TweetPremier Alison Redford was criticized this week after she harshly denounced her opposition in a campaign-style speech to a group of school children in Calgary. In response to the Premier’s fiery words, book publishers jumped on the opportunity to reach impressionable young minds by releasing a series of children’s books about Alberta politics. Both Premier [...]
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 [...]
Last week Ms Soapbox was introduced to the Legislative Assembly by Liberal MLA, Laurie Blakeman, the oldest (as in longest-serving, not age!) opposition MLA. Ms Blakeman noted that Ms Soapbox was a lawyer but said the House wouldn’t hold that against her. Ms Soapbox stood to receive the “traditional warm welcome” of the Assembly. The MLAs thumped their desks and waved, warming the cockles of Ms Soapbox’s heart!
The Caucus Meeting
When Liberal MLA, Dr David Swann, invited me to attend a Liberal caucus meeting I leapt at the chance. In less than 10 minutes
. . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Ms Soapbox’s Great Adventure—Off to the Leg (it rhymes with “edge”)
Alison Redford’s approval ratings have fallen to “Stelmachian” levels
Angus Reid has released their quarterly Premier approval ratings. As per usual, Brad Wall is more popular than God, and everyone else is a little more human:
Wall (SK): 64% approve, 28% disapprove Alward (NB): 41% approve, 50% disapprove Selinger (MB): 38% approve, 49% disapprove Wynne (ON): 36% approve, 37% disapprove Marois (QC): 33% approve, 62% disapprove Dexter (NS): 30% approve, 62% disapprove Redford (AB): 29% approve, 66% disapprove Clark (BC): 25% approve, 67% disapprove Dunderdale (NL): 25% approve, 73% disapprove
While Wall’s number sticks out, there are a few
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Provincial Unrest
TweetUnofficial political donation records published by Elections Alberta yesterday show that Premier Alison Redford‘s Progressive Conservative Association is not in the robust financial situation its leaders are accustomed to over the past four-decades in office. At least not in 2012, when the Tory Party was eclipsed by its main rival in fundraising amounts. Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose [...]
TweetProvincial Liberal leader Raj Sherman wants his party to work more closely with the federal Liberal Party. Conventional wisdom would inform us that the Alberta Liberals should always do everything in their power to distance themselves from their federal cousins, who remain tainted in the province after a long-string of historical grievances and well-curated myths. [...]
TweetHundreds of students and staff from the University of Alberta marched to the Alberta Legislature yesterday to protest the 7% cut to the Advanced Education budget. Students and staff were joined by Liberal leader Raj Sherman, NDP MLA Rachel Notley, and NDP MP Linda Duncan. In response to the provincial budget cuts, University of Alberta [...]
Finance Minister Doug Horner preps Albertans for yesterday’s budget. Actual Alberta finance ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated – but that’s the trick, isn’t it? Below: The real Doug Horner.
All in all, I guess, you could make a good case this was a pretty lousy budget.
It’s deeply confusing, as without any doubt the Alberta government intended, and there are a couple of real disasters lurking in its pages – got kids in post-secondary education, anyone?
But in the aftermath of the Alberta Budget Speech read this afternoon by Progressive Conservative Finance Minister Doug Horner, who was wearing
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Close enough for government work: Alberta Tories manage to hold their centre-right turf
Weakened but still standing: The mighty Tory edifice. Don’t panic. This is a metaphor! Below: Alberta Premier Alison Redford.
It’s interesting to juxtapose the results of two new polls on related but different topics that were released yesterday – a Think HQ poll of Alberta voter intentions and an Environics poll of Albertans attitudes about taxes and public services.
The results of the former were published in the afternoon by CTV; the results of latter were released in the morning by the Alberta Federation of Labour, for which the survey was done.
If you believe them, the Think
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Two polls show how, and maybe why, Alberta’s Tory coalition is crumbling
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 [...]
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?
Steve Khan, eyed suspiciously by a fox. Below: Richard Starke, Christine Cusanelli, Richard III and Thomas Lukaszuk.
Right on the heels of a new poll suggesting a decline in support for the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta, Premier Alison Redford announced a mini-shuffle of her cabinet yesterday, sacking a couple of rookie ministers who for different reasons had turned out to be liabilities.
Coincidence? I think not.
The telephone survey of Alberta public opinion conducted from Jan. 14 to 20 by Leger Marketing was covered by most media and commentators as if it were good news for Ms. Redford’s PCs.
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Khan, Cusanelli canned: Alberta premier sacks two rookie ministers in wake of poll
TweetOne month before Alberta’s Legislative Assembly reconvenes to deal with this year’s provincial budget, Leger Marketing has released a new survey of political party support in our province. Progressive Conservative: 40% Wildrose: 28% NDP: 13% Liberal: 12% This is only one survey and all political polls should be taken with a grain of salt, but [...]
