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Sunday, September 30, 2007

alberta's royalty review consultations.

As Albertans are now being urged to respond online and by phone to Alberta's Royalty Review Report, Tory Minister Ron Stevens will be meeting in closed-door consultation meetings with Energy and Oil Companies for their very own private consultation.

Wouldn't it be great if all Albertans had the chance to have a closed-door consultation on the Royalty Review Report?

Wouldn't it be great if all Albertans called their MLA to set up a closed-door consultation meeting?

Sounds like a good idea to me.

If you have a Tory MLA, you can ask them where Albertans $8.6 Billion in uncollected royalties went.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

don iveson on ward 5.

In the spirit of my last post, here are four youtube videos that Ward 5 City Council candidate Don Iveson has released. In them, Don Iveson talks about some of the key issues facing Ward 5.

Put Urban Planning First

Revitalize Transit

Real Community Consultation

Confront the Housing Crunch

websites are like abba.

"Online campaigning is a bit of a fad, particularly so at the city council level," says Lightbody, "in the same sense that if we were running a campaign about 30 years ago, candidates would've had disco balls in their campaign headquarters -- they would've run around looking like bloody ABBA."

I was only half-shocked when I read this comment from U of A Political Science Professor Jim Lightbody in today's Edmonton Journal.

Lightbody is correct that traditional methods of campaigning are still core, but his armchair quarterback commentary in this story clearly shows that he fails to understand the power of web 2.0 and new online communication mediums.

On this note, ED has now posted their ratings for candidate websites...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

gary mar is the new murray smith.

Tory MLA Gary Mar was appointed this afternoon to replace former Tory Minister Murray Smith as Alberta's Ambassador to Washington DC.

One wonders if Mr. Mar, who was dumped from cabinet in January 2007, will be inheriting the taxpayer funded high-life that Murray Smith lived while attending the garden parties and socials inside the beltline.

Smith's appointment in 2004 was criticized as partisan patronage and his lavish expenses have been criticized since.

Ed Stelmach's Tories have come under heat in the past weeks as years of Tory partisan patronage have begun to bubble to the surface.

Mar will begin his new position in October, which would mean that there is potential for another Calgary by-election in the near future.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

edmonton election 2007: the non-race for mayor.

In what is the first profile of various races across the city in the 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election, here are my thoughts on the race for Mayor:


The 2007 race for the Mayor's Chair is clearly much different race than the race we saw in 2004.

Three years ago, three-term Mayor Bill Smith was shooting for a fourth-term against second-time challenger and former Councillor Robert Noce, and little known first-term Ward 1 Councillor Stephen Mandel. In what is one of the biggest 'come-from-behind' wins in recent municipal election memory, Mandel moved from a distant third in the polls to achieve a sweeping +20,000 victory against Smith and Noce.

Since 2004, it appears to me that Mandel has done a fairly decent job as Mayor, though it's sometimes difficult to tell whether he is actually being a good Mayor or if the breath of fresh air after nine years of the institutional mediocrity under Bill Smith is helping Mandel out. Whatever the case, Mandel has succeeded in scaring away any serious contenders from challenging his Worship.

Even though there is a thick list of nine candidates in the running for Mayor, none of them pose a large threat to Mandel, which is disappointing if you're concerned with democratic debate and accountability.

The only semi-serious candidate running against Mandel seems to be hotel operator, self-professed genius, and Ed Stelmach-apologist Don Koziak. Koziak could have been a decent candidate, but his previous three losing Council campaigns coupled with his hasty last minute entrance into the election seriously undermine his credibility against Mandel. Also, Koziak's complete lack of a platform coupled with his bizarre statement about global warming have to make you wonder what it takes to get into Mensa these days...

Of course, if you are looking for some purely bizarre entertainment, the Mayoral race is where to look - where wingnuts such as Dave Dowling and Bill Whatcott will most likely try to steer the debate away from any real issues.

Mandel has hinted that he would only serve two terms as Mayor, so if this is truth, expect a dogfight in 2010 when challengers could potentially include Councillors Kim Krushell, Mike Nickel, and Karen Leibovici.

The lack of credible candidates in this race has succeeded in halting the serious Mayoral-level debate that is supposed to happen every three years - and serious debates are needed on issues such as infrastructure and urban planning, affordable housing and poverty, and the regional tensions in the Capital City Region. It also leaves Mandel not having to defend or answer for any of his initiatives as Mayor - whether they were successful or not.

With the Mayor's race being an unfortunate forgone conclusion, let's hope that voters turn their attention to who they are sending to City Council and their Public and Catholic School Boards.

