Alberta Politics: Wildrose reaction to proposed raise for front-line health workers illustrates the party’s rightward shift

PHOTOS: Rob Anderson, on the right, the Wildrose Party’s finance critic under Danielle Smith, at a rally supporting public sector workers in 2012. With him are AUPE President Guy Smith, left, and Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann, centre. Below: The Wildrose Party’s intemperate current finance critic, Derek Fildebrandt, Ms. Smith, and premiers Ed Stelmach and ...

Alberta Diary: Be careful what you ask for! Jim Prentice walks away with the Wildrose political play book

Premier Jim Prentice. Below: Wildrose Party Leader Danielle Smith and former party strategist Tom Flanagan, this time on the button. As the expression goes: be careful what you ask for! You might just get it. There is irony – perhaps even bitter irony – in what newly minted Alberta Premier Jim Prentice managed to do ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta Premier Jim Prentice plucks the low-hanging fruit – now for the hard stuff…

If getting rid of SAM wasn’t that easy, imagine what the green eggs and ham are going to be like! Above, Premier Jim Prentice with the licence plate Alberta won’t be dumping after all. (CBC photo) Below: The typical Progressive Conservative, not necessarily exactly as illustrated. It’s one thing to let a couple of pieces ...

Alberta Diary: Four-year, 6.75% AUPE tentative agreement ends threat of open war between civil service union and Hancock Government

If not cordiale, at least entente. Alberta Premier Dave Hancock and AUPE President Guy Smith celebrate their tentative contract agreement yesterday. Actual Alberta public figures may not appear exactly as illustrated. (I freely admit stealing this idea from Daveberta.ca.) Below: Jim Prentice, Mr. Hancock and Mr. Smith. The threat of open warfare between Alberta’s government ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Detente or Entente Cordiale? AUPE and Hancock Government reach tentative agreement

TweetAt 10:00 a.m. on April 28, 2014, Hugh McPhail, a lawyer representing the Alberta Government requested the Court of Appeal to adjourn a scheduled hearing on Bill 46, the controversial anti-labour law that had been halted by a court injection months ago. The law would have forced a regressive contract on the 22,000 government employees represented by the Alberta Union ...

Alberta Diary: In one day, the ground shifts in Alberta politics in ways unexpected, sometimes uplifting, sometimes troubling

On March 23, Lewis Cardinal became the first nominated federal NDP candidate in Canada for the expected 2015 election. (Photo by Dave Cournoyer, used with permission.) Yesterday he stepped aside in the face of undisclosed health problems. Below: Wildrose Finance Critic Rob Anderson. What a strange day it was yesterday, at times uplifting, at times ...

Alberta Diary: Advice to Dave Hancock: sweet words won’t be enough for Alberta’s unhappy civil servants

Your blogger with Alberta’s newest premier, Dave Hancock, not so long ago. Below: U.S. presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon. What a difference a few days can make! One leaves the province with one premier in power, figuratively bellowing threats at the civil service, and returns less than a week later to find ...

Alberta Diary: The flight log: Alison Redford would be better off if she’d paid attention to sensible Alberta Public Service vehicle use policy!

Thinking of bringing your friends and relations along? Don’t bring them in the government truck, Mr. Civil Servant! OTTAWA “Good afternoon,” began a recent email from an assistant deputy minister to government employees of the humbler sort who don’t get to travel first class to faraway places but who may need to use a Government ...

Alberta Diary: Redford Government resorts to bush-league law breaking as talks with civil servants hit another impasse

Members of the Alberta Government plan their latest strategy to hold the unionized civil service’s approximately 44,000 feet to the fire in negotiations. Actual government officials may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: William Aberhart. Bargaining with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at an impasse again, so the government of Premier Alison Redford has ...

Alberta Diary: Women hit by Redford Government’s pension cuts entitled to ask: ‘What are we? Chopped liver?’

Finance Minister Doug Horner and Alberta Premier Alison Redford attempt to skate around opposition to their planned cuts to public service pensions. Points have not yet been awarded for the maneuver. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Horner as he slipped past media and uninvited union leaders at ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Fresh meat and Alberta politics

TweetFresh meat Last week, he was publicly criticizing Premier Alison Redford for her  over-priced $45,000 trip to South Africa (see below) and faced a threat of expulsion from the Progressive Conservative caucus. This week, coincidentally, Edmonton-Riverview PC MLA Steve Young faces a new set of revelations dating back to his time as a Sergeant with the Edmonton ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Where are the Ethical Lawyers?

In the last three months Albertans have witnessed a shocking display of raw power.  The Redford government calls it “delivering the responsible change Albertans voted for.”  The rest of us call it the abuse of majority power to crush the rights of environmentalists, land owners and labour unions. Black November In Nov 2013 the Supreme ...

Alberta Diary: Time to change Alberta Labour Minister’s dual role, and maybe more, to ensure fair and equitable labour relations

Some roles just don’t seem to be a good match for the same person. Here are five examples. Perhaps Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, below, finds himself in such a position?  Can Thomas Lukaszuk properly fulfill his dual roles as Alberta’s Minister of Labour and chair of the all-but-secret Public Sector Resource Committee of Premier ...

