Alberta Politics

alberta politics notes 12/12/2010

Don Martin goes to Ottawa
After 32-years writing for the Calgary Herald, Don Martin wrote his final column last week titled “ My last words on Alberta politics.” Mr. Martin will soon take over as the host of CTV’s Ottawa-based Power Play.

The City of Edmonton approved their 2011 budget with a 3.85% tax increase. Read Councillor Don Iveson‘s blog post on the budget debates and results. The City of Calgary also recently passed their 2011 budget with a 5% tax increase.

Urban municipalities conference
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association held their annual general meeting at the end of November where they debated and adopted a series of new policies. Conference delegates also acclaimed Village of Breton Councillor Darren Aldous as their President for a second-term.

Lethbridge By-Election
The sudden death of Alderman-elect Bob Babki in October has triggered a by-election for Lethbridge City Council scheduled for February 1, 2011. Jeff Coffman, Kevin Layton, George McCrea, Wade Galloway are standing in the by-election.

Canadian Wheat Board elections
Allen Oberg of Forrestburg, Alberta, Stewart Wells of Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Kyle Korneychuk of Pelly, Saskatchewan, John Sandborn of Benito, Manitoba, and Henry Vos of Fairview, Alberta were elected or re-elected to the Canadian Wheat Board. All Board Members with the exception of Mr. Vos are supporters of a single desk seller. Just over 41 per cent of the eligible 28,481 eligible farmers returned their mail-in ballots.

Alberta Party releases MLA Guidelines
The Alberta Party has released a series of guidelines for MLAs and a process for sitting MLAs who want to join that party, which has generated some interesting debate on Facebook. The Edmonton Journal’s Sheila Pratt has wrote about a recent chat with the Alberta Party’s Acting-Leader Sue Huff, as did Angela Brunschot in SEE Magazine.

New Alberta Liberal Executive
The Alberta Liberals elected a new President at their recent annual general meeting. Erick Ambtman was acclaimed to the position as were VP Policy Debbie Cavaliere and Secretary Nancy Cavanaugh. Two other board positions appear to be vacant as VP Communications Jody MacPherson resigned for personal reasons at the AGM and the VP Fundraising position is listed as vacant on the party website.

Mar blocked Maryland global warming Bill
Alberta’s representative in Washington DC Gary Mar helped stop a piece of global warming legislation in the State of Maryland in 2009. According to The Tyee, Mr. Mar travelled to Maryland to speak against the Oil Sands Responsibility Act introduced by Representative Roger Manno. The Bill would have prohibited State agencies from purchasing high-carbon fuel, including fuel derived from Alberta’s oil sands.

Ted Morton running against Danielle Smith?
Probably not, but that has not stopped the speculation that the PCs would take advantage of changes in the electoral boundaries to put their top fiscal mallard Ted Morton on the ballot against Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith.

Social Credit AGM
The elusive Social Credit Party held its annual general meeting on November 20, 2010 in in Innisfail where its members reaffirmed the leadership of Len Skowronski and heard what I am sure was a fascinating a speech from Paul Kennett, President and CEO of the Alberta Credit Union Deposit Corporation. The party also elected a new board of directors, consisting of President Gordon Barrett, Vice-Presidents Helge Nome and Garnet Medicraft, Area Directors Myrna Kissick, Gordon Musgrove, Tom Stad, Raj Sinha, Charles Relland, and Bob Whyte. Both Mr. Relland and Mr. Whyte are former members of the Alberta Party, which they both left after the party’s renewal attracted in an influx of new members over the past year.

Election earlier than 2012?
Liberal leader David Swann and Wildrose Alliance leader Ms. Smith are predicting an election in early 2011. Although I have heard similar rumours as they have, I still believe that as long as Premier Ed Stelmach is the leader of his party the next election will be in March 2012, as he has consistently said.

Read more in the Alberta Politics Notes archive.

