An Alberta Teachers Association member gets ready to give an important lesson to the Redford Government. Alberta teachers may not be smiling quite as broadly as illustrated if the government imposes a contract on them by legislation. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson.
Trapped in a no-deficit, no-tax-increase cage of its own devising, with few ideas and a budget looming on March 7, the government of Premier Alison Redford has floated the idea of using legislation to impose a salary cap on Alberta’s teachers.
Education Minister Jeff Johnson has been shopping this brainstorm around to the province’s school boards to see
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford government floats risky scheme to impose contract on teachers
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
Who’s in change here? Progressive Conservative MLAs get ready to supervise the work of an Alberta Health Services medical team while Alberta voters look on. Health officials, physicians and electors may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: AMA President Dr. Michael Giuffre; a space invader
Is the increasingly bitter fight between Alberta’s government and the province’s physicians just about money? It’s said here it’s more about who gets to control the health care system.
If you need evidence for this assertion, look no further than the fact just two and a half months ago Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne said
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Is Premier Alison Redford’s bitter fight with the docs about money, or control?
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
Alberta Premier Alison Redford beseeches the Almighty for higher petroleum prices as Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson looks on. Actual Alberta politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Social democratic men of God J.S. Woodsworth (Methodist), Tommy Douglas (Baptist) and Stanley Knowles (United).
So what’s with the Redford Government’s receding horizon on tough decisions, d’ya think?
You bet they’re going to make some tough decisions. That’s for sure! The premier said so in her pretentiously titled State of the Province Address Thursday night. Again and again. So just you wait.
Heck, the finance minister was saying it for
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Postponing the Day of Reckoning, Alberta-style
Fireside chats? Alberta Premier Alison Redford as she’ll likely see herself while softening up the province’s citizens for the March 7 Budget Speech on CTV tonight. Below: Ms. Redford as Albertans may see her. Below that: the real Ms. Redford; Conference Board Chief Economist Glen Hodgson.
Oh dear. Premier Alison Redford wants to have a “conversation” with us tonight.
Daddy’s new job at the convenience store doesn’t pay as much as the old one. We’re all going to have to tighten our belts a little, and that means you kids too. We’ve had to cancel the snow clearing service –
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Uh-oh! Premier Alison Redford wants to have a ‘conversation’ with us
They kissed us once. Will they kiss us again? Alas, in Alberta right now, there’s no way to be cert- cert- certain. Alison Redford chats with a typical Alberta voter last spring – although, Alberta politicians and their supporters may not turn out to be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Ms. Redford, Finance Minister Doug Horner.
Here in 14 words is the conundrum that faces the Progressive Conservative government of Alberta Premier Alison Redford: you can be progressive, or you can be conservative, but you can’t be both.
So which is it?
The problem that confronts Ms. Redford’s PCs
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Redford Tories’ conundrum: Progressive reason versus Conservative passion
All we want are the facts, Ma’am. A couple of investigators hired by Alberta Chief Electoral Officer O. (for Olaf) Brian Fjeldheim prepare to go through the files of friends, relatives and employees of billionaire Daryl Katz who may or may not have donated money to the Redford Tories. Actual Alberta detectives may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Fjeldheim and Alberta Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson.
Alberta media are portraying the return to the news this week of three pre-Christmas political scandals as a tsunami of trouble for the governing Tories of Premier Alison Redford.
In fact, serial news
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A tsunami of Tory troubles? Naw, the Alberta universe is unfolding as it should…
The Great Leap Forum: what Edmonton’s luxurious new ice hockey palace could look like with a little gesture of internationist solidarity from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Communist Chinese friends. Conceptual art by Dave Cournoyer used with permission.
It’s a moment of such perfect convergence that it’s astonishing Alberta’s Wildrose Party, which last week proposed paying for professional sports arenas through the risky tactic of encouraging vulnerable citizens to gamble, didn’t think of it.
I speak, of course, not of the imminent return of the National Hockey League but of the strategy used to good effect by the Communist government
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: With the NHL back on the ice, why not let Chinese taxpayers subsidize Canada’s billionaires?
Imagine the millions we can scoop up from the foolish and the intoxicated! Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith extemporizes on the advantages of using gambling to subsidize billionaires. Below: Drugstore and hockey billionaire Daryl Katz; former Wildrose candidate Pastor Alan Hunsperger.
