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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: A mystery that won’t go away: Why do Alberta patients still face such long waits for lung surgery?

A horse with a silver blaze, curried mutton and a dog that did nothing in the night-time helped Sherlock Holmes get to the bottom of a mysterious death. Will it take a legendary detective to uncover the problem with lung surgeries in Alberta? Below: Dr. Verna Yiu; Dr. Raj Sherman; Dr. Ciaran McNamee.

Scotland Yard Detective: “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

Detective: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

Holmes: “That was the curious incident. (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: PC finances: looks like Armageddon for Tories and Wildrose Apocalypse for the rest of us

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith, on horseback, gazes at all that remains of Alberta’s once-mighty Alberta Progressive Conservative dynasty. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear quite so metaphorically. Below: PC Party Executive Director Kelley Charlebois.

We can probably thank former Alberta premier Alison Redford for breaking the spine of the 43-year Progressive Conservative dynasty in this province. For, after not quite two and a half years of her leadership, broken it appears to be.

If you want proof this is so, look no further than the lamentable financial condition in which the party finds itself today.

We already knew (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alison Redford and the misogyny defence: does it really hold any water?

Former Alberta Premier Alison Redford in happier times, as we remember her on the eve of her selection as PC Party leader in the fall of 2011.

The suggestion former Alberta Premier Alison Redford was treated differently, and was presumably fired by her party more peremptorily, because she is a woman is generating considerable heat if not a great deal of light in political circles in Alberta.

This claim first surfaced a few days before Ms. Redford’s political ship sank, at a time when her Progressive Conservative Party was in a state of open rebellion against her leadership. It has (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: PC Party opts for a short and expensive leadership campaign

TweetIn 2006, it was $15,000, in 2011, it was $40,000, and in 2011, the fee to become a candidate in the Progressive Conservative leadership race is $50,000. Senior officials from Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party gathered in Red Deer last night to discuss timelines, entry fees and the rules that will help shape their party’s 2014 […]

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…)

Alberta Diary: The Airline Ticketgate saga continued… Alberta’s Redford Tories, forever young, now have Young forever

Former Progressive Conservative Whip Steve Young gets ready to give it to his premier and party leader at yesterday’s caucus meeting in Edmonton. Actual unrepentant Tory MLAs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The actual Mr. Young, apparently yelling something; his friend Wildrose MLA Ian Donovan; Premier Alison Redford’s executive assistant, Brad Stables.

After yesterday, it looks as if Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s government can now adopt a new motto: “Forever Young.” Or maybe that should actually be, “Young Forever…”

Regardless, it appears that if he wishes, Edmonton-Riverview MLA Steve Young can be part of her caucus (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Small changes may signal glimmer of awareness of trouble ahead among rank and file Tory MLAs

Members of Alison Redford’s brain trust plan the latest hashtags in the Twitter war with AUPE … No! Wait! That’s Bob MacNamara telling LBJ about his plans for the war in Vietnam! What the hey? Below: That rude info-graphic; Red House Chief of Staff Farouk Adatia; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

Opposition political operatives in Alberta spent an entertaining weekend poking through the entrails of the Progressive Conservative government’s Sunshine List, noticing cool things to mention like the fact Premier Alison Redford’s chief of staff earns $144,000 a year more than the guy who does the same thing (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: What a year 2014 has been in Alberta politics!

Tweet This year was a tumultuous time in Alberta politics. What does 2015 have in store for Albertans? December 20, 2014 Story by: Dirk Pranter, Edmonton Journal-Sun Building the next Alberta With the new year just weeks away, speculation is rampant Albertans could go to the polls early next year, less than four years after the last provincial […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Secrecy of foster care deaths a sobering story

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 […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Lukaszuk, Griffiths are prime targets for opposition parties

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 […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta Liberals on the move, still searching for direction

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 […]

Susan on the Soapbox: A Dead Cat Bounce: Redford’s Approval Rating Up to 32%

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…)

Alberta Diary: Strange political bedfellows are conjuring more than entertainment in Alberta

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Liberals downsize, Wildrose raise more than one-million dollars.

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 […]

Alberta Diary: Queue-jumping inquiry report surely wounds Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Queue-jumping report quashes another Tory scandal

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 […]

Alberta Diary: The optics of politics in Alberta, or how to stay focused and in the picture…

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.

ST. ALBERT

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: News from parties not named PC or Wildrose

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 [...]

Alberta Diary: Warning to Tories: It’s not just Trudeau any more … it’s open season on public speakers!

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…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who’s the boss? Fred Horne and Stephen Lockwood spar over AHS performance pay.

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, [...]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: How Brent Rathgeber changed Edmontons political map and why the Tories might like it

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 [...]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: New series Alberta politics-themed childrens books released.

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 [...]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Tories versus Wildrose: Year One in Alberta’s new political game.

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 [...]