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Alberta Politics: Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory

PHOTOS: Now that’s a throne speech! The Queen addresses Parliament in the Senate Chamber in Ottawa in 1957 as prime minister John Diefenbaker, on her right, listens to his government’s plans, no doubt with a great sense of satisfaction. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, who will read the Notley […]

The post Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone

PHOTOS: Alberta Health Services, as originally envisaged by the Tories and described by the Wildrose Party. Below: Another AHS reorganization as seen by the NDP. Below that train wreck, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Alberta’s two right-wing opposition parties are said to be in a lather because of Health Minister Sarah Hoffman’s announcement yesterday the […]

The post NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Navigator hires Notley’s press secretary. Former NDP, Wildrose, PC MLAs go into business.

The realm of government relations and lobbying is a world that most Albertans will never be exposed to. The industry of influencing elected officials and government policy as practiced by private lobbying companies and government relations departments has been turned on its head by… 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 […]

The post Sunshine, ice cream and a mellow multitude of 10,000 or so usher in the NDP era in Alberta appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again

Premier Designate Rachel Notley addresses reporters in the Alberta Legislature Building’s media room yesterday. (CBC photo.) Below: MLA Deborah Drever, new Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell. If Alberta’s Conservatives weren’t worried about the long-term effects of their surprise defeat in the May 5 general election, by gosh they should be now! Premier Designate Rachel Notley gave […]

The post Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: So many premiers, so little time, so little space – it’s time to end the tradition of commissioning their portraits in oils

PHOTOS: Your blogger’s proposal for a portrait of outgoing premier Jim Prentice. Below: The modest photographic gallery of premiers in the B.C. Legislature in Victoria; a detail from the same wall showing, clockwise from top left, premiers W.A.C. Bennett, Bill Bennett, Bill Vander Zalm and Dave Barrett; the remaining space for portraits in the Alberta […]

The post So many premiers, so little time, so little space – it’s time to end the tradition of commissioning their portraits in oils appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably …

PHOTOS: Potential supporters eye all that’s left of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, metaphorically speaking, after Jim Prentice got finished driving it off the tracks. Below: Mr. Prentice and Premier Designate Rachel Notley. Former premier Ed Stelmach’s sound advice notwithstanding, it seems unlikely Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have much of a future after the debacle they […]

The post Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably … appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Will Rick Hanson run for the PCs in Calgary-Cross?

Will Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson run for the Progressive Conservatives in the upcoming spring provincial election? His surprise resignation announcement today timed with the PCs abrupt delay of their nomination in the northeast Calgary-Cross constituency until March 14 has led some… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sometimes living in Alberta is like living in Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day

Sometimes living in Alberta is like living in the classic film Groundhog Day, in which actor Bill Murray finds himself in a time loop, repeating the same day again and again. In Alberta, relying on the cyclical nature of oil prices while… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Guy Boots’ Fort McMurray residency challenged

In the heart of oil sands country, former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister, Wildrose MLA and now municipal councillor Guy Boutilier could be in trouble. As Fort McMurray Today first reported on January 7, 2015, his eligibility to serve as a councillor with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo… Continue Reading →

Alberta Diary: Alberta, I give you Alison Redford, Person of the Year for 2014!

Former premier Alison Redford at the moment of her leadership campaign victory in 2011. Former opposition leader Danielle Smith in a typical campaign pose last summer.

Back in the mists of time, or rather, Time, there used to be a regular December feature called “Man of the Year.”

That was amended to “Person of the Year” in the 28th year of Progressive Conservative rule here in Alberta, and no doubt many in that party are still upset by the change, being symptomatic, as it were, of that other kind of PC they so love to disparage.

Other (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015

TweetAs 2014 reminded us, politics can be an extraordinarily unpredictable and forecasting the future can be a tricky business for political pundits. Aside from the obvious choice of Premier Jim Prentice, here is a list of a dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015. Rob Anderson (Airdrie): The outspoken rookie MLA left the PC Caucus in 2010 … Continue reading A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015 →

Alberta Diary: Enough with the fantasy Wildrose was Alberta’s best opposition, already! It’s baloney!

And then there were five: The Wildrose caucus back before it experienced civil war, desertions and mass defections, including that of its leader, the woman in red above. Below: former NDP leader Brian Mason and current Leader Rachel Notley; effective Liberal MLAs David Swann and Hugh Macdonald.

One of the more irritating byproducts of mass defection by the Mudville Nine and two of their caucus colleagues who rejoined the Tory Mothership a few days earlier has been the outright wholesaling of the nonsensical claim the Wildrose Party was the most effective opposition Alberta has ever known.

Jen Gerson and Jesse (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Has the Wildrose Party outlived its purpose?

