Prog Blog’s Flickr Photostream

Alberta Diary: Thanks to Tom Lukaszuk’s memo, Albertans know it wasn’t just Alison Redford with the entitlement problem

Members of the Alberta government’s Public Affairs Bureau spin a good yarn in response to freedom of information requests filed ages ago by Alberta journalists, opposition politicians and other busybodies. Actual government propaganda officials may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, Information Commissioner Jill Clayton and Finance Minister Doug Horner.

VICTORIA, B.C.

Albertans owe Thomas Lukaszuk a small gesture of thanks for illustrating it’s not just Alison Redford who had the problem with entitlement.

Surely it’s a sense of entitlement that drives the attitude, all too typical among members of Alberta’s still-ruling Progressive Conservative elite, (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Insiders will pretend to be outsiders in the PC leadership race

Tweet Former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel is not running for the PC Party leadership Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel announced yesterday that he will not run for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership. Mr. Mandel was seen as a great hope by many Edmonton Tories, who believed him to be the outsider who could breath some fresh […]

Alberta Diary: Redford-Hancock Government moves ahead with plan to gut public sector pensions

Alberta Environment Minister Robin Campbell, right, in one of the rather undistinguished jackets that are causing such a brouhaha in the provincial Legislature this week. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Doug Horner, below, is moving to attack the pensions of 300,000 Alberta public employees and no one is paying much attention. Below him, NDP Leader Brian Mason, who opposes his plans, and former prime ministerial chief of staff Nigel Wright. But you’ll have to read to the bottom if you want to know what Mr. Wright has to do with this story.

Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner gave notice yesterday that the (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta Tories on public service pensions: ‘We lied. So what are you gonna do about it?’

As Tory leadership candidates Thomas Lukaszuk, standing, and Doug Horner look on, Alberta Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock tries out the barrel in which the next leader of the Progressive Conservative Party will lead their caucus over the falls. Actual Tory premiers and would-be premiers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: International Affairs Minister Cal Dallas and Alberta Tory dynasty founder Peter Lougheed.

They may have skidded their most disastrous leader, but the brain trust now running Alberta’s foundering Progressive Conservative Government has made it abundantly clear they intend to press ahead with their scheme to demolish the progressive (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Municipal Affairs Minister Ken Hughes quits Alberta cabinet – presumably to run for PC leadership

Half-confirmed Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Ken Hughes, on the night in 2011 Alison Redford won the party’s leadership. Well, that was then and this is now, as the appalled looking unidentified passerby sensed to have sensed. Below: Doug Horner. Anyone else?

Alberta’s Municipal Affairs Minister quit his cabinet post yesterday, by the sound of it because he intends to run for the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party.

If that’s the reason for Ken Hughes unexpectedly showing up in one of the back rows of the Legislature’s latest seating chart – he didn’t give a lot of notice that (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: PC Party leadership race off to a very slow start

TweetNineteen days have passed since former Premier Alison Redford announced her resignation and not one candidate has officially announced their intentions to enter the race to become the next leader of Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives. But there is at least one unofficial candidate, maybe. Municipal Affairs minister Ken Hughes made the strange move of resigning from […]

In This Corner: The PCs scorched earth policy on Alison Redford

When Vladimir Lenin led the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, his right hand man was Leon Trotsky. When Lenin and Trotsky had a falling out — never a good thing in the old Soviet Union — the Communists altered photos of Lenin and Trotsky together, effectively erasing Trotsky from the historical record.

You can’t really do that kind of thing these days, but you can try. The Progressive Conservatives can’t erase the record of Alison Redford, but they’re doing their best to purge the party of the Redford “era”.

On Friday, the government released hundreds of pages of documents detailing more (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta Premier Dave Hancock needs to apply his leadership candidates’ rules to secretive cabinet committee

A rare shot of a meeting of the Alberta government’s secretive Public Sector Resource Committee in session. Actual Alberta policymakers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Dave Hancock with former premier Alison Redford, back in the day, photo grabbed from Daveberta.ca.

OTTAWA

Is the Redford-Hancock Government’s Public Sector Resource Committee a cabinet committee, or merely a committee made up mostly of cabinet ministers?

