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Alberta Politics: Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew?

Back in February 2013, then-Alberta-premier Alison Redford announced that, “recognizing the impact of falling resource revenues on our bottom line, my government will lead by example with a smaller, more focused cabinet.” At the time, the usual suspects in the provincial news media seemed to think her reduction of the cabinet from 20 to 19 […]

The post Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again

Premier Designate Rachel Notley addresses reporters in the Alberta Legislature Building’s media room yesterday. (CBC photo.) Below: MLA Deborah Drever, new Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell. If Alberta’s Conservatives weren’t worried about the long-term effects of their surprise defeat in the May 5 general election, by gosh they should be now! Premier Designate Rachel Notley gave […]

The post Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government

PHOTOS: Premier Designate Rachel Notley, in orange shoes, with her caucus. Below: Scott Crockatt, the Calgary Chamber’s communications and marketing director; Manning Centre polemicist Colin Craig. Well, these are strange times indeed when the official spokesperson for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce can extol the potential for Alberta’s just-elected New Democratic government in glowing terms, […]

The post How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Inexperienced? Says who? Complaints about NDP caucus composition only show how weak the right wing is just now

ILLUSTRATIONS: “You voted for whom? Are you mad, man?” … No way to win friends and influence people. (Historic illustration from Punch – no idea what point the artist was trying to make.) Below: Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever (Metro Newspapers photo). Below her, an illustration from the author’s Facebook page of why all of our […]

The post Inexperienced? Says who? Complaints about NDP caucus composition only show how weak the right wing is just now appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably …

PHOTOS: Potential supporters eye all that’s left of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, metaphorically speaking, after Jim Prentice got finished driving it off the tracks. Below: Mr. Prentice and Premier Designate Rachel Notley. Former premier Ed Stelmach’s sound advice notwithstanding, it seems unlikely Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have much of a future after the debacle they […]

The post Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably … appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Photos of shredded documents in Legislature Building prompt fears of PC document destruction spree

Were shredders like this at work in the Alberta Legislative Building this week? Actually modern document destruction equipment may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Freedom of Information Commissioner Jill Clayton and Public Interest Commissioner Peter Hourihan (CBC photos). If serious document destruction has actually been taking place in Alberta, chances are good it […]

The post Photos of shredded documents in Legislature Building prompt fears of PC document destruction spree appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care

PHOTOS: Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell prepares to read the Speech from the Throne in November 2014. Below: Mr. Ethell again and past lieutenants-governor Lois Hole and Norman Kwong. Photos from the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor.) More significant change is coming to Alberta’s government in the wake of last week’s election of Premier Designate Rachel Notley’s New […]

The post With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature Building as it transitions to Orange from Blue. Whatever will the lobbyists do? Below: NDP-connected federal lobbyist Robin Sears and Conservative-associated Alberta lobbyist Hal Danchilla. WANTED: Someone – anyone! – willing to work for major national lobbying firm in Alberta. New Democratic Party connections essential! Orange party card as asset. Back […]

The post Lobbyists, agencies, government-funded ideological front groups face setbacks in wake of Alberta’s Orange Wave appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Despite his huge unintended favour to the NDP, U of A chair Doug Goss needs to step aside

PHOTOS: Doug Goss chairs the notorious news conference at which five prominent Edmonton businessmen assailed the New Democrats as amateurs and patronized Albertans about their need to start “thinking straight” mere hours before the May 5 election saw the NDP crush the Tories he supported. Below: Construction company CEO John Cameron and Alberta Premier Designate […]

The post Despite his huge unintended favour to the NDP, U of A chair Doug Goss needs to step aside appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Tune up this spring with something new … Alberta’s PCs can find renewal and purpose as something completely different!

PHOTOS: UFA fuel stations today dot Alberta, giving hope to the remnants of the once mighty PC Party’s membership, who could transform the former political entity into something like this. Below: A shifty looking premier John Brownlee, who led his government to an unhappy end, and premier Jim Prentice, who did the same thing, although […]

The post Tune up this spring with something new … Alberta’s PCs can find renewal and purpose as something completely different! appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Pinch me! Am I dreaming? Canada’s ‘most conservative’ province elects an NDP majority

PHOTOS: Rachel Notley, Alberta’s premier-elect, smiles at 1,000 or more of her supporters last night in an Edmonton hotel ballroom. Below: Two more views of Ms. Notley during her victory speech. Well, how d’ya like them oranges? Alberta New Democratic Party, 53 seats; Wildrose Party, 20; Progressive Conservative Party, 11; Alberta Liberal Party, 1; Alberta […]

The post Pinch me! Am I dreaming? Canada’s ‘most conservative’ province elects an NDP majority appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: NDP Leader Rachel Notley proves electrifying political speech-making still thrives in Canada

Surrounded by candidates, Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley pauses during her speech as something like 1,500 supporters cheer her on in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Part of the crowd at Sunday’s rally; Ms. Notley interviewed by the media at a post-speech news conference; Ms. Notley during the newser. There may have been better Canadian political stump […]

The post NDP Leader Rachel Notley proves electrifying political speech-making still thrives in Canada appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Zombie Confidence Fairy finally rears its head as the 2015 Campaign of Fear gets up steam in Alberta

A group of five prominent Edmonton businessmen with ties to the Prentice Progressive Conservative Party tried to talk some sense into us crazy Albertans yesterday about voting NDP during a news conference in the Melcor Developments’ boardroom in downtown Edmonton. From left to right: John Cameron, Paul Verhesen, Doug Goss, Ashif Mawji and Tim Melton. […]

The post Zombie Confidence Fairy finally rears its head as the 2015 Campaign of Fear gets up steam in Alberta appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: A vote for the NDP is a vote for change; a vote for the Wildrose Party is a vote for the same old Tory dynasty

