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Daveberta Podcast

Episode 84: The Daveberta Podcast is back! Now on the Daveberta Substack.

The Daveberta Podcast is back after a brief 11-month semi-permanent hiatus! Enjoy the podcast and find future episodes exclusively at the podcast’s new home on the Daveberta Substack.

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Alberta Politics

Countdown! UCP and NDP candidate nominations picking up as Alberta election looms

The countdown is on! With just over four months until the next provincial election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 53 ridings and the Green Party has 26 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the most recent candidate nomination updates:

United Conservative Party

The UCP are actively nominating candidates across the province and by my count currently have nominations open in nine ridings. The governing party paused nominations during their leadership race in 2022 so they are playing catch up, quickly, ahead of the May 29 election day.

Calgary-Lougheed: Max DeGroat is the first person in the race to fill the vacancy left when former premier Jason Kenney resigned as MLA for this southwest Calgary riding in November 2022. DeGroat is the former treasurer of the UCP and was Nicholas Milliken’s campaign manager in Calgary-Currie in 2019. He is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and the former director of policy development for the Sustaining Alberta’s Energy Network, an organization formed by Kris Kinnear, who now works on special projects in Premier Danielle Smith’s office in Calgary.

De Groat is launching his campaign as a guest speaker at the Progressive Group for Independent Business luncheon on January 24. PGIB was founded by conservative activist and perennial election candidate Craig Chandler, who was recently caught up in a scandal with former justice minister Jonathan Denis.

Calgary-North East: Harjit Singh Saroya is running for the UCP nomination in the riding is currently represented by cabinet minister Rajan Sawhney. Saroya is the former chairman of the Dashmesh Culture Centre. 

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Food truck owner and recent Medicine Hat city council candidate Justin Wright joins James Finkbeiner and Robin Kurpjuweit in the UCP nomination contest in this southeast Alberta riding.

Lacombe-Ponoka: Jennifer Johnson, Dusty Myrshrall, and Chris Ross will face off for the UCP nomination in a vote on February 17, 2023. Voting will take place in Ponoka in the morning and Lacombe in the afternoon of the nomination day.

Leduc-Beaumont: Heather Feldbusch and Brandon Lunty join former catholic school trustee Karen Richert in the UCP nomination contest. Feldbusch currently works for the Alberta Counsel lobbyists company and is a former UCP political staffer. She is also former trustee on the Leduc Public Library Board and is active with the federal Conservative association in Edmonton-Wetaskiwin. Lunty previously ran for the Wildrose Party in Calgary-South East in 2015 and ran for the UCP nomination in Camrose in 2018.

Lesser Slave Lake: Former cannabis store owner Mitchell Boisvert is appealing the UCP’s decision not to grant him a waiver to run for the party’s nomination. He has not been a member of the party for the required six months so he is seeking an exception to run. 

Parkland-Lac Ste. Anne: UCP MLA Shane Getson is running for his party’s nomination for re-election. Getson was first elected in 2019 and briefly served as the UCP Caucus’ Capital Region Caucus chairperson until he publicly accused people who accepted Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payments of wanting to eat cheezies and watch cartoons instead of working. Getson also participated in the anti-COVID 19 restriction Freedom Convoy demonstrations in downtown Edmonton.

Red Deer-South: MLA Jason Stephan announced that he plans to run for re-election and is running for the UCP nomination in Red Deer-South. He’s being challenged by Adele Poratto. Poratto ran for the UCP nomination ahead of the 2019 election and for the Progressive Conservative nomination in 2008. 

Alberta NDP

At this point, the NDP have already nominated candidates in most of the ridings that are considered competitive and within their reach to win in the next election. Now, the party is mostly nominating candidates in ridings that are a more a long shot for the NDP (translation: very conservative rural ridings), but the party does not appear to be parachuting urban candidates in like they might have in previous year. They are trying to recruit local candidates, even if their chances of winning in some of these rural ridings are slim to none.

Calgary-Lougheed: Venkat Akkiraj is running for the NDP nomination. According to Akkiraj’s LinkedIn profile, he has experience with the Ontario NDP as a local campaign organizer and communications director in provincial ridings in Toronto. He recently had an article published in AlbertaViews Magazine about electoral reform. 

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Cypress College founder and former Canadian Armed Forces reservist David Martin is the third candidate in the NDP nomination contest in the south east Alberta riding. Martin will join school trustee Cathy Hogg and retired teacher Tim Gruber in a nomination vote scheduled for February 28

Green Party

The Greens aren’t usually on the radar for most Albertans but they are putting in an effort to run candidates in the next election in both urban, rural and suburban ridings. The party has played a bit of musical chairs with some of their candidates switching ridings, like leader Jordan Wilkie switching from Banff-Kananaskis to Edmonton-Rutherford, and the latest switch listed below.

Jonathan Parks is now running for the Green Party in Calgary-Buffalo. He was previously nominated to run in the neighbouring Calgary-Currie but withdrew his candidacy in that riding earlier this month.

