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Thursday, June 30, 2005

happy canada day!

Since I'm skipping town tonight and won't be back until Sunday... HAPPY CANADA DAY!

I'll leave you with this...

Statement by the Prime Minister for Canada Day

June 30, 2005
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Paul Martin today made the following statement for Canada Day:

“Today we celebrate Canada’s 138th birthday. This is a time to reflect on the values we hold dear as a nation.

Already in 2005, we have witnessed events and anniversaries that remind us of these values and how they define us as Canadians.

We have honoured Canadian veterans during the 60th anniversary commemoration of VE Day for their tremendous sacrifice in preserving freedom and democracy. We’ve celebrated the 20th anniversary of equality rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And we have joined Albertans and Saskatchewanians in the festivities surrounding the centenary of these two provinces.

Canada is a success story – and we take immense pride in that. A country bound together by values of family, community, respect for one another, and a commitment to equality of opportunity. Our future is bright.

Canada Day is a time to celebrate that success. One gigantic birthday party across the nation, as the summer begins and we relax in the company of family and friends – at the lake, traveling, camping, enjoying the warm summer days and evenings.

Let the celebration begin! To all Canadians – I wish you a very Happy Canada Day!”

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Tory Regional Health Boards

Apparently there's a market for this sort of information... (i'm looking at you Robert)

Examples of Alberta Tory appointees to Regional Health Authority Boards (as of a couple of months ago)...

Jack Ady - PC MLA Cardston-Chief Mountain (1986-1997) & Provincially appointed Chair of the Chinook Regional Health Region

Ernie Isley - PC MLA Bonnyville (1979-1993) & Provincially appointed member of the Aspen Regional Health Authority

Wayne Jacques - PC MLA Grande Prairie-Wapiti (1993-2001) & Provincially appointed member of the Peace County Health Region

Dale Johnson – Provincially appointed member of the Aspen Regional Health Authority & President of the Whitecourt-Ste. Anne PC Association

Sylvia Kennedy – President of the Peace River PC Association & Provincially appointed member of the Peace County Regional Health Authority

Wendy Kinsella - Failed PC Candidate in Edmonton Riverview (2001) & Provincially appointed member of the Capital Health Region (Edmonton)

Len Mitzel - PC MLA Cypress-Medicine Hat (2004- ) & former Provincially appointed Chair of the Palliser Regional Health Region

Marvin Moore - PC MLA Smoky River (1971-1989), former PC Campaign Chair & Provincially appointed Chair of the Peace County Health Region

for the record...

...over 75% of eligible Alberta voters did not support these guys.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

blog of the week - grandinite

Yes, it's that time again!

This week's 'blog of the week' is none other than Grandinite.

Aaron, the author of Grandinite was the driving force behind the creation of Alberta Blogs and runs a pretty spiffy blog himself. Aaron is working on his Masters in Economics at the lovely University of Alberta and is a former writer for The Gateway, but we'll forgive him for that... :P

Oh, and by the way...

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

PS. Zorph has a blog! (well, kind of...)

C-38 passed

I thought the beginning was pretty funny - the first time the Speaker asked for yeas and nays, the yeas most definately out yelled the neas. The second time, the nays sounded like they had added 50 or so vocal cords...

The vote results:
Yeas: 158
Nays: 133

Nothing out of the ordinary. The Liberal God Squad voted nay. Dipper Bev Desjarlais voted nay, as did Kilgour and O'Brien. Tories James Moore and Jim Prentice voted yea.

I hope someone asks Stephen Harper if this means Quebec is going to separate :P

What a goofball.

And so ends the story of how Canada legalized same-sex marriage.

PS. The sky never fell! :P

t-minus 17 seconds

until the 3rd reading of Bill C-38 the Civil Marriage Act... more commentary to come...

Monday, June 27, 2005

WILD ROSE ROUND UP #4: a day late and a record surplus short...

Well, it's my first time, so be gentle...

Phil at 8—Track Mind has posted about his love of Su Doku and gives readers some valuable Su Doku advice:

“Assuming your Su Doku pusher is a reputable one, each puzzle only has one answer and can be solved by logic -- no guessing required.”

Phil also blogged about his recent honeymoon to the Cayman Islands. Sounds like fun!

Alberta Propagandist listed of reason #2, 345 why the Martin government is the worst thing to happen to Canadian Politics. Bow Valley Blog posted a link to Bow Valley area singer/songwriter Chris Nettleton (check it out!)

Speaking of musicians... BumfOnline caught one of those nasty versions of blog music tag. Now the entire blog-o-sphere knows that BumfOnline owns 6069 songs, which translates into 17 days or 23.25 GB. Wow.

Russ at Burkean Canuck blogged about the finances of the nation and the suprise C-48 vote last week. Calgary Grit wrote about Anne McLellan and the floods and Justice Minister Irwin Cotler's secret ping-pong talent...

Calgary Observer used translation talents to decrypt some recent political speak from Ottawa... and of course, what would a Liberal blog like CO be without a post about everybody's favorite right-wing blogger, Peter Rempel. CO is no exception.

The Canadian Perasma
(also from Calgary...) blogged some political observations about Quebec politics and Mario Dumont's ADQ, as well as an interesting post about transgenderism in Canada.

The Canuckistan Chronicles (also from Calgary...) blogged a bit about the SSM debate and also reached his 10,000th blog hit last week! Congrats Richard! Capitalist Pig & Socialist Swine (also from Calgary...) just got back from a trip to Rome and blogged about reverse-culture shock (welcome back!). Senator Catalyst (also from Calgary... i'm sensing a trend...) posted a fun parliamentary game that everyone should check out!

CIVTATENSIS blogged on a wide-variety of topics from Live 8 to Kyoto to southern Alberta flooding... Colby Cosh (who from what I can tell is some kind of blogging guru) posted some interesting info on cancer incidents in Canada...

Harlem Spanish over at Cosby Sweater wrote an interesting post on communism and wristbands (I asked the same questions...) Crittermusings blogged about the 5% of Canadians who are under 25... daveberta went to Clay Oberg's leadership announcement and wishes he were in Grenada....

Doucheblog doucheblogged about the Emperor Karl Rove and US Senator John McCain. Dust my Broom posted a fun cat pic and a post about Paul Martin's trip to what could soon be known as the South Alberta Ocean...

I %100 agree with Elephants with Wings (also from Calgary...) when she recently wrote

"...why sleep is more important than breakfast. Focusing on kids, but I imagine it carries through to adults as well. God knows I'd give up breakfast if it meant getting an extra hour of sleep."

Good call.

Last week, Essential Idealites Nicholas and Michael posted about Bob Geldoff and the recently released Pew Global Attitudes Survey. Lex Luthor of Going Green in Alberta (also from Calgary...) continued the Bob Geldorf theme of blogging (I hadn't even heard of this guy until last week...)

The Godfather of Alberta blogs, Aaron from Grandinite filled out the MIT Web Survey and discovered that his blog is the number 1 google search for 'Ivor Tossell.' Over at Hanger 19, Bert posted an interesting quote from a recent Gwynn Dyer article and a funny billboard. I think Bert and I would get along just fine : )

Another Calgary blog... Herbinator! This blog is the proud owner of a new banner! The Herbinator also blogged about some recent campaigning he did with Green Party leader Jim Harris as a Green Party candidate for the next federal election. (Good luck, Herb!)

