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 ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: O’Leary skips Conservative debate, federal NDP debate skips Alberta

The most high-profile candidate running for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada will be skipping tomorrow’s leadership debate in Edmonton. As the thirteen other candidates for the leadership gather on stage at the Citadel Theatre, Boston-resident and American reality television personality Kevin O’Leary will instead be hosting a “fireside chat” in a fireplace-less ...

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 ...

Alberta Politics: Two views of Alberta third-quarter financial update: Steady as Joe goes, versus Faster, Pussycat! Cut! Cut!

PHOTOS: Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci, on a day when the sun was really shining. Below: Former premier Ralph Klein, the haze on fond memories as painted by his portraitist; interim PC Leader Ric McIver; Wildrose Jobs Critic Glenn van Dijken; and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark. Despite the expected Opposition histrionics, Alberta Finance Minister ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: How to vote in the Calgary-Heritage and Calgary-Midnapore by-elections

By-elections will be held in the federal ridings of Calgary-Heritage and Calgary-Midnapore on April 3, 2017. Voting stations in those ridings will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on that day. If you are unable to cast a ballot on the by-election day on Monday, April 3, 2017, you can vote in the advance polls on March 24, 25, 26 and 27 ...

Alberta Politics: Two polls and three by-elections signal an interesting spell in Alberta politics ahead

PHOTOS: No love lost for pipelines in B.C. – and all of a sudden that could have an impact on politics in Alberta (Rabble.ca photo). Below: Mainstreet research President Quito Maggi, B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Two polls were published this week by Mainstreet Research – one on the ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: The Three Alberta’s: Quick thoughts on the latest Mainstreet/Postmedia poll

Some quick thoughts on the Mainstreet/Postmedia poll released yesterday. The poll showed the Wildrose Party at 38 percent province-wide support, with the Progressive Conservatives sitting at 29 percent and the New Democratic Party with 23 percent. The Liberals and Alberta Party sat at 5 percent each. But the regional breakdown is more interesting. Support for Rachel ...

Alberta Politics: Canada had better plan for an unprecedented refugee crisis as U.S. lurches toward ‘ethnic cleansing’

PHOTOS: Austrian police and Syrian refugees crowd a train platform in Vienna on Sept. 4, 2015 (photo by Josh Zakary). Below: U.S. President Donald Trump (photo by Gage Skidmore) and a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey in 2016 (European Parliament photos). Canadians should be deeply concerned about stated plans by the Trump Regime in the ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Repost: The Great Family Day Debate of 1989

[This post was originally published on Feb. 16, 2010] The annual Family Day long-weekend is something that many Albertans look forward to. The many Albertans who take for granted the holiday on the third Monday of February may be surprised to know that the idea of creating Family Day was incredibly controversial when it was first introduced in 1989. ...

Alberta Politics: Are non-Albertans who FRWN on progress behind many of the online threats against Premier Rachel Notley?

PHOTOS: Part of the uninspiring, sometimes troubling, field of Conservative Party of Canada leadership candidates. Their names? Frankly, it’s too much work to note them all down (CBC photo). Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former prime minister Stephen Harper (CBC). Is a disengaged and demoralized ...

Alberta Politics: It won’t hurt NDP for centrist voters to understand how close Rachel Notley’s energy policy is to Jim Prentice’s proposals

PHOTOS: Jim Prentice during his time as premier of Alberta. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, Prentice co-author Jean-Sébastian Rioux (Twitter), and journalist Jason Markusoff (Twitter). The revelation that the moderate and thoughtful energy policy proposed by the late Jim Prentice soon after he left politics in 2015 was very similar to Premier Rachel Notley’s is likely ...

Alberta Politics: Canada’s Conservative Party, a once-great national organization, is being overwhelmed by its own extremists

PHOTOS: Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, a hard-working and talented former Edmonton Transit bus driver. Below: Alberta Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason, a hard-working and talented former Edmonton Transit bus driver. Mr. Sohi, a Liberal, and Mr. Mason, a New Democrat, are both used to cheap conservative shots about their former job. Also, federal Heritage Minister ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Coming Soon: By-elections in Calgary-Heritage and Calgary-Midnapore

Two by-elections could be called in the federal ridings of Calgary-Heritage and Calgary-Midnapore in a matter of days. The by-elections must be called in Calgary-Heritage by February 25, 2017 and in Calgary-Midnapore no later than March 22, 2017 but it is expected that they could be called at the same time as a required by-election in Ottawa-Vanier, which must be called ...

Alberta Politics: What you should worry about when you worry about President Trump – hint: not where Ivanka sits!

PHOTOS: The controversial photo of Mr. Donald, Ivanka Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto … Wait! That’s Joe Trudeau! Below: U.S. Presidents whose “First Ladies” weren’t necessarily their wives, for one reason or another … Thomas Jefferson, who predated the whole First Lady phenomenon; Martin van Buren, a widower; Grover Cleveland, who married while he was ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: “The Break” by Katherena Vermette tops Audreys Books’ Edmonton Best-Selling Books List

Here is the list of the top 10 fiction and non-fiction titles sold in Edmonton for the week ending Feb. 10, 2017, compiled on Feb. 14, 2017, by Audreys Books and provided by the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Edmonton Fiction Bestsellers The Break – Katherena Vermette A Still and Bitter Grave – Ann Marston * Everybody’s Fool ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: The loss of a great Canadian storyteller. RIP Stuart McLean

Each Christmas season for many years, my parents would buy our family tickets to Stuart McLean’s show when it stopped in Edmonton on his cross-Canada tour. It became an annual tradition that each Christmas we would join hundreds of Edmontonians at the Jubilee Auditorium to listen to McLean do his masterwork. He would stand alone at the ...

Alberta Politics: Appalled maybe, but no one should be surprised by the ugly threats against Rachel Notley

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. She has been threatened more than any other Alberta premier, and she reacts with aplomb. Below: British politician Jo Cox, murdered last year by a right-wing extremist for her beliefs; federal Conservative leadership candidate Chris Alexander while a right-wing crowd chanted “lock her up” about Ms. Notley; U.S. President Donald ...

Alberta Politics: Portrait unveiling stands in for the fond official farewell former premier Dave Hancock never had from his PCs

PHOTOS: Former Alberta Premier Dave Hancock in a typical pose, as he addresses the crowd at the unveiling of his official portrait yesterday. Below: The portrait, by artist Tom Menczel, former Tory cabinet ministers Doug Horner and Richard Starke. The unveiling of Dave Hancock’s portrait in the Legislature yesterday may have been presided over by ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Len Webber: we’ll give you safe injection sites if you give us oil pipelines

In the midst of an opioid crisis that is reported to have claimed the lives of 343 Albertans in 2016, Calgary-Confederation Member of Parliament Len Webber told the House of Commons Health Committee last week that opposition to the potentially lifesaving facilities was comparable to opposition to oil pipelines. Here is what Webber said in response to Vancouver-Kingsway MP ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta Liberals fined $2000 for violating elections finance laws

A $2,000 fine was issued against the Alberta Liberal Party in November 2016 after Elections Alberta found the party had accepted a $17,000 contribution that violated the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act. The fine was unusually large and may have marked the first time the acceptor of a donation has been fined for accepting a donation ...