Tag Archives: Warren Kinsella

Journalism degrees or degrees of journalism

This week’s kerfuffle over the Rebel Media website’s fight with the Government of Alberta has dominated the news cycle, demonstrating the lack of experience of an NDP government still in their first year in government. Here is a quick summary of what I understand happened:

  1. Rebel freelancer Holly Nicholas attended a technical briefing meeting for media before the release of the Royalty Review Panel report on Jan. 29, 2016. She says that she was asked to leave after being in the room for most of the meeting. It is not clear why she would have been asked to leave.
  2. Rebel freelancer Sheila Gunn Reid was denied entry into a technical briefing meeting for stakeholders before the release of the Royalty Review Panel report which was being held on the same day as the technical briefing meeting for media. It is my understating that no media were allowed entry into this meeting.
  3. Ms. Gunn Reid was not allowed entry into the Alberta Legislature on Feb. 3, 2016 to attend a joint press conference held by Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Neither was I, or was blogger David Climenhaga. On that day, I was informed by the Premier’s Communications Office that this was a decision made by the Prime Minster’s Communications Office.
  4. In response to a letter sent by Rebel’s lawyer Fred Kozak on Feb. 8, 2016, a letter from a government lawyer on Feb. 12, 2016 stated the government believes that Rebel and those identifying as being connected to the website are not journalists and not entitled to access media lock-ups or other events.

The fourth point in the most mind-boggling. The Government of Alberta does not have the authority to decide who is and who is not a “journalist.” I cannot understand how someone in government thought that response would be a good idea. It makes the NDP look heavy-handed and is a good example of what the right-wing fringe means when it uses the phrase ‘nanny-state.”

Founded by former lobbyist and Sun TV host Ezra Levant, the Rebel website speaks to Alberta’s right-wing fringe and essentially operates with the characteristics of an opposition group. I find much of their coverage distasteful and intentionally provocative, but they should be allowed to attend government media events, just as other media and opposition groups would be allowed.

As Warren Kinsella and Jason Markusoff pointed out, this is exactly the reaction that Mr. Levant and his crew wanted. And even though the NDP backed down from the ban today, they have already delivered Mr. Levant the attention he sought.

Heather Boyd, the former western bureau director for Canadian Press, has been recruited by the government to recommend new rules for media access. It would be a step backward for media in Alberta if new rules restrict access and participation of new online media.

Ms. Boyd’s recommendations will be submitted to the government in two or three weeks, which means this issue will become a topic of media coverage as MLAs return for the spring session of the Legislative Assembly and the government presents a Speech from the Throne.

A changing media landscape means there will be more online media with employees and freelancers who may not fall under the traditional description of “journalist.” As the large media corporations slash staff and cut back on local content, there is still a public demand for news. Citizens are turning online for their news sources, something that most of these news companies already recognize.

As the corporate media cuts back, I expect some newly unemployed journalists to start their own innovative online news companies. New trusted sources for political information will continue to sprout up online – this cannot be stopped by the government or the already established media companies.

Red Deer-North Liberal and Green candidate Michael Dawe, disqualified Chestermere-Rockyview PC candidate Jamie Lall, acclaimed Chestermere-Rockyview PC candidate Bruce McAllister, and Fort McMurray-Conklin NDP candidate Ariana Mancini.

Alberta Pre-Election 2015: Thursday Candidate Nomination Update

Progressive Conservative activist Jamie Lall was unexpectedly disqualified for unknown reasons before his party’s April 1 nomination meeting in Chestermere-Rockyview, allowing Wildrose PC MLA Bruce McAllister to be acclaimed. After months of campaigning, Mr. Lall lashed out at his party and questioned why he was disqualified when an incumbent MLA who plead guilt to prostitution related charges was allowed to be nominated. Mr. Lall is also the President of the PC association in the neighbouring Calgary-McCall, a position he has not been disqualified from.

It’s like we’ve become House of Cards,” is how one PC Party member described this year’s round of PC nominations, which have been riddled with controversy. Bribery allegations led to the resignation of cabinet minister Naresh Bhardwaj as the candidate in Edmonton-Ellerslie and candidate disqualifications in Edmonton-Meadowlark and Edmonton-Decore, as well as disorganization in Bonnyville-Cold Lake have grabbed media attention.

