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Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP government moves too cautiously, but in the right direction, on raising the minimum wage

PHOTOS: The government of Alberta’s spin on an increase in the minimum wage – what a contrast to the grim excuse-making of a few months ago! Below: Jobs Minister Lori Sigurdson (from the Premier of Alberta’s Flickr account), Premier Rachel Notley (photo by Dave Cournoyer) and Alberta Chambers of Commerce President Ken Kobly. They may […]

The post Alberta’s NDP government moves too cautiously, but in the right direction, on raising the minimum wage appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Reflections on the end of the Alberta NDP’s first session: voters want the government to succeed, the Opposition and media seek failure

PHOTOS: Members of the Press Gallery mark the end of the session in the Alberta Legislature by showering paper on MLAs. That, of course, was back in the day when the press still used presses, and wrote their reports on paper. Below: Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips in shots taken from the […]

The post Reflections on the end of the Alberta NDP’s first session: voters want the government to succeed, the Opposition and media seek failure appeared first on Alberta Politics.

In This Corner: Rachel Notley skilled at the art of the non-answer answer.

So, I’ve been watching Question Period in the Alberta Legislature since the bright orange dawn of the NDP government began. People sometimes ask me why I watch ‘QP’, as those in the know call it. The political answer would be that I watch it as my civic duty as a citizen, or that I want to be as informed about Alberta politics as possible for my 12 regular blog readers. The real answer is probably closer to the fact that I usually have my days open, and I’m a bit of a political nerd.

But I like the first answer, (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Perfesser Dave explains ethics in lobbying and how to manage political marriages

VICTORIA, B.C. Some stories are just too confusing for ordinary bloggers to explain. That’s when we turn to the expert knowledge offered by such distinguished academics as Perfesser Dave, The Answer Guy ™, Canada’s No. 1 expert in politics, now at the Observatory of Political Phenomena in Victoria, B.C. As a result of his years […]

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daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley NDP waste no time implementing popular progressive agenda in former conservative heartland

Banning corporate and union donations: Check. Restoring funding to health, education and human services: Check. Increasing corporate taxes: Check. Introducing a new climate change strategy: Coming soon. Phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage: Coming soon. Reviewing Alberta’s natural resource… Continue Reading →

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Mark Anderson reports on the Change Readiness Index’ findings that the growing concentration and inequality of wealth is making it more and more difficult for countries to deal with foreseeable disasters. But Jon Queally points out that a concerted effort to quit abusing fossil fuels could do a world in making our world both more fair and more sustainable.

- James Galbraith suggests that the EU is guilty of gross malpractice in how it continues to treat Greece in the face of overwhelming public opposition to austerity. But as David Dayen points (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley offers a dignified argument for healing and acknowledgement of past wrongs against First Nations citizens

PHOTOS: The damage done by residential schools is part of every Canadian’s legacy and the sooner we acknowledge that, the better off we all will be. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, B.C. Premier Christy Cark, singer Raffi Cavoukian, Opposition Leader Brian Jean and Tory MLA Sandra Jansen. VICTORIA, B.C. From the vantage point of the […]

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Susan on the Soapbox: The NDP in Power: Week One

The best thing about booting the PCs out of office is the refreshing change the NDP have brought to the Legislature. And if the first week of the 29th Legislative session is any indication, we can expect the next four years to be thought provoking, entertaining and bizarre.

Democratic reform

Unlike the Prentice PCs whose first order of business was much ado about nothing—Mr Prentice introduced a bill repealing an unproclaimed statute—the NDP started with Bill 1, an act prohibiting corporations and unions from making political contributions to candidates, constituency associations and political parties.

Justice Minister Ganley

After some (Read more…)

In This Corner: Stuff Happens, week 23: And you wonder why the PCs lost; The Donald enters the race; atrocity of the week

Aside from a few staffing hiccups, things continue to go reasonably well for the New Democratic government. The Speech from the Throne, although limited to just two real bills, was almost universally well received. And the ‘almost’ part of that came from the stunningly clueless Ric McIver, the interim leader of what’s left of the Progressive Conservatives. The government’s Bill 1 will reform the election contribution laws, banning contributions from big business and big unions. The NDP has been asking for this for years, and it’s the right thing to do (although the NDP stands the most to gain, (Read more…)

In This Corner: Here’s why the NDP doesn’t need union money anymore.

The NDP government’s first bill is designed to renew democracy in Alberta. It must, right, because it says so right there in the title — An Act To Renew Democracy in Alberta. Essentially, it imposes a ban on corporate and union donations, which pretty much everyone (except PC interim leader, Reactionary Ric MacIver) agrees with. This will hurt parties that have depended upon corporate donations, but it also hurts the NDP, which has relied on the generosity of unions to stay alive for years.I’m in agreement with the idea of removing big money from political campaigns. All you have (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking?