Fireside chats? Alberta Premier Alison Redford as she’ll likely see herself while softening up the province’s citizens for the March 7 Budget Speech on CTV tonight. Below: Ms. Redford as Albertans may see her. Below that: the real Ms. Redford; Conference Board Chief Economist Glen Hodgson.
Oh dear. Premier Alison Redford wants to have a “conversation” with us tonight.
Daddy’s new job at the convenience store doesn’t pay as much as the old one. We’re all going to have to tighten our belts a little, and that means you kids too. We’ve had to cancel the snow clearing service –
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Uh-oh! Premier Alison Redford wants to have a ‘conversation’ with us
TweetThe latest episode of Alberta’s ongoing “cooperation on the centre-left” saga will continue on January 23, when rogue activists from the Liberalberta Party, the New Democratic Party, and the Alberta Party will host a “Soapbox, Suds, and Wings” night in Edmonton. The event, which is being organized by Edmonton-Mill Creek NDP president Stephen Anderson, Alberta [...]
TweetThe low price of oil and natural gas and an election promise of “no new taxes, no service cuts” has put Alberta’s Tories in an unenviable political bind and set the tone for this year’s provincial budget debate. This week, Lee Richardson, Principal Secretary to Premier Alison Redford, released a trial balloon suggesting the government [...]
The Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team from Ottawa get ready to do their popular routine, “Where Is John Galt?” Defence Minister Joan Crockatt is in the front row, second from right. Below: Senator Tom Flanagan; U of C economics student Kim Jong-un, in full Calgary drag; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ecstatic for his boss; and Nobel Prize winner Raj Sherman with the author. Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted.
Why wait for 2013’s headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!
TweetWhat does 2013 hold for Alberta’s political leaders? Do their performances in 2012 shed any light on how the next year will play out? Saved from defeat by controversial comments made by social conservative elements of the Wildrose Party, Premier Alison Redford led the Progressive Conservative Party to its 12th consecutive electoral victory since 1971. [...]
2013 could be a big year for Alberta’s NDP – if they play their cards right. Members of the Alberta NDP caucus and their opponents may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason.
Surely the strategic goal of Alberta’s New Democrats between now and the next provincial election must be to move the NDP from being the fourth party in the Legislature to the second one after 2016.
In other words, although an NDP government in Alberta is simply not in the cards over the medium term, the NDP could form the Opposition in 2016 if the
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A last thought for 2012: 2013 is bound to be an important year for Alberta’s NDP
As one might imagine, the Alberta Liberal Party has been doing some soul searching in the wake of a difficult election earlier this year. In the past month, controversy has swirled around MLA Kent Hehr over his efforts to reach out to the NDP and discuss merger. This prompted a bizarre rebuttal from ALP President Todd Van Vliet, and a more diplomatic response from leader Raj Sherman.
At this point, I really don’t know what to think of the entire mess, but I’ll share an open letter which was sent to Raj Sherman by ALP Member Amandeep Hayer. I’ll give
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Guest Post: The State of the Alberta Liberal Party
Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr with a crowd of Liberalberta supporters in the background. (Bad joke. I apologize.) Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.
An angry and public attack last week on Liberal MLA Kent Hehr by Alberta Liberal Party President Todd Van Vliet suggests the party’s caucus is splintering under the leadership of former Progressive Conservative Raj Sherman.
Mr. Van Vliet’s rambling and bitter attack on Mr. Hehr was prompted by the Calgary-Buffalo MLA’s contribution of a guest post to the Daveberta blog, in which he mused about the victory of the Conservatives in the recent Calgary Centre by-election,
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Attack on Kent Hehr highlights deepening fissures in Alberta Liberal ranks
Your blogger with Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman, the former Conservative Parliamentary Secretary for Health. Below: Former Alberta Health Services CEO Stephen Duckett.
In other medical news, Alberta seems to be suffering an epidemic of mild memory loss. Not just Alberta, either. The problem has cropped up Down Under as well!
The Health Services Preferential Access Inquiry, known to most Albertans as the Queue-Jumping Inquiry or words to that effect, completed its second day in Edmonton yesterday with a couple of star witnesses on the stand – or whatever the stand called when it isn’t technically speaking at a judicial
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Well, somebody thought there was queue jumping, that’s for sure!
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 … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Everythinggate: Perfect storm lands Alberta premier in shark-infested waters!
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 Premie… . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Wildrose MLAs stage walk out during dramatic tobacco conflict.
CBC investigative journalist Charles Rusnell goes through Alberta Health Services expense accounts in the upcoming motion picture, All the Premier’s Relatives. Rusnell is played by actor Robert Redford, no relation. Don’t worry, people, I just made that up. But who could resist? Below: Dr. Raj Sherman, the Liberalberta leader, played by himself, and AMA President … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Raj Sherman must’ve nailed it, or Fred Horne would’ve walked from talks with docs