I joined Éric Grenier of TheWrit.ca on his excellent podcast this week to discuss Alberta’s election and the candidates who will be on the ballot on May 29. Éric was generous enough to share the audio from that episode so I can share it with the lucky paid subscribers of the Daveberta Substack.
Thank you to Daveberta Podcast producer Adam Rozenhart for editing this so we can share it with you today.
Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul: Former Municipal District of Bonnyville Reeve Greg Sawchuk is seeking the United Conservative Party nomination. Sawchuk served as Reeve from 2017 until he was unseated in a rematch against Barry Kalinski in the 2021 election.
Incumbent MLA David Hanson has announced his plans to run for re-election. Hanson was first elected in 2015 as a Wildrose Party MLA and was re-elected in 2019 under the UCP banner.
Calgary-Shaw: David Cloutier is expected to be nominated as the NDP candidate at a candidate selection meeting today.
Edmonton-Castle Downs: NDP MLA Nicole Goehring defeated Nurmaiya Bradyto secure the NDP nomination. Goehring was first elected in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019. Former city councillor Jon Dziadyk is the nominated UCP candidate.
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood: MLA Janis Irwin is expected to be nominated at a meeting on September 25 at the Bellevue Community Hall. Irwin was first elected in 2019 with 63.4 per cent of the vote.
Edmonton-South: Nasim Boroumand and Rhiannon Hoyle are seeking the NDP nomination in a vote today.
Lacombe-Ponoka: Paramedic and Alberta Paramedic’s Association president Dustin Marshrall is seeking the UCP nomination. Teacher Dave Dale is running for the NDP nomination at an October 19 nomination meeting.
Withdrawals: Usman Sadiq has withdrawn from the NDP nomination contest in Calgary-Foothills and Vivian Mills from the NDP contest in Sherwood Park.
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.
Former Edmonton City Councillor Jon Dziadyk is considering a run for the United Conservative Party nomination in Edmonton-Castle Downs.
When reached for comment, Dziadyk said he has not yet filled out any nomination papers with the UCP and provided the following statement:
“It is important for the different regions of Alberta to be well represented in government, and that includes Edmonton (woefully under-represented in the current government and, as a former city councillor, I see how that is not in Edmonton’s best interests).
I live in Edmonton-Castle Downs and hope that this riding is competitive to bring the best ideas forward. I do not want Castle Downs to be taken for granted and so I am engaging with folks who are dissatisfied with both the NDP and past actions of the UCP. No party should consider any seat as safe and strong local candidates can have direct influence on government policy/opposition priorities and that conversation has already started.
I hope that all parties put their best foot forward to have a direct and honest debate with the constituents on current matters and aspirations. I am willing to help the UCP in various roles and am currently in conversation with supports about if seeking the nomination is the best way in which I can contribute. No paperwork has been filed.”
A planner and naval reserve officer, Dziadyk was first elected to city council in 2017 in an upset win over incumbent Dave Loken in Ward 3, but four years later was defeated by Karen Principe in the redrawn and renamed Ward tastawiyiniwak. Principe was the UCP candidate in Edmonton-Decore in 2019.
He endorsed Mike Nickel in the 2021 mayoral election.
Dziadyk positioned himself as a champion of the north end during his time on city council, helping found the annual Top of the City soccer tournament and the “North End Hub” Facebook page.
But he attracted controversy early in his term when it became public that he planned to use $44,000 from his ward budget to pay his tuition for an Executive MBA program at the University of Alberta. After initially defending the expense, he apologized and promised to reimburse the city for the $11,000 he had already expensed for his tuition.
The north Edmonton riding has been represented by Alberta NDP MLA Nicole Goehring since 2015. She was re-elected in 2019 with 45 per cent of the vote.
Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 70th year on the Throne this year.
In honour of this most Royal occasion, Premier Jason Kenney introduced Bill 1: Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Recognition Act back on February 22.
It was the United Conservative Party government’s flagship bill of the 2022.
The new law creates a scholarship for Alberta students, a medal to recognize the work of outstanding Albertans, and a for-life “Honourable” title and “ECA” post-nominal letters for all living current and former Alberta cabinet ministers.
Yes, you read that right.
To celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s seventy years as Queen of Canada and Sovereign of the British Commonwealth , Kenney introduced a bill that gives current and former cabinet ministers the ability to call themselves “Honourable” for the rest of their lives.
As far as I know Alberta might be only province to have done this.
As the head of government, Premiers have always been able to hold their “Honourable” title for life, but not regular cabinet ministers.