It was almost a relief yesterday when Danielle Smith, leader of Alberta’s right-wing Wildrose Opposition, announced the scheme her party had come up with to finance the millionaires and billionaires of professional hockey through the use of … wait for it … keno!
Alert readers will recall that the Wildrose Party stands against all tax increases but in favour of
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Wildrose rink lotto scheme: a new tax on the prodigal and the poor
2013 could be a big year for Alberta’s NDP – if they play their cards right. Members of the Alberta NDP caucus and their opponents may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: NDP Leader Brian Mason.
Surely the strategic goal of Alberta’s New Democrats between now and the next provincial election must be to move the NDP from being the fourth party in the Legislature to the second one after 2016.
In other words, although an NDP government in Alberta is simply not in the cards over the medium term, the NDP could form the Opposition in 2016 if the
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: A last thought for 2012: 2013 is bound to be an important year for Alberta’s NDP
Singing along: What we were promised by the Reform-Conservative platform. Below: What we got.
Alberta’s Wildrose Party blossomed at the edges of the same muddy spring whence sprang the federal Reform Party of Preston Manning and Stephen Harper.
As is well known, the Reform Party went on to engineer the hostile takeover in 2003 of the old Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, after renaming but not successfully re-branding itself as the Canadian Alliance.
By this mechanism the Reform Party evolved over a short time from a populist Prairie uprising into the most autocratic and secretive government in Canadian history, including
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Stephen Harper model for Wildrose power: promise free votes and deliver the Borg Hive
Shades of things to come? Alison Redford, Canada’s second most popular premier, gets ready to break a board with Opposition Leader Danielle Smith’s face on it. Situations Alberta politicians find themselves in may not be exactly as described. Below: Ms. Smith.
Alison Redford remains Canada’s second most popular premier behind Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall, who after months at a steady 67-per-cent level of belovedness is the unquestioned Mr. Congeniality of Confederation, according to the Vancouver-based Angus Reid Public Opinion polling company.
Albertans who just can’t stand Ms. Redford, who mostly seem to be supporters of the right-wing Wildrose Party nowadays, can
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Pollster’s take on Alberta leaders’ popularity sets stage for long Prairie slug-fest
Calgary-Buffalo MLA Kent Hehr with a crowd of Liberalberta supporters in the background. (Bad joke. I apologize.) Below: Alberta Liberal Leader Raj Sherman.
An angry and public attack last week on Liberal MLA Kent Hehr by Alberta Liberal Party President Todd Van Vliet suggests the party’s caucus is splintering under the leadership of former Progressive Conservative Raj Sherman.
Mr. Van Vliet’s rambling and bitter attack on Mr. Hehr was prompted by the Calgary-Buffalo MLA’s contribution of a guest post to the Daveberta blog, in which he mused about the victory of the Conservatives in the recent Calgary Centre by-election,
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Attack on Kent Hehr highlights deepening fissures in Alberta Liberal ranks
The docs’ advertisement. Below: AMA President Dr. Michael Giuffre.
The Alberta Medical Association, the province’s most powerful trade union, has gone back to the familiar ground of buying newspaper advertisements to call Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne and the Progressive Conservative government led by Premier Alison Redford a bunch of liars.
The provincial physicians’ association and bargaining agent used slightly more moderate language in their advert – which showed up in several Alberta daily newspapers yesterday – but what else can they really mean when they say, “on April 23, 2012, the government of Alberta misled Alberta’s 11,000 physicians,
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Docs call health minister liar, liar, scrubs on fire, but their ad fails to persuade
Pastor Allan Hunsperger in exile, as seen by the Wildrose Party’s leadership. Below: Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith (mean photo by Dave Cournoyer); the real Allan Hunsperger; party strategist Tom Flanagan; Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson. Despite an amusing Pierre Poutine moment before it started, the Wildrose Party’s one-day annual general meeting in Edmonton yesterday seems … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Wildrose leader to Albertans: You’re gullible and stupid!
Long memories? D’ya think? Tory Health Minister Fred Horne overturns an Alberta physicians’ vehicle yesterday. Alberta Progressive Conservative ministers may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Fred Horne, Alberta Medical Association President Dr. Michael Giuffre, former AMA President Dr. Linda Slocombe. When Alberta’s most powerful union – the Alberta Medical Association, which until … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta health minister to doctors: shut up and take your medicine!