This may sound like a technical and wonkish question, but it is actually an important one that needs to be dealt with by Alberta Premier Dave Hancock in his role of temporary custodian of (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 […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: 8 candidates who could run for the leadership of the Alberta PC Party

TweetWith yesterday’s announcement by Premier Alison Redford that she will resign on March 23, 2014, the Progressive Conservative caucus will need to select an interim premier and the PC Party is required to hold a leadership contest to select a new leader. Deputy Premier Dave Hancock and Agriculture minister Verlyn Olson have been rumoured as potential choices for interim […]

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. yesterday, fell victim to her own hubris and that of the party she led.

In the next few days and weeks, we are certain to hear two competing narratives emerge to explain what happened to Ms. Redford’s short, unhappy premiership, which began when (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Electoral math is calculus, not arithmetic, so 15 more Tory defectors won’t necessarily bring down Alison Redford’s shaky government

Alberta Premier Alison Redford and her crack team of Tory political strategists consult the Billion Dollar Brainiac, the Alberta government’s carbon- and vote-capture supercomputer, to figure out how many members must remain in her shrinking caucus for the party to survive a non-confidence motion. Actual crack Alberta political strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Just ignore the note that says “Bon Voyage.” Below: MLAs Steve Young, Edmonton Riverview, and Matt Jeneroux, Edmonton-South West.

The assumption of just about everyone in the Punditocracy, the Commentariat, the Blogosphere and the Media Bloviarchy here in Alberta is that if Premier (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Worst political strategy ever: Alison Redford put on probation by Tory party big shots

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, as her party used to see her. (In the background, an ecstatic Thomas Lukaszuk.) Sad to say, this is another example of actual politicians not appearing exactly as illustrated. Below: Alison Redford, as Cruella de Vil, the way her party sees her now. Below her: Red Deer North MLA Mary Anne Jablonski, grimly emerging from Government House on Friday.

Do the backroom leaders of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party seriously expect the province’s voters to re-elect as premier a leader in whom they obviously have no confidence?

I mean, c’mon people, talk about the lamest (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Anti-Redford coup fails to materialize at PC MLA meeting

TweetA rumoured coup d’etat within Alberta’s Progressive Conservative caucus failed to materialize yesterday as government MLAs gathered at Government House to discuss Premier Alison Redford‘s future. Cancelling all public appearances and media events for the day, including the premier’s trip to Regina to participate in the New West Partnership meeting, PC MLAs cloistered themselves in […]

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: $45000 trip has serious political costs for Redford

TweetAfter spending two months avoiding having to pay the costs of her $45,000 trip to South Africa, Premier Alison Redford called a press conference late yesterday to announce she would reimburse the government for costs of sending herself and her executive assistant Brad Stables to South Africa in December 2013. Despite attempts to ignore the issue, Ms. Redford has been unable […]

Alberta Diary: Alberta government confused by plan to give ‘non-essential’ workers paid time off at Christmas, New Year’s

The children of unionized Alberta public employees enjoy Christmas at home. Unfortunately, Mom and Dad had to be at work because the jobs they do are essential. Below: One of the great minds of the Alberta government scratches his head as he puzzles out the problem. (Edmonton Sun photo.)

The government of Alberta has “no idea” how many of its 22,000 civil servants will get paid days off at Christmas and New Year’s if the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees accepts its latest offer, a very senior official said yesterday.

The government’s latest contract proposal to the union includes (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Revelation CAPP paid Mansbridge, defender of Murphy’s speaking fees, brings simmering controversy back to boil

CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge, back in the day before he could seriously contemplate receiving a $28,000 speaking fee just for flapping his gums over dinner. (Photo found on the Internet.) Below: Similarly compensated CBC commentator Rex Murphy, presumably at about the same moment in history. Below that: Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith’s enthusiastic review of Mr. Murphy’s remarks to an oil industry audience and a shot Mr. Mansbridge’s appearance before CAPP from the group’s Facebook page.

There he is, not quite as large as life and rather blurry, but nevertheless front and centre on the Facebook page of (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Advice to Canadian politicians and media: Proceed with caution on your support for Ukraine’s rebels

Anti-Government Ukrainians prepare to fight police in Kiev. Below: Rioters throw gasoline bombs at police in Ukraine; Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. (Wikimedia photos.)

You can bet money that when trouble is brewing abroad things are always far more complicated than local enthusiasts for one side or the other make them out to be.

