This afternoon Lt. Governor Norman Kwong delivered Alberta's Speech from the Throne. Being the first Speech from the Throne of the Tory Government under Ed Stelmach, I made sure I was there to see it happen.
Anyone who knows anything about the Speech from the Throne will know that it has more to do with pomp, ceremony, and feel goodery than actual substance or policy. Though brief mentions of policy poped up from time to time in Kwong's long speech (the delivery was a little slow) it stuck to formula.
Much of the Speech centered around Stelmach's "Five Priorities" (All of which seem fairly common sensicle).
- governing with integrity and transparency;
- managing growth pressures;
- improving Albertans’ quality of life;
- providing safe and secure communities; and
- building a strong Alberta.
The Stelmach Tories are now appearing to be jumping on the now all-popular "green" bandwagon with the announcement of the creation of a long-term energy strategy and greenhouse gas emission regulation. Feel goodery aside, I'm not convinced that the Alberta Tories have any real sincere intention to take substantial action on the environment or climate change file. I'll believe it when I see real action.
This Speech remains atypical of most other speech's of this type. Hopefully the Spring Session will be a little more exciting.
And of course, the scrums and schmoozing in the Rotunda is where the real action is.
- Thanks to the Alberta NDP caucus for my invitation to the Visitor's Gallery and for letting me in to their pre-Speech Reception at the Legislature Annex.
- Tom Olsen was sporting a slick new suit. I'm sure he's making a better salary at taxpayer expense than the Calgary Herald would ever afford him.
- Fred Horne is Dave Hancock's new Executive Assistant. Horne ran for the Tories in Edmonton Riverview against Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft. Horne recieved 22% of the vote to Taft's 65%.
- Lots of new Ministers with new hangers on.
- Lots of old Ministers with no hangers on.
- I'm still shocked and disappointed at the job that Todd Babiuk is doing as the Edmonton Journal's Legislative Columnist while Graham Thomson is on assignment in Afghanistan. COME BACK, GRAHAM!
- And I think Norman Kwong likes the attention he gets when he enters a room.