Ian had a funny letter on his messy desk! Idealistic Pragmatist had an insightful commentary on blogs that don't allow comments. Ricia (also from Calgary...) at the Impetus Java House links to websites she wishes she had time to rant about... Matt (aka Jerry Aldini) commented on the most recent Licia Corbella 'plagiarism scandal at the Calgary Sun...

Kevin Powell has written a great post putting a little perspective into the same-sex marriage debate... Eugene at Le Revue Gauche blogged about the Alberta Government's decision to allow kids as young as 12 years-old to join the workforce... Lectio just finished (sewing or knitting) a Trellis sweater and is thinking of finishing up an Angora Tweed vest (named Tweedy!). Check out the pictures!

Firefox wouldn't let me open Little Man in a Touque... I hope we didn't lose you!

M.K. Braaten spent some time blogging about the recent health-care related Supreme Court ruling and the sneaky budget vote in Ottawa... Maple Leaf Blog has a fun pic from Toronto's Pride Parade and writes about Calgary and flooding... Will, who's making some Noise from the Right is currently in Ottawa and hasn't posted in a while! Our Thoughts contributors Kim, Mary, Mike, and Larry blogged about a new LDS blog, a new wiki debate, and an interesting post titled 'Serving the Sacrement.'

Phendrana Drifts... ah, comrade Duncan's blog. Duncan, who's a raging Star-Wars-a-holic may have to buy a new computer! arg. He's also thinking about buying the new game, Star Wars: Empire at War.

Over at Points of Information the hacks are back posting on a regular basis... the lord of hackdom, Steve Smith (who seemed to be hogging the POI blog benches last week :P ) blog-ponders why the Tories don't take down the government and posts...

Political Cycles wrote a very interesting post on Christian Activism in Canada along with 10 more ways to prove that CANADA IS COOL! :) I agree. Canada is cool! Props to Canada. :)

Tamara over at Rantastic (the host of last week's awesome Wild Rose Round Up!) is gearing up for her M.Sc. defence in September! Let's all send tones of good karma her way!

Red Between the Lines is written by the same author of Le Revue Gauche. In RBL, Eugene blogs about oil prices, criminal capitalism, and poor bashing. Red vs. Blue covers the politics of the same-sex marriage debate and the Evolution vs. Evilution spat in the Calgary Herald....

And now... Rempelia Prime.... One of my favorite right-o-wing blogs... Peter has been in a full fledged epic blog war with many of the Progressive Bloggers this past week... see the action here and here....

Simian Farmer has a great post about his new dog, Farley! Check out the post and the great picture! Laurie Hawn over at Strong and Free is also the Tory candidate in Edmonton Centre. In a lot of cases, being a Tory Candidate can generate enough controversy on its own, but some of Laurie's recent comments seems to be generating a storm of their own... check it out and feel free to join in on the debate...

stupidangrycanajun explains what "Pog mo thoin" means... thanks... :) The Black Kettle posted an interesting post about the number of children in the UK who are starting to be home schooled... the Murgatroyd Blog continues with some great contributions to the Live 8/foreign aid/Africa debate.... Robbie from Voices of a Distant Star blogs about the sweetest thing I have ever heard of: a freaking ROBOTIC VACUUM!!!! That is too cool...

Candace from Waking up on Planet X continues the Bob Geldoff debate. She also doesn't think Rick Mercer is very funny anymore... (Sorry Candace, I still think he's funny :P )

Allie over at Walks like Summer Rain (with the cool template) has a neat post about last week's constellations:

"Look to the west tonight as the sun sets and you will see three planets, Mercury, Venus and Saturn, in very close conjunction with each other. It should make for an interesting looksee - and it has been reported that this will be the best conjunction we will see until 2030. Conjunctions of 2 or 3 planets happen often, grouping them together so it appears as one large star in the sky. In ancient times people thought them to be omens, and it is likely that the "star in the east that the wisemen were said to have followed was actually a three planet conjunction."

Last, but not least... Vitor from What it Takes to Win wrote about Ottawa's recent decision to grant travel visas to family members of a Syrian general...

So... there we have it... WILD ROSE ROUND UP #4... it took longer than I had expected, but here are some trend observations....

- Since I agreed to do this, Alberta Blogs has grown by what seems like 5000%.
- Rick Mercer is getting a lot of blog coverage in Alberta.
- Bob Geldoff is getting about the same amount.
- There's a lot of bloggers in Calgary! (I stopped counting about half way through!)
- Alberta Blogs hosts a pretty diverse bunch of bloggers... keep it up!

UPDATE: Any thoughts? Comment like heck! Jason Cherniak got over 60 comments in ONE POST last week, I'm sure we can beat him! :P

Sunday, June 26, 2005

kick 'em jenny

I'd just like to send a BIG HELLO out to jentario, who's now residing on the Caribbean Island of Grenada! Hey Jen!

The island in the picture is a volcano known as 'kick em' jenny.' It's located north of Grenada.

UPDATE: Heaps and heaps of props to yingyang who pointed out to me that the picture above is not in fact 'kick 'em jenny,' but Diamond Rock (still near Grenada). KEJ is an underwater volcano. Very cool. Thanks yingyang!


For those of you wondering, WILD ROSE ROUNDUP #4 will be coming soon (probably tomorrow). It was a late night last night and it's been a pretty busy day.

Also, Kevin Powell has written a great post here.


D :)

it was bound to happen...

In a previous post, I blogged about the retirement of Rich Vivone, the editor of Insight into Government, a weekly Alberta Legislature news report. In the post, I wrote that Cambridge Strategies had purchased Mr. Vivone’s publication and that Marc Lisac would be succeeding Mr. Vivone as editor.

In reality, Mr. Lisac has purchased the publication, and Cambridge Strategies simply sponsored a transition party for the changeover.

I apologize to Mr. Vivone, Mr. Lisac, and Cambridge Strategies for posting this incorrect information, as it was not my intention to spread false information. Thank You, Mr. Vivone for pointing out my error.

I would also like to wish Mr. Vivone a happy retirement. Thank You for years of informative and interesting legislative reporting! Also, I would like to wish Marc Lisac good luck in his new venture!

Saturday, June 25, 2005

septuagenarian kills leopard with his bare hands

This is too messed up not to post about.

(Props to chris-face for the link to this epic story. wow.)

welcome to the 1850's?

(okay, maybe the picture is a little exagerated for Alberta...)

From the Globe and Mail...

Alberta eases child-hiring rules

Friday, June 24, 2005 Updated at 1:06 PM EDT
Globe and Mail Update

"Restaurant owners in Alberta are now able to hire children as young as 12 without first getting provincial approval as a result of what government officials call a "procedural change" in employment practices.

But labour groups have charged that the switch leaves vulnerable children at the mercy of an industry already difficult to police and say it amounts to a little more than concession a sector desperate for cheap labour.

"We're horribly opposed to this," Jason Foster, director of policy for the Alberta Labour Federation, said.