2007 Mayoral Candidates
Dustin Becker
Dave Dowling
Khaled Kheireddine
Don Koziak
Peter Lefaivre
Robert Ligertwood
George Lam
Stephen Mandel*
Bill Whatcott

2004 Mayoral Election Results
Stephen Mandel - 85,887
Bill Smith - 68,767
Robert Noce - 52,640
Tilo Paravalos - 921
Dieter Peske - 905
Dave Dowling - 858
Thomas "Buffalo Terminator" Tomilson - 768
Jean-Paul Noujaim - 390

blakeman sets an example.

In the wake of yesterday's revelation that Tory MLA's Cindy Ady and Barry McFarland received $19,000 for work on the Idaho-Alberta task force - a task force which only met once and has no recorded accomplishments or activity beyond the one meeting - Edmonton-Centre Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman has announced that she had returned the $3,000 she received for work on another MLA committee that did little work:

Liberal MLA gives back committee pay
Archie McLean, The Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman gave more than $3,000 back to the government this month after she was paid for membership on a committee that stopped doing work.

Three Conservative MLAs received a combined $17,630 for their seven-month membership on the Legislative Grounds Renewal Committee despite meeting only three times in two months. One NDP member got $3,526, but has pledged to return a portion of the cash as well.

The revelation comes just one day after The Journal reported another two Tory MLAs received more than $19,000 for their membership in the Idaho-

Alberta Transboundary Task Force, which did little or no work during their paid stint.

Blakeman and the others were part of the legislative grounds committee from April 3 to Nov. 8, 2006 and were each paid $508.50 per month. The chair, Tory MLA George Rogers, got about $1,500 per month.

Blakeman even paid back the money she received in May, saying she didn't ask for it and didn't believe she did enough work to justify the payment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

voters shouldn't be afraid to 'go shopping.'

My first post on the CBC Edmonton Votes 2007 Blog is up. Check it out...

jealous of grande prairie.


$19,000 payday for tory mla's.

The Edmonton Journal is reporting that Tory MLA's Cindy Ady and Barry McFarland received $19,000 for work on the Idaho-Alberta task force - a task force which only met once and has no recorded accomplishments.

No meeting minutes. No phone records. Not to mention no border between Alberta and Idaho.

A spokesperson from Premier Ed Stelmach's office:

admitted the task force didn't do much in the end, but they had good intentions and tried to set up meetings with their American counterparts. "Can I show you a report, an agreement, a memorandum, anything? No, I can't. It just isn't there," David Sands said.

John Nordstrom, with the Idaho Department of Commerce, referred to the group as the Idaho-Alberta Sister State Task Force.

He said the state politician who sat on the informal committee didn't receive any extra compensation.

"It was just part of their normal job. There wasn't any extra pay or any-thing."

Monday, September 24, 2007

new edmonton municipal election poll.

Here are the results from the latest daveberta municipal election poll. It should be no surprise that affordable housing, infrastructure and roads, and urban sprawl are some of the big issues on the minds of Edmontonians leading up to October 15.

What will be the biggest issue of the 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election?

Affordable Housing 34%28
Arts and Culture 1%1
Crime and Safety 2%2
Infrastructure and Roads 24%20
Public Transit 6%5
Recreation and Parks 1%1
Regional Cooperation 9%7
Taxes 5%4
Urban Sprawl and Growth 15%12
Other 2%2
82 votes total

There is also new poll up, so vote early and vote often!

monday municipal election roundup.

Some thoughts for Monday morning...

- CBC Edmonton has launched an Edmonton Votes 2007 website. I will have the pleasure of blogging for the CBC site starting tomorrow, so make sure to check it out.

- Connect2Edmonton is getting a bit of media attention which is good for the forum. Post your questions to municipal candidates in the forums - some candidates are responding.

- The Edmonton Journal's Scott McKeen has a fun column today about the 'Door knocking-Diet.'

- The St. Albert Gazette has some interesting stories on the Mayoral and Aldermanic races going on in the city just north of Edmonton.

- I spent a good chunk of my weekend campaigning for Don Iveson in Ward 5. I feel good about the positive response we received while we were out on Saturday doorknocking with Edmonton-Rutherford MLA Rick Miller.

tory nominated in edmonton-manning.

In a surprise win, Peter Sandhu bested former MLA Tony Vandermeer, Emerson Mayers, and Independent MLA Dan Backs in this weekend's Edmonton-Manning PC nomination.

