TweetAbout 2,000 Albertans from every corner of the province braved the -33C windchill yesterday to defend their modest pension plans at a rally in Edmonton’s Churchill Square. Many municipal and provincial employees are concerned that Finance minister Doug Horner‘s proposed changes to Alberta’s public sector pension plans could impact their retirement security. Despite rhetoric about ‘gold-plated pension […]
Sue Higgins in a characteristic pose, grabbed from the Internet. Below: Her official City of Calgary mug, from back in the day.
When I heard on the car radio yesterday afternoon that Sue Higgins had died, the first thing I thought of was that green pantsuit.
This is a funny thing to remember about a person of such real substance, but the seven-term Calgary alderman – and by God, Sue Higgins was an alderman, not a city councillor and most certainly not an alderperson – surely did have her own style. And that green pantsuit – in a shade (Read more…)
Guy Boutilier in his Wildrose caucus office in Edmonton back in 2009. Notice Ralph Klein peering over his shoulder. Below: Other Fort Mac politicians Brian Jean, the Conservative Crossword King, and Mike Allen, a saxophonist, in his St. Paul Police mugshot.
Guy Boots, Member of Parliament?
Why not? When you think about it, Guy Boutilier – nowadays he pronounces Guy in the French way, Ghee, and Boutilier in the English Way, Boot-a-LEER – is one of Alberta’s most successful politicians.
At least, he was until he wasn’t.
But now he’s lookin’ good again, and with a federal by-election likely to (Read more…)
A rainbow banner flies alongside the city, Alberta and Canadian flags at the city hall of St. Albert, Alberta, last weekend. Below: A really great pride banner spotted during a recent Pride Week in Vancouver.
Fourteen years ago, the Alberta provincial government led by Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein was convulsed with controversy at the thought of same-sex marriage.
In the ensuing weeks, Mr. Klein threatened to employ the Notwithstanding Clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to prevent legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Only in 2005, did Mr. Klein give up this particular fight, and reluctantly (Read more…)
Your blogger in 2011 with Ron Liepert, Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister. Below: Calgary West Member of Parliament Rob Anders, Canada’s worst MP, with his friend and supporter, Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Coming soon to the new federal riding of Calgary Signal Hill: fear and loathing on the campaign trail.
Come with me on a savage journey into the heart of Alberta’s never-ending Conservative nightmare: Alberta’s former Worst Provincial Cabinet Minister is about to challenge Canada’s undisputed Worst Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada nomination in the redistributed southwest Calgary federal riding!
In the corner (Read more…)
After her change of heart, Alberta Premier Ebenezer Redford, top left, accompanied by Speaker Gene Zwozdesky in his ceremonial robes, watches as some of the members of her cabinet sit down for an unexpected dinner of Christmas turkey. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservative movers and shakers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: actual deck chairs on the actual Titanic; a Tweet from one of the child labourers on Premier Redford’s communications staff.
Well, it’s one way to keep your more restive conservative caucus members from running across the floor of the House to join the Wildrose Opposition, I guess.
Alberta (Read more…)
A couple of political pundits try to explain to Alberta Premier Alison Redford, centre, why the 77 Per Cent Solution may not be a good thing after all. Actual Alberta premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Note that the previous reference has nothing to do with illegal drugs or Rob Ford. Below: Ed Stelmach, Clint Dunford and Ralph Klein.
The members of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party – whoever they may be at this particular moment in history – endorsed Premier Alison Redford yesterday to the tune of 77 per cent.
What good will come of that, you wonder?
“Why (Read more…)
Alison Redford, ready for her endorsement vote tomorrow, as rendered by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Below: former Canadian prime minister Joe Clark, late U.S. president John F. Kennedy, both of whom figure in this blog post about Alberta politics for some reason.
Was it insularity and tone deafness, or Machiavellian cleverness, that led the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party to time the opening of the convention that includes Premier Alison Redford’s leadership review to coincide with the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination?
Or is 50 years long enough that it’s just a weird coincidence that was (Read more…)
TweetHundreds of supporters of the long-governing Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta will gather in Red Deer on November 22 and 23, 2013 to attend to the business of their annual general meeting and conduct a review of Premier Alison Redford leadership. Why does a leader who nineteen months ago led her party to its 12th […]
TweetThe political battle between the Wildrose opposition and long-governing Progressive Conservatives continued today as the Legislative Assembly resumed for the fall sitting. Debt was the biggest issue of the day. Wildrose leader Danielle Smith jumped at the opportunity to make light of comments Premier Alison Redford made that compared the government’s decision to accept debt financing […]
“The Alberta Way,” a hard-hitting 30-second TV spot from the province’s largest union, attacks the Redford Government’s broken promises and hard-right policies. It will go into heavy rotation on Monday. Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith; PC Environment Minister Diana McQueen.
Never mind for the moment which of Alberta’s right-wing parties has the worse ideas about climate change, grudging support for the Opposition Wildrose Party is beginning to bloom in surprisingly progressive places.
