Alberta Cabinet Shuffle Dave Hancock Diana McQueen Doug Horner Ed Stelmach Fred Horne George Groenveld Iris Evans Jack Hayden Mel Knight Rob Renner Ron Liepert Ted Morton

alberta cabinet shuffle.

With a cabinet shuffled expected in the near future (possibly as early as tomorrow), there is no shortage of speculation about who will be shuffled in, out, and around. A cabinet shuffle will put a new face on the tiring PC cabinet that has weathered a brutal public beating on issues ranging from unpopular health care restructuring, Bill 44, resource royalty tinkering, international attention on the oilsands, a by-election defeat, a seismic drop in the polls, and MLA defections.

As I wrote in December 2009, It is going to take something much more meaningful than a cabinet shuffle to change PC Party fortunes. One of Premier Ed Stelmach‘s greatest challenges is that his government doesn’t have a defining purpose beyond governing for governing sake, and it shows.

Iris EvansRon Liepert

Finance Minister Iris Evans may keep her job, but there are strong rumors about a comfy patronage appointment as Alberta’s Representative in London, UK. With a strong political pedigree, Doug Horner is a key candidate for promotion – to Finance, or more likely, Health & Wellness. His father, Hugh Horner, served as an MP, MLA, and cabinet minister between 1958 and 1979, including as Deputy Premier and Minister of Agriculture of Alberta.

The rumor mill appears to have come to an unlikely consensus that Minister Ron Liepert will relieve Minister Mel Knight of his position in Energy. Delicate as a wrecking ball, Minister Liepert oversaw the haphazard dissolution of Alberta’s regional health authorities and centralization under the Alberta Health Services ‘Superboard.’ I am sure that the energy sector will love him.

Iris EvansLindsay Blackett

As the Godfather of Edmonton PC MLAs, Dave Hancock is expected to remain Education Minister, not interrupting the ongoing School Act review. Also expected to remain in their job is Environment Minister Rob Renner, who has proved his ability to deliver a respectful media performance on dirty files like climate change and the oilsands. 

First-term MLA Diana McQueen wooed PC delegates in her introduction of Premier Stelmach at their 2009 leadership review convention. McQueen could be a strong addition to a weak cabinet. After playing interference for Premier Stelmach on the Alberta Hospital Edmonton bed closures, another rookie MLA, Fred Horne, has been rumored to be a candidate for Minister of Health, but more recently has been rumoured to replace Minister Horner in Advanced Education. Horne served as Executive Assistant to Minister Hancock, who also he served in the portfolio.

Long-time Stelmach confidants Jack Hayden, Ray Danyluk, and Lloyd Snelgrove will likely stay rewarded for their loyalty, but may be shuffled. Ted Morton is clearly enjoying his current role as Sustainable Resource Development Minister, but columnist Don Braid has suggested that he may be moved to the Treasury Board position. Weak Ministerial performers Lindsay BlackettJanis Tarchuk, Heather Klimchuk, and George Groenveld are also prime targets for being shuffled.

After taking another look at the rumoured shuffle, it does not appear to be much of a change after all. We shall wait and see.

Danielle Smith Dave Hancock David Swann Doug Horner Ed Stelmach Janis Tarchuk Laurence Decore Lindsay Blackett Mel Knight Preston Manning Ron Liepert

premier stelmach’s problems are bigger than a cabinet shuffle.

There has been a lot of chatter about what Premier Ed Stelmach can do to reverse the Progressive Conservatives downward spiral in recent polls. According to these recent polls, the PCs now sit at 25% province-wide and in third place behind Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Alliance and David Swann‘s Liberals in Edmonton and Calgary. Another recent poll framed Premier Stelmach as the least popular Premier in Canada with a 14% approval rating.

Sheila Pratt has written an interesting article in today’s Edmonton Journal about the PCs current misfortune and the new groups of Albertans like Reboot Alberta and Renew Alberta that have emerged. Even Preston Manning is interested in starting something new. Luckily for Premier Stelmach, he still has two years before he has to face the electorate for a second time, but what does the Premier need to do to turn his fortunes around?