This is disappointing on two fronts. First, Sandhu's nomination means that the Tories won't have the pleasure of running Dan Backs under their banner. And second, it means that I now have no reason to post the series of embarrassing emails that Mayers sent me a couple of weeks ago.

It also looks like it's backs to the drawing board for Dan Backs...

Sandhu will face strong competition from Alberta Liberal candidate Sandeep Dhir in Edmonton-Manning in the next election.

Edmonton-Manning has been held by the Alberta Liberals from 1993 to 2001 and 2004 to 2006 and by the Tories from 2001 to 2004.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

alberta's royalty review.

Now that I've had a chance to take a look at the much talked about Alberta Royalty Review Panel Final Report, I have some thoughts to offer.

1. The report is much more damning than I think anyone thought it would be.

The report begins with the opening statement: "Albertans do not receive their fair share from energy development." The report proves this to be an understatement.

2. The report revealed that a lack of government accountability has led to billions of dollars in reduced royalty income over the last 15 years - the royalty holidays and adjustments have reduced Alberta's income by nearly $8.6 billion over the past 15 years.

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft and Shadow Energy Minister Hugh MacDonald pointed out that:

the government failed to report a four year royalty holiday period, which began in 1997, under former Minister of Energy Steve West. In 2001, the Auditor General questioned why the royalty holiday and incentive programs were not reported. The Auditor General started to report these amounts in his annual report. Since then, the Department of Energy has buried the amount of the royalty adjustments in their financial footnotes.
Here are Kevin Taft and Hugh MacDonald in their media conference following the release of the report:

3. Though some are rallying against the report, the same people don't seem to understand the difference between a royalty and a tax.

4. There is no doubt that the release of
this report is a defining moment in Alberta's politics and the reaction or lack thereof by Ed Stelmach's Tories may define the main issue of the next provincial election.

5. In 2004, Federal Auditor General Sheila Fraser's report into the Sponsorship scandal revealed that up to $100 million of the $250 million sponsorship program was awarded to advertising firms and Crown corporations for little or no work.

In 2007, Alberta's Royalty Review Panel revealed that approximately $8.6 billion in natural resource royalties owed to Albertans were not collected. This failure occured while Ed Stelmach and Lyle Oberg were sitting at the table in Ralph Klein's Tory Cabinet.

Albertans have been cheated in a big way and should be furious.

Friday, September 21, 2007

a series of tubes.

Taking a page from Al Gore's book, Ward 4 council candidate Sheila Mckay has claimed that she invented Edmonton's LRT...

"Sheila McKay, who was on council from 1989 to 1995, took credit for the LRT, telling the audience it was "my idea" to bring light-rail transit to the city 30 years ago."


Apologies for the interruption in regular blogging over the past couple of days. Work, studies, and campaign volunteering has kept me quite busy this week.

Get ready for upcoming posts on the 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election, Alberta's Royalty Review (and secret royalty reviews under the previous Tory Premier), the continuing AEUB scandal and maybe some links to some of the great YouTube vids coming out of the Ontario Provincial Election. Here's a fun one:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

it costs more.

The Alberta Teachers' Association has launched a new series of TV ads as part of their Budget More campaign calling on the Stelmach Tories to address the conditions in Alberta's Education system.

(Thanks to Larry Johnsrude for the ad link)

familiar faces.

The October 15, 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election will include some familiar faces. Because of the difficulty of defeating incumbents in Edmonton City politics, many Council candidates run a number of times before being elected (this includes current City Councillors Dave Thiele, Jane Batty, and Mike Nickel).

Here is a list of candidates who are hoping that the second, third, fourth, or fifth time is a charm...

Dave Dowling (Mayoral: 2004; Provincial, Edmonton-Gold Bar: 2004; Federal Marajuana Party, Edmonton-Strathcona: 2004, 2006)
Don Koziak (Ward 5: 1995; Ward 2: 1998, 2004)
Robert Ligertwood (Mayoral: 1992, 1995, 2001)

Ward 2
Jabin Caouette (Ward 2: 2004)
Kerry Hutton (Ward 2: 2004)
Dave Loken (Ward 2: 2004)

Ward 3
Kyle Balombin (Ward 3: 2004)
Tony Caterina (Ward 3: 2004; Alberta Alliance, Edmonton-Centre: 2004)
Shui Wing Mak (Ward 4: 1995)
Thomas "Buffalo Terminator" Tomilson (Ward 2: 1989; Ward 3: 1992, 1998; Ward 4: 1995; Mayoral: 2001, 2004)
Harvey Voogd (Provincial ND, Edmonton-Norwood: 1997)