Here in Canada we have many citizens, including a number of prominent politicians who ought to know better, proclaiming noisy support for the violent protests in western Ukraine, demonizing Russia and demanding Canada play an active role in in ensuring the success of the rebels’ (Read more…)

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Don Iveson asks: Do you support LRT expansion?

Tweet Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson took the the streets, and then to YouTube, to ask Edmontonians if they support expansion of Edmonton’s Light Rail Transit system. The campaign is part of Mr. Iveson’s bid to convince provincial and federal politicians to support the expansion of Edmonton’s light rail transit system, a key part of the […]

Alberta Diary: Time to change Alberta Labour Minister’s dual role, and maybe more, to ensure fair and equitable labour relations

Some roles just don’t seem to be a good match for the same person. Here are five examples. Perhaps Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, below, finds himself in such a position?

Can Thomas Lukaszuk properly fulfill his dual roles as Alberta’s Minister of Labour and chair of the all-but-secret Public Sector Resource Committee of Premier Alison Redford’s cabinet?

On the face of it, it would seem not – but then, perhaps as Mr. Lukaszuk opined in an ill-tempered exchange on Twitter Saturday, your blogger just doesn’t understand the minister’s roles and responsibilities.

Still, layperson that I am, I really (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Will Alison Redford fire Thomas Lukaszuk? She needs to, but don’t count on it happening!

Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, at right with Premier Alison Redford, argues with Deputy Premier Dave Hancock, in white suit and goofy glasses, about whether or not to appeal the court injunction against the use of Bill 46. Finance Minister Doug Horner is on the far left. Actual Alberta cabinet ministers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below right: Mr. Lukaszuk not exactly as he appears. Below left: Mr. Lukaszuk exactly as he appears.

In any normal business, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk would be finished.

After the pummelling the government of Premier Alison Redford took on Friday from a (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Valentine’s Day injunction all but massacres Redford Government’s credibility in fight with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith at the union’s news conference in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk.

Mr. Justice Denny Thomas of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench did not merely accept the arguments of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees when he slapped an injunction on the Government of Alberta yesterday, indefinitely suspending a law that could have forced 22,000 civil servants to live with a contract imposed on them by legislative fiat.

He delivered a withering denunciation of what his ruling suggested was the deceptive, dictatorial, and dishonourable way the government of Premier (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Upstairs, downstairs in Alberta explained by Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk: ‘We’re dealing with different job descriptions’

Furious Alberta civil service “oranges” protest high-handed Tory “apples” during their illegal st**ke of 1980. Below: Provincial Treasurer Lou Hyndman in 1976; Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, no longer missing in action.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!

After a spell during which he appeared to be missing in action, Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk resurfaced in the news columns Thursday to offer the opinion humongous salaries paid to well-connected Tory retainers in the nosebleed seats of the civil service are a meaningless distraction from the serious business of ensuring we all live within our means.

Given what he (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: Alberta government ponders ‘options’ as independent arbitrator overturns firing of jail guards who took part in illegal strike

AUPE Correctional Officers rally at the picket line outside the Edmonton Remand Centre during their illegal strike in June 2013. Below: Arbitrator Andy Sims; former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, as imagined by Sun Media; AUPE President Guy Smith.

An independent arbitrator has overturned the firing of four Correctional Officers who took part in the illegal April 2013 strike that the Redford Government claims prompted its unconstitutional legislative effort to all but ban collective bargaining by their union.

In a bare-bones note announcing the decision sent to the parties late Thursday, respected labour arbitrator Andy Sims replaced the firings with three-month (Read more…)

Alberta Diary: With free expression under assault in Alberta, where’s ‘free speech advocate’ Ezra Levant?

So-called free-speech advocate and celebrity commentator Ezra Levant. Below: Free-speech opponent Alison Redford, Canada’s answer to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, shown below her; that Voltaire guy; nearly forgotten Tory political strategist Stephen Carter.

Where’s Ezra Levant now that we need him?

Mr. Levant, after all, is frequently billed as Canada’s foremost “free speech advocate,” although mostly by himself and his friends in the headline writing department at the National Pest.

Still, establishing his free-speech-defending cred is an effort the celebrity Sun News Network entertainer seems to take seriously, going so far as to have a whiny website called StandWithEzra.ca (Read more…)