Alberta Politics: Climate Drewhaha: financing a documentary with a point of view is advocacy, not defending free speech

PHOTOS: Wildrose Energy Critic Drew Barnes, at right, on the steps of the Alberta Legislature one cold day in 2016. Below: Wetaskiwin-Camrose NDP MLA Bruce Hinkley (Camrose Canadian photo), Calgary Currie MLA Brian Malkinson, and National Post commentator and documentary maker John Robson (screenshot). Is Wildrose Energy Critic Drew Barnes actually surprised he’s drawing fire ...

Alberta Politics: Education Minister deserves high marks for ordering recalcitrant religious schools to obey GSA law, but more is needed

PHOTOS: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen. Below: Edmonton lawyer Dan Scott, Kristopher Wells of the U of A’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services and Brian Coldwell of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society. Sometimes a government just needs to do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may. Alberta Education ...

Alberta Politics: Now that he can’t be Mr. Congeniality any more, is Saskatchewan’s Brad Wall eyeing the exit?

PHOTOS: I’m sick of this shifty eyed shot of Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall too, but it’s the only decent royalty free photo of the guy I can find. Below top and bottom: Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, two Alberta Conservatives who used to have nothing bad to say about Mr. Wall. What will they say ...

Alberta Politics: Cue the balalaikas! Tory MLA hears the Red Army tramping across the Steppes of Central Alberta

PHOTOS: Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried, at right, and an unidentified friend. (Photo grabbed from Mr. Gotfried’s Facebook page.) Below: Mr. Gotfried with Progressive Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney and PC Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke. Social democracy in Alberta? Pretty much the same as the Russian Revolution! Really! I’m not making this up! Just ask ...

Alberta Politics: Guest Post: With friends like these … Jason Kenney’s biggest challenge may come from his political allies

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney at the centre of a media scrum a few days before his victory in the Progressive Conservative Party leadership race. Expect to see him in this situation a lot more often now, even though he holds no formal elected political office. Below: Post author Chanchal Bhattacharya, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and the ...

Alberta Politics: It’s springtime for Kenney in Wildrose country as Alberta bids farewell to progressive conservatism

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney salutes his supporters after winning the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party on the first ballot yesterday. (Screenshot.) Below: Richard Starke, the Vermilion veterinarian who was Mr. Kenney’s main rival, although not much of one in the event; Opposition Wildrose leader Brian Jean; and Peter Lougheed, PC premier from 1971 to 1985, ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney’s hostile takeover of Alberta’s PC Party is complete

Former federal politician Jason Kenney won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta today, as was widely expected. Kenney received the support of 75 percent of the delegates attending the party’s voting meeting today at the Hyatt in downtown Calgary. His only opponents, Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Richard Starke and Calgary lawyer Byron Nelson, earned 21 ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Not many surprises in Alberta’s stay the course budget

There were few surprises when Finance Minister Joe Ceci stood to table the New Democratic Party’s third budget since forming government in 2015. What I expect were strategic leaks over the past week revealed some popular highlights included in the budget, giving the government some positive media in the days before the budget was released. ...

Alberta Politics: Despite Opposition demands, Alberta NDP says no to risky conservative ideological experiments in its 2017 budget

PHOTOS: Finance Minister Joe Ceci. Below: Interim Progressive Conservative Ric McIver showing off his Three Stooges tie, the sale of which puts the gross in Gross National Product; Opposition Leader Brian Jean; and Alberta Liberal interim Leader David Swann. “Admit it, Alberta, after yesterday afternoon’s Budget Speech was read by Finance Minister Joe Ceci, you ...

Alberta Politics: When the celebrated Mr. K. performs his feat on Saturday … what will Brian Jean do?

PHOTOS: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean. Below: Progressive Conservative leader-presumptive Jason Kenney, former PC leadership candidate turned NDP MLA Sandra Jansen, NDP Finance Minister Joe Ceci and a very large sewer rat, political affiliation unknown. Could Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean beat Progressive Conservative leader-presumptive Jason Kenney for the leadership of Wildrose 2.0, or whatever the ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta finally moves, cautiously, toward reforming labour laws, more boldly to ban cash-for-blood transactions

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray at her news conference yesterday morning. Below: Labour lawyer and respected labour relations specialist Andrew Sims and Health Minister Sarah Hoffman at her news conference yesterday afternoon (Twitter). No sooner asked than answered, Alberta’s NDP government announced a plan yesterday morning to consult with the public and the usual ...

Alberta Politics: Something for the NDP to think about: How about bringing Alberta’s labour laws into the 20th Century? (Never mind the 21st)

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, Athabasca University Labour Studies Professor Bob Barnetson and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. The CBC says the province’s businesses are “spooked.” The Chamber of Commerce is deeply worried by the prospect of “sweeping reforms.” Naturally, the Chamber also says they’re ...

Alberta Politics: Now the public’s tuned in, it’ll be hard to put a lid back on discussion of rich subsidies to ritzy private schools

PHOTOS: An illustration grabbed from the Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School’s website. The elite private school charges annual tuition of $21,000 per year per student … and received more than $20 million in subsidies from Alberta taxpayers over five years! Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, Edmonton School Trustee Michael Janz and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Conservative private ...

