Alberta Politics: Anticipated court scrap between government and home schoolers ends with whimper, not bang

PHOTOS: The school run by the Trinity Christian School Association in Cold Lake (photo from the group’s website). Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, NDP MLA Heather Sweet, and Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver. The resolution yesterday of the much-anticipated cage fight between Alberta’s NDP Government and a ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose defence of Christian home schooling group unravels on news of operators’ big salaries

PHOTOS: The Trinity Christian private school in Cold Lake. Court documents indicate its principal was paid $322,813 over three years. One news report says it currently has 13 students. Below: Ken Noster, board chair and administrator of Wisdom Home Schooling Society, his wife Marlane Noster, and Trinity School principal Richard Schienbein. All photos come from ...

Alberta Politics: In the debate over home schooling and ‘parents’ rights,’ we need to remember children have rights too

PHOTOS: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen. Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean and film director and former American evangelical Frank Schaeffer (Salon photo). Controversy in Alberta over the provincial government’s decision to withdraw funding and accreditation from a private Christian school association that oversaw about a third of the province’s home-schooled children offers a chance ...

Alberta Politics: We don’t need an inquiry – we need to bring the hammer of defunding down now on scofflaw private schools

PHOTOS: NDP Education Minister David Eggen – he’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s making it worse. The time has come to bring the hammer down and defund schools that won’t obey Alberta’s law on gay-straight alliances. Below: Rev. Brian Coldwell, chair of two private schools determined to break the law (CBC photo), ...

Alberta Politics: Where exactly is the ‘compromise’ Jason Kenney thinks the NDP should make on sexual minority rights?

PHOTOS: Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney back in the day … welcoming refugees? Well, not if they wanted health care. Unintended ironic juxtaposition, I suppose. (Photo from abbotsfordtoday.blogspot.ca.) Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen; New Testament Baptist Church, just west of Edmonton. Where exactly is this “sensible Alberta compromise” Jason Kenney advises the province’s ...

Alberta Politics: Was pastor encouraged by right-wing allies to say intemperate things that could cost his private schools?

PHOTOS: The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa, where Alberta’s gay-straight alliance law seems destined to be held in the balance. Below: The judgment of Solomon – don’t take the supposedly wise king’s child-care advice if you don’t want a visit from the police and a social worker. Below that: Alberta Education Minister David ...

Alberta Politics: Church in fight over Alberta LGBTQ policy espouses far-right ideology, has close tie to advocacy group

PHOTOS: The New Testament Baptist Church near Spruce Grove, just west of Edmonton. Below: The vandalized sign, with some of the scrubbed pink spray paint still visible; additional signs on the site promoting the church and school; and administrator Rev. Brian Coldwell and private school advocate Donna Trimble, the latter two shots from the CBC. ...

Alberta Politics: Motion demanding public support for private and charter schools backfires on Alberta Tory Leader

PHOTOS: Interim Alberta Tory Leader Ric McIver and another PC are ejected from the Legislature yesterday by the Sergeant at Arms. Actual Alberta MLAs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The Real Ric McIver and Edmonton Public School Board Chairperson Michael Janz. Has Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver’s motion demanding the Alberta ...

Alberta Politics: Time to share the pain and stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars on elite private and cherry-picking charter schools

PHOTOS: A typical Alberta charter school class, at least as imagined by supporters of the expensive idea. Actual charter and private school students in 2016 may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver, Education Minister David Eggen and private school supporter and former PC premier Jim Prentice. Progressive Conservative ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta Dad raps response to Mom’s anti-transgender rap

Susan on the Soapbox: Bishop Henry Pontificates on Gay Straight Alliances

On January 13, 2016 The Most Reverend Frederick Bernard Henry, the seventh Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Calgary well and truly lost it. Henry wrote a pastoral letter denouncing Education Minister David Eggen’s “edict” that public, Catholic, French and charter school boards must support LBTQ students who wish to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: What new laws did Alberta’s NDP Government pass in 2015?