Upcoming nomination meetings

Candidate nomination votes are scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 6 – Innisfail-Sylvan Lake NDP
  • February 13 – Drumheller-Stettler NDP
  • February 15 – Calgary-Klein NDP
  • February 15 – Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre NDP
  • February 17 – Lacombe-Ponoka UCP
  • February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP

(If you haven’t already, sign up for the Daveberta Substack. We have some exciting things coming on there soon).

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Alberta Politics

UCP acclaim Laine Larson in Edmonton-Rutherford, 4th candidate enters NDP nomination race in Calgary-Klein, the Rumble in Rocky continues

With just over four months until the next provincial election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 53 ridings and the Green Party has 25 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the most recent candidate nomination updates:

UCP nominate Laine Larson in Edmonton-Rutherford

Laine Larson has been acclaimed as the UCP candidate in Edmonton-Rutherford. Larson is an independent contractor and the step-son of former Reform Party Member of Parliament Deborah Grey.

Larson previously ran for the UCP nomination ahead of the 2019 election. It was reported by CBC at the time that Larson had questioned vaccination science and has suggested parents may be harming their children by vaccinating them against disease.

The riding has been represented by NDP MLA Richard Feehan since 2015. Feehan is not running for re-election and the NDP have nominated Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse as their candidate. Green Party leader Jordan Wilkie is also running in the riding.

4th candidate enters NDP race in Calgary-Klein

Laurie O’Neil is the fourth candidate to enter the NDP nomination race in Calgary-Klein. O’Neil joins Mattie McMillan, Angela McIntyre, and Lizette Tejada in running for the candidacy which will be determined at a vote on February 15.

Gill enters UCP nomination in Calgary-Bhullar-McCall

Amanpreet Singh Gill is seeking the UCP nomination in Calgary-Bhullar-McCall. The riding has been represented by NDP MLA Irfan Sabir since 2015. Sabir was re-elected in 2019 with 51.7 per cent of the vote.

The riding last elected a conservative MLA in 2004. Prior to Sabir’s elected in 2015, it had been represented by Liberal MLA Darshan Kang since 2008.

Previously known as Calgary-McCall, the riding was renamed Calgary-Bhullar-McCall after the last election to honour former northeast Calgary MLA Manmeet Bhullar, who represented the former Calgary-Montrose and Calgary-Greenway ridings from 2004 until his death in 2015.

Rumble in Rocky continues. Take Back Alberta aims for Jason Nixon’s job

Right-wing activists aligned with the right-wing Take Back Alberta group have taken over the UCP constituency board elections in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre. Take Back Alberta is vocally opposed to the government’s decision to impose public health restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the hundreds of UCP members who showed up to vote at the local AGM last week are unhappy with incumbent MLA Jason Nixon being acclaimed as the party’s candidate after challenger Tim Hoven was disqualified last year. Nixon was former Premier Jason Kenney‘s chief lieutenant and Finance Minister. He was dismissed from cabinet when Danielle Smith became Premier last October.

Smith promised during the leadership campaign that she would reopen nominations in ridings where the local constituency association voted to do so.

Take Back Alberta activists have signalled in online discussion forums that the UCP constituency board in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake is their next target. An AGM is expected to be held in that riding in February.

The riding is currently represented by MLA Devin Dreeshen, who narrowly won the UCP nomination by 8 votes in July 2022. He is the son of local MP Earl Dreeshen and many of his extended family members are reported to be currently serving on the UCP board in the riding.

Upcoming nomination meetings

Candidate nomination votes are scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 6 – Innisfail-Sylvan Lake NDP
  • February 13 – Drumheller-Stettler NDP
  • February 15 – Calgary-Klein NDP
  • February 15 – Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre NDP
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Alberta Politics

He’s back, again! Former Liberal leader and aspiring UCP leadership candidate Raj Sherman running for UCP nomination in Edmonton-Whitemud

Despite being rejected as a candidate for the United Conservative Party leadership last year, former Liberal Party leader Dr. Raj Sherman is running for the UCP nomination in Edmonton-Whitemud.

Running on a leadership platform to fix the health care system, Sherman requested an exemption to run in the race for not being a party member for 6 months.

While the UCP Leadership Election Committee granted a waiver for prospective leadership candidate Michelle Rempel Garner, Sherman’s application was rejected by the UCP. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to act like an approved candidate all the way up until the final entry deadline.

The party has opened up nominations in Edmonton-Whitemud but has not signalled if they plan to let Sherman actually enter the race.

Sherman served as MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark as a Progressive Conservative from 2008 to 2010, as an Independent MLA from 2010 to 2011 and as a Liberal from 2011 to 2015. He led the Alberta Liberal Party from 2011 to 2015.

Edmonton-Whitemud has been represented by Alberta NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi since 2019, when she was elected with 49.18 per cent of the vote.

AUPE’s Heisted running for NDP nomination in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake

Jason Heistad Innisfail-Sylvan Lake NDP candidate nomination
Jason Heistad (source: AUPE)

Innisfail Town Councillor and AUPE Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jason Heistad is running for the NDP nomination in the central Alberta riding of Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

Heistad was first elected to town council in 2010 and was re-elected in 2021 with the most votes of any councillor candidate. He was elected to his fifth term as AUPE’s Executive Secretary-Treasurer in 2021.

