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Alberta Politics

Controlling Everything Everywhere All At Once

NDP’s Oscar-winning film inspired catch phrase captures the UCP moment in Alberta politics

“Danielle Smith wants to control everything, everywhere, all at once…”

In the middle of the weekly chaos of Alberta politics, a catch phrase inspired by an Academy Award winning film has captured one of the driving themes of Alberta politics today.

Danielle Smith wants to control everything. Pensions, police, health care, schools, local councils. Any dollar spent anywhere in the province, and any decision made by anyone. Everything,” NDP MLA Kyle Kasawski first said in an April 29 press release.

Kasawski is the rookie MLA from Sherwood Park who became the opposition’s sole Municipal Affairs critic when co-critic Sarah Hoffman joined the NDP leadership race earlier this year.

While Municipal Affairs can sometimes be a sleepy file, on both the ministerial and critic side, it has been front and centre over the past month as Premier Danielle Smith and Minister Ric McIver rein in municipal and university funding agreements with the federal government and expand the provincial cabinet’s power to fire locally elected officials and overturn municipal bylaws.

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Alberta Politics

Former Wildrose leader Paul Hinman’s Wildrose Loyalty Coalition names 54 candidates in Alberta’s election

The separatist Wildrose Loyalty Coalition was only recognized as a political party by Elections Alberta last week and this weekend the right-wing splinter party registered a slate of 54 candidates in ridings across Alberta.

The right-wing slate includes leader Paul Hinman, who is running in Taber-Warner, an area he represented as an Alberta Alliance and Wildrose Alliance MLA from 2004 to 2008.

The Wildrose Loyalty Coalition was formed by Hinman after he was removed as leader of the Wildrose Independence Party. Hinman was leader of the Wildrose Alliance from its creation in 2008 until 2009, when Danielle Smith was chosen as leader.

Meanwhile, the formerly-Hinman-led Wildrose Independence Party has nominated 2 candidates, including now-leader Jeevan Mangat in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake.

The other right-wing separatist party, the Independence Party, has 11 candidates nominated, including recently named Cody Ray Both in Cypress-Medicine Hat, David Braun in Grande Prairie, Vicky Bayford in Red Deer-North, Kerry Lambert in Chestermere-Strathmore, and Frank Kast in Taber-Warner. Kast replaces previously nominated candidate Brent Ginther.

Recently ousted Independence Party leader Pastor Artur Pawlowski announced last week that he plans to create a new party called the Solidarity Movement of Alberta.

I’m planning to write a more in-depth piece about Alberta’s cottage industry of right-wing political parties on the Daveberta Substack next week.

More nominations

Other smaller parties have also announced new candidates:

The Alberta Party nominated Darrell Dunn in Vermilion-Lloydminster-Vegreville, Wayne Jackson in Calgary-Beddington, and Preston Mildenberger in Grande Prairie.

The Green Party has nominated Christopher Khan in Edmonton-Meadows, David Clarke in Edmonton-City Centre, Derek Thompson in Edmonton-Manning, Lane Robson in Calgary-Currie, Shane Diederich in Grande Prairie. Michelle Overwater Giles in Airdrie-CochraneJustin Fuss in Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin, and Galloway Hiatt in West Yellowhead.

Newly registered Independent candidates include Andrej Gudanowski in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Nancy O’Neill in Lesser Slave Lake, Larry Heather in Calgary-Acadia, and disqualified UCP candidate Zulkifl Mujahid in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo.

Total Nominated candidates

Here are the total nominated candidates running in Alberta’s provincial election:

  • United Conservative Party: 87/87
  • Alberta NDP: 87/87
  • Wildrose Loyalty Coalition 53/87
  • Green Party: 39/87
  • Alberta Party: 21/87
  • Liberal Party: 12/87
  • Independence Party: 11/87
  • Advantage Party: 3/87
  • Communist Party: 3/87
  • Wildrose Independence Party: 2/87
  • Buffalo Party 1/87
  • Pro-Life Political Association: 1/87

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Daveberta Substack Podcast Alberta Politics Election Dave CournoyerI’m continuing to post candidate nomination updates on this website but subscribe to the Daveberta Substack to read my latest Alberta election coverage. My most recent piece dives into how the United Conservative Party went from being a political juggernaut in 2019 to being neck-and-neck with the Alberta NDP in 2023.

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Alberta Politics

UCP candidate Emad El-Zein to challenge NDP leader Rachel Notley in Edmonton-Strathcona

Emad El-Zein will carry the United Conservative Party banner against Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley in Edmonton-Strathcona.

Rachel Notley Alberta NDP leader edmonton-strathcona mla
Rachel Notley (source: Rachel Notley / Facebook)

El-Zein is an engineer and business owner, and is the President of the local UCP association in Edmonton-Strathcona.

He was served as soccer coordinator and membership director of the Malmo Plains Community League.

Notley was first elected to represent Edmonton-Strathcona in 2008 and was re-elected in 2019 with 72 per cent of the vote.

Voters in the south central Edmonton riding have elected NDP MLAs in every election but one since 1986.

UCP to appoint Toews and Savage successors

Sonya Savage

The UCP has announced that it plans to appoint candidates in Grande Prairie-Wapiti and Calgary-North West to replace retiring Finance Minister Travis Toews and Environment Minister Sonya Savage. The two senior UCP ministers announced last Friday that they will not seek re-election.

Of the two, only Savage was already nominated to run in the May election.

Rumours circulated over the weekend that the UCP could appoint Trade, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Rajan Sawhney as the UCP candidate in Calgary-North West. Sawhney has served as MLA for Calgary-North East since 2019 but announced in February 2023 that she would not run for re-election.

There is also speculation in political circles that the UCP could name Nolan Dyck as the party’s candidate in Grande Prairie-Wapiti. Dyck is currently seeking the nomination in the neighbouring Grande Prairie riding but is President of the UCP association in Grande Prairie-Wapiti and is politically close to Toews.