Alberta Politics: International Women’s Day turns into a major embarrassment for Alberta’s tone-deaf opposition

PHOTOS: Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean – nothing to do with us, really. Below: Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips and former PC leadership contender Sandra Jansen, all New Democrats. It’s International Women’s Day and, whatever Alberta’s two right-wing Opposition parties would rather be doing, one doubts it’s insisting they have nothing to ...

Alberta Politics: The Trump-like hallmark of Jason Kenney’s campaign: Its singular lack of ideas

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney crashing the Throne Speech party at the Legislature last week. Below: U.S. President Donald Trump; the late Ralph Klein, premier of Alberta; Rachel Notley, the present premier of Alberta; and political commentator Ricardo Acuna. Jason Kenny, the social conservative social media enthusiast who will almost certainly become leader of the Progressive Conservative ...

Alberta Politics: With Rachel Notley off to Texas, it helps to understand why Canadians and Texans are naturally simpatico

PHOTOS: The magnificent Texas State Capitol in Austin – taller that the U.S. Capitol in Washington! Below: The interior of that Texas dome and some musicians making the scene in Austin, which is not only warmer than Edmonton, it’s more liberal too, and the sort of thing I had in mind when I made the ...

Alberta Politics: School bus rides may not be free, as interim Tory leader reminds us, but we all benefit when we share the cost

PHOTOS: Former Progressive Conservative premier Jim Prentice and interim PC leader Ric McIver, back in 2015. Both men, one could argue, found math could be hard. Below: NDP Premier Rachel Notley and PC premier Ralph Klein. “There’s no such thing as a free ride to school on a bus.” — Progressive Conservative interim Leader Ric ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Who wants to be leader of Alberta’s Liberal Party? Nolan Crouse does.

St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse announced this week that he will run for the leadership of the Alberta Liberal Party, becoming the first and so far the only candidate to announce plans to run for the job. The party is holding a leadership vote in June 2017 to fill the position being vacated by Calgary-Mountain View MLA David ...

Alberta Politics: Shoreline, True Grit, photo-bombing, certainty and the Deity: random observations from Alberta’s Throne Speech

PHOTOS: Alberta Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell, clad in a purple official gown, reads the NDP Government’s third Speech from the Throne in the Legislature in Edmonton yesterday afternoon. Below: Party crasher Jason Kenney, Labour Minister Christina Gray (Dave Cournoyer photo) and Opposition Leader Brian Jean. Alberta’s New Democratic Party Government delivered its third Speech from ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Eggen goes back to the NDP basics with bill to cut school fees

A flagship bill to cut school fees by 25 percent is familiar and friendly territory for the Alberta’s New Democratic Party. Introduced  in the Legislative Assembly today by Education Minister David Eggen, Bill 1: An Act to Reduce School Fees, eliminates fees for textbooks, workbooks, photocopying, printing and bussing transporting. Last year’s Bill 1, which established a series of job creation and ...

Alberta Politics: St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse makes it official: he wants to lead Alberta Liberals

PHOTOS: St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, second from left in Liberal red tie, announces his bid to lead the Alberta Liberals, a party that currently has only one member in the Legislature, on the University of Alberta campus near the North Saskatchewan River Valley yesterday. (Photo grabbed from Global TV reporter Tom Vernon’s Twitter account. ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP tends not to make a game of Thrones, so tomorrow’s speech may actually give us useful information!

PHOTOS: Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the 2016 Speech from the Throne in the Alberta Legislature. Below: Ms. Mitchell reads the 2015 Throne Speech and, below that, the vice-regal party accompanied by Premier Notley prepares to leave the Legislative Chamber in 2015. All photos by the Alberta Government, Premier’s and Lieutenant Governor’s Flickr accounts. I ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Looking ahead to the Throne Speech and Spring Session

Similar to last week’s third quarter fiscal update delivered by finance minister Joe Ceci, this week’s Speech from the Throne will mostly focus on political messaging and managing public expectations. Along with the pomp and circumstance that will drape the Legislature as Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell reads the throne speech on March 2, 2017, the government will present its narrative ...

Alberta Politics: Conservative parties compete to demand fat tax subsidies for Alberta’s education special interest groups

PHOTOS: In Alberta, private schoolboys like these would have 70 per cent of the cost of their education paid for by taxpayers! (BBC photo.) Below: Progressive Conservative leadership frontrunner Jason Kenney and Wildrose Education Critic Leela Aheer, both of whom support tax subsidies for shee-shee private schools. Below them: NDP Education Minister David Eggen, who’s ...

Alberta Politics: Opposition parties strangely quiet as Alberta Finance Minister stops the ABC Sector gravy train

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci considers a reporter’s question during Friday’s news conference (screenshot). Below: Alberta Workers Compensation Board CEO Guy Kerr and Alberta Energy Regulator CEO Jim Ellis. Being a conservative in opposition apparently turns what your Mama taught you on its head: If you can’t say anything bad, don’t say anything at ...