Maybe calling it support puts it a little too strongly, but there’s a dawning sense in many progressive quarters in Alberta that a Wildrose government led by Opposition (Read more…)
TweetDo you drain a Lake of Fire or do you dam it? Whatever it takes, Wildrose Party activists are expected to moderate the tone of their policies at their weekend policy convention in the booming central Alberta city of Red Deer. A delicate and sometimes shaky coalition of libertarians and social conservatives (among other groups), […]
TweetTwo years ago today, Ed Stelmach quietly stepped out of the political spotlight after a nearly five years as Premier of Alberta. The mild-mannered farmer from Andrew dedicated more than twenty-five years of his life to municipal and provincial politics and led the Progressive Conservative Association to win one of its largest electoral victories in forty years. […]
Another visually riveting moment in the history of Alberta Health Services – from left to right, CEO Chris Eagle, Health Minister Fred Horne and just-appointed Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson at yesterday’s news conference in Edmonton, exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason speaks for the opposition; new AHS Administrator Dr. John Cowell.
Methinks the minister doth protest too much.
OK, I didn’t count. But Health Minister Fred Horne, Alberta Health Services Chief Executive Officer Chris Eagle and Janet Davidson – we’ll get to who she is in just a moment – kept insisting at their press conference yesterday (Read more…)
The estimable Mark Lisac, at left, interviews Ted Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, back in 2011. Below: Insight Into Government Publisher Ric Dolphin, photo grabbed from his Twitter account.
Mark Lisac’s Insight Into Government newsletter was always worth reading.
This retro-style, subscription-only publication – which was emphatically not available online – was nevertheless distinguished by its author’s elegant prose and its ability to live up to its name as an insightful source of commentary on Alberta’s politics. As befits quality material, subscriptions to IIG were not inexpensive.
Because he was consistently fair to the people he wrote about, (Read more…)
The region covered by Alberta’s Capital Region Board. Below: St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, Redwater Mayor Mel Smith and Sturgeon County Mayor Don Rigney.
The Town of Redwater has petitioned Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister to be allowed to quit the Capital Region Board – a plea that no doubt elicited a powerful ho-hum from most voters in St. Albert and other urban centres in the Edmonton area.
Still, you should read on. This story is more important than it may seem at first blush.
Redwater also tried a more direct approach, putting a motion before the CRB asking (Read more…)
I’m not a fan of engagement for engagement’s sake. It is a vacuous activity with few, if any, results. Every political activity must have a purpose and this draws my angst about Reboot Alberta. It doesn’t have a purpose. If the goal is to grow a progressive presence in the Albertan legislature there are other, [...]
TweetToday marks the 20th anniversary of Alberta’s 1993 election, known in Tory political circles as “the miracle on the Prairies” and to others as the election that interrupted the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals (in which the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Wayne Gretzky-led Los Angeles Kings). This election was Alberta’s most competitive in decades and saw [...]
TweetSuccess comes with challenges, and for Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives, forty-two years of electoral success has come with its own unique set of challenges. One of the PC Party’s biggest successes has been its ability to reinvent itself over its more than four decades in power. It is sometimes difficult to explain to someone from outside [...]
Tweet“We’ve been very clear that we will not be balancing the budget on the backs of students,” Premier Alison Redford told the media at a press conference yesterday. This statement is only partially true. The provincial government is not balancing the budget this year. Gathered to re-announced what Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk casually announced off-the-cuff [...]
Representatives of Edmonton region municipalities discuss regional planning issues at a recent meeting. Actual municipal reps may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths; Ralph Klein with Steve West.
The foundations of the regional planning crisis that prompted a frustrated Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths to threaten Edmonton-area municipalities with forced amalgamation were laid by the destructive policies announced by premier Ralph Klein’s sidekick Steve West back in 1993.
On Oct. 7 of that year, Dr. West, the Vermilion veterinarian and MLA who acted in a variety of portfolios as Mr. Klein’s minister of dismantling (Read more…) services, marched to the front of a meeting of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and proclaimed that the government would be pulling the plug on the province’s internationally respected system of regional planning.
The great minds of the Klein government didn’t like it because they’d decided . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Blame Ralph Klein for Redford Government’s messy regional planning crisis
The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Below, Ezra Levant in an orange wig with a can of Orange Crush mocks Jack Layton’s funeral. RIP or give it a rest?
Oh my – quelle horreur! – naughty Britons still appalled by the depredations visited upon their country by Margaret Thatcher’s government have shocked and appalled the world by pushing “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!” to the top of the charts.
In case you missed it, the former British prime minister, who was in office from 1979 to 1990, died on Monday at 87. But (Read more…) took until yesterday for the song from the Wizard of Oz – an apt metaphor itself for the operational side of neocon governments everywhere – to mischievously reach No. 1 on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s weekly music chart.
The right-wing media in Britain and, quite naturally, here . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Wicked Witch war of words: ‘Has Thatcher bashing crossed a line?’ Well, er… no!