Alberta Politics: Meet Alberta PC leadership candidate Richard Starke: thoughtful, centrist, kind to animals … and thus probably doomed

PHOTOS: Vermilion-Lloydminster Progressive Conservative MLA Richard Starke, looking appealingly Clint-Eastwood-like in this official portrait from his website, announced yesterday he is seeking the leadership of the Alberta PC Party. Below: NDP Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt, another member of the Legislative Squeeze Box Caucus, and former Speaker Gene Zwozdesky, a caucus member back in the ...

Alberta Politics: The Sonic privatization mystery: what were the Tories thinking?

PHOTOS: More medical lab techs examining specimens, still not illustrated exactly as they’re likely to appear nowadays. Below: Progressive Conservative health ministers Gary Mar, Iris Evans, Stephen Mandel and Fred Horne, every one a would-be privatizer and every one in a picture personally snapped by your blogger. Viewed with 20/20 hindsight, a Frequently-Asked-Questions document published ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley’s Crew: Alberta’s First NDP Cabinet

Thousands of Albertans packed the Legislature Grounds for the swearing-in ceremony of Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta’s first NDP Cabinet. This marked the first time in 44 years that a party other than the Progressive Conservatives were sworn-in to office… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta Pre-Election 2015: Monday candidate nomination updates

With a provincial election expected to be called in the coming weeks, Alberta’s political parties are pushing to nominate their slates of candidates. Not surprisingly, the governing Progressive Conservatives are close to choosing candidates in all 87 constituencies. At fifty-one,… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Who will stop the Jim Prentice juggernaut?

The past few months have been a sobering reminder that it foolish to underestimate the staying power of Alberta’s 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives. A year ago the scandal ridden PC Government appeared to be on the verge of collapse. And now,… Continue Reading →

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 ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s attack on gay-straight alliances rests on the same logical fallacy as Russia’s ‘gay propaganda’ law – coincidence, or what?

Russian police arrest citizens protesting against the country’s anti-gay laws, which rely on the same logical fallacy as the Prentice Government’s moves to suppress a bill that would have supported gay-straight alliances in schools. Below: Alberta Liberal MLA and GSA advocate Laurie Blakeman, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice. Give Jim Prentice ...

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 ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Are the wheels falling off the Wildrose bus?

TweetA short few months ago, it almost felt inevitable that the Wildrose Party would sweep into a majority government at the next election. They were up in the polls and the long-time governing Progressive Conservatives looked corrupt, broken and battered. But over the past few weeks, it appears the Official Opposition is stumbling into disarray. Leader ...

Alberta Diary: The Annals of Irony: Those alleged Wildrose caucus recordings and Danielle Smith’s 1999 school board ‘opposition research’ escapade

A mean note found in a trashcan or a coffee cup and reassembled. Actual mean notes found in actual trashcans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former Wildrose MLA Joe Anglin, Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith, former Calgary Herald editorial page editor Peter Stockland, former Calgary Liberal candidate and public school trustee Jennifer Pollock, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The Gang of Eight MLAs who have not endorsed Jim Prentice

TweetBy my count, there remain eight Progressive Conservative MLAs who have not endorsed a leadership candidate Jim Prentice in the race to become that party’s next leader. As of this week, 49 of 59 PC MLAs have endorsed Mr. Prentice’s candidacy to become their next leader. Leadership candidates Ric McIver and Thomas Lukaszuk have not earned any endorsements from their MLA colleagues. ...

Alberta Diary: PS, Tories love you! Is Alison Redford leading predators away from her party? Or what?

The now-famous cell-phone camera shot of Ms. Redford dining with her daughter at Lulu California Bistro in Palm Springs, grabbed from the Internet. VICTORIA, B.C. Truth be told, former premier Alison Redford is not the first Alberta cabinet member to just say to hell with it and take a few days off in a sunny ...

Alberta Diary: Payment of $45,000 travel bill by Alberta Premier raises as many questions as it answers

There will be no more scenes like this aboard Government of Alberta aircraft, thank you very much! Actual Alberta cabinet ministers and cabin crew may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: a screenshot of Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s news conference yesterday. Fresh from her public relations triumph in Edmonton’s Churchill LRT station Tuesday, Alberta Premier ...

