Alberta Politics

letter by former mla a glimpse at desperate times in the liberal party.

“At year’s end there is a saying, “Out with the old and in with the new”

“Unfortunately, this does not apply to your St. Albert Provincial Liberal Constituency Association. The reality of our situation is that “The old is not out and the new is the same old.”

A letter sent to current and past Alberta Liberal Party supporters in the St. Albert constituency gives a glimpse into how disorganized and far-behind the Liberal Party is in preparing for the next provincial election in some constituencies.

The letter, signed by local activist Wilf Borgstede and constituency association president and former MLA Jack Flaherty, outlines the trouble that the Liberals have had in recruiting a candidate to run in that constituency in the upcoming provincial election.

The letter makes reference to two prospective candidates who showed interest in running, but declined because of the lack of support the local organization would be able to provide them during the election campaign.

According to the letter, the last Annual General Meeting was held in 2008, the year which Mr. Flaherty was defeated. The letter suggests that despite a brief boost in interest in the party during the recent leadership contest and when former Tory MLA Raj Sherman was chosen as leader, that interest has since disbursed.

When contacted about this letter, Liberal Party campaign chairman Corey Hogan, always an optimist, wrote via email that “I suspect the launch of our platform on the 6th will further invigorate members and supporters in St. Albert and elsewhere as we get prepared for the coming contest.”

Meanwhile, the four other main political parties have nominated candidates. Alberta Party candidate Tim Osborne was nominated more than a year ago, the NDP acclaimed activist Nicole Bownes in 2010, and the Wildrose have chosen former Alderman James Burrows (who is a former Liberal Party member). Two weeks ago, the PCs held a hotly contested nomination meeting that drew three candidates and hundreds of local supporters to select a replacement to retiring MLA Ken Allred. Businessman Stephen Khan was the successful PC nominee.

The letter may be symptomatic of broader problems facing the Liberal Party. Two staffers who recently left the Liberal Caucus Office have landed in the PC camp. Former Liberal Researcher Kyle Olsen recently left the Caucus for a job as a researcher at the PC Caucus and former public relations coordinator Andrew Fisher is now supporting Edmonton-Centre PC candidate Akash Kokhar‘s campaign.

Alberta Politics

alberta candidate nomination update – september 2011.

I have updated the list of declared and nominated candidates standing in the next provincial election.

Airdrie: The Airdrie City View is reporting that former Airdrie Mayor Linda Bruce is volunteering for Gary Mar‘s PC leadership campaign, adding to the speculation that she may seek the PC nomination to challenge Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson.

Janis Tarchuk, PC MLA Banff-Cochrane, Alberta
Is Janis Tarchuk hanging up her hat?

Banff-Cochrane: Transport worker Jamie Kleinsteuber has been nominated as the Alberta NDP candidate in this mountain constituency. Incumbent PC MLA Janis Tarchuk is being tight lipped about whether she will seek re-election. Ms. Tarchuk was first elected in 1997 and served in cabinet until she was dropped from cabinet in 2010.

Calgary-Currie: Alberta Party MLA Dave Taylor has announced that he will be retiring at the next election. This is not a complete surprise, but it is not good news for the new party, who will lose their only incumbent MLA at the next election. Mr. Taylor was first elected as a Liberal in 2004 and left that party to sit as an Independent in 2010. He joined the Alberta Party in 2011.

Calgary-Mackay-Nose HillCollin Anderson has been nominated as the NDP candidate in this north Calgary constituency. Ms. Anderson ran in the recent federal election as the NDP candidate in Calgary-Nose Hill and in the 2008 provincial election in Calgary-North West. has served in positions with Telecommunications Workers Union and the Calgary & District Labour Council.

Calgary-McCall: Depending on who you believe, the Wildrose either disqualified them for breaking the nomination rules or they quit, but candidates Deepshikha Brar, Khalil Karbani, and Braham Luddu are no longer eligible to run for that party. Candidate Grant Galpin appears to be the only candidate left standing.

Drumheller-Stettler: Hanna Town Councillor Chris Warwick has withdrawn his nomination for the Wildrose candidacy in this constituency. Candidates Dave France, Rick Strankman, and Patrick Turnbull remain declared in the nomination contest,.

Edmonton-Castle Downs: Former pharmaceutical employee John Oplanich is the nominated Wildrose candidate in this north Edmonton constituency. Mr. Oplanich ran for Edmonton City Council in 2010, placing third in Ward 3.

Edmonton-McClung: Varscona Theatre executive director John Hudson has been nominated as the Alberta Party candidate in this west Edmonton constituency.

Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MLA Rachel Notley
NDP MLA Rachel Notley

Edmonton-Strathcona: NDP MLA Rachel Notley is expected to be acclaimed at a nomination meeting planned for October 11. Vancouver-Kingsway NDP Member of Parliament Don Davies is the guest speaker.

Lethbridge-West: Candidates Shannon Phillips and James Moore will face-off in a contested NDP nomination meeting on September 11.

Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills: The race to replace retiring Progressive Conservative MLA Richard Marz is on. Mountain View County councillor and former reeve Al Kemmere has announced his candidacy to seek the PC nomination. Mr. Kemmere is also a director for the Association of Alberta Rural Municipalities and Districts.

Also seeking the nomination is William Stevenson, who has been endorsed by PC leadership candidate Ted Morton and Wild Rose Member of Parliament Blake Richards.

St. Albert: Former St. Albert alderman James Burrows is the nominated Wildrose candidate. Liberal Party activist Alex Bosse is seeking his party’s nomination.

Sturgeon-St. Albert: Linda Robinson, co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples caucus of the NDP, is seeking her party’s nomination in this constituency. Ms. Robinson works for the Alberta Federation of Labour.

Alberta Politics

joe anglin speaks. wildrose candidates get creative with their biographies.

Joe Anglin Wildrose Alberta Rocky Mountain House - Sundre
Joe Anglin

As reported on this blog earlier this week, and reported by the mainstream media yesterday, Joe Anglin has been nominated as the Wildrose candidate in the newly created constituency of Rocky Mountain House-Sundre.

Mr. Anglin is a well-known landowners rights advocate and was the last leader of the now defunct Alberta Green Party, but you will not learn that from the short biography released by the Wildrose yesterday. His past party leadership position was omitted from the party’s official media release circulated yesterday.

According to Wildrose Director of Communications William McBeath, the omissions were not the party’s doing, they were Mr. Anglin’s. “Joe provided info for his bio – his wording was used,” wrote Mr. McBeath in an email.

When asked about the omission, Mr. Anglin responded that “the bio was limited to 100 words” and that the two omissions in the short-biography are well-known facts in his constituency. “I will run on my reputation as an advocate of landowner rights,” wrote Mr. Anglin in an email.

Why did Anglin join the Wildrose?

When asked about his conversion from the former Green Party to the right-wing Wildrose, Mr. Anglin told this blogger that he chose his new party because they “supported and recognized the importance of my work advocating for landowner rights, and democratic principles.”

Since becoming leader, Danielle Smith focused on landowners rights one of her party’s key issues to drive a wedge between rural landowners and the party they traditionally support, the Progressive Conservatives.

“Danielle [Smith] met with me multiple times. She listened to me and then convinced me that if I am elected, I will be able to represent the people of my constituency, as they see fit,” wrote Mr. Anglin. “This is an important principle for many voters in my constituency and it is a very sensitive issue for me. People are not asking to be heard anymore, they are demanding to be heard.”

“What is not well known is that many Green Party supporters joined the Wildrose Party before I did, for this very reason,” wrote Mr. Anglin. “In summary, it wasn’t so much the party, as it was the issues. As long as the Wildrose Party walks the talk — this riding will be a Wildrose riding.”

Wildrose candidates write selective biographies.

While Mr. Anglin’s biography may have just included some honest omissions, he is not the first Wildrose candidate to leave certain biographical information off the official record. As pointed out on the talented David Climenhaga‘s blogBarrhead-Morinville-Westlock candidate Link Byfield‘s online biographies appear to have been scrapped of the fact that he was once the president of the bizarre sounding Society to Explore and Record Christian History.

Seeking the Wildrose nomination in Calgary-North West is candidate Russell Hillier, a founding member of the Canadian Culture and Integration Society, which is dedicated to reducing mass-immigration and eliminating official multiculturalism in Canada. Mr. Hillier’s involvement in this anti-immigration group is omitted from his campaign website biography and the organization’s website has mysteriously disappeared since I first wrote about his connections to the group in July 2011.

Even the recently nominated Wildrose candidate in St. Albert, former Alderman James Burrows, pumped up his biography, claiming to be a “Corporate Sales Specialist” (a more vague job title could not be found). I am told that he actually works for Lowe’s Canada in South Edmonton Common and runs his own television installation company, two respectable occupations that do not need to be omitted or hidden behind a vague job title. Yet they are.

Perhaps a creative editing course is a requirement for Wildrose candidates?