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 ...

Babel-on-the-Bay: Lord Black lauds buddy Trump.

You get the feeling that there could be another boring book by Lord ‘Cross-the-Pond’ in this. Yes, Conrad Black came out of seclusion on his Toronto estate the other day to promote another book that will look good on your coffee table. He told the news media that his raison d’etre for the lordly appearance ...

Alberta Politics: Schiaparelli lander missing; ground control still in contact with Postmedia; prognosis grim for both

PHOTOS: An artist’s impression of the Schiaparelli Mars Lander descending gently toward the Martian surface. Schiaparelli’s actual Mars landings may not have unfolded exactly as illustrated by the European Space Agency. Below: The evocative cover of today’s National Post. About 178 million kilometres from us yesterday, give or take, Europe’s Schiaparelli spacecraft went missing and ...

Alberta Politics: Just say no to term limits! They’re fundamentally undemocratic and that’s why the right likes them

PHOTOS: Given the alternatives, most of the world would be delighted if this scene could be repeated, don’t you think? Probably most Americans would be too. Below: Four-time presidential winner Franklin D. Roosevelt and other presidents who contemplated third terms, but were thwarted for on reason or another, Ulysses S. Grant, Woodrow Wilson and Grover ...

Alberta Politics: Mel Hurtig, a great Canadian – and, full of beans, as we used to say

PHOTOS: Mel Hurtig with his Canadian Encyclopedia, without which, once upon a time, no respectable Canadian home was considered complete. I am grateful to Mr. Hurtig for one thing not mentioned in the short commentary below, and that is my accidental introduction to Alex Waterhouse-Hayward’s constantly engaging blog on photography and many other topics, A ...

Alberta Politics: Does the federal Tory pivot toward Alberta show they’ve given up on power in Ottawa?

PHOTOS: Stephen Harper, the former prime minister, not exactly as he appeared at the Conservative Party’s Calgary Stampede barbecue last night, but close enough. Below: Jason Kenney, Mr. Harper’s former sidekick in Ottawa, whom the former PM endorsed Saturday as a candidate for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party; Justin Trudeau, the prime ...

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: Year in review: from plunging oil to rising hope, the Top Ten news stories of 2015

PHOTOS: Cameras try to follow a nearly invisible Rachel Notley through the crowd at an Edmonton hotel on May 5, 2015, moments after she had been declared the winner of the Alberta election. No one could quite believe that the NDP had just won a majority government, in Alberta of all places, Ms. Notley’s talents ...

Alberta Politics: Succession planning: what do we do when the great Canadian newspapers die off?

PHOTOS: Never mind the world. Who will save Canadian democracy now? With apologies to Superman. Below: Joseph Howe in his prime, and with his ottoman; the author, holding forth while explaining something about the Edmonton Journal; Journal columnist Paula Simons. Yesterday’s claim by Frank Magazine that Postmedia Network Canada Ltd. will amalgamate its daily newspapers ...

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week. – Armine Yalnizyan highlights how Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal is just one more compelling piece of evidence against trusting the corporate sector to regulate itself: The trend is towards asking industries to monitor themselves (at their own suggestion), which they quite happily will do, and tell you what they ...

Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

PHOTOS: A chaotic scene, not atypical of Alberta labour relations in the Age of Asbell, shot with a phone camera in the offices of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in Edmonton. Below: ALRB Chair Mark Asbell and former CBC reporter John Archer. Sorry about the lousy photos, but, hey, I’m working with what I can ...

The Disaffected Lib: Even Conrad Black Can’t Stomach Bill C-51

He knows a thing or two about law enforcement, the judicial process and essential liberties.  All that has Conrad Black incensed at Bill C-51 which he sees as a threat to the freedom of the Canadian people.  He doesn’t like the place into which he believes Stephen Harper plans to lead the country. As presented, ...

