Alberta politics this week

Alison Redford Joe Clark Nelson Mandela Alberta Funeral
Former Prime Minister Joe Clark and Premier Alison Redford at Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa this week (photo from Premier Alison Redford’s Facebook Page)

A new provincial cabinet was sworn-in this morning, one a week after the cabinet shuffle was announced. The original announcement, made by press release at the unusual time of 4:45pm on Friday, December 6, was typical of a tactic used by government when it wants a story to be underreported.

After facing a week of stories about unreported deaths in the foster care system and introducing arguably unconstitutional anti-labour laws, it appeared that Premier Alison Redford‘s government was looking to quietly reshuffle the cast of characters involved in those stories. But the week-long delay was caused by Ms. Redford’s trip to South Africa to attend the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela. Upon her return, the new cabinet was sworn-in.

In response to the cabinet shuffle, the Wildrose Official Opposition announced minor adjustments to its critic roster.

Young dropped from cabinet at the last minute

CBC reports that Edmonton-Riverview PC MLA Steve Young has been abruptly dropped from the provincial cabinet over undisclosed allegations dating back to his time as a police officer in Edmonton. In last Friday’s government press release, Mr. Young was announced to become the Associate Minister of Public Safety in Ms. Redford’s cabinet. He previously served as Whip of the PC caucus. Calgary-South East MLA Rick Fraser was appointed as Associate Minister of Public Safety instead.

Ken Hughes Don Iveson Mayor Edmonton Alberta
Ken Hughes and Don Iveson (photo from Twitter at @kenhughesMLA)

A provincial-municipal detente?

Some cabinet ministers did not wait for the cabinet changes to occur before tackling their new portfolios. In a move of detente to Alberta’s civic leaders, Minister of Municipal Affairs Ken Hughes met this week with Edmonton mayor Don Iveson , Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, and Association of Municipal Districts and County president Bob Barss before he had transitioned out of the Energy portfolio. Tensions rose high between municipalities and the provincial government during former minister Doug Griffiths time in the post.

Edmonton’s Mr. Iveson announced this week that expansion of the city’s Light Rail Transit system is the top infrastructure priority for the newly elected City Council. The City is searching for the additional $515 million needed to build the southeast Valley Line to Mill Woods.

Following the cabinet shuffle, Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale is Transportation Minister and Calgary-Hays MLA Ric McIver is Infrastructure Minister.

AUPE launches court challenge of Bill 46

Not long after controversial Bill 45 and Bill 46 received royal assent from Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell this week, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees submitted a statement of claim against Bill 46 laws to the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Sandhu rejoins the Tories

Controversial Edmonton-Manning MLA Peter Sandhu was allowed to rejoin the Progressive Conservative caucus this week after sitting as an independent MLA for seven months. The second-term MLA resigned from the governing caucus in May 2013 after a CBC investigation revealed that a company owned by the politician had accumulated a trail of unpaid debt. While Ethics Commissioner Neil Wilkinson cleared Mr. Sandhu of conflict-of-interest charges, the MLA’s creditors beg to differ.

Former NDP MPP now on Liberal Party executive

Shelley Wark-Martyn is now the secretary of the Alberta Liberal Party. Ms. Wark-Martyn was the Ontario New Democratic Party MPP for Port Arthur from 1990 to 1995 during which time she served as Minister of Revenue and the junior minister for health and education in Premier Bob Rae‘s cabinet.

5 thoughts on “Alberta politics this week”

  1. The PCes are in power for +40 years and they can’t even do a proper background check of their own elected members?! More incompetence from the Redford-Lukaszuk gang.

  2. Another day, another Redford screw up. Maybe the Premier should stop spending so much time out of the country and pretending she is prime minister and actually start to pay attention to what her party is doing in Alberta. While Redford is jetting out to New York and Washington, Tommy-boy Lukaszuk and Douggie Horner are jostling for her job at home. God ever help us if Tommy-boy gets the job. Say hello to a Wildrose Government.

  3. Actually I am beginning to think that all the fiascoes of the Redford government are designed to ensure that the Wildrosies come to power in the next provincial election.
    It is odd that the Tories are messing up so badly and that we know about it.
    I mean they were messing up badly for the last forty years or so and we only got glimpse of the broken crockery and bent cutlery being thrown from the table of power.
    So it is odd that we are getting to hear about the messes such as the two pipeline spills per day, 145 kids dead, the toxins in the Athabasca River that was originally advertised by the Synergy spin crew as sediment only. I’ve a feeling that the Wildrosies have a good horde of hornets that they are slowly releasing from this hive and we will get a full dose of antibiotics so we don’t hire this group of germs the next time around.

    Only problem is that the folks we have in Alberta might decamp from one bad thing to another bad thing. The Tories are very arrogant and incompetent, but then the Wildrosies are no better. Right now they are doing a pretty good masquerade just as the Redford did before she got into power and look how gaudy she has turned out.

    We’re in a political pickle in Alberta and who do we have to lead us out of the desert?
    I’d say we lead ourselves.
    We go left.
    I’m Tory and I don’t like the behavior or the disrespect of the governing Conservative Party of Alberta (I can’t call them Progressive). Why would I vote for former Conservative Party of Alberta members in the Wildrosies?

    These folks are all the same.
    They are anti-democratic.
    I also think they are corrupt but I will have to investigate the flow of donations to them in past years and see how the donors got their three wishes as a result.
    A prime example of such government-corporate handshaking behind closed doors is the gift of the Katz Arena (I call it DeMockracy Place) to the Katz guy, the Downtown Business Association and the sponsors of the municipal government councillors.

    It’s pretty sad that all levels of government, the folks we have hired do not represent us but certainly do represent the folks in corporate Alberta and corporate Canada. Bill 45 is a prime example of corporate suck up.
    I’m sure the Conservative Party of Alberta will get their just rewards in the next election but the ascent of the Wildrosies is nothing to look forward to.

    It might be interesting if we got half Conservative Party of Alberta and half Wildrosies in power and see the snake biting its own tail.

    In Alberta, when citizens have no power, the only satisfaction we have is a sad one of seeing the same party in the boxing ring shadow boxing themselves to nothingness while big oil stands by to cheer them on. The citizens? We have for the most part left the boxing game and have given up.

    Meanwhile our great leaders of Redford and Harper do their Synergy spin PR opportunity of basking in South Africa like lizards over the gravestone of Mandela.
    Yeah, its a show.
    A bad one.

  4. I’d have said yes to a Wildrose government a few weeks ago but now that they’re with the unions, no thanks. We have enough socialism in this province. I’m going back to the PC’s.

  5. Premier Redford spends 45K to attend Mandela’s funeral *( 8K to return on a commercial airline instead of a free ride on Harpergovernment plane)…peanuts !! Remember voters, the head of Harpergovernment paid 1.2 million to ship three armoured cars on his 2012 visit to India. (India had offered free armoured vehicles by the way). So, 1.2, plus the cost of the PM’s plane and crew, hanger fees, refueling, RCMP detail (+ 290K in overtime for them), support staff salaries and hotel costs, I think it would be safe to say 1.8Million in taxpayers dollars. I’ll be remembering this come next election.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>