"We think this is bad public policy, bad for children, bad for customers and bad for Alberta's reputation.""

Friday, June 24, 2005

the fire truck (still) stalks its prey

Google hits to this site from yesterday:

- "fort mcmurray" "sweetheart"
- the firetruck stalks its prey (4 times!)
- a solitary killer the fire truck
- "a solitary killer the firetruck"

And yes, Daveberta is the 1# google hit for the fire truck stalks its prey.

so... the budget passed, eh?

Seeing how every blogger in blogdom is going to be either salivating or foaming at the mouth over this one, I'm not going to write a huge post.

I'll refer you to Scott Tribe for a good post on the suprise final budget vote.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

what leadership race?

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Little Bunny Rumsfeld

"Little Bunny Foo Foo,
Hopping through the forest
Scooping up the field mice
And boppin' 'em on the head"

(Photo care of the CBC)

that's oil, baby!

Yesterday, I linked to this article from the Globe and Mail, which reported on a prediction by Cambridge Energy Research Associates which suggested that the world is on the verge of an 'oil glut.'

This post generated some interesting dicussion.

Mark from Section 15 pointed me to two interesting websites which discuss oil issues. Check them out here and here.

Tim from Ahab's Whale has also joined in with some interesting comments on where the price of oil may be heading.

Aaron from Grandinite linked to an interesting article in the comment section.

Aaron also posted an interesting quote from the article:

"There has been a growing realization on the part of major oil producers such as Iran and Saudi Arabia that oil is not priced in dollars but rather dollars are priced in oil. The reality underpinning this epiphany is the fact that oil has "value", or "money's worth" - in exchange for commodities, goods and services - whereas the financial object we are accustomed to think of as the "dollar" is merely a "claim over value", or IOU issued by the US Federal Reserve Bank.

If we look at the current structure of the global energy market, we are conditioned to think that the "big bad wolf" is a "cartel" of OPEC members. However, the fact of the matter is that while there has indeed been a cartel extracting extraordinary profits from energy markets in recent years, this has consisted of intermediary investment banks and energy traders, who control the global market platform on which oil is traded and benchmark prices are set. In other words, the derivative tail has been wagging the oil market dog."

money smells

"One of the men I know who's a good philanthropist says money is like fertilizer. If you pile it up, it starts to smell. But if you spread it around, you can grow some beautiful things."

- Seymour Schulich

Yesterday, Mr. Schulich donated $25 Million to the University of Calgary's Faculty of Engineering. The Faculty has been renamed the 'Schulich School of Engineering.'

I liked the quote.

More at the CBC

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

more tory patronage

This afternoon, Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock appointed defeated Tory MLA Mary O'Neill to the Board of Govenors of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT).

In 1997, O’Neill was first elected in the St. Albert riding by only 16 votes over Liberal MLA Len Bracko (who served as MLA from 1993 to 1997). O'Neill defeated Bracko in a 2001 re-match, but was knocked-out of office by Liberal Jack Flaherty in 2004 by 410 votes.

O'Neill will join former Dunvegan Tory MLA Glen Clegg (MLA 1986-2001) as a political appointee on NAIT's BOG.

I love how Tories foam at the mouth when this stuff happens in Ottawa, but do the same stuff at home. Typical.

"undulating plateau" of oil

First of all, the first time I read this article, I thought it said "ungulating plateau," rather than "undulating plateau." Imagine my confusion...two very different meanings. Anyway...

In the article from today's Globe and Mail, Cambridge Energy Research Associates in Boston is predicting that the world is on the verge of an oil glut. Yes, that's right. We have more oil than we know what to do with.

They also suggest "oil will remain higher than $55 for the rest of the decade."

"The report also took aim at peak-oil theorists, who espouse the view that the world's oil production will hit a high, possibly as early as this year, and then decline rapidly. While no one argues that oil is anything but a finite resource, Cambridge Energy Research doesn't see a peak at all.

Instead, it projected an "undulating plateau," extending for several decades."

You can read the article here.

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

new blog

According to the Honourable Member for Medicine Hat, there's a new blog in the blogosphere. This blog belongs to none other than Mr. Rick Mercer from Monday Report fame. Cool.

Check it out and what he did with the domain name of one of our FAVORITE Members of Parliament.

Ambassador Wilkins

David Wilkins, was sworn in as US Ambassador to Canada today in Washington D.C.

Apparently, Mr. Wilkins turned down the ambassadorship to Chile in favour of Canada.


blog of the week - ahab's whale

The second (ever) blog of the week is Ahab's Whale. Ahab's Whale is an entertaining and insightful blog written by three Canadians, Mister's Tim Cooper, James MacDuff, and Mike McNair (of "The Inhabitant of London" fame).

According to their blog, they're all working or studying in London, UK.

Check it out for some good posts!

Monday, June 20, 2005

they should have drank more orange juice!

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The good people of daveberta rest their heads in remembrance of the greatness and proletarian grandeur that once was. It has been diagnosed that the parliamentary disease known as "hansardius extremius" has spread to the great nation once known as Holtopia.

The daveberta Ministry of Slightly Ridiculous Health Conditions will be sending remedial debate specialists to the ravaged 1 1/2 world nation.

(props to WK for the link)

how did it happen?

As a political science student, this is one of the questions that had dogged and bothered me for the past number of years. How did politics get this bad? At what point did the debates in the House of Commons and the Provincial Legislatures degenerate into beer-hall level cheap personal insults and nasty heckling? When did the average person decide to tune out of politics? When did the House of Commons become a place for “politicians” rather than our “representatives?” When did elections become irrelevant to the average Canadian?

How can politics again become relevant to the average Canadian? Was it ever? Will it ever?

I can name off a number of reasons for why I believe people tune out of politics, and I will…

Part 1.

It’s no secret that our Provincial and Federal Assemblies are largely unreflective of the ballots cast.

In 2004, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives received 46.8% of the popular vote. Through the wonders of the first-part-the-post system, 46.8% translated into 74.7% of the seats in the Legislature (62 out of 83). Whereas the opposition Liberals received 29.4% of the popular vote, but only 19.3% of the seats (16 out of 83).

With the voter turnout at its lowest in Alberta history, 44.7% of Albertans exercised their democratic right to vote. That’s 894,591 out of 2,001,287 registered voters. Voter turnout was as low as 26.4% in Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo and 29.6% in Calgary Montrose. The highest turnout was 62.9% in Edmonton Riverview.

When translated from voter turnout, the results translate into 20.9% support for the PC’s and 13.1% for the Liberals. So, only 20.9% of eligible voters cast a vote for Ralph Klein’s PC’s. This is hardly a mandate in my mind.

The same imbalance can be seen in the Alberta results in the 2004 Federal election, where the Conservatives garnered 61.64% of the popular vote and 93% of the seats (26 out of 28). The Federal Liberals received 21.98% of the vote, but only 7% of the seats (2 out of 28). The NDP garnered 9% of the Alberta vote, which did not translate into any seats.

So, how do we solve this imbalance? I say overhaul the system completely. Do I know what the solution is? No. But it's time we start looking at solutions.

(Dr. Harold Jansen from the University of Lethbridge has some interesting ideas).