Will finally ending the disastrous reigns of Children & Youth Services Minister Janis Tarchuk and Health & Wellness Minister Ron Liepert change Premier Stelmach’s position in the polls? Will moving Education Minister Dave Hancock in the midst of the School Act Review boost their numbers? Will moving Energy Minister Mel Knight to another portfolio halt the Calgary energy sector support that is flowing towards the Wildrose Alliance? Will promoting Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner to Finance Minister improve their image? Will relocating Culture & Community Spirit Minister Lindsay Blackett bring back the PC supporters who were offended over the embarrassment of Bill 44?

Will rearranging the deck chairs change the course of the ship? It is going to take something much more meaningful than a cabinet shuffle to change PC Party fortunes. As I said during an interview with Calgary Today’s Mike Blanchard this week, one of Premier Stelmach’s greatest challenges is that his government doesn’t have a defining purpose beyond governing for governing sake, and it shows.

In his recent book, Rich Vivone accurately pointed out that when Premier Ralph Klein declared Alberta to be debt free in 2004, the PCs began to drift. Aiming to defeat the deficit and debt saved the PCs from being unseated by Laurence Decore‘s Liberals in the 1993 election and it was the defining theme in Alberta politics in the 1990s and early 2000s. In many ways, Premier Klein’s 55.4% approval in 2006 reflected the drift.

Premier Stelmach is far from an amazing orator or political strategist, but one of his greatest strengths is that he is constantly underestimated by his opponents and the media. No one expected him to defeat Jim Dinning and Ted Morton in the PC leadership race or lead his party to win a 72-seat majority in the March 2008 election. The recent polls may spell demise for the near 40-year governing PCs, but with at least another two years to create a defining purpose for governing, their political and electoral opponents would be foolish to write them off just yet.

Alberta School Boards Association Alberta School Councils' Association Alberta Teachers' Association Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach

dave hancock sends trustees to the principal’s office.

PC Education Minister Dave Hancock scolded members of the Alberta School Boards Association at their annual general meeting today in Edmonton for their participation in the Stop the Cuts campaign. Here is an excerpt of Minister Hancock’s speech:

…the Stop the Cuts campaign is greatly exaggerating the impact to education.

I think all of you know how disappointed I was by this campaign.

In recent months, we have had many honest, informed discussions about what we must accomplish to improve learning in the future. Stop the Cuts has not contributed a single idea to this process.

Don’t get me wrong — I truly value and appreciate advocacy. I certainly appreciate Albertans engaging in a discussion about education, its value to our community and society, and our current issues and concerns.

But Stop the Cuts is not aimed at constructive discussion — it really amounts to a digital march on the Legislature, and we’re well beyond that.

Public appreciation for education can never be built on fear. Fear is no way to embrace our students’ optimism, passion, curiosity and talents — especially when there are so many great learning experiences taking place around our province.

We build public appreciation for education by sharing these learning experiences with Albertans.

So I look forward to the ASBA, ATA and the ASCA putting at least as many resources into a positive campaign about how we are preparing Alberta’s students for their future.

The motive behind this speech was likely an attempt to drive a wedge between the traditionally timid group elected school trustees and their coalition partners in the Alberta Teachers Association and the Alberta School Councils’ Association, but it would be a mistake to underestimate the effectiveness of the Stop the Cuts message in eliciting this reaction.

Recent comments from Premier Ed Stelmach and other cabinet ministers about “tough economic times” have reminded many Albertans of the devastating cuts made by the PC government in the 1990s. In August 2009, Minister Hancock announced that $80 million would be cut from the education budget, including over $50 million from school boards. He is in a tough position, Minister Hancock is the most important ally that the education sector may have inside the PC Cabinet, but it is questionable how much political clout the urban Red Tory-esq Edmonton-Whitemud MLA has in a Cabinet dominated by rural heavyweights like Lloyd Snelgrove, Luke Ouellette, and Ray Danyluk. It is not hard to imagine that many of his PC MLA colleagues are not pleased that the three education groups put aside many of their traditional differences to jointly warn Albertans about the cuts.