8 replies on “alberta politics notes 12/12/2010”

Nice to see the Socreds are into recycling. Charles Relland ran for the Alberta Alliance in Edmonton-Mill Woods in 2004 too, right?

I also remember Bob Whyte being in attendance at the Wildrose Party’s founding meeting in Red Deer, back in 2007. I only recall his name because he stood up to the mike and spoke to the floor at one point…

The Alberta Party guidelines are a joke, I actually laughed. First of all what’s new about politicians having to listen? What’s so innovative about decorum and respect? Wasn’t David Swann mocked and rediculed for wanting to maintain a certain degree of civility in the Legislature?

But what’s really laughable is their guidelines for floor-crossers. It’s not like MLAs are elbowing each other to jump to their ship that they have to regulate entry and post guards at the gate! Didn’t the Alliance too have a policy or some guidelines dealing with that? Remember how those went out the window in no time when PC MLAs decided to cross?

Morton would go down to defeat if he were to run in Highwood against Smith. You don’t have to be politically savvy to see thru that move.

Firstly, virtually everyone who supported Morton already moved to the Wildrose Alliance.

Secondly, moving cabinet ministers to a different riding to defeat popular opposition candidates rarely ever works. Vicki Huntington vs. Wally Opal is a prime example.

Thirdly, there isn’t a lot of very happy Progressive Conservatives in Highwood at the moment to begin with.

As for Social Credit, they need all the help they can get. I’m sure if you look hard enough you will probably find that Charles Relland was probably in Alberta First and Social Credit during the Thorsteinson era, he gets around.

I just want to say I really like the push to digital, with a website being mandatory. Facebook and Twitter are great too, but I like that Alberta Party MLAs would have to have a website. It is nearly 2011 after all.

Morton’s loyalty in that area is very high. Plus he’s been there for two terms versus Smith who is seen as a carpet bagger with no roots in the community. This isn’t a big deal in the cities but is huge in a rural area like Highwood. With Smith gone and the Wildrose getting 15 or so seats, the logical leader is Rob Anderson.

Morton has lost a lot of street credit, being Finance Minister and pushing some questionable and dubious legislation hasn’t been very healthy for the grass roots growing in his back yard.

As for politicians moving from somewhere else to somewhere else.

While I do think that Smith is better off in Calgary-North Hill.

Aberhart went from Calgary to Okotoks-High River (Highwood)
Getty went from Edmonton-Whitemud to Stettler
Hinman went from Cardston-Taber-Warner to Calgary-Glenmore

They all won, granted though Gordon Kessler went from Old-Didsbury to Highwood and didn’t win.

As for Rob Anderson leadership, I find that laughable. Even if Anderson did want the leadership, he would know that it would be political suicide for him and his supporters and his own career to depose Smith and fracture the Alliance.

I think anyone floating those rumors or putting his name out there is from the P.C. side desperate to create any weakness and infighting in the Wildrose Alliance.

While it would be interesting to see Smith — who’s so far shown herself to be a mile wide and micorn deep on any real issue — and Rev.Dr. Morton, it liukely won’t happen. If for no other reason than Morton has become vulnerable over his mishandling of the Alberta economy. The Heritage fund has been depleted to the point where it soon can no longer be looted (I guess these are the rainy days we’ve all ehard about). And it looks like his recxovery plan is a compelte failure, too. Both Stelmach andMorton have to wear it! And smith would only have made thing worse given her party’s complete dependence on the oil patch.

While it would be interesting to see Smith — who’s so far shown herself to be a mile wide and micron deep on any real issue — and Rev. Dr. Morton duking it out, it likely won’t happen. If for no other reason than Morton has become vulnerable over his mishandling of the Alberta economy. The Heritage fund has been depleted to the point where it soon can no longer be looted (I guess these are the rainy days we’ve all heard about). And it looks like his recovery plan is a complete failure, too. Both Stelmach and Morton have to wear it! And Smith would only have made thing worse given her party’s complete dependence on the oil patch.

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