It's time to think out of the box and look past the partisan picture.

Let’s re-evaluate our expectations of our elected officials. Hold them accountable, hold them to higher standards, and call them on their political biases and bluffs.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

holy schmoly!

(props to c-lo for the quiz)

"the firetruck stalks its prey"

Just got back from an awesome weekend at my parents' cabin (it rained alll day Saturday! It was awesome!)

I'll post more soon, watching the Family Guy right now...

"A solitary killer, the firetruck stalks its prey. The firetruck can consume eight times its body weight."

Family Guy rocks my world.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Forest Stump wins FOIP award

This post belongs in the ridiculous category.

It appears that Alberta Information and Privacy Commissioner Frank Work has decided to reward Government Services Minister Ty Lund for his "commitment to the province's freedom of information and privacy legislation." Lund, who was first elected in the Rocky Mountain House riding in 1989, was known as "Forest Stump" during his days as Forestry Minister (a name coined by former Liberal leader and Senator, Nick Taylor).

Funny, this year the Canadian Association of Journalists awarded the government of Alberta with the “Code of Silence Award” for its poor handling of the media and opposition’s request for access to government flight logs.

This is the same government which used FOIP to stall opposition access to government flight logs, important Enron documents, West Edmonton Mall’s ATB financing records, and Stockwell Day’s legal fees (the Opposition Liberals had to pay $59,571 in FOIP fees to find out that the PC Government paid $792,000 of Stockwell Day's legal fees).

Now, I'm not accusing Mr. Work of political hackery or anything. His CV and experience is pretty impressive.

But, according to his website "[t]he Commissioner is an Officer of the Legislature." Okay... he's an officer of a Legislature in which the Tories have held a majority for the past 34 years...

grewal not a smuggler

According to the CBC, Gurmant Grewal has been cleared of wrongdoing in two investigations launched after the Conservative member of Parliament tried to get Ottawa-bound passengers at Vancouver's airport to carry a package for him.

The RCMP and Transport Canada were investigating the June 4 incident to see if Grewal committed any offence

Now the RCMP says the Newton-North Delta MP is off the hook because he had cleared security with the package before he started approaching people to do the errand for him. Read the rest here

Thursday, June 16, 2005

dog judo!

#5 of the Dog Judo series is out!

(Thanks to Rob for the heads up!)

no 007 here

"Stumbling Tory MP Grewal hasn't exactly acted like a 007 agent, but more like a suicide bomber"

- Angelo Persichilli, the Hill Times

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

day of the underdog

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I thought this picture was funny and appropriate at the same time....

Today, Alberta Advanced Education Minister Dave Hancock announced the composition of a committee that will review Post-Secondary Education in Alberta. No student or faculty representatives are on the committee, but not surprisingly there are 3 Tory MLA’s on it.

(On another note: This story caught my eye.)

Tory rages at Dipper

Tory Minister Guy Boutilier got into a shouting match with ND MLA Ray Martin yesterday afternoon!

According to CBC, Martin wanted to know why a developer that has donated money to the Fort McMurray MLA got what the NDP is calling a sweetheart deal on 900 acres of government land in Fort McMurray, with no public tender.

Boutilier, who was elected MLA for Fort McMurray in 1997 is currently Alberta's Minister of the Environment. Boutilier was Mayor of Fort McMurray from 1992 to 1997, when he jumped to the provincial scene following the retirement of Fort McMurray Liberal MLA Adam Germain.

Ray Martin is the ND MLA for Edmonton Beverly Clareview. Martin served as MLA for Edmonton Norwood from 1982 to 1993 and ND Leader from 1984 to 1994. In 1993, Martin was defeated in Norwood by Liberal Andrew Beniuk. Last November, Martin returned to provincial politics after being elected in the Edmonton Beverly Clareview riding.

More Boutilier outrage can be found here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

my fans in the forces of darkness

It seems I have AGAIN had the privilege of gracing the pages of another forces of darkness blog! Two in one week! Wow. Peter Rempel must be a trend-setter.

This time, it happens to be on the nicely designed RootleWeb blog, run by a Blogger known only as Ruth.

It appears that Ms. Ruth has taken exception with my fourth criterion of selecting "le blog of the week." In a recent posting about the tolerance level of "lefties," Ms. Ruth wrote:

"Now consider
Daveberta's criteria for his blog of the week:
1. Smart
2. Entertaining
3. Informative
4. Not crazy right-wing.
Why the need to add the last criterion? If everyone is entitled to their opinion and we must be tolerant of all, then why not select a blog that is smart, entertaining, informative and also crazy right wing. The combination does exist. Captain's Quarters is a perfect example."

First, I would like to thank Ms. Ruth for her post.

Second, I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion (no matter how crazy that opinion may be).

Third, I would like to point out that I have not excluded all right-wing blogs, only those which I consider "crazy-right wing." So, there still is potential for 2 or 3 of the hundred or so blogging forces of darkness to make "le blog of the week."

don't do it.

Don't Click Here

O'Brien may vote against Liberals

Former Liberal MP Pat O'Brien has said that he and another (unnamed) Liberal MP may vote against the Government in tonight's budget vote if the Government did not delay the Same-Sex Marriage Bill.

So, assuming all MP's show up, and the O'Brien senario plays out, that would make it:

131 Liberals (-the Speaker and the 'unnamed Liberal MP')
19 ND's
= 150

96 Tories (minus Gurmant Grewal and David Chatters (Chatters for sure), and perhaps Darrell Stinson)
54 Bloc Quebecois
1 Independent (O'Brien)
1 Liberal (My bets are on Tom Wappell)
= 152

WILD CARD: 2 other Independent MP's (Parrish and Kilgour)

So, if this senario plays out and both Parrish and Kilgour vote with the Lib/ND Coalition, then the Speaker will break the tie, if not...

Read more on CBC.

what does george w. have against big bird?

This really ticked me off.

Last week, the US House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to slash the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s budget for next year by $100 million and eliminated another $23 million used to pay for shows such as Sesame Street, Reading Rainbow, and Arthur.

They also voted to cut funding entirely from the Corporation for Publc Broadcasting within 2 years!

This seems to be a direct result of Bush's appointment of Roveite and outed-O'Reilly Factor fan, Kenneth Tomlinson, as the Chair of the CPB Board of Directors.

According to the group People for the American Way, Tomlinson has claimed to have concerns about the “objectivity and balance” of the CPB and PBS, Tomlinson has taken a series of steps to ensure that their programming better reflects the Republican mandate. In response, he has:

- Created programs to showcase conservative views such as “Tucker Carlson Unfiltered” and “The Journal Editorial Report.”

- Hired a White House staffer to draft guidelines for a new PBS ombudsman to monitor programs for bias.

- Filled the ombudsman positions with one conservative and one “liberal” who endorsed Bush’s former Office of Management and Budget director Mitch Daniels in his run for governor of Indiana.

- Replaced the CPB’s chief executive officer with a top Republican advisor to former chairman of the FCC, Michael Powell.

As if this wasn't bad enough, Tomlinson is now pushing for the appointment of Patricia Harrison, a former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, to serve as the board’s next president.