Provincial cabinet ministers get to call themselves “Honourable” while they are in office as a sign of respect for the office they hold while they hold it, but that used to be it.
It’s an honour to be a cabinet minister but it’s not something they would take for life.
Not like those British Lords who pass on titles and positions to their children.
Back to Alberta.
The home of Honourable Jason Kenney, PC, ECA.
The ECA stands for Executive Council of Alberta by the way.
That’s the formal name of the cabinet.
The PC stands for Privy Council.
That’s a real title that comes with responsibility.
The Privy Council Office is the central agency of the Government of Canada which acts as the secretariat to the Cabinet of Canada.
Kenney was sworn into the Privy Council when he was a federal cabinet minister.
The Alberta title is an automatic thing for people in cabinet now and anyone who used to be in cabinet.
“Who cares, Dave?” you say?
I guess it’s not really a big deal.
It’s just a monarchist vanity project.
It’s not like Kenney is wandering the halls of the Legislature crying “Hail Britannia!” while brandishing a broadsword to bestow knighthoods.
But it’s weird and it’s something that no normal Albertan was asking for.
I doubt many people on the streets of Rocky Mountain House or downtown Calgary were clamouring for a new law to let our politicians hold titles for life.
I’m no monarchist.
I believe the monarchy is an outdated institution that should probably be abolished.
But I also think Alberta politicians voting to give themselves titles for life is a strange way to honour a Queen who has spent seventy years serving honourably in a very difficult role.
It mostly flew under the radar but two NDP MLA did take notice.
They got sharp responses from the UCP, who never explained why they were even doing this.
“That’s certainly not something that anybody has raised to me as their top priority” said Edmonton-Whitemud NDP MLA Rakhi Pancholi said in the Legislature.
“I certainly think it’s coming at an interesting time, considering that there are a number of members of the current cabinet who are having their qualifications and their expertise and their temperament questioned,” Pancholi continued.
“I think that’s at odds with what most Albertans believe in terms of what honorary means, and it’s an interesting timing on this government’s part,” she concluded.
When Edmonton-Castle Downs NDP MLA Nicole Goehring questioned it, UCP deputy government house leader and Kenney acolyte Joseph Schow was quick to jump on her with a Point of Order.
“I guess this is a touchy subject when it comes to the title “honourable” for life,” Goehring replied.
“This piece of legislation is doing just that. It’s providing a space to have the title for life alongside building up students and recognizing their contributions to the province,” she said. “It just seems ridiculous that the two of these things are going together.”
It’s the law now.
So, to all the students who receive the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee scholarships, congratulations.
To all the Albertans who are honoured with the awards, thank you for your service.
And to all the Honourable current and former cabinet ministers, ECA, who have now been bestowed with their new title, enjoy it, I guess.
I know I’ve mentioned this before, but please feel free to sign up for the Daveberta Substack.
New Democratic Party MLA Nicole Goehring was nominated as her party’s candidate in Edmonton-Castle Downs, a district she has represented since 2015. Goehring won her first election with 64.5 percent of the vote, unseating four-term Progressive Conservative MLA and former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk. Since her election, Goehring has served as the Government of Alberta’s Liaison to the Canadian Armed Forces and as chairperson of the Standing Committee on Families and Communities.
Calgary-Bow – NDP MLA Deborah Drever is expected to be nominated as her party’s candidate at a selection meeting on January 26, 2019. Drever was first elected in 2015 and faced considerable backlash from her political opponents when it was discovered she had made controversial posts on social media. She redeemed herself as a well-spoken representative and shepherded her first private members’ bill – Bill 204 – to unanimous approval in the Legislature in 2015. She rejoined the NDP caucus shortly after that.
Calgary-Currie – Joshua Codd has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in this southwest Calgary district. Codd is currently a Constituency Assistant for Calgary-Mountain View Liberal MLA David Swann.
Calgary-Shaw – MLA Graham Sucha is expected to be nominated as the NDP candidate in this district on January 27, 2019. Sucha was elected as the MLA for this district in 2015, earning 31.3 percent of the vote ahead of PC MLA Jeff Wilsonwith 30.7 percent and Wildroser Brad Leishman with 30.4 percent.
Drayton Valley-Devon – Steve Goodman is seeking the Freedom Conservative Party nomination. Goodman is a Senior Community Peace Officer with Brazeau County.
Edmonton-Ellerslie – Richard Corbin and Todd Ross appear to have withdrawn from the Alberta Party nomination contest days after another candidate, Chuck McKenna, also withdrew. The Alberta Party briefly posted a tweet congratulating Corbin on becoming the party’s candidate in the district but that tweet appears to have been removed.
Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville – Rebecca Trotter is the Green Party candidate in this district east of Edmonton. Trotter is the President of RM Trotter Management Incorporated and a Sergeant at Arms for Rotary International
West Yellowhead – Zack Seizmagraff is the Liberal Party candidate in this district. Seizmagraff was the federal Liberal Party candidate in Yellowhead in the 2011 election, earning 2.87 percent of the vote.
Who is the mystery UCP star candidate in Red Deer-South?
To the chagrin of local members, the UCP announced in early December that the party was delaying the selection meeting in Red Deer-South until 2019 in order to give time for a “high profile individual” run join the contest. The local UCP association is organizing an all-candidates forum on January 31, 2019, and only the original four candidates contesting the nomination, the true identity of the unnamed star candidate remains a mystery.
The UCP has now scheduled nomination meetings in Lethbridge-East and Calgary-North to take place on February 9, 2019. I will post a preview of these contests next week.
If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will add them to the list. Thank you!
MLA Thomas Dang was nominated as the New Democratic Party‘s candidate in the new Edmonton-South district. Dang was first elected as the MLA for Edmonton-South West in the 2015 election.
Dang received a considerable amount of media attention in 2017 when he tabled the Alberta Standard Time Act, a private members’ bill which would have ended the observance of Daylight Savings Time in Alberta. While the idea was fairly popular among the public, strong pushback by Alberta’s two professional hockey teams and a major Alberta-based airline company are believed to be what stalled the bill before it could complete second reading in the Assembly.
Getson is a manager of a pipeline construction and maintenance company. He will face NDP MLA and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier and Alberta Party candidate Don McCargar.
Speaker Wanner not seeking re-election
Medicine Hat NDP MLA Bob Wanner announced that he will not be seeking re-election when the next vote is called. Wanner, who was elected as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 2015, was first elected in 2015, earning 38 percent of the vote. He previously ran for the NDP in this district in the 1993 election. The current Medicine Hat district faces a significant redistribution in the next election and has been redrawn into the new Brooks-Medicine Hat and Cypress-Medicine Hat districts.
Fildebrandt nominated as a Fildebrandt Party candidate
Freedom Conservative Party MLA and leader Derek Fildebrandt was nominated as his party’s candidate in the Chestermere-Strathmore district. Fildebrandt was first elected as a Wildrose MLA in 2015 and is now expected to face his former caucus colleague Leela Aheer in the next election.
With Christmas less than one week away, nominations appear to have ended for 2018, but the first few months of 2019 are expected to included a flurry of nomination activity. The UCP have eight remaining districts in which to nominate candidates and the NDP have already scheduled nomination contests in January in Airdrie-Cochrane, Maskwaskis-Wetaskiwin, Morinville-St. Albert, Sherwood Park, and Spruce Grove-Stony Plain.
Calgary-Bow – Paul Godard defeated Frank Penkala to secure the Alberta Party nomination in this northwest Calgary district.
Calgary-North East – Gurbachan Brar defeated Roop Rai to secure the NDP nomination in this district. Brar is the former President of the Punjabi Likhari Sabha and is a former Broadcaster at RED FM 106.7.
Camrose – Morgan Bamford is seeking the NDP nomination in this central Alberta district. Bamford is the Acting Supervisor of Indigenous Relations with the City of Edmonton and is the co-founder of Bamford & Henbest Research and Consulting Partners Ltd. He is vice-president of the board of directors of Volunteer Alberta.
Drayton Valley-Devon – Ronald Brochu is seeking the Liberal Party nomination. Brochu was the Liberal Party candidate in Edmonton-Gold Bar in the 2015 election, earning 3.1 percent of the vote.
Edmonton-Castle Downs – MLA Nicole Goehring is seeking the NDP nomination for re-election in this north Edmonton district. Goehring was first elected in 2015, earning 64.5 percent of the vote. Goehring’s main challenger in the next election is expected to be Ed Ammar, a UCP activist who ran for the Liberal Party in Edmonton-Decore in the 2012 election.
Edmonton-North West – Brandon Teixeira has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in this district.
Edmonton-West Henday – Leah McRorie has been nominated as the Liberal Party candidate in this west Edmonton district. McRorie is a certified facilitator with the Alberta Caregivers Association.
Leduc-Beaumont – Coreina Hubert’s candidacy for the Alberta Party nomination is listed by Elections Alberta as not having been accepted by the party or constituency association. Hubert is the third candidacy to depart the Alberta Party nomination contest in this district, leaving Robb Connolly as the sole candidate. Connolly previously attempted to seek the Alberta Party nomination in the neighbouring Strathcona-Sherwood Park.
