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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

good grief.

Sometimes I wonder why I'm not involved in federal politics.

Then I'm reminded.

Good grief.

(link from Allie)

Also, it appears that Stephen Harper's Conservatives already have a majority.

chris samuel - canada's next great prime minister.

Here's someone I'd have no problem getting behind! Chris Samuel for Prime Minister!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

more on royalties, politics, etc.

- CBC Edmonton will be hosting a forum on royalties tonight at the Royal Alberta Museum:

Alberta Royalties - Are we getting our fair share? You maybe interested in our upcoming event: CBC PUBLIC FORUM ON THE ROYALTY REVIEW It’s Your Future-Have Your Say! How do oil and gas royalties affect Alberta? Our Jobs? Our Economy?

This is your chance to hear from a panel of industry experts on the controversial recommendation to change Alberta's oil and gas royalties, and have an opportunity to participate in public feedback.

Join CBC for this public forum: Tuesday, October 30th from 7 to 8 p.m.Royal Alberta Museum, 12845-102nd Avenue

Visit our website for CBC's in-depth coverage and analysis at
- Recently nominated Red Deer-South Stelmach Tory candidate Cal Dallas is now in competition with Calgary-Varsity Alberta Liberal MLA Harry Chase for the best name on Alberta's political scene.

- Kevin Taft's Alberta Liberals have outlined their legislative agenda for the Fall Session of the Alberta Legislature which begins on Monday, November 5.

- In what could be one of the hotest and most watched races of the next provincial election, it is being reported that former NBC news anchor Arthur Kent has announced that he will be running for the Stelmach Tory nomination in Calgary-Currie (then again, it was reported by vast left-wing conspiracy theorist Kerry Diotte - a self-described friend of Kent's - so I'll remain somewhat skeptical until I see more credible evidence).

If nominated, Kent will take on popular former QR77 radio host and Alberta Liberal MLA Dave Taylor. Taylor surprised many when he defeated former Tory MLA and high-profile City Councillor Jon Lord in 2004.

- The Alberta Social Credit Party will be holding its leadership selection this weekend. Get out the digestive cookies!

- With the Fall session of the Alberta Legislature beginning on November 5, Ed Stelmach continues to refuse to fire Energy Minister Mel Knight after Auditor General Fred Dunn singled out Knight's Department of Energy for short-changing Albertans by billions of dollars after failing to collect resource revenues over the past 15 years under the current royalty regime.

Here is what Dunn said of Knight's Department of Energy:

"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."
- Meanwhile, in fairytale land, Rachel Notley is spending her time attacking the Alberta Liberals in letters section of the Edmonton Journal, letting Stelmach's Tories off the hook for his compromising on resource royalties.

Considering that any New Democrat gains will only come in Edmonton at the expense of the Alberta Liberals, it's no surprise that all my Tory friends love the New Democrats. Leave it to a small third-party candidate to completely miss the real target on purpose.


I found this in my email inbox this morning.

The quality isn't that great but, as the artist who sent this wrote, "my photoshop skills suck, but so does Ed Stelmach. Call it an interpretive piece of art."

Monday, October 29, 2007

stelmach tory revitalization? ask stephane dion.

There may have been some young folks at this weekend's Alberta PC convention in Calgary, but that doesn't mean that there's a new crew steering the S.S. Stelmach. You don't have to look too far to see that it's still the same stodgy crew running the show.

There are currently 61 Progressive Conservative MLA's in the Legislature and with 42 of those have been re-nominated (19 of the 42 re-nominated Tories have sat in the Legislature for a decade or more), it's going to be hard to make the case that the Alberta PC's are going through a 1993 Ralph Klein-style reinvention.

With Ed Stelmach failing to stand up for Albertans by compromising on resource royalties and continuing to refuse to fire Energy Minister Mel Knight after Auditor General Fred Dunn singled out Knight's Department of Energy for failing to collected billions of dollars in natural resource royalty revenues owed to Albertans, it's clear that it's business as usual in the halls of the Tory government.