What's next? Jerry Falwell's Sesame Street Hour with Big Bird, the happy and abstinent heterosexual freedom bird?

Read more: here, here, and here.

Monday, June 13, 2005

from the mouth of sauron

It looks like I've again had the privilege of gracing the pages of our right-wing blog friend, Rempelia Prime. RP is one of my favorite blogs on the forces of darkness blogroll.

Thanks for the coverage, Peter.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

the numbers just get better and better...

I still think that this was one of the funnest (and one of the most unexpected) results from last November's provincial election.

Liberal candidate Jack Flaherty went up against two-term Tory MLA Mary O'Neill in St. Albert and won. Flaherty spent $14,003, and O'Neill spent $61,434.

Businesses boosted Tory candidate’s campaign

By Mark Wells
Staff Writer
St. Albert Gazette

Money isn’t everything when it comes to politics.

Incumbent Tory MLA Mary O’Neill had a whopping $112,931 on hand for her unsuccessful 2004 bid for re-election, according to financial statements released by Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer.

But the two-term MLA was upset by Liberal newcomer Jack Flaherty in a close race, where the challenger spent $14,003. All polls counted, Flaherty won 6,474 votes to O’Neill’s 6,064. Flaherty’s campaign focused on issues like instituting smoking legislation, funding for seniors and the disabled and improving education.

The Liberal MLA managed to raise $9,985 in donations of $375 or less and $1,900 in donations over $375. The only business to contribute to Flaherty’s campaign was Hole’s Greenhouses, with a $500 donation. Edmonton-based Alberta and Northwest Territories Regional Council of Carpenters and Allied Workers gave $400. The remainder of Flaherty’s campaign funding came from the St. Albert Liberal constituency association. Read the rest here!

"[t]he biggest donors to O’Neill’s campaign were Saint City News owner June Warren Publishing Ltd., which provided $2,000..." pretty much cleared up to me why the SCN editorial pages were so pissed off that Flaherty won.

Oh well. This is what electoral competition looks like, guys!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

blog of the week!

Dear loyal readers,

Along with updating my 'les blogs' section, I've added a new feature on the side bar called 'le blog of the week.' Hopefully, every week or two, I'll put some special blogger's blog in the spotlight and single them out for being:

1. Smart
2. Entertaining
3. Informative
4. Not crazy right-wing.

The very first 'blog of the week' is Buckets of Grewal. Buckets is a hard working Hamilton blogger who has taken the blog-o-sphere by storm in gathering info on "Grewal-gate." Along with co-posters, Edward T. Bear and the Shoveller, Buckets of Grewal is kept crisp and up to date. Buckets even made it on the CTV website!

As all epic battles, the forces of darkness have begun to muster their armies in an attempt to discredit hard-working Buckets.

Alas, Buckets can rest assured that he or she has the full support of daveberta and my small but dedicated band of recycling downtown dwellers.

Keep up it up!

D : )

gone underground

I thought this was fun. Check out the civilized right-wing response here. I wish people hated me that much :P

Thanks to Nic at GoPolitical for the heads up.

Friday, June 10, 2005

hello! mcfly!?!

I watched Back to the Future II last night. Though I am a long time fan of the BTTF Trilogy, this is my least favorite of the three. For those of you not familiar with the second film, here is the just of it (if you haven't seen it and don't want me to spoil it for you, leave now and if you stay, I'm assuming you saw the first film).

The movie picks up just before the end of the first film: Marty returns to 1985 and discovers his "present" has been pleasantly changed: his dad is now a successful author, his mom is a hottie, and he is now the proud owner of a super cool black truck, and Biff is now his dad's *slave*, and Lea Thompson is still hot. Just as Marty and Jennifer (Thompson) reunite, Doc Brown returns in the Delorian (which can now fly). He rushes Marty and Jennifer into the Delorian and tells them they have to come with him to 2015 to save their future son, Marty Jr., from being thrown in jail for some unexplained reason.

So, Doc, Marty, and Jennifer travel from 1985 to 2015 and discover a Hill Valley filled with flying cars, 80's retro cafes, automatic fitting coats, and hover boards (very cool). Marty intervenes and pretends to be his son, and takes on Griff (who's Biff's grandson, and I'm assuming is Needles' son). Mayhem ensues as Marty out hover boards Griff and his gang of hyper implanted hoodlums. Just when Doc and Marty are ready to return to 1985, the cops pick up and unconscious Jennifer (who Doc zapped to sleep when the first arrived in 2015) and use her finger prints to identify her as Jennifer McFly. Still unconscious, they bring her to her 2015 home in what is then a complete ghetto.

1985 Jennifer

Right before Doc and Marty leave to try to recue her, Doc discovers that Marty had purchased an Almanac of Sports Statistics from 1955 to 2000. Knowing how bringing the book back could change time and have far reaching implications, Doc throws in a garbage can. During this altercation, 2015 Biff had been listening to the entire argument… Doc and Marty go to rescue Jennifer as she is stuck in her 2015 home with 2015 Marty, his parents, and their kids. While the rescue is going on, 2015 Biff steals the Delorian and travels back to 1955 with the Almanac that Doc had taken away from Marty. Jennifer is rescued after seeing what a bunch of losers her 2015 family is.

2015 Marty and 2015 Needles

So, back to 1985 they go (not knowing that Biff had returned the Delorian from 1955 to 2015). When the three return to 1985 Hill Valley, they discover that it is not the same Hill Valley. 2015 Biff had traveled back to 1955 Hill Valley and gave the Sports Almanac to 1955 Biff. Since that point, an alternate history was created and a new 1985 was created. Marty’s dad was dead (shot by Biff), his mom was now the bimbo wife of Biff (now the richest man in America-having never lost a sports bet). Doc and Marty discover what 2015 Biff did and decide that they now must travel back to 1955 Hill Valley and stop 2015 Biff from giving 1955 Biff the book (yes, this is very confusing to write). So, Doc and Marty leave Jennifer and Einstein (Doc’s dog) in the alternate 1985 Hill Valley and travel back to 1955 Hill Valley (the setting of the first movie).

Hilarious mayhem ensues as Marty tries to get the Almanac back from 1955 Biff. Long story short, with the help of Doc and his 2015 hover board, he does. The movie is about to end when the Delorian, with Doc in it, gets struck by lightening and vapourized right before Marty’s eyes. All hope is lost; Marty is stuck in 1955 with no time machine.

But then, a mailman (played by Joe Flarhety) drives up (in the pouring rain) and delivers a letter to Marty which had been waiting to be delivered to that exact spot in 1955 for 75 years. Marty opens the letter and sees that it’s from Doc! The lightening strike zapped him back to 1885! He’s okay! But Marty is still stuck in 1955… (end scene)

Okay, I hope this was brief enough. If I made any *major* mistakes, let me know.

