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daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The least interesting part of Legislative Session: The Throne Speech

TweetEvery year, political watchers gather at the Alberta Legislature for the pomp and circumstance of the Speech from the Throne, hoping to get a glimpse of a political agenda. And every year they are sorely disappointed at the Throne Speech’s lack of detail. Yesterday’s Throne Speech, delivered by elderly Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell, was unremarkable, […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Politics Roundup – Eve of Fall Sitting

TweetFall Legislative Session November 17, 2014 will mark the start of the first legislative session for new Premier Jim Prentice, Health Minister Stephen Mandel and Education Minister Gordon Dirks. The 43-year old governing Progressive Conservatives have promised to introduce new laws focusing on property rights and ‘ending entitlements’ for their MLAs. This will be Rachel Notley’s first session as […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Limping Alberta Liberals face more financial troubles

Tweet Did Liberal leader Raj Sherman break Alberta’s political donations limits when making donations to his own party? The Calgary Herald is reporting that Dr. Sherman may have exceeded the $15,000 limit for donations three times in the past four years and donated double the limit this year through corporations he controls. The questionable donations were […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Will by-election losses teach Alberta’s progressive parties basic math?

TweetFast forward to 10:00 p.m. on October 27, 2014. The ballots have been counted in Alberta’s four provincial by-elections and the two main conservative parties – the governing Progressive Conservatives and official opposition Wildrose Party – have taken the largest share of the votes. Once again the handful of “progressive” opposition political parties were left sitting on […]

Alberta Diary: NDP and Liberal candidates’ with similar appeal in Edmonton-Whitemud don’t make progressive voters’ job any easier

The NDP and Alberta Liberals fight it out in Edmonton-Whitemud. I’ll leave it to readers to determine who’s just been demasted. Below: Liberal candidate Dr. Donna Wilson (CBC photo) and NDP candidate Dr. Bob Turner.

The reasons are perfectly clear and quite understandable, but it’s depressing nonetheless to see Alberta’s provincial Liberals and New Democrats fighting so bitterly for a few scraps from the table at which the Tories and the Wildrosers get to dine.

But how else can we explain the spectacle of our province’s two progressive parties with only nine Legislative seats between them battling it out in (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Coming Soon: Calgary-Elbow and Edmonton-Whitemud by-elections

TweetWith provincial by-elections in Alberta’s two biggest cities expected to be called soon, opposition parties are gearing up to challenge two unelected cabinet ministers running under the Progressive Conservative banner. Dates for the by-election votes have not been scheduled and a third by-election for Premier Jim Prentice is also expected to take place. Mr. Prentice is expected to run […]

Alberta Diary: Calgary’s new ‘Band-Aid’ schools: just the thing for a government suffering the death of a thousand cuts

Temporary structures like the army huts in the background, built in 1939 and ’40, were still in use when this shot was taken at the just-formed University of Victoria circa 1963, and a few of them are still in use today. Below: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, Wildrose education critic Jeff Wilson and Liberal education critic Kent Hehr.

So we can probably all see how this one is going to roll out: Premier Jim Prentice announced four new “starter” public schools in under-served Calgary suburbs today. That’s just Calgary.

Today or tomorrow, if he likes, he can announce four more in (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Nomination update: Yellowhead by-election, Bow River Tories vote, and Anybody but Xiao

TweetPremier Jim Prentice announced this week that five-term Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Merrifield would be appointed as Alberta’s representative in Washington D.C. Mr. Merrifield’s resignation from the House of Commons means that a federal by-election will need to be called in the Yellowhead riding by March 17, 2015. This would be the fourth federal […]

Alberta Diary: Just as things were looking up a bit for foundering PCs, Alison Redford showed up again

Alison Redford contemplates which way to turn as she leaves behind a trail of devastation, toward the capital city’s new Sky Palace Hotel, left, or toward Edmonton’s High Level Bridge, right. Actual former premiers and the landmarks they threaten may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford; Tory leadership candidates Jim Prentice, Thomas Lukaszuk and Ric McIver.