This nomination contest was contentious, with questions about the eligibility of Fordand former MLAMark Hlady in the contest. Ford’s candidacy was ultimately accepted and Hlady, who represented his district as a Progressive Conservative MLA from 1993 to 2004 and as the PC Party candidate in 2015, was not approved by the UCP to run.
According to Postmedia, one woman in Calgary-East “said she was solicited by Singh at his auto shop while getting her vehicle repaired last July, and soon after discovered her credit card number had been used to purchase a party membership.”
Calgary-Falconridge – Parmeet Singh was nominated as the NDP candidate in this northeast Calgary district.
Edmonton-South West – Kaycee Madu defeated Kevin Greco and former PC MLA Sohail Quadri to secure the UCP nomination on December 6, 2018.
Livingstone-Macleod – Roger Reid defeated Nathan Neudorf and Thomas Schneider to win the UCP nomination on December 8, 2018. Reid is the owner of Tim Hortons franchises in Nanton and Claresholm. He is the second Tim Horton’s franchaise owner to win a UCP nomination, along with Grande Prairie UCP candidate Tracy Allard.
Sherwood Park – Jordan Walker defeated Maureen Gough, Sean Kenny, and Len Thom to secure the UCP nomination in Sherwood Park. Walker is a conservative party activist and an Assessment Consultant in the Alberta Department of Labour.
Upcoming nomination meetings
With the end of the year approaching, Alberta’s political parties have begun winding down nomination meetings scheduled for this year. By the end of 2018, the UCP will have nominated candidates in 77 of Alberta’s 87 districts, the NDP will have nominated candidates in 33 districts, and the Alberta Party in around 50 districts. Here are the remaining nomination meetings being held in 2018:
December 12, 2018 – Richard Dempsey, Karri Flatla, and George Rigaux are seeking the UCP nomination in Lethbridge-West.
December 12, 2018 – Two NDP MLAs are challenging each other for their party’s nomination in the newly redrawn St. Albert district. Current Spruce Grove-St. Albert MLA Trevor Horne and current St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud are seeking the NDP candidacy. Both MLAs were first elected in 2015.
Renaud has been endorsed by eleven of her caucus colleagues, including Stony Plain MLA Erin Babcock, Calgary-Hawkwood MLA Michael Connolly, Calgary-Klein MLA Craig Coolahan, Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever, Lethbridge-East MLA Maria Fitzpatrick, Edmonton-Castle Downs MLA Nicole Goehring, Edmonton-Ellerslie MLA Rod Loyola, Sherwood Park MLA Annie McKitrick, Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquette, Edmonton-Centre MLA David Shepherd, and Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Bob Turner.
December 13, 2018 – NDP MLA Thomas Dang is expected to be nominated as his party’s candidate in Edmonton-South. Dang was first elected in 2015 in Edmonton-South West, where he earned 53 percent of the vote and unseated PC MLA Matt Jeneroux.
December 15, 2018 – Manwar Khan and Keli Tamaklo are seeking the Alberta Party nomination in Edmonton-Manning. Tamaklo is a former member of Edmonton Police Commission, Vice-Chair of the Africa Centre, and former Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of High Prairie. Khan is a Business Coordinator in the provincial Department of Community and Social Services and founded Do Not Be a Bystander, after witnessing and attempting to intervene to prevent a murder on Edmonton’s LRT.
December 15, 2018 – “Mulligan!” Shane Getson and Leah Wood are facing off in the second UCP nomination contest in Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland. A previous nomination contest held in August 2018 resulted in a win for Onoway business owner Dale Johnson, who was later disqualified after the UCP discovered he was alleged to have paid $5,584.60 to an employee he fired with whom he was in a romantic relationship. A former member of the UCP interim board of directors, Wood was widely seen as the establishment favourite in the first contest and is in a similar position in this second nomination contest.
December 16, 2018 – Gurbachan Brar and Roop Rai are seeking the NDP nomination in Calgary-North East. Brar is the former President of the Punjabi Likhari Sabha and is a former Broadcaster at RED FM 106.7. Rai is a constituency assistant to Calgary-McCall NDP MLA Irfan Sabir and was her party’s candidate in the 2016 by-election in Calgary-Greenway. In that contest she earned 20.17 percent of the vote in a competitive four-way race that saw PC candidate Prab Gill win with 27.7 percent.
If you know any candidates who have announced their intentions to stand for party nominations, please send me an email at email@example.com. I will add them to the list. Thank you!
