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Monday, June 22, 2009

just visiting (from ottawa) & royal glenora club gets economic stimulus.

Ottawa political staffer Ryan Hastman defeated Linda Blade and Cathay Wagantall to claim the Conservative candidacy in Edmonton-Strathcona. Hastman will face NDP MP Linda Duncan in the next federal election.

Also visiting Edmonton-Strathcona from Ottawa will be federal Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, who will spend the morning of Canada Day in the 20th annual Silly Summer Parade down Whyte Avenue. Last week, Vancouver-Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry joined federal Liberal activists in Edmonton's Pride Parade.

Across the river in Edmonton-Centre, Lewis Cardinal will announce his announce his intentions to seek the NDP nomination this week (h/t @alexabboud). Cardinal was narrowly defeated (by 184 votes) in a tight race that saw Ward 4 Councillors Jane Batty and Ben Henderson elected in the 2007 Municipal Election. In the 2008 Federal Election, Edmonton-Centre NDP candidate Donna Martyn placed third with 15% of the total vote behind Conservative MP Laurie Hawn and Liberal Jim Wachowich.

How's this for an economic stimulus package? The members-only private Royal Glenora Club will be receiving $1,000,000 in taxpayers dollars from the federal government. Annual membership fees range from $ 2,236.00 for singles aged 30-64 to $4,065 for families. While MP Laurie Hawn defended the announcement, claiming that it "will ensure that this 50-year-old facility can continue to thrive...." it is not known whether he and his wife are active members of the Club (which would cost $2,403.00 annually for couples aged 64 and over).


Anonymous said...

Predictions: Ryan Hastman crushes Linda "National Hockey Day" Duncan. Lewis Cardinal NDP still places third. Laurie Hawn wins with 40% because of the vote split. Cardinal should have stuck with city politics. He would have been a great city councillor.

jon said...

In regards to the comments about Ryan Hastman "just visiting" lets review the facts:

Ryan Hastman was born in Edmonton.
Linda Duncan was born in Edmonton.

Ryan Hastman went to elementary, junior high, and high school in Edmonton.
Linda Duncan went to elementary, junior high, and high school in Edmonton.

Ryan Hastman went to university in Edmonton.
Linda Duncan went to university in Edmonton.

Ryan Hastman left Edmonton to gain valuable work and life experience.
Linda Duncan left Edmonton to gain valuable work and life experience.

Ryan Hastman worked in Ottawa.
Linda Duncan worked in Ottawa.

Let's cut the crap. This is going to be a great race between two great candidates.

Craig Donalo said...

This is one of the reasons I love your blog, Dave. Thanks for pointing out the stupidity of the Conservative 'Just Visiting' attack ads. Ryan Hastman is as much an Edmontonian as Michael Ignatieff is a Canadian.

Keep clearing up the spin!

Anonymous said...

I agree, Ryan Hastman is not very Edmontonian. Once again the Tories choose to front a box-of-hair as a candidate. Cathay Wagantall would have been a much better candidate and MP. Oh well, at least Mike Lake can perhaps keep her as his campaign manager now.

Linda Duncan will hold the seat. Despite the increasing presence of Tory trolls on your blog Dave, the feeling on the street in Edmonton is clearly one in favour of change. I expect Ray Martin to contend in East and Centre will be a big three way race, especially if the Linda Sloan for the Libs rumours are true.

daveberta said...

Jon: As Craig pointed out, I was being sarcastic and attempting to point out the ridiculousness of the 'Just Visiting' ads. I'm sure Hastman will be a worthy challenger, but I do think the Conservative nomination race was overall thin in talent.

A Conservative staffer, a Conservative Board Member, and a Conservative Riding President contested a race that should have been able to attract strong outside candidates (business people, City Councillors, MLAs, etc). I don't mean to downplay the work of the three candidates, but I believe that this situation says a lot about the state of Federal Politics in Canada (which was also articulated in a Toronto Star article today).

In response to the Lewis Cardinal comments, I believe that while Cardinal is a strong candidate and will do well (even I would have a hard time not supporting him), I'm not sure how much appeal the NDP has in the vote-rich neighbourhoods in the west end of Edmonton-Centre. His entry in the race will make Edmonton-Centre more interesting in the next federal election (though I agree that he would be a pretty damn good City Councillor).

Anonymous said...

Laurie Hawn is a great leader for Edmonton. As a former fighter pilot and proud member of Canada’s armed forces Hawn has proved his patriotism and love for this great country and city. I expect him to run for Prime Minister when Mr. Harper chooses to retire. Go Hawn.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else pissed off that a private club is getting a truck load of tax dollars?

SD said...

To be fair, I watched the Edmonton-Strathcona campaign fairly closely and all three candidates were articulate, in tune with the issues, and very hard-working. To suggest that they would be inferior to a "business person, City Councillor, or MLA" shows a lack of familiarity with the race. Ryan will make a great candidate and, hopefully, a great MP. The fact that he took the opportunity to go and work for the Prime Minister in Ottawa for the past few years is a positive attribute.

