Whose House is it? In Alberta, not yours! Public service union members tried to enter the Alberta Legislature yesterday to protest Bills 45 and 46, and soon found the doors barred. Below: Some more of the 400 or so people who braved the coldest spot in Edmonton for an impromptu rally organized by public service workers yesterday.
Albertans got a first look at the Redford Government’s suspiciously timed public employee “restraint” legislation yesterday – which effectively bans meaningful collective bargaining in the public sector and allows the province to impose agreements by fiat.
Many of them, of course, won’t (Read more…)
A couple of political pundits try to explain to Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, why the 77 Per Cent Solution may not be a good thing after all. Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Note that the previous reference has nothing to do with illegal drugs or Rob Ford. Below: Ed Stelmach, Clint Dunford and Ralph Klein.
The members of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party – whoever they may be at this particular moment in history – endorsed Premier Alison Redford yesterday to the tune of 77 per cent.
What good will come of that, you wonder?
“Why (Read more…)
Alison Redford, ready for her endorsement vote tomorrow, as rendered by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Below: former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark, late U.S. president John F. Kennedy, both of whom figure in this blog post about Alberta politics for some reason.
Was it insularity and tone deafness, or Machiavellian cleverness, that led the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party to time the opening of the convention that includes Premier Alison Redford’s leadership review to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination?
Or is 50 years long enough that it’s just a weird coincidence that was (Read more…)
Is this the management model in the Alberta Health Services executive suite? Actual Alberta health ministers or AHS administrators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: AHS Administrator John Cowell, ex CEO Duncan Campbell, new co-CEO Brenda Huband and new co-CEO Rick Trimp (no relation).
This just in! Alberta Government replaces Alberta Health Services CEO …. again!
The revolving door to the AHS executive suite is now spinning so quickly somebody’s going to get hurt. Unless, that is, everybody stays calm….
Now, it’s true that Duncan Campbell, who was put in the top job at AHS just 30 days (Read more…)
TweetThe political battle between the Wildrose opposition and long-governing Progressive Conservatives continued today as the Legislative Assembly resumed for the fall sitting. Debt was the biggest issue of the day. Wildrose leader Danielle Smith jumped at the opportunity to make light of comments Premier Alison Redford made that compared the government’s decision to accept debt financing […]
TweetDo you drain a Lake of Fire or do you dam it? Whatever it takes, Wildrose Party activists are expected to moderate the tone of their policies at their weekend policy convention in the booming central Alberta city of Red Deer. A delicate and sometimes shaky coalition of libertarians and social conservatives (among other groups), […]
TweetAfter spending some much needed time relaxing in beautiful British Columbia, I returned to Alberta this week and noticed some of the political stories that occurred during my absence. Here are some of the top political stories from last week that caught my attention: Political games in High River Buckling under the pressure of constant […]
The Redford government just passed an Order in Council appointing Janet Davidson Deputy Minister of Health. This decision has many implications, not the least of which is this: Will Ms Davidson continue in her role as Official Administrator of Alberta Health Services? Is she legally allowed to perform both roles and collect two pay cheques, one as Official Administrator and one as Deputy Minister, at the same time? If she can, is this an indication that the government is backing away from its practice of creating boards and packing them with cronies who’ve served them (Read more…)
Another visually riveting moment in the history of Alberta Health Services – from left to right, CEO Chris Eagle, Health Minister Fred Horne and just-appointed Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton, exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason speaks for the opposition; new AHS Administrator Dr. John Cowell.
Methinks the minister doth protest too much.
OK, I didn’t count. But Health Minister Fred Horne, Alberta Health Services Chief Executive Officer Chris Eagle and Janet Davidson – we’ll get to who she is in just a moment – kept insisting at their press conference yesterday (Read more…)
Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith, looking for all the world like a future premier, lands a few easy punches on the government after the release yesterday of the health care queue-jumping inquiry report. Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and former AHS CEO Stephen Duckett, both assailed in the report by Commissioner John Z. Vertes.
