Alberta Politics: Which way will the wedge slice? Alberta NDP and UCP adopt opposite strategies on gay-straight alliances

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney may be the UCP’s leader now, but he’s still doing his best to appeal to his red-meat social conservative base. (Photo: Dave Cournoyer, Daveberta.ca.) Below: NDP Education Minister David Eggen, NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and UCP House Leader Jason Nixon. The impassioned, at times bitter, tone of the debate over the latest ...

Alberta Politics: This week at the UCP: huge cuts, social conservative sins, and complaints of fractious fibs dominate the conversation

PHOTOS: A screenshot of United Conservative Party leadership frontrunner Jason Kenney as he appeared during his Internet town hall Tuesday. Below: UCP leadership contenders Doug Schweitzer and Brian Jean, U of A Professor Russell Cobb and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Jason Kenney, front-running candidate to lead Alberta’s United Conservative Party, doesn’t put very much ...

Alberta Politics: Jim Dinning 6.0: how Jason Kenney is repeating the same failed Tory strategy, and expecting different results

PHOTOS: Singer k.d. lang (handout photo, via CBC). Below: Jim Dinning 1.0 and Jim Dinning 6.0. Is it just me, or is it mildly surprising that Jason Kenney turned down k.d. lang’s offer of free tickets to Calgary Pride on Sept. 3 and 4? Mr. Kenney, of course, is the former Ottawa insider, Harper Government ...

Alberta Politics: Year after year, about now, Alberta conservatives shoot themselves in the same foot

PHOTOS: Then-Wildrose MLAs Kerry Towle, leader Danielle Smith and Jeff Wilson (in Wildrose T-shirts behind the sign) take part in the August 2014 Calgary Pride parade. Below: Wildrose staffer Cory Johnston, current party leader Brian Jean, former leader Smith (Photo: Dave Cournoyer) and Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley. Bottom: Calgary blogger Susan Wright. Plus ca ...

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: 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: Both women in the race to lead the Alberta PC Party drop out; one cites harassment and intimidation

PHOTOS: Sandra Jansen, MLA for Calgary-North West, who dropped out of the race to lead the Alberta PCs yesterday. Below: Donna Kennedy-Glans, former Calgary MLA, who did the same thing; political strategist Stephen Carter; PC candidate Jason Kenney. The story is not likely to get the attention it deserves amid the uproar inevitably surrounding the ...

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. ...

Bill Longstaff: Corporations bully the bigots

A number of southern U.S. states have adopted or are considering laws allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender people. They are now being faced with consequences delivered by some of the biggest names in corporate America. For example, Pay Pal recently announced that an expansion it was planning for Charlotte, North ...

Bill Longstaff: Corporations bully the bigots

A number of southern U.S. states have adopted or are considering laws allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender people. They are now being faced with consequences delivered by some of the biggest names in corporate America. For example, Pay Pal recently announced that an expansion it was planning for Charlotte, North ...

Bill Longstaff: Corporations bully the bigots

A number of southern U.S. states have adopted or are considering laws allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate against gay, lesbian and transgender people. They are now being faced with consequences delivered by some of the biggest names in corporate America. For example, Pay Pal recently announced that an expansion it was planning for Charlotte, North ...

Bill Longstaff: Bishop Henry pontificates on LGBTQ rights

The Alberta government has established LGBTQ guidelines for the province’s schools. This story would not be complete without comments from Calgary’s Bishop Fred Henry. The good bishop has excoriated the guidelines as “anti-Catholic” and “totalitarian.” He claims that Catholic schools, which will be subject to the guidelines, already require that all students be equally respected. ...

Alberta Diary: Insufficient data, bad planning and so-con overreach help explain Prentice Government’s gay-straight-alliance gong show

Led by Premier Jim Prentice, members of the PC cabinet try to get away from the issue of gay-straight alliances in Alberta schools. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice, Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman and caucus rebel Thomas Lukaszuk. The spectacular incompetence exhibited by the Prentice Government in ...

Alberta Diary: Bill 10 gong show’s bungled effort to pander to PC Party’s worst elements proves Jim Prentice is no political superman

Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, as he appeared to almost everyone until yesterday, except there are no ships here in Alberta, which is why we need all those pipelines. Below: Education Minister Gordon Dirks; humiliated PC MLA Sandra Jansen, official sponsor of Bill 10; and Liberal MLA and Bill 202 sponsor Laurie Blakeman. If the gong ...

Alberta Diary: ‘Balancing’ rights? Just what rights are being balanced here? The Prentice Government’s Bill 10 is a disgrace

Premier Jim Prentice, with pointer, instructs his Progressive Conservative caucus on how they will vote on Bill 10. Actual docile PC caucus members may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Prentice and Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman as she blows the whistle on homophobia in Alberta schools. Last week, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice ...

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: The bloom is off the (Wild)rose – Opposition Leader Danielle Smith assailed by doubts, dissent and departures

Are the wheels falling off the Wildrose bus, which may or may not look exactly as illustrated any more? Below: Beleaguered Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith, Taber-Warner-Cardston MLA Gary Bikman and Wildrose House Leader Rob Anderson. These may be happy days for the Progressive Conservatives under Premier Jim Prentice, but the bloom is definitely off Alberta’s ...

Alberta Diary: Unelected and unknown education minister looms as first major blunder of Jim Prentice’s New Tory Government

Still on track? Jim Prentice’s New Tory Government experiences its first full day of governing. Below: Unelected Education Minister Gordon Dirks. The appointment of Gordon Dirks as unelected minister of education by Premier Jim Prentice on his first day in office has the potential to become the first serious political blunder of Alberta’s New Tory ...

Alberta Diary: Pride flags over Alberta: for real, or a cynical commitment of convenience that’s a mile wide and an inch deep?

A rainbow banner flies alongside the city, Alberta and Canadian flags at the city hall of St. Albert, Alberta, last weekend. Below: A really great pride banner spotted during a recent Pride Week in Vancouver.  Fourteen years ago, the Alberta provincial government led by Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein was convulsed with controversy at the ...

350 or bust: Saturday At The Movies

In this video that’s gone viral, Reverend Phil Snyder makes a presentation in Springfield, Missouri where the city council is debating whether or not to add LGBTQ folks to the equal rights laws in the city. Watch the whole video – there’s a twist at the end that you won’t want to miss.