Susan on the Soapbox: A Pop Quiz

Ms Soapbox is shocked. She just returned from the Alberta Teachers’ Association Summer Summit on Public Education and discovered that she knows far less about education and teaching in Alberta than she thought she did. What education looks like today So pop quiz!  (Stop grumbling, many politicians are pontificating about the state of education in ...

Alberta Politics: Derek Fildebrandt, UCP ‘liberty’ advocate, calls for return to ugly 1940s labour relations, labour studies professor says

PHOTOS: The late Jim Prentice, during his successful 2014 campaign to lead the Progressive Conservative Party, with supporters in Edmonton. Below: Anti-union “liberty conservative” Derek Fildebrandt, NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and Athabasca University Labour Studies Professor Bob Barnetson. It was probably his “math is hard” moment in a televised debate with NDP Leader Rachel Notley ...

Alberta Politics: PC-Wildrose merger agreement leaves many unanswered questions for Wildrosers and the rest of us

PHOTOS: Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean and Progressive Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney shake on their merger plan in this Wildrose photo. Below: Lacking anything better to illustrate this story with, here are a couple of party logos. If anything’s clear from trying to make sense of the agreement that outlines the scheme to merge ...

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: Alberta public employees, subject to constant Wildrose and media vilification, win national award for effective service

PHOTOS: An image of the May 2016 Fort McMurray fire taken by Alberta Government photographer Chris Schwarz. Below: The Wildrose Party sees government workers like forest fire fighters (GoA photo) and Licensed Practical Nurses (AUPE photo) as “union bosses.” Just guessing, but you probably won’t read much news coverage about the national award the Alberta ...

Alberta Politics: We don’t need an inquiry – we need to bring the hammer of defunding down now on scofflaw private schools

PHOTOS: NDP Education Minister David Eggen – he’s trying to do the right thing, but he’s making it worse. The time has come to bring the hammer down and defund schools that won’t obey Alberta’s law on gay-straight alliances. Below: Rev. Brian Coldwell, chair of two private schools determined to break the law (CBC photo), ...

Alberta Politics: What’s behind ‘Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’ campaigns like its stunt calling for rollbacks in Alberta teachers’ pay?

PHOTOS: A typical Canadian Taxpayers Federation stunt, moved from place to place across Canada with the goal of undermining public services and speeding the race to the bottom. The picture at bottom right shows Alberta Wildrose Opposition Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt in his previous role as CTF Alberta spokesthingy. Below: CTF Board member and anti-union ...

Alberta Politics: George Clark’s parking lot putschists deliver an unintended compliment to Alberta’s NDP Government

PHOTOS: Alberta First Plebiscite Warriors leader George Clark, in a screen shot from a video interview shot not long before someone stepped on the hose from his media oxygen supply. Below: Donald Trump and Calgary’s own Ted Cruz, a couple of U.S. politicians who know how to do the Tea Party thing right. Don’t you ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Johnson, Anglin, Nenshi and Butler. Who said Alberta politics is dull in the summer?

TweetPremier Dave Hancock is standing behind Jeff Johnson, even after the Information and Privacy Commissioner ruled that the embattled education minister broke Alberta’s privacy laws by sending a direct message to the personal email addresses of thousands of teachers during their contract negotiations. In any other job, breaking the law would likely be cause for ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s War on Teachers signals division within Tory Party, not conspiracy

The Hancock Conservatives do good-cop-bad-cop? At left, Jeff Johnson as Jim Prentice, at right, tries to get him to straighten up and fly a little less far right. Actual Alberta Progressive Conservatives may not appear exactly as illustrated, especially in this unlikely scenario. Below: My only picture of the real Mr. Johnson; one of many ...

Alberta Diary: A question for Premier Dave Hancock: Who will rid Alberta’s Tories of their turbulent Education Minister?

Education Minister Jeff Johnson flips burgers at Alison Redford’s K-Days Breakfast, last year. A sign of things to come for Mr. Johnson? Below: Premier Dave Hancock, who knows what he needs to do, former premier Redford, who knew exactly what she wanted, and Alberta Information Commissioner Jill Clayton, who knows the law. Now that we ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s Tories appear to have waded into the shallow end of the political gene pool

Jim Prentice surrounded by supporters in Edmonton. Below: Defiant Education Minister Jeff Johnson, Premier Dave Hancock, political strategist Stephen Carter. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world… Never mind the bit about any second coming being at hand. You can go too far, in my estimation, searching modern ...

