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Alberta Politics: Civil disobedience, Alberta-style: obviously it’s only an outrage when non-conservatives talk about it

PHOTOS: Which one looks most like a certain Wildrose critic, back in the day? Just asking. Below: Wildrose MLA and frontbencher Rick Strankman, who was pardoned by PM Stephen Harper. Below them, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and enviro activist and Alberta values violator Mike Hudema plus his scary book. VICTORIA, B.C. Before I leave La-La […]

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Alberta Politics: Perfesser Dave explains ethics in lobbying and how to manage political marriages

VICTORIA, B.C. Some stories are just too confusing for ordinary bloggers to explain. That’s when we turn to the expert knowledge offered by such distinguished academics as Perfesser Dave, The Answer Guy ™, Canada’s No. 1 expert in politics, now at the Observatory of Political Phenomena in Victoria, B.C. As a result of his years […]

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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.

Alberta Politics: The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley gives a thumbs up in the Legislature for her government’s Speech from the Throne yesterday. Below: Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the speech (Government of Alberta photos). There weren’t any real surprises in the Notley Government’s first Speech from the Throne yesterday, although the ban on corporate and union donations […]

The post The Speech from the Throne: NDP’s new political funding rules turn the Tories’ world upside down appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory

PHOTOS: Now that’s a throne speech! The Queen addresses Parliament in the Senate Chamber in Ottawa in 1957 as prime minister John Diefenbaker, on her right, listens to his government’s plans, no doubt with a great sense of satisfaction. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, who will read the Notley […]

The post Something new, and probably something old too: Reflections on the meaning of Alberta throne speeches, NDP and Tory appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too

PHOTOS: A group of Albertans studies the effects of corporate cash on the conservative domination of North American politics. Actual Albertans may not appear exactly as illustrated. Regardless, Alberta’s NDP government may be about to try to fix this problem. Below: Parkland Institute charts showing the percentage of election campaign donations in 2012 over $375, […]

The post Banning corporate and union election cash: not just the right thing for the NDP to do, but the smart thing too appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Inside baseball: Legislature picks Speaker; Albertans to get first glimpse of NDP policy Monday

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean, at left, and Premier Rachel Notley, far right, drag the new Speaker, Medicine Hat MLA Bob Wanner, to his chair, a tradition dating to the days when chairing the Legislature wasn’t as desirable a job as it is today. Below: Another shot of Mr. Wanner, like the one above provided […]

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Alberta Politics: Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s spooky headquarters in the forest near the town of Athabasca. Below: Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater NDP MLA Colin Piquette, AU President Peter MacKinnon and Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre Wildrose MLA Jason Nixon, once a member of Dr. MacKinnon’s task force on AU sustainability. Athabasca University’s three-day convocation begins today, but what should be a joyous occasion […]

The post Grim Athabasca University report says ‘future is now,’ but faces a different future than the one its authors anticipated appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

PHOTOS: A chaotic scene, not atypical of Alberta labour relations in the Age of Asbell, shot with a phone camera in the offices of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in Edmonton. Below: ALRB Chair Mark Asbell and former CBC reporter John Archer. Sorry about the lousy photos, but, hey, I’m working with what I can […]

The post Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone

PHOTOS: Alberta Health Services, as originally envisaged by the Tories and described by the Wildrose Party. Below: Another AHS reorganization as seen by the NDP. Below that train wreck, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Alberta’s two right-wing opposition parties are said to be in a lather because of Health Minister Sarah Hoffman’s announcement yesterday the […]

The post NDP health minister’s decision to drop Tories’ phony AHS ‘decentralization’ is no loss to anyone appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Tory-linked lobbying firm hires former Canadian Labour Congress president and former B.C. NDP minister

PHOTOS: Lobbyists head out to provide “strategic counsel” to Alberta’s new NDP government. Can you spot the recently hired New Democrats among them? No? Well, neither can I. Actual Alberta lobbyists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Former CLC president Ken Georgetti, former B.C. NDP party president and cabinet minister Moe Sihota, and former […]

The post Tory-linked lobbying firm hires former Canadian Labour Congress president and former B.C. NDP minister appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke

PHOTOS: Young cigarette smokers. Youthful menthol smokers in Alberta may not appear exactly as illustrated, although it’ll stunt their growth just the same. Below: Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and former health minister Stephen Mandel. HALIFAX, N.S. What next? Apparently Alberta’s NDP government is now making decisions based on the best interests of the province’s citizens! […]

The post One government change and Big Tobacco’s effort to sidestep menthol cigarette ban goes up in smoke appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP

PHOTOS: A really smart guy tries to figure out a way back to power for Alberta’s post-Prentice Progressive Conservatives. Actual PC strategists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Doesn’t look like it’s going that well. Below: NDP Health and Seniors Minister Sarah Hoffman; Bill Moore-Kilgannon, her new chief of staff. A lot of ink has […]

The post Alberta’s shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP appeared first on Alberta Politics.