A nomination vote is scheduled for February 6.

The riding is currently represented by UCP MLA and cabinet minister Devin Dreeshen.

UCP MLA Pat Rehn not running for re-election

Pat Rehn and Jason Kenney during the 2019 election.
Pat Rehn and then-UCP leader Jason Kenney during the 2019 election.

Lesser Slave Lake UCP MLA Pat Rehn is not running for re-election. It’s not a surprise but a confirmation of what a lot of people thought would happen.

Danielle Larivee NDP Lesser Slave Lake
Danielle Larivee

The one-term MLA was ejected from the UCP Caucus in January 2021 after taking a trip to Mexico in defiance of his own government’s COVID-19 travel recommendations.

Local municipal officials also called on Rehn to resign for being invisible in the riding and allegedly spending more time focusing on his business interests in Texas than on being MLA for Lesser Slave Lake.

Rehn was allowed to rejoin the UCP Caucus in July 2021 and he endorsed Danielle Smith in the party’s 2022 leadership race.

Martine Carifelle and Scott Sinclair are seeking the UCP nomination. The NDP have nominated registered nurse Danielle Larivee, who represented the riding from 2015 to 2019 and served as a cabinet minister in Rachel Notley‘s first government.

More nomination updates

With just over four months until the next provincial election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 52 ridings and the Green Party has 25 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are more of the latest nomination updates from across Alberta:

United Conservative Party
Alberta NDP
  • Calgary-Klein: Mattie McMillan, Angela McIntyre and Lizette Tejada are running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Klein on February 15.
  • Drumheller-Stettler: Stettler pharmacist Juliet Franklin is running for the NDP nomination in this sprawling east central Alberta riding. A nomination meeting is scheduled for February 13, 2023.
  • Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre: Fisheries biologist Vance Buchwald is running for the NDP nomination in this sprawling west central Alberta riding. A nomination meeting scheduled for February 15, 2023. In 2021, Buchwald urged Clearwater County Council to take a stand against coal mining development near Nordegg.
Green Party of Alberta
  • The Green Party has nominated Regan Boychuk in Banff-Kananaskis, Ahmad Hassan in Calgary-Falconridge, Kenneth Drysdale in Calgary-Klein, and Cheri Hawley in Edmonton-Whitemud.
  • Heather Morigeau has withdrawn her candidacy in Calgary-Buffalo, as has Jonathan Parks in Calgary-Currie.
Alberta Party

The Alberta Party has opened up nominations in Calgary-Varsity. Nominations closed on January 15. If more than one candidate entered the race a nomination vote will be held on January 29, 2023.


Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack

Daveberta Dave CournoyerSubscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my regular Alberta politics column, like my recent columns about the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, delivered straight into your email inbox.

I have some fun and exciting news to share about the Substack coming soon, so don’t miss out.

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Alberta Politics

By one vote! Recount confirms former MLA Scott Cyr beat MLA David Hanson in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP nomination

Happy New Year!

It’s a new year and I have a few candidate updates to share with you today.

With about five months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party have candidates nominated in 52 ridings and the Green Party has 23 candidates named. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the latest updates to the list of candidates running in Alberta’s next provincial election:

  • A recount approved by the UCP executive board determined that former MLA Scott Cyr defeated incumbent MLA David Hanson in the Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul nomination vote. There were 8 disputed votes after the final recount but when all the votes were rectified, Cyr beat Hanson by 1 vote! Cyr was elected as the Wildrose Party MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake in 2015. He declined to challenge Hanson for the UCP nomination when the ridings they represented were amalgamated ahead of the 2019 election.
  • UCP MLA Rick Wilson was acclaimed as his party’s candidate in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin. Wilson was first elected in 2019 and has served as Minister of Indigenous Relations since then.
  • Joel Hunt was nominated as the Green Party candidate in Taber-Warner.
  • Edmonton-North West NDP MLA David Eggen confirmed that he is running for re-election, despite what Postmedia columnist David Staples wrote over the weekend. Staples appears to have got Eggen confused with Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview MLA Deron Bilous, who is retiring when the next election is called. Postmedia issued a correction in the online version of the column.

With all indications pointing to a tight two-party race between the UCP and NDP in the next election, it’s a tough road ahead for the smaller political parties trying to breakthrough in 2023.

Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita recently announced that Troy Wason stepped down as Executive Director of the Alberta Party at the end of December 2022. Morishita reported that the party had no intention to replace him and was instead transitioning to an election readiness team and campaign manager. Wason will become the party’s Major Donor Fundraising Chair.

Liberal Party executive director Gwyneth Midgley announced in October 2022 that she was stepping down as Executive Director of that party after eight years in the role.

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Alberta Politics

Janis Irwin voted Best Alberta MLA for the third year in a row. Results of the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 Survey announced.

