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!
TweetRemember the “Bitumen Bubble?” The “bitumen bubble” spin was unleashed by Premier Alison Redford during her January 24, 2013 televised address that claimed our province was in the midst of a fiscal crisis caused by the so-called “bitumen bubble” — the difference between the price Alberta can get for its heavy oil (Western Canadian Select) [...]
Miscellaneous material to start your week.
- Michael Harris takes aim at Stephen Harper’s thugocracy: There is little that Stephen Harper has done that other prime ministers before him have not. But no one has used closure, time allocation, committee secrecy or omnibus legislation to a degree that renders Parliament itself irrelevant.
And he has done some other things that no prime minister ever has. He is the only one to have been found in contempt of Parliament. And has any federal government ever tabled a budget without also tabling the Planning and Priorities report? If the government’s spending details
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning Links
Condolences and praise poured in for former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, who passed away on Friday, March 29, at the age of 70.
“We remember what a force of personality he was, how driven he was, how motivated he was, how straightforward he was, and that we trusted him implicitly.” – Alberta Premier Alison Redford
“While Ralph’s beliefs about the role of government and fiscal responsibility were once considered radical, it is perhaps his greatest legacy that these ideas are now widely embraced across the political spectrum.” — Stephen Harper.
Yes, as the compliments poured in, it must be remembered that Klein was one of Canada’s most aggressive neo-liberals. “King Ralph”, as he was widely known, served as premier of Alberta from 1992 to 2006.
TweetSince Ralph Klein passed away last week, numerous people have emailed me with their stories about his time politics and reactions to legacy in Premier. The responses varied from loving to hostile, but easily the oddest email I received over the weekend was from a former Progressive Conservative constituency association president, who sent me an [...]
They’re all lining up to heap praise upon old Ralph now that he’s dead. They sure didn’t seem to be so reverential to him while he lived.
Yes, Ralph Klein did balance the provincial government’s books. Yes, Ralph Klein did pay off the provincial government’s debts. Yes those were both wonderful achievements.
So what happened? Why is Alberta in such a mess today? Are Ralph’s fingerprints also on what went wrong?
Was it not under Ralph Klein that the Alberta government allowed itself to become dependent on fickle oil royalties to pad its operation budget?
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Why is Ralph Klein Greater Dead Than He Was Alive?
Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein passed away a couple of days ago at the age of 70 – not unexpected, as media reported a couple of weeks back that his condition was grave. Now,we have word that Peter Kormos, former NDP MPP for Niagara/Welland, passed away this AM suddenly at the age of 60.
Kinda dreading the news for the next couple of days.
(Both men were not similar in their politics, but very similar in that they weren’t boring. Condolences to all those who know both of them.)
After the passing of Peter Lougheed last year, another Alberta PC titan is gone, with Ralph Klein passing away at the age of 70.
Although it is customary to offer tributes and praise at times like this, many of my motivations for getting involved in politics grew from a strong dislike of the way Klein was governing Alberta. Over the years, I haven’t been shy about criticizing the man on this blog.
What I will say is that Ralph was, hands down, one of the best Canadian politicians of his generation. He single-handedly saved the PC dynasty in 1993, and
. . . → Read More: Calgary Grit: Ralph’s World
They say you are not supposed to speak ill of the dead. So I'd rather not say anything about the life and legacy of Ralph Klein.But unfortunately we live in a very sick democracy. A country corrupted by leaders like Stephen Harper.So when I see the MSM falling over themselves to see who can write a more glowing or fawning obituary, I believe some balance is required.Read more »
Surrounded by friends and family he passed away earlier today. While many of his policies were controversial and his legacy will be debated… the measure of him by all people, parties, and partisans will be the same. He was a hell of a guy. A mix between passion, hard nosed grit-that-gets-stuff-done, and a sense of [...]
TweetVarious news media are reporting that Ralph Klein has passed away at the age of 70. Mr. Klein served as Mayor of Calgary from 1980 to 1989 and Premier of Alberta from 1992 until his retirement from politics in 2006. He had suffered from numerous ailments since his retirement. CTV Edmonton: In the months leading [...]
