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In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 26: Oiler fans say, ‘What the Hall?’

It’s summer here in the Great Green North, the brief respite from the snow and cold and ceaseless hockey talk. Or at least that’s supposed to be the way it goes. While there are no reports of winter weather, hockey news just never goes away. This week, the obsessive fan base of the Edmonton Oilers […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 26: Oiler fans say, ‘What the Hall?’

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 13: Horror in Lahore; more Trumpism

Remember the horrible attack last week in Belgium? Of course you do; it’s still in the news. But on Easter Sunday, there was another terrorist attack that was worse by multiple factors, yet it hardly rated a mention. On Easter Sunday in Lahore, Pakistan, hundreds of people had gathered in one of the city’s largest […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 13: Horror in Lahore; more Trumpism

Alberta Politics: Do billionaires fleeing Canadian taxes deserve public subsidies for their Alberta franchises?

PHOTOS: CNRL Executive Chairperson N. Murray Edwards, a billionaire. (Wikipedia photo). Below: Twitter gadfly Dave Beninger (Facebook grab), Law Professor Catherine Brown (University of Calgary photo), former Alberta Premier Alison Redford and billiona… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Do billionaires fleeing Canadian taxes deserve public subsidies for their Alberta franchises?

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 9: Skinny cable is malnourished; Justin Trudeau, superstar

The big news in Canadian TV was all about the skinny. Last year, the CRTC ordered Canadian cable providers to provide a basic package of cable channels — commonly called skinny — for only $25. The package had to include a minimum local and regional TV stations, channels with mandatory distribution (like the watched-by-no one […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 9: Skinny cable is malnourished; Justin Trudeau, superstar

In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 7: Horse racing put down; The Rebel yells

Edmonton Northlands, the so-called ‘agricultural society’ that has been a force in Edmonton since Edmonton was in diapers, announced a sweeping plan to rebuilt the soon-to-be-vacant arena and the area surrounding it. It’s partly a great idea, and partly nutty. The great idea, if they can find $85 million between the government’s couch cushions, is […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Still Happens, week 7: Horse racing put down; The Rebel yells

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Three days left to support the Pride Tape kickstarter

1,083 backers have stepped up to donate $70.073 in support the Pride Tape kickstarter campaign since it was started in December 2015. Launched by the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta and supported by Ca… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Three days left to support the Pride Tape kickstarter

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Well, I did it. And I’m sure you’re thrilled. When I started writing this blog, I vowed to write a weekly review of events as I saw them. I did it mostly as a personal challenge, a way to instil a little discipline in my undisciplined life, and to boost my memory of the events […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 51: It was a very bad year

Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

PHOTOS: Cameras try to follow a nearly invisible Rachel Notley through the crowd at an Edmonton hotel on May 5, 2015, moments after she had been declared the winner of the Alberta election. No one could quite believe that the NDP had just won a majorit… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 45: Everybody loves France.

The world is still coming to grips with the Paris attacks of last week. From late night talk shows to international soccer (a.k.a. football) matches to Facebook postings, the world is showing solidarity with the French. This might be the one good thing to come of this horrendous event; next to Americans, the French are […] . . . → Read More: In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 45: Everybody loves France.

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 43: ‘Trudeau II: The son also rises’ makes its debut; pipeline politics

It’s now official — Prime Minister Trudeau. For those of us of a certain age, that has a familiar ring.

Now, I’m not a naturally optimistic person. I see myself as more of a realist. However, I’m strangely optimistic about our new government. Maybe it’s just the residual joy of ridding the country of Stephen Harper, but I feel pretty good about the Trudeau cabinet. For now.

