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Friday, January 19, 2007

rough waters ahead?

1. Ed Stelmach's PC Government doesn't seem to be getting the same smooth ride from the media the 13 year Ralph Klein's PC's received.

Following the cancellation of the $5,000 a ticket exclusive Tory fundraiser, there appears to be no shortage of tension coming from Stelmach's first cabinet as Health Minister Dave Hancock (Edmonton Whitemud) is being openly scolded by fellow Tories Ty Lund (Rocky Mountain House) and Treasury Board President Lloyd Snelgrove (Vermilion-Lloydminster) for talking to the media about a Province-wide smoking ban.

Alberta Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald (Edmonton Gold Bar) has discovered that the Alberta Tories have failed to file mandatory reports to Elections Alberta since 1987. From the Edmonton Sun...

The situation involves a secret "foundation fund" the party was allowed to keep after the financial disclosure law was passed in 1978, provided it filed annual reports on transfers from it.
Deputy Electoral Officer Bill Sage told the Sun he failed to notice that the statements stopped coming.

"I was responsible for it. I was the director of financial operations at the time. It was something that escaped me and I didn't realize it until just recently."
He said Elections Alberta has requested the Tory party to provide the missing
statements, but is still waiting for them.
2.For someone who pledged to get the Government of Alberta "out of the business of business," former Tory Premier Ralph Klein sure hopped on the business bandwagon quickly as a Senior Business Advisor for Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Calgary.

3. The salary of the chairman of Horse Racing Alberta has risen 217% in just four years. According to Alberta Liberal MLA Maurice Tougas (Edmonton Meadowlark): just four years, Horse Racing Alberta has received more than $136 million from slot machine revenue. The government estimates another $60 million could pour into HRA this year, bringing the total subsidy to almost $200 million.
4. On the federal side of things, Stephane Dion has announced the Federal Liberals massive 47 MP shadow cabinet. The Harper Conservatives are framing it as a "Blast from the Past." It should be interesting to see how the well the Federal Liberals regroup before the next election.

5. Anne McLellan has announced that she will not be seeking the Federal Liberal nomination to challenge Tory MP Laurie Hawn in Edmonton Centre. Names that I've heard being bantered around for Liberal candidates include Jim Jacuta, Randy Boissonnault, and 2006 Edmonton East candidate Nicole Martel...


Anonymous said...

Despite these problems, the Tories will stay in power. Because at least they can count past two. (Check your post.)

OOOH! CHEAP SHOT! Sorry Dave, you know I love you.

elaine said...

Aaahhh! Randy looks scary in the flash banner!

Anonymous said...

In other news, an anonymous commentor to the daveberta blog was bored so bored by Jan 19's post that he fell asleep in the middle of typinnnnnnnnnn

Art said...

Which confirms that Laurie Hawn is safe for another term.

Looks like Linda Duncan is the best best to take away a Tory seat in Alberta.

docsanchez said...

1. That just says we were too soft 13 years ago. Stelmach has a small tempest brewing, he'd best make some good suggestions soon. At least better than the "turn off the lights in the office buildings" solution to the energy situation. Cleaning staff and IT people can work in the dark I guess. Or the "people should bathe in the same water" solution to the province's water issues. (Both of these were given in answers to questions - paraphrased and editorialized of course - in a talk to Calgary business people yesterday.)

2. And it only took the Liberals since '87 to notice.

2b?. Whatever. Don't give away any secrets... aw, what the hell, it's not like anyone told Ralph what was going on for the past 2 years anyway.

3. He must be doing some damn good work. I mean the economy is booming and all but damn...

4. Hey Step! When they say they want the party to be "more inclusive" it doesn't mean give every body with a party membership a job! (Did you at least leave out the dead people this time?)

5. It'll be an uphill battle either way I'm afraid.

daveberta said...

yeah, the two 2's was a result of a dumb blogger glitch that wouldn't let me republish the post. lame.

Anonymous said...

"2. And it only took the Liberals since '87 to notice."

And the Tories should have been obeying the law by filling out the forms in the first place.

My take is that this is only the beginning of the big Conservative unravelling in Alberta. Big Ralphie and his goon squad from Calgary aren't around to indimiate the beaucracy in to submission any more. Look for more brown envelopes to start showing up under the Opposition and the media's door.

Nobody owes anything to Stelmach and Calgary is still pissed.

Anonymous said...


Good post as always. I wouldn't worry too much about the minor sniping going on within the Tory Caucus. It takes a while to bond and get everybody on the same page, i.e. Snelgrove and Hancock.

