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: 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 ...

Alberta Politics: Big changes coming to academic faculty, graduate student and postdoctoral bargaining rights in Alberta

PHOTOS: Could we someday see scenes like this one at Boston University in 1979 at an Alberta University? The late Howard Zinn, author of the People’s History of the United States (banned in Arkansas), is visible, quite naturally, I suppose, near the front on the left. (Photo from the Boston Public Library.) Below: Alberta Advanced ...

Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney and the GSA reverse-tip-line brouhaha: Is this conservative turning into the Anita Bryant of Canada?

PHOTOS: Is Jason Kenney turning into Canada’s Anita Bryant? Actual Canadian politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.) Below: The real Jason Kenney, and singer-songwriters k.d. lang and Boy George. Is Jason Kenney turning into the Anita Bryant of Canada? If you’re of a certain age, you won’t be able to forget ...

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: Despite Opposition demands, Alberta NDP says no to risky conservative ideological experiments in its 2017 budget

PHOTOS: Finance Minister Joe Ceci. Below: Interim Progressive Conservative Ric McIver showing off his Three Stooges tie, the sale of which puts the gross in Gross National Product; Opposition Leader Brian Jean; and Alberta Liberal interim Leader David Swann. “Admit it, Alberta, after yesterday afternoon’s Budget Speech was read by Finance Minister Joe Ceci, you ...

Alberta Politics: School bus rides may not be free, as interim Tory leader reminds us, but we all benefit when we share the cost

PHOTOS: Former Progressive Conservative premier Jim Prentice and interim PC leader Ric McIver, back in 2015. Both men, one could argue, found math could be hard. Below: NDP Premier Rachel Notley and PC premier Ralph Klein. “There’s no such thing as a free ride to school on a bus.” — Progressive Conservative interim Leader Ric ...

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: Advocates of more choice in education unite to condemn public school board chair’s call for more choice in education

PHOTOS: Edmonton Public School Board Chair Michael Janz, at the podium and on the job. Below: Canadian Taxpayers Federation Communications Vice-President Scott Henning, Parents for Choice in Education Director Donna Trimble, and the Edmonton Christian High School, which is run under the auspices of the EPSB. Conservative politicians, their vocal supporters, private school operators, separate ...

Alberta Politics: Athabasca U’s future seems brighter as Saskatchewan prof named to conduct sustainability review

PHOTOS: The participants in this morning’s Athabasca University news conference in Edmonton. From left to right: Saskatchewan Professor Ken Coates, Athabasca University Board Chair Margaret Mrazek, Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt and AU President Neil Fassina. Below: A closer look at Mr. Schmidt’s new beard; newly appointed Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson; and cabinet troubleshooter ...

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: Fred Henry, departing Catholic bishop, held strong pro-labour stance in addition to controversial social conservative views

PHOTOS: Frederick Henry during his 19 years as Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary. (Screen shot from a diocese video.) Below: Two scenes from the picket line at the Calgary Herald during the 1999-2000 strike. In the first, striker Murdoch Macleod and others bravely face down a truck trying to drive across the ...

Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney states his support for public funding of home-schooling, parents’ right to veto sex education, and more

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney … he’s got some thoughts on education and we thought you might like to know what they are (CBC photo). Below: Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, Progress Alberta Executive Director Duncan Kinney and defiant Pastor Brian Coldwell of Parents for Choice in Education. Where does Jason Kenney stand on important issues in ...

Alberta Politics: Thinking about my dad on the 100th anniversary of his birth and Canada’s need for public post-secondary education

PHOTOS: My dad, John L. Climenhaga, as a University of Saskatchewan undergraduate. Below: My father, in the foreground, circa 1917, about the time the asteroid now named Climenhaga in his honour was discovered, and, many years later, in his modest office at the University of Victoria. Below those shots, the Climenhaga Observatory on the roof ...

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: Alberta Advanced Education Ministry now maintaining close watch on Athabasca University

PHOTOS: A recent newspaper ad seeking a new board chair for Athabasca University. Below: Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt at the Legislature on Budget Day; Athabasca MLA Colin Piquette; and Athabasca University interim President Peter MacKinnon (CBC photo). When we last talked about the Athabasca University saga on March 3, the distance-education institution based in ...

Alberta Politics: Below the radar: Athabasca University and St. Albert quietly discuss partnership to develop joint office space near Edmonton

PHOTOS: St. Albert City Hall on a nice warm summer night, as seen from the possible location of a joint office building that’s been discussed by the city and Athabasca University. Below: The sign welcoming visitors to Athabasca University in the Town of Athabasca and the sign at the entrance to the city of St. ...

Alberta Diary: Maneuver to derail Alberta gay-straight alliance bill shows Prentice Tories will tolerate bullying for political gain

Laurie Blakeman, veteran Alberta Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Centre, flanked by a couple of her friends at the 2014 Edmonton Pride Parade. Below: Premier Jim Prentice and Education Minister Gordon Dirks. By choosing yesterday to put the right of citizens to use their religious beliefs as an excuse for bigotry on the same level as the ...

Alberta Diary: Welcome to Alberta, where, baby, these are the days of miracles and wonders…

Conservative political leaders distribute loaves and fishes, part of the school lunch program planned for the hundreds of new schools that will be popping up overnight out here in Alberta. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Premier Jim Prentice, Opposition Leader Danielle Smith and Education Minister Gordon Dirks, all ...

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 ...

Trashy's World: Friday miscellany…

…#tellviceverything edition! My son and I were hit by a stomach bug the other night so we spent the day yesterday comfortably at home. It afforded me the opportunity to follow a Twitter hashtag called #tellviceverything. This was aimed at Justice Minister Vic Toews, who has been trumpeting the virtues of Bill C 30… which ...