Liberal Party names 6 new candidates

The Liberal Party has named six new candidates, bringing the party’s total slate of candidates up to seven.

Donna Wilson Liberal Edmonton Whitemud By-Election
Donna Wilson

The slate of new candidates includes Dr. Donna Wilson, a nursing professor at the University of Alberta who’s area of research focuses on health services and health policy.

Wilson will be carrying the party’s banner in Edmonton-Whitemud, where she previously ran for the Liberals in a 2014 by-election. Back then, the Liberals were led by now-UCP candidate Dr. Raj Sherman and the Wildrose Party was led by now UCP Premier Danielle Smith. The riding is currently represented by NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi.

Wilson also ran for the Liberals in Edmonton-Riverview in the 2015 election.

Other Liberal Party candidates include:

  • Charlie Heater in Calgary-Fish Creek
  • Prince Mugisha in Calgary-North East
  • Jean Kijuli in Edmonton-Manning
  • Abdi Bakal in Edmonton-Mill Woods
  • Patricia Chizek in Lethbridge-West

Bakal and Chizek were candidates in those ridings in the 2019 election. Liberal Party leader John Roggeveen has not announced where he plans to run.

Other nomination updates

The Independence Party of Alberta has nominated Bob Blayone in Camrose, Terry Wolsey in Cardston-Siksika, David Reid in Innisfail-Sylvan LakeCorrie Toone in Livigstone-Macleod, Katherine Kowalchuk in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, Fred Schwieger in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, Brent Ginther in Taber-Warner.

Ashley MacDonald is the Green Party candidate in Red Deer-South.

Upcoming nomination votes

With just 63 days left until Election Day, the UCP have nominated candidates in 81 of Alberta’s 87 ridings and Alberta NDP have nominated 77 candidates. The Green Party has 27 candidates, the Alberta Party has nominated 12 candidates, the Liberal Party has seven, and the Independence Party has at least seven.

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • April 1 – Calgary-North East UCP
  • April 3 – Grande Prairie UCP
  • April 21 – Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

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Alberta Politics

He’s back, again! Raj Sherman wins the UCP nomination vote in Edmonton-Whitemud

Former Liberal Party leader Raj Sherman won the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-Whitemud. Sherman defeated David Masieyi and UCP Caucus staffer Varun Chandrasekar.

Rakhi Pancholi (source: Rakhi Pancholi / Facebook)
Rakhi Pancholi (source: Rakhi Pancholi / Facebook)

“I’m honoured and grateful for the opportunity to bring a positive conservative message to the community,” Sherman said in a statement released after his win. “Together, we will fight for the people of Edmonton-Whitemud and work towards a brighter future for all Albertans.”

Sherman briefly served as a Progressive Conservative MLA before becoming leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. After a short few years of attempted rebranding and a poor showing in the 2012 election (after which Danielle Smith replaced him as Leader of the Official Opposition), he resigned a few months ahead of the 2015 election.

While the UCP rolled out the red carpet for Michelle Rempel Garner to run for the party leadership in 2022 (she declined), Sherman was denied a chance to run for the UCP leadership in 2022 but he didn’t let that stop him.

Now he will face Alberta NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi in the upcoming provincial election. The riding is considered a safe seat for the NDP in this election but there is little doubt that Sherman will be a candidate to watch in the next few months.

Myles McDougall beats establishment backed nominees in Calgary-Fish Creek UCP vote

Economist Myles McDougall defeated Christina Steed and Dave Guenter to win the UCP nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek.

McDougall previously ran for the Progressive Conservative nomination in Calgary-Fish Creek in 2015 and the federal Conservative Party nomination in Calgary-Midnapore in 2017. He had an endorsement in this race from Calgary-Glenmore MLA Whitney Issik and support from Take Back Alberta-connected organizers.

Steed was endorsed by retiring MLA Richard Gotfried and former south Calgary MLA Cindy Ady. Guenter had endorsements from Finance Minister Travis Toews and local Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie.

And from Wednesday night, Albert Mazzocca defeated Jaspreet Saggu to win the UCP nominaton in Edmonton-Manning.

Upcoming nomination votes

With just more than 90 days left until Election Day, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 73 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 65 ridings and the Green Party has 26 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 6 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 25 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock NDP
  • February 25 & 26 – Lesser Slave Lake UCP
  • February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP
  • March 1 – Edmonton-Meadows UCP
  • March 2 – Edmonton-West Henday UCP
  • March 4 – Red Deer-South UCP
  • March 5 – Calgary-Bhullar-McCall UCP
  • March 9, 10, 11 – Livingstone-Macleod UCP
  • March 11 – Edmonton-Strathcona NDP
  • March 13 – Calgary-Lougheed UCP
  • March 14 – Calgary-Lougheed NDP
  • March 14 – Lethbridge-West UCP
  • March 18 – Leduc-Beaumont UCP

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Alberta Politics

Nomination updates: Raj Sherman trying for a political comeback at tonight’s UCP nomination vote in Edmonton-Whitemud

The United Conservative Party wouldn’t let Raj Sherman be a candidate in their leadership race but they couldn’t stop him from running for the party’s nomination in Edmonton-Whitemud.

And it’s in Edmonton-Whitemud that the Emergency Room doctor and former leader of the Alberta Liberal Party hopes to make his next political comeback.

Sherman first jumped onto the political scene back in 2008, when he was elected as the Progressive Conservative MLA for Edmonton-Meadowlark. He briefly served as Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Wellness but his time in the PC fold was short.

Sherman was removed from the PC Caucus in 2010 and briefly enjoyed an almost folk-hero status in Alberta politics before deciding to run for the Liberal Party leadership in 2011. He won on the first ballot in the party’s first (and only) open-membership vote.

Sherman was unable to mend the Liberal Party’s political wounds and only narrowly held on to his seat in the 2012 election. The moribund Liberals placed a distant third behind Alison Redford‘s PCs and Danielle Smith‘s Wildrose Party.

Sherman stepped down as Liberal leader only a few months before the 2015 election.

