Susan on the Soapbox: A Pop Quiz

Ms Soapbox is shocked. She just returned from the Alberta Teachers’ Association Summer Summit on Public Education and discovered that she knows far less about education and teaching in Alberta than she thought she did. What education looks like today So pop quiz!  (Stop grumbling, many politicians are pontificating about the state of education in ...

Alberta Politics: UCP leaders edge away from Rebel Media after NDP House Leader rips their cozy past with alt-right group

PHOTOS: NDP House Leader Brian Mason, one of the fiercest fighters in Premier Rachel Notley’s government, ripped into UCP leadership contenders Jason Kenney and Brian Jean yesterday for their long association with Rebel Media. Below: Mr. Kenney, Mr. Jean, media accreditation report author Heather Boyd, and Alberta Legislative Press Gallery President Dean Bennett. Now that ...

Alberta Politics: High-profile MLA Derek Fildebrandt, embroiled in embarrassing revelations, falls on his sword, quits UCP caucus

PHOTOS: Derek Fildebrandt buying extra fuel for his big red Ford pickup truck on New Year’s Eve 2016 to illustrate how much more gasoline was going to cost after the NDP’s carbon tax took effect the next morning. (Photo from the politician’s Facebook page.) Prices immediately went down. It turns out the Ford also figures ...

Alberta Politics: Guest Post: UCP polarization of Alberta politics neutralizes the language of right-wing extremism

PHOTOS: Young anti-Bill 6 protesters interviewed by a reporter at the Alberta Legislature in November 2015. Note the overheated genocide rhetoric in the sign at bottom right. Below: More extreme rhetoric from the same event; commentators Barret Weber, the author of this post, Naomi Lakritz, and Ricardo Acuña. Guest Post by Barret Weber Last weekend’s ...

Alberta Politics: Candidate’s proposal to kick B.C. out of New West Partnership is likely to delight West Coast Dippers

PHOTOS: UCP leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer, grabbed from his campaign website. Below: B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan (Wikimedia Commons), Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and former WCP president Jeff Callaway. Supporters of United Conservative Party leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer shouldn’t get their hopes up that threatening to kick British Columbia out of the New West ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Rebel Media becomes a wedge issue in the United Conservative Party leadership race

This weekend’s violent march of Nazis and white supremacists through the streets of Charlotteville, Virginia made international headlines and also had repercussions for the United Conservative Party leadership race in Alberta. Leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer, a Calgary lawyer who is trying to position himself as a social moderate in the contest, used this weekend’s dark ...

Susan on the Soapbox: What a Week

The week started out strange and got a whole lot stranger. Derek Fildebrandt’s Bev Oda moment This week we learned that Derek Fildebrandt Airbnb-ed his taxpayer subsidized apartment, pocketed the cash and claimed the full rental expense in his housing allowance. Most people would call it double dipping but Mr Fildebrandt said it was a ...

Alberta Politics: Derek Fildebrandt’s mini-Skypalace: proof Tory entitlement is still a thing in Alberta

PHOTOS: A scene from Derek Fildebrandt’s mini-Skypalace, the taxpayer subsidized Fildepartment in downtown Edmonton, grabbed from his Airbnb listing. Note the binoculars to the right of the window, presumably used for spotting examples of taxpayer dollars being wasted in the high-rises beyond. Below: The Fildebed, the Fildecloset, the Fildepot and the Fildebrandt. Can you imagine ...

Alberta Politics: Thank goodness for people like Derek Fildebrandt, without whom the dog days of summer would be dreary indeed!

PHOTOS: Derek Fildebrandt in full rhetorical flight before, obviously, a friendly audience. (Screen shot from … wherever.) There goes the author’s theory that just using an Apple computer makes you a better person! Below: Your blogger’s overused photos of UCP leadership candidates Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, a stock shot of hopeful Doug Schweitzer, grabbed ...

Alberta Politics: Would Jason Kenney kill the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion for short-term political gain in Alberta? Just askin’

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney, at left, in his fevered imagination, visits the Alberta Army on the B.C. front. (Photo of an actual event, heaven only knows what, grabbed from Mr. Kenney’s Twitter feed.) Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, B.C. Premier John Horgan, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, all of them keeping calm and carrying on. Each ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney: Servant Leader…what?

Now isn’t this a conundrum… The impetus to unite the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative parties was the assumption that only a united conservative party could beat the NDP in the next election. The two parties united and now the polls are showing that any one of the UCP leadership candidates, Jason Kenney, Brian Jean, ...

Alberta Politics: Groovy! It’s the Summer of Love for the UCP! Should the NDP despair? Not really

PHOTOS: Cool, man, it’s the Summer of Love! Alberta’s conservatives, grooving to the beat of the Jason Kenney Experience, say: Tune in, turn on, and (if you’re a progressive voter) drop out! (Photo found on the Internet; source not indicated.) Below: Pollster Quito Maggi, United Conservative Party leadership hopeful Jason Kenney, and Alberta Premier Rachel ...

Alberta Politics: Nobody can wreck an economy faster than an elected New Democrat, and that’s a Certified Kenney Fact!

