Alberta’s new political insiders mostly come from outside Alberta

Edmonton Journal report Karen Kleiss published a story this week naming the new Chiefs of Staff hired to advise Alberta’s twelve NDP cabinet ministers and manage their offices at the Legislature. The new government has faced criticism for hiring too many staff from outside of the province and Premier Rachel Notley‘s NDP have responded that the new government needs to hire the best people for the job no matter where they come from (even Alberta’s premiere Tory lobbyist companies are hiring British Columbia New Democrats to advise them about Alberta’s new political landscape).

The criticism is valid. A balance of experience and local knowledge is required within the senior ranks of the new government, and as a Alberta’s first new government in 44 years, there might not be many operatives in-province with non-Progressive Conservative governing experience to rely on.

As previous premier’s Alison Redford and Jim Prentice discovered, filling senior political jobs with outsiders who may not be familiar with the provincial political environment can alienate party loyalists and MLAs and lead to embarrassing mistakes.

List of Alberta’s Ministerial Chiefs of Staff

Lisa Blanchette, Education, Culture and Tourism: Former organizer for ACTRA Toronto, previous employee of SEIU, and national political action coordinator for the United Steelworkers.

Jessica Bowering, Justice and Solicitor General and Aboriginal Relations: Lawyer and former director of Legal Services for the British Columbia Nurses Union.

Tony Clark, Human Services: Former research for the Alberta Federation of Labour and staffer for the NDP Opposition Caucus.

Brent Dancey, Environment and Parks and the Status of Women: Former Special Assistant to Premier Greg Selinger‘s Office for Manitoba Hydro.

Scott Harris, Agriculture and Forestry: Former Political Research Coordinator in Office of the Leader of the NDP Official Opposition in Ottawa.

Graham Mitchell, Energy: Former Director of Training and Leadership at the Broadbent Institute and former Executive Assistant to Toronto City Councillors Jack Layton.

Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Health and Seniors: Former Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta, President of the Riverdale Community League.

Nathan Rotman, Finance and Treasury Board: Former National Director of the NDP, former campaign manager for Toronto mayoral candidate Olivia Chow, former national director of  Political Action and Campaigns at the Canadian Labour Congress.

Nathaniel Smith, Municipal Affairs and Service Alberta: Former organizer for the NDP in Halifax, former executive assistant to NDP cabinet ministers in Nova Scotia.

Steve Stringfellow, Innovation and Advanced Education and Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour: Former CUPE National Representative in Alberta and BC NDP campaign manager.

Robin Steudel, Infrastructure and Transportation: Former Principal Secretary to the Alberta NDP Caucus, former Communications Officer at the NDP Official Opposition in British Columbia, former spokesperson for the Yukon NDP, and federal NDP communications officer.

Brian Topp, International and Intergovernmental Relations (Premier): NDP campaign manager, former federal NDP leadership candidate, deputy chief of staff to former Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow.

Journos flee the fourth estate for NDP jobs

Intrepid CBC reporter John Archer announced this week that he has accepted a job in the Premier’s Media Relations Office. Mr. Archer is one of a handful of journalists who have recently accepted jobs with the new NDP government, including Veronica Jubinville and Laura Tupper from CTV, and Jeremy Nolais and Leah Holoiday from Metro.

16 thoughts on “Alberta’s new political insiders mostly come from outside Alberta

  1. D. A.

    were there no albertans available to fill these positions?

    and why are almost none of them women? even in the status of women ministry?

    Reply
  2. Dave Loyie

    When Everyone who isn’t from Alberta goes home then as an Albertan (who’s Ancestors paddled the first White Traders from Montreal to Alberta in the late 1600s) who’s sort of an Original will say that only Indians can claim that status in Alberta.
    Oh well let’s just say that a Super Majority of us are all from somewhere else.
    That being said I’m glad to have Political Figures (MLAs & Ministerial Chief of Staffs) that haven’t been Corrupted by the Right-wing Parties Financial Supporters. The Foriegn Owned Multinationals have no control or power over the NDP. There has never been a government in Alberta that wasn’t owned by the Illuminati/Free Masons/Builderberg Group Membership. My family worked for an Illuminati Company called the Hudsons Bay Company (owned by the British Royals) for generations. I don’t apologize for them. They didn’t realize they were working for agents of the first International Criminal Conspiracy between European Royal Families and the Roman Catholic Church.

