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Alberta Diary: Ric McIver Progressive Conservative leadership campaign lurches to life as Hancock Government sends mixed signals

Tory leadership candidate Ric McIver, shown on his extremely uninformative campaign website. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson and newly appointed Jobs, Skills, Etc. Minister Kyle Fawcett.

Ho-hum. After days of virtual silence, former infrastructure minister Ric McIver made the first official appearance of his campaign for the leadership of Alberta’s geriatric Tory dynasty at an Edmonton old-folks’ home yesterday morning.

Judging from the poor-quality CBC live-feed of the event, Mr. McIver’s heart wasn’t quite in it. But maybe I’m projecting – people keep telling me not to under-estimate Mr. McIver, so I won’t – but he sure looked like (Read more…)

In This Corner: Alberta: Land of milk and money.

Alberta is truly a land of wonders. For example, I wonder what kind of thinking went into giving whopping six-figure salaries to public servants?

Alberta is awash in examples of staggering salaries — and jaw dropping severance packages — given to government higher ups.

Let’s start up north, Fort McMoney way.

Glen Laubenstein, chief administrative officer for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (basically Fort McMurray), suddenly quit his job recently. This is surprising, in that Laubenstein had a base salary of $433,015, with an additional $100,000 in expenses. Fort McMurray mayor Melissa Blake, who presumably was in on approving (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Redford’s top advisor earns more than Obama’s top advisor, claims Wildrose

TweetPremier Alison Redford‘s chief of staff earns a bigger salary than his counterpart in the West Wing, claimed the official opposition Wildrose in a press release yesterday. As the salary disclosure ”sunshine list” of Alberta’s senior public servants who earn more than $100,000 annually was released late last week, opposition critics honed in on Ms. Redford’s senior staff. The Wildrose opposition […]

Alberta Diary: Small changes may signal glimmer of awareness of trouble ahead among rank and file Tory MLAs

Members of Alison Redford’s brain trust plan the latest hashtags in the Twitter war with AUPE … No! Wait! That’s Bob MacNamara telling LBJ about his plans for the war in Vietnam! What the hey? Below: That rude info-graphic; Red House Chief of Staff Farouk Adatia; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

Opposition political operatives in Alberta spent an entertaining weekend poking through the entrails of the Progressive Conservative government’s Sunshine List, noticing cool things to mention like the fact Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff earns $144,000 a year more than the guy who does the same thing (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards.

And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even on the media’s Top Ten List from the government’s so-called Sunshine List of 2013 civil service salaries!

Just for the record, Alberta’s top paid civil servant is Janet Davidson, deputy minister of health and an Officer of the Order of Canada, with a spectacular annual (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Deputy minister testifies officials prepared anti-labour Bill 46 ‘proactively’ long before cabinet asked for it

AUPE President Guy Smith speaks with the media after Friday’s session of the Alberta Labour Relations Board hearing. Below: Deputy Minister of the Executive Council Peter Watson; AUPE lawyer William Rigutto.

It’s probably too much to hope the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees can persuade the Alberta Labour Relations Board the Redford Government had already decided to hammer the union into the ground with legislation while it pretended to negotiate a contract last year.

The union’s argument in a Labour Relations Board hearing last week was that as direct employer of 21,000 civil servants, the government never negotiated in good (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who are Alberta’s top MLAs of 2012?

TweetIt has become tradition on this blog that near the end of each year I publish a list of Members of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly who have been the best, worst, or most notable of the past year. Each year’s list has taken a different form and focus (see 2010 and 2011), and the addition of [...]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: big money spent in alberta’s 2012 election.

Tweet  Elections Alberta has released the financial disclosure forms submitted by candidates who ran in the April 2012 provincial election and some of the disclosure forms reveal some interesting information about how much money was fundraised and spent during the campaign. The money spent by candidates and political parties in Alberta elections are nowhere near [...]

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Lee Richardson: Alberta Ambassador to the Mulcair Government? Or what?

Alberta Premier Alison Redford speaks with Principal Secretary Lee Richardson while Chief of Staff Farouk Adatia looks on. Alberta officials, elected and not so elected, may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Richardson and Mr. Adatia.