With all the votes counted, the winners of the sixth annual Best of Alberta Politics survey are:

Best Alberta MLA and Best Opposition MLA

Always a fan favourite, for the third year in a row Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA Janis Irwin has been voted the Best Alberta MLA. For the first time, Irwin was voted Best Opposition MLA, knocking her leader Rachel Notley out of the spot for the first time since 2019. 

Irwin is a passionate voice in the Legislature and one of the hardest working constituency MLAs in the province.

On any given day, she can be spotted around her north east Edmonton constituency out volunteering with a community group, attending a cultural event, or just meeting with constituents. Sure this is what a lot of MLAs do, but Irwin balances her community work and politics with level of humility and humour that you don’t always see in a politician – and she’s been able to successfully translate it into a huge social media following on Instagram and Twitter. (Oh, I can’t forget to mention Oregano).

Best Alberta Cabinet Minister

Rajan Sawhney

Well-liked and respected among her colleagues, Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism Rajan Sawhney was new to politics when she was first elected in 2019 but quickly distinguished herself as a strong performer in a largely rookie cabinet.

The Calgary-North East MLA leaned on her years of business experience to launch an outsider campaign for the United Conservative Party leadership in 2022, but it wasn’t enough to break through in a campaign that was defined by the front-runner, Danielle Smith.

Up and Coming MLA to Watch

Rakhi Pancholi (source: Rakhi Pancholi / Facebook)

Edmonton-Whitemud NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi continues to distinguish herself as a smart and well-spoken member of the opposition.

This is Pancholi’s third year winning in this category, demonstrating that a lot of people are interested in watching her political trajectory and probably won’t stop until she either becomes a cabinet minister after next year’s election or goes on to lead her party at some point in the future. 

Candidate to Watch in 2023

Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse, Brooks Arcand-Paul, Linda Duncan and Blake Desjarlais at the nomination campaign launch in Edmonton-West Henday.
Brooks Arcand-Paul (second from the left) with Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse, Linda Duncan and Blake Desjarlais at the nomination campaign launch in Edmonton-West Henday. (Source: Instagram)

First Nations lawyer and Edmonton-West Henday NDP candidate Brooks Arcand-Paul was voted the Candidate to Watch in 2023. The University of Ottawa law graduate is the in-house legal counsel for the Alexander First Nation, located just north of Edmonton. As part of the NDP’s slate of new candidates, he’s running in the west Edmonton riding being vacated by retiring two-term NDP MLA Jon Carson.

Biggest issue of 2022

The crisis in the health care system was overwhelmingly voted the biggest political issue of 2022 in Alberta, and there shouldn’t be any confusion why.

The lingering effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the dramatic impact of respiratory illnesses on children’s hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton have made national headlines. Shortages of nurses and doctors have created a staffing crisis in hospitals and health centres in every corner of Alberta.

The current crisis guarantees that health care will be one of the top issues on the minds of Albertans heading into the 2023 election.

Biggest political play of 2022

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced he is stepping down as leader of the United Conservative Party after receiving 51.4% support in the party's leadership review.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announced he is stepping down as leader of the United Conservative Party after receiving 51.4% support in the party’s leadership review.

It was almost Shakespearean. Jason Kenney losing the leadership of the UCP – the party he nurtured from its birth – was voted the biggest political play of 2022. Kenney pulled together the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives parties (which won the 2017 award in this category) with the goal of defeating the NDP in 2019 but it wasn’t long after his big electoral success that his party started to turn on him.

The COVID-19 pandemic derailed Kenney’s premiership but his divisive rhetoric and decision to firmly plant himself on the unpopular side of some big issues left him with few allies when his party and a small army of anti-vaxx activists mobilized against him. In the end, even 51.4 per cent in the leadership review wasn’t enough to save his political career.


Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to everyone who voted in this year’s survey. There is a lot of negativity in politics, so I started the annual Best of Alberta Politics survey back in 2017 as a way to give followers of provincial politics a chance to recognize and reward some of the best people involved in Alberta politics.


Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack

Daveberta Dave CournoyerSubscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my regular Alberta politics column, like my recent columns about the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, delivered straight into your email inbox.

I have some fun and exciting news to share about the Substack early in the new year, so don’t miss out.

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Alberta Politics

Luke Suvanto wins UCP nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Robin Kurpjuweit joins Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP race

As things begin to wrap up for the holidays, this is probably going to be one of the final candidate nomination updates of 2022.

The last scheduled candidate selection meeting was held last night and saw Luke Suvanto defeat Felix Amenaghawon and Lana Palmer to win the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.

Suvanto is President of the federal Conservative electoral district association in Edmonton-Manning and is a leader with the Fort Road Victory Church.

The riding has been represented by NDP MLA Deron Bilous since 2012. Bilous announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election after 3-terms as MLA. Teacher and past NDP president Peggy Wright won the nomination to succeed Bilous as the NDP candidate.

Robin Kurpjuweit enters UCP contest in Cypress-Medicine Hat

Cypress County Councillor Robin Kurpjuweit announced his plans to seek the UCP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Kurpjuweit was first elected to county council in 2017. He joins former Western Standard VP of Operations James Finkbeiner in the nomination contest.