Alberta Diary: Hell freezes over in Alberta: Right-wing Wildrose Party sides with unions, sort of, over unconstitutional Tory bills

AUPE President Guy Smith, left, with Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson on the steps of the Alberta Legislature last night. Below: Part of the crowd … the pots and pans start to come out.  With blizzard conditions prevailing throughout most of Alberta today, it was still a surprise when ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Secrecy of foster care deaths a sobering story

TweetThe normally hyper-partisan atmosphere in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly was sobered today with news of a tragic and startling story. A six-month investigation by Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald reporters based on death records unsealed after a four-year legal battle revealed a startling number of unreported deaths of children in care of the province between 1999 and ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Lukaszuk, Griffiths are prime targets for opposition parties

TweetDeputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk allegedly threatened to fight Official Opposition leader Danielle Smith during a heated Question Period on the afternoon of November 5. Observers say that Mr. Lukaszuk made a threatening gesture to the opposition leader to “bring it on” after responding to criticism about a ruling from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner ...

Alberta Diary: The way the cookie crumbled: Fred Horne fires Stephen Lockwood, entire AHS board

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 ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who’s the boss? Fred Horne and Stephen Lockwood spar over AHS performance pay.

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, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Laurie Blakeman now the longest-serving opposition MLA and other #ableg milestones.

TweetThis week Edmonton-Centre Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman was recognized in the Legislative Assembly as being the “longest-serving member to serve exclusively in opposition in Alberta’s history. Ms. Blakeman was elected on March 11, 1997 and, as Speaker Gene Zwozdesky noted, she has served continuously since that time for a total of 5,876 days over the course of ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: What to expect in the spring sitting? Dirt, mud, and more dirt.

TweetAfter a three-month break, Members of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly will gather today in Edmonton to start the spring sitting. The commencement of this year’s first sitting will be unusual in that it will lack the traditional pomp and circumstance that comes with a Speech from the Throne. Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell will not be invited ...

Alberta Diary: Great Plains Politics 101: Why everything new in Alberta’s Legislature must be old again

Perfesser Dave with Gene Zwozdesky, a.k.a. Mr. Speaker, the Speaker of the Alberta Legislature, with that rara avis, a recent Alberta Throne Speech. But not the one for March 5, 2013. Quick quiz: Why is that? Below: Alberta Premier Alison Redford in a screen grab from last week’s “State of the Province” address. If you’re ...

In This Corner: Tories have bungled tobacco file, but it’s no scandal.

The Edmonton Journal’s main headline today, “Speaker clears Redford” takes its place on the list least surprising headlines ever, right up there with “Winter will be cold” and “City to raise taxes”. There was never any doubt that Speaker Gene Zwozdesky would find some way to proclaim that Premier Alison Redford in no way misled ...

Alberta Diary: Everythinggate: Perfect storm lands Alberta premier in shark-infested waters!

As a perfect storm blows, Alison Redford’s strategic brain trust parries Opposition attacks about the conduct of her government. The premier is in the centre of the boat, wearing a cowboy hat. Actual Alberta politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Your blogger with Paul Martin; queue-jumping inquiry chief John Vertes. As the political ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose MLAs stage walk out during dramatic tobacco conflict.

TweetTheatric and dramatic antics dominated this afternoon’s hour-long Question Period in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly. To start the drama, the official opposition Wildrose Caucus raised a point of personal privilege claiming that Premier Alison Redford misled the Assembly by claiming she did not choose the law firm involved in a $10 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Wildrose Party wages permanent negative campaign against Redford Tories.

TweetThe Wildrose Party is running a permanent negative campaign against the long-governing Progressive Conservative Party. Not taking time to break after their defeat in the May 2012 election, Danielle Smith and her 16 Wildrose MLAs are pushing hard to make Alison Redford’s Tories look corrupt and un-conservative. Taking a more aggressive approach then their predecessors ...