Ed Stelmach Murray Smith Political Patronage

what will $105,000 get you?

Last week, it was revealed that Alberta’s former Ambassador to Washington D.C. and Calgary-Varsity Tory MLA Murray Smith was paid $105,000 taxpayer dollars after quiting his job in Washington DC five months early. Smith has been replaced by another former Calgary-Mackay Tory MLA and Minister Gary Mar…

It has also been revealed that after trying to hide the fact, Ed Stelmach signed the 2004 contract that gave Murray Smith the $105,000 payout while Stelmach was Ralph Klein’s Intergovernmental Affairs Minister.

Because Alberta’s accountable and transparent Progressive Conservative Government obviously has nothing better to do with $105,000 of Albertans money, I’ve come up with a list to help Ed Stelmach and his Progressive Conservative crew with some ideas.

What would $105,000 buy?

– Approximately 70,000 large double-doubles at Tim Horton’s.

39 semesters of tuition for an undergraduate Arts or Science student at the University of Alberta.

– 3.5 taxpayer funded Tory Staffer bachelor parties in Las Vegas.

– 262 $400 prosperity rebate cheques

– 5962 copies of Stephen Colbert’s new book I am America (and so can you!) on

1179 youth-size winter jackets from Mountain Equipment Co-op.

– +17,000 Subway sandwiches (perhaps for students at inner-city schools?).

– 21 tickets to an exclusive $5,000 per ticket reception with Tory Premier Ed Stelmach.

– +13,000 regular admission tickets to the Montreal Planetarium.

Feel free to add your suggestions…

Ed Stelmach Gary Mar Murray Smith Political Patronage

gary mar is the new murray smith.

Tory MLA Gary Mar was appointed this afternoon to replace former Tory Minister Murray Smith as Alberta’s Ambassador to Washington DC.

One wonders if Mr. Mar, who was dumped from cabinet in January 2007, will be inheriting the taxpayer funded high-life that Murray Smith lived while attending the garden parties and socials inside the beltline.

Smith’s appointment in 2004 was criticized as partisan patronage and his lavish expenses have been criticized since.

Ed Stelmach‘s Tories have come under heat in the past weeks as years of Tory partisan patronage have begun to bubble to the surface.

Mar will begin his new position in October, which would mean that there is potential for another Calgary by-election in the near future.

Alberta Tories Ed Stelmach Neil Brown Political Patronage

political patronage: alberta-style continued…

The Edmonton Journal continued it’s two-part feature on political patronage in Progressive Conservative Alberta. Here is a second list that the Journal put together:


– Audrey Luft, organizer of 2007 Alberta PC annual convention: Alberta Foundation for the Arts (chair), NAIT, Alberta Economic Development Authority

– Doug Goss, Edmonton co-chair of Tories’ next election campaign: Capital Health, Alberta Economic Development Authority

– Wayne Jacques, former Conservative MLA: Peace Country Health Region, Transportation Safety Board, Law Enforcement Review Board

– Alf Savage, former PC president: Auto Insurance Rate Board (chair), Municipal Government Board

– Wendy Kinsella, losing Edmonton PC candidate in 2001: NorQuest College (chair), Capital Health (vice-chair)

– Marvin Moore, former PC campaign manager and cabinet minister: Peace Country Health (chair), Agriculture Marketing Products Council Appeal Tribunal

– Dale Johnson, president of Whitecourt-Ste. Anne PC association: Aspen Health, Credit Counselling Services of Alberta

– Robert Seidel, lawyer to former treasurer Stockwell Day: Grant MacEwan College, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

– Skip McDonald, former president of Klein’s PC constituency association: Calgary Health, ATB Financial

UPDATE: Calgary-Nose Hill MLA Neil Brown says there’s nothing wrong with these appointments.

Alberta Tories Ed Stelmach Neil Brown Political Patronage

political patronage: alberta-style.

Kudos to Darcy Henton and Jason Markusoff of the Edmonton Journal for writing a feature article on the deluge of political patronage currently present in Alberta. The Journal also went through and detailed a list of provincially appointed boards and their card carrying Progressive Conservative Party members.

Here are the top 40 boards with the highest percentages of card-carrying Conservatives serving on them.

Health boards and regions
– Peace Country Health Region: 13 Tories / 13-member board

– East Central Health: 9 Tories / 12-member board

– Capital Health: 8 Tories / 14-member board

– Calgary Health: 7 Tories / 13-member board

– Aspen Health Region: 11 Tories / 14-member board

– David Thompson Health: 11 Tories / 15-member board

– Chinook Health: 7 Tories / 12-member board

– Northern Lights Health: 7 Tories / 12-member board

– Palliser Health Region: 7 Tories / 13-member board

– Alberta Cancer Board: 5 Tories / 10-member board

– Health Quality Council: 4 Tories / 8-member board

– Public Health Appeal Board: 2 Tories / 4-member board

– Health Facilities Review Board: 8 Tories / 12-member board

Post-secondary Institutions

– Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: 8 Tories / 12-member board

– Portage College: 5 Tories / 7-member board

– Lethbridge College: 4 Tories / 7-member board

– Athabasca University: 6 Tories / 11-member board

– Red Deer College: 3 Tories / 6-member board

– Mount Royal College: 5 Tories / 10-member board


– ATB Financial: 9 Tories / 13-member board

– Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corp.: 4 Tories / 8-member board

addictions and disabilities

– Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities: 5 Tories / 8-member board

– Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission: 7 Tories / 10-member board

– Crystal Meth Task Force: 7 Tories / 12-member board

– Northwest Alberta Persons with Developmental Disabilities: 6 Tories / 7-member board


– Alberta Grain Commission: 8 Tories / 11-member board

– Agriculture Products Marketing Council: 7 Tories / 11-member board

– Alberta Agriculture Research Institute: 4 Tories / 7-member board


– Seniors Advisory Council: 8 Tories / 10-member board

– Northern Alberta Development Council: 9 Tories / 10-member board

– Worker’s Compensation Board: 3 Tories / 4-member board

– Alberta Foundation of the Arts: 6 Tories / 10-member board

– Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission: 6 Tories / 7-member board

– Alberta Economic Development Authority: 29 Tories / 60-member board

– Alberta Order of Excellence Council: 6 Tories / 6-member board

– Social Care Facilities Review Commission: 7 Tories / 11-member board

– Alberta Science and Research Authority: 9 Tories / 19-member board

– Northeast PDD Board: 5 Tories / 7-member board

– Alberta Fatality Review Board: 3 Tories / 3-member board

– Rural Alberta’s Development Fund: 6 Tories / 12-member board

Click here to see the list of the 100 provincially appointed Boards and Government agencies stacked with Tory appointees.

Tomorrow, the Edmonton Journal will be profiling the process which allows the Progressive Conservatives to commit this degree of political patronage.

UPDATE: Calgary-Nose Hill MLA Neil Brown says there’s nothing wrong with these appointments.