During the 2006 PC leadership race, Minister Hancock branded himself as the education friendly candidate and reached out to educators, but his recent party solidarity-influenced defence of the controversial Bill 44 raises the question of how much political capital he still has at the Cabinet table. While Premier Ed Stelmach continues to push billions of taxpayers dollars into the unproven science behind the Carbon Capture Scheme and pro-budget cut backbenchers try to make a name for themselves, Albertans should be asking how many of the 70 PC MLAs are standing up against budget cuts for essential public sector services?

In his speech, Minister Hancock criticized the Stop the Cuts campaign for not offering solutions. This is not a completely unfair comment, but Minister Hancock has hardly given the education groups any reason to believe that another round of budget cuts are the real solution to the PC Government’s fiscal problem. Minister Hancock is easily one of the brightest members of the provincial cabinet, so instead of scolding school trustees, he should step up and challenge his Cabinet colleagues to debate a critical question:

After years of record-breaking surpluses and unheard of wealth, why is Alberta still dependent on cyclically-priced natural resource commodities?

Bill Moore-Kilgannon Dave Hancock Dave Taylor Denis Herard Doug Horner Raj Pannu

tuition tinkering in alberta.

Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner has said that he will accept and review requests from Alberta’s Post-Secondary Institutions to increase their base tuition rates beyond what is currently allowed under Alberta’s tuition policy. Whatever your thoughts on the cost of tuition – whether you believe in the strength of communities or individual investment (or a mixture of the two) – it is important to understand some of the context in which this posturing is occurring. This is not simply a result of tough economic times, the Government and Institutions have both attempted to and successfully tinkered with the tuition policy a number of times in recent years.

During very prosperous economic times in March 2006, the Presidents of the University of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, and Athabasca sent a letter to Minister Dave Hancock proposing that tuition increases be based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation plus 3.5 per cent.

In the letter, the presidents warn Alberta is falling behind. “Alberta lags behind the national average in post-secondary spaces, a serious problem as we seek to provide the workforce needed for an expanding economy.”

Students are also frustrated the presidents drafted a proposal without consulting them, saying they were under the impression a joint bid would be submitted to Hancock.

[University of Calgary Students’ Union President BryanWest called the proposal a “backroom deal.”

“We were all going to put forward one letter, with one profound and powerful voice,” said West who sits on the steering committee with the presidents and other stakeholders. “We feel really hurt by this and wonder if they were playing us all along.”

The day following my election as Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students in May 2006, I sat in front of the cameras with Liberal MLA Dave TaylorNDP MLA Raj PannuBill Moore-Kilgannon from Public Interest Alberta, and Jon Hoffman from ACTISEC to oppose the passage of Bill 40: Post-Secondary Learning Amendment Act.

Introduced during the (thankfully) short-lived tenure of Minister Denis Herard, Bill 40 removed Alberta’s tuition policy from the Post-Secondary Learning Act, thus removing the insurance that Albertans had that any changes to the policy governing the cost of post-secondary education would need to be debated in a public forum.

“We’re prepared to wait until the next time the legislature meets to have a new policy implemented, so that the policy is embedded in an act of the legislature,” said David Cournoyer, chair of the Council of Alberta University Students (CAUS) and University of Alberta Students’ Union Vice President External. “If the tuition policy is not in legislation, it is no good to us.”

Universities and colleges in Alberta are currently limited to increasing tuition by CPI inflation (at a maximum), but because the tuition policy is now under regulation it can be changed in the privacy of a closed door Cabinet meeting. No public debate required.

Calgary-Glenmore Danielle Smith Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach Janice Sarich Paul Hinman Preston Manning Rob Anderson Ted Morton

a wake up call for alberta’s political establishment.

As the new leader of the Wildrose Alliance, I believe that Danielle Smith could be a game-changer in Alberta politics. Why should you care if you’re not a conservative? The potential of an insurgence by an non-traditional opposition party should be a wake up call to the other two opposition parties in the Alberta Legislature: the Liberals and NDP.

