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 ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta taxpayers are subsidizing Calgary’s elite and exclusive private schools

Alberta taxpayers should not be on the hook to fund posh private schools for Calgary’s elites. According to data released by Progress Alberta, 15 private schools which charge more than $10,000 in annual tuition fees received more than $30 million in taxpayer subsidies in 2015-2016. One of those private schools, Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, charges $21,660 in ...

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: 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: In subversive move, Edmonton school board chair calls for optional Catholic programs in public schools

PHOTOS: Edmonton Public School Board Chair Michael Janz. Below: CBC evening drive show host Portia Clark, and the logos of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association and Edmonton Public Schools. In a brilliantly subversive move, Michael Janz, chair of the Edmonton Public School Board, has publicly wondered in a blog post if the board he ...

Alberta Politics: Ted Byfield’s back, cyber-crusading for Jason Kenney’s bid to lead Alberta back to the Fifties!

PHOTOS: Ted Byfield at the microphone (Edson leader photo). Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, the late Link Byfield, Mr. Byfield’s son, and a cover from the bad old days of Alberta Report magazine. Like the proverbial bad penny, Ted Byfield is back. It should come as no surprise that Mr. Byfield, now 87 and ...

Alberta Politics: Anticipated court scrap between government and home schoolers ends with whimper, not bang

PHOTOS: The school run by the Trinity Christian School Association in Cold Lake (photo from the group’s website). Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, NDP MLA Heather Sweet, and Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver. The resolution yesterday of the much-anticipated cage fight between Alberta’s NDP Government and a ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose defence of Christian home schooling group unravels on news of operators’ big salaries

PHOTOS: The Trinity Christian private school in Cold Lake. Court documents indicate its principal was paid $322,813 over three years. One news report says it currently has 13 students. Below: Ken Noster, board chair and administrator of Wisdom Home Schooling Society, his wife Marlane Noster, and Trinity School principal Richard Schienbein. All photos come from ...

Alberta Politics: In the debate over home schooling and ‘parents’ rights,’ we need to remember children have rights too

PHOTOS: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen. Below: Wildrose Opposition Leader Brian Jean and film director and former American evangelical Frank Schaeffer (Salon photo). Controversy in Alberta over the provincial government’s decision to withdraw funding and accreditation from a private Christian school association that oversaw about a third of the province’s home-schooled children offers a chance ...

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: Where exactly is the ‘compromise’ Jason Kenney thinks the NDP should make on sexual minority rights?

PHOTOS: Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney back in the day … welcoming refugees? Well, not if they wanted health care. Unintended ironic juxtaposition, I suppose. (Photo from abbotsfordtoday.blogspot.ca.) Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen; New Testament Baptist Church, just west of Edmonton. Where exactly is this “sensible Alberta compromise” Jason Kenney advises the province’s ...

Alberta Politics: Was pastor encouraged by right-wing allies to say intemperate things that could cost his private schools?

PHOTOS: The Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa, where Alberta’s gay-straight alliance law seems destined to be held in the balance. Below: The judgment of Solomon – don’t take the supposedly wise king’s child-care advice if you don’t want a visit from the police and a social worker. Below that: Alberta Education Minister David ...

Alberta Politics: Church in fight over Alberta LGBTQ policy espouses far-right ideology, has close tie to advocacy group

PHOTOS: The New Testament Baptist Church near Spruce Grove, just west of Edmonton. Below: The vandalized sign, with some of the scrubbed pink spray paint still visible; additional signs on the site promoting the church and school; and administrator Rev. Brian Coldwell and private school advocate Donna Trimble, the latter two shots from the CBC. ...

Alberta Politics: Motion demanding public support for private and charter schools backfires on Alberta Tory Leader

PHOTOS: Interim Alberta Tory Leader Ric McIver and another PC are ejected from the Legislature yesterday by the Sergeant at Arms. Actual Alberta MLAs may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The Real Ric McIver and Edmonton Public School Board Chairperson Michael Janz. Has Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver’s motion demanding the Alberta ...

Alberta Politics: Time to share the pain and stop wasting taxpayers’ dollars on elite private and cherry-picking charter schools

PHOTOS: A typical Alberta charter school class, at least as imagined by supporters of the expensive idea. Actual charter and private school students in 2016 may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Progressive Conservative Party interim Leader Ric McIver, Education Minister David Eggen and private school supporter and former PC premier Jim Prentice. Progressive Conservative ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta Dad raps response to Mom’s anti-transgender rap

Susan on the Soapbox: Bishop Henry Pontificates on Gay Straight Alliances

On January 13, 2016 The Most Reverend Frederick Bernard Henry, the seventh Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Calgary well and truly lost it. Henry wrote a pastoral letter denouncing Education Minister David Eggen’s “edict” that public, Catholic, French and charter school boards must support LBTQ students who wish to form gay-straight alliances (GSAs) and ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: What new laws did Alberta’s NDP Government pass in 2015?

The fall session of the Alberta Legislature ended last week and MLAs will now spend the next few weeks working in their constituencies until the Assembly returns in early 2016. The Assembly passed nine pieces of legislation introduced by Alberta’s… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Putting protection of sexual & gender minorities back on the agenda at provincial school boards meeting

Amid allegations of financial misspending and a lack of transparency, representatives from sixty-one elected Public, Catholic, and Francophone school boards from across Alberta will gather at the fall general meeting of the Alberta School Boards Association on November 15, 16 and… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Mulcair and Trudeau show Alberta some love in the final days of Election 2015. Where’s Harper?

There is no longer any doubt that Alberta is an important battleground in this federal election campaign. While Conservatives will dominate in the provincial seat count, the Liberals and NDP believe they are in a position to win competitive races in Edmonton… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: NDP needs to explain why they changed their mind on Carbon Capture and Storage

“The Tories have bet $2 billion taxpayer dollars and our oil and gas industry’s sustainability on CCS. There’s no scientific consensus that the technology is safe in the long term. Any report of a failed CCS project should have the… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Alberta’s NDP needs to react more quickly, plus throw the Tories under the bus where they belong

PHOTOS: Carbon capture: The oil company executive in the bow tie places the carbon in a bottle, which is then stored underground by his corporation for billions of dollars. Or something like that. If the bottle breaks, of course, we’re screwed! Actual carbon capture schemes may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Premier Rachel Notley, ...

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Federal Candidate Nomination Update in Alberta

Preparation for the 2015 federal election continues as parties nominate their candidates in Alberta’s 34 ridings. The Conservatives and Liberals have most of their candidates in place, with the New Democratic Party now holding a flurry of nomination meetings across the… Continue Reading →

daveberta.ca - Alberta Politics: Notley NDP waste no time implementing popular progressive agenda in former conservative heartland

Banning corporate and union donations: Check. Restoring funding to health, education and human services: Check. Increasing corporate taxes: Check. Introducing a new climate change strategy: Coming soon. Phasing in a $15 per hour minimum wage: Coming soon. Reviewing Alberta’s natural resource… Continue Reading →

Alberta Politics: Sunshine, ice cream and a mellow multitude of 10,000 or so usher in the NDP era in Alberta

PHOTOS: Here’s my shot of the crowd as it began to break up after the ceremony had ended and I’d managed to run upstream to the steps of the Legislature. The Canadian Press photo below shows what the crowd looked like as Premier Rachel Notley and her cabinet were sworn in half hour or so ...