According to the PC Party website, Jonathan Dai has been appointed as the party’s candidate in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood in advance of the April 11 scheduled nomination meeting. Mr. Dai is the President of the Canada-China Council for Cooperation and Development and was the Liberal candidate in the 2000 federal election in Edmonton-Strathcona, where he placed 5,647 votes behind Canadian Alliance MP Rahim Jaffer. While attempting a rematch with Mr. Jaffer in 2004, he narrowly lost the Liberal nomination in Edmonton-Strathcona to Liberal MLA Debby Carlson. Highlands-Norwood is currently represented by NDP MLA Brian Mason.

The PCs are expected to appoint a candidate in Edmonton-Centre after it was unable to nominate a candidate before the March 28 nomination meeting. The PCs last elected an MLA in Edmonton-Centre in 1982.

Brian Jean Wildrose

Brian Jean

Wildrose Party

New Wildrose Party leader Brian Jean announced that he will run in Fort McMurray-Conklin, which was part of the federal constituency he represented in Ottawa from 2004 to 2014. Mr. Jean will face incumbent PC MLA Don Scott, the Minister of Advanced Education, and NDP candidate Ariana Mancini, a grade 1 teacher and Alberta Teachers’ Association activist. Mr. Scott narrowly defeated Wildrose candidate and former Wood Buffalo mayor Doug Faulkner by 470 votes in the 2012 election.

One of Mr. Jean’s first acts as leader was to dismiss Calgary-South East candidate Bill Jarvis, whose comments about “brown people” embarrassed the party on the night of its leadership announcement.

The Wildrose Party has now nominated at least 47 candidates, including recent nominees Angela Pitt in Airdire, Blaine Maller in Calgary Fish Creek, and Tany Yao in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Former leader and MLA Paul Hinman withdrew from the nomination contest in Cardston-Taber-Warner, leaving three candidates still in the race – Larry Bates, Jon Hood and Grant Hunter.

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party has now nominated at least 75 candidates in constituencies across Alberta. The latest nominated candidates include Christina Gray in Edmonton-Mill Woods, Jon Carson in Edmonton-MeadowlarkEmily Shannon in Drumheller-Stettler, Patricia Norman in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, , Karen McPherson in Calgary-Northern Hills, William Pelech in Chestermere-Rockyview, and Lynn MacWilliam in Strathmore-Brooks.

Alberta Party

The Alberta Party has nominated 29 candidates, including recent nominees Jim Black in Medicine Hat and Rory Tarant in Grande Prairie-Wapiti.

Warren Kinsella Edmonton Liberal

Warren Kinsella

Liberal Party

The Liberal Party has nominated 24 candidates across the province. The latest nominated candidates include Ron Williams in Battle River-Wainwright, Todd Ross in Edmonton-Castle Downs, Bradley Whalen in Edmonton-Decore, Kevin McLean in Grande Prairie-Smoky and Helen McMenamin in Little Bow. Mr. McLean is a city councillor in Grande Prairie.

It appears that celebrity political strategist Warren Kinsella is headlining a $159.00 per ticket fundraiser for Edmonton-Meadowlark Liberal Dan Bildhauer and Edmonton-Manning Liberal Adam Mounzer on April 11 at the Courtyard Edmonton West hotel.

Green Party

The Green Party has nominated fifteen candidates and has recently nominated Josh Drozda in Leduc-Beaumont, Peter Meic in Calgary-Cross, Coral Bliss Taylor in Chestermere-Rockyview, and Sandra Wolf Lange in Edmonton-Riverview.

Following the lead of Edmonton Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman, Red Deer-North Liberal candidate Michael Dawe has also accepted the Green Party nomination in his constituency.

Communist Party

The Communist Party of Alberta plans to field two candidates in the upcoming election. Leader Naomi Rankin will represent her party in Edmonton-Mill Woods and Bonnie Devine will run in Calgary-East. Ms. Rankin has been leader of the Communist Party since 1992 and, according to her Wikipedia biography, has run in every provincial and federal election in Alberta since 1982.


I have added these updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next general election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if there are additions to the list. Thank you.

the reform-conservative family feud continues in alberta’s election.

Wildrose is under attack! The same people that caused the Liberal Party of Canada to be in power for 13 uninterrupted years now have Wildrose in their crosshairs. They want nothing more than to see the Redford PCs re-elected to impose their big government knows best, ivory tower views on all of us.

In a fundraising email sent to supporters yesterday by campaign chairman Cliff Fryers, the Wildrose Party revved up its political fear machine by pointing out that others are revving up theirs.

