Alberta Politics: Media readers deserve the whole story about the sources reporters quote in public policy stories

PHOTOS: The question isn’t just whether Alberta’s students are getting the information they need, but whether media is giving the rest of us all the facts we require when we read news stories about education policy. Below: Former Edmonton Public Schools curriculum director Stuart Wachowicz, a frequent source used in columns by Edmonton Journal writer ...

Alberta Politics: Holy smoke! Saskatchewan court’s Catholic education ruling is a bombshell

PHOTOS: Calgary Catholic School District headquarters (Screen grab from Google Street View). Below: Mr. Justice Donald Layh being sworn in in 2014 (Yorkton Today), Edmonton Catholic School District Headquarters, Edmonton Public School Trustee Michael Janz. Holy smoke! The ruling Thursday by a Saskatchewan judge that the province’s government may no longer legally fund non-Catholic students ...

Alberta Politics: One big problem for Alberta’s ‘unite-the-centre’ effort: the NDP already occupies that space

PHOTO: Stephen Mandel, would-be uniter of Alberta’s “centre,” when he was a Tory minister. The effort by a group of politicians previously associated with the Progressive Conservative, Liberal and Alberta parties to “unite the centre” suggests divisive social conservative doctrines that increasingly dominate the Wildrose and PC parties are starting to seriously worry economic conservatives. ...

Alberta Politics: One big problem for Alberta’s ‘unite-the-centre’ effort: the NDP already occupies that space

PHOTO: Stephen Mandel, would-be uniter of Alberta’s “centre,” when he was a Tory minister. April 19, 2017 – The effort by a group of politicians previously associated with the Progressive Conservative, Liberal and Alberta parties to “unite the centre” suggests divisive social conservative doctrines that increasingly dominate the Wildrose and PC parties are starting to ...

Alberta Politics: The Week in Review: We know where the Wildrosers are, but where’s Jason?

ILLUSTRATIONS: Where’s Jason? If anyone spots PC Leader Jason Kenney, who doesn’t have to show up in the Legislature because he’s not an MLA, please let a responsible grownup know. Below: Education Minister David Eggen and Opposition Leader Brian Jean. There’s no doubt about where Mr. Jean will be found, although there’s some question about ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta’s Conservatives are obsessed with Gay-Straight Alliances

Following Progressive Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney’s comments to the Calgary Postmedia editorial board fifteen days ago when he came out in favour of allowing schools to inform parents when students join a student-initiated Gay-Straight Alliance club, Alberta’s conservative politicians have tied themselves in knots over the issue. Gay-Straight Alliances are student-initiated clubs meant empower students to create safe environments ...

Alberta Politics: Message to Jason Kenney: Alberta changed while you were away being a big shot in Ottawa!

PHOTOS: Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney. Why does this man look so puzzled? Below: Entertainer k.d. lang; the late Ralph Klein, premier of Alberta when Jason Kenney left for Ottawa; Edmonton Journal columnist Paul Simons; and Nolan Crouse, until yesterday the only candidate to lead the Alberta Liberal Party. When Jason Kenney stepped onto the ...

Alberta Politics: Education Minister deserves high marks for ordering recalcitrant religious schools to obey GSA law, but more is needed

PHOTOS: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen. Below: Edmonton lawyer Dan Scott, Kristopher Wells of the U of A’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services and Brian Coldwell of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society. Sometimes a government just needs to do the right thing and let the chips fall where they may. Alberta Education ...

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 ...