of months, and an emboldened opposition holding the balance of power in the legislature, McGuinty’s successor will likely fall on their budget, triggering a spring election that the Liberal Party will have an incredibly difficult time winning.

Polls show the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Undemocratic impulses? Who ya gonna call? Not Jimmy Carter!

When it comes to ensuring the integrity of foreign elections, take it from Alberta Diary, Jimmy Carter is outstanding in the field. Below: Alberta MP Linda Duncan and Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovich.

By the sound of it, the international observers of Sunday’s Ukrainian parliamentary elections did manage to catch the government of President Viktor F. Yanukovich getting up to some undemocratic naughtiness.

Their report, which the international media yesterday described as scathing, accused Mr. Yanukovich’s Party of Regions of unfairly benefiting from excessive money from supporters, abuse of government resources to make it look good and heavily biased

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Undemocratic impulses? Who ya gonna call? Not Jimmy Carter!

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on the increasing attempts of executive government at all levels to declare democracy irrelevant – and how strong grassroots party structures may be the key to reversing the tide.

For further reading…- Again, Andrew Coyne’s column remains the definitive discussion of the issue at the federal and provincial levels.- But I’ll give credit to the Libs who have recognized that shutting down democratic debate is a serious problem – particularly Steve V, who also discusses Gerard Kennedy’s outspoken criticism of the move. And we’ll find out over the next few months whether the Libs’ membership

Impolitical: Fate and timing

Dalton McGuinty is not running for the federal leadership it is now fully confirmed. Just wanted to highlight one of the things he said in his interview with Joan Bryden of Canadian Press: “One of the things I’ve discovered in talking to people in different parts of the country is there’s a tremendous bedrock of goodwill and enthusiasm. It’s not being manifested on the surface at this point in time but it is there nonetheless,” he said.

“I would also argue … that we are, by inclination and in terms of our history, we are small ‘l’ liberals, we Canadians. And

. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Fate and timing