Shades of Videodrome: Wildrose Deputy Leader Rob Anderson listens to Danielle Smith on a mysterious video about goings on in the Wildrose Party emanating from a French online video site. Actual clips from the missing movie may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Blogger Kathleen Smith, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, Progressive Conservative Premier Alison Redford … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Is a Wildrose ‘coup d’etat’ in the works as blog claims? Not very likely
Friends close, enemies closer: Alberta Tories, left, send a message to their federal counterparts. Alberta political parties may not be exactly as anthropomorphized. Below: Premier Alison Redford, Niccolo Machiavelli. Proving you really can have it both ways, Premier Alison Redford’s Alberta Tories rapped the knuckles of their federal counterparts yesterday but kept their most dangerous … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta Tories send feds a message, but keep their most dangerous enemies close
The House that Ralph built. Alberta mismanaged by market fundamentalists may not appear exactly as illustrated, but close enough. Below: Peter Lougheed, Alison Redford, Ralph Klein. As Alberta’s Tories gather today in Calgary to celebrate Peter Lougheed leading them out of the Social Credit wilderness 41 years ago, they will expend plenty of energy feuding … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Tip for Tories: a grownup conversation about debt will pay political dividends
Psychological/political portraits of Stephen Harper and Barack Obama by Edmonton artist William Prettie. Used with permission. This too shall pass… Now and then throughout history, as with Whigs and Communists, international political-ideological movements of enormous influence wither and disappear, often quite suddenly. It is rarely their call. Neoconservatives – or neoliberals, call them what you … . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Republican failure shows conservative parties must adapt, like Alberta PCs, or die
Caesar repudiates Pompeia: “You’re outta here!” Below: Danielle Smith and Alison Redford.
The Wildrose Party strategy for defeating the Progressive Conservative government of Premier Alison Redford when the next election rolls around in 2016 is a variation of the right-wing party’s plan when it came close to winning earlier this year: paint the PCs as corrupt and themselves as the only viable uncorrupted alternative.
As a result, we can expect to see a lot more implications and inferences in the Legislature’s Question Period like the attack Monday by Opposition Leader Danielle Smith on Edmonton Oilers owner Daryl Katz’s ability
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Fair or not, Opposition targets Katz donation(s) as symbol of Tory sleaze
Your blogger, looking rather stout and unkempt, with political strategist Stephen Carter, who popped up in British Columbia yesterday to try to work his come-from-behind magic for B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s foundering conservative Liberals. Below: Ms. Clark.
As predicted here at Alberta Diary, British Columbia Premier Christie Clark has hired Alberta-based political strategist Stephen Carter in hopes of turning around her foundering campaign against the province’s New Democrats.
As we explained the situation back on Sept. 28, with Ms. Clark, “a conservative Liberal, desperately low in the polls, facing an election in less than eight months, having just been
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Remember where you heard it first: foundering B.C. premier hires Alberta strategist Stephen Carter
Drug store billionaire Daryl Katz, right, discusses his plans for a new Edmonton hockey arena with a representative of the Alberta government. Since Wild West hockey barons may not appear exactly as illustrated, a photo of the real Mr. Katz is shown below. (CBC Photo, circa 2008.)
Look, people, this here is the Wild West. If a billionaire wants to buy an election, why the heck shouldn’t he? Isn’t that what the Alberta Advantage is supposed to be all about?
Seriously, folks, that’s just the way we do things out here in Wild Rose Country, and if you don’t
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Welcome to Alberta’s Wild West, where the market sets the value of your vote
Alberta’s Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith Tweeting “let them eat steaks” over the worldwide web. Injudicious Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The offending Tweet; the real Ms. Smith.
Alberta Opposition Leader Memo to Self: Whatever was I thinking?
Whoever does Wildrose Party Leader Danielle “Marie Antoinette” Smith’s Tweeting for her – and one can’t really shake the sinking feeling that it might be Ms. Smith herself – needs to memorize a new adage for the online era: Tweet in haste, repent at leisure.
Well, maybe leisure isn’t exactly the way to describe Ms. Smith’s at times
. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Tweetergate? Meatergate? For heaven’s sake, stop her before she Tweets again!