Danielle SmithElections Alberta investigating Liberals' complaint against Hinman
(Photo of Paul Hinman by K-Ideas)

Hope for the Liberals and NDP?

I know many self-described centrist, centre-left, independent, and progressive-minded Albertans who are engaged in their communities, but see little value in joining and contributing to these two parties. Both the Liberals and NDP have had challenges in growing their ranks since peaking both electorally and in support in the 1980s (for the NDP) and 1990s (for the Liberals). After attending the most recent Liberal and NDP conventions, I am convinced that both parties are stuck in neutral and have become too comfortable in their default positions as Alberta’s legislative opposition.

The recent by-election in Calgary-Glenmore was an important electoral test for the Liberals. With an experienced candidate and campaign team, a leader from Calgary, and their not so distant by-election victory Calgary-Elbow, the Liberals should have won in Calgary-Glenmore. Liberal support held steady on election day, but their opportunity was usurped by Paul Hinman, whose insurgent campaign saw Wildrose Alliance support quadruple since the 2008 election. The NDP candidate barely registered with 148 votes.

David Swann for trees 4Brian Mason 31

Following the 2008 provincial election, the Democratic Renewal Project has promoted the merger of the Liberals and NDP in an effort to defeat the governing Progressive Conservatives. While I don’t believe that their proposal is viable or will lead to the solution they desire, I do think that they are on to something far more valuable than the current parties are offering Albertans: Out of the box thinking.

Where do the Greens go?

With the disappearance of the Alberta Greens, where will the 43,563 Albertans who marked an X beside a Green candidate put their votes in the next election? Many people incorrectly label the Alberta Greens as a left-wing fringe party, but much of their strongest support comes from traditionally conservative areas in central Alberta and Calgary. With no Greens on the ballot in the next election, the party that exerts itself as a non-traditional alternative to the PCs may benefit from much of their support.

What about the PCs?

It would be foolish to underestimate the role that the element of ‘power‘ plays in attracting people to our province’s natural governing party, the Progressive Conservatives. There are many reasons why citizens gravitate to political parties, but much like past carnations of the Liberal Party of Canada, a large factor is the desirability of being on the winning side.

IMG_5952CityTV TownHall Forum

Elections in Alberta have become less about which is the best to slate of candidates to govern our province, and more about whether or not to renew the mandate of the natural governing party (which leads me to believe that it may be more effective to have a ‘none of the above’ choice on the ballot). Given near unlimited financial and organization resources, and facing minimal opposition, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand how the PCs have continually formed large majority governments. The rare existence of real electoral challengers has led to a festering institutional mediocrity that was demonstrated by Premier Ed Stelmach‘s pre-produced televised address.

After nearly 40 years in office, it is sometimes difficult for even an objective person to decipher what actual principles drive Alberta’s natural governing party.

One of the great successes of the Alberta PCs have been their ability to maintain a big tent that includes a broad range of political ideologies and beliefs. Demonstrated over the past 40 years since Peter Lougheed welcomed Liberal MLA Bill Dickie into the PC caucus in 1969, even the current PC caucus includes Red Tories like Dave Hancock and Janice Sarich and social conservatives like Ted Morton and Rob Anderson. In between these two camps includes a large group of MLAs who have very likely chosen to wear the PC brand because it affords them a seat in the government benches.

A number of former PC MLAs and insiders have already joined the now Smith-led party, but will it translate into the kind of migration that led Preston Manning to crush the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 1993?

A new party?

I am convinced that it is only a matter of time before a new political movement of independent progressive minded Albertans emerges in our province.

Some political watchers have suggested that the rift on the right is an opportunity to draw progressive Albertans together under a new political banner. Far from a new idea, the prospect of a new political movement in Alberta is something that I am hearing increasingly from friends and associates who have been both politically active or never affiliated with a party or candidate. Their reasons are vast – Bill 44, cuts to health care, the environment, the record deficit – but the underlying message that I continue to hear is that the current government is out of touch, arrogant, and has squandered long-term opportunity for short-term gain.