Just when things were starting to look a little better for Alberta’s Progressive Conservative government, Alison Redford blundered back onto the provincial scene like the monster from low-budget a 1950s horror flick.

So suggests the latest version of a regular (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Goodbye? The future looks bleak for the Alberta Liberals

TweetIt has been a long time since things have looked good for the Alberta Liberals. The provincial party has been teetering on the verge of the political abyss for years but lately the future looks especially bleak. Recent announcements that popular Calgary Liberal MLAs Kent Hehr and Darshan Kang are moving to greener pastures in federal […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Parties gear up for federal election 2015 – Alberta nominations update

TweetAside from recent updates about Kent Hehr running in Calgary-Centre and Darshan Kang running in Calgary-Skyview, it has been a while since I have published an update to accompany the list of candidate nominations for the next federal election, expected to be held in 2015. So, without further ado, let me present you the latest update: The Lethbridge -> Medicine […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Source: MLA Kent Hehr to run for Trudeau Liberals in Calgary-Centre

TweetPolitical Calgary is abuzz with rumours that popular MLA Kent Hehr will seek the Liberal nomination in the federal riding of Calgary-Centre. Reliable sources say that Mr. Hehr has gone so far as to request nomination forms to become an official nomination candidate for the federal Liberals. Mr. Hehr would be a star candidate for the […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta’s billion dollar failed Carbon Capture “science experiment”

TweetA report from Auditor General Merwan Saher released this week found no evidence that the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development has properly monitored the performance of the PC Government’s climate change strategy which was first implemented in 2008. The report also uncovered serious problems with the province’s expensive Carbon Capture and Storage strategy. Since it […]

Susan on the Soapbox: Ric McIver Stumbles…the PC Party Falls

“Closed-mindedness or intolerance have no place in the PC [party].” —The PC party’s response to Ric McIver’s participation in the March for Jesus led by anti-gay pastor Artur Pawlowski.

Instead of belabouring Ric McIver’s pathetic too-little, too-late apology for participating in last Sunday’s March for Jesus (led by Pastor Pawlowski who says gays are agents for Satan) let’s focus on the Progressive Conservative Party’s response to Mr McIver’s participation in this appalling spectacle.

Artur Pawloski

On Monday PC party president, Jim McCormick, shot out a statement saying “individual members…are expected to follow our statement of principles, which includes that (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Can the Alberta NDP win in Calgary?

TweetTo describe it as a long-shot is polite, but two Edmonton MLAs running for the leadership of Alberta’s New Democratic Party say that growing support in Calgary is critical. Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Rachel Notley launched her campaign for her party’s leadership at Niko’s Bistro in Kensington this week. And Edmonton-Calder MLA David Eggen described Alberta’s largest city as […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: When is the next Alberta election?

Tweet With the governing Progressive Conservatives selecting their new leader in September 2014, there is growing suspicion that Albertans could be going to polls sooner than expected. While Alberta’s next strange “three-month fixed election period” is not until 2016, a loosely written law may allow the next premier to trigger an early election. According to Section 38.01(2) of […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Tiny Alberta Progressive Parties need to get their act together

TweetWhat do the Alberta Liberals, New Democrats, Alberta Party and Green Party have in common? None of these parties will form government after the next election. As Albertans prepare for another electoral showdown between two conservative parties – the long-governing Progressive Conservatives and the opposition Wildrose Party – many non-conservative voters and voters looking for an alternative […]

Alberta Diary: Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson suffers torments as Allan Hunsperger and the Lake of Fire return to haunt the Wildrose Party

Wildrose strategists illustrate the party’s recent strategy on the Lake of Fire issue. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be working … again. The Wildrose Party’s actual senior strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pastor Allan Hunsperger, Airdrie MLA Rob Anderson, and the Airdrie Tower, thought to be the tallest structure between Calgary and Crossfield.