So what exactly is a principal secretary, anyway? And why does Alberta Premier Alison Redford need one? I mean, really, didn’t she just appoint a chief of staff? How is this principal secretary thingy she’s just hired different from the chief of staff she’s just appointed? Who is the boss of whom?Questions, questions…

Hold it, let’s roll the tape back to last

. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: Lee Richardson: Alberta Ambassador to the Mulcair Government? Or what?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: return to the dome and inside baseball politics.

Alberta's Legislative Assembly Building

With election withdrawal setting in like a bad hangover, much of the media attention this week focused on the 38 rookie MLA’s attending outgoing Speaker Ken Kowalski‘s Legislature 101 course and the resumption of inside baseball politics under the Dome.

Bridget Pastoor and Premier Alison Redford (photo from PremierofAlberta Flickr account)

Cabinet Speculation Rumours abound about who might end up in Premier Redford’s new cabinet, which is expected to be appointed next week. While Tory stalwarts such as Dave Hancock, Doug Horner, Thomas Lukaszuk, and Doug Griffiths are almost certainly in line

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: return to the dome and inside baseball politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: return to the dome and inside baseball politics.

Alberta's Legislative Assembly Building

With election withdrawal setting in like a bad hangover, much of the media attention this week focused on the 38 rookie MLA’s attending outgoing Speaker Ken Kowalski‘s Legislature 101 course and the resumption of inside baseball politics under the Dome.

Bridget Pastoor and Premier Alison Redford (photo from PremierofAlberta Flickr account)

Cabinet Speculation Rumours are abound about who might end up in Premier Redford’s new cabinet, which is expected to be appointed next week. While Tory stalwarts such as Dave Hancock, Doug Horner, Thomas Lukaszuk, and Doug Griffiths are almost certainly in

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: return to the dome and inside baseball politics.

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: About Conrad Black’s return: surely Canadians deserve honest answers

Lord Black gesticulates at Communications Energy and Paperworkers Local 115A President Andy Marshall in 1999. Below: Omar Khadr, Jason Kenney, George Galloway, Farouk Adatia.

Let’s mark this international day of the worker by having a grown-up discussion about the readmission to Canada of Conrad Black, the former Canadian citizen and newspaper tycoon, now that he is about to be released from prison in the United States.We can do this without saying much at all about Lord Black, complimentary or otherwise, other than to acknowledge that he is no longer a citizen of this country and that he was convicted

. . . → Read More: David Climenhaga’s Alberta Diary: About Conrad Black’s return: surely Canadians deserve honest answers

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: who are they? meet alberta’s wildrose official opposition.

When Alberta’s Legislative Assembly reconvenes in the next few months, for the first time since 1982 the title of Official Opposition will given to a caucus of MLA’s representing a party other than the New Democrats or the Liberals. Following the April 23 general election, seventeen Wildrose Party MLA’s were elected, creating the largest Official Opposition caucus since 1997 (when eighteen Liberal MLA’s were elected).

Wildrose MLA's Heather Forsyth, leader Danielle Smith, and Rob Anderson in January 2010.

Aside from high-profile leader Danielle Smith, who was elected in Highwood, most Albertans would probably respond with blank stares

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: who are they? meet alberta’s wildrose official opposition.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: the day after: alberta election analysis.

Alberta Election Results 2012

What was expected to be the most exciting provincial election in history of our province turned out to be a continuation of the 41-year old Progressive Conservative dynasty. The pollsters, the media, and the pundits (including this blogger) appear to have completely misjudged the electoral climate in the final days of the election.

Unofficial Results PC: 61 Wildrose: 17 Liberal: 5 NDP: 4

It appears that the PC Party call to moderate voters to vote strategically to block the Wildrose Party from forming government was successful in Calgary, Edmonton, and northern Alberta.

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: the day after: alberta election analysis.

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics blog: tgif! alberta election candidate update – march 2012 (part 2).

I have updated the list of Alberta election candidates to include some of the following individuals:

Farouk Adatia and Premier Alison Redford

Calgary-Shaw: Following a surprising announcement by three-term PC MLA Cindy Ady that she would not seek re-election, lawyer Farouk Adatia has been appointed to replace her at the Progressive Conservative candidate. Mr. Adatia was the Chief Financial Officer for Premier Alison Redford‘s leadership campaign in 2011, and he was an unsuccessful candidate in the hotly contested PC nomination in Calgary-Hawkwood earlier this year. Following the disqualification of former Calgary-McCall MLA Shiraz Shariff as the PC

. . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics blog: tgif! alberta election candidate update – march 2012 (part 2).