Ward 4
Ben Henderson (Ward 4: 2001, 2004)
Sheila Mckay (Ward 6: 1974, 1977, 1980, 1986, 1989, 1992, 1995, 1998; Councillor: 1989-1995)
Adil Pirbhai (Ward 5: 1995, 1998, 2004; Ward 4: 2001)
Hana Razga (Federal ND, Edmonton-East: 1997; Provincial ND, Edmonton-Manning: 1997, 2001)
Debbie Yeung (Ward 4: 2001, 2004)

Ward 6
Chinwe Okelu (Ward 6: 1998, 2001, 2004)
Amarjeet Sohi (Ward 6: 2004)

ed stelmach and mel knight continue to fumble the aeub scandal.

Long title. Big deal.

Tory Premier Ed Stelmach and his Energy Minister Mel Knight continue to fumble in the face of the growing AEUB scandal. It looks as if Stelmach and Knight are pulling out every tool in the Tory tool chest in order to not deal with the scandal of the public AEUB hiring private investigators to spy on ordinary Albertans.

For the highlights, I'll defer to the brutal eloquence of Edmonton Journal columnist Graham Thomson...

Energy Minister Mel Knight did two things exceptionally well in his news conference at the legislature on Monday afternoon: he arrived on time and he didn't fall off the stage.

He did everything else remarkably badly.

At times Knight looked like he didn't know how to answer questions or was doing his best to avoid them. Sometimes he grew so testy with reporters it looked like he wanted to kick them. I suspect the reason he didn't was because at any given time he had a least one foot stuck firmly in his mouth.

Monday was supposed to be the day the Alberta government would demonstrate leadership on the EUB spying controversy that has plagued the government since news broke in June the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board hired a private investigator who had spied on landowners.

For weeks, the government has been hinting it was about to take decisive action to recover the EUB's reputation that has sunk so low you'd need a drilling rig to find it.

Instead, we had a minister of energy doing his best to downplay the biggest scandal to hit the government since Ed Stelmach became premier.

Monday, September 17, 2007

updated trustee candidates and new poll.

Similar to the updated list of Edmonton City Council candidates, I have updated the list of candidates acclaiming and contesting seats in the Edmonton Public School Board and Edmonton Catholic School District elections on October 15, 2007.

Also, there is a new 2007 Edmonton Municipal election poll on the sidebar.

The new poll asks:

What will be the biggest issue of the 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election?
Affordable Housing
Arts and Culture
Crime and Safety
Infrastructure and Roads
Public Transit
Recreation and Parks
Regional Cooperation
Urban Sprawl and Growth
Vote early and often!

official 2007 edmonton municipal election candidates list.

Today was nomination day at City Hall. Here is the final list of candidates for the Edmonton Municipal Election on October 15, 2007. I will be posting profiles of each ward and their candidates over the course of the election.

2007 Edmonton City Council candidates
(* indicates incumbency)

Mayor of Edmonton
(edmonton election 2007: the non-race for mayor)
Dustin Becker
Dave Dowling
Khaled Kheireddine
Don Koziak
Peter Lefaivre
Robert Ligertwood
George Lam
Stephen Mandel*
Bill Whatcott

Edmonton City Council

Ward 1
(edmonton election 2007: ward 1)
Betty Kennedy
Andrew Knack
Karen Leibovici*
Linda Sloan*

Ward 2
(edmonton election 2007: the race for ward 2)
Jabin Caouette
Ron Hayter*
Kerry Hutton
Kim Krushell*
Dave Loken
Mike Sokoluik
Shelley Tupper

Ward 3

(edmonton election 2007: a race in ward 3)

Kyle Balombin
Tony Caterina
Ed Gibbons*
Shiu Wing Mak
Chris Martin
Chris Roehrs
Thomas James Tomilson
Harvey Voogd
(Councillor Janice Melnychuk is not seeking re-election)

Ward 4

(edmonton election 2007: something about ward 4)

Jane Batty*
Nyambura Mia Belcourt
Lewis Cardinal
Judith (Jodi) Flatt
Ben Henderson
Sheila McKay
Brian Patterson
Deborah Peaker
Adil Pirbhai
Hana Razga
Thomas Roberts
Margaret Saunter
Brent Thompson
Brian Wissink
Debbie Yeung
(Councillor Michael Phair is not seeking re-election)

Ward 5
(edmonton election 2007: choice in ward 5)

Bryan Anderson*
Don Iveson
Brent Michalyk
Mike Nickel*

Ward 6
(edmonton election 2007: wrath of ward 6)

Lori Jeffery-Heaney
Chuck McKenna
Chinwe Okelu
Amarjeet Sohi
Dave Thiele*
Thomas Dennis Vasquez
(Councillor Terry Cavanagh is not seeking re-election)

a big day.

