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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

back on the provincial scene...

I'll briefly return to Alberta's provincial political scene for a post or two...

- Drayton Valley-Calmar Tory MLA Reverend Tony Abbott lost the Tory nomination to former Drayton Valley Mayor Diana McQueen. This is a huge blow to the social conservative-wing of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives. Though I don't consider Abbott to have been a very effective MLA, he carried the anti-abortion crazy flag dropped by former Tory MLA Julius Yankowski (Yankowski was defeated in Edmonton-Beverly Clareview in the 2004 election). The Reverend will be running as an independent and will pose a strong challenge to McQueen's Tory ambitions.

- Because I'm sure no one noticed, the Alberta Social Credit Party is in the midst of a raucous leadership race... here are the candidates...

Gordon Barrett (click here for more info in PDF format)
Larry Heather (click here for more info in PDF format)
Len Skowronski
(click here for more info in PDF format)

- The senior security executive on the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board was finally fired over the AEUB spy scandal. This is a good first step, but the real problem remains - Energy Minister Mel Knight, who along with Ed Stelmach protected and defended the AEUB's after its use of public funds to hire a private investigator to spy on ordinary Albertans, still remains in his job. This is a serious issue and actions like these should not be taken lightly. If the Stelmach Tories are serious about "accountability and transparency," Knight would no longer be sitting at the Tory Cabinet table.

The AEUB spy scandal is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Mel Knight's reputation as Minister of Energy, along with former Minister of Energy Greg Melchin, Knight's department was singled out by Auditor General Fred Dunn in his report:

"The principals of transparency and accountability, I believe, were not followed. I'm not impressed."

"The department should demonstrate its stewardship of Alberta's royalty regime and provide analysis to support that stewardship and this was not done."

"The department's monitoring and technical review findings were communicated to decision-makers. The question is: Did they hear or were they listening? At the end of the day, I don't know, but they chose not to act."
So, when are the real heads going to roll?


Anonymous said...

Wasn't Tony Abott the one that almost physically assaulted a fellow MLA in the house? I recall something about that...

In any event, thank GOD that he's been ousted. He was always useless as hell. ;)

Anonymous said...

I doubt very much Abbott will be running as an independent. His running - mostly of the mouth - is over. Dianne McQueen will make a good MLA. She is a very popular Mayor.

Speaking of things that appear to be clearly over - where is the Alberta Liberal Party on the Alberta Royalty Review?

Let's recap: In the spring, Kevin Taft (& his cousin Brian Mason) cast aspersions on the Royalty Review Panel, intimating that they were in the pockets of industry, and that the whole royalty review was a farce.

In the fall, the Royalty Review Report comes out - directly to the public - after having had full autonomy to consult with industry and independent experts without government interference. All of a sudden, both the Alberta Liberals and their even more leftward and economically-challenged cousins, the NDP, are in favour of full implementation... immediately.

Now, it appears, that the Alberta Liberal Party has "no official position" (see Edmonton Journal's "Special Report" last weekend).

At least the NDP only flip-flopped once on the issue.

But where is Taft... or even Hugh MacDonald lately? Did CAPP give them a tongue-lashing or what? I notice they appear to be keeping David Swann's mouth under armed guard. I'll bet his personal opinion resides in the neighbourhood of the Parkland Institute (if we're going to make a socialist paradise omelet, we've gotta break a few bourgeousie eggs).

Maybe Kevin and his federal cousin should trade places.