Reform Party of Canada Logo

Reform Party of Canada

Progressive Conservative Party leader Premier Alison Redford has started to hone in on some of the Wildrose Party’s controversial policies, like citizen-initiated referendums that some critics say could lead to province-wide votes on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. A similar constroversial policy was prominently placed in the platform of the former Reform Party and its successor, the Canadian Alliance. While many Albertans still have fond memories and continued respect for Preston Manning and the movement he created, one recent survey suggests that this could be a good strategy for the PCs to use against Danielle Smith‘s party.

Much has been written about how much the electoral battle between Alberta’s PCs and the Wildrose Party is a continuation of the long-standing family feud between moderate Tories and Reform Party minded conservatives of yesteryear.

Premier Redford, who was a staffer to former Prime Minister Joe Clark, stepped up to challenge controversial right-winger Rob Anders for the Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-West before the 2004 federal election. Ms. Redford was defeated. (Ms. Redford’s ex-husband’s father was the last PC MP for Calgary-West and was defeated by Reform Party candidate Stephen Harper in 1993). PC campaign manager Susan Elliott was the national director of the former PC Party of Canada and a few of Premier Redford’s cabinet ministers, including Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Verlyn Olson and Lethbridge-West MLA Greg Weadick were federal PC candidates during the height of the Reform Party’s strength in Western Canada.

While Premier Redford may be more moderate than some candidate in the Wildrose camp, by almost every objective standard she remains a conservative.

PC Party of Canada

The Wildrose Party campaign includes a number of former Reform Party and federal Conservative stalwarts, including Mr. Fryers (who was Chief of Staff to Preston Manning), campaign manager Tom Flanagan (who was strategist for the Reform Party), Senate candidate and strategist Vitor Marciano (who is a long-time federal Conservative Party operative), and Jim Armour (an Ontario-based consultant and former Communications Director to Mr. Manning and Prime Minister Harper). Former federal Conservative candidate also Ryan Hastman joined the Wildrose Party staff shortly after the 2011 federal election.

Calgary-Southeast Conservative Member of Parliament Jason Kenney was reported to have said that “any attempt to hurt Wildrose by linking them to old Reform movement will backfire.”

Fanning the flames of western political discontent from his desktop in Toronto, former federal Liberal Party strategist Warren Kinsella waded into Alberta’s election campaign yesterday by posting some of Wildrose leader Ms. Smith’s more controversial comments. A similar and more usefully packaged piece of advice was provided by former Edmonton-Meadowlark Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas over the past weekend.

With a few exceptions most Members of Parliament have kept a low-profile during this provincial campaign. Westlock-St. Paul Conservative MP Brian Storseth was spotted in the Bonnyville A&W with Ms. Smith earlier this week. Edmonton-Spruce Grove Conservative MP Rona Ambrose has endorsed Spruce Grove-St. Albert PC candidate and Deputy Premier Doug Horner.

On the NDP side, Edmonton-Strathcona MP Linda Duncan has endorsed Edmonton-Gold Bar candidate Marlin Schmidt. Quebec NDP MP Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet will be campaigning with Mr. Schmidt today. The shift in electoral boundaries places Edmonton’s francophone community in Bonnie Doon into the Gold Bar constituency.  The NDP are hoping that the retirement of popular Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald could be their opportunity to make electoral gains in this east Edmonton constituency.

Saanich-Gulf Islands MP and Green Party leader Elizabeth May is in Edmonton this week campaigning with EverGreen Party candidates.

Later this week, Papineau Liberal MP Justin Trudeau joining Lacombe-Ponoka Liberal candidate Kyle Morrow over cyberspace to speak to a class of students at St. Augustine School in Ponoka.

guest post: red deer election 2010.

A Tale of Two Candidates: How to elect Union and Environmental in Red Deer

By: Jeff Sloychuk

Viewing the results of the Red Deer City Council election, which saw (yet again) a surprisingly high return of so-called “progressive” candidates, readers may well ask: “How did this happen in Red Deer?” Yes, we elected a union leader AND a cultural/environmental activist (who is also the first openly gay councillor ever elected) in Red Deer – but let’s be clear, these are two exceptional individuals, with much more to offer than simply those attributes. In the interest of full disclosure, you should know that I managed the Dianne Wyntjes campaign and assisted the Paul Harris campaign as much as I could. At the outset, I also arranged for the two to have lunch together – which turned out to be the beginning of a close friendship and what will surely be an excellent working relationship within an excellent council team.