It's a big political day today...

- It's the candidate nomination deadline for municipal election candidates in Alberta. After 12 noon, Albertans will know who they will be able to vote for in the October 15 Municipal Elections. I already know who I am voting for in Ward 5.

- Don Koziak has thrown his hat in the ring for Mayor. Koziak's last minute run against current Mayor Stephen Mandel should be an interesting one...

- Today is by-election day in Quebec. With three by-elections set for today, it should be interesting to see which way the political climate in La Belle Provence is shifting.

I was in Outremont back in August and if the amount of signs mean anything, it's Robert Mulcair's to lose. That said, a Mulcair win in Outremont sends a strong signal towards the Harper Tories and Dion Liberals about their growth potential on the vote rich island of Montreal.

political patronage: alberta-style continued...

The Edmonton Journal continued it's two-part feature on political patronage in Progressive Conservative Alberta. Here is a second list that the Journal put together:


- Audrey Luft, organizer of 2007 Alberta PC annual convention: Alberta Foundation for the Arts (chair), NAIT, Alberta Economic Development Authority

- Doug Goss, Edmonton co-chair of Tories' next election campaign: Capital Health, Alberta Economic Development Authority

- Wayne Jacques, former Conservative MLA: Peace Country Health Region, Transportation Safety Board, Law Enforcement Review Board

- Alf Savage, former PC president: Auto Insurance Rate Board (chair), Municipal Government Board

- Wendy Kinsella, losing Edmonton PC candidate in 2001: NorQuest College (chair), Capital Health (vice-chair)

- Marvin Moore, former PC campaign manager and cabinet minister: Peace Country Health (chair), Agriculture Marketing Products Council Appeal Tribunal

- Dale Johnson, president of Whitecourt-Ste. Anne PC association: Aspen Health, Credit Counselling Services of Alberta

- Robert Seidel, lawyer to former treasurer Stockwell Day: Grant MacEwan College, Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research

- Skip McDonald, former president of Klein's PC constituency association: Calgary Health, ATB Financial
UPDATE: Calgary-Nose Hill MLA Neil Brown says there's nothing wrong with these appointments.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

political patronage: alberta-style.

Kudos to Darcy Henton and Jason Markusoff of the Edmonton Journal for writing a feature article on the deluge of political patronage currently present in Alberta. The Journal also went through and detailed a list of provincially appointed boards and their card carrying Progressive Conservative Party members.

Here are the top 40 boards with the highest percentages of card-carrying Conservatives serving on them.

Health boards and regions
- Peace Country Health Region: 13 Tories / 13-member board

- East Central Health: 9 Tories / 12-member board

- Capital Health: 8 Tories / 14-member board

- Calgary Health: 7 Tories / 13-member board

- Aspen Health Region: 11 Tories / 14-member board

- David Thompson Health: 11 Tories / 15-member board

- Chinook Health: 7 Tories / 12-member board

- Northern Lights Health: 7 Tories / 12-member board

- Palliser Health Region: 7 Tories / 13-member board

- Alberta Cancer Board: 5 Tories / 10-member board

- Health Quality Council: 4 Tories / 8-member board

- Public Health Appeal Board: 2 Tories / 4-member board

- Health Facilities Review Board: 8 Tories / 12-member board

Post-secondary Institutions

- Northern Alberta Institute of Technology: 8 Tories / 12-member board

- Portage College: 5 Tories / 7-member board

- Lethbridge College: 4 Tories / 7-member board

- Athabasca University: 6 Tories / 11-member board

- Red Deer College: 3 Tories / 6-member board

- Mount Royal College: 5 Tories / 10-member board


- ATB Financial: 9 Tories / 13-member board

- Credit Union Deposit Guarantee Corp.: 4 Tories / 8-member board

addictions and disabilities

- Premier's Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities: 5 Tories / 8-member board

- Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission: 7 Tories / 10-member board

- Crystal Meth Task Force: 7 Tories / 12-member board

- Northwest Alberta Persons with Developmental Disabilities: 6 Tories / 7-member board