UCP members vote on February 23. Joining Sherman on the ballot are David Masieyi and UCP Caucus staffer Varun Chandrasekar.

Edmonton-Whitemud is currently represented by NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi and it is considered a safe NDP riding going into the next election.

UCP to choose Calgary-Fish Creek candidate

UCP members in this south Calgary riding will choose from three candidates to replace retiring MLA Richard Gotfried. Dave Guenter, Myles McDougall, and Christina Steed are seeking the nomination. Steed has the endorsement of Gotfried and former area MLA Cindy Ady. Guenter has an endorsement from Finance Minister Travis Toews and McDougall has the backing of Take Back Alberta-linked organizers. A nomination meeting is being held on February 23.

Four running for UCP in Lesser Slave Lake

Four candidates are on the ballot in the Lesser Slave Lake UCP nomination vote on February 25 and 26. Former constituency assistant Martine Carifelle, oil field operator Jerrad Cunningham, auto glass repair shop owner Scott Sinclair, and former chief Silas Yellowknee of the Bigstone First Nation are seeking the nomination to succeed retiring UCP MLA Pat Rehn.

Former MLA Danielle Larivee is running for the NDP.

Tischer running for NDP in Athbasca-Barrhead-Westlock

Pastor-turned-horizontal directional driller Landen Tischer is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in this sprawling rural riding north of Edmonton. A nomination meeting is being held on February 25.

The riding is currently represented by UCP MLA Glenn van Dijken, who fended off a nomination challenge from Westlock County Councillor Isaac Skuban late last year.

Newly nominated candidates

Edmonton-Manning: UCP voters in this north east Edmonton riding voted to select their candidate last night but the results have not yet been released. Alberto Mazzocca and Jaspreet Saggu were seeking the nomination.

Edmonton-North West: Ali Haymour was acclaimed as the UCP candidate. Haymour is a familiar name to north Edmonton voters, having previously run for City Council in 2017 and 2021, and as the Alberta Party candidate in Edmonton-Decore in 2019 and the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Castle Downs in 2008 and 2012.

Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland: UCP MLA Shane Getson has been acclaimed as his party candidate in this rural riding just north west of Edmonton. Town of Mayerthorpe Mayor Janet Jabush is now the Alberta Party candidate. Jabush has served as mayor since 2019.

Newly announced candidates

Calgary-Lougheed: Sherrisa Celis is the fifth candidate to enter the UCP nomination race in this south west Calgary riding. Celis is a program manager with· Calgary Catholic Immigration Society and ran for the UCP nomination in Calgary-Cross in 2018. Her website lists endorsements from Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao and former Calgary MLA Art Johnston. Also running for the nomination are Eric Bouchard, Max DeGroat, Mark Fiselier, and Michelle Mather.

Edmonton-Strathcona: NDP leader Rachel Notley is expected to be acclaimed as her party’s candidate at a nomination rally at NAIT on March 11. Notley was first elected in 2008 and was re-elected in 2019 with 72.27 per cent of the vote.

Withdrawn candidates

Cypress-Medicine Hat: Dustin Cartwright has withdrawn his candidacy for the Green Party in this south east Alberta riding.

Upcoming nomination votes

With just more than 90 days left until Election Day, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 73 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 61 ridings and the Green Party has 26 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 6 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 23 – Calgary-Fish Creek UCP
  • February 23 – Edmonton-Whitemud UCP
  • February 25 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock NDP
  • February 25 & 26 – Lesser Slave Lake UCP
  • February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP
  • March 1 – Edmonton-Meadows UCP
  • March 2 – Edmonton-West Henday UCP
  • March 4 – Red Deer-South UCP
  • March 5 – Calgary-Bhullar-McCall UCP
  • March 13 – Calgary-Lougheed UCP
  • March 14 – Calgary-Lougheed NDP
  • March 14 – Lethbridge-West UCP

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Alberta Politics

Big rematch set in Calgary-Falconridge, home of the closest race of the 2019 election

The closest race in Alberta’s 2019 election is set to be a rematch in 2023.

United Conservative Party MLA Devinder Toor was nominated as his party’s candidate in Calgary-Falconridge last week, pitting him against second-time Alberta NDP challenger Parmeet Singh Boparai.

Toor beat Boparai in 2019 by narrow 91 votes.

Parmeet Singh NDP Calgary Falconridge
Parmeet Singh Boparai

Toor’s first term as a UCP backbencher was not short of controversy.

In June 2020, CBC reported that the owners of two popular food trucks claimed they were being bullied and harassed by residents who didn’t want them there, including Toor.

He was hit with a $15,000 fine from Elections Alberta in July 2021 for violating five sections of the Election Finances and Contributions Disclosure Act. And in September 2021, Alberta Health Services issued a closure order for a Gleichen hotel owned by Toor.

Toor was one of only a handful of UCP MLAs to support Danielle Smith in her bid to win the party’s leadership and he was rewarded in October 2022 with an appointment as Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism.

This is a riding the NDP believe they can flip. It is on my list to watch.

Four in Livingstone-Macleod UCP race, former candidate now running for Alberta Party

It looked like there might be six or seven candidates in the race but when the nomination papers were handed in, there were only four candidates contesting the ‘do-over‘ UCP nomination Livingstone-Macleod.

Tanya Clemens, Shauna Oseen, Chelsae Petrovic, and Don Whalen will be on the ballot when UCP members vote on March 9, 10 and 11.

Two candidates who previously announced their candidacies dropped out of the race. Christina Lee and Nanton town councillor Kevin Todd did not submit their nomination forms.

Todd posted about his withdrawing from the contest on his Facebook page:

This was an extremely difficult decision to make, and I didn’t make it lightly. However, after being involved more closely with the party, I found that some of my values, morals and ethics were just not aligning as much as they used to.

And tonight, Todd announced that he will instead be seeking the nomination to run as the Alberta Party candidate in Livingstone-Macleod.