Though I did enjoy the film, I found it to be too jumpy and chopy (all that time travelling and so on). Here are some things I liked about this film:

1. The political references in the 2015 Hill Valley 1980’s retro café (especially the Reagan/Ayatollah reference).

2. The hover board and the fun of 2015 Hill Valley in general!

3. Seeing alternate 1985 Mr. Strickland blast his shotgun while yelling “slackers!”

4. The scene with 2015 Biff and 1955 Biff (“Shut up butthead!”).

5. My favourite quote, Doc to Marty: "Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads."

I have some unanswered questions:

1. Why does Doc let Marty take the 2015 Hover Board back to 1985? And then to 1955?

2. Would a mail delivery company hold on to a letter for 75 years?

3. If 1980’s are coming back now (2005), then are they going to stick around until 2015? (god hope not!)

4. Is Needles, Biff's son?

5. What did 2015 Marty do to get fired from his job?

canada loses north pole

This post by Robert over at MyBlahg was just too good not to link to.


D : )

Thursday, June 09, 2005

more fun with numbers...

Here are some of the races from last November's Provincial Election which I thought showed some interesting differences in campaign spending...

Calgary Currie
(Margin of Victory: 634)

One of the high profile races in Calgary. Former radio talk show host, Dave Taylor, took on 1 term Tory MLA and former City Councillor Jon Lord.

Dave Taylor (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $30,523
Total Votes: 5046
Cost per Vote: $6.29

Jon Lord* (PC)
Total Spent: $49,211
Total Votes: 4412
Cost per Vote: $16.19

Calgary Glenmore (MOV: 1899)

This race had then Gaming Minister Ron Stevens up against former Friends of Medicare Chairperson, Avalon Roberts.

Ron Stevens (PC) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $118,688
Total Votes: 6263
Cost per Vote: $18.95

Avalon Roberts (Liberal)
Total Spent: $22,058
Total Votes: 4364
Cost per Vote: $5.05

Calgary Mountain View (MOV: 3074)

This race saw Dr. David Swann, anti-War activist and former Chief Medical Officer of the Palliser Health Authority go up against three-term MLA Mark Hlady.

David Swann (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $50,863
Total Votes: 7162
Cost per Vote: $7.10

Mark Hlady* (PC)
Total Spent: $75,411
Total Votes: 4088
Cost per Vote: $18.45

Calgary Varsity (MOV: 756)

One of the upsets of this election. Liberal Harry Chase snuck by rookie candidate Mike Smyth in the race to replace former Energy Czar and current Alberta Ambassador to D.C., Murray Smith.

Harry Chase (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $17,295
Total Votes: 6347
Cost per Vote: $2.72

Mike Smyth
Total Spent: $57,396
Total Votes: 5591
Cost per Vote: $10.27

Edmonton Centre (MOV: 3541)

Laurie Blakeman slammed third-time challenger Don Weideman. Nuff, said. Laurie rocks.

Laurie Blakeman* (Liberal) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $24,600
Total Votes: 6203
Cost per Vote: $3.97

Don Wiedeman (PC)
Total Spent: $33,629
Total Votes: 2662
Cost per Vote: $12.63

Edmonton Decore (MOV: 1427)

School Trustee Bill Bonko knocked off vintage 1980's Tory MLA Walter Swender and Tory-turned-Alliance MLA, Gary Masyk.

Bill Bonko (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $12,754
Total Votes: 4434
Cost per Vote: $2.88

Walter Swender (PC)
Total Spent: $39,942
Total Votes: 3007
Cost per Vote: $13.28

Gary Masyk (Alliance)
Total Spent: $40,059
Total Votes: 831
Cost per Vote: $48.21

Edmonton Ellerslie (MOV: 201)

In the race to replace three-term Liberal Debby Carlson, Bharat Agnihotri slid to a narrow victory against his Tory challenger.

Bharat Agnihotri (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $17,545
Total Votes: 3446
Cost per Vote: $5.09

Gurnam Dodd (PC)
Total Spent: $85,609
Total Votes: 3245
Cost per Vote: $26.38

Edmonton Glenora (MOV: 552)

THE MOST WATCHED RACE IN THE PROVINCE - Battle of the Titans (and Drew Hutton). Reverend Bruce Miller won this tight horse race between ND Candidate and former ATA President, Larry Booi, and incumbent Tory, Drew Hutton.

Bruce Miler (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $29,468
Total Votes: 4604
Cost per Vote: $6.40

Larry Booi (ND)
Total Spent: $46,454
Total Votes: 4052
Cost per Vote: $11.46

Drew Hutton* (PC)
Total Spent: $107,822
Total Votes: 3759
Cost per Vote: $28.68

Edmonton Gold Bar (MOV: 6236)

Gold Bar has been Liberal since 1986. Not much more to say.

Hugh MacDonald* (Liberal) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $30,311
Total Votes: 8798
Cost per Vote: $3.45

Manjit Dhaliwal (PC)
Total Spent: $46,467
Total Votes: 2562
Cost per Vote: $18.07

Keith Turnbull (ND)
Total Spent: $12,783
Total Votes: 1967
Cost per Vote: $6.50

Edmonton Highlands-Norwood
(MOV: 3846)

ND Leader Brian Mason was easily re-elected after the Tories found a replacement candidate (their original candidate dropped out).

Brian Mason (ND) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $32,173
Total Votes: 6054
Cost per Vote: $5.31

Tony Martiniuk (PC)
Total Spent: $33,572
Total Votes: 2208
Cost per Vote: $15.20

Edmonton McClung (MOV: 526)

Liberal Mo Elsalhy took out Economic Development Minister, Mark Norris, and retured McClung to its Liberal roots (since 1986).

Mo Elsalhy (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $26,126
Total Votes: 5859
Cost per Vote: $4.46

Mark Norris* (PC)
Total Spent: $115,264
Total Votes: 5333
Cost per Vote: $21.61

Edmonton Meadowlark (MOV: 193)

This is the craziest race of them all! Take a look at those numbers! Way to go, Maurice! wow.

Maurice Tougas (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $5,367
Total Votes: 4435
Cost per Vote: $1.21

Bob Maskell* (PC)
Total Spent: $46,457
Total Votes: 4242
Cost per Vote: $10.95

Edmonton Mill Woods (MOV: 2020)

Liberal Weslyn Mather easily cleaned house in this race.

Weslyn Mather (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $36,164
Total Votes: 5012
Cost per Vote: $7.22

Naresh Bhardwaj (PC)
Total Spent: $49,211
Total Votes: 2992
Cost per Vote: $16.45

Edmonton Riverview (MOV: 6705)


Kevin Taft* (Liberal) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $30,043
Total Votes: 10280
Cost per Vote: $2.92

Fred Horne (PC)
Total Spent: $49,211
Total Votes: 3575
Cost per Vote: $24.15

Edmonton Rutherford (MOV: 3048)

In a re-match from the 2001 election, Rick Miller reclaimed the seat that was once held by Percy Wickman.

Rick Miller (Liberal) - Elected
Total Spent: $13,224
Total Votes: 7221
Cost per Vote: $1.83

Ian McClelland* (PC)
Total Spent: $38,432
Total Votes: 4173
Cost per Vote: $9.21

Edmonton Whitemud (MOV: 926)

I couldn't believe it was this close. Wow. Dave Hancock, then Justice Minister, suprisingly was only elected by 926 votes.

Dave Hancock* (PC) - Re-Elected
Total Spent: $104,004
Total Votes: 7494
Cost per Vote: $13.88

Donna Lynn Smith (Liberal)
Total Spent: $18,985
Total Votes: 6568
Cost per Vote: $2.89


Any thoughts?

bush moves to renew patriot act

why does this guy have to be so evil?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

hey big spender!