- Alberta Grain Commission: 8 Tories / 11-member board

- Agriculture Products Marketing Council: 7 Tories / 11-member board

- Alberta Agriculture Research Institute: 4 Tories / 7-member board


- Seniors Advisory Council: 8 Tories / 10-member board

- Northern Alberta Development Council: 9 Tories / 10-member board

- Worker's Compensation Board: 3 Tories / 4-member board

- Alberta Foundation of the Arts: 6 Tories / 10-member board

- Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission: 6 Tories / 7-member board

- Alberta Economic Development Authority: 29 Tories / 60-member board

- Alberta Order of Excellence Council: 6 Tories / 6-member board

- Social Care Facilities Review Commission: 7 Tories / 11-member board

- Alberta Science and Research Authority: 9 Tories / 19-member board

- Northeast PDD Board: 5 Tories / 7-member board

- Alberta Fatality Review Board: 3 Tories / 3-member board

- Rural Alberta's Development Fund: 6 Tories / 12-member board
Click here to see the list of the 100 provincially appointed Boards and Government agencies stacked with Tory appointees.

Tomorrow, the Edmonton Journal will be profiling the process which allows the Progressive Conservatives to commit this degree of political patronage.

UPDATE: Calgary-Nose Hill MLA Neil Brown says there's nothing wrong with these appointments.

the post-ed stelmach pc poll.

Here are the results from the most recent daveberta poll:

Who will be the next Leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party?
Craig Chandler 17%39
Ray Danyluk 1%3
Jim Dinning 9%21
Dave Hancock 14%33
Ted Morton 33%75
Mark Norris 3%7
Lyle Oberg 5%12
Tom Olsen 17%40
230 votes total

Friday, September 14, 2007

donna finucane bows out in ward 5.

Ward 5 Edmonton City Council candidate Donna Finucane has officially withdrawn her candidacy in the October 15, 2007 Edmonton municipal election. In 2004, Finucane placed a strong third in Ward 5 behind Bryan Anderson and Mike Nickel.

Donna Finucane's departure from the race leaves a less crowded field in Ward 5 and more room for Smart Growth in Ward 5 - Don Iveson's campaign for City Council!

UPDATE: Don Iveson is quoted in two Edmonton Sun articles from today. You can check them out here and here.

kevin taft on the western tiger.

Earlier this week, Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft delivered a
major policy announcement
while speaking to the Calgary Rotary Club. As Premier, Taft said he would call for a meeting of western provinces, with an agenda of turning western Canada into an energy superpower.

You can now watch the speech on YouTube:

Western Tiger Speech Part 1

Western Tiger Speech Part 2

Western Tiger Speech Part 3

Thursday, September 13, 2007

the aeub scandal continues.

The Alberta Energy and Utilities Board scandal continues to haunt Ed Stelmach's Tories as it has now been uncovered that the AEUB had hired a private investigation company to monitor a second public hearing in May 2007.

The board is already being investigated by the government for hiring Shepp Johnman to monitor landowners at a hearing in Rimbey who were opposed to a proposed powerline between Calgary and Edmonton.

According to the Canadian Press, "the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board accepts the findings of the privacy commissioner regarding undercover investigators at hearings into a contoversial power line."
And in case you wanted any more evidence of Ed Stelmach's decisive leadership skills, after defending the AEUB's actions in spying on Albertans in June, our Conservative Premier has decided to 'think about it...'
"But Premier Ed Stelmach said he wants to see more evidence about the decision of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board to use private detectives at two hearings since last spring.
What more evidence does Ed Stelmach need before heads start to roll on the AEUB Board?

What about using public funds to hire private investigators to spy on Albertans does Ed
Stelmach find acceptable?

take back your city!

A new interactive website has been set up for the municipal elections:

Take Back Your is your guide and tool for action in municipal politics in Alberta. Read up on the candidates' views, ensure yours are heard, connect with people working on the issues.

2007 edmonton school board election candidates.

Here is the final list of candidates running for election or re-election in the Edmonton Public School Board and Edmonton Catholic School District elections on October 15, 2007.

Edmonton Public School Board
Ward A
Bev Esslinger

Ward B
Wendy Keiver
Ken Shipka

Ward C
Sue Huff
Don Williams

Ward D
Amanda Beisiegel
Dave Colburn

Ward E
Ken Gibson
Neil MacDonald

Ward F
Don Fleming
Susan O'Neil

Ward G
Sheila Clifford-MacKay
Myrna Freeman
Terry McKinnon
George Rice
Marlene Spencer

Ward H
Catherine Ripley
Neil Robblee

Ward I
Judith Axelson
Gerry Gibeault

Edmonton Catholic School District
Ward 1
Debbie Engel

Ward 2
Luigi Esposito
Becky Kallal
Jim Urlacher

Ward 3
Joe Filewych
Cindy Olsen
Jim Shinkaruk

Ward 4
Rudy Arcilla

Ward 5
John Acheson
Marilyn Bergstra

Ward 6

Kara Pelech

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

the western tiger.