With the likes of Lyle Oberg, Lloyd Snelgrove, Ray Danyluk, and Luke Ouellette running the show, a close look will reveal the same old stodgy Stelmach Tories.

Similar to the Liberal Party of Canada under Stephane Dion, the Alberta Progressive Conservatives failed to realize that simply changing your leader doesn't equal revitalization in the minds of voters. Like Dion's Federal Liberals, the Stelmach Tories have embraced institutional mediocrity and have clearly not begun to undertake the road to revitalization and re-branding that occurred under two previous 1990's-era leaders.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

how ed stelmach compromised on royalties and might get away with it.


Dear Premier Ed Stelmach,

Please find below six-easy steps on how to compromise the interests of Albertans on the royalty review.

1) Appoint a friendly-voice such as Bill Hunter to chair a committee to review and make recommendations on Alberta's natural resource revenue framework.

2) When Bill Hunter releases the report, do not give details but react to the report as if it will include radical and dangerous changes to Alberta's economy (focus on dangerous).

Stay quiet on the royalties issue and give the opposition parties and oil companies time to post their opposition or support of the report (this will keep us from compromising the $15,000 annual donations to the Alberta PC Party from the oil industry).

The tone of the report should be critical of Ralph Klein's Tory government, but the recommendations should be fairly moderate and tame (DO NOT bring up the fact that you were a central member of Klein's cabinet for a decade).

3) After weeks of silence, muse about responding to the report during your 'State of the Province' address. If you change your mind and decide to announce the next day, don't worry about it, the prime-time address will only cost $145,000. We have lots of money in the PR budget, so we can do both.

Respond to the report by only adopting some portions of the report (you will know which ones to adopt when we get the speech from the Public Affairs Bureau).

This will allow you to appear as a moderate who is balancing the interests of Albertans and the oil industry. Though you will deny it, you will clearly be compromising the interests of Albertans to the oil companies by not collecting a reasonable share of royalties (remember of those $15,000 annual political donations, Premier!)

Important! stay stern, Premier. DO NOT be as obvious as to tell the media to "please don't call this a compromise".

4) Use the Public Affairs Bureau to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of advertising in all the major Alberta newspapers (including a full-page ad in the front-section of the Globe & Mail). The ads should reinforce the idea that you did not compromise (see 3 for explanation). Ads should include blue and orange colours.

5) The fallout from your announcement should overshadow smaller and more damaging issues such as Auditor General's report slamming Ralph Klein's government and the Department of Energy for failing to collect billions of dollars in royalty revenues since the 1990's (AGAIN, DO NOT bring up the fact that you were a central member of Klein's cabinet for a decade - this is critically important!).

Also, stick to your guns and don't fire the Minister responsible for the Department of Energy, Minister Mel Knight. He supported and delivered votes for you in the PC leadership race. You owe him. Think about sending him out of the province for a couple of weeks after the review to let things cool down.

6) Stand proud, sit back, and enjoy your heroic glory, Premier Stelmach.

Albertans won't have a clue what happened.

Friday, October 26, 2007

ed stelmach compromises albertans on the royalty review.

I have three main thoughts on Ed Stelmach's royalty position and the past couple of days:

1) "Please don't say it's a compromise," were Ed Stelmach's words after announcing the Tory position on royalties. The quarter-page ad in today's Edmonton Journal didn't convince me.

Sorry, Premier. You compromised.

Rather than taking a truly historical position, Ed Stelmach's Tories have clearly compromised with the oil sector at the expense of Albertans. By taking a slow (a perhaps "dithering") approach by only adopting certain portions of the already moderate and tame "Our Fair Share" report Stelmach has compromised the interests of Albertans in favour of oil companies that are posting record profits.

Ed Stelmach's compromise with the oil companies includes increasing royalty rates by only $1.4 Billion across the sector starting in January 1, 2009 and not reaching this amount until 2010. This gives oil companies over a year to reap the rewards of current royalty system, which was created when oil was $11 a barrel. This compromise includes only moderate increases in royalties for companies such as EnCana, who have posted the largest annual profits in Canadian history. I have no problem with these companies making a profit, but these natural resources do not belong to the oil companies, they belong to Albertans.