Tejada wins NDP ‘do-over’ vote in Calgary-Klein

Constituency office manager Lizette Tejada defeated four other candidates to win the NDP nomination in this hotly contested Calgary riding. This was the party’s second time holding a nomination contest in the riding. Brady Adkins, Angela McIntyre, Mattie McMillan and Laurie O’Neil were the other candidates in the race.

All quiet in Grande Prairie-Wapiti

Former finance minister Travis Toews launched his United Conservative Party leadership bid this week with a social media video.
Travis Toews (Travis Toews/Facebook)

What’s one of the big questions being asked in Alberta political circles this week?

Will Finance Minister Travis Toews run for re-election?

The rancher-accountant and UCP leadership race runner-up has been silent on his plans for the next election and the party has not released any news about nominating a candidate in his Grande Prairie-Wapiti riding.

Will Toews bow out of provincial politics after tabling the spring budget? We’ll find out soon.

More nomination updates

With just more than 100 days left until Election Day, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 73 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The United Conservative Party has candidates named in 58 ridings and the Green Party has 27 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 5 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

United Conservative Party

Calgary-Bhullar-McCall: Sonya Virk joins Amanpreet Singh Gill in the UCP nomination race in this north east Calgary riding. Virk is a former member of the Alberta Party provincial board. A vote is scheduled for March 5.

Edmonton-Glenora: Shannon Berry and Amit Batra are seeking the UCP nomination. Batra previously ran as a Liberal candidate in Edmonton-Calder in 2015, was active in Wexit Alberta and, until recently, served as a director of the Wildrose Independence Party.

Edmonton-McClung: Daniel Heikkinen defeated Terry Vankka to win the UCP nomination. Heikkinen was a candidate for Edmonton City Council in October 2021.

Edmonton-Manning: Alberto Mazzocca and Jaspreet Saggu are seeking the UCP nomination. A nomination vote is scheduled for February 22, 2023.

Lethbridge-West: Rick Dempsey and Torry Tanner are seeking the UCP nomination. Dempsey ran for the nomination in 2018. Tanner was named in an unsuccessful lawsuit against former Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw challenging Alberta’s COVID-19 public health restrictions. A nomination vote is scheduled for March 14.

Lesser Slave Lake: Martine Carifelle, Jerrad Cunningham, Scott Sinclair, and Silas Yellowknee are seeking the UCP nomination. A vote is being held on February 25 and 26.

Alberta NDP

Calgary-Lougheed: Venkat Ravulaparthi and Kim Wagner are seeking the NDP nomination. A nomination vote is scheduled for March 14.

Drumheller-Stettler: Pharmacist Juliet Franklin was nominated as the NDP candidate. This was the only riding where the NDP candidate placed 4th in the 2019 election.

Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre: Fisheries biologist Vance Buchwald was nominated as the NDP candidate.

Green Party

Julian Schulz has been nominated as the Green Party candidate in Edmonton-Glenora. Two of the party’s nominated candidates have withdrawn their candidacies: Brandy Kinkead in Calgary-Edgemont and Lucas Bevan in Sherwood Park.

Upcoming nomination meetings

Candidate nomination votes are currently scheduled for the following dates:

  • February 17 – Lacombe-Ponoka UCP
  • February 22 – Edmonton-Manning UCP
  • February 23 – Calgary-Fish Creek UCP
  • February 23 – Edmonton-Whitemud UCP
  • February 25 – Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock NDP
  • February 25 & 26 – Lesser Slave Lake UCP
  • February 28 – Cypress-Medicine Hat NDP
  • March 1 – Edmonton-Meadows UCP
  • March 2 – Edmonton-West Henday UCP
  • March 4 – Red Deer-South UCP
  • March 5 – Calgary-Bhullar-McCall UCP
  • March 14 – Calgary-Lougheed NDP
  • March 14 – Lethbridge-West UCP

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Daveberta Dave CournoyerIf you haven’t already, don’t forget to check out the Daveberta Substack and read my latest column, Rachel Notley is the Alberta NDP’s greatest asset, and listen to the latest episode of the Daveberta Podcast.

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Alberta Politics

Luke Suvanto wins UCP nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview, Robin Kurpjuweit joins Cypress-Medicine Hat UCP race

As things begin to wrap up for the holidays, this is probably going to be one of the final candidate nomination updates of 2022.

The last scheduled candidate selection meeting was held last night and saw Luke Suvanto defeat Felix Amenaghawon and Lana Palmer to win the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.

Suvanto is President of the federal Conservative electoral district association in Edmonton-Manning and is a leader with the Fort Road Victory Church.

The riding has been represented by NDP MLA Deron Bilous since 2012. Bilous announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election after 3-terms as MLA. Teacher and past NDP president Peggy Wright won the nomination to succeed Bilous as the NDP candidate.

Robin Kurpjuweit enters UCP contest in Cypress-Medicine Hat

Cypress County Councillor Robin Kurpjuweit announced his plans to seek the UCP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Kurpjuweit was first elected to county council in 2017. He joins former Western Standard VP of Operations James Finkbeiner in the nomination contest.

The riding is currently represented by Independent MLA Drew Barnes, who was elected in 2012 and 2015 as a Wildrose Party candidate and in 2019 under the UCP banner. He was kicked out of the UCP Caucus in May 2021, but unlike his colleague Todd Loewen, he has not rejoined the governing conservative caucus. It is looking increasingly like Barnes won’t rejoin the UCP.

The NDP are expected to hold a nomination meeting in the new year. School trustee Cathy Hogg and former teacher Tim Gruber are seeking the NDP nomination in Cypress-Medicine Hat. Dustin Cartwright is the nominated Green Party candidate.

That’s (almost) a wrap for 2022

While there are no more scheduled nomination votes in the final days of 2022, there are still outstanding UCP nomination results in ridings where acclamations are expected (Edmonton-Rutherford and Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin) and the results of the recount of the UCP nomination in Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul has not been released. The vote was sent for a recount at the party’s provincial office after former MLA Scott Cyr finished one vote ahead of incumbent MLA David Hanson.