Time will tell if the report of Alberta’s inquiry into medical queue jumping turns out to be the skillful strategic win for the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford it appeared to be when it was released yesterday morning.
But one thing is virtually (Read more…)
TweetOver the past eight months, Premier Alison Redford‘s Tories have been quickly dispatching the handful of scandals and allegations that dogged them and robbed them of their political agenda throughout 2012. Facing an aggressive Wildrose official opposition, the Progressive Conservatives were marred by controversy as they struggled to put forward a coherent government agenda in the months […]
TweetThe day to day melee of provincial politics in Alberta was thrown out the window two weeks ago as rising rivers flooded communities in southern Alberta and forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 Albertans from low-lying Calgary neighbourhoods and surrounding communities. Caring, compassionate, and pro-active, Premier Alison Redford has been front and centre since the [...]
Health Minister Fred Horne, at the wheel of Alberta Health Services, reverses course on some unpopular policies faster than you can say “take action to improve care.” The actual AHS does not actually resemble an NDP-orange Dodge Charger from Hazzard County, Alberta. Below: AHS Administrative Officer Janet Davidson, at right, with the real Fred Horne.
If you ever wanted proof there’s more to democracy than just elections, and that democratic protest can really make a difference, all you have to do is think about the screeching bootleg turn executed by Alberta Health Services yesterday.
The G-forces must have been (Read more…)
Last week Health Minister Horne out-trumped Donald Trump by firing not one but all 10 members of the Alberta Health Services Board—the board his government created in 2008 to deliver healthcare under a centralized delivery model.
One expects such theatrics from Donald Trump, after all he’s a showboat; but not from Mr Horne, the cabinet minister entrusted with the stewardship of Alberta’s $16.6 billion healthcare system; $13.4 billion of which goes directly into Alberta Health Services.
On June 12, 2013 Mr Horne issued a press release berating the AHS Board for ignoring his directive to rescind (Read more…)
Alberta Health Services CEO Chris Eagle, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne and AHS Administrative Officer Janet Davidson at yesterday’s press conference in Edmonton.
Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne began the day yesterday explaining why he may not be able to prevent Alberta Health Services’ 99 top managers from getting their controversial bonuses – you know, the ones he fired the 10 members of the AHS board over on Wednesday.
Of course, this just encourages tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorists who have decided it’s highly unlikely Mr. Horne canned the board of the giant public health care agency over something that popped onto (Read more…)
The former Alberta Health Services Board, fired yesterday by Health Minister Fred Horne, as seen by the 99 top executives of the provincial health care agency. Actual AHS board members may not appear exactly as portrayed by the health minister. Below: Former AHS CEO Stephen Duckett, former AHS board chair Stephen Lockwood, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne.
As Stephen Duckett, once the CEO of Alberta Health Services, might have said to Stephen Lockwood, who until yesterday morning was the chair of the AHS Board: “Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”
Dr. Duckett and Mr. Lockwood both met sudden (Read more…)
Tweet“Regardless of how people feel about the decision of the AHS board, I don’t think anybody would want me or a colleague to interfere with the terms of their employment they’ve agreed to. It’s a decision for the AHS board.” – Health Minister Fred Horne on Alberta Health Services performance pay (Edmonton Journal, March 28, [...]
Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne: it’s hard to imagine how he can come out of this fight with Alberta Health Services Chair Stephen Lockwood not looking foolish or weak. Below: Mr. Lockwood in a screen grab from his first news conference as AHS chair.
Whatever happens next, it seems certain Alberta Health Minster Fred Horne is going to end up with egg on his face.
Indeed, when the dust has settled from the current contretemps at Alberta Health Services, the entire government of Alison Redford is likely to look foolish.
Challenged yesterday by Alberta Health Services Chair Stephen Lockwood over (Read more…)
TweetOn April 23, 2012, Alberta’s most hotly contested election in decades culminated with the re-election of the twelfth consecutive Progressive Conservative majority government since 1971. Despite holding the large majority elected MLAs, the popular vote showed Albertans were closely divided between Alison Redford‘s Tories who finished with 44% compared to an impressive 34% showing for [...]
Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, right, helps Premier Alison Redford get ready to face Opposition questions about Alberta Health Services expense accounts. Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Health executives Michele Lahey, Sheila Weatherill, Alison Tonge.
The clueless ineptitude of the Redford Government dealing with Alberta’s continuing health system expense account brouhaha is matched only by the belligerence of the Opposition in portraying the situation as an outrage and a scandal.
Since mainstream media now routinely refer to the matter that way – “Redford, opposition trade barbs over Alberta Health Services expense scandal,” is how the (Read more…) Journal headlined the story yesterday – it’s fair to say the opposition strategy is working.
Whether it’s in answers to questions in the Legislature, management of issues by Premier Alison Redford’s newly hired phalanx of former Ontario spin doctors, the juvenile quality of a stream of . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford Government just can’t seem to stop fumbling health care expenses frenzy
Dr. Michael Giuffre jots down the Alberta Medical Association’s wish list before yesterday’s agreement with the provincial government. Actual AMA negotiators may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne, Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.
It will take a while to sort out what really happened in yesterday’s deal between the Redford Government and Alberta’s doctors, but you can count on it there’s more there than meets the eye.
Premier Alison Redford, Health Minister Fred Horne and Alberta Medical Association President Dr. Michael Giuffre were all smiles at a news conference in Calgary yesterday afternoon where they (Read more…) the seven-year agreement that will run from April 1, 2011, to March 31, 2018. The deal will give the physicians three years with no pay increase, followed by two years with 2.5-per-cent increases, then two years of cost of living adjustments.
This will allow the government . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Count on it: Alberta’s doctors got more than the government’s press release indicates
Neocon Icarus Tom Flanagan (appropriately covered, thank goodness) at right, falls to earth after flying too close to the sun. Preston Manning hovers nearby. The flameout of actual neoconservative avatars may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Health Minister Fred Horne, Education Minister Jeff Johnson, and retired judge John Z. Vertes, who are the people this post is really about.
Even word that Tom Flanagan, the Icarus of Canada’s neoconservative movement, had flown too close to the sun and was coming down to earth in flames was not enough to save Alberta’s crisis-prone Progressive Conservative government from more pain!
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Despite neocon flameout distraction, Redford Tory bumbling dominates Alberta news
Dr. Ron Bridges of the Helios Wellness Clinic testifying yesterday in a screen grab from CBC’s broadcast. Below, Dr. Ciaran McNamee, who hasn’t been called to testify.
What are we to make of the fact Alberta’s preferential health care access inquiry has failed to call a witness who was at the centre of one of the most spectacular allegations of medical queue jumping in recent years?
Really, yesterday’s report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. that the often strangely passive inquiry has decided not to bother asking Dr. Ciaran McNamee to testify about what happened to his lung surgery patients simply
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why is Alberta’s medical queue-jumping inquiry uninterested in dramatic 1990s case?
The Alberta Progressive Conservative position on negotiations with the doctors explained. Yes, we’re just as confused as you are. Below: AMA President Michael Giuffre. Premier Alison Redford.
Every day, it just gets weirder and weirder.
The day before yesterday, we’re told, Alberta Premier Alison Redford waded into her health minister’s already strangely muddled negotiations with the province’s physicians to state that the only way the docs will get a raise is if the province goes back to charging health care premiums.
What’s more, she said in an impromptu news conference in Calgary, there’s no way that’s ever going to happen.
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford to docs: There’s no raise, and you’re not getting it!
An Alberta Teachers Association member gets ready to give an important lesson to the Redford Government. Alberta teachers may not be smiling quite as broadly as illustrated if the government imposes a contract on them by legislation. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson.
Trapped in a no-deficit, no-tax-increase cage of its own devising, with few ideas and a budget looming on March 7, the government of Premier Alison Redford has floated the idea of using legislation to impose a salary cap on Alberta’s teachers.
Education Minister Jeff Johnson has been shopping this brainstorm around to the province’s school boards to see
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford government floats risky scheme to impose contract on teachers