A worker in Fort McMurray prepares to drive this truck through the holes in the Fraser Institute’s “report,” which claims Alberta’s finances are in worse shape than those of places like Texas, North Dakota and Louisiana. Below: The Norwegian oil port of Stavanger, which, according to the Fraser Institute, doesn’t exist!
Alberta should adopt a sales tax, according to the latest press release from the Fraser Institute.
But don’t worry, the latest piece of far-right puffery from the market-fundamentalist “think tank” – which prefers to refer to this bumpf as a “study” or a “report” – only advocates a consumption (Read more…)
Thomas Lukaszuk is an entertaining speaker with a full range of facial expressions. His party is going to make darned sure he doesn’t have a chance to use those talents in the service of his leadership bid. Below: PC leadership frontrunner Jim Prentice and candidate Ric McIver.
While Thomas Lukaszuk’s chances of succeeding in the race to become leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party always seemed like a long shot, one has to feel a certain sympathy with the Edmonton MLA’s protest his party won’t permit a real unscripted debate to take place among the three candidates for the (Read more…)
Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. All the money’s on Jim Prentice – but is it the smart money? Below: Ric McIver, Jim Prentice, Jim Dinning and Gary Mar.
Could Ric McIver actually win the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race?
Or, to put that another way, could Jim Prentice lose?
Maybe that seems like a theme for a political science fiction story to you. After all, Mr. Prentice – the former banker, corporate lobbyist and federal cabinet minister – is the choice of the PC establishment.
What’s more, he’s now backed by 49 of 59 PC Members of the (Read more…)
TweetA report from Auditor General Merwan Saher released this week found no evidence that the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has properly monitored the performance of the PC Government’s climate change strategy which was first implemented in 2008. The report also uncovered serious problems with the province’s expensive Carbon Capture and Storage strategy. Since it […]
Education Minister Jeff Johnson flips burgers at Alison Redford’s K-Days Breakfast, last year. A sign of things to come for Mr. Johnson? Below: Premier Dave Hancock, who knows what he needs to do, former premier Redford, who knew exactly what she wanted, and Alberta Information Commissioner Jill Clayton, who knows the law.
Now that we know Education Minister Jeff Johnson or someone in his office broke Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to send an email to more than 34,000 teachers back in 2013, is it time for Dave Hancock to start acting like he really is (Read more…)
Jim Prentice surrounded by supporters in Edmonton. Below: Defiant Education Minister Jeff Johnson, Premier Dave Hancock, political strategist Stephen Carter.
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
Never mind the bit about any second coming being at hand. You can go too far, in my estimation, searching modern poets for political metaphor. Anyway, that was what Alison Redford was supposed to be, wasn’t it? Or was that Ed Stelmach?
Just the same, I do have a revelation for you: the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, the mighty dynasty created 43 years ago by the (Read more…)
Tory candidate Jim Prentice greets supporters at the opening of his Edmonton campaign headquarters Tuesday evening, showing the first signs of development of the hard-to-avoid campaign paunch. Below: Prover Tory vote-getter Ed Stelmach; Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Joe Anglin.
Looking tired and uncharacteristically slightly rumpled, Progressive Conservative leadership front-runner Jim Prentice pleaded with supporters at his new Edmonton campaign headquarters Tuesday evening to help him sell 100,000 Tory Party memberships by September.
“We need you to take a membership book and sell it over the summer,” Mr. Prentice told the crowd – which was substantial, but not exactly a multitude (Read more…)
“Diamond Jim” Prentice, at right, in a strategy session with Alberta Premier Dave Hancock, as described by the provincial NDP and seen by the Wildrose Party. Below: the real Mr. Prentice and former premier Alison Redford.
If you’re looking for a yardstick with which to measure the truly spectacular failure of the short, unhappy reign of Alison Redford over Alberta, just consider the last few days as experienced by Jim Prentice.
Mr. Prentice, of course, is the front-runner in the race to become Ms. Redford’s permanent replacement at the helm of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative dynasty, which has ruled Alberta (Read more…)
Found on the Internet, apropos of nothing in particular, Ric McIver and friend. Below: Craig B. Chandler of the Progressive Group for Independent Business.
Up to now, Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ric McIver has quite successfully flown under the radar about his ideological beliefs.
Indeed, very little has been written about what makes Mr. McIver tick – and almost nothing at all about what he believes, and therefore what he would do in office.
His official biography is uninformative, as is his Wikipedia entry. Neither provides any hint about his economic or philosophical views beyond his party affiliation – and (Read more…)
David Eggen at the Legislature, hanging around with your blogger. Below: the Alberta NDP Legislative caucus, from left to right, Deron Bilous, Brian Mason, David Eggen and Rachel Notley.
The latest Alberta political leadership candidate says his name means “the sharp end of the axe” in Norwegian, which would sound more sinister in this neoliberal era of needless and harmful austerity if we were taking about the boring and predictable race to lead the governing Progressive Conservatives.
Thankfully, we’re not. David Eggen, 51, the tireless New Democrat MLA for Edmonton-Calder, is the first candidate to declare officially he’s running for (Read more…)
Jim Prentice and Wildrose champion Rob Anderson square off in Round 1, as members of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce look on. Actual scenes from Alberta political discourse may not appear exactly as illustrated. Judge Dave gives Round 1 to Mr. Prentice. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and the real Mr. Anderson.
Well, it’s hard to know for sure, but I’d say the first open policy scrap between Jim Prentice, Progressive Conservative Premier Apparent of Alberta, and the Wildrose Opposition yesterday morning went to Mr. Prentice.