With less than six months until the next election, the Alberta NDP have nominated candidates in 69 of Alberta’s 87 ridings. The UCP have candidates named in 50 ridings and the Green Party has 22 candidates. The Alberta Party has nominated 3 candidates and the Liberal Party has one.

Thank you to everyone who has followed my nomination updates and shared information about who is in the running. I expect it will be a busy few months of nominations ahead of the May 2023 election, so please keep on sharing your local nomination updates with me.

Don’t forget to vote in the Best of Alberta Politics 2022 survey. Voting is open until December 22 and I will announce the winners shortly after that.

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the Daveberta Substack. I’m have some fun and exciting news to share about the Substack early in the new year, so don’t miss out.

Thanks.

Dave

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Alberta Politics

Big Alberta Candidate Nomination Updates

I’ve been away for the past week, so there’s a lot to catch up on. Here are some of the latest candidate nomination updates:

  • Teacher Michael Lisboa-Smith defeated Lesley MacKinnon, and Shiraz Mir to become the Alberta NDP candidate in Calgary-North West at a September 7 nomination meeting. Lisboa-Smith was endorsed by former NDP MLA Michael Connolly and U of C NDP Club President Devon Langdon.
  • Jennifer Yeremiy was nominated as the Alberta Party candidate in Calgary-North West on September 7.
  • R.J. Sigurdson was nominated as the United Conservative Party candidate in Highwood.
  • MLA Rod Loyola defeated psychologists association president Dr. Judi Malone and ETS driver Manpreet Tiwana to become the NDP candidate at a September 10 nomination meeting.
  • MLA Heather Sweet was acclaimed as the NDP candidate in Edmonton-Manning at a September 8 nomination meeting. Sweet has represented the riding since 2015.
  • MLA Shannon Phillips was acclaimed as the NDP candidate in Lethbridge-West at a September 11 nomination meeting. Phillips was first elected in 2015 and served as Minister of Environment and Parks during the NDP’s term in government. She is currently the Official Opposition Finance critic.

Upcoming nomination meetings:

  • September 14: Former public school board trustee Michelle Draper and NDP provincial president Peggy Wright will face each other at a nomination vote in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview.
  • September 15: MLA Kathleen Ganley is running for the NDP nomination in Calgary-Mountain View.
  • September 17: MLA Marlin Schmidt is seeking the NDP in Edmonton-Gold Bar.
  • September 20: MLA Nicole Goehring is facing a nomination challenge from Nurmaiya Brady in Edmonton-Castle Downs.
  • September 24: Former city council candidate Rhiannon Hoyle and University of Alberta researcher Nasim Boroumand is seeking the NDP nomination in Edmonton-South.
  • September 25: Teacher David Cloutier is seeking the NDP nomination in Calgary-Shaw.
  • September 25: MLA Janis Irwin is seeking the NDP nomination in Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood.
  • September 27: Former Spruce Grove city councillor Chantal Saramaga-McKenzie and former Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec are seeking the NDP nomination in Spruce Grove-Stony Plain.
  • September 28: Five candidates are running for the NDP nomination in Sherwood Park. Strathcona County Councillor Katie Berghofer, renewable energy entrepreneur Kyle Kasawski, teacher Jeff Manchak former MLA Annie McKitrick, and information technology professional Vivian Mills will be on the ballot.
  • September 29: Calgary Transit operator Raj Jessel is seeking the NDP nomination in Chestermere-Strathmore. Jessel was the federal NDP candidate in Calgary-Shepard in the 2021 election.
  • October 1: Cheryl Hunter Loewen is seeking the NDP nomination in Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills.
  • October 5: Former Red Deer City Manager Craig Curtis and past school board candidate Jaelene Tweedle are seeking the NDP nomination in Red Deer-North.

I am tracking candidates and building a list of people running for nominations to run in Alberta’s next provincial election. If you know of someone running, please post a comment below or email me at david.cournoyer@gmail.com. Thank you!

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Alberta Politics

Adriana LaGrange wins UCP vote in Red Deer-North, NDP target Nate Glubish on rural broadband internet

Incumbent MLA Adriana LaGrange won the United Conservative Party nomination vote to run for re-election in Red Deer-North. LaGrange faced a nomination challenged from anti-vaccination activist Andrew Clews and according to a source in Red Deer, the vote was close.

LaGrange has been the face of the government’s controversial education system reforms, including the introduction of a new curriculum for kindergarten to grade 12 that many education experts say includes outdated and retrograde terms and ideas.

LaGrange was first elected to the Legislature in 2019 when she unseated NDP MLA Kim Schreiner in a 60.6 percent to 23.1 per cent vote. She previously served as a trustee on the Red Deer Catholic School board from 2007 and 2018 and was president of the Alberta Catholic School Trustees’ Association from 2015 to 2018.

Former city manager Craig Curtis and recent school board candidate Jaelene Tweedle are seeking the NDP nomination in Red Deer-North. The NDP have not announced a date for the meeting.

NDP candidates target Nate Glubish on rural broadband internet

Edmonton-Manning NDP MLA Heather Sweet joined Strathcona-Sherwood Park candidate Bill Tonita and Morinville-St. Albert candidate Karen Shaw at a press conference to criticize the UCP government for lack of progress on rural broadband internet expansion.

“Access to high-speed, affordable internet is essential for diversifying our economy and creating jobs, but the digital divide is growing under the UCP and hundreds of thousands of Albertans are at risk of being left behind,” said Tonita.

Strathcona-Sherwood Park is currently represented by UCP MLA and Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish, who responded in a tweet saying “…Alberta’s Broadband Strategy is a fully-funded plan to eliminate the digital divide in 5 years. We are making sure we invest tax dollars wisely to achieve the best possible result for rural Alberta.”

Glubish recently made news when he switched his support in the UCP leadership race from Travis Toews to Danielle Smith.

Both Strathcona-Sherwood Park and Morinville-St. Albert are ridings the NDP believes they have a chance of picking up in the next election.