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft made a major policy announcement yesterday while speaking to Calgary's Rotary Club.

Turn West into energy superpower, Taft urges
Upgrade oilsands in western provinces instead of south of border, Liberal leader proposes

CALGARY - Alberta could forfeit a major economic opportunity worth billions of dollars if the province does not do whatever it can to ensure that more oilsands bitumen is processed here at home, Kevin Taft said Tuesday.

In a speech to Calgary's Downtown Rotary Club, the Alberta Liberal opposition leader proposed an inter-provincial strategy to turn Western Canada into what he called an economic "tiger" by attracting more oilsands upgraders to the region.

Though industry officials say 70 per cent of bitumen is already processed in the province, Taft said it's time for Alberta to call a summit of western governments to explore the possibilities of upgrading more bitumen in Western Canada.

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft speaks to members of the Rotary Club during a luncheon meeting at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft speaks to members of the Rotary Club during a luncheon meeting at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel in downtown Calgary on Tuesday.

He noted estimates project that one million barrels of unprocessed bitumen will be exported for upgrading to the U.S. every day within eight years.

"I believe we now have an opportunity -- an opportunity unlike any other in our history," Taft told his audience. "A once-in-several-lifetimes opportunity to transform ourselves forever."
You can read Kevin Taft's full speech to the Rotary Club here.

getting more than a nickel's worth.

- Right-wing Edmonton City Councillor Mike Nickel launched his pun-filled Ward 5 re-election campaign this week. Nickel's campaign logo is a coffee stain (which accurately reflects his past three years on City Council).

- Tory MLA's Greg Melchin (Calgary-North West) and Denis Ducharme (Bonnyville-Cold Lake) announced their retirements this week. Both Melchin and Ducharme were elected in 1997 after defeating Decore-era Liberal MLA's Frank Bruseker and Leo Vasseur (Bruseker is the current President of the Alberta Teachers' Association).

- The Edmonton City Council Election candidates list has been updated. The nomination deadline is on Monday, September 17, so I will be providing a final list on Monday afternoon (I may actually make a trip down to City Hall to watch who shows up as well). Help spread the word about the October 15 Municipal Election by joining the "I'm voting in the Edmonton Municipal Election on October 15, 2007" facebook group.

- Just in case no one noticed (which is a complete possibility), the Alberta Social Credit Party is looking for a new Leader as Socred stalwart Lavern Alstrom is hanging up his hat.

Monday, September 10, 2007

i’m voting for don iveson in ward 5.

Over the summer, I’ve had the great pleasure of volunteering for the campaign of my friend Don Iveson. Don is running in the October 15, 2007 City Council Elections in the very large Ward 5 (which also happens to be the Ward where I reside).

As I’ve joined Don and other volunteers in doorknocking in neighbourhoods across Ward 5, I’ve been quite surprised by the amount of times I heard people express their desire for change on City Council. While on the doorsteps, it hasn’t been uncommon to hear people say “City Council needs some new blood,” “it’s time for a change on City Council,” or "it's time to get rid of the old guys on Council."

I can’t agree more, and I can hardly think of a more effective person to provide this change than Don Iveson.

Don Iveson represents a new vision for City Council. Don's campaign revolves around three main principles - Efficiency, Environmental Responsibility, and Vibrant Communities. These three principles tie together ideas on smarter urban planning, revitalizing public transit, reining in urban sprawl, and more.

Don was interviewed in this week’s SEE Magazine’s candidate profile. Don has also received the ringing endorsements of retiring City Councillor Michael Phair, former School Trustee and Alberta Liberal MLA Don Massey, and retiring Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MLA Dr. Raj Pannu. (You can also join the Don Iveson for Ward 5 facebook group...)

I encourage you to take a look at Don's ideas for Smart Growth in Ward 5 and to join me in voting for Don Iveson on October 15, 2007.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

oh, craig...

This was in my inbox from a daveberta reader this morning. Thanks for the message...

Hey Dave, [Craig] Chandler keeps on giving - and he wrote some serious falsehoods in the herald today.