The riding is currently represented by Independent MLA Drew Barnes, who was elected in 2012 and 2015 as a Wildrose Party candidate and in 2019 under the UCP banner. He was kicked out of the UCP Caucus in May 2021, but unlike his colleague Todd Loewen, he has not rejoined the governing conservative caucus. It is looking increasingly like Barnes won’t rejoin the UCP.

The NDP are expected to hold a nomination meeting in the new year. School trustee Cathy Hogg and former teacher Tim Gruber are seeking the NDP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Dustin Cartwright is the nominated Green Party candidate.

That’s (almost) a wrap for 2022

While there are no more scheduled nomination votes in the final days of 2022, there are still outstanding UCP nomination results in ridings where acclamations are expected (Edmonton-Rutherford and Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin) and the results of the recount of the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul has not been released. The vote was sent for a recount at the party’s provincial office after former MLA Scott Cyr finished one vote ahead of incumbent MLA David Hanson.

With less than six months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 50 ridings and the Green Party has 22 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my nomination updates and shared information about who is in the running. I expect it will be a busy few months of nominations ahead of the May 2023 election, so please keep on sharing your local nomination updates with me.

Don’t forget to vote in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey. Voting is open until December 22 and I will announce the winners shortly after that.

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Daveberta Substack. I’m have some fun and exciting news to share about the Substack early in the new year, so don’t miss out.

Thanks.

Dave

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Alberta Politics

Vote in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 Survey – Vote for the Top 3

With thousands of submissions made to the sixth annual Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey, your choices have been sorted and you can now vote for the top 3 choices in each category. Voting is open until Dec. 22, 2022 at 8:00 pm and the winners will be announced shortly after at daveberta.ca. Thank you to everyone who voted.

Here are the top choices in each category:

1. Who was the best Alberta MLA of 2022? – VOTE

  • Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
  • Rachel Notley, MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona
  • Jordan Walker, MLA for Sherwood Park

Honourable mentions to runners-up Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Rakhi Pancholi and Central Peace-Notley MLA Todd Loewen.

2. Who was the best Alberta cabinet minister of 2022? – VOTE

  • Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism
  • Travis Toews, Minister of Finance
  • Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

Honourable mention to runner-up Minister of Health Jason Copping.

3. Who was the best opposition MLA of 2022? – VOTE

  • Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
  • Rachel Notley, MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona
  • Shannon Phillips, MLA for Lethbridge-West

Honourable mention to runners-up Edmonton-City Centre MLA David Shepherd and Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Rakhi Pancholi.

4. Who is the up and coming MLA to watch in 2023? – VOTE

  • Janis Irwin, MLA for Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood
  • Rakhi Pancholi, MLA for Edmonton-Whitemud
  • Danielle Smith, Premier and MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat

Honourable mentions to runners-up Calgary-Shaw MLA Rebecca Schulz.

5. Who is the candidate to watch in the 2023 election? – VOTE

Candidates to watch in 2023 Alberta Election Nagwan Al-Guneid Brooks Arcand-Paul Denis Ram
Nagwan Al-Guneid, Brooks Arcand-Paul, and Denis Ram (source: AlbertaNDP.ca)
  • Nagwan Al-Guneid, NDP candidate in Calgary-Glenmore
  • Brooks Arcand-Paul, NDP candidate in Edmonton-West Henday
  • Denis Ram, NDP candidate in Calgary-Peigan

Honourable mentions to Edmonton-South NDP candidate Rhiannon Hoyle and Edmonton-Rutherford Green Party candidate Jordan Wilkie.

6. What was the biggest issue of 2022? – VOTE

  • The crisis in the health care system
  • Inflation/Cost of Living
  • The Alberta Sovereignty Act

7. What was the biggest political play of 2022 in Alberta? – VOTE

  • Danielle Smith winning the UCP leadership
  • Jason Kenney losing the UCP leadership
  • The Alberta Sovereignty Act

Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack

Daveberta Dave CournoyerSubscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my regular Alberta politics column, like my recent columns about the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, delivered straight into your email inbox.

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Alberta Politics

Rajesh Angral wins 3-way NDP race in Calgary-North, Chantelle de Jonge wins Chestermere-Strathmore UCP nomination vote

Rajesh Angral defeated Hassan Bokhari and Moses Mariam to win the Alberta NDP nomination in Calgary-North.

“I am humbled and full of gratitude for support from members in Calgary-North,” said Angral in a media release. “Our community has come together and I am ready to work towards our common goals of uplifting North Calgary and work the concerns of residents as part of the Alberta NDP team as we head into the next election.”

Angral is President, CEO, producer, and host of Sabrang Radio 94.7FM and President of the Punjabi Council of Commerce in Calgary. His community involvement includes organizing multicultural and sport events including Culturefest, Vaisakhi Mela, Bollywood Nights, and cricket tournaments.