I am confident that Premier Stelmach has the strenght of character and the integrity to unite the caucus and cabinet. Remember, the party just went through a divisive leadership campaign. It takes time for the wounds to heal, but they will over time.

I believe that Premier Stelmach will present a positive agenda that Albertans want, with an emphasis on greater openness, transparency, and accountability.

I believe that the RHAs, including the leakers in the Calgary Health Region, and they know who they are, should be prepared for some signficant changes to their accountability relationship with government, as well as the way they award contracts to high paid consultants who do not produce any written reports. And no more whining to MLAs for new money every quarter. Look for a similar type of relationship as what occurs between the government of BC and their RHAs.

To put it bluntly, some people are past their due date and should take the hint and retire, that means you Ty Lund. If you don't want to play ball and stay loyal to the party, take your ball and go home. Take a page from Shirley McClellan and show some class, Ty.

As for the provincial Liberals, I believe they have enough difficulties internally. Maybe they should spend some time getting their own house in order. If they think they can really break through in Calgary, they are dreaming in technicolor. Their brand is Calgary has been severely damaged since Decore left in 1994 and they are still perceived as being tied to their provincial cousins.

Anonymous said...

What does a rough ride mean? A slightly reduced majority? Unless the Alberta Alliance can make some inroads in rural Alberta, it will be majority after majority after majority.

Calgary + rural Alberta = majority. As the previous anon notes, a huge breakthrough in Calgary is highly unlikely.

trent said...

wow. talk about complacency. It always amazes me how closely the overconfident Alberta Tory supporters mirror the federal Liberals under Chretien and Martin. Smug, self-satisfied, and over-confident. I thought I moved to Alberta to get away from that attitude. I guess all politics are the same.

Watch out, you'll get your ass kick up one side and down the other when you're least expecting it.

docsanchez said...

A strong opposition always means a more accountable government.

The Tories will not see a major exodus of votes and/or seats but a gain for the opposition parties can't be a bad thing for the province.

Calgary-Elbow will be a good test for both the Tories and the Liberals. If the Libs can pull it off (and there is a chance) that will be a good sign for them that Calgary really is "pissed" as Anon above said. If the Tories keep it handily then that's a good feather in the hat. (I can't really see Stelmach in the full-on pimp outfit but he'd look good with the hat and gold tooth.)

Anonymous said...

Trent, the last liberal party that ruled Alberta was in 1905. There is reason to be optimistic. Unless the Alberta Alliance makes a breakthrough, there is no way the Tories won't win.

...And since you're comparing the LPC to the Alberta Tories, the sponsorship scandal is one slightly important factor you left out.

Anonymous said...

Randy Boissonnault! Haven't heard that name in 10 years. Good guy, but Laurie will mop him up.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so there's likely to be a contested Liberal nomination in Edmonton-Centre, eh? Interesting times! Any idea when?

Jim said...

For a second there, I thought you guys were talking about Laurie Blakeman.

Anonymous said...

Is this the reign of Unsteady Stelmach? At least Klein could keep the media under control. Why doesn't Stelmach use the leash? Cut off reporters, Stephen Harper style. Put them in their place?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 11:20 PM,

Yeah, like cutting off the media has worked so well for Harper. As an earlier anonymous poster implied, there are various elements that are trying to undermine Stelmach's planned accountability and transparency mesures because it is going to cut off their gravy train (hint: no more verbal consulting contracts for the health region). They do this by sending in little brown envelopes to the media about items that occurred well before his administration, and force Stelmach to take time off his plans to deal with them. The media are complicit in this activity. But hey, they don't care, they are only in it to sell papers.

But Stelmach is making inroads into Calgary and these subversive elements are going to be isolated and marginalized, and coincidentally the press will release.

Jim said...

Yeah, I really wish all these misdeeds could stay properly suppressed so that Stelmach's transparency train can safely leave the station.

ktr said...

laurie is pretty dictatorial and would not tolerate a nomination contest.

Randy who?????????? If that guy wins, I will have to remove my head from the sand cuz i aint heard of him.

arent we being a bit harsh on the provincial conservatives? We are talking about them not reporting for 20 years, and, getting a $1000 fine as if they can easily pay it. Common guys, a $1000 fine means they practically will have to give away the equivalent of an appetizer at a $5000/plate event.

Anonymous said...

FYI-Randy's not running this time around. He's backing Nicole this time around, and then next time we'll see! Anne is tacitly backing Nicole as well this time around.

Chris Y. said...

"Look for more brown envelopes to start showing up under the Opposition and the media's door."

How nice of a Liberal to bring up the topic of brown envelopes...

Jim said...

Why do you presume that he's a Liberal, or even a Federal Liberal?