Other nomination updates:

Upcoming nomination meetings

  • September 7 – Calgary-North West NDP
  • September 10 – Edmonton-Ellerslie NDP
  • September 11 – Lethbridge-West NDP
  • September 14 – Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview NDP
  • September 15 – Calgary-Mountain View NDP
  • September 17 – Edmonton-Gold Bar NDP

I am tracking candidates and building a list of people running for nominations to run in Alberta’s next provincial election. If you know of someone running, please post a comment below or email me at david.cournoyer@gmail.com. Thank you!

(I am launching a Substack. Sign up at  Daveberta Substack)

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Alberta Politics

Erin O’Toole comes to Alberta amid Fort McMurray revolt against Laila Goodridge

Conservative Party leader Erin O’Toole is making a campaign stop in Edmonton-Centre on August 21 as part of his Western Canada tour. O’Toole’s will hold an event at the Winnifred Stewart Foundation tomorrow morning, likely with local candidate James Cumming who is facing a challenge from former Liberal MP Randy Boissonnault and former public school board trustee Heather Mackenzie, who is running for the NDP.

Laila Goodridge Fort McMurray-Cold Lake
Laila Goodridge

O’Toole’s first stop in Alberta during the election campaign will come a day after the board of directors of the Fort McMurray-Cold Lake Conservative association released a public letter disagreeing with the party’s decision to appoint Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche United Conservative Party MLA Laila Goodridge as the district’s candidate following MP David Yurdiga’s writ day decision to not seek re-election. Yurdiga had already been nominated as the Conservative candidate earlier this year but decided to withdraw because of health reasons.

The unsigned letter titled as an “Official Board Press Statement” states that “The Fort McMurray-Cold Lake EDA does not support or recognize the undemocratic appointment of the current candidate. This appointment severely undermines the fundamental values of conservatives and everyone’s constitutional right to democracy. Our constituents were cheated of the opportunity to democratically select their candidate and were FORCED by the by the party on who will represent them. Many qualified candidates were not given the opportunity to apply not were their conservative views vetted by the local Board.”

The statement from the Fort McMurray-Cold Lake Conservative Electoral District Association.
The statement from the Fort McMurray-Cold Lake Conservative Electoral District Association.

Conservative sources say that the nomination rules permit the party to appoint a candidate after an election is called and that an expedited nomination meeting was not possible due the vacancy in the regional organizer position. It was expected that a nomination race in Fort McMurray-Cold Lake, even a rushed one, would be highly competitive and attract many voting members, requiring significant logistics and organizational support from the party.

The sources say the party has reached out to the disgruntled local board but has not received a response.

Goodridge is currently only facing Maverick Party candidate Jonathan Meyers,  People’s Party candidate Shawn McDonald, and Green Party candidate Brian Deheer. The Liberals and NDP have not yet named candidates in the north east Alberta district.

Jason Kenney Andrew Scheer Alberta Election
Andrew Scheer and Jason Kenney at a campaign rally in Edmonton-Centre in 2019.

Meanwhile, back in Edmonton, it does not look like O’Toole will be joined tomorrow by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Kenney was one of O’Toole’s most enthusiastic supporters during the 2020 Conservative leadership race but has uncharacteristically gone “on vacation” during the first week of the federal election.

Kenney last appearance at a public event was a government announcement in La Crete on August 10 ahead of a UCP “town hall” fundraiser in support of Peace River UCP MLA Dan Williams that featured a the Premier and a handful of cabinet ministers.

The Alberta Premier’s plummeting popularity has made him a punching bag in this federal campaign, with both Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh criticizing Kenney during campaign stops in Alberta yesterday. Kenney’s absence also means he avoids any questions from reporters about the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard speaking out against the province’s new draft K-12 curriculum, or former MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans being removed from the board of the Banff Centre.

This is a big contrast from the 2019 federal election, when Kenney spent a week campaigning for Conservative candidates in Ontario and Manitoba and appeared hand in hand with then-leader Andrew Scheer on stage at a rally outside of Cumming’s Jasper Avenue campaign office.

Brian Jean is still around too

Brian Jean Calgary Stampede Alberta
Brian Jean

The local revolt against Goodridge’s nomination comes the day after former Fort McMurray MP and MLA Brian Jean unleashed a 23 tweet thread calling for the creation of something resembling the Saskatchewan Party. It has been rumoured that Jean may be considering seeking the leadership of the Alberta Party.

City of Brooks Mayor and former AUMA President Barry Morishita announced his candidacy for the Alberta Party leadership last week.

New candidates

  • Donna Lynn Smith has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in Edmonton-Manning.
  • The Rhinoceros Party has nominated Travis Jones in Edmonton-Manning and Lucas Rhinocerotidae Anderson in Edmonton-Riverbend.
  • Kim Siever is running as an Independent candidate in Lethbridge.
  • Catriona Wright is running for the Green Party in Calgary-Rocky Ridge.

I am maintaining an updated list of nominated federal election candidates in Alberta. Please drop a comment below if I am missing anyone. Thank you.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Liberal Party has nominated 20 candidates, Marxist-Leninists name 5 candidates in Alberta

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is visiting Governor General Mary Simon this morning to ask the House of Commons to be dissolved and election to be called. About 3,000 kilometres west of the national capital, the Liberal Party is still scrambling to nominate candidates to run in the impending federal election.

The Liberals have nominated 20 candidates in Alberta’s 34 electoral districts, including two new candidates yesterday:

  • John Turvey is the Liberal Party candidate in Lakeland. Turvey is an instructor at Lakeland College.
  • Paula Shimp is the Liberal Party candidate in Foothills. Shimp was the Alberta Liberal candidate in Cardston-Taber-Warner in the 2004 provincial election.

The NDP are also behind in nominating candidates in Alberta, with 13 candidates nominated across the province. The latest being Grumit Bhachu in Calgary-Midnapore. Bhachu was the NDP candidate in this district in the 2019 federal election.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) has nominated candidates Kevan Hunter in Calgary-Confederation, Merryn Edwards in Edmonton-Centre, Mary Joyce in Edmonton-Griesbach, Andre Vachon in Edmonton-Manning, and Peggy Morton in Edmonton-West.