The north Calgary riding is currently represented by United Conservative Party MLA Muhammad Yaseen.

de Jonge wins UCP vote in Chestermere-Strathmore

Chantelle de Jonge United Conservative Party UCP Chestermere-Strathmore candidate MLA
Chantelle de Jonge (source: Chantelle de Jonge / Facebook)

Chantelle de Jonge defeated Dharminder Premi to secure the UCP nomination in Chestermere-Strathmore. de Jonge launched a nomination challenge against incumbent UCP MLA Leela Aheer in early 2021 but Aheer dropped out of the UCP nomination contest in October 2022.

de Jonge is a former President of the Calgary Dental Assistants Association and a former Constituency Assistant in the office of former Calgary-Skyview Conservative MP Jag Sahota. She has volunteered with a number of organizations and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics and philosophy at the University of Calgary.

de Jonge’s campaign promises included creating an Alberta Pension Plan and opposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul recount on Dec. 20

David Hanson, Scott Cyr and Greg Sawchuk at an all-candidates forum for the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul (source: Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul / Facebook)
David Hanson, Scott Cyr and Greg Sawchuk at an all-candidates forum for the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul (source: Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul / Facebook)

A recount of the votes in the Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP nomination contest will take place on Tuesday, December 20. The vote in the sprawling east central rural riding resulted in former MLA Scott Cyr finishing one vote ahead of incumbent MLA David Hanson.

The ballots are currently at UCP headquarters and are sealed in secure storage, and will not be opened until vote time, returning officer Ron Young told Lakeland Connect.

UCP members vote in Beverly-Clareview

UCP members in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview will choose from three candidates in a nomination vote on December 20. Engineer and past city council candidate Felix Amenaghawon, photographer and past city council candidate Lana Palmer, and car company financial specialist Luke Suvanto.

The riding is currently represented by NDP MLA Deron Bilous since 2012. Bilous announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election after 3-terms as MLA. Teacher and past NDP president Peggy Wright won the nomination to succeed Bilous as the NDP candidate.

Green Party candidate withdraws from “toxic” provincial politics

Carl McKay has withdrawn as the Green Party candidate in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock. In am email to this publisher on this website, McKay said that “I have removed myself from Provincial Politics and from the Provincial electoral registry. Participating in provincial politics is toxic and I have withdrawn as a candidate on Friday December 9, 2022.”

Total nominated Alberta election candidates

With less than six months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 49 ridings and the Green Party has 22 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!


Vote for the Best of Alberta Politics

Voting begins tonight for the top 3 submissions in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey. More than 3,000 entries were submitted so we are excited to open voting soon!

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Alberta Politics

One vote separating David Hanson and Scott Cyr in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP nomination race

It doesn’t get closer than this. One vote is all that separates two-term MLA David Hanson and former MLA Scott Cyr in the United Conservative Party nomination race in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul, according to sources close to the UCP.

UCP sources tell me that Cyr was one vote ahead after the local constituency association conducted a recount but that the party insisted in conducting another recount before announcing the results.

Former M.D. of Bonnyville reeve Greg Sawchuk is the third candidate in the race. The nomination vote took place at polling stations across the large rural riding on December 10, 11 and 12.

Hanson and Cyr were both elected as Wildrose Party MLAs in 2015, with Hanson representing Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills and Cyr representing Bonnyville-Cold Lake.

When the two ridings were merged before the 2019 election, Cyr opted to endorse Hanson for the UCP nomination and Hanson was re-elected by a huge margin in 2019.

Three years later Cyr changed his mind and challenged Hanson for the UCP nomination ahead of next year’s election.

According to a report by Lakeland Connect, the results of the vote believed “to be within as close as one or two votes.” The online news website also reported that a total of 723 votes were cast of roughly 1500 UCP members in the riding.

The NDP have nominated Caitlyn Blake as their candidate in the east central Alberta riding.


With less than six months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 68 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 48 ridings and the Green Party has 23 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Here are the scheduled upcoming nomination votes:

  • December 17 – Calgary-North NDP
  • December 17 – Chestermere-Strathmore UCP
  • December 20 – Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview UCP

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!


Submit your choices for the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey and subscribe to the Daveberta Substack.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Submit your picks for the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 Survey

It’s that time of year again and I am thrilled to launch of the sixth annual Daveberta Best of Alberta Politics survey. It has been a big year of change in Alberta politics so I am excited to hear from you about the big political players and issues of 2022.

Submit your choices in six categories.

  1. Who was the best Alberta MLA of 2022?
  2. Who was the best Alberta cabinet minister of 2022?
  3. Who was the best Opposition MLA of 2022?
  4. Who is the up and coming MLA to watch in 2023?
  5. Who is the candidate to watch in the 2023 election? (not an incumbent MLA)
  6. What was the biggest issue of 2022?
  7. What was the biggest political play in 2022?

Submissions will close on Dec. 16, 2022 at 8:00 pm and the top three choices in each category will be included in a round of voting starting on Dec. 19. Voting for the top 3 will be open until Dec. 22, 2022 at 8:00 pm and the winners will be announced on December 23.

Vote early. Vote often.

Good luck.

