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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 →

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.

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: Is anyone seriously surprised Alberta’s books might be in worse shape that we were told?

PHOTOS: Uh-oh! Newly appointed NDP chiefs of staff start to check the books left by the now-departed Prentice Government, and they don’t like what they’re finding. Actual government political staffers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Provincial Gadfly Joe Anglin. Can anyone honestly say they were surprised to hear […]

The post Is anyone seriously surprised Alberta’s books might be in worse shape that we were told? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley’s Crew: Alberta’s First NDP Cabinet

Thousands of Albertans packed the Legislature Grounds for the swearing-in ceremony of Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta’s first NDP Cabinet. This marked the first time in 44 years that a party other than the Progressive Conservatives were sworn-in to office… Continue Reading →

Susan on the Soapbox: 5-5-15: Small “c” Conservatives Exposed

On May 5, 2015, NDP leader Rachel Notley brought the Progressive Conservative dynasty to its knees.

Many Albertans, including Ms Soapbox, are over the moon. Others who voted for one of the two conservative parties are wandering around like Li’l Abner’s Joe Btfsplk.

The small “c” conservative brain trust, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, is busy providing insight into why the fall of the PC party was inevitable and how conservatives can rise from the ashes stronger than ever.

Let’s see what three leading small “c” conservatives have to say.

The perfect storm theory

Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Hope and Fear: 2 days until Alberta’s election

With only two full days left before the May 5 provincial election, the 43-year long governing Progressive Conservatives and its supporters are waging a thick fear campaign against its electoral challengers. On May 1, five corporate CEOs and PC Party donors held… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley wins the debate. Now it’s time to manage expectations

Last night’s leader’s debate was the biggest opportunity for Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice to knock NDP leader Rachel Notley off-balance. Since the start of the campaign, the PC Party has focused most of its attacks on Wildrose leader Brian Jean, who has proven… Continue Reading →

Susan on the Soapbox: Prentice Drops the “E” Word on Day One

Extremist: /ɛkˈstriːmɪst/ noun, chiefly derogatory: A person who holds extreme political or religious views, especially one who advocates illegal, violent or other extreme action—Oxford dictionary

Hysterical rhetoric

Of all the bonehead things Premier Prentice could have said in his campaign kick-off speech, warning Albertans to beware of “extreme ideas or ideologies” takes the cake.

Prime Minister Harper labeled ISIL “extremists” and “terrorists”. He girded his loins and sent in the troops.

Premier Prentice labelled the Wildrose and the NDP “the extreme right and the extreme left”. He girded his campaign team and sent in the spin doctors.

Are you an (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Prentice re-election budget tough on sinners, easy on corporations

OTTAWA, ONTARIO “If Alberta can deliver a budget, why can this minister of finance not,” Liberal MP Scott Brison asked of Finance Minister Joe Oliver, who was absent from the House of Commons today. Opposition Members of Parliament have been chastizing the Conservatives… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Sharpen Your Pencils, Alberta. Slash-and-burn is back.

Living in the land of the lowest taxation rates in Canada allows many personal benefits but long-term government stability has not been one of them. Relying heavily on natural resource revenues, our political leaders continue to stumble from embarrassment of riches to poverty and never… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Alberta can’t afford to ignore the Provincial Sales Tax

“Rat-free, PST-free and Liberal-free” has been a Conservative mantra in Alberta since the reign of Pierre Elliott Trudeau. But is this trifecta now in jeopardy? The decline of government revenues caused by the drop in the price of oil has once again sparked… Continue Reading →

Alberta Diary: Alberta, I give you Alison Redford, Person of the Year for 2014!

Former premier Alison Redford at the moment of her leadership campaign victory in 2011. Former opposition leader Danielle Smith in a typical campaign pose last summer.

Back in the mists of time, or rather, Time, there used to be a regular December feature called “Man of the Year.”

That was amended to “Person of the Year” in the 28th year of Progressive Conservative rule here in Alberta, and no doubt many in that party are still upset by the change, being symptomatic, as it were, of that other kind of PC they so love to disparage.

Other (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015

TweetAs 2014 reminded us, politics can be an extraordinarily unpredictable and forecasting the future can be a tricky business for political pundits. Aside from the obvious choice of Premier Jim Prentice, here is a list of a dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015. Rob Anderson (Airdrie): The outspoken rookie MLA left the PC Caucus in 2010 … Continue reading A Dozen Alberta MLAs worth watching in 2015 →

Alberta Diary: Enough with the fantasy Wildrose was Alberta’s best opposition, already! It’s baloney!

And then there were five: The Wildrose caucus back before it experienced civil war, desertions and mass defections, including that of its leader, the woman in red above. Below: former NDP leader Brian Mason and current Leader Rachel Notley; effective Liberal MLAs David Swann and Hugh Macdonald.

One of the more irritating byproducts of mass defection by the Mudville Nine and two of their caucus colleagues who rejoined the Tory Mothership a few days earlier has been the outright wholesaling of the nonsensical claim the Wildrose Party was the most effective opposition Alberta has ever known.

Jen Gerson and Jesse (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Never mind the Mudville Nine: Nothing has changed, nothing ever will, that is all!

“Your health. Our promise.” It’s March 1, 2013, and then-premier Alison Redford announces plans to build a new cancer treatment facility in Calgary to replace the grubby and overcrowded Tom Baker Cancer Centre. (Photo grabbed from Metro Newspapers.) But that was then. This is now. Below: Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel; the Tom Baker facility in northwest Calgary.