PHOTOS: Calgary in the near future, as fancifully described by the usual suspects at the University of Calgary, if the NDP doesn’t start delivering Conservative polices with alacrity. Below: U of Calgary Professor Jack Mintz, grabbed from Imperial Oil’s annual report; former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge. VICTORIA, B.C. “Alberta is not yet Greece, […]

The post ‘Alberta is not Greece yet’ … Why do we have to pay for Jack Mintz’s mythmaking? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Political Eh-conomy: Repeat after me: Alberta isn’t Greece

Last week it was Andrew Coyne; this week it’s Jack Mintz. Seems all the National Post’s favourite conservative commentators have suddenly decided to offer their Very Serious Advice™ to Alberta’s new government. While Coyne made a spurious comparison between raising the minimum wage and instituting a minimum income, Mintz outdoes him with an even more spurious comparison between Alberta and Greece.

Simply put, it is completely disingenuous to compare Greece to Alberta. Greece has seen its economy lose a quarter of its GDP since 2008 – a level of economic crisis unseen since the Great Depression. Unemployment has spiked to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how Alberta’s strengthened political financing rules under Rachel Notley’s NDP only highlight how far Saskatchewan has fallen behind.

For further reading…- Bill 1 is here (PDF), while Alberta’s legislation which it amends to prohibit organizational donations is the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act, RSA 2000, c E-2 found here. And by way of comparison, the closest Saskatchewan has to the current or amended versions of sections 16 and 17 of that legislation is section 242 of the Election Act, 1996, SS 1996, c E-6.01 here. – I’ll point again to Barret Weber’s (Read more…)

Alberta Politics: Timing of NDP election finance bill’s planned implementation a direct shot at foundering Tories

PHOTOS: NDP Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley at yesterday morning’s press conference on Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, PC Leader Ric McIver. With Bill 1, An Act to Renew Democracy in Alberta, there can be no question that Alberta’s NDP government is playing hardball with what’s left of […]

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daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: First NDP Throne Speech on message. McIver Tories totally tone deaf in opposition.

The NDP throne speech was predictable and on message The first Speech from the Throne of Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley‘s administration included many of the key promises made during the recent provincial election. The 604,515 Albertans who voted NDP should be pleased… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gives a thumbs up in the Legislature for her government’s Speech from the Throne yesterday. Below: Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the speech (Government of Alberta photos). There weren’t any real surprises in the Notley Government’s first Speech from the Throne yesterday, although the ban on corporate and union donations […]

The post The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory

PHOTOS: Now that’s a throne speech! The Queen addresses Parliament in the Senate Chamber in Ottawa in 1957 as prime minister John Diefenbaker, on her right, listens to his government’s plans, no doubt with a great sense of satisfaction. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, who will read the Notley […]

The post Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: June 15 marks the end of the NDP’s trek through Alberta’s political wilderness

On June 15, 2015, Alberta’s new government will present its first Speech from the Throne. Read by new Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, the speech will represent the first official major statement made by Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP government since its stunning… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too

PHOTOS: A group of Albertans studies the effects of corporate cash on the conservative domination of North American politics. Actual Albertans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Regardless, Alberta’s NDP government may be about to try to fix this problem. Below: Parkland Institute charts showing the percentage of election campaign donations in 2012 over $375, […]

The post Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Inside baseball: Legislature picks Speaker; Albertans to get first glimpse of NDP policy Monday

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean, at left, and Premier Rachel Notley, far right, drag the new Speaker, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner, to his chair, a tradition dating to the days when chairing the Legislature wasn’t as desirable a job as it is today. Below: Another shot of Mr. Wanner, like the one above provided […]

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daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley’s NDP should ban corporate and union donations in municipal elections

One of the main promises made by the NDP before their win in the May 2015 provincial election was a commitment to ban corporate and union donations in provincial politics. Current campaign finance laws allow individuals, corporations and labour unions to… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s spooky headquarters in the forest near the town of Athabasca. Below: Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater NDP MLA Colin Piquette, AU President Peter MacKinnon and Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon, once a member of Dr. MacKinnon’s task force on AU sustainability. Athabasca University’s three-day convocation begins today, but what should be a joyous occasion […]

The post Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta’s new political insiders mostly come from outside Alberta

Edmonton Journal report Karen Kleiss published a story this week naming the new Chiefs of Staff hired to advise Alberta’s twelve NDP cabinet ministers and manage their offices at the Legislature. The new government has faced criticism for hiring too many staff from outside… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: The Annals of Government Relations: B.C. lobbyists with faint Dipper links keep turning up in Alberta

PHOTOS: A line of “government relations” specialists with packs full of resumes mentioning past NDP connections make their way over a mountain pass from British Columbia into Alberta. Actual lineups of B.C.-based lobbyists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Brad Zubyk, principal of Vancouver-based Wazuku Advisory Group, which is about to set up shop […]

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Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

PHOTOS: A chaotic scene, not atypical of Alberta labour relations in the Age of Asbell, shot with a phone camera in the offices of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in Edmonton. Below: ALRB Chair Mark Asbell and former CBC reporter John Archer. Sorry about the lousy photos, but, hey, I’m working with what I can […]

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