– Cal Nichols has stepped down as Chair of the Edmonton Oilers to lead the Alberta Enterprise Group in its fight to keep the Edmonton City Centre Airport open. AEG was created in 2007 from of the ashes of the Grassroots Leadership Group, a corporate entity that essentially existed for the purpose of providing financial backing to Mark Norris‘ 2006 PC leadership bid (donations to party leadership campaigns are not tax deductible, but donations to GLG were eligible for tax deductions as business expenses). AEGs current President is former PC Party Director and Norris campaign manager Tim Shipton. With support coming from many well-heeled Edmonton business types, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this group become a launching pad for a Mayoral candidate in October 2010.
– Bill 19: The Land Assembly Project Area Act, introduced by Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden, is meeting some resistance in central Alberta. Leading the charge is Green Party leader Joe Anglin, who described Bill 19 in a recent media release as “a punitive Bill that is chock-full of consequences for any landowner or citizen who would defy the Minister of Energy.” Over the past two years, Anglin has led a vocal group of central Alberta landowners in their fight against numerous provincial regulatory bodies and legislation. Former Green Deputy Leader turned Progress Party advocate Edwin Erickson joined the opposition to Bill 19 in an open letter.
– Federal Conservative nomination campaigns are beginning to ramp up in Alberta. In Calgary-West, Donna Kennedy-Glans will be challenging Rob Anders (and I wish her good luck). In Edmonton-East, it appears that Matt Altheim may be mounting a nomination challenge against MP Peter Goldring. Both Anders and Goldring were first elected to Parliament in 1997.
– Arthur Kent is continuing to publicly voice his disappointment in the current PC government. In a recent blog post, the internationally-known journalist and former Calgary-Currie PC candidate wrote that he believes Alberta will only regain its economic edge “once we deal with the disadvantage of a government that lets patronage trump free enterprise, and stubbornness get in the way of common sense.” Damning words from a former star candidate.