Time to have fun with numbers.

Thanks to an attentive friend of daveberta (kind of like the ‘Friends of Seven’) who pointed me in the direction of these lovely numbers…

Top 10 Tory Spenders per-vote in the 2004 Alberta Provincial Election

10. Jon Lord*, Calgary Currie
Total Spent: $49,211
Total Votes: 4412 (40%)
Cost per Vote: $16.19

9. Naresh Bhardwaj, Edmonton Mill Woods
Total Spent: $49,211
Total Votes: 2992 (29%)
Cost per Vote: $16.45

8. Manjit Dhaliwal, Edmonton Gold Bar
Total Spent: $46,467
Total Votes: 2562 (18%)
Cost per Vote: $18.07

7. Mark Hlady*, Calgary Mountain View
Total Spent: $75,411
Total Votes: 4088 (31%)
Cost per Vote: $18.45

6. Pearl Calahasen*, Lesser Slave Lake
Total Spent: $73,823
Total Votes: 3903 (65%)
Cost per Vote: $18.91
Outcome: Re-Elected

5. Guy Boutilier*, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo
Total Spent: $87,100
Total Votes: 4433 (63%)
Cost per Vote: $19.95
Outcome: Re-Elected

4. Mark Norris*, Edmonton McClung
Total Spent: $115,264
Total Votes: 5333 (41%)
Cost per Vote: $21.61

3. Fred Horne, Edmonton Riverview
Total Spent: $86,330
Total Votes: 3575 (23%)
Cost per Vote: $24.15

2. Gurnam Dodd, Edmonton Ellerslie
Total Spent: $85,609
Total Votes: 3245 (32%)
Cost per Vote: $26.38

1. Drew Hutton*, Edmonton Glenora
Total Spent: $107,822
Total Votes: 3759 (29%)
Cost per Vote: $28.68

More fun with numbers to come…


who would spice things up?

Here are my suggestions of people who could spice up the Alberta PC Leadership Race:

Craig Chandler- The CEO of Concerned Christians Canada and 2003 Federal PC Leadership candidate. Was an also-ran in Hamilton Mountain for the Reform Party in 1993 and in Calgary West during the 1997 Alberta Election as a Social Credit candidate.

Jason Kenney- Part-time MP for Calgary Southeast and full-time bulldog for the Christian-right.

Preston Manning- From the "Blast from the Past" section, this former Reform Leader would bring about 9000% more IQ to the race.

Stockwell Day- Former Alberta MLA, Alliance Leader, current BC Tory MP and crazy Foreign Affairs Critic. I know it's a LONG LONG LONG-shot, but it would be sooo entertaining.

Anybody have other suggestions?

morton's in

It’s official: Morton throws hat in ring

Foothills-Rockyview MLA confirms he will take a run at replacing Ralph

Doug McIntyre
Wednesday June 08, 2005

Cochrane Times — He’s been touted as a potential heir apparent and now it’s official -- Foothills-Rockyview MLA Ted Morton will seek the leadership of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party after Premier Ralph Klein retires from politics.

“When Premier Klein retires, I definitely intend to seek the leadership and I’ve discussed this with both city and MD councillors, and how this might affect my effectiveness in representing Foothills-Rockyview,” said Morton on Monday.

“The quickest way to get government action on local projects is to be a member of cabinet. I think my leadership efforts will get me into cabinet more quickly. Read the rest here...

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"i see your schwartz is as big as mine..."

Image hosted by

Thanks to Holtopia for the pic.

mark norris spent $100,000 and still lost

According to figures released by the Edmonton Journal, former Edmonton McClung MLA and Economic Development Minister, Mark Norris, spent over $100,000 in his failed November 2004 re-election campaign. Norris, who is considered by some as a contender for the soon-to-be-vacated PC throne, was unseated by 533 votes at the hands of rookie Liberal Candidate Mo Elsalhy. Elsalhy spent less than $30,000 on his campaign.

Also released were figures showing that Tory-turned-Alliance MLA, Gary Masyk, spent near $40,000 on his bid to be elected in Edmonton Decore (the seat he was elected to in 2001, Edmonton Norwood, was dissolved after the 2003 boundary re-distributions). On election night, Masyk received a whopping fourth place 830 votes (9%). Liberal Bill Bonko was elected in that riding with 45% of the popular vote.

I thought this was funny. I guess money can't buy you everything (Chuck Guite must have missed that lesson).


Random Quote of the Day

"I'm very important. I have many leatherbound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany" - Ron Burgundy, Anchorman (2004)


GREWAL UPDATE: Buckets of Grewal has set up an awesome slide show of the changes made to the Grewal/Dosanjh//Murphy Transcripts (props to Mark at Section 15 for the heads up!)

Monday, June 06, 2005

two announcements

First, daveberta would like to formally welcome the Fiesty Republic of Holtopia to the great blog-o-sphere of nations. It is a great honour to have a link to this tiny republic on my side bar. Holtopia is currently preparing for a "Falkland Islands" style war after launching a massive policy review:

"After conducting a very thorough foreign policy review, The Republic of Holtopia has decided to forge a new era in Holtopian-Foreign relations! Whereas the fiesty republic once concerned itself with harvesting the orange crop, herding the wild beefalos, reading graphic novels, and taxing wicker goods-- Holtopia now looks outward!"
Second, but not lastly, daveberta would like to send a BIG CANADIAN HAPPY 20th BIRTHDAY to my very good friend, Miss Amika Schodie. Ms. Schodie, formerly of Edmonton, Alberta now resides in the mostly rainy central area of London, UK. I wish you a very happy day and will no doubt speak with you soon.

gurmant grewal - smuggler???

I thought this was fun. Posted 20 minutes ago on Canadian Press...

D : )

Air Canada confirms it is investigating airport incident involving
Grewal (Grewal-Airport)
Source: The Canadian Press
Jun 6, 2005 15:57

OTTAWA (CP) _ Air Canada is investigating an incident at Vancouver
airport involving a Tory MP embroiled in a taping scandal.

Gurmant Grewal was spotted in a waiting area Saturday trying to get
passengers to transport a package to Ottawa.

Airport sources won't confirm if there was a tape in the envelope the
B.C. MP was trying to pass along.

Read the rest here!

UPDATE: Grewal on stress leave (ie: going into hiding)

Sunday, June 05, 2005


Against better judgement and severe warnings, I rented Team America: World Police this weekend. After only watching about half of it, I would recommend that anyone interested in watching this film poke their eyes out with a pencil first. It would be more (but not much) entertaining that way. This movie has hands down beaten out The Village, and Troy as DAVEBERTA'S WORST MOVIES OF THE YEAR.

I also splurged and bought the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and the Back to the Future Trilogy on DVD this weekend : )

10 random facts

I could'nt sleep last night, so here you go...

- Name of the McGill Student Society Building: The William Shatner Student Centre

- Total value of Canada’s Barley industry in 1970: $144,700,000

- Total value of Canada’s Barley industry in 1995: $795,500,000

- Length of Mel Brook’s 'Spaceballs': 1 hour 37 minutes.

