Alberta Politics

alberta politics notes 3/25/2011

NDP leader Jack Layton at a 2008 campaign rally in Edmonton. Mr. Layton will be in Edmonton tomorrow.

Federal Election
Alberta looks like safe Conservative Party territory with the exception of the eclectic Edmonton-Strathcona, where NDP MP Linda Duncan will fend off a strong challenge from Conservative Ryan Hastman. NDP leader Jack Layton will make his first campaign stop in Edmonton at a downtown rally tomorrow. A recent Postmedia poll showed the Conservatives leading support in Alberta with 54%, followed by the Liberals at 23%, the NDP at 17%, and the Greens with 5%. These are unusually high levels of support for the opposition parties and I would expect future polls to show lower support.

HQCA advisory committee
The appointment of former Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and retired Judge Allan Wachowich to an advisory panel to the Health Quality Council of Alberta may weaken opposition calls for a full Public Inquiry into the intimidation of health care professionals. The Liberals have made it their key issue in the spring session and the Friends of Medicare are preparing to rally for it tomorrow, but the presence of the province’s highest profile Liberal will make it difficult for Liberal leader David Swann to criticize the HCQA investigation.

Stelmach comes out
The Edmonton Journal’s Graham Thomson has written an interesting article about the new energy Premier Ed Stelmach has found since announcing his resignation in February 2010.

Wildrose fundraising
The Wildrose Alliance released their 2010 fundraising numbers showing that party took in almost $1.8 million in revenue, with $1.4 million in donations from over 5,100 donors. As mandated by the Elections Finances Act all parties are required to submit their annual financial contribution statements by March 31 of each calendar year.

Koch lobbyist in Alberta
The Alberta Federation of Labour has asked Premier Stelmach to reaffirm his government’s commitment to Collective Bargaining after discovering that Koch Companies of Wichita, Kansas has hired a lobbyist in Alberta. Koch Companies is owned by the billionaire Koch brothers, who have donated copious amounts of money to Tea Party Republicans, including Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Governor Walker’s government recently stripped workers in that state of their rights to collective bargaining.

Alberta Party goes Obama
The Alberta Party is bringing in Jeff Blodgett to help train their constituency association volunteers on April 1 in Calgary. Mr. Blodgett is the Founding Director of Wellstone Action! and was the Minnesota State Director for President Barack Obama‘s election campaign in 2008.