Stelmach's $1.4 billion will be $500,000,000 less than the amount recommended by the "Our Fair Share" report - which again was seen as a moderate and tame report to begin with (the $1.4 billion was also supported by Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft) . Other reports, such as this report released by the Parkland Institute, recommended a more aggressive approach to royalty revenues.

A Premier should stand up for the interests of the citizens of his/her province. Stelmach didn't do that. Instead, he compromised with the oil companies and made it clear that he is willing to hand over the potential of Albertans natural resources to the oil companies, rather than allow Albertans to directly benefit from the resources that they own in the first place.

2) Where's the accountability? Mel Knight remains Minister of Energy even after Auditor General Fred Dunn singled out Knight and the Department of Energy for failing to collect billions of dollars in resource revenues over the past 15 years.

Here is what Dunn said of Knight's Department of Energy:
"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."
Former Auditor General Peter Valentine has been appointed to investigate, but don't expect any heads to roll in this scandal.

3) There is very little talk about why Stelmach decided it was a good idea to spend $145,000 of public dollars to hold a prime-time infomercial on Wednesday night which only offered vague platitudes and sweeping visuals of Alberta's foothills. Maybe the Public Affairs Bureau is bored?

There is much debate over this issue, here are some opinions and responses floating around the blogosphere:

- The 5 R's - Calgary Grit
- A Half Billion Short - Le Revue Gauche
- Royalty Check - Andrew Coyne
- Stelmach's Choice - The EcoLibertarian
- Premier Stelmach Brought Progressive Conservative Politics Back to Alberta Tonight - Ken Chapman
- Alright, everybody exhale now - albertatory
- National "Eddie" Program - The Black Kettle

kevin taft on stelmach's royalty compromise.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

alberta's royalty review: who's side is ed stelmach on?

I spent a good chunk of my evening at a reception hosted by Spieker Point, an Edmonton-based political consulting firm, where I had a chance to take a look at some of their new online political software (and enjoy the really good cheese and political discussion). Thanks to Allie for the invite.

Because I haven't had a chance to take a close look at the details of Ed Stelmach's resource royalty announcement from this afternoon, I will take a look at recommendations and provide some more detailed comments tomorrow.

But considering the media is reporting that Stelmach's Tories are only adopting certain portions of the fairly moderate and tame "Our Fair Share" report, I'm not sure it's going to be as 'historic' as the Public Affairs Bureau would like Albertans to believe.

A friend offered the following commentary by email tonight:

The reaction in this Post opinion piece is pretty funny:

The premier, a farmer from Northern Alberta, showed little appreciation for the implications of his actions, suggesting the sector will continue to thrive.

Emphasis added. Not a farmer! Silly old Northern Albertan farmer. Clearly incapable of appreciating the high finance world of Toronto investment bankers and Calgary oil execs. :)

This story paints a less doom'n'gloom portrait:

Mr. Stelmach's announcement came on the same day that the price of oil surged to an all-time high, and three of Canada's biggest oil and gas companies reported stellar third quarter profits buoyed by high energy prices.

While the Public Affairs Bureau might not have written a very inspiring speech last night, their timing here was brilliant. And, perhaps, a bit lucky.

ed stelmach tv.

So, how about last night's 18 minute, $145,000 prime-time infomercial?

As it was already widly known that Ed Stelmach will be responding to the royalty review this afternoon, I'm still confused as to why Stelmach's Tories felt it necessary to use taxpayers dollars on an infomercial that was purposely vague?

As expected, Stelmach's much-awaited televised address Wednesday evening offered only vague hints on how he will ensure Albertans get the fair share the panel said they have been long denied.

I'm not sure what channel my friend Ken Chapman was watching (though as always, he has interesting observations), but at one point during Stelmach's less than inspiring performance, I thought that he was trying to sell me a condo at Del Boca Vista Phase III.

During the address, Stelmach took some vague swipes at his former boss, Ralph Klein, and his closed-door style of leadership (this probably would have been an effective strategy had Stelmach not been a member of Klein's inner-circle for nine-years and leads a government made up of the same Ministers and MLA's).