When Members of Alberta’s Legislative Assembly gather on June 11 to choose a new Speaker, the seating chart will be unlike anything Albertans have seen in this province’s 110 year history. Premier Rachel Notley‘s New Democrats will occupy the majority of the seats, the Wildrose Party will sit as Official Opposition, and for the first time in 44 years the Progressive Conservative MLAs will sit in the opposition benches.
And with these historical precedents in mind, it will undoubtably be a tough transition for the remaining PC MLAs and their party, who have no institutional memory of how to operate in opposition.
The PC Party has actually appointed a transition team to help navigate the party into opposition. While other provincial conservative parties in Canada can rely on their federal counterpart for assistance, it has been long suspected that many in the Conservative Party of Canada favour the more conservative Wildrose Party over the PCs.
A big challenge facing PC MLAs in the upcoming session of the Legislature is to simply be relevant now that they are no longer in government. Interim leader Ric McIver announced his caucus critic roster today (see the list below) and it will be fascinating to watch how those MLAs perform in their new roles. It is still yet to be seen what the motley crew of nine MLAs that make up the PC Caucus have in common politically, other than wanting to have been elected into government, or if they can even work together as a team.
Who does and does not vie to become the party’s seventh leader in the past ten years will also be telling. Former cabinet ministers Mr. McIver and Manmeet Bhullar are frequently named as possible contenders, as is former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, who was unseated by Nicole Goehring in the NDP sweep of Edmonton. What political direction these potential leaders would lead the new party is unknown.
Because of its history and bitter political differences, future floor crossings are not a palatable option and a merger of the PC Party and Wildrose Party would probably not be a match made in heaven. If it is possible for the PC Party to survive outside of government, could it play a role in Alberta politics as an urban based conservative opposition?
Here is the PC Opposition Caucus critic roster for the upcoming session of the Legislature:
On February 21, Rus Matichukcelebrated his victory over former city councillor Neil Korotash and government spokesperson Kathleen Range in the Progressive Conservative nomination contest in Spruce Grove-St. Albert. But yesterday, the PC Party announced that due to “errors” in the voting process a second vote will need to be held on March 14, 2015.
“It has been found that 4 ballots were cast by individuals ineligible to vote. The riding has been directed by PC Alberta to have this vote redone as the votes for the candidates was very close,” PC nominations committee chairperson Carol Stewart told the St. Albert Leader.
Calgary-Klein: Noel Keough, professor in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary, is running for the Green Party.
Calgary-Mackay-Nose Hill: Ako Ufodike, PhD Management student in Accounting at the University of Calgary, is challenging MLA Neil Brown for the PC nomination.
Calgary-Varsity: University of Calgary Students’ Union Vice-President Academic Hana Kadri has announced plans to seek the PC nomination. Also rumoured to be eyeing the PC nomination is Sam Shaw, former President of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton and current vice-president of the right-wing Manning Centre.
Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley: Former Member of Parliament Albert Cooper, school principal Nigel McCarthy, Donnelly-area farmer Rhonda Clarke-Gauthier, and Edmonton-base lawyer Gordon Andreiuk have entered the PC nomination contest to replace retiring MLA Hector Goudreau. Mr. Cooper, who served as the PC MP for Peace River from 1980 to 1993, was previously seeking the federal Conservative nomination in the new Peace River-Westlock constituency, but has now switched his focus to provincial politics.
Edmonton Beverly-Clareview: Articling law student Harman Kandola is seeking the PC nomination. Mr. Kandola is also the Executive Director of the Punjabi Sports Association Summer Soccer Camps.
Edmonton-Castle Downs: Nicole Goehring was acclaimed as the New Democratic Party candidate in this northwest Edmonton constituency.
Edmonton-Meadowlark: Former school trustee Debbie Cavaliere will face Dan Bildhauer in the Liberal Party’s March 3 nomination contest. Mr. Bildhauer is also seeking the federal Liberal nomination in Edmonton-West. Businessman Tom Choucair has joined the PC nomination contest. Mr. Choucair unsuccessfully sought the PC nomination in Edmonton-Riverview before the 2012 election.
Edmonton-Mill Creek: Liberal organizer Harpreet Gill is seeking the Liberal nomination. Mr. Gill is the co-founder of the Asianvision news magazine and sits on the boards of the provincial and federal Liberal Parties in Alberta.
I have added these updates to the list of nominees and nomination candidates planning to run in Alberta’s next general election. Please email david.cournoyer [at] gmail.com if there are additions to the list. Thank you.