Susan on the Soapbox: The Emotional Mr Kenney

“When it comes to politics, all I can offer is emotion.”  — David Sedaris, author of numerous books including “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” If we didn’t know any better we’d think David Sedaris was talking about Jason Kenney. Mr Kenney is campaigning hard to become Alberta’s next premier.  His stump speeches hit all the ...

Alberta Politics: With three right-wing political parties now possible instead of one, has Jason Kenney’s roll of the dice crapped out?

PHOTOS: Jason Kenney, as he may see himself, gets ready to roll the unite-the-right dice. Actual Alberta conservative politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated. (Photo: Publicity shot for Sky Full of Moon, 1952.) Below: The real Mr. Kenney, plus the real Katherine O’Neill, Greg Clark and Stephen Mandel. Snake eyes? Jason Kenney rolled the ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: All roads lead to Red Deer and the Alberta Party for homeless politicos

Red Deer and the Alberta Party are frequent destinations for disaffected politicos in search of a new political home. Led by former Progressive Conservative Party president Katherine O’Neill and backed by former cabinet minister Stephen Mandel, disaffected Tories are booking their trip to the central Alberta city this weekend to discuss bringing centrists “together,” presumably under the ...

Alberta Politics: Saskatchewan credit rating downgraded for second time by Standard & Poor’s and all we hear are crickets!

PHOTOS: It’s quiet here on Crickets Avenue. Don’t expect a Wildrose of PC press release to come along any time soon. (Photo: Billy Hathorn, Wikimedia Commons) Below: Standard & Poor’s headquarters in New York City (Photo: Uncredited, Wikimedia Commons); Brad Wall, the real leader of Western Canada, or so they say. (Photo: Daniel Paquet, Wikimedia ...

Alberta Politics: The full-court press is now under way to get Canadians ship their tax dollars to right-wing ‘legacy’ media

PHOTOS: Canada’s newspaper publishers are finally getting a grip on how to deal with this new-fangled technology stuff, like that Internet thing. Just pick up the phone and get the federal government to give you money! Below: Postmedia columnist Andrew Coyne, Postmedia CEO Paul Godfrey, former Globe and CBC journalist Paul Adams, and Liberal Prime ...

Alberta Politics: Environmentalist Tzeporah Berman, who gave as good as she got, leaves Alberta oilsands advisory role

PHOTOS: Former Oil Sands Advisory Group member Tzeporah Berman. Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Progressive Conservative Legislative Caucus Leader Ric McIver, and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips. Tzeporah Berman, the high-profile environmentalist who became a lightning rod for right-wing fury at Alberta’s NDP, is no longer advising Premier Rachel Notley’s Government. A Canadian Press story yesterday ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Alberta Conservatives now appear less united than they have in years

Progressive Conservative leader Jason Kenney took aim at the New Democratic Party and Alberta’s teachers this week, claiming that both groups are planning to hijack the July 22 vote to fold his party and the Wildrose Party into a new United Conservative Party. Kenney’s claims are unsubstantiated and are likely a distraction from the unity ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: There are 124 days left until Edmonton’s Municipal Elections

There are 124 days left until the October 2017 municipal elections in Edmonton. Here are some of the latest updates to the list of candidates running in Edmonton’s municipal election for City Council: Alex McFarlane is running in Ward 5. Kirsten Goa and James Kowosan are running in Ward 8. Goa is the Advisory Committee Community ...

Alberta Politics: Recommendations of independent review of Athabasca University seem unlikely to survive Alberta political reality

PHOTOS: University of Saskatchewan Professor Ken Coates, author of the independent review of Athabasca University released last week. Below: Athabasca U President Neil Fassina, AU Board Chair Vivian Manasc, and Alberta Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt. Recent news reports about the continuing woes of Athabasca University and in particular coverage last week of Professor Ken ...

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: Tee times and cowboys trump Pride when jittery Alberta conservative politicians join the parade

PHOTOS: Participants in last year’s Edmonton Pride Parade as it made its way through the leafy streets of Rachel Notley’s Edmonton-Strathcona riding. They don’t look very dangerous, do they? Below: The missing men – Wildrose Leader Brian Jean and Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney (Photo: Wildrose Party), plus Oscar Wilde and a participant in the ...

Alberta Politics: Mapping the ‘Kleintastrophe’ – veteran journalist and researcher tracks energy policies of past Alberta PC governments

PHOTOS: Alberta premier Ralph Klein at the start of the Kleintastrophe in 1992. (Screenshot of CBC broadcast.) Below: Calgary journalist and researcher Gillian Steward, former Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft, the best premier Alberta never had, and would-be United Conservative Party leadership candidate Doug Schweitzer. As the years Ralph Klein headed Alberta’s government recede into ...