So, all eyes turn to this afternoon when Albertans will find out whether 'Accountability and Transparency" in the face of a challenge from Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft, the 'Our Fair Share' royalty review, and a damning report from Auditor General Fred Dunn will actually faze Ed Stelmach's Tories.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

daveberta does edmonton city hall.

Yesterday afternoon, I crashed the swearing-in ceremony of the 2007-2010 Edmonton City Council. Here is the documentation.

The crowded hall.

Newly elected Ward 4 City Councillor Ben Henderson is sworn-in.

The first meeting of Edmonton City Council following the swearing-in ceremony.

Newly elected Ward 5 City Councillor Don Iveson in his new digs.

Don Iveson and myself on the temple-like steps of City Hall.

I also took some video footage of Don Iveson's being sworn-in as one of Ward 5's City Councillors.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

kevin taft on the royalty review.

Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft explains the bottom line on oil and gas royalties: they must rise at least 20%.

Monday, October 22, 2007

blinded by the sun.

To the guy who nearly smacked me in the face this morning in front of Commerce Place while offering me a free copy of the Edmonton Sun, back off!

edmonton election 2007: the undiscovered country.

It has now been a week after the October 15, 2007 Edmonton Municipal Election and I've had a chance to put together some thoughts on this new Council...

New Councillors: Tony Caterina (Ward 3), Ben Henderson (Ward 4), Don Iveson (Ward 5), and Amarjeet Sohi (Ward 6). These new Councillors will definitely shake up the current political structure on City Council.

Returning Councillors: Karen Leibovici and Linda Sloan (Ward 1), Kim Krushell and Ron Hayter (Ward 2), Ed Gibbons (Ward 3), Jane Batty (Ward 4), Bryan Anderson (Ward 5), and Dave Thiele (Ward 6). And of course, don't forget Mayor Stephen Mandel.

It will be very interesting to watch the new dynamic between members of this City Council.

With Don Iveson defeating Mike Nickel in Ward 5, it looks like new Ward 3 Councillor Tony Caterina is the heir to the now empty right-wing seat on Council. It will be intesting to see if Caterina will take note of Mike Nickel’s missteps and learn that cooperation and collaboration with other Councillors, rather than confrontation, is the only way to accomplish goals on City Council.

With three of four new City Councillors having been elected on progressive forward looking platforms, Don Iveson, Ben Henderson, and Amarjeet Sohi are strong additions to Council and will bring forward some new ideas and fresh perspective in the next three years. They will find allies in Linda Sloan and Dave Thiele, but will also need to cooperate with other Councillors in order to implement some smart change in City Hall.

There are some big issues facing the new Council...

Sustainability and Smartening up Growth

A common theme of many candidates (new and returning) was the need for smarter urban planning. Like I wrote for CBC Edmonton during the election, it’s time this City Council to look outside the box in order to create a plan in order to deal with urban sprawl and growth issues. This includes building up more density in the inner core (smart infill and alternatives such as more Transit-Oriented Development).

Growth issues that this Council need to face is also dealing with the challenges that growth brings to the public transit system. With the expansion of Edmonton’s LRT southwards, it will be critical that the new Council take a serious look at redesigning the current transit route system in order to respond to the needs of Edmontonians – especially those in the far reaching areas of the city. It’s also time for the city to get more aggressive during community consultations in explaining to neighbourhoods the advantages of what Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will being to public transit in Edmonton.

Decades of not properly maintaining our municipal infrastructure have caused major deterioration of Edmonton’s roads and transportation systems (which was partially due to the provincial government downloading services to the municipalities while failing to increase public funding).

As well, affordable housing is a key area that the City of Edmonton will need to step in to create affordable homes for people to live in.

Also, implementing smarter growth strategies and initatives will be the key to delivering more effective and cost-efficient public services in order to improve the quality of life in Edmonton.


Unless the provincial government takes a strong role in creating a regional cooperation and cost-sharing framework, it will be unlikely that the dozens of cