As a trustee, Ms. Esslinger represented Ward A in north Edmonton from 2004 until 2010. She is the current President of the Cumberland/Oxford Community League, which is located in the constituency of Edmonton-Castle Downs. When she declined to seek re-election to the Public School Board in October 2010, some observers suspected that she was preparing to challenge MLA Doug Elniski for the PC nomination in Edmonton-Calder.
Riverview will be one of the constituencies that I will be watching closely when the next election is called. The Liberals hope to hold the constituency that they have held since 1997 and have nominated businessman Arif Khan.
Unlike most constituencies in Alberta, the Liberals have a strong-base of support and solid-organization in this constituency, no doubt cultivated by Dr. Taft’s high-profile as his party’s leader from 2004 to 2010. Mr. Khan has been busy campaigning over the past year, but the Liberals will face a strong challenge from the yet to be nominated Tory and the already nominated New Democrat.
Excited by high levels of support in the area during the May 2010 federal election, the NDP are putting their hopes in social worker Lori Sigurdson. The portion of Edmonton-Riverview east of the North Saskatchewan River includes some of the strongest areas of support for Edmonton-Strathcona Member of Parliament Linda Duncan. Electing an MLA in Riverview would be a victory trophy for the NDP.
A reality check from the Cosh. Colby Cosh has delivered a cynical and un-sensationalist reality check for Albertans getting starry eyed or swept up in a whirlwind of political change. While Alberta’s political landscape may be more unstable than it has been in years, and it is exciting to be part of new emerging parties and movements, it is important to step back and keeping some perspective is key.
With cabinet ministers expected to resign in order to seek the PC Party leadership, Albertans could witness a series of cabinet shuffles over the coming months. The resignation of Finance Minister Ted Morton and potential resignations of Deputy Premier Doug Horner, Justice Minister Allison Redford, and Housing Minister Jonathan Deniscould put a number of Parliamentary Assistants and backbench MLAs in cabinet positions. I would not be surprised if Greg Weadick, Janice Sarich, Diana McQueen, or Manmeet Bhullar had cabinet experience by the end of 2011.
According to the Edmonton Journal, Dr. Ingram resigned ‘citing concerns about a lack of scientific and First Nations representation on the panel, and what she saw as an overzealous draft confidentially agreement.’ The panel includes a number of credible scientists and is co-chaired by former TransCanada CEO Hal Kvisle, who has leveled strong criticism against environmental groups.
Budget on February 24.
Premier Ed Stelmach told an audience during speech to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce yesterday that the 2011 provincial budget will be tabled on February 24. The Assembly is scheduled to begin spring session on January 22 with the Speech from the Throne.
PC campaign manager exits.
Not surprisingly, the departure of Premier Ed Stelmach has also led to the departure of PC campaign manager Randy Dawson, who managed the party’s 2008 campaign and had been reappointed to manage their next election campaign.
Taylor versus Taylor? Hinton Mayor Glenn Taylor is expected to launch his campaign for the Alberta Party leadership on February 8 in Edmonton. Mr. Taylor was elected to his third-term as Mayor of Hinton in October 2010. It will be a battle of the Taylor’s if Alberta Party MLA Dave Taylor enters the leadership contest, as some political watchers expect him to.
Ms. Sigurdson is the Professional Affairs Coordinator for the Alberta College of Social Workers and previously worked for former NDP leader Ray Martin when he was the MLA for Edmonton-Norwood. That constituency has been represented by Liberal MLA Kevin Taft since 2001, who was re-elected in 2008 with 50% of the vote. Dr. Taft is not be seeking re-election. The Wildrose Alliance has nominated John Corie as their candidate.
Calgary Paramedic Rick Fraser is seeking the PC nomination in Calgary-Hays. The constituency is currently represented by PC MLA Art Johnston, who was first elected in 2004 and re-elected in 2008 with 54% of the vote. Former Libertarian Party of Canada leader Dennis Young is seeking the Wildrose Alliance nomination in that constituency.