Alberta Politics: Finally, early in the 21st Century, NDP braves Opposition outrage to drag Alberta labour law into the late 20th Century

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Opposition MLAs Greg Clark and Richard Starke, who contributed amends to the act passed in the wee hours of yesterday morning. In the wee hours of yesterday morning, the NDP MLAs in the Alberta Legislature dragged the province’s labour laws into the late 20th Century – with MLAs ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrose to members: Want to break a law? No problem! We’ll just get elected and change it

PHOTOS: The Alberta Legislature, about the best your blogger can do on the road to illustrate this illustration-resistant story (Photo: Wikimedia Commons). Below: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney and Wildrose Treasurer James Cole, every one of them people mentioned in this story of whom photos exist. CALGARY It turns out the ...

Alberta Politics: David Khan elected to lead Alberta Liberals 100 years less a day after party’s last election victory

PHOTOS: New Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan, at left, in a hopelessly self-referential photo with your blogger. (Photo: Dave Cournoyer.) Below: Liberal leadership candidate Kerry Cundal, leadership dropout Nolan Crouse and would-be centre uniter Stephen Mandel. CALGARY Members of the Alberta Liberal Party elected David Khan to what has to be among the toughest political ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: David Khan wins leadership of obscure Liberal Party

Photo: Liberal Party executive director Gwyneth Midgley and newly elected party leader David Khan (photo from March 2017). Calgary – In a battle of Calgary lawyers, David Khan defeated Kerry Cundal to become the next leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. Khan earned 54 percent of the vote in the two-person race, though the party has not ...

Alberta Politics: If failure to appear at Pride goeth before a fall, what will Jason Kenney do?

PHOTOS: Progressive Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, back in 2010 when he was a Calgary MP, taking part in the Calgary Stampede Parade. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons.) Will he show up for the Edmonton Pride Parade next Saturday as well? Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, flanked by Education Minister David Eggen and Economic Development and Trade Minister ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Looking past pipelines, the NDP-Green agreement looks pretty good for BC

“Mark my words, that pipeline will be built, the decisions have been made.” – Alberta Premier Rachel Notley Alberta politicians, media and pundits are unsurprisingly focused on what the governing agreement between British Columbia New Democratic Party leader John Horgan and Green Party leader Andrew Weaver will mean for the future of the Kinder Morgan ...

Accidental Deliberations: New column day

Here, on how several other provinces are setting new (and necessary standards) for worker protections while Saskatchewan falls further behind. For further reading…– Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review is here (in full), and here (in summary form). CBC reports on Kathleen Wynne’s subsequent minimum wage announcement, while Sheila Block crunches the numbers on how it will ...

Alberta Politics: Report questioning tidewater premium for Alberta petroleum undermines a powerful narrative … expect fireworks

PHOTOS: No Smoking … no kidding! An oil tanker sits in a Spanish port. B.C. environmentalists don’t want to see scenes like this on their coast. (Photo: Wikipedia Commons) A lot of Albertans believe they’re going to have to. Below: Report Author David Hughes and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. Whether or not it is actually ...

Alberta Politics: Genial and in control, Alberta premier fields questions about B.C. politics with aplomb at hospital announcement

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Health Minister and Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman announce a new hospital on Edmonton’s south side. Alberta Health services CEO Verna Yiu is visible on the right. Below: Infrastructure Minister Brian Mason, controversial B.C. environmentalist Tzeporah Berman and some of the crowd at the hospital announcement. We may have been ...

Alberta Politics: How but as a leadership campaign brochure are we to interpret Derek Fildebrandt’s paean to ‘Max’ Bernier?

PHOTOS: Derek Fildebrandt, the Alberta Wildrose Party’s finance critic and, possibly, third unofficial candidate to enter the non-race to lead the still-nonexistent United Conservative Party. Below: Maxime Bernier (Photo: CBC), who is apparently Mr. Fildebrandt’s ideological hero, and British Columbia NDP Leader John Horgan, who seems very close to grasping the first-ministerial brass ring in ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Bill 17: A Unicorn or a Chimera?

Last week the NDP government introduced the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17).  It’s intended to update workplace legislation that became increasingly outdated under Progressive Conservative rule. Premier Notley describes Bill 17 as a balanced middle of the road approach.  The Opposition is says it’s a “union-friendly omnibus bill” that should be split in ...

Alberta Politics: Wildrosers and Progressive Conservatives act as if fighting the NDP’s workplace fairness law is their hill to die on

PHOTOS: Edmonton labour lawyer Andrew Sims and Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray at yesterday’s technical briefing on the NDP Government’s new labour legislation. (Photo: CBC) Below: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, and Alberta Liberal interim Leader David Swann and Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark, both of whom supported introduction of the bill despite opposition on first ...

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: NDP finally introduce their Labour Law modernization bill

Labour Minister Christina Gray introduced Bill 17, the Fair and Family-friendly Workplaces Act, into the Legislative Assembly today. This bill includes long-awaited reforms to modernize Alberta’s Labour Code and Employment Standards Code. Some parts of Alberta’s labour laws have remained untouched since the 1970s. The 249-page bill includes a wide-range of amendments from improving maternity leave and compassionate ...