Alberta Politics: Bygone bleats: Ray Speaker speaks again, while your blogger still awaits his letter

PHOTOS: Past and present at the Alberta Legislature. Progressive Conservative campaign vehicles may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former MLAs Ray Speaker, a Social Crediter and Progressive Conservative, Tory Steve West, New Democrat Ed Ewasiuk, and Conservative Ted Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had. Below them, Calgary MLA Sandra Jansen and assassinated Labour ...

Alberta Politics: Five years ago today, Alison Redford was sworn in as premier of Alberta … and the wheels fell off the Tory bus

PHOTOS: Alison Redford takes the oath of office as Alberta’s 14th premier. Below: Ms. Redford speaks her first words as premier of Alberta and is greeted by enthusiastic well-wishers as she walks through the Legislature’s Rotunda. Bottom: Gary Mar, whom Ms. Redford defeated for the leadership of the PC party and the premiership of Alberta. ...

Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney reported ready to announce his bid to lead a Tory Restoration effort as soon as tomorrow

PHOTOS: Former federal Conservative cabinet minister Jason Kenney looks like he’s describing how he’ll capture the Alberta PC Party, then the Wildrose, and unite them whether they like it or not, in this shot grabbed from his Parliamentary Flickr account. Below: Rick Orman, Rob Anders, Thomas Lukaszuk and Brian Jean. Jason Kenney, putative leader of ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Thank goodness we didn’t build that Firewall!

Fifteen years ago, in Jan. 2001, six prominent Conservative lobbyists and university professors, including future Prime Minister Stephen Harper and provincial cabinet minister Ted Morton, penned the Firewall Manifesto. Prime Minister Jean Chretien‘s Liberals had been re-elected to a third-term in… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Alberta NDP defies voters by continuing to govern as if it won the election that put it in power: political scientist

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, running the province as if she had a majority government! What next? Below: University of Calgary political scientist and Calgary Herald columnist Barry Cooper, Broadbent Institute Director Rick Smith and Wildrose Opposition Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt. It seems some Albertans, particularly those on the political right, continue to have difficulty ...

Alberta Politics: If we’d been paying attention, perhaps we wouldn’t be so shocked by the U of C’s corporate-influence scandal

PHOTOS: The University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, conveniently located adjacent to the oil corporations’ towers in downtown Cowtown. Below: The writers of the notorious Alberta separatist Firewall Manifesto, which then-premier Ralph Klein wisely tossed into the garbage; Calgary School alumni and Firewall signa-Tories Stephen Harper, Tom Flanagan and Ted Morton in appropriate garb. ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Budget 2015: The Neutrino Problem

Scientists solved the problem of the Ghost Particle in less time than it’s taken the Alberta government to come up with a creative approach to economic diversification. For 40 years Tory premiers talked a good line about diversification but with the exception of Premier Lougheed, they failed to deliver. Now, after five short months in ...

Alberta Politics: By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty

PHOTOS: Ed Stelmach in the premier’s office at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Preston Manning, the Godfather of the Canadian right; Stelmach’s finance minister, Ted Morton; New Democrat political strategist Brian Topp. Ed Stelmach, the last good premier the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party managed to elect, spoke up yesterday about the tactics used by his party ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Wednesday night candidate nomination update in Alberta

I have made the following updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next provincial election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if you have additions to the list. Thank you. Bonnyville-Cold Lake: City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland… 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: Bill 10 gong show’s bungled effort to pander to PC Party’s worst elements proves Jim Prentice is no political superman

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, as he appeared to almost everyone until yesterday, except there are no ships here in Alberta, which is why we need all those pipelines. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks; humiliated PC MLA Sandra Jansen, official sponsor of Bill 10; and Liberal MLA and Bill 202 sponsor Laurie Blakeman. If the gong ...

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.” ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Prentice term-limit idea is gimmicky and probably unconstitutional

TweetYou are Jim Prentice. You have the podium and the attention of Alberta’s media. You are the next Premier of Alberta. You can dream big. You could promise to replace all of Alberta’s aging hospitals by 2020, to build a high-speed railway from Calgary to Edmonton, to forge a new relationship with municipalities through Big City Charters, or reinvent the ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Rob Anders to run in new Bow River riding?

TweetSources say that controversial Member of Parliament Rob Anders is preparing to run for the federal Conservative nomination in new rural Bow River riding south east of Calgary. The six-term MP has represented Calgary-West since 1997 but lost a heated Conservative nomination contest in the new Calgary-Signal Hill riding to former Progressive Conservative MLA Ron Liepert. It was previously been speculated that Mr. Anders could ...