As Danielle Smith might have said, were she still the leader of the Opposition, “nothing has changed!”

On Friday, mass media were uncritically reporting the “reasons” the new cancer hospital promised to Calgary on which construction was supposed (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Blogger Brian Mason explains why Jim Prentice, ‘Alberta’s first Wildrose premier,’ is preparing to call a snap election

Former NDP leader Brian Mason in a couple of typical poses, above and below. I’ll bet you didn’t know he was a terrific political blogger too!

Jim Prentice is Alberta’s first Wildrose premier and he will soon call a snap election to ensure he can push forward a Wildrose program of using temporarily low oil prices as justification to roll back public sector salaries, attack pensions, reintroduce health care premiums and lay off nurses and teachers.

This sharp and credible warning comes from someone who should be better known as a political blogger than he is, a shrewd analyst of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Oh Buffster where art thou? Jim Prentice names nothing but bosses to his ‘blue ribbon’ panel on worker morale

Dan MacLennan – known as Buff, or the Buffster, to his friends – with Premier Ralph Klein, back in the day when Alberta’s leaders didn’t just talk to the Big Kahunas from the executive suite. Below: Ex Syncrude CEO Jim Carter, former Edmonton Journal Publisher Linda Hughes, Maclab Enterprises Chair Marc de La Bruyère and Queen’s University Professor Françoise Morissette.

Premier Jim Prentice, former chartered bank vice-president, has created a “blue ribbon” advisory panel of big bosses from public and private sector executive suites to do something about sagging morale and high turnover in the Alberta public service.

What’s wrong (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Alberta is always in Tough Economic Times

Tweet“They don’t know what to do with tough economic times. It was easy enough to govern when the money was flowing in, when things were going well. They took all the credit for it at that time. It’s much harder to govern, and the mark of a good government is how they handle it, when […]

Alberta Diary: The accountability ship has sailed, Bill 2 notwithstanding; Premiers Jim Prentice and Ralph Klein compared

A pensive Ralph Klein, maybe thinking about his worst political mistakes. Below: Jim Prentice and Alison Redford, also Alberta premiers. Premier, you’re no Ralph Klein!

Accountability legislation?

Oh, well … that changes everything!

All sarcasm aside, people, I think that ship has sailed, actually …

Bill 10, legislation designed to make it hard to form gay-straight alliances in schools, having turned into an embarrassing flop that won’t go away, Premier Jim Prentice yesterday introduced Bill 2, a law that in the words of the headline on the government’s news release, “aims to improve accountability and restore trust with (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: What are Premier Jim Prentice and his three ‘agents of change’ planning for Alberta’s public service?

Alberta civil servants: do you get the feeling someone may have their eye on you? Below: Agents of change Richard Dicerni, Ian Brodie, Oryssia Lennie and Steve West.

Premier Jim Prentice says he intends to “reform” Alberta’s public service, fix its low morale, reverse its “shocking” turnover and deal with its other “very significant problems.”

He’s appointed a former senior federal civil servant and well-connected business professor to be his “agent of change,” along with a couple of right-hand persons to assist with this change agentry. Their work will start immediately.

Sounds way better, huh, than former premier Alison (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: As 2 more Wildrose MLAs leave, can Danielle Smith’s leadership survive?

TweetLast week, the wheels were falling off the Wildrose bus. This week, the passengers have flung open the emergency exits and started leaping out into traffic. The Wildrose Official Opposition started the month of November with 17 MLAs and might be ending it with only fourteen. Today, Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice, flanked by Little Bow […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: What’s at stake in the four Oct. 27 by-elections?

TweetWith less than two days left in Alberta’s mini-election, voters will head to the polls on the morning of October 27, 2014 to cast their ballots in by-elections being held in Calgary-Elbow, Calgary-Foothills, Calgary-West and Edmonton-Whitemud. As these mid-term elections approach, what is at stake for Alberta’s political parties? Progressive Conservatives In a normal general election, […]

Alberta Diary: No change! No change! Jim Prentice’s ‘new management’ is offering the same old Tory stuff

New management … same old owner. It’s all about marketing. Below: Jim Prentice and Fred Horne, advocating the same health care policies.

Sustained, uninterrupted privatization of health care, a senior official dumped for daring to speak out about political interference in her supposedly independent work, thousands of dollars in illegal donations to the good ole Tory Dynasty now led by Premier Jim Prentice …

All this and a Speaker who doesn’t understand or care about his impartial role in the Legislature. … Plus a national mission to build pipelines to all points of the compass!

This is new management? Sure (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: New Democrats yesterday were ready for Rachel – can Albertans reach the same conclusion?

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley, about to be interviewed by the media, moments after her victory speech in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Three scenes from yesterday’s NDP leadership convention, one of Ms. Notley’s buttons, her father, Grant Notley.

Rachel Notley’s campaign buttons asked: “Are you Ready for Rachel?”

There was never much doubt Alberta’s New Democrats were ready for Rachel, and they proved it yesterday by overwhelmingly choosing the scion of this province’s second-most-famous political dynasty as leader of their party in voting at Edmonton’s Sutton Place Hotel.

This has been clear since former leader Brian Mason announced his intention (Read more…)