A Tale of Two Candidates

The paths from the personal to the political for two new “progressive” city councillors elected to the City of Red Deer’s executive board couldn’t have been more different.

Dianne Wyntjes is an Eckville-born farm girl turned Red Deer-raised veteran of the labour movement, who, having completed her 30th year as a member/staff representative/regional director with CUPE Alberta, decided it was time for a change in her professional life.

Paul Harris, originally from Calgary, is a staple of the Red Deer downtown business community whose stylish home décor shop Sunworks has become a cultural beacon in the revitalizing city core. But Paul was well known long before as one of the anchors of the Red Deer LGBT community, dispensing support, advice, and political acumen around the community scene.

Somehow, two hard-working candidates, one rural-labour, one urban-modern, assembled two great campaign teams that successfully beat out the well-financed, traditional right-wing offerings of Jeffrey Dawson and incumbent Gail Parks.

An observer reading in Edmonton, Calgary, or any other part of Alberta may well be wondering: How?

Getting out the Vote: Traditional vs. SM

The Dianne Wyntjes campaign used every traditional method to dramatic effect, including: a quick and complete front-end postal walk; honk and waves; plant-gating; vote-pitching to unions, Rotary Clubs, organizations and associations; visits to seniors’ homes; and an intensive canvassing and private lawn sign effort, capped off with a softly-worded voice message broadcast gently reminding people to vote and offering rides to the polls.    

The Paul Harris camp eschewed campaign signs, didn’t do a postal walked leaflet, did only limited canvassing, and ignored the demon-dialer (voice broadcast messaging). The campaign made use of an extensive personal contact list painstakingly gathered by Paul over years of business activity; highly-interactive and heavily-used Facebook and Twitter platforms; flash mobs at the local Farmer’s Market; a flash mob (with t-shirts) at the Red Deer Rebels game; YouTube videos; and a complex word-of-mouth network to get out the vote.

Both ran approximately $15,000 campaigns, though returns have yet to be filed. Both were elected, Wyntjes with 7,783 votes, Harris with 6,449. Which worked better? The results speak for themselves, but each campaign focused on a specific type of voter – knowingly or not, along the Patrick Muttart/Thomas Flanagan “Zoe” model. Each camp created offerings for its voting blocks (Wyntjes on P3s, Harris on bicycle lanes for city cyclists) and got its respective vote out. Each camp was obviously successful – but to differing demographics.

A New Synthesis

It soon became apparent that Harris supporters were voting Wyntjes, and vice versa. As the two campaigns marched toward completion, Wyntjes improved upon her social media presence – and some older generation volunteers knocked on a few hundred doors for Harris.

Election Day ended with Harris, Wyntjes, and a few supporters from each camp sharing a beverage at the Harris victory party at the Matchbox Theatre, trading barbs, jokes, and tales from the campaign trail. Organized labour meets small business – and they like each other.

From Crisis Comes Opportunity

The crisis that I couldn’t have manufactured better myself came when former city councillor and right-wing Red Deer Advocate columnist Vesna Higham stood up at Red Deer’s Chamber of Commerce forum (traditionally the largest and most important public opportunity to meet the candidates) and demanded to know this, not of the candidates, but of Dianne Wyntjes specifically:

“Over the past decade, which of the political parties, both provincial and federal, have you supported or feel yourself most closely aligned with philosophically?”

Wyntjes, without a trace of hesitation, replied that she had voted in every election since she was 18 and had supported different people and parties over that time. Furthermore, she said, she was a firm believer in keeping municipal politics non-partisan.

Higham then printed that Wyntjes had “skirted” the question, and that only Higham’s apparent protégé Chris Stephan “did not hesitate to answer [her] straight-forward question with a bluntly straight-forward answer. We learned by his response that he is a Conservative.”

Stephan, a fellow member of Vesna Higham’s church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), had indeed answered that he was Conservative, but that the Wildrose Alliance was worth looking at provincially, causing a murmuring to spread through the room. It is interesting to note that this full response of Stephan’s was not reprinted in the subsequent column, viewable here.

The community reacted. Letters poured into both papers. And before you ask, I knew of only one of them beforehand. The Red Deer Express had this response.

Higham later printed a half-hearted apology of sorts, claiming that she should have phrased the question differently. Nevertheless, the poorly attempted backpedal served only to motivate the progressive vote. The mood on the doorsteps changed from apathy to enthusiastic support, and new volunteers appeared from the sidelines.