Alberta Diary: Maybe it’s time to state the obvious: promises aren’t enough for Alberta Tories to win back any progressive votes

Tory leadership front-runner Jim Prentice on the campaign trail. Below: Former premier Alison Redford; Education Minister, though presumably not for long, Jeff Johnson; leadership candidate Thomas Lukaszuk. Perhaps it’s time to just come right out and state the obvious: If Tory leadership front-runner Jim Prentice wants even a few of Alberta’s badly burned progressive voters to ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: The Redford legacy haunts Prentice Tories

TweetMost people rely on TripAdvisor or call a travel agent to book hotels for overseas trips, but it is alleged by intrepid CBC investigative journalists that former Premier Alison Redford dispatched a staffer to visit hotels and restaurants in advance of her trips to India, China, Switzerland, Washington, and Toronto for a cost of nearly $330,000. It is not ...

Alberta Diary: Ric McIver Progressive Conservative leadership campaign lurches to life as Hancock Government sends mixed signals

Tory leadership candidate Ric McIver, shown on his extremely uninformative campaign website. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson and newly appointed Jobs, Skills, Etc. Minister Kyle Fawcett.  Ho-hum. After days of virtual silence, former infrastructure minister Ric McIver made the first official appearance of his campaign for the leadership of Alberta’s geriatric Tory dynasty at an ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Tory culture of entitlement a big problem for Jim Prentice

TweetWhoever leads Alberta’s long-governing Progressive Conservatives into the next election (probably Jim Prentice) will have some serious challenges to deal with. After more than forty years in office, Alberta’s natural governing party has become accustomed to getting its way, regardless of who stands in their way. Perhaps realizing how much damage this has caused his party, interim ...

Alberta Diary: Democracy, Alberta-style: Voters can have any policy they want, as long as it’s Conservative

The Alberta government bargaining team on their way to talks with the Alberta Teachers Association in their Model-T, coloured black. Actual Alberta labour relations specialists may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Education Minister Jeff Johnson and industrialist Henry Ford. In Alberta, it appears you now have more power as the president of a neighbourhood ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta Health Services trimmers toss out a couple of market-fundy myths to save cash

Alberta Health Services Board Chair Stephen Lockwood demonstrates how to trim a provincial health care budget. Actual AHS board members may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lockwood in his official AHS portrait. Two pernicious and slightly dissonant myths that cloud discussion of public health care are the idea that to get ...

calgaryliberal.com: Redford Tories’ War with Teachers: It’s About Caucus Politics

The Progressive Conservatives are preparing for a multi-year battle with the teachers of Alberta. With rhetoric such as “protect the classroom” (implying that teachers are working against teaching and children) and firing off emails to thousands of teachers in likely breach of privacy laws (which is currently being investigated by the Privacy Commissioner), it’s obvious. The ...

Alberta Diary: Despite neocon flameout distraction, Redford Tory bumbling dominates Alberta news

Neocon Icarus Tom Flanagan (appropriately covered, thank goodness) at right, falls to earth after flying too close to the sun. Preston Manning hovers nearby. The flameout of actual neoconservative avatars may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: Health Minister Fred Horne, Education Minister Jeff Johnson, and retired judge John Z. Vertes, who are the people ...

Alberta Diary: Education minister’s bluff called by apoplectic schoolteachers! Now what?

The trading pit: Is this what Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson sees when he thinks of the Alberta Teachers Association? Actual Alberta schoolteachers may not be exactly as illustrated. Then again, these days … Below: Mr. Johnson and ATA President Carol Henderson. OK, Alberta Education Minister Jeff Johnson’s bizarre attempt to bluff the province’s 35,000 ...

Susan on the Soapbox: And Now…A Message from your Premier-In-Waiting: Mr Lukaszuk

We interrupt our regular programming—the PC spin on the cause of the $4 billion budget shortfall—to bring you an important public service announcement from the Premier-In-Waiting, Mr Lukaszuk. Mr Lukaszuk steps up to the microphone and says:    Listen up you pesky union types, and this includes all you doctors who aren’t in a union but ...

Alberta Diary: Redford government floats risky scheme to impose contract on teachers

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 ...

Alberta Diary: A little nugget from the past: Wildrose candidate’s abortion position

A scene from the Lethbridge-West riding, as seen by the Wildrose Party. Below: Lethbridge-West candidate Kevin Kinahan. During the campaign leading up to the recent Alberta provincial election, the website of Lethbridge-West Wildrose Party candidate Kevin Kinahan had two sections outlining his perspective on the party’s health care policy – one was linked to his ...

David Climenhaga's Alberta Diary: Wildrose offers same old same old as Alison Redford’s fitted up for the Iggy treatment

Former federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff stands in front of the Reform-o-Con propaganda steamroller moments before it lurched forward. Flattened federal politicians may not be exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Dr. Ignatieff; Alison Redford. Does anyone remember Iggy? I couldn’t help but recall former federal Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff last week when Wildrose Party ...