As for the Glenora Club, I tend to agree this isn't ideal. The arguments for it are simple: they met all the criteria, benefit a wide swath of the community, and are ready to begin construction (I believe this week). Edmonton does lack high-end recreation facilities for elite athletes, so I really don't have a problem with it. The $500 million for recreational infrastructure is generally a great idea and I hope this is one of many announcements that will benefit the city.

Also, Lewis Cardinal will make a great candidate for the NDP in Edmonton-Centre. His voice would add a great deal to the level of debate. I hope his candidacy for the nomination is successful.

I'll eagerly await the chief of staff's response....

westmount voter said...

I think a strong candidate in Centre makes the NDP very viable.

In the past, the NDP have done very well in the provincial ridings of Edmonton Centre, Glenora, and Calder. And that includes west end areas of Calder and Glenora, which were the strong areas for the NDP in each of those ridings.

I think the only reason the NDP hasn't been more competitive in federal Ed-Centre was the presence of Anne McLellan. She's gone, and the dippers have the 'go to' candidate now.

daveberta said...

SD: My point was that the Edmonton-Strathcona Conservatives weren't able to attract any candidates who weren't already insiders in the Conservative Party institution.

Attracting credible candidates from outside the increasingly shrinking circle of party politics seems to be a problem that all political parties are facing on most electoral fronts. That was my point.

Anonymous said...

Hastman is awesome. Balanced conservative. Business background. Edmontonian. Knows the political scene. Edmonton strathcona will be lucky to have him as an MP.
My perdiction: hastman rises quickly through the ranks.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Hastman canvassing all the while Linda Duncan is sequestering herself in core NDP territory around Whyte Ave and the University with Rachel Notley and Gil McGowan. NDP issues won't get support in 70% of the riding. Duncan won because Jaffer was lazy and the Liberals ran a weak candidate. The Liberals will do better and Hastman will work hard. Hastman will win.

Anonymous said...

Re: "Just Visiting"

Bright, energetic young person born and raised in Edmonton who returns after a couple of years in Ottawa to seek nomination to local federal seat - not "just visiting". Old, obtuse "public intellectual" who has spent the vast majority of his adult life living abroad return for the sole purpose of becoming Prime Minister - most definitely "just visiting"

Re: Glenora grant

Glenora is really more of a "semi-private" facility than a "private" facility - I'm not a member, but I go there 6 or 8 times a year for various dinners, functions, etc. - I'm OK with the funding.

Christine said...

Spin, Conservative! Spin! Spin like you have never spun before!

Craig Donalo said...

Anonymous 4:13: I spent 17 years outside of Canada working at schools in Vietnam and India. Because I have only been back in Calgary for 3 years am I any less a Canadian? No. Neither is Michael Ignatieff.

My work experience gave me a stronger perspective on how the world outside Canada works and how outsiders view our country. Canada is still my country no matter how much any Ottawa spinmaster disagrees.

Scott said...

I fail to see how being active politically before seeking office makes one a weaker candidate than existing entirely outside of politics.

Linda Blade was essentially a political outsider who has only held membership and sat on the board for a limited time after a lengthy resume outside of politics. She was also the least ready of the three to make a serious run at political office but clearly improved over the course of the nomination. I expect to see her pop up in the political arena sometime soon.

Ryan is a "business person" who owned a successful business before becoming a political staffer. Would he have made a better potential MP had he not gone to Ottawa?

Few make the jump successfully from city politics (where there are very few small 'c' conservatives) or Provincial politics (wouldn't PC MLA's also be conservative "insiders"?).

I actually think it was the strength of the three candidates that contributed to the race being closely fought and well attended by the membership. Linda Duncan would have had her hands full with any of the three, but Ryan especially will offer the voters of Edmonton-Strathcona a compelling alternative.

Anonymous said...

Rex Murphy asks of Michael Ignatieff: Can He Feel What He Never Experienced? (June 20). Good point, Mr. Murphy. Can Stephen Harper, who spent most of adult life in Alberta, really understand the rest of Canada? Is that why he thought that cutting funding for culture will be popular in Quebec? Would someone able to "see anything of Calgary in Newfoundland" then lecture Atlantic Canadians about having "a culture of defeat"? Does the person who initially dismissed the economic crisis as a good chance to invest really "know" what those people losing their jobs felt?

When Mr. Ignatieff was away, he saw the world, had his ideas shaped by a great diversity of views and, to study and teach at Oxford and Harvard, had to compete against the best. When Mr. Harper was away in Alberta, he got to know, well, Alberta and, being a lifelong Reform/Conservative party apparatchik, knows and trusts only the people who think like him. Anything else deserves only a smirk or an attack ad.

Which one would you want to lead our country in a complicated world?

Piotr Trela, St. John's

Anonymous said...

Craig Donalo - so was only reason for your return to Canada to try to become Prime Minister in very short order? If so, you'd better tell Iggy!