What the columns did achieve was the type of polarization that one has come to expect in provincial or federal politics. Higham motivated her core demographic, which turned out for Chris Stephan and his ‘law and order/video cameras in the streets to combat crime’ agenda. Much to Higham’s chagrin I’m sure, however, it also motivated the vote for Wyntjes (and to a lesser extent, Paul Harris).

Finally…

Wyntjes led the crop of new candidates, finishing a strong third out of 16 candidates for the eight council positions. Harris almost didn’t make the cut, coming in eighth – 500 votes ahead of defeated incumbent Gail Parks.

Both Red Deer newspapers endorsed Harris and Wyntjes. Traditional media still has an enormous influence on voter opinion, for good or for ill.

I’m sorry to report to the twittering classes (and I’m one of them) that without Paul Harris’ unique and lengthy record of community service, this campaign would not have been won using social media. Conversely, using only traditional methods, Dianne Wyntjes would have still emerged victorious, though I’m sure the SM helped the candidate’s final totals.

In a city the size of Red Deer (just shy of 100,000 souls), and with limited billboard media available, most candidates will need those election signs so many profess to hate.

Many people will similarly complain about unsolicited phone canvassing – whether it be by volunteer or by demon-dialer. Sorry to say, folks, but it works.

Lastly, any candidates who hope to win without spending time and shoes out on the doorsteps had better give their heads a shake – as Warren Kinsella, my campaign-hack soul-mate – states. Many of us would love to live in a world where online campaigning is the be-all and end-all and voter turnout is a little better than this. But we ain’t there yet, Alberta. Get on the ground, on the streets, and into people’s living rooms. That’s where the best democracy takes place – and that’s where we can elect progressive candidates, even in Alberta.

Jeff Sloychuk received his political education through the Dead Kennedys and Bad Religion, and continued that tutelage under NDP Leader Brian Mason. He was the youngest full-time journalist in Conrad Black’s chain of newspapers with the Alaska Highway News at the age of 17, before returning to Alberta in 2001 to serve in various capacities with the Alberta NDP and organized labour. He now works for the Canadian Union of Public Employees in Alberta and moonlights as a contract political organizer.

alberta liberals up in the air.

Even if someone were to offer me good odds, I would be hesitant to bet on who the real players will be in the next provincial election.

As David Climenhaga recently pointed out, although credible polls continue to show the Progressive Conservatives ahead in voter support, the media has continued to frame Danielle Smith’s Wildrose Alliance as the heir’s to the Legislative throne. For the most part, the free ride has continued.

Young Liberal Vincent St. Pierre has written a blog post ahead the Liberal Party’s May 14-16 policy convention disputing the Wildrose’s claims to be “ready to govern.” While I would also dispute those claims, the Liberals also have a difficult time claiming that they are “ready to govern.”

David Swann and the Liberal caucus.

The focus of the weekend convention is policy, but the big news could be financial. The Alberta Liberal Party is expected to announce shortly that their outstanding debt, much of which was accumulated during their disastrous 2001 election campaign, will finally be paid off. This is a big step for the Liberals, but it is only one of the many challenges facing their organization.

I have been accused by both MLAs and some party loyalists of having an anti-Liberal bent on this blog (one MLA even accused me of conspiring with the NDP) and while I admit to being critical of the Liberal Party, I believe that my assessments have been fair. As someone who was involved with the Liberal Party for many years, including time as a constituency vice-president and a political staffer, I am aware of the political strengths and psychological weaknesses of that organization.

The Liberal Party is in an interesting situation. They might be a beneficiary of a PC-Wildrose vote split in some Edmonton and Calgary constituencies in the next election, but their membership has not exactly been flooded by progressives afraid of the two conservative parties. The departure of MLA Dave Taylor and Kent Hehr‘s decision to run in Calgary’s Mayoral election is not a ringing endorsement of the party’s current fortunes. Can the party attract back into their ranks the sizeable group of Liberals who joined disenchanted Red Tories, moderate New Democrats, and former central Albertan Greens under the new Alberta Party banner? They have been low key, but since March, the Alberta Party has held almost 100 Big Listen meetings across the province.

You do not have to spend too much time inside the Liberal Party to become aware of how iconized the 1993 election is in the minds of party activists. As many Albertans will remember, that election saw former Edmonton Mayor Laurence Decore lead the Liberals to their best showing in decades by winning 39% of the vote and forming official opposition by electing 32 MLAs.

