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 […]
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 […]
TweetTo the sound of muted fanfare, the Alberta Liberal Party is holding its annual policy convention tomorrow in Calgary. Attempting to revive a faded brand, the Liberals plan to tackle a series of controversial topics that they hope will set them apart from Alberta’s other political parties. After hosting pre-convention policy meetings in Calgary and […]
It’s called a “dead cat bounce”. It’s based on the premise that even a dead cat bounces when it slips off a 12th floor balcony and lands on the sidewalk (contrary to popular belief most sky-diving cats aren’t lucky enough to land in a rose bush).
Skydiving cat (really)
This distressing analogy is used in business when share prices, commodity prices, or any measure of corporate performance, blips up and the reason for that blip is unsustainable—a hurricane that temporarily disables petrochemical manufacturing plants in the US Gulf Coast will cause an uptick in commodity prices because supply (Read more…)
A poster advertising last night’s NDP-Wildrose leaders’ debate at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Below: Odd couple Brian Mason and Danielle Smith, captured in electrons by Dave Cournoyer of the Daveberta.ca blog.
Alberta New Democratic Party Leader Brian Mason and Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith debated each other at the University of Alberta in Edmonton last night.
According to those who were there, their verbal jabs were highly entertaining. “Ms. Smith and Mr. Mason playfully sparred over issues facing the energy sector, pipelines, the economy, post-secondary education, health care and public services,” wrote blogger Dave Cournoyer, who (Read more…)
TweetNews that Raj Sherman‘s Alberta Liberal Party is downsizing its operations by moving into a smaller office and restructuring its organization led me to take a glance at provincial political party fundraising numbers for 2013. Due to a change in legislation last year, political party fundraising reports are submitted to Elections Alberta quarterly and published online […]
Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith, looking for all the world like a future premier, lands a few easy punches on the government after the release yesterday of the health care queue-jumping inquiry report. Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman and former AHS CEO Stephen Duckett, both assailed in the report by Commissioner John Z. Vertes.
Time will tell if the report of Alberta’s inquiry into medical queue jumping turns out to be the skillful strategic win for the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford it appeared to be when it was released yesterday morning.
But one thing is virtually (Read more…)
TweetOver the past eight months, Premier Alison Redford‘s Tories have been quickly dispatching the handful of scandals and allegations that dogged them and robbed them of their political agenda throughout 2012. Facing an aggressive Wildrose official opposition, the Progressive Conservatives were marred by controversy as they struggled to put forward a coherent government agenda in the months […]
Your blogger with the premier of Alberta. Somewhere below: Your blogger with a person who very well could be the next premier of Alberta. Or not.
There’s something to be said for getting along with people even if you don’t agree with them.
Seriously, you can get stuff done that way. Just saying…
Not that having your picture taken with someone proves much in that regard, as Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, would be the first to tell you. Or his lawyer, anyway, who recently informed the Globe and Mail: “Say somebody says,
‘Here, take a picture,’ (Read more…)
TweetWith Alberta’s daily political scene dominated by the loud and partisan voices of the governing Progressive Conservatives and the official opposition Wildrose, it has become easy to miss what is happening in Alberta’s other political parties. Here is a quick look at some news from the other parties represented in the Legislative Assembly – the Liberals [...]
Dave Rodney, the only Conservative MLA for Calgary Lougheed ever to have climbed Mt. Everest twice, or once, for that matter. He is an inspirational speaker. Really. Below: The young Justin Trudeau. Below Mr. Trudeau: The young G. Gordon Liddy and your blogger, also young. Is that 1970s moustache action just a coincidence, or what?
Aspiring journalists and bloggers who secretly crave mainstream credibility are bound to soon be trolling the client lists of the Atlantic Speakers Bureau and other businesses of its ilk looking for charities they have done business with that have fallen on hard times.
I (Read more…)
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, [...]
TweetEdmonton-St. Albert MP Brent Rathgeber unleashed a political storm last night when he announced on Twitter that he is leaving the Conservative Party of Canada caucus. Initially citing a “a lack of commitment to transparency and open government,” he expanded his criticisms to the control Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s office exercises over backbench MPs as interfering with [...]
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