The fall session of the Alberta Legislature ended last week and MLAs will now spend the next few weeks working in their constituencies until the Assembly returns in early 2016. The Assembly passed nine pieces of legislation introduced by Alberta’s… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Putting protection of sexual & gender minorities back on the agenda at provincial school boards meeting

Amid allegations of financial misspending and a lack of transparency, representatives from sixty-one elected Public, Catholic, and Francophone school boards from across Alberta will gather at the fall general meeting of the Alberta School Boards Association on November 15, 16 and… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Mulcair and Trudeau show Alberta some love in the final days of Election 2015. Where’s Harper?

There is no longer any doubt that Alberta is an important battleground in this federal election campaign. While Conservatives will dominate in the provincial seat count, the Liberals and NDP believe they are in a position to win competitive races in Edmonton… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: NDP needs to explain why they changed their mind on Carbon Capture and Storage

“The Tories have bet $2 billion taxpayer dollars and our oil and gas industry’s sustainability on CCS. There’s no scientific consensus that the technology is safe in the long term. Any report of a failed CCS project should have the… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP needs to react more quickly, plus throw the Tories under the bus where they belong

PHOTOS: Carbon capture: The oil company executive in the bow tie places the carbon in a bottle, which is then stored underground by his corporation for billions of dollars. Or something like that. If the bottle breaks, of course, we’re screwed! Actual carbon capture schemes may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Federal Candidate Nomination Update in Alberta

Preparation for the 2015 federal election continues as parties nominate their candidates in Alberta’s 34 ridings. The Conservatives and Liberals have most of their candidates in place, with the New Democratic Party now holding a flurry of nomination meetings across the… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley NDP waste no time implementing popular progressive agenda in former conservative heartland

Banning corporate and union donations: Check. Restoring funding to health, education and human services: Check. Increasing corporate taxes: Check. Introducing a new climate change strategy: Coming soon. Phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage: Coming soon. Reviewing Alberta’s natural resource… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Sunshine, ice cream and a mellow multitude of 10,000 or so usher in the NDP era in Alberta

PHOTOS: Here’s my shot of the crowd as it began to break up after the ceremony had ended and I’d managed to run upstream to the steps of the Legislature. The Canadian Press photo below shows what the crowd looked like as Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet were sworn in half hour or so ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley’s Crew: Alberta’s First NDP Cabinet

Thousands of Albertans packed the Legislature Grounds for the swearing-in ceremony of Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta’s first NDP Cabinet. This marked the first time in 44 years that a party other than the Progressive Conservatives were sworn-in to office… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Picking a cabinet is never an easy job – it’ll be tougher, with higher stakes, for Rachel Notley

It’s a pretty safe bet these four MLAs will be in the Notley Government’s first cabinet. From left to right, Deron Bilous, Brian Mason, David Eggen and, of course, Premier Designate Rachel Notley, who together made up the entire NDP caucus before the May 5 election. Below: Three other possible cabinet picks, Shannon Phillips, Marie ...

In This Corner: How to build a cabinet using mismatched pieces: pointers for Rachel Notley

Now that the euphoria of the election has worn off, I wonder if Rachel Notley is waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, wondering, “What the hell do I do now?” If she isn’t, she should. She has a big, big job ahead of her, and the first thing she ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: It’s still hard to believe the NDP won Alberta’s election

Two days later it is still hard to believe. The New Democratic Party won an election in Alberta? The NDP won a majority government in Alberta? Rachel Notley is the next Premier of Alberta? Get used to it, because Albertans have spoken. A change in… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: PC MLAs follow Prentice command to cut Auditor General budget

Progressive Conservative MLAs sitting on the Standing Committee for Legislative Offices voted last week to deny a request from Child and Youth Advocate Del Graff to reinstate more than $200,000 in funding cut in Dec. 2014. At the same committee meeting,… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Wednesday night candidate nomination update in Alberta

I have made the following updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next provincial election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if you have additions to the list. Thank you. Bonnyville-Cold Lake: City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland… Continue Reading →