TweetAnyone already cynical about politics in Alberta will have their views reinforced with yesterday’s announcement that Wildrose leader Danielle Smith and eight of her party’s MLAs have abandoned their role as the Official Opposition and joined the 43-year governing Progressive Conservatives. After a five hour meeting of the PC Caucus at Government House, Premier Jim Prentice and Ms. Smith walked […]

Alberta Diary: Prentice Government takes Alberta from boom to bust in one weekend, breaking all records

Premier Jim Prentice points the way for public spending in Alberta now that our boom has gone bust again. Oil prices, ya know… But read the Reaper’s grim lips: “No new taxes!” Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Robin Campbell, Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Labour Minister Ric McIver, three of the Seven Horsepersons of the Alberta Fiscal Apocalypse

Guess what, we’re broke again out here in The Richest Place on Earth! ™

Yesterday, citing the spectacular recent drop in oil prices, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice pulled his Grim Reaper’s hood over (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Oh Buffster where art thou? Jim Prentice names nothing but bosses to his ‘blue ribbon’ panel on worker morale

Dan MacLennan – known as Buff, or the Buffster, to his friends – with Premier Ralph Klein, back in the day when Alberta’s leaders didn’t just talk to the Big Kahunas from the executive suite. Below: Ex Syncrude CEO Jim Carter, former Edmonton Journal Publisher Linda Hughes, Maclab Enterprises Chair Marc de La Bruyère and Queen’s University Professor Françoise Morissette.

Premier Jim Prentice, former chartered bank vice-president, has created a “blue ribbon” advisory panel of big bosses from public and private sector executive suites to do something about sagging morale and high turnover in the Alberta public service.

What’s wrong (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta is always in Tough Economic Times

Tweet“They don’t know what to do with tough economic times. It was easy enough to govern when the money was flowing in, when things were going well. They took all the credit for it at that time. It’s much harder to govern, and the mark of a good government is how they handle it, when […]

Alberta Diary: Bill 10 gong show’s bungled effort to pander to PC Party’s worst elements proves Jim Prentice is no political superman

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, as he appeared to almost everyone until yesterday, except there are no ships here in Alberta, which is why we need all those pipelines. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks; humiliated PC MLA Sandra Jansen, official sponsor of Bill 10; and Liberal MLA and Bill 202 sponsor Laurie Blakeman.

If the gong show that erupted yesterday over the Progressive Conservative government’s bungled effort to pander to its troglodytic social conservative faction by roadblocking LGBTQ students’ rights illustrates anything, it is that Premier Jim Prentice is not the political superman we imagined, before whom all must bow.

It (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Conservatives approach a full-slate of nominated candidates in Alberta

TweetWith the next federal election less than one year away, the Conservative Party of Canada is close to nominating a full slate of candidates in Alberta’s 34 newly redrawn ridings. By my count, Calgary Rocky Ridge, Edmonton-Griesbach, Lakeland and Peace River-Westlock are the only ridings without nominated Conservative candidates in this province. The other parties lag behind, […]

Alberta Diary: Collapse of rickety Wildrose coalition of market fanatics and religious fundamentalists could be bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s NDP

A recent meeting of the Wildrose Party Legislative caucus. Actual members of the official Opposition party may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Rachel Notley and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith.

Monday’s bombshell that the rickety coalition of ideological market-perfection fanatics and social-conservative religious fundamentalists called the Wildrose Party was coming unstuck may turn out to be a bad-news/good-news story for Alberta’s New Democrats.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith’s big problem – other than the fact she appeared to have been completely out of the loop last week about the upcoming defections of MLAs Kerry Towle and Ian Donovan – (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Wildrose Party endures its cruelest day as two MLAs quit to join Jim Prentice’s PC government

Ian Donovan, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and Kerry Towle at yesterday afternoon’s floor-crossing news conference in the Legislature Building. (Ici Radio-Canada photo.) Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and quotable former prime ministers Harold Wilson, Brian Mulroney and Winston Churchill.

There was the cruelest sort of irony in the battering suffered yesterday by Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition, which lost two MLAs to the apparently rejuvenated Progressive Conservative Party of Premier Jim Prentice.

Kerry Towle, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake and last week the party’s seniors and human services critic, and Ian Donovan, MLA for Little Bow and the party’s agriculture (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: As 2 more Wildrose MLAs leave, can Danielle Smith’s leadership survive?

TweetLast week, the wheels were falling off the Wildrose bus. This week, the passengers have flung open the emergency exits and started leaping out into traffic. The Wildrose Official Opposition started the month of November with 17 MLAs and might be ending it with only fourteen. Today, Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice, flanked by Little Bow […]

Alberta Diary: Two political general meetings in one weekend: Wildrosers conduct gloomy post-mortem while PCs flirt with characteristic hubris

Steady as she goes! Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, centre, works to keep party stalwarts, on either side, on the right course, which would be not too far to the right, of course. Alberta Premier Prentice, at the wheel above, tries to get the earnest Wildrosers to take a wrong turn. Actual Alberta conservative party leaders, supporters and their political vehicles may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and the real Ms. Smith.

Both of Alberta’s right-wing parties held general meetings this weekend – the ever-ruling Progressive Conservatives in Banff and the so-far never-ruling Wildrose Party in (Read more…)