Alberta Diary: Will Alison Redford fire Thomas Lukaszuk? She needs to, but don’t count on it happening!

Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, at right with Premier Alison Redford, argues with Deputy Premier Dave Hancock, in white suit and goofy glasses, about whether or not to appeal the court injunction against the use of Bill 46. Finance Minister Doug Horner is on the far left. Actual Alberta cabinet ministers may not appear exactly ...

Alberta Diary: Valentine’s Day injunction all but massacres Redford Government’s credibility in fight with Alberta Union of Provincial Employees

Alberta Union of Provincial Employees President Guy Smith at the union’s news conference in Edmonton yesterday. Below: Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. Mr. Justice Denny Thomas of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench did not merely accept the arguments of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees when he slapped an injunction on the Government of ...

Alberta Diary: Oh to be a fly on the cabinet room wall today! Court grants stay on application against AUPE of Bill 46 until Valentine’s Day

Steam vents from the cabinet room at the Alberta Legislature. Actual eruptions of Tory fury may not be exactly as illustrated – and, actually, that’s the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Well, whatever, it’s better than a file shot of the law courts sign! Below: AUPE President Guy Smith. Who wouldn’t want to be a fly on ...

Alberta Diary: Still hoping for a ‘deal’ with AUPE, Alberta Deputy Premier Dave Hancock has a Seinfeld moment

Deputy Premier Dave Hancock holds forth in the Legislature this morning as a few bored reporters half-heartedly listen. Below: Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who could have written Mr. Hancock’s script; former Reform Party and now former SIRC chair Chuck Strahl. With nothing to report in “negotiations” between the government of Alberta and the Alberta Union of ...

Alberta Diary: Deputy minister testifies officials prepared anti-labour Bill 46 ‘proactively’ long before cabinet asked for it

AUPE President Guy Smith speaks with the media after Friday’s session of the Alberta Labour Relations Board hearing. Below: Deputy Minister of the Executive Council Peter Watson; AUPE lawyer William Rigutto. It’s probably too much to hope the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees can persuade the Alberta Labour Relations Board the Redford Government had already ...

Alberta Diary: Alberta’s 13 most under-reported political news stories of 2013

Another aircraft takes off from Fort McMurray International Aerodrome loaded with CO2 captured from Alberta’s Athabasca bitumen sands. The gas will be stored in the basements of Russian buildings as part of a deal worked out through the province’s $2-billion “carbon capture” program. Actual Alberta carbon capture boondoggles may not operate exactly as described. Below: ...

Politics and its Discontents: Now Here’s An Interesting Idea

At a time when workers’ rights are under constant attack, dangerous, Draconian, Orwellian and unconstitutional measures have been passed in Alberta that not only strip away the arbitration rights of public servants, but also limit their freedom of speech. First, to the ‘less contentious’ of the two bills recently passed by Alison Redford’s Conservative government. ...

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Assault On Organized Labour In Canada

In Alberta, the Redford Government just passed one of the most offensive and blatant attacks on labour that we have ever seen.  It is uniquely focused on the civil service unions in the province, but that does little to ameliorate the degree of wrong that Bills 45 and 46 represent to Alberta’s workers. In Saskatchewan, ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Redford and Mandela: Hypocrisy and Hope (Part 2)

“He would continually bring people back to the table.  That was his greatest strength”—Ms Redford on Nelson Mandela* Sadly, Ms Redford never learned how to bring “people back to the table” here in Alberta.  So she resorted to the meat hammer—ramming through Bill 46 for force a “settlement” on the AUPE in order to abort ...

Alberta Diary: Resolving ‘Tobaccogate’ – Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion … but not necessarily in Alberta

Where there’s smoke, ummm…. there’s smoke. Got that? Actual Alberta government tobacco lawyers may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Alberta Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson. The astonishing thing about yesterday’s ruling by Alberta’s Ethics Commissioner exonerating Alison Redford in the “Tobaccogate” affair is not that Neil Wilkinson concluded no wrong was done when the premier ...

Alberta Diary: If the deputy premier wants free speech for Ukraine so badly, why is he attacking it in Alberta?

Alberta Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk in the Rotunda of the Alberta Legislature. Note, in the background at left, Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith. Below, a recent Twitter message from Mr. Lukaszuk, an inveterate and confrontational Tweeter, who thinks your free speech rights are a matter of LOL and #wink. Last weekend, Alberta Deputy Premier Thomas ...

Alberta Diary: Hell freezes over in Alberta: Right-wing Wildrose Party sides with unions, sort of, over unconstitutional Tory bills

AUPE President Guy Smith, left, with Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson on the steps of the Alberta Legislature last night. Below: Part of the crowd … the pots and pans start to come out.  With blizzard conditions prevailing throughout most of Alberta today, it was still a surprise when ...