Eden Gould is running in Calgary-Centre for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.

For more, see the full list of federal election candidates in Alberta.

Categories
Alberta Politics

NDP nominate Julia Hayter in Calgary-Edgemont. Sayid Ahmed running for UCP nomination in Edmonton-Decore.

Julia Hayter was nominated as the Alberta NDP candidate in Calgary-Edgemont at a meeting held last night.

Hayter was the NDP candidate in the northwest Calgary district in the 2019 election, where she earned 34 per cent of the vote to United Conservative Party candidate Prasad Panda’s 52 per cent. Panda currently serves as Minister of Infrastructure.

Hayter is the second NDP candidate nominated to run in the expected 2023 provincial election. Dr. Luanne Metz has been nominated to run in the neighbouring Calgary-Varisty.

Sayid Ahmed seeking UCP nomination in Edmonton-Decore

Sayid Ahmed has filed papers with Elections Alberta to seek the UCP nomination in Edmonton-Decore. Ahmed is a manager in the provincial Department of Health and is President of the UCP association in the neighbouring Edmonton-Manning district and Vice President of Policy for the Alberta Advisory Board of the Conservative Black Congress of Canada.

Edmonton-Decore has been represented by NDP MLA Chris Nielsen since 2015. Nielson was re-elected in 2019 with 47.5 per cent of the vote, ahead of UCP candidate Karen Principe (Principe is currently running for Edmonton City Council in Ward tastawiyiniwak). The third place candidate in that year’s race, Alberta Party candidate Ali Haymour, is running for city council in Edmonton’s Ward Anirniq.

The district is named after former MLA Laurence Decore, who served as MLA for the then-named Edmonton-Glengarry from 1989 to 1997 and as Mayor of Edmonton from 1983 to 1988. He was leader of the Alberta Liberal Party from 1988 to 1994.

Ahmed is the second prospective candidate to announce plans to seek a UCP nomination ahead of the 2023 election. Chantelle de Jonge has filed her papers to run for the UCP nomination in Chestermere-Strathmore.

Former Edmonton lawyer Randy Hogle running for Senate

Former Edmonton lawyer Randy Hogle has filed his papers to run as a candidate in the Senate Nominee election, which is being held on the same day as Alberta’s October 18 municipal elections.

Hogle had a successful legal career and, despite being legally blind, he excelled as an equestrian athlete. This is his second attempt at political office after a previous run for Edmonton City Council in 1992, during which one of his key platform points was the construction of bike lanes on Jasper Avenue.

Hogle is the son of former long-time CFRN news director Bruce Hogle and brother of former sports reporter and current Hockey Edmonton General Manager Steve Hogle.

Also running are Progress Alberta executive Director Duncan Kinney, lobbyist and former UCP President Erika Barootes, conservative activist Pamela Davidson, and emergency medicine doctor Sunil Sookram.

Banff Mayor appointed to the Senate

Despite the upcoming elections to choose a Senate Nominee, a process that is unique to Alberta, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that one of two of Alberta’s vacant seats in the Senate would be filled by Town of Banff Mayor Karen Sorenson.

Sorensen’s long record of public service includes terms as a trustee on the Canadian Rockies Public Schools from 1997 to 2001, as a Banff town councillor from 2004 to 2010 and as mayor from 2010 until her appointment to the Senate in 2021.

She will sit as an Independent member of Canada’s upper chamber.

UPDATE:

Mykhailo Martyniouk has submitted his papers with Elections Alberta to run in the Senate Nominee election. Martyniouk is the current president of the Canadian Ukrainian Free Trade Agreement Association.

In 2019, Martyniouk donated $1,155 to Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview UCP candidate David Egan and in 2018 he donated $300 to the UCP association in Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview. In 2020, he donated 1,600 to the Conservative Party of Canada association in Edmonton-Manning.

Categories
Alberta Politics

MLA Recall focuses on punishing politicians rather than making them better representatives

Another MLA Recall bill has been introduced into the Alberta Legislative Assembly, and this one looks like it will actually pass and become law.

Kaycee Madu Edmonton South West
Kaycee Madu (Source: Twitter)

Justice Minister Kaycee Madu introduced Bill 52: Recall Act in the Assembly for first reading today. If it becomes law, the bill would allow for a by-election to be called in a provincial electoral district where the signatures of at least 40 percent of the eligible voters are collected. Unlike previous Recall efforts, Madu’s bill expands recall to municipal councillors and school board trustees.

Forty percent is likely a high enough threshold to avoid frivolous, or maybe any, actual Recall by-elections. While there are certainly some circumstances where constituents are united in unhappiness with their elected officials, this bill seems to be more of a signal that the United Conservative Party has checked off a box on its to-do list than actually create a mechanism to improve democracy in Alberta.

Instead of being fearful of a revolt by their own voters, it is more likely that MLAs will be concerned that well-funded special interest groups, like the the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, could swoop into their district with a legion of paid volunteers to rabble-rouse and cause trouble for local representatives.

It might be more proactive to limit recall, like they have in the United Kingdom, to politicians who are convicted of criminal offenses or providing false or misleading expenses claims while in office.

Our democratic institutions do need to be tinkered with and improved, but so much of the focus of efforts like MLA Recall are focused on punishing elected officials rather than empowering them to do a better job. So rather than finding new ways to fire politicians, which Albertans have done a fairly consistent job in the past two elections, we should be creating ways they can do better jobs for us.

Being a backbench MLA in a government caucus is not a glamorous job. They are told where to be and how to vote on most issues. Most rarely have the opportunity to demonstrate meaningful independence without facing the wrath of the Caucus Whip or the Leader’s Chief of Staff. And, when time comes for re-election, their nomination papers require the ultimate endorsement of the party leader.