There is nothing the brains behind the Wildrose Party would like to do more than put the whole Lake of Fire fiasco that torpedoed their election chances in 2012 so far behind them it’s in another country, out of sight and out of mind.

(Read more…)

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: What Is This? The 1950s???

I have no idea who the parties are behind Airdrie’s Footprints For Learning Academy, but someone needs to give them a shake and educate them about a few things regarding gender and sexuality.

Their dress code is something out of the 1950s, with rigid gender roles assumed, and strict rules about who can wear what: 7.  Only one set of conservative earrings (pierced or otherwise) may be worn (by girls only) with one earring for each ear lobe.  They must be subtle and non-distracting.  No other visible piercings are allowed.  All other earrings are to be left out (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Pension bill delayed as Hancock softens ground for next PC Party leader

TweetIn another move suggesting the spring sitting of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly could end within days, it appears that the passage of the Progressive Conservative Government’s controversial public sector pension law – Bill 9: Public Sector Pension Plans Amendment Act, 2014 – will be delayed until the fall sitting later this year. The opposition filibuster of the pension bill ended yesterday when the […]

Alberta Diary: Calgary mayor hands Alberta PCs a ‘Get Out of Jail Card’ on public service pensions

Alberta Premier pro tem Dave Hancock, who does not appear exactly as illustrated, of course, pictured on a Get Out of Jail Free card given him today by Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Below: Mr. Nenshi and the real Mr. Hancock.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi handed Alberta Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock a Get Out of Jail Free card today.

It may not seem that way at first blush, but when Mr. Nenshi wrote Premier Hancock assailing Finance Minister Doug Horner’s Alison-Redford-era legislation allowing the province to gut Alberta public sector pensions, he did the government a huge favour.

Bill 9, (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: It’s Time to Drag Redneck Alberta Out of the Closet

If a government wants to trample the rights of its citizens it can do so in two ways.

It can violate our fundamental rights by passing legislation that invokes the “notwithstanding clause”—this allows the government to pass laws that expressly violate the fundamental rights guaranteed to us under the Charter and human rights legislation.

Or it can do what the Alberta government did when it rolled faith based schools into the publicly funded school system—it can turn a blind eye to school boards that violate the fundamental rights of staff and students on the basis of their sexual orientation.

Until (Read more…)

Susan on the Soapbox: Motion 503: Calling all Hypocrites and Homophobes

In the same week that the Alberta government debated and rejected Motion 503, Rob Anderson, Wildrose House Leader, made an emotional plea to put an end to name-calling—specifically “Lake of Fire Party” and “homophobe”.

It was a bizarre week. Here’s how it rolled out.

On Monday, Liberal MLA Kent Hehr brought Motion 503 to the House. He asked the government to make school boards develop policies to support students who wanted to set up gay-straight alliances (GSAs). Note: Motion 503 did not force school boards to create GSAs. It simply required school boards to support them with good policies if (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Rejection of Gay-Straight Alliances motion shows some Alberta MLAs need a reality check

TweetBe it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the Government to introduce legislation, like Manitoba’s and Ontario’s, requiring all school boards to develop policies to support students who want to lead and establish gay-straight alliance activities and organizations, using any name that is consistent with the promotion of a positive school environment that is inclusive, […]

Alberta Diary: Alternate Universe: 2012 effort to merge Alberta NDP and Liberals may have come closer than we thought

A poster we won’t be seeing any time soon! Below: Liberals Kent Hehr and Corey Hogan.

An effort to meld the Alberta New Democrats and the province’s Liberals into a single party may have come closer than many of us imagined in 2012, indeed it was “mind bogglingly close” one of the insiders from the Liberal side now says, but faltered fatally when Liberal Leader Raj Sherman realized he was unlikely to emerge as the leader of the new party.

Liberal participants in the talks say at one point the entire five-member Liberal caucus was willing to make the move (Read more…)