Much of the traditional Liberal motto against large-scale change within their party – especially a name change – has centered around the 1993 vote. “We won 32 seats under Decore and we can do it again,” is something that I have heard countless times. There is no doubt that 17 years ago the Liberals launched an impressive campaign with a slate of candidates who were “ready to govern.” It would be difficult to argue that has been the case since. The Liberals have cultivated reliable support in a handful of constituencies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Lethbridge, but they have had a very difficult time growing their base of support. In most rural areas, the Liberals have run paper candidates in the past three elections, ceding a growing number of constituencies to the PC hegemony.

The decision by the Liberal Party years ago to focus resources on urban areas has opened up the potential of rural success to the Wildrose Alliance, whose leader Ms. Smith has spent months traveling to rural communities and smaller cities meeting with any group that will have her. Her party is now reaping the benefits of gaining media attention from local weekly newspapers, organizing constituency associations, and attracting large crowds to their town hall meetings. Imagine what the political map would look like after the 2011/2012 election if Alberta had an opposition party that could elect candidates in both rural and urban constituencies.

Both the Liberals and NDP have been frustrated by their lack of traction in the polls (and in elections), but neither party appears prepared to change gears to face this reality. Liberal leader David Swann has held town hall meetings across Alberta, as has NDP leader Brian Mason, but there is little evidence that this will lead to an even mediocre rural breakthrough for either party. This is probably less the fault of the current leadership and more the fault of a tradition of political tactics focused on weekly issues and electoral strategies focused on urban enclaves (and the influence of their federal party cousins).

It is difficult to believe that these parties once had long-time MLAs who represented rural constituencies. NDP leader Grant Notley represented the sprawling Spirit River-Fairview from 1971 to 1984. Liberal leader Nick Taylor represented Westlock-Sturgeon and Redwater from 1986 to 1996. Premier Ed Stelmach defeated two-term Vegreville NDP MLA Derek Fox in 1993. The last time either of these two parties elected a candidate in rural Alberta was in 1997 when Liberal MLA Colleen Soetaert was re-elected in Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert.

If the Liberal Party is successful in building a policy platform that appeals beyond their traditional base of supporters, will they have an organization on the ground that can translate it into electoral results? Even if they have all the best policy ideas in the world, without  feet on the ground it will be very difficult – even with a potential vote split on the right – to reach beyond their traditional base of supporters in this province.

(I will be attending parts of this weekend’s Liberal convention as a media observer, including federal Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella‘s keynote address. Look for updates on this blog and on twitter at @davecournoyer)

alberta politics notes 5/06/2010

Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr has announced that he is running for Mayor of Calgary. Mr. Hehr does not have to resign his seat in the Assembly unless he is elected in the October 2010 election. If he does resign, a by-election will be triggered within six months (a Facebook group has been created to draft Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith to seek candidacy in a Buffalo by-election).
– There had also been rumours that Lethbridge-East Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor would run for Mayor in her city, she recently announced that she would not.
– The Liberal Party will be holding its annual convention in Edmonton – this year with a policy focus – and are slated to have political strategist and micro-celebrity Warren Kinsella as their keynote speaker.
– Community organizer Michael Janz has announced that he is running for the Edmonton Public School Board in Ward F. Over in Ward G, NDP Caucus Research Director Sarah Hoffman is running.
Deron Bilous was nominated as the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview last night. Supporter Denny Holmwood blogged about Mr. Bilous’ candidacy.
Calgary-Northeast Conservative MP Devinder Shory has been named in a lawsuit alleging a $70-million mortgage scam at the Bank of Montreal.
Ihor Broda was disbarred from the Law Society of Alberta. Mr. Broda ran unsuccessfully as the PC candidate in Edmonton-Castle Downs in 1997 and placed third in the race for Mayor of Edmonton in 1998.
– Premier Ed Stelmach‘s decision to suspend the fall Senate elections this year is being criticized by Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling.
– While his cabinet tours the province, Premier Stelmach kicked off an overseas summer tour in Washington DC this week.
– The Pembina Institute is disputing Government of Alberta claims about provincial regulation of emissions generated from the oilsands.
– It is a bad week for private health care in Alberta. The Health Resources Centre (HRC) in Calgary and two private seniors homes in Red Deer have filed for bankruptcy protection. Alberta Health Services will pay the cost of the interim receiver for HRC, which could reach $250,000.
– And finally, in the “it’s about time” category: The city of Edmonton’s transportation committee approved a plan to fast-track the construction of three LRT lines.