In the last election, the PCs earned just 501,063 votes, or roughly 22% of the total eligible vote, which suggests that while their vote may be a mile wide it may only be an inch deep. Perhaps a 60% voter turnout is an unreasonable prediction for a modern liberal democracy, but if a new political movement could earn its support by increasing the popular vote by 20% without disturbing the earned votes from the last election, it would be able to challenge the PCs hold on government.

Will apathy win?

Of course, there is the very real possibility that new found support for the Wildrose Alliance will simply flame out, our electoral environment will remain uncompetitive, no new political movement will emerge, and Albertans will once again avoid the polls in droves.

As an Albertan, I have been told that manifest destiny is in my blood. I have little doubt that it is only a matter of time before we witness a big political shift in our province, but it will be up to Albertans to decide what this change will embody.

Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach

offset your government’s fiscal responsibility.

September 2009: Education Minister and Edmonton-Whitemud PC MLA Dave Hancock announced more than $80 million worth of immediate cuts to the education budget, including $890,000 from changes to a socio-economic grant that school boards get for the number of students they have who live in poverty.

Meanwhile… back in May 2008: In a closed-door cabinet meeting, Ed Stelmach and his cabinet voted to give themselves over $890,000 worth of pay increases. Premier Stelmach gave himself a 34% boost, increasing his salary by $54,000, from $159,450 to $213,450, and cabinet ministers increased their salaries from $142,050 to $184,000.

If Premier Stelmach and Minister Hancock are looking for government savings, they could start by looking at the pay increases they voted themselves in 2008. According to the 2006 census, the median annual family income after taxes was $70,986 in Alberta, which is $113,014 less than the increased salary that individual cabinet ministers voted themselves.

When Premier Stelmach rolled back the liquor tax, he said:

It was something that I had a hard time agreeing with; it’s been bothering me all that time.”

Let’s hope that after five months, he feels the same way about young students living in poverty. In the meantime, feel free to make a donation to a local charity to offset your government’s fiscal responsibility.

Dave Hancock Lindsay Blackett

another bill 44 compromise leads pcs to another no-win political situation.

The ongoing Bill 44 saga has been amazing to watch.

As a party with the legislative numbers to have easily rammed through this Bill while the Opposition parties and the media were distracted by the outbreak of the Swine Flu/H1N1 virus, it seems that Alberta’s Progressive Conservatives have emerged with a no-win political situation.

Even if the controversial amendments are amended, the essence of the original amendment — a compromise to the social conservatives MLAs in the PC caucus — is now being compromised because of opposition from outside the Legislature and notably by one of the groups most loathed by the hard-core conservatives: the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

While the sheer number of PC MLAs in the Assembly will ensure that a version of Bill 44 will become law, this Legislative roller coaster of the past month has raised questions about the cohesiveness of the PC caucus, and has saddled its two arguably most progressive Cabinet Ministers — Dave Hancock and Lindsay Blackett — with some controversial and undesirable political baggage.

Bill 44: Human Rights Citizenship and Multiculturalism Amendment Act Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach Lindsay Blackett

albertans need to exercise citizenship against bill 44.

Does the education opt-out clause in Bill 44 make you proud to be an Albertan?

If you’re among the growing number of Albertans concerned about the negative impact that Bill 44 could have on our education system, please contact your MLA and let them know (if you don’t know who your MLA is, you can check here). I would also encourage Albertans to contact the Premier, and the two cabinet ministers who have been the strongest public defenders of Bill 44:

Premier Ed Stelmach
MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville
Phone: 780-632-6840
Fax: 780-632-6888

Lindsay Blackett, Minister of Culture & Community Spirit
MLA Calgary-North West
Phone: 403-216-5444
Fax: 403-216-5442

Dave Hancock, Minister of Education
MLA Edmonton-Whitemud
Phone: 780-413-5970
Fax: 780-413-5971

The Legislative Assembly is not sitting this week and MLAs from across Alberta will be in their hometowns meeting with constituents. Don’t miss this opportunity to make your voice heard.