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney, candidate to lead the United Conservative Party of Alberta, perhaps thinking up another Certified Kenney Fact. Below: B.C. NDP Premier John Horgan, former Saskatchewan premiers Roy Romanow, a New Democrat, and Grant Devine (CBC photo), a Conservative, and federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, a Liberal. According to Jason Kenney, nobody can ...

Alberta Politics: Never mind the Ottawa bashing, Jason Kenney launches bid to lead UCP pitching coded woo to religious right

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney makes it official he’s running to lead Alberta’s United Conservative Party at Edmonton’s Italian Cultural Centre yesterday (Photo: Radio Canada). Below: NDP Premier Rachel Notley and Education Minister David Eggen. How soon before Jason Kenney makes permitting the teaching of “creation science” in Alberta schools a formal promise to the religious social ...

Alberta Politics: Brian Jean vows to lead Alberta back into the health care wilderness where we wandered with Ralph Klein

PHOTOS: Calgary General Hospital at the moment it was blown to smithereens in November 1992 by Ralph Klein’s conservative government (Photo: City of Calgary). Below: Outgoing Wildrose leader and United Conservative Party leadership candidate Brian Jean, former Alberta Health Services CEO Vickie Kaminski and current AHS CEO Verna Yiu. Outgoing Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, who ...

Alberta Politics: Former PC leadership candidate Richard Starke to UCP Mothership: A PC I was elected and a PC I’ll remain!

Photos: Vermilion-Lloydminster Progressive Conservative PC MLA and former Tory cabinet minister Richard Starke. (Photo from Dr. Starke’s Facebook page.) Below: Alberta conservative rivals and temporary co-leaders, Brian Jean and Jason Kenney (Photos: CBC); Wildrose House Leader and interim United Conservative Party Leader Nathan Cooper (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). Richard Starke, it turns out, is not just ...

Susan on the Soapbox: UCP Merger…a message from the this-could-get-ugly department

Jason Kenney is busy ticking off the boxes in his quest to be the next premier of Alberta: Become the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party—check. Maneuver Brian Jean (WR) into accepting a merger proposal—check. Merge the PC and WR parties into the United Conservative Party—check. Become the leader of the UCP—ongoing. Lead the UCP ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose and PC party members alike vote 95% in favour of Alberta conservative merger

PHOTOS: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, who says he will resign as Alberta Opposition leader to pursue the leadership of the United Conservative Party, creation of which endorsed by members of the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative in a merger vote yesterday. Below: PC Leader Jason Kenney, who hasn’t yet said when he’ll announce his ...

Alberta Politics: Sounds of PINs dropping audible all over Alberta as Wildrose unity vote descends into farce

PHOTOS: Wildrose Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt and Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney in a chummy moment (grabbed from Facebook). Below: Wildrose Party President Jeff Callaway and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean (Photos: CBC). You could hear PINs dropping all over Alberta yesterday. With Alberta’s Wildrose Party members scheduled to vote today, and today only, on unity ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Wildrose-PC merger a big deal, but not a silver bullet for 2019

Albertans will find out on July 22 whether members of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties have voted to amend their party constitutions in order to abandon their existing parties and form a new party named the United Conservative Party. For the vote to pass, it will need the support of 75 percent of Wildrose ...

Alberta Politics: On Jason Kenney’s Progressive Conservative leadership victory: big money guys finish first (nice guys, not so much)

PHOTOS: Tory volunteers and armed guards move cash into Jason Kenney’s campaign vault. Actual Progressive Conservative bag people and security measures may not appear exactly as illustrated. (Photo … dimly recalled when needed … University of Victoria Archives.) Below: Alberta Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney and badly outspent leadership contender Richard Starke. Jason Kenney has ...

Alberta Politics: The race is on … unity voting starts tomorrow and UCP candidates are already at the clubhouse turn

PHOTOS: The race is on and it looks like … “a dangerous leader.” (Old horseracing print with that title found on the Internet, artist unknown.) Below: Would-be United Conservative Party leaders Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer and Derek Fildebrandt. Calling an effort to merge two large mammals into a single beast “a horserace” may ...

Susan on the Soapbox: The Communists are Coming!

Jason Kenney says he has not heard a “single voice of opposition” to the unification of the Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties except for “a communist professor from the University of Lethbridge”. Wait, what?  Public political discourse The philosopher Jason Stanley says the most important political ideals in a liberal democracy are liberty, freedom and ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Another Season of Stampede Politicking in Calgary

Politicians of all stripes descended on Alberta’s largest city this week for the annual Calgary Stampede festivities. Though most of them have probably never ridden a horse or woke up at 5am (or earlier) to start their day on the farm, they were almost all brandishing big shiny belt buckles, wrangler-style shirts and cowboy hats ...

Alberta Politics: Jason Kenney’s Conservatives extend their registration deadline for unity vote

PHOTOS: Yo, Jason! Voting so easy, you can phone it in from the Okanagan! Or not. Below: Progressive Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney and PC Referendum Committee Chair Casey DesChamp (Photo: LinkedIn). Jason Kenney’s Progressive Conservative Party told members yesterday it has extended the deadline for members to register to vote on merging with the ...