So, Chandler wrote an op-ed in the herald today, where he claimed to have written something different on his posting.

he claimed:
"To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came here to our home and we vote conservative. You came here to enjoy our economy, our natural beauty and more. This is our home and if you wish to live here, you must adapt to our rules and our voting patterns, or leave. Conservatism is our culture. Do not destroy what we have created." - from Daveberta
was more like:
"To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came here to our home and we vote conservative (meaning Social Credit, Alberta Alliance, Wildrose or the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.)"
he also changed it on the forum posting:
Firstly, Alberta is growing in a way that was never expected and many of the people coming here do not truly appreciate Alberta or even understand the history of this province or the relationship with small 'c' conservatism. To those of you who have come to our great land from out of province, you need to remember that you came here to our home and we vote conservative (meaning Social Credit, Alberta Alliance, Wildrose or the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party). You came here to enjoy our economy, our natural beauty and more. This is our home and if you wish to live here, you must adapt to our rules and our voting patterns, or leave. Conservatism is our culture. Do not destroy what we have created.
The great part is the forum tracks edits to posts. The post is tagged at the end with:
"Last edited by Craig B. Chandler on Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:52 pm; edited 4 times in total."

Craig is being untrue about what he wrote in his forum post.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

alberta liberals reach for the TOP.

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft was joined by Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman in lauching the 'Take Our Place' program yesterday. The TOP initiative is geared towards getting more women involved in provincial politics.

From the media release:

The Take Our Place program brings together a mentor team of dynamic women, including current and former Alberta Liberal MLAs, to support and encourage new candidates, as well as to identify barriers to political participation and find ways to eliminate or reduce them. While the program is currently focused on creating opportunities for women in the upcoming election, it will continue in the post-election period.

“There are so many issues important to women and families in Alberta,” Blakeman notes. “Our perspective is critical if real progress is to be made. It’s time we had more women at the decision-making table.”
In 1998, eight of the then-eighteen member Alberta Liberal Caucus were women.

mature neighbourhoods matter.

As the October 15, 2007 Edmonton Municipal election gets closer, many community and public interest groups are preparing to promote important issues to City Council candidates. One of these groups is the Edmonton Mature Neighbourhoods Action Group.

MNAG Edmonton is comprised of 36 member communities of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues.

MNAG Edmonton describes its mandate as:

There are many common planning & development issues in mature neighbourhoods and an urgent need for us to act jointly to convey our position on these issues to City Council for appropriate action on behalf of Edmonton residents. This resident up swell has identified major issues broadly across our city including:

1.) DC2 bylaw variations by development officers & misuse by developers;
2.) Limited enforcement of bylaws;
3.) Concerns with the SDAB including the ability to enforce its decisions;
4.) Lack of Area Redevelopment Plans (ARP's) & updating of existing ones as well as the absence of a resident needs driven city wide development & transportation plan;
5.) Problems created by school closures;
6.) An apparent unwillingness on the part of City Council to follow resident approved area plans but rather follow a developer driven ad-hoc planning process;
7.) An apparent lack of appreciation of the currently available knowledge base within communities with the result that there is an "Administration knows best attitude" within the City. Ultimately this will have negative political repercussions.
MNAG Edmonton has also released a list of draft questions for candidates running for Edmonton City Council.

Just one more thing to think about when you enter the ballot booth on October 15, 2007!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

leroy = out.

Wetaskiwin-Camrose Tory MLA LeRoy Johnson has officially announced that he will not be seeking re-election under the Ed Stelmach Tory banner.

Monday, September 03, 2007

post-stelmach poll results.

The interim results are tallying up in what is quickly becoming to known as the unofficial 2008 Alberta PC leadership race.

Look on the sidebar to vote (early and often...):

Who will be the next leader of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party?

Selection Votes
Craig Chandler 22% (20 votes)
Ray Danyluk 1% (1 vote)
Jim Dinning 12% (11 votes)
Dave Hancock 13% (12 votes)
Ted Morton 28% (26 votes)
Mark Norris 2% (2 votes)
Lyle Oberg 8% (7 votes)
Tom Olsen 15% (14 votes)

93 votes total

mr. dithers: alberta edition.

Aren't you glad that Ed Stelmach is speaking for Alberta to the rest of Canada?

"Will there be people without homes? Yes. Will there be some sick people that we can't save, despite all the medical technology that we have? Yes, there will be. But people are continuing to move here because where else are they going to go in Canada?"

Saturday, September 01, 2007

this traffic report...

And the Calgary Mayoral race gets more entertaining as candidate Alnoor Kassam is taking on incumbent-Mayor Dave Bronconnier...