To be honest, I was concerned about this ‘gender parity’ silliness. At the risk of sounding like a ‘privileged white male’ (I am a white male, but I’m still waiting to be awarded (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 35: Refugees keep coming; Liz sets employment record

The European refugee crisis continued unabated this week, and the numbers are staggering. For example, Germany has announced that it will accept 500,000 refugees. Every year. For several years. Germany is a big country, with 81 million people, but a half-million refugees every year for several years is an awful lot of people, particularly if those people don’t speak your language or share your customs. It’s almost as if Germany is trying to make up for some past misdeeds. The refugee crisis has become one of the dominant issues of the Canadian election campaign, with the NDP and Liberals trying (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 35: Refugees keep coming; Liz sets employment record

The European refugee crisis continued unabated this week, and the numbers are staggering. For example, Germany has announced that it will accept 500,000 refugees. Every year. For several years. Germany is a big country, with 81 million people, but a half-million refugees every year for several years is an awful lot of people, particularly if those people don’t speak your language or share your customs. It’s almost as if Germany is trying to make up for some past misdeeds. The refugee crisis has become one of the dominant issues of the Canadian election campaign, with the NDP and Liberals trying (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 28: Your bribe is in the mail; Republicans are Trumped

So, have you received your bribe yet? Stephen Harper’s utterly shameless federal Conservatives are in the process of giving away $3 billion in tax dollars to “hard working Canadian families” (is there any other kind of Canadian family?) in the form of monthly cheques for families with kids. The benefit cheques are larger than usual due to changes the Conservatives introduced last fall – $160 a month for children under 6, up from $100, and a new payment of $60 a month for seven- to 17-year-olds, regardless of family income. The cheques, going to roughly 3.8 million families, (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 27: ‘Ice’ to see you; El Chapo el escapos; oil spill oops.

The big non-news in Edmonton this week was the announcement that the area surrounding the new arena, previously known by the rather prosaic ‘arena district’, has been renamed Ice District. (Apparently, it is just ‘Ice District’, not ‘The Ice District’, according to the pretentious PR hacks behind this rebranding.) The Ice District (sorry) name was dreamed up by none other than Daryl Katz, the Oilers owner and arena co-owner. The grand plans for (cough, cough) Ice District include high rises with 1,000 units, 1.3 million sq. ft. of office space, a luxury hotel, restaurants, theatres, etc. Katz and (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 25: The great $15 debate; more McMania; new low for Tories

“The folks over there think it’s totally appropriate for a single mother of two or three to have to work 70 hours a week in order to earn a living wage. I say to you that they’re just wrong, and that’s why we are changing the minimum wage in Alberta.” That’s Rachel Notley indulging in a flight of hyperbole in the Legislature last week, defending her government’s decision to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2017. This, in a nutshell, is the NDP’s rationale for raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Because of all those thousands (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 24: McMania; a flag flap; PACing it in

Connor McDavid, wearing the surprisingly bold Edmonton Oiler travelling suit.

OMG! OMG! OMG! Connor McDavid is an Oiler! Connor McDavid is an Oiler! Connor McDavid is an Oiler!

Sigh. Poor Connor. The hopes of an entire city are apparently resting on his muscled shoulders.

This city’s infatuation with the Edmonton Oilers reached a crescendo not seen since the Oilers last made the Stanley Cup finals a decade ago when the team drafted Connor McDavid — a “generational player”, so the experts say — at the NHL entry draft. “He’s Ours”, the Edmonton Journal gushed. Thousands paid to watch the draft (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff happens, week 19: Debbie does disgrace; gold for Canada; Edmonton icon passes

For the third week in a row, Deborah Drever reigned as Alberta’s most talked-about NDP MLA. Or, more to the point, Alberta’s most talked-about former NDP MLA.

The last straw.

Drever finally shamed Rachel Notley to the point that she was kicked out of caucus, setting a possible world record for shortest and worst political career. After a couple of weeks of embarrassing photos (she was just a young person! defenders cried), an Instagram graphic she posted picturing Jim Prentice and Ric McIver as gay was finally too much for the politically correct NDP. Calling it “homophobic” (actually, the (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The future of Rexall Place without the Edmonton Oilers

TweetIn the great rush to relocate the Edmonton Oilers to Daryl Katz‘s new downtown arena district, there appears to have been little serious thought or planning focused on what to do with the professional hockey team’s long-time current home, Rexall Place. Located north east of downtown on the Northlands Exposition Grounds, Rexall Place is an aging facility and, unlike the […]

Alberta Diary: Hockey millionaires and pharmacare tell you everything you need to know about who the Canadian Taxpayers Federation really works for

The Montreal Canadiens in 1912-13. Now the highest-taxed hockey players on the continent, they’re still the best and likely to stay that way. Below: Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions President Linda Silas; U.S. anti-public-health-care fruitloop and Canadian Taxpayers Federation ally Grover Norquist.