    Reply
  3. Jerrymacgp

    Let us not forget, these are not non-partisan public service jobs, these are political staffers with experience in jurisdictions that see more regular turnover of governments, not the dynastic history that has been Alberta’s. I see nothing wrong with this, given that nobody in Alberta’s current political landscape had ever before seen a non-PC government.

    Reply
  4. Rene

    Who voted for Rachel & NDP?

    Albertans of all political colors. Appears NDP are favorable to NDP members & friends across Canada not of ALL Albertans.

    Disappointed!

    Reply
  5. Colin

    The criticism is only valid if the elected MLA/Minister doesn’t use their local knowledge in decision-making. At least these Ministers are finding competent and experienced senior advisors instead of fresh out of college wannabe political players.

    Reply
  6. Darren

    Graham Mitchell is also a know anti-pipeline lobbyist and now he’s amazingly the chief of staff for our Energy Minister. The people of Alberta will realize in 4 years what a colossal mistake this all was. Just go ask any level-headed Ontarian about the fact they are still recovering from the NDP & Bob Rae’s devastation on that province from a decade ago. As is often said, “better to vote for the devil you know than the devil you don’t know”.

    Reply
  7. Troy

    Graham Mitchell is the Executive Director for Lead Now, a lobbyist that actively promotes shutting down Alberta Oil Sands. He is now Chief of Staff to the Energy minister and still a registered lobbyist. NDP doesn’t have a clue the damage they are doing. Oil companies are going to move to Saskatchewan and Alberta will be a have-not province by the next election.

    Reply
  8. PJ

    This shows how the PCs have been pushing out ND brainpower for decades. I saw ND sympathizers arriving in droves in the 1990s to BC. Now there’s a deficit of Pembina-Institute-Type-economic thinking and smart people are wondering why? Maybe because there was little room for non-Fraser-Institute-thinkers here for the past 44 years? Time to wake up and smell the java; there’s a paradigm shift happening and it’s not just happening in Alberta, either.

    Reply
  9. DT

    “This shows how the PCs have been pushing out ND brainpower for decades”. So who voted for them in this election then?? You are implying that there is no brainpower left amongst the people who put them in power! Come to think of it, you might have something there …

    Reply
  10. JG

    I thought one NEP was enough to learn from apparently not. The NDP will change Alberta into what they think Alberta should be based on the views from Ontario or other groups looking in but not living in. The NDP as most leftist elites know you need to end pro business environments and ensure more people are on government hand outs. The sooner the NDP can drive businesses out of the province the quicker they can get further control and commence wealth redistribution through excessive taxation. They will cripple oil as it is evil anyway and ruining Canada. The alternative energy of wind and solar will become favourite subsidized industries in Alberta. Tax freedman day federally is already 6 months why should you not be happy adding two or three provincially? The Elite from the East have finally got it back and once again are in control of Alberta. That is why the oil minister Chief of Staff is from Ontario and anti oil, they have and always will know what is best for the little province of Alberta. After all is Toronto not the centre of universe? It’s just hard to swallow that Alberta gave it up so easily.

    Reply
  11. Julius

    My friend who was working up North for four years could not get me a job up there, why? It turns out his manager who was from Ontario hired all his buddies from Ontario, most had no experience. Also, take a look at all those names above, there are no ethnic minority names on the list. Its funny how non-minorities from all over Canada, especially from Ontario manage to find work in the Alberta government and public service. Each department has there own HR department, how many hiring managers are originally from Ontario? Government in all its form, is all about nepotism and has nothing to do with being the most qualified, that’s the governments politically correct answer for everything.

    Reply

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