Alberta Diary: The Postmedia-Quebecor deal: Welcome to newspaper hell, where the lowest common denominator will prevail

An unreconstituted Toronto Sun front page. Newspaper hell? Turns out it’s not quite as bad as we imagined it would be, except for the few unfortunates who still work in what’s left of the industry. Below: Tom Kent, who headed the 1981 Royal Commission on Newspapers, which was ignored when it was written and is ...

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Andrew Jackson takes a look at some dire predictions about the continued spread of inequality, and notes that we need to act now in order to reverse the trend. And UN Special Rapporteur Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona discusses how more progressive tax policies – including a focus on maximizing ...

Alberta Diary: Brian Gallant has a thin resume? Stephen Harper hasn’t held a real job since he quit the mailroom in ’79 or whenever!

New Brunswick Premier-designate Brian Gallant, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: Cranky old National Post opinion thingy Kelly McParland, age undetermined; Justin Trudeau, 42, getting off an airplane with some old guy, 62; Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair, 59. As the present now will later be past The order is rapidly fadin’ And the first one ...

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.) ...

Alberta Diary: Future bleak for Brent Rathgeber’s CBC disclosure bill; perhaps less so for Rex Murphy’s commentaries

Your blogger with CBC commentator Rex Murphy, quite possibly on his way to a speaking engagement with the oil industry. Below: the same blogger with Edmonton-St. Albert Member of Parliament Brent Rathgeber, who has a date with history next week; the controversial Press Progress Rex Murphy info-graphic. ST. ALBERT, Alberta MP Brent Rathgeber’s private member’s ...

Politics and its Discontents: You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!

Sorry Conrad. Try as you might, even you can’t alter reality. Recommend this Post

Northern Reflections: No Tragic Hero

On Friday night, Conrad Black was stripped of his membership in the Order of Canada. Tim Harper writes: Black is now one of only six Order of Canada recipients stripped of the honour and forced to return the insignia. And what a photo op that would be when he hands it over. He joins a ...

Montreal Simon: The Final Humiliation of Conrad Black

I was short, it was brutal, and it was long overdue. Former media baron and convicted fraudster Conrad Black has been stripped of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.Black, on the recommendation of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will also be removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. The Governor General’s office said ...

LeDaro: Conrad Black lost bragging rights for Order of Canada

Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada. “On Friday, Governor General David Johnston announced the termination of the former media mogul’s appointment as an Officer of the Order of Canada effective immediately. The motion was recommended by an 11-member Advisory Council following Black’s 2007 convictions in the U.S. for fraud and obstruction of justice.” The ...

Alberta Diary: Deputy Health Minister Janet Davidson’s compensation: glaring omission in Alberta Sunshine List coverage explained

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne with Janet Davidson shortly after he announced her appointment as Deputy Minister in September 2013. Below: Service Alberta Deputy Minister Jay Ramotar; Lord Black of Crossharbour in his role as honourary lieutenant colonel of the Governor General’s Foot Guards. And the top paid Alberta civil servant is … not even ...

Alberta Diary: Ted Cruz: For God (& country’s) sake, talk to Conrad Black before you shred your Canadian passport!

Canada or USA? USA or Canada? Texas Senator Ted Cruz, visible between the signs, ponders what he should do. Actual Tea Party favourites may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Mr. Cruz waves bye-bye to his fellow Canadians … maybe; Lord Black of Crossharbour. It’s said here that Calgary native Ted Cruise needs to make ...

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Bill Tieleman tears into James Moore for his callous disregard for child hunger, while PressProgress reminds us that plenty of the Cons’ policy choices reflect Moore’s complete lack of concern for his neighbours’ children. And Polly Toynbee looks in detail at the UK Cons’ attempts to turn ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Lion In Winter

Like a bloated, aging and wounded lion who realizes his hold over his pride is at an end, Conrad Black is lashing out. Still licking his wounds from lacerations received at the hands of the CBC’s Carol Off, Black used his column in Saturday’s National Post (which as a rule I do not read, but ...