Bill 44: Human Rights Citizenship and Multiculturalism Amendment Act Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach Lindsay Blackett

bill 44 to end with charter private schools?

With Premier Ed Stelmach spending the week in Switzerland, it appears that Education Minister Dave Hancock and Culture Minister Lindsay Blackett have been left in charge of defending the controversial recent amendments to Bill 44: Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Amendment Act, 2009.

Someone much smarter than I recent suggested a scenario that could end the current controversy over Bill 44. This scenario would see the PC caucus pull the evolution clause from the Bill and implement either education tax opt-outs for parents sending their kids to Charter Private Schools or provide government funding for Charter Private Schools as a ‘compromise.


Alison Redford Bridget Pastoor Dave Hancock Doug Horner Fred Lindsay Gene Zwozdesky Heather Klimchuk Iris Evans Jack Hayden Lloyd Snelgrove Luke Ouellette Rob Renner Ron Stevens TILMA

no debate on public debate amendment [re: bill 18 & tilma].

They stood up to vote against it, but no PC MLA spoke up to explain why they opposed Lethbridge-East MLA Bridget Pastoor‘s March 18 amendment to remove Section 5 of Bill 18: Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement Implementation Statutes Amendment Act, 2009. In its current form, Section 5 will allow Cabinet Ministers to suspend or modify sections of the TILMA Act without seeking the approval of or having to deal with public debate in the elected Legislature.

Six opposition MLAs rose to speak in support of the amendment, while thirty-one PC MLAs, including Cabinet Ministers Iris Evans, Dave Hancock, Jack Hayden, Doug Horner, Heather Klimchuk, Fred Lindsay, Luke Ouellette, Alison Redford, Rob Renner, Lloyd Snelgrove, Ron Stevens, and Gene Zwozdesky didn’t make a peep before defeating the amendment 31 to 6.

UPDATE: MLA Laurie Blakeman raised concerns about this section of Bill 18 earlier in the week:

Dave Hancock Genia Leskiw Ken Kowalski Peter Milliken

peter milliken visits alberta legislature. enjoys bipartisan brew.

– House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken stopped by Edmonton yesterday as part of a Canada-wide Legislative tour where he met with Speaker Ken Kowalski and MLAs. I haven’t heard whether Milliken discussed Kowalski’s recent ban of online social media during Question Period (Milliken allows the use of blackberries, laptops during Question Period in the House of Commons). The Kingston Liberal MP also stopped by the U of A Conservative Club Pub Night for bipartisan beer and pictures.
Bonnyville-Cold Lake MLA Genia Leskiw‘s private members motion to dissolve Provincial Achievement Tests for Grade 3 students passed in the Alberta Legislature. After a vigorous debate, Lewskiw’s motion passed 29 to 18, but did not gain the support of Education Minister Dave Hancock, or most members of the PC Cabinet.
– The Conservative Party of Canada is changing their nomination rules, effectively protecting incumbent MPs from nomination challenges. These rule changes may abort Donna Kennedy-Glans nascent nomination challenge in Calgary-West. Kennedy-Glans had recently announced her intentions to challenge sitting Conservative MP Rob Anders.
– National Defence Minister Peter Mackay was in Edmonton yesterday to announce plans to spend $40 million on much needed infrastructure upgrades for Armed Forces bases in Alberta. Mackay announced $21 million to CFB Edmonton for housing and training facilities, $11 million to CFB Wainwright for water treatment upgrades, and $8 million for CFB Cold Lake.
– Two Alberta newspapers recently closed their doors. In what can be described as a really bad year to own a newspaper, Quebecor’s Jasper Booster and Morinville Town & Country Examiner (formerly the Morinville Mirror) shut down this week.
Dave Hancock Dave Taylor Doug Elniski Doug Griffiths Jonathan Denis Kent Hehr Kyle Fawcett

political conversations thriving on twitter and blogs.

