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alberta politics notes 5/06/2010

Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Kent Hehr has announced that he is running for Mayor of Calgary. Mr. Hehr does not have to resign his seat in the Assembly unless he is elected in the October 2010 election. If he does resign, a by-election will be triggered within six months (a Facebook group has been created to draft Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith to seek candidacy in a Buffalo by-election).
– There had also been rumours that Lethbridge-East Liberal MLA Bridget Pastoor would run for Mayor in her city, she recently announced that she would not.
– The Liberal Party will be holding its annual convention in Edmonton – this year with a policy focus – and are slated to have political strategist and micro-celebrity Warren Kinsella as their keynote speaker.
– Community organizer Michael Janz has announced that he is running for the Edmonton Public School Board in Ward F. Over in Ward G, NDP Caucus Research Director Sarah Hoffman is running.
Deron Bilous was nominated as the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview last night. Supporter Denny Holmwood blogged about Mr. Bilous’ candidacy.
Calgary-Northeast Conservative MP Devinder Shory has been named in a lawsuit alleging a $70-million mortgage scam at the Bank of Montreal.
Ihor Broda was disbarred from the Law Society of Alberta. Mr. Broda ran unsuccessfully as the PC candidate in Edmonton-Castle Downs in 1997 and placed third in the race for Mayor of Edmonton in 1998.
– Premier Ed Stelmach‘s decision to suspend the fall Senate elections this year is being criticized by Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling.
– While his cabinet tours the province, Premier Stelmach kicked off an overseas summer tour in Washington DC this week.
– The Pembina Institute is disputing Government of Alberta claims about provincial regulation of emissions generated from the oilsands.
– It is a bad week for private health care in Alberta. The Health Resources Centre (HRC) in Calgary and two private seniors homes in Red Deer have filed for bankruptcy protection. Alberta Health Services will pay the cost of the interim receiver for HRC, which could reach $250,000.
– And finally, in the “it’s about time” category: The city of Edmonton’s transportation committee approved a plan to fast-track the construction of three LRT lines.

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Anne McLellan Bridget Pastoor Dave Bronconnier David Dodge David Emerson Don Iveson Rahim Jaffer Stephen Mandel

alberta politics notes 2/24/2010

– As Bill 1, the Alberta Competitiveness Act is this sessions flagship piece of government legislation. With all the focus on “competitiveness,” has anyone wondered what happened to the Premier’s Economic Strategy Committee that was announced last summer? (their website has not been updated since July 2009) The committee included former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan, former MP David Emerson, and former Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge.
– Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier announced that he will not be seeking re-election in October. Bronconnier was first elected as Mayor in 2001. Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel has yet to make his electoral intentions public.
– Alberta could hold its fourth Senate election since 1989 along-side the municipal elections this October.
– Edmonton City Council approved the Municipal Development Plan this week. Councillor Don Iveson has posted some remarks on his blog.
– Lethbridge-East MLA Bridget Pastoor scored a win for the Liberal Opposition this week when the Assembly approved her motion to “…urge the Government to establish an independent Commission to review the current salaries and benefits for Members of the Legislative Assembly…” It is important to note that as this was a Private Member’s Motion, it is non-binding.
– Facing charges of cocaine-possession and drunk-driving, former Edmonton-Strathcona Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer is expected to plea-bargain when his case reconvenes in March.
– In my previous post, I mentioned the low-voter turnout in the 2008 provincial election. Here is a map showing voter turnout in ridings across the province (only 4 out of 83 ridings had a turnout larger than 50%).

Categories
Brian Mason Bridget Pastoor David Swann Ed Kent Hehr Kevin Taft Kyle Fawcett Laurie Blakeman Rachel Notley

bill 44 debate an all-nighter.

The debate over Bill 44 is going late into the night at the Alberta Legislature. You can follow the debate online through video or by following the Twitter hashtags #ableg and #bill44.

So far, Opposition Liberal and NDP MLAs Laurie Blakeman, Kevin Taft, Brian Mason, Bridget Pastoor, Kent Hehr, David Swann, and Rachel Notley have spoken against Section 9 of Bill 44 (the controversial education opt-out), and Calgary-North Hill PC MLA Kyle Fawcett has spoken in support of the Bill as it is.

I have pledged to buy lunch for and write nice things about the first PC MLA to rise and speak against Bill 44 as it currently stands. Earlier today, Premier Ed Stelmach pledged to allow the PC caucus a free vote on tonight’s/tomorrow morning’s vote.

UPDATE: It’s now 8:01am on Wednesday May 27 and after having been whipped in line for a month, no PC MLA took advantage of the last minute ‘free vote’ they were awarded on Bill 44 amendments. I keep my lunch money.

While they didn’t succeed in getting their amendments to Bill 44 passed, congrats to opposition MLAs Laurie Blakeman, Kent Hehr, Rachel Notley, and Kevin Taft for their particularly well-spoken and colourful contributions to last night’s/this morning’s debates.

On another point, I wonder if any other provincial legislature watchers in Canada have a Twitter hashtag as active as #ableg?