Leastways, by most accounts Mr. Prentice managed to sound like a grownup when he (Read more…)
Self-described anti-establishment Alberta PC leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk in a jaunty self-mocking portrait with your blogger. Below: Tory heir apparent Jim Prentice in another weirdly Joe-Clark-like pose found on the Internet; candidate Ric McIver.
Thomas Lukaszuk visited Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock yesterday morning to resign as Alberta’s labour minister and became a candidate for a portfolio in Premier Designate Jim Prentice’s cabinet.
OK, that’s kind of a mean way to describe what is officially a run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party in which Mr. Lukaszuk could theoretically knock off Mr. Prentice or the only other (Read more…)
Jim Prentice officially announcing his candidacy yesterday. Is it just me, or is there the faintest air of Joe Clark about the man? Below left: Mr. Prentice surrounded by some of the usual suspects in Edmonton today, from a photo snatched from the PC Party’s Twitter feed. Below right: Alison Redford back in October 2012 – look for some familiar faces in the background yesterday…
Banker, lawyer and former federal cabinet minister Jim Prentice launched his leisurely jog to the leadership of the province’s Progressive Conservative Party and the job of Alberta Premier No. 16 yesterday morning by telling anyone (Read more…)
Tweet In party leadership races, endorsements by sitting MLAs can be a double-edged sword. Endorsements can lend credibility to candidates and individual MLAs own local political networks to the campaign. Large numbers of endorsements can also signal to rank and file party members where their party’s establishment is lining up. But MLA endorsements are not always a […]
Alison Redford crashes through the Alberta Legislature. Below: Frightened and relieved, Alberta Progressive Conservative MLAs race from the vicinity of the Legislative Building in Edmonton yesterday; Nostradamus; Moses. Actual Alberta politicians and legislative architectural renderings may not appear exactly as illustrated.
It must have seemed a little like the panic scene in post-war Japanese monster movie at the Alberta Legislature yesterday. Only in this flick, the shadow cast by Godzilla looked suspiciously like that of Alison Redford.
Fortunately, no one seems to have been seriously injured in the rush for the exits.
After two years with Ms. Redford at the (Read more…)
On March 23, Lewis Cardinal became the first nominated federal NDP candidate in Canada for the expected 2015 election. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Yesterday he stepped aside in the face of undisclosed health problems. Below: Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson.
What a strange day it was yesterday, at times uplifting, at times profoundly depressing, and at times just disorienting.
In the morning, Alberta suddenly dropped most aspects of its official homophobia. This less formal kind will continue to longer for a spell, of course, but as an issue for most Albertans it’s done like the family’s (Read more…)
Craig B. Chandler in a portrait snatched from his Facebook Page. Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith’s brisk communication to Mr. Chandler.
If Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party leaders were smart, they’d quickly find a way to send the same message to Craig B. Chandler he just got from Opposition Leader Danielle Smith.
On April 10, Ms. Smith, concerned Mr. Chandler was suggesting he was just the guy to bridge the gap between her Wildrose Party and the foundering Tories, Tweeted to him: “Your views & how you express them are wrong for Wildrose and Alberta. I would never (Read more…)
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…)
Half-confirmed Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ken Hughes, on the night in 2011 Alison Redford won the party’s leadership. Well, that was then and this is now, as the appalled looking unidentified passerby sensed to have sensed. Below: Doug Horner. Anyone else?
Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister quit his cabinet post yesterday, by the sound of it because he intends to run for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.
If that’s the reason for Ken Hughes unexpectedly showing up in one of the back rows of the Legislature’s latest seating chart – he didn’t give a lot of notice that (Read more…)
TweetNineteen days have passed since former Premier Alison Redford announced her resignation and not one candidate has officially announced their intentions to enter the race to become the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives. But there is at least one unofficial candidate, maybe. Municipal Affairs minister Ken Hughes made the strange move of resigning from […]
Tory leadership non-candidate Jim Dinning with your blogger, back in the day. Below: Former premier Ed Stelmach and non-candidates Ted Morton and Gary Mar.
If we were to speak for former Alberta premier Alison Redford today, here is what we would say: “Apres moi le deluge!”
There is plenty of fight left in the Alberta PC Party. The trouble is, it is all directed inwardly, at other Tories.
On everything except the policies that must be changed to save the party, Alberta’s crumbling 43-year-old Progressive Conservatives dynasty is disunited, playing out its increasingly bitter rivalries in public.
Given that, (Read more…)
The Alberta premier’s personal airship ties up alongside the Sky Palace Official First Minister’s Residence, high atop the former Federal Building in Edmonton. Actual official accommodations may not appear exactly as illustrated, even in the blueprints. Below: Former premiers Ralph Klein and Ed Stelmach.
Everyone is piling onto Alison Redford now, a phenomenon we can expect to continue for a few days or even weeks as three things happen.
First, journalists who were working on stories started during the former Alberta premier’s final days in power are going to want to get them filed and published as quickly as (Read more…)
No one, least of all politicians, likes to admit just how big a role outside forces play in one’s political success – and failure. Strong MPs are defeated when the national campaign goes south. Unexpected issues derail the best laid plans. Competing interests from within will undermine even the most successful leaders.
That’s largely what happened to the last two Alberta Premiers. Ralph Klein saved the PC party from certain defeat in 1993, won 4 majorities, and eliminated the debt. His party showed its gratitude with a 55% leadership review.
All his successor did was increase the size of their (Read more…)
TweetIt was only a matter of time. After a short 898 days as Premier of Alberta, Alison Redford announced today that she plans to resign as premier and leader of the Progressive Conservatives on Sunday, March 23, 2014. After facing months of controversy over travel expenses and weeks of turmoil in her caucus, Ms. Redford […]