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.

Alberta Politics: Was Lake of Fire 2.0, the 2015 edition, averted by an incompetent Tory war room?

PHOTOS: Former premier Jim Prentice, left, asks a member of his opposition research and strategy team what the heck went wrong on May 5. Actual Alberta politicians and their flunkies may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Pastor Allan Hunsperger, whose blog post ignited Lake of Fire 1.0; Deborah Drever, whose tasteless social media posts […]

The post Was Lake of Fire 2.0, the 2015 edition, averted by an incompetent Tory war room? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew?

Back in February 2013, then-Alberta-premier Alison Redford announced that, “recognizing the impact of falling resource revenues on our bottom line, my government will lead by example with a smaller, more focused cabinet.” At the time, the usual suspects in the provincial news media seemed to think her reduction of the cabinet from 20 to 19 […]

The post Bitter Twitter commentators battle Dippers: Apparently size matters after all! Who knew? appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again

Premier Designate Rachel Notley addresses reporters in the Alberta Legislature Building’s media room yesterday. (CBC photo.) Below: MLA Deborah Drever, new Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell. If Alberta’s Conservatives weren’t worried about the long-term effects of their surprise defeat in the May 5 general election, by gosh they should be now! Premier Designate Rachel Notley gave […]

The post Rachel Notley sets transition schedule for NDP government, gives impression grownups are in charge in Alberta again appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government

PHOTOS: Premier Designate Rachel Notley, in orange shoes, with her caucus. Below: Scott Crockatt, the Calgary Chamber’s communications and marketing director; Manning Centre polemicist Colin Craig. Well, these are strange times indeed when the official spokesperson for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce can extol the potential for Alberta’s just-elected New Democratic government in glowing terms, […]

The post How weird is this? Calgary Chamber of Commerce spokesperson praises Rachel Notley’s NDP government appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Inexperienced? Says who? Complaints about NDP caucus composition only show how weak the right wing is just now

ILLUSTRATIONS: “You voted for whom? Are you mad, man?” … No way to win friends and influence people. (Historic illustration from Punch – no idea what point the artist was trying to make.) Below: Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever (Metro Newspapers photo). Below her, an illustration from the author’s Facebook page of why all of our […]

The post Inexperienced? Says who? Complaints about NDP caucus composition only show how weak the right wing is just now appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats

PHOTOS: Preston Manning, Godfather of the Canadian right. Below: Alberta Premier Designate Rachel Notley, Liberal prime minister Wilfrid Laurier, Social Credit premier E.C. Manning and United Farmers of Alberta leader Henry Wise Wood. Preaching from the highest pulpit in the land, the opinion pages of the mighty Globe and Mail, Preston “Parson” Manning delivered a […]

The post ‘Parson’ Manning, in the pulpit, preaches a formula of failure to Alberta’s New Democrats appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably …

PHOTOS: Potential supporters eye all that’s left of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, metaphorically speaking, after Jim Prentice got finished driving it off the tracks. Below: Mr. Prentice and Premier Designate Rachel Notley. Former premier Ed Stelmach’s sound advice notwithstanding, it seems unlikely Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have much of a future after the debacle they […]

The post Whither Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives? Nowhere, probably … appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Alberta Politics: Photos of shredded documents in Legislature Building prompt fears of PC document destruction spree

Were shredders like this at work in the Alberta Legislative Building this week? Actually modern document destruction equipment may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Freedom of Information Commissioner Jill Clayton and Public Interest Commissioner Peter Hourihan (CBC photos). If serious document destruction has actually been taking place in Alberta, chances are good it […]

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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 […]

The post By ignoring Ed Stelmach, the oiligarchy and the ideological right overreached and lost plenty appeared first on Alberta Politics.

Accidental Deliberations: On fitting results

It will be some time yet before we see how Rachel Notley translates the Alberta NDP’s election triumph into policy. But we have had a chance to see Notley’s response to frivolous attacks on the NDP’s newly-elected MLAs – and she’s had absolutely the right reaction so far in not letting those attacks undermine elected representatives: Premier-designate Rachel Notley says she doesn’t see Drever’s Facebook photos as a big problem for the NDP.

“I think transition and the challenges that come with transition are what happens when governments change, which is something that happens in normal, healthy democracies,” Notley said.

(Read more…)

Alberta Politics: With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care

PHOTOS: Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell prepares to read the Speech from the Throne in November 2014. Below: Mr. Ethell again and past lieutenants-governor Lois Hole and Norman Kwong. Photos from the Office of the Lieutenant-Governor.) More significant change is coming to Alberta’s government in the wake of last week’s election of Premier Designate Rachel Notley’s New […]

The post With Lieutenant-Governor Donald Ethell, in frail health, set to retire, PM must choose replacement with care appeared first on Alberta Politics.