Alberta Diary: Could Ric McIver still win the Alberta Tory leadership race? Actually, yes, he could!

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets. All the money’s on Jim Prentice – but is it the smart money? Below: Ric McIver, Jim Prentice, Jim Dinning and Gary Mar. CALGARY Could Ric McIver actually win the Alberta Progressive Conservative leadership race? Or, to put that another way, could Jim Prentice lose? Maybe that seems like ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The Redford legacy haunts Prentice Tories

TweetMost people rely on TripAdvisor or call a travel agent to book hotels for overseas trips, but it is alleged by intrepid CBC investigative journalists that former Premier Alison Redford dispatched a staffer to visit hotels and restaurants in advance of her trips to India, China, Switzerland, Washington, and Toronto for a cost of nearly $330,000. It is not ...

Alberta Diary: Don’t let any ‘celebrities’ tell you different, we’ve got friends of science here in Alberta

Don’t worry: you have absolutely nothing to do with the apocalypse. You might as well mine more bitumen while you wait for it. Below: Barry Cooper; another version of the Friends of Science billboard; yet another great billboard supporting democracy and the people. Billboard photos found on the Internet. Alberta’s “Friends of Science” are friends ...

Alberta Diary: A Tale of Two Leaders: His was the best of exits, hers was the worst

Retiring Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason with your blogger’s introduction-to-journalism class in 2011: he was witty, passionate and persuasive, a big part of why the Alberta NDP continues to draw young supporters in significant numbers. Below: Mr. Mason with Alaska governor Sarah Palin, who has also retired from politics; in a typical pose at a ...

Alberta Diary: Tales from the Tory crypt: Apres Alison le deluge

Tory leadership non-candidate Jim Dinning with your blogger, back in the day. Below: Former premier Ed Stelmach and non-candidates Ted Morton and Gary Mar. If we were to speak for former Alberta premier Alison Redford today, here is what we would say: “Apres moi le deluge!” There is plenty of fight left in the Alberta ...

Alberta Diary: A very Albertan coup: Alison Redford fell victim to her own hubris, as well as that of her Progressive Conservative Party

Alison Redford announces her resignation moments after 6 p.m. yesterday while Deputy Premier Dave Hancock looks on grimly in the background. Below: Mr. Hancock, the man thought most likely to become the PC Party’s interim leader and premier, as the crisis played out last week. Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who resigned moments after 6 p.m. ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Another PC MLA abandons Redford for the Harper Tories

TweetAnother Progressive Conservative MLA is about to jump into the federal arena. Edmonton-McClung PC MLA David Xiao will announce this week that he will seek the Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-West. An email circulated to Conservative supporters in Edmonton says that Mr. Xiao will make the announcement at 10 a.m on Tuesday March 4th, 2014 at ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Ron Liepert versus Rob Anders: the next PC-Wildrose proxy war?

TweetWill former provincial cabinet minister Ron Liepert make the jump into federal politics? With the launch of the TimeToDoBetter.ca website today, rumours began to spread that the former two-term Calgary-West Progressive Conservative MLA turned consultant could challenge ultra-conservative Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in the new Calgary Signal Hill riding. Mr. Liepert’s candidacy ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The ghosts of senate reform haunt the Harper Conservatives

TweetThe ghosts of Senate reform will haunt Prime Minister Stephen Harper as his party establishment gathers in Calgary on Halloween to discuss and debate party policy. After more than seven years in office, Mr. Harper’s Conservatives have accomplished little on the issue of reforming the Canadian Senate. Who would have thought that a Senate scandal ...

Susan on the Soapbox: A “Two Minute Tory” Spends an Evening with Ted Morton

Ted Morton, the former Finance Minister and unsuccessful PC leadership candidate, was holding court at the Manning Foundation.  He was going to give a speech on how a bunch of lefty carpet baggers (aka the “Two Minute Tories”) hijacked the PC leadership selection process to the enduring detriment of the Blue Tories. The party faithful ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Who is driving the conservative agenda in Canada?

TweetIn America’s Forbes Magazine this week, Alejandro Chafuen praised the leadership of the conservative policy think-tanks that helped set the stage for the election of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative majority government in 2011 and the success of conservative politicians across the country. This apparatus of conservative special interest groups, think-tanks and news media has contributed to shifting ...