With Alberta’s pre-election season in full-swing, molehills are becoming mountains and politicians are clinging to any issue they believe could help them score political points.
Kicking off this past week, Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths announced that Progressive Conservative MLAs would boycott an annual breakfast hosted by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association after that organization’s President, Edmonton City Councillor Linda Sloan, criticized the provincial budget. Minister Griffiths claimed that Councillor-President Sloan’s criticisms were unfair, and in a tit-for-tat written letter, he declined the AUMA’s invitation to the meal.
The situation was quickly enflamed when Premier Alison Redford‘s Chief of Staff, Stephen Carter, tweeted that Councillor Sloan had lied, maliciously, by accusing the province of political bias in funding municipal projects. After an ensuing social media firestorm crossed into main stream media reporting, Mr. Carter issued an apology to Councillor Sloan.
Minister Griffiths then tweeted that he would attended the annual AUMA breakfast. Councillor Sloan, a former Liberal MLA, used Minister Griffiths’ u-turn as an opportunity to restate her claim that partisan interests have influence municipal grants. I expect this may be the first of many times the provincial Tories will have to face Councillor Sloan in her role with the AUMA.
Almost immediately after the story of Mr. Carter’s tweet began to die down, Tory caucus communications officer Jessica Jacobs-Mino found herself in hot water after a spat on Twitter with Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid. Her Twitter account has since been deleted.
Opposition politicians were not immune to this week’s pre-election overzealousness. Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman delivered a pitch perfect apology after a media release sent from his caucus wrongfully accused the Town of Penhold of illegally donating $609 to the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake PC association.
A quick rebuttal from Penhold Mayor Dennis Cooper revealed that the financial transaction was not an illegal donation, but a repayment for unused rent given to the town for use of its facilities. The Liberal accusation was the latest in a series of media releases accusing the Tories of being “warlords” for their part in the painfully-named “donation-gate.”
6 replies on “one week. too many tweets. two apologies.”
It’s unbelievable how childish most of these political tweets are becoming. It’s starting to sound like playground squabbles and frankly they are starting to turn me off and I’m sure many other voters as well. It’s no wonder there’s so much apathy amongst the voting public. These barbs and taunts are like a poorly written reality show. Grow up!
Get over yourself and quit acting like some grandstanding priest. People are frickin frustrated at the level of poor ehtics, morality and accountability in our politics today in AB. From the healthcare transgressions to electoral fraud and manipulation, gerrymandering, destruction of education, selling off seniors to billions in deficits, despite oil being $100/bbl for years. You want to make a little important comment about a few tweets? Why not ask the Pee Sees for some financial audits, where did the billions go?
Forgive us who find your being offended at tweets a little naive. But here are bigger underlying issues and the tweets are just a canary in the coal mine of the underbelly of corrupt politics here. Step back and realize that Sloan and others are speaking out of frustration, the level of ce-ercion, bullying and intimdation that everybody who deals with this behemoth, have to deal with. People are fedup in dealing with liars, fakers and charlatans. Its time to vote these bums on to their ears this next election. We are quite sure you will recover from the damage of a few tweets.
I think someone stood a little too close to the dictionary fire…….
I am surprised that Mr Carter has not been shown the door. This position should be filled by an accomplished individual who understands that the position is seen as speaking for the Premier. To have this “communication” go out and be allowed degrades the office of the Premier. Surely the Premier is worthy of respect – not the person but the office – and I find this as disrespectful of the Office. Shame
Ah, politics. it does create strange bedfellows and it’s these days a veritable musical beds.
it may be that the minister and the auma were apparently locking horns, but there is from our perspective an ongoing concern regarding accountability by municipal governments to the residents thereof.
this is most prevalent in the non-urban areas which the current auma president might not yet be aware being a city girl.
in 2009, municipal accountability was being examined and a watchdog office proposed to oversee it. a good idea in principal but so underfunded as to be useless, it wasthankfully not implemented.
now, today, there has been somewhat of a revival of municipal accountability issues,the ministry has proposed to the municipalities an “accountability plan”, largely based on some honor system we think but
were not able to find out from our council, nor ab municipal affairs ANYTHING ABOUT IT so
it must be bad news for citizens jane and dick.
further, we found on the auma website there is a plan to overhaul the municipal government act. no details here either, it’s another one of those “open after election” packages but
knowing the way things are done in ab, we are expecting it will not bode well for taxpayers and landowners or they would all surely be crowing about it to get our votes.
municipal governments ARE governments as well after all, usually made up of wanna be provincial politicians, it could even be called a training ground.
we don’t understand why it is assumed, when municipal politics has the identical rate of disinterest as provincial, that the “officials” that “govern” over us are the best people to consult regarding OUR LOCAL CONCERNS. sometimes they communicate what i would be in favour of provincially, more often not, ESPECIALLY when it comes to LAND USE AND PLANNING.
has it occurred to anyone that the final say in land use questions lies with the municipality,
the municipal government act still trumps all other land use and property rights legislation. it is probably not as threatening or obvious in the cities and towns where there are more people paying attention and the media does more coverage
that’s why there was no fight at all from the pc’s to change the land laws when they did, the question is why is there no mention of this by them nor ANY OTHER POLITICAL party,
especially those whose stock in trade has been landowner rights.
WHO has the depth of integrity it takes to REALLY go all out, to the wall for property rights?
they still all need to keep an advantage over us and it is
all laid out for them to do so through the alberta municipal government act,
a dog’s breakfast of legislation that has been indiscriminately tweaked and added to over decades.
it is SO arbitrary and confusing and ill-conceived,
there are rights being taken away in the time it takes a councillor to raise their hand, “oops, there it’s gone, now you are all breaking the law, pay up.”
these “by-laws” are LAWS, it doesn’t matter whether they serve the public, and there is very little recourse available.
municipal affairs unspoken policy is to stay out of it except in very extreme cases that involve near riots of local citizens. this depends largely on a diligent and objective media, also rare in rural areas.
looking for justice? try the dictionary. the courts are not an option unless you want to mortgage the farm to pay a lawyer, (if you can even find any who practice in this area of law, there are veeeery few, although you will easily find those willing to learn on your retainer! no guaranteed outcome, of course)
if any level of government wants your land for their own use or for their corporate friends and supporters, or even just because they have to throw their weight around, there is nothing to stop them. nothing. and the municipal governments are in a very good position that way in spite of all their whining about not having enough power and autonomy
i would like hear more discussion about property rights, but with ALL the information on the table.
so no, we don’t think the rift between the minster and auma will last, they need each other too much.
thanks dave, for facilitating the dialogue. we need more of it.
just one more thing to look at after te election! Note how everythingis to be examined, promoted, implemented after the election? Would not want the folks to actually have facts before.
Yes the municipalities play into the hands of prov. govt. they have to – funding! Accountability at all levels – non existent. Property rights – non existent – Folks: property rights has nothing to do with land titles! I have heard the 2 terms being interchanged and the govt does it deliberately. Sorry the urban folks do not get it, the rurals do! The land bills do allow the taking of property for the public good – power lines, pipelines, roads, access to drilling sites, etc etc etc. But do remember ANT licence given by the govt can now be taken – water, etc etc etc. when they want to put a power line down jasper avenue east to west – do not say they cannot cause they can. Not likely, i agree but shows you they can! By the way, an interesting one – the carbon sequestration act says they now own “core space” – the little spaces between the particles of dirt, gravel etc. So when you dig some dirt out of your backyard and put it in a pot you are stealing from the govt! Silly as it sounds it is true, but it does emphasize a point!