Dave

PS. Check out the winners of the previous five annual surveys going back to 2017.


Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my bi-weekly Alberta politics column, like my recent columns about the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, delivered straight into your email inbox.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Glenn van Dijken wins UCP nomination in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock, Tunde Obasan wins Edmonton-South UCP race

Three quick Alberta election candidate nomination updates tonight:

  • MLA Glenn van Dijken defeated Westlock County Councillor Isaac Skuban to secure the United Conservative Party nomination in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock. van Dijken was first elected in 2015 as a Wildrose MLA and was re-elected in 2019 as UCP candidate.
  • Tunde Obasan Edmonton South UCP
    Tunde Obasan

    Tunde Obasan defeated Karen Stix to win the UCP nomination in Edmonton-South. This will be Obasan’s second time running as a UCP candidate in the riding. He placed second with 43.1 per cent of the vote in 2019. In 2021, he was the federal Conservative candidate in Edmonton-Strathcona, where he finished second with 25.3 per cent of the vote. Obasan will face NDP candidate Rhiannon Hoyle in the next election.

  • Slava Cravcenco is running for the UCP nomination in Edmonton-West Henday. Cravcenco ran for the UCP nomination in the neighbouring Edmonton-South West earlier this year and was defeated by UCP MLA Kaycee Madu. With incumbent NDP MLA Jon Carson not seeking re-election, the NDP have nominated lawyer Brooks Arcand-Paul.

The UCP nomination vote in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul, where MLA David Hanson faces a challenge from former MLA Scott Cyr and former county reeve Greg Sawchuk, concludes on December 12 and only a handful of other nomination votes are scheduled to happen before the new year:

  • December 17 – Calgary-North NDP
  • December 17 – Chestermere-Strathmore UCP
  • December 20 – Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview UCP

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!


Ontarian campaigners flock to Alberta

Steve Outhouse United Conservative Party campaign manager Alberta
Steve Outhouse (source: Steve Outhouse / LinkedIn)

The UCP has hired Steve Outhouse as the party’s campaign manager for the next provincial election.

The Ontario-based political staffer and campaigner was deputy chief of staff to former Conservative Party of Canada leader Erin O’Toole, and was campaign manager on Leslyn Lewis’ campaign for the federal Conservative leadership in 2022.

This announcement comes a week after the UCP hired another Ontario political organizer, Pierçon Knezic, as the party’s Director of Election Readiness.


If you haven’t already, subscribe to the Daveberta Substack to enjoy my bi-weekly columns on Alberta politics.

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Alberta Politics

Fred Kreiner wins West Yellowhead NDP nomination race, Dharminder Premi jumps into Chestermere-Strathmore UCP contest

Three quick candidate nomination updates this morning:

  • Former school principal and school board trustee Fred Kreiner defeated former county councillor Lavone Olson to win the Alberta NDP nomination in West Yellowhead. Kreiner has worked a teacher, vice-principal and principal at schools in Edson and Jasper and served two terms as a school trustee in the Greater North Central Francophone Education Region.
  • Dharminder Premi will challenge Chantelle de Jonge for the United Conservative Party nomination in Chestermere-Strathmore at a December 17 vote. Premi is President of SoftForward Technologies Inc. and is a public member of the Rockyview County Subdivision & Development Appeal Board / Enforcement Review Committee. Incumbent UCP MLA Leela Aheer announced in October that she will not run for re-election under the UCP banner but has not publicly said if she will run as an Independent or for another party.
  • Mattie McMillan announced she plans to once again seek the NDP nomination in Calgary-Klein. McMillan ran for the party nomination in March 2022 that chose Marilyn North Peigan. North Peigan was removed as the NDP candidate in November 2022.

Here are the scheduled upcoming nomination votes, some of which I profiled earlier this week:

  • December 9 & 10 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock UCP
  • December 10, 11, 12 – Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP
  • December 11 – Edmonton-South UCP
  • December 17 – Calgary-North NDP
  • December 17 – Chestermere-Strathmore UCP
  • December 20 – Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview UCP

I am building a list of candidates running for party nominations, so if you are seeking a nomination and would like you name added to the list please let me know. Thanks!


Liberals make interim leader permanent

John Roggeveen Alberta Liberal Party Leader
John Roggeveen (source: LinkedIn)

The Alberta Liberal Party announced that interim leader John Roggeveen, who has served in that position since March 2021, is now the party’s permanent leader.

The Calgary-based lawyer and long-time party supporter stepped into the interim role three months after David Khan stepped down in November 2020.

The party’s August 2022 leadership race was a bust when no candidates were approved to run for the party leadership.

Roggeveen has served on the party’s executive and was a candidate in Calgary-Shaw in 2004, 2008 and 2012, Calgary-Elbow in 2015 and Calgary-Fish Creek in 2019.

Following a disappointing result in the 2019 election, the party failed to elect any MLAs to the Alberta Legislature for the first time since 1982.