Ralph Klein has died. That is all.
TweetRumours swirled through the halls of the Legislative for weeks. Whispers and warnings of cuts and rollbacks not seen since Ralph Klein and Jim Dinning unleashed a scorched earth policy on the provincial budget in the mid-1990s. Back in debt. Broken promises. Bankrupt budgets. The end was nigh. And today, the budget was tabled and [...]
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
Freddy Lee Morton, in happier times, with your blogger. Below: Firewaller Tom Flanagan; the entire separatist 2001 Firewall team (grabbed from the National Post).
Freddy Lee “Ted” Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, was back in the pages of the Calgary Herald the other day, bloviating at length about the need for brutal attack on public service salaries because this province’s frequently fluctuating principal revenue source has gone and fluctuated again.
Alert readers will recall Dr. Morton describing himself as “every liberal’s nightmare, a right-winger with a PhD.” He was also the owner of the mysterious “Frederick Lee”
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: ‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!
Razzle-dazzle, sis-boom-bah, balanced budgets, rah-rah-rah! Danielle Smith and the Wild Rosehip Tea Party yell squad cheers for Alison Redford’s Tory team’s worst plays on the field. The actual Alberta opposition may not be quite as illustrated. Below: Ms. Redford and B.C. Premier Christie Clark. Why are these two premiers smiling?
British Columbia and Alberta, Canada’s two westernmost provinces, have lots in common.
Both have economies that rely heavily on volatile natural resources, well-educated, diverse and generally socially progressive populations, and Westminster-style parliamentary legislatures in beautiful old buildings.
Both are also governed by irresponsible neoconservative coalitions with misleading names that
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A Tale of Two Provinces: B.C. NDP and Wild Rosehip Tea Party show why opposition matters
Public School District students await dismissal for the week on a Thursday afternoon in Fort McMurray. Actual students may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Edmonton-Calder NDP MLA David Eggen; former Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Guy Boutilier.
And where, the good people of Fort McMurray should be asking themselves today as Canadians scratch their heads at the idea of four-day school for children in the Alberta oil sands boom town, is Guy Boutilier now that they really need him?
Mr. Boutilier, as readers with long memories may recall, was the Conservative MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo who was kicked out
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Four-day school scheme shows Tories view Fort McMurray as not much more than a work camp
These typical Albertans may be victims of Dutch Disease. Who would have thought just weeks ago they were wearing slim-cut jeans, ostrich-hide boots and nice Resistol hats like the people below? It’s pathetic, really! Below: Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, sorry Tom; Alberta Premier Alison Redford. All images just found on the Internet.
Who would have thought Alberta, of all places, would end up suffering from Dutch Disease?
Surely it was just weeks ago we Albertans, always ornery and lightning quick to take offence, were excoriating the likes of federal Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and then-Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty for
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Sorry about what we said, Tom, but spare a sigh for Alberta, latest victim of Dutch Disease
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
TweetIn an unexpected move, Premier Alison Redford shuffled two rookie cabinet ministers out of her cabinet yesterday morning. Advanced Education & Enterprise Minister Stephen Khan (MLA St. Albert) and Tourism Minister Christine Cusanelli (MLA Calgary-Currie) were both appointed to cabinet in May 2012. Mr. Khan’s time in cabinet was largely seen as reserved and underwhelming. Ms. [...]
Premier Alison Redford eyeballs an uninvited visitor to the province’s economic summit. Without the password, you’re not getting in. Below, Premier Redford and Deputy Premier Tom Lukaszuk present their bona fides at the door. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below them: The premier’s communications director, Stefan Baranski.
In just 10 days, “Alberta’s leading thinkers, key industry, non-profit and academic leaders, Members of the Legislative Assembly and passionate citizens will gather together for a spirited discussion on Alberta’s future.” You’re not invited.
The government announced yesterday in a terse yet effusive press release that the economic
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: ‘Leading thinkers’ to set Alberta’s new economic course lickety-split – and you’re not invited