One way that individual MLAs could empower themselves would be to change the standing orders to allow MLAs who are not in cabinet an increased opportunity to introduce private members bills. Right now MLAs earn the ability to introduce private members bills through a lottery, meaning that some MLAs will never have the chance to introduce a law into the Legislature.

And private members’ bills are only debated on Monday’s, severely limiting their ability to get attention and get passed into law.

Accountability of democratic officials is important, and that is why we have elections every four years. And as Albertans have enthusiastically demonstrated over the past two elections, they will not hesitate to dramatically unseat MLAs and governments if they feel the need.

It would be better for democracy in Alberta if we focused on ways to empower MLAs to better represent Albertans inside and outside the Assembly, rather than creating new ways to punish them.

History of Recall Legislation in Alberta

Madu’s Bill 52 marks the eleventh MLA Recall bill to be tabled in the Assembly since 1936.

1936: Bill No. 76 of 1936: A Bill Providing for the Recall of Members of the Legislative Assembly was introduced by the Social Credit government and passed after their surprising win in the 1935 election. The bill required 66.6 percent of voters to sign a petition to trigger a recall by-election.

1937: The law was repealed by the Social Credit government after a group of disgruntled Albertans was thought to have collected enough signatures to recall Premier William Aberhart in his Okotoks-High River constituency.

1993Calgary-Buffalo Liberal MLA Gary Dickson introduced Bill 203: Recall Act, which would have trigged a recall by-election if 40 percent of eligible voters signed a petition demanding one. The bill was defeated in a 42-34 vote in the Legislature.

1995: Edmonton-Meadowlark Liberal MLA Karen Leibovici introduced Bill 224: Parliamentary Reform and Electoral Review Commission Act, which would have created a commission to study a handful of issues, including recall. The bill passed first reading but was never debated.

1996: Lethbridge-East Liberal MLA Ken Nicol introduced Bill 206: Recall Act, which would have trigged a recall by-election if 40 percent of eligible voters signed a petition demanding one. This bill was defeated in a 37-24 vote in the Legislature.

1997: Bill 216, Recall Act was introduced by Edmonton-Manning Liberal MLA Ed Gibbons but was never debated in the Legislature. If passed into law, the bill would have trigged a recall by-election if 40 percent of eligible voters signed a petition demanding one

2010Calgary-Glenmore Wildrose MLA Paul Hinman introduced Bill 208: Recall Act, which would have trigged a recall by-election if 33 percent of eligible voters signed a petition demanding one. Reached second reading but was not debated further.

2015Chestermere-Rockyview Wildrose MLA Leela Aheer introduces Bill 206: Recall Act, which would trigger a recall by-election if 20 percent of eligible voters signed a petition demanding one. The bill passed first reading and died on the order paper.

2016: Drayton Valley-Devon Wildrose MLA Mark Smith introduces Bill 201: Election Recall Act, which would trigger a recall by-election is 66 per cent of the electorate’s signatures from the previous general election was collected in 60 days on a sanctioned petition. The bill was defeated in second reading.

2019: Drayton Valley-Devon United Conservative Party MLA Mark Smith introduces Bill 204: Election Recall Act, which would allow Albertans to trigger a by-election in a riding where 40 per cent of registered voters have signed a petition recalling their MLA. The bill died on the order paper after it passed second reading.

Categories
Alberta Politics

Edmonton MPs Heather McPherson and Ziad Aboultaif nominated to run in next federal election

Two more Alberta Members of Parliament have been nominated by their parties to run as candidates in the next federal election.

New Democratic Party MP Heather McPherson was nominated to run for re-election in Edmonton-Strathcona. McPherson currently serves as the NDP Opposition’s Deputy House Leader, Critic for International Development, and Deputy Critic for Foreign Affairs

First elected in 2019, McPherson is currently the only non-Conservative MP from Alberta. In the last election she succeeded three-term NDP MP Linda Duncan, who had represented the riding since 2008.

Voting results in Edmonton-Strathcona from 2004 to 2019.

In northeast Edmonton, Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif has been nominated to run for re-election in Edmonton-Manning. Aboultaif was first elected in 2015. He served as Official Opposition Critic for International Development from 2017 to 2020.

Categories
Alberta Politics

So you want to have an emergency debate

With Alberta’s Legislative Assembly back in session until the beginning of December, there is good chance that Albertans will hear the term “emergency debate” used a lot.

With a global pandemic, a struggling economy and the United Conservative Party government implementing drastic overhauls and layoffs, MLAs from the opposition New Democratic Party will likely invoke legislative mechanisms to force emergency debates in the Assembly.

According to the rules that govern how the Assembly operates, the Standing Orders, there are two ways for MLAs to trigger emergency debates in the Legislature:

1. Standing Order 30: After the daily routine and before the Orders of the Day, any MLA can request to delay the scheduled business of the Assembly in order to discuss a matter of urgent public importance. After the MLA is given an opportunity to state their arguments, the Speaker can allow a debate on the question of urgency of debate and decide whether the call for a debate is needed.

If the Speaker agrees that debate is needed and there are any objections, then a standing vote of those in favour takes place. If 15 MLAs rise in favour in the standing vote, then the debate can happen with 10 minutes allocated to any MLA who wishes to speak on the matter.

Under SO 30, the MLA proposing the emergency debate must give the Speaker written notice at least 2 hours ahead of time.

2. Standing Order 42: This standing order allows MLAs to delay the regular business the Assembly to deal with matters of “urgent and pressing necessity” and can be invoked anytime without advance notice having been given to the Speaker.

This order requires unanimous consent of the Assembly to proceed. If no MLA objects then each MLA is given 20 minutes to debate the motion.

The government typically opposes this kind of motion.


Heather Sweet (source: Facebook)

This afternoon, Edmonton-Manning NDP MLA and Opposition House Leader Heather Sweet introduced a motion for emergency debate on the economic crisis under Standing Order 30.

Sweet’s motion was declined by Speaker Nathan Cooper because he determined a motion on a similar topic had already been introduced to the Order Paper by Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre UCP MLA and Government House Leader Jason Nixon.