Barry Cooper and the Alberta Sovereignty Act

A lot of people reacting to University of Calgary political science professor Barry Cooper’s comments about Alberta separatism yesterday on CBC’s The Current. Back in September, I published a column on the Daveberta Substack about Dr. Cooper’s long history of separatist comments and his role as an architect of the Alberta Sovereignty Act.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Maps! Where candidates are nominated to run in Alberta’s 2023 election

United Conservative Party nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark blue, ridings with scheduled nomination meetings in light blue. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
United Conservative Party nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark blue, ridings with scheduled nomination meetings in light blue. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)

With just more than 170 days until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 67 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 46 ridings and the Green Party has 23 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Alberta NDP nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark orange, ridings with scheduled nomination meetings in light orange. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
Alberta NDP nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark orange, ridings with scheduled nomination meetings in light orange. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
Green Party of Alberta nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark green. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
Green Party of Alberta nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in dark green. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
Alberta Party nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in light blue. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)
Alberta Party nominated candidates as of December 6, 2022. Ridings with nominated candidates in light blue. (map from https://canadianpolling.ca/diy/ab/)

There are four nomination votes scheduled to take place this week:

December 8 – West Yellowhead NDP

Fred Kreiner and Lavone Olson are seeking the Alberta NDP nomination. Kreiner has worked a teacher, vice-principal and principal at schools in Edson and Jasper and served two terms as a school trustee in the North Central Francophone Education Region. Olson was Yellowhead County Councillor from 2007 to 2013 and 2017 to 2021 and is a a member of the Metis Nation of Alberta and the Mountain Metis Association of Grande Cache.

Kreiner is also the son of Helmut Kreiner, who served as Mayor of Whitecourt from 1986 to 1992. His mother, Gertrude Kreiner, was a public school trustee in Whitecourt.

The winner of this nomination vote will face United Conservative Party MLA Martin Long, who has already been nominated to run for re-election under his party’s banner.

December 9 & 10 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock UCP

UCP MLA Glenn van Dijken faces a nomination challenge from 24-year old Westlock County Councillor Isaac Skuban. van Dijken was first elected as a Wildrose Party candidate in 2015 and was re-elected under the UCP banner in 2019.

December 10, 11 & 12 – Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul UCP

UCP MLA David Hanson faces a nomination challenge from MLA Scott Cyr and former MD of Bonnyville reeve Greg Sawchuk. Hanson and Cyr were both first elected as Wildrose MLAs in 2015 and joined the UCP in 2017, but when their ridings were merged before the 2019 election, Cyr dropped his plans to run for a second consecutive term and Hanson was re-elected.

Lakeland Connect hosted an all candidate forum with the three candidates last week.

The NDP have nominated Caitlyn Blake in the east central Alberta riding,

December 11 – Edmonton-South UCP

Past candidate Tunde Obasan and accountant Karen Stix are seeking the UCP nomination. Obasan ran for UCP in the riding in 2019, placing second, and for the federal Conservatives in Edmonton-Strathcona in 2021. Stix is a professional accountant who runs her own accounting company and is an instructor with the Edmonton Nordic Ski Club. She is also the past president of the UCP association in the neighbouring Edmonton-Whitemud riding.

Past city council candidate Rhiannon Hoyle is running for the NDP.

Incumbent MLA Thomas Dang was elected under the NDP banner in 2015 and 2019 but left the NDP Caucus in December 2021 after the RCMP searched his house in an investigation related to the breaching of an Alberta Health online database. Dang is now an Independent MLA and is not running for re-election.

A big thanks to CanadianPolling.com for the amazingly easy to use DIY maps.


Daveberta Substack hits 1500 subscribers!

daveberta substackA big thank you to everyone who has signed up and is reading my columns over on the Daveberta Substack. I’m always interested to hear what readers have to say so feel free to let me know what you think.

Categories
Alberta Politics

MLA Tany Yao loses UCP nomination to Zulkifl Mujahid in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo

Zulkifl Mujahid defeated MLA Tany Yao and Fort McMurray Construction Association CEO Keith Plowman in the United Conservative Party nomination vote in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo. Mujahid works at City Auto Repair in Fort McMurray.

Yao was first elected to represent the riding in 2015 as a Wildrose Party candidate and was re-elected in 2019 under the UCP banner. A former paramedic, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health on October 24, 2022.

Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo UCP MLA Tany Yao
Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo UCP MLA Tany Yao

Yao has the dubious distinction of being one of six UCP MLAs caught in December 2020 and January 2021 travelling on a hot holidays (he was in in Mexico), while the Alberta government was advising Albertans to stay home to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

In 2020, Yao introduced a private members bill to allow private-f0r-profit plasma clinics to operate in Alberta. He accused critics of his bill of wanting to harvest organs from people without consent.

Yao is the second MLA and first UCP MLA to lose a nomination vote in this election cycle. NDP MLA Chris Nielsen lost his nomination to Sharif Haji in Edmonton-Decore in June 2022.

With six months left until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 67 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 46 ridings and the Green Party has 23 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.


Subscribe to the Daveberta Substack and get my bi-weekly Alberta politics column, like this week’s column about the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, delivered straight into your email inbox.