For a while now it’s seemed as if the so-called Canadian Taxpayers Federation has been adopting the modus operandi of the Fraser Institute – cherry-picked data, conclusions contrary to the evidence presented and dubious claims stated as facts in a frenetic stream of press releases.

Well, you can hardly blame them. The media treats each of the (Read more…)

In This Corner: ‘The Magnificient New Coliseum’ turns 40, and I was there.

I don’t know about you, but I know exactly what I was doing on the evening of Nov. 10th, 1974, exactly 40 years ago Monday.

My ‘I was there’ certificate to the first Oiler game at Northlands Coliseum.

I was at a hockey game. Not just any hockey game, mind you, but the very first hockey game ever played in the Edmonton Coliseum, or — to use the exact description used on the Edmonton Oilers Award Certificate that I have saved to this day — the “Magnificent New Coliseum”. Those of you who remember ‘Wild’ Bill Hunter, the man who (Read more…)

In This Corner: The Sun will never darken my door again.

A few weeks ago, a nice young man came to my door, offering a three-month subscription to the Edmonton Sun for $30. I know the Sun essentially sucks, but I figured, hey, $30 for three months of a newspaper. What’s the harm?

After about a week, I contemplated cancelling my subscription and getting a refund. After three months of having this daily right-wing screed darkening my door, I can tell you without contradiction that I will never, ever spend so much as a dime on the Edmonton Sun again. And this comes from a lifelong newspaper reader, someone who loves (Read more…)

In This Corner: Someone save me from another NHL season.

So here I am, basking in the late September sunshine, relishing a 27C day. That can only mean one thing — it’s hockey season!

Oh God, no! Didn’t it just finish last month? Or does it only seem like it?

I’ve actually grown to kind of hate the National Hockey League. I hate the grossly inflated size of the league. I hate the way the league has attempted to graft hockey onto any geographical area and arena that will have it. I hate its random, nonsensical approach to discipline for violent acts. I hate the fact the hockey season is (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Conservative former Edmonton mayor endorses conservative future Alberta premier: Yawn

Former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and PC leadership candidate Jim Prentice, obviously pleased to be in one another’s company, at a news conference yesterday in Edmonton at which Mr. Mandel endorsed Mr. Prentice. Below: The other Tory leadership candidates, Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk, and New Democrat MLA Rachel Notley, who is expected to declare her candidacy to lead the Alberta NDP soon.

If there was any real news from yesterday’s news conference atop the Chateau Lacombe Hotel in downtown Edmonton, at which Progressive Conservative former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel endorsed Progressive Conservative future Alberta premier Jim Prentice, it was (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: A tsunami of Tory troubles? Naw, the Alberta universe is unfolding as it should…

All we want are the facts, Ma’am. A couple of investigators hired by Alberta Chief Electoral Officer O. (for Olaf) Brian Fjeldheim prepare to go through the files of friends, relatives and employees of billionaire Daryl Katz who may or may not have donated money to the Redford Tories. Actual Alberta detectives may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Fjeldheim and Alberta Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson.

Alberta media are portraying the return to the news this week of three pre-Christmas political scandals as a tsunami of trouble for the governing Tories of Premier Alison Redford.

In fact, serial news

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A tsunami of Tory troubles? Naw, the Alberta universe is unfolding as it should…

Alberta Diary: Eureka! Labour relations in Alberta explained by, of all things, NHL hockey!

An Alberta Labour Relations Board official suddenly realizes how the world works, and immediately rules in favour of the employer. Application of the law in Alberta may be pretty much exactly as illustrated.

All but forgotten amidst the rejoicing about the tentative end of the National Hockey League lockout reached during the Feast of the Epiphany on Sunday was the truly remarkable epiphany that occurred to the Alberta Labour Relations Board at the beginning of this unusual hockey season.

This is a pity, because while the behaviour of the ALRB is well known and understood to we few who toil

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Eureka! Labour relations in Alberta explained by, of all things, NHL hockey!