This week’s FFWD Weekly has two interesting articles covering online social media in Alberta.

Alberta political conversation thrives on Twitter by Jeremy Klaszus covers some of the interesting political debates happening on Twitter. In a recent trend that has taken the Wild Rose province by storm, Twitter users from across Alberta have been “live-tweeting” commentary of the Alberta Legislature’s daily Question Period. You can follow the live commentary by searching for the hash-tag #ABLeg using Twitter Search.

Alberta MLAs on Twitter include Doug Griffiths, Jonathan Denis, Doug Elniski, Kyle Fawcett, Dave Hancock, Kent Hehr, and Dave Taylor.

The Rise of Political Blogs by Trevor Scott Howell gives some good insight into the state of political blogs in Alberta, and includes interviews with bloggers Ken Chapman, David Climenhaga, Enlightened Savage, a member of the AGRDT crew, and yours truly.

Barack Obama Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach Gary Mar Washington DC

mr. hancock goes to washington.

Besides that he’s a good buddy of Alberta’s U.S. Ambassador Gary Mar, can anyone give me a good reason why Albertans are paying $3,000 to send Education Minister Dave Hancock to Washington D.C. to watch the Obama Inauguration?

If Klein-era style cutbacks are on Premier Ed Stelmach‘s mind, I’d imagine these are the sorts of frivolities that would be on the chopping block.

A Learning Alberta Affordabilty Framework Council of Alberta University Students Dave Hancock Denis Herard Doug Horner Roles and Mandates

roles and mandates.

Completely under the radar, Alberta’s Department of Advanced Education and Technology released its Roles and Mandates framework document yesterday.

In the early months of 2007, in my role as Chair of the Council of Alberta University Students, I was part of the original consultations for this framework. Though I’m not that they were really ‘consultations,’ as no one seemed very clear as to what ‘Roles and Responsibilities‘ (as it was then known) was supposed to accomplish, only that the Minister wanted to define them.

At the time, the new framework looked suspiciously like a makework/legacy building framework project from new-Minister Doug Horner (Roles and Mandates followed a string of Advanced Education frameworks, including from Dave Hancock’s A Learning Alberta and short-term-disaster of a Minster Denis Herard’s *weak* Affordability Framework).

As unsexy as ‘Roles and Mandates‘ sounds (and probably is), I’ve been a little disappointed at how low under the radar the entire process has flown. If the framework is as important as CAUS’ latest media release gushes, it’s too bad that groups like CAUS and Public Interest Alberta’s PSE Taskforce weren’t more aggressive in bringing this to the media and Albertans attention (especially with a provincial election around the corner).

2006 Alberta PC Leadership Race Alberta Tories Dave Hancock Ed Stelmach Jim Dinning Mark Norris Ted Morton

selected alberta pc leadership selection results…

Here are the main and selected riding results from yesterday’s Alberta PC leadership selection…

First Ballot
Jim Dinning – 29,470
Ted Morton – 25,614
Ed Stelmach – 14,967
Lyle Oberg- 11,638
Dave Hancock – 7595
Mark Norris – 6789
Victor Doerksen – 873
Gary McPherson – 744

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach – 51,764
Jim Dinning – 51,282
Ted Morton – 41, 243

Third Ballot
Ed Stelmach – 77, 577
Jim Dinning – 55,509
(Morton to Stelmach – 25,813)
(Morton to Dinning – 4,227)

Here are some interesting selected riding results…

Calgary Elbow (Ralph Klein’s riding)
First Ballot
Jim Dinning – 1,890
Ted Morton – 656
Ed Stelmach – 360

Second Ballot
Jim Dinning – 2,004
Ed Stelmach – 747

Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville (Stelmach’s riding)
First Ballot
Ed Stelmach – 4,156
Ted Morton – 316
Jim Dinning – 170

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach – 4,382
Jim Dinning – 193

Little Bow
First Ballot
Ted Morton – 1,784
Jim Dinning – 382
Ed Stelmach – 351

Second Ballot
Ed Stelmach – 1,518
Jim Dinning – 515