- Number of BC Premiers since 1980: 8

- Number of Alberta Premiers since 1980: 3

- Kilometers of paved roadway in Ecuador: approx. 8,165km

- % of alcohol in a 330ml bottle of Corona: 4.6%

- % of alcohol in a 461ml bottle of Big Rock (Grasshopper): 5%

- 1964 Hart Trophy winner: Jean Béliveau (Montreal!)


Props to Peter for Wildrose Edition numero uno,

Saturday, June 04, 2005

would be - wanna be

UPDATE (May 18, 2006) - Check out an updated Alberta PC leadership roster here.

**UPDATE (October 11, 2006) - Check out the entire list of MLA endorsements for the Alberta PC leadership race.**

Well, with yesterday’s prediction by Tory MLA Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster) that Alberta's glorious and blessed leader, Premier Ralph Klein, is on his way out, I decided to take a look at some of the “would-be” Klein successors. Here are some of the old (mostly white) men stepping up to lead the 34 year-old Tory dynasty...

Jim Dinning – The 'Paul Martin' of the Alberta PC Leadership race. This former Provincial Treasurer (1992-97) has been bidding his time in the private sector since leaving electoral politics in 1997 (private sector, hmmm. Sounds more like the John Turner of this race). He’s looking to be the “everything-to-everyone” candidate. Under the “why Jim” category of his website, apparently one of his qualifiers for leader is: “He's been an active Party member since the 1970's.”

Lyle Oberg, MLA Strathmore-Brooks – Currently the Transport Minister, Oberg was affectionately known as “Lyle, Lyle, pants on fire” by teachers, parents, students, and trustees from across Alberta during his time as Learning Minister from 2001 to 2004. His arrogant style will no doubt help him fit in with many of the other candidates in this race.

Ed Stelmach, MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville – Elected in 1993, after unseating two-term ND MLA Derek Fox, Stelmach quietly toiled as Transport Minister for years until being appointed Intergovernmental Affairs Minister last winter. He seems like a nice guy, but I really can’t name anything he's done in his past 12 years.

Gary Mar, MLA Calgary Mackay – Once considered a serious contender in the race to replace Ralph, Mar had a wrench thrown in the wheels of his machine after it was discovered that this former Health Minister paid almost $400,000 in an untendered contracts to his former Executive Assistant. Now toiling as the lowly Community Development Minister, Mar is cutting ribbons instead of talking Health Care-reform.

Dave Hancock, MLA Edmonton Whitemud – Currently the Advanced Education Minister, Hancock was only one of two Tories elected in Edmonton in 1997 and is now 1 of 3 Tory MLA’s in Edmonton. Probably the most decent Tory MLA in Alberta, unfortunately he’s from Liberal Edmonton and I’m sure this will have a negative effect on his leadership chances.

Mark Norris – In 2001, Mark Norris was called a “giant-killer” for unseating then Liberal leader Nancy MacBeth in Edmonton McClung. In 2004, Norris was “giant-killed” himself by Liberal Mo Elsalhy (sources tell me that Mr. Norris took a week off during the campaign to go on a golfing vacation). Currently with no seat, I really don’t consider him a serious candidate. But things got a lot more interesting last month when Mr. Norris joined Klein and his mafia on a trip to Klein’s BC Fishing lodge. Is Norris Klein’s padwan?? Hmmm. Sounds like a kiss of death to me.

Ted Morton, MLA Foothills-Rockyview – Ah yes, the dark horse of this race. Not terribly charismatic, Dr. Morton is a hard-line right-wing ideologue. The former “Senator-in-Waiting” was elected last November under the slogan of “More Alberta, Less Ottawa.” Though he is shunned by many in the Tory establishment, he may draw the support of the hard right-wingers that the other candidates cannot. If he wins, look for a lot of Tories to jump to the Liberals. One of the rumours going around is that if he looses the leadership, he’ll jump to the floundering Alberta Alliance Party.

So, there we have it. Pretty homogeneous, eh

Friday, June 03, 2005

Klein on his way out: Tory MLA

Well, it's begun, and it's coming from Tory MLA Lloyd Snelgrove...

MLA predicts Klein gone by fall

Last updated Jun 3 2005 10:50 AM MDT
CBC News

EDMONTON – One of Premier Ralph Klein's MLAs is speculating on when his boss will step down, predicting a fall departure.

Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Lloyd Snelgrove has stepped forward as the first caucus member to openly talk about when he thinks Klein will retire.

Klein, elected to a fourth majority last fall, says it was his last campaign. And while he maintains that he will serve out a full term, many believe he will go earlier, and campaigns to replace him have already been launched.

"It could be within the year, it could be sooner. I just think that it will be sooner than later," Snelgrove said. "I just have to guess from the leadership activity that many of those think the same way as me.

"They seem to operate in a different information system than we do, so I don't believe they'd be as active if they didn't feel that the leadership race would be sooner than later."

Snelgrove says within the party's inner circles, when Klein will go is the subject of much discussion.

While Snelgrove would like to see Klein stay for another three years, he says speculation among those close to the premier has him going as early as this fall – which would be Klein's 25th anniversary in politics.

He was elected the mayor of Calgary in 1980.

The gates are open. The "tirekickers" are banging at the gates, and the King is a lame, lame duck.

Retire Ralph, you're way past your best-before-date.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

I'm it!

I’ve been tagged by Aaron at Grandinite into some sort of name-that-book game which is quickly spreading across the blog-o-sphere. I guess I’ll play along. Game On!

As of late, about 99% of my reading tends to lean towards policy reports of the "PSE" flavour and are usually work related. But, when I do read on my own, this is where I lean...

# of Books that I own

I’m gonna wing it and say about 300. I have this really neat set of original classroom textbooks published in 1917 titled "True Stories of the Great War." They're such propaganda peices, but a fun read. A lot of text University text books too.

Last book I bought (not including text books):

*Alberta Politics Uncovered: Taking back our Province by Marc Lisac - great book on Alberta politics.

Last books I read:

*Harry Potter and Philosopher Stone by J.K.Rowling – Such a fun book!

*Digital Fortress by Dan Brown – I borrowed it from my former roommate and forgot to give it back to her. Picture: DaVinci Code at the NSA.

Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas

Five Books that mean a lot to me.

1.The Discoverers by Daniel J. Boorstin. This is a great book for history buffs. It was a gift from a good friend.

2.History on the Run: The “Trenchcoat” Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent by Knowlton Nash – One of the best reads I have ever experienced. I picked up the book for $1.50 at a used book store in St. John’s, Newfoundland last summer and read it in 2 days.

3.The Winter Years by James H. Gray – A great book about the depression on the Prairies.

4.The Chronicle’s of Narnia by C.S. Lewis – These were the first series of books I ever read on my own (outside of school). I still think they’re great.

5.Shredding the Public Interest by Kevin Taft – this may seem politically hackish of me, but this book was one of the reasons I began to get involved in politics (way back in good ol’e 1999).

So, at this point, I'm supposed to "tag" other bloggers as "it" :)

I tag:

Five of Five
Rempelia Prime
Senator Catalyst