PHOTOS: Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley. Below: Premier Jim Prentice, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, neoconservative godfather Preston Manning. With five new polls yesterday showing Alberta’s New Democrats approaching minority government territory and the “ooga-booga” fear campaign against the NDP beginning in earnest, perhaps it’s time for Albertans who urgently want to rid our province of […]

The post A vote for the NDP is a vote for change; a vote for the Wildrose Party is a vote for the same old Tory dynasty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: If anything, the headlines are getting worse for Jim Prentice and Alberta’s faltering PCs

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice just hasn’t been getting the good headlines a guy in his position would normally be looking for at a time like this. Typical Fort McMurray street scenes from 2013 may not have appeared exactly as illustrated. Below: Actual Tory MLA Mike Allen in his St. Paul Police Department mug shot, […]

The post If anything, the headlines are getting worse for Jim Prentice and Alberta’s faltering PCs appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Diary: Alberta, I give you Alison Redford, Person of the Year for 2014!

Former premier Alison Redford at the moment of her leadership campaign victory in 2011. Former opposition leader Danielle Smith in a typical campaign pose last summer.

Back in the mists of time, or rather, Time, there used to be a regular December feature called “Man of the Year.”

That was amended to “Person of the Year” in the 28th year of Progressive Conservative rule here in Alberta, and no doubt many in that party are still upset by the change, being symptomatic, as it were, of that other kind of PC they so love to disparage.

Other (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Jim Prentice revealed as Hayek ‘disciple’; Heather Forsyth to lead Wildrose rump; Preston Manning says he’s sorry … and more!

A crowd of typical Albertans reacts to the news Danielle Smith and most of her caucus have gone and joined Premier Jim Prentice’s PCs. Below: Mr. Prentice; neoliberal saint Friedrich Hayek; Preston Manning, who is really, really sorry he didn’t counsel a vote or something; interim Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth; and new Tory MLA Gary Bikman.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t think the most interesting news tidbit yesterday was that Heather Forsyth will become the new “Wildrump” leader, Preston Manning’s peculiar apology for accidentally uniting the right, the government’s sneaky tuition fee increases, or even the poll (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Never mind the Mudville Nine: Nothing has changed, nothing ever will, that is all!

“Your health. Our promise.” It’s March 1, 2013, and then-premier Alison Redford announces plans to build a new cancer treatment facility in Calgary to replace the grubby and overcrowded Tom Baker Cancer Centre. (Photo grabbed from Metro Newspapers.) But that was then. This is now. Below: Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel; the Tom Baker facility in northwest Calgary.

As Danielle Smith might have said, were she still the leader of the Opposition, “nothing has changed!”

On Friday, mass media were uncritically reporting the “reasons” the new cancer hospital promised to Calgary on which construction was supposed (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Tory resistance to Wildrose interlopers? Don’t believe it! Here’s why Danielle Smith will soon get her cabinet post

Preston Manning joins the sales team for the new, new, newly united Wildrosey Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Actual beloved godfathers of the conservative movement may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Manning smiling benevolently, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice in a Joe-Clark-like moment, former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith when she was still pretending she thought the Prentice PCs were evil, and former federal Liberal Conservative cabinet minister David Emerson.

Don’t worry, Danielle Smith will soon be deputy premier of Alberta or occupy a similarly influential post.

Likewise, Rob Anderson will be finance minister or something (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Danielle Smith’s conduct and the mass Wildrose defection must be seen as character issues

Former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith with her new boss, Premier Jim Prentice, at yesterday’s news conference announcing the defection of the nine Wildrose caucus members to the Progressive Conservative Party. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Below: Another shot of the pair in an informal moment at the start of the news conference.

It’s a character issue.

Certainly the recent conduct of the leadership of the Wildrose Party, which this afternoon culminated with the desertion of most of its key elected officials to Premier Jim Prentice’s ruling Progressive Conservative caucus leaving their loyalists and supporters in the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Hatched in secret, today’s expected mass Wildrose defection to PC benches, brings party to a pathetic end

The captain of the RMS Wildrose and her officers slip quietly away from their sinking ship in the darkness. Actual Wildrose leaders may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson. Both are expected to be rewarded for abandoning ship with cabinet posts in PC Premier Jim Prentice’s government.

As of today – even before we are certain of everything that has happened in the last 48 hours or what will happen in the next 48 – we can be confident of this: the Wildrose Party is finished.

I do not mean (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Friends close; enemies closer? Rumours abound Wildrose is about to return to PC mothership

Say it ain’t so, Danielle! Your blogger with … Progressive Conservative Deputy Premier? … Danielle Smith. Below: Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Tout le monde political Alberta was abuzz last night with rumours the entire Wildrose caucus is on the verge of walking over and joining Premier Jim Prentice’s Progressive Conservatives, perhaps as soon as today.

The Wildrosers will be briefed at today’s caucus meeting, then the Provincial Government of Petroleum Unity will be formed, or so goes the universal rumour.

This makes so little sense that, this being Alberta, it’s probably true. Certainly it will be close to unprecedented in the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Prentice Government takes Alberta from boom to bust in one weekend, breaking all records

Premier Jim Prentice points the way for public spending in Alberta now that our boom has gone bust again. Oil prices, ya know… But read the Reaper’s grim lips: “No new taxes!” Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Robin Campbell, Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar and Labour Minister Ric McIver, three of the Seven Horsepersons of the Alberta Fiscal Apocalypse

Guess what, we’re broke again out here in The Richest Place on Earth! ™

Yesterday, citing the spectacular recent drop in oil prices, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice pulled his Grim Reaper’s hood over (Read more…)