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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a calgary-glenmore induced cabinet shuffle?

I briefly touched on this point in my previous post, but the potential for a cabinet shuffle before the fall session of the Legislative Assembly begins in October seems imminent after yesterday's results in the Calgary-Glenmore by-election. I started hearing serious rumours of a cabinet shuffle during the spring session of the Assembly. They mostly began following the announcement of the deficit in the 2009 provincial budget and intensified following the controversy over Bill 44.

A shuffle within Finance & Enterprise is the rumour I've heard most frequently. With Minister Iris Evans being in the most unfortunate position to have tabled Alberta's first deficit budget in 15 years, it wouldn't be completely shocking if Premier Ed Stelmach wanted this position shuffled. Sources close to a PC cabinet minister have told me that Advanced Education & Technology Minister Doug Horner is seen as the natural fit for this position. Horner is well-respected and has been a competent Minister in his current portfolio.

The resignation of Deputy Premier Ron Stevens left Stelmach without a recognized Calgary Lieutenant in his cabinet. Although she doesn't have the type of corporate Calgary credentials as Stevens, I could see the Deputy Premier role being filled by Justice Minister Alison Redford.

With Children's Services Minister Janis Tarchuk reaching the end of her political rope, Evans could easily be shuffled back into the Children's Services portfolio, an position that she passionately filled from 1999 to 2004.

For Advanced Education & Technology, I have heard a number of names floated including PC backbenchers Len Webber, Janice Sarich, Doug Griffiths, Jonathan Denis, Dave Rodney, and cabinet ministers Heather Klimchuk and Ted Morton. I have a difficult time believing that Morton would be moved from Sustainable Resource Development (a ministry where he is recognized as being competent), the results of the Calgary-Glenmore by-election make it likely that a Calgary MLA will be picked.

I'm told that many inside Stelmach's inner circle take great joy in comparing themselves to the government of Peter Lougheed. If this is a motivator, I could easily see both Horner and Webber, two second generation PC MLAs whose father's served in Lougheed's government, be appointed to elevated positions around the cabinet table.

UPDATE: Len Webber has been appointed Minister of Intergovernmental and International Affairs. This appears to be Premier Stelmach's only new appointment to the Cabinet.

Further UPDATE: From the GOA:

Premier Stelmach also named Calgary-Egmont MLA Jonathan Denis as the new Parliamentary Assistant for Energy. Cardston-Taber-Warner MLA Broyce Jacobs becomes the Parliamentary Assistant for Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD). And Battle River-Wainwright MLA Doug Griffiths moves from his role as the Parliamentary Assistant in ARD to become the Parliamentary Assistant for the Department of Solicitor General and Public Security.


Anonymous said...

I heard they were going to swap Knight with Morton?

Anonymous said...

I'm one of the life-long Conservatives that voted for Hinman in last night's Calgary Glemore by-election. Ed Stelmach, and most of the cabinet he's assembled, have done more damage to the province of AB in the past 2 yrs than most of the previous 40 yrs of Tory work have done to build it. Ed just doesn't get it - it's not the recession you dummy - it's you. Do the right thing and step down Ed. You're way over your head.

Anonymous said...

I am also a former PC board member and activist. With the exception of Ted Morton there are few "conservatives" left in the PC Party worth supporting. To keep Ted relegated to SRD would be a further slap in the face. If Ed is wise he will promote Ted Morton and other conservatives in an attempt to reconnect with his party's (former) base.

Denny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert G. Harvie, Q.C. said...

I love the "anonymous" PC supporter posts. If you want some credibility, you'd best put your name out there - otherwise, the "I used to be a PC supporter", or, worse, "I am a former PC board member and activist.." is just, well, lame to the extreme.

Either you're a liberal poser, or, worse, you're a gutless wonder who is wanting to straddle both sides of the fence. You want to bring down the Premier, but don't want to put your name to the post "in case" he sticks it out and whatever plumb you were hoping to come to you as a result of political involvement evaporates.

Is the Premier perfect? Hardly. There are some problems in the party, and, personally, I would like to see the party move stronger to the right, particularly as regards civil service spending and reducing government involvement in our lives.. but, for the most part, the "wine" in Calgary is fermented from greed in those who have lost the free and easy money that was coming from the oil patch.

This is not a government for big oil - it's a government for Alberta. If you want a "big oil" government, go vote Wild Rose.

Otherwise - either put your name to your post, or shut your pie-hole.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice to see Len or Jonathan or Doug being appointed to cabinet, they are great MLA's who work tireless for their constituents and are all strong conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Ted Morton has to get a promotion as both of the rural municipalities in his riding (md of foothills/ Rocky view county) have now opted out of the Calgary Metropolitan plan. Unfortunately, he oversees this effot in his role as Minster of sustainable development. Ultimately he will probably have to force these muncipalities to participate--- which will not go over well with his constituents.

Gauntlet said...

I'd be surprised to see Iris take Childrens' Services at this point, given that the Bosco controversy is focussed around a treatment centre in (or near) her own constituency. I mean, she might take it. But if she does it would be because she has no choice, or political judgment, or interest in re-election.

Anonymous said...

Knight is widely regarded as incompetent and he should be shuffled. I think Morton is a good bet for Energy. A right wing Calgarian in that portfolio would be good for Ed in the wake of the election, rather than one of his old rural buddies. He's been defending Knight for way too long. Tarchuk should definitely go too. Giving her the boot would help him send a message that he's going to insist on accountability. He won't in reality, but it might be perceived that way.

But ultimately there's not a lot of talent to choose from. I think Evans is over her head in Finance - she just doesn't seem to be in command of the issues when she speaks - though I don't know if there's a workable alternative.

Anybody know if the cabinet is going to shrink? Collapsing a couple ministries might also send a good signal. That way you actually get to fire a couple of bozos rather than just demote them.

Berry Farmer said...

Dear roblaw,

I was a member of the PCs (I voted for Ed) and now I'm not. I agree with you that this is not a government of big oil, but my problem is that I have no idea about what this government stands FOR anymore. You say it is a government FOR Alberta, but what does that mean?

Royalty changes... backtrack.

Alberta Health Payments cancelled... services cut.

Defenders of democracy... silencing critics.

Protecting the environment... not ensuring correct measuring in the Heartland.

Promising accountability... not conducting a cost benefit analysis of power line construction.

Where is the direction? Where is the integrity?

I also agree that if people in this province want to move to an big energy government then the WRA is the way to vote.

What's our choice if we still want to call ourselves centrists but are embarrassed about the lack of conviction and the lack of transparency, freedom of expression and incompetence?

Signed respectfully name and all),

William Munsey
New Sarepta, AB

Anonymous said...

The one choice is the PC Party of Alberta.

Denny said...

When it comes to Evans it's important to note that she and Stelmach have a long standing relationship stretching back to before either of them entered provincial politics, when they worked together as Reeves of neighboring counties. Evans was also one of Stelmach's earliest supporters when he was seeking the PC leadership. I don't see Stelmach doing something to her that would be viewed as a demotion. I wouldn't be surprised if he took her off of finance, but he'd likely give her something else viewed as prestigious if he does so.

Anonymous said...

i hate to say it, but none of you really have a clue what you are talking about. not a clue. but it is fun to muse, that's for sure.