Alberta Politics: Right-wing propaganda instantly pivots to explain away progressive successes Monday in Alberta municipal elections

PHOTOS: Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who overcame a full-blown attack by all the usual suspects on the right in Monday’s Alberta-wide municipal elections, addressing the biennial convention  of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions in Calgary in June. Below: Bill Smith, Mr. Nenshi’s main conservative challenger, who didn’t do as well as some polls forecast, ...

Alberta Politics: In a pragmatic move, Premier Rachel Notley appoints former Tory minister from Calgary to infrastructure portfolio

PHOTOS: Newly appointed NDP Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen speaks during yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Edmonton. With her are new Parliamentary Secretaries Jessica Littlewood and Annie McKitrick, left and right, and Premier Rachel Notley (Photo: Government of Alberta). Below: Pierre Trudeau and Peter Lougheed, looking pretty friendly for all the hype, UCP MLA ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose leader complains UCP voting system may be rigged, and not in his favour

PHOTOS: Then Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean, holding microphone, addressing an anti-carbon-tax, anti-Bill-6, anti-etc. rally on the steps of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton in December 2016. The visible sign may or may not have represented the opinion of more than one participant in the event. (Photo grabbed from Daveberta.ca.) Below: Mr. Jean and his ...

Alberta Politics: Two departures – of an NDP MLA and a UCP leadership candidate – pop up on Alberta’s political radar

PHOTOS: Former NDP MLA Karen McPherson, who has asked to sit as the Independent representative for her Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill riding (Photo: Bob Hawkesworth). Below: Former United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jeff Callaway (Photo: CBC), the port of Churchill, Man. (Photo: churchillpolarbears.com), and Independent MLA Derek Fildebrandt, the UCP’s answer to Lemony Snicket. There were two ...

Alberta Politics: Don’t expect an NDP cold war between Jagmeet Singh’s federal New Democrats and Rachel Notley’s Alberta caucus

PHOTOS: Jagmeet Singh, whose campaign to lead the national New Democratic Party came to a successful conclusion yesterday. (Photo: NDP.ca.) Below: Alberta NDP Leader and Premier Rachel Notley, former Alberta Progressive Conservative premier Alison Redford, and former Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith. So, it’s Jagmeet Singh, and decisively. But don’t expect many hints from Alberta ...

Alberta Politics: Having no potential national leader obviously helpful to Notley Government may be liberating to Alberta New Democrats

PHOTOS: Candidate Niki Ashton, in Edmonton during the 2012 NDP leadership race. (Photo: Olav Rokne.) Below: Charlie Angus, Jagmeet Singh, Guy Caron and the late Jack Layton. (Photos: All from the Wikimedia Commons.) Like a rural highway through northern Alberta, the federal New Democratic Party’s leadership race has seemed long, slow, and not particularly interesting. ...

Alberta Politics: Between the lines, Calgary MLA Rick Fraser’s UCP resignation letter is an indictment of Wildrose-ified party

PHOTOS: Rick Fraser in a screenshot from the Legislature of Alberta. Below: Legislative loners Greg Clark, David Swann and Richard Starke, Calgary MP Kent Hehr, and environmentalist and former Green Party candidate Chris Turner. Let’s cut to the chase about what Calgary MLA Rick Fraser’s decision to quit the United Conservative Party really means. Mr. ...

Alberta Politics: Alberta Legislature Members’ Services Committee passes ‘Derek’s Rule,’ banning Airbnb rentals of MLA apartments

PHOTOS: Former Wildrose and UCP caucus member Derek Fildebrandt, now an Independent Alberta MLA, in happier times for him when he was an employee of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. Below: UCP interim Leader Nathan Cooper, former Progressive Conservative interim leader Ric McIver, NDP MLA Estefania Cortes-Vargas, and Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Colin Craig. Alberta conservative ...

Alberta Politics: Unable to raise the entry fee, Paul Hinman drops out of UCP leadership race almost as soon as he dropped in

PHOTOS: Would-be/won’t-be UCP leadership candidate Paul Hinman, gone from the contest after the shortest Alberta leadership campaign in living memory, your blogger’s anyway. Below: Jason Kenney and Andy Warhol. Talk about a Minute Man! Paul Hinman, the former Wildrose Alliance leader who ran his flag up the virtual flagpole on Monday with his announcement he ...

Alberta Politics: Political words before elementary school audiences could’ve, should’ve been a teaching moment, literally

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley with the school children at Lois E. Hole Elementary School in St. Albert, before whom she dared to speak political words. (Photo: CBC.) Below: St. City Councillor Sheena Hughes and former Progressive Conservative Alberta premier Alison Redford, who committed the same sin in 2013, and the late Lois Hole, Lieutenant ...

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: Alberta premier’s quietly capable chief of staff, John Heaney, returns to his family and law practice in B.C.

PHOTOS: John Heaney last spring at the Alberta Legislature. Below: Mr. Heaney’s predecessor as Premier Rachel Notley’s chief of staff, Brian Topp, and his successor, Nathan Rotman (Photo: Twitter). The departure of the low-key and highly capable John Heaney as Premier Rachel Notley’s chief of staff will not necessarily become a problem for Alberta’s New ...

Alberta Politics: Time for a changeup? UCP Caucus’s money troubles are funny and ironic, but not enough to win an election for the NDP

PHOTOS: NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman. Is she the best person to hold Alberta’s finance portfolio as Alberta’s 2019 election edges nearer? Below: Finance Minister Joe Ceci and Jason Kenney, the conservative politician most likely to lead the United Conservative Party into the next provincial election. The pecuniary difficulties faced by the new United Conservative ...

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: Breakup on the right? Naw, Canadian conservative politicians’ long romance with the Rebel isn’t over

PHOTOS: Wildrose-UCP MLA Drew Barnes, who still stands with and by Rebel Media, at a protest on the steps of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton in December 2015. Below: Federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer (Photo: Marcos Oliveira, Wikimedia Commons), UCP leadership candidates Jason Kenney and Brian Jean, and Alberta NDP House Leader Brian Mason. With ...

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 ...

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 ...

Alberta Politics: Derek Fildebrandt, UCP ‘liberty’ advocate, calls for return to ugly 1940s labour relations, labour studies professor says

PHOTOS: The late Jim Prentice, during his successful 2014 campaign to lead the Progressive Conservative Party, with supporters in Edmonton. Below: Anti-union “liberty conservative” Derek Fildebrandt, NDP Premier Rachel Notley, and Athabasca University Labour Studies Professor Bob Barnetson. It was probably his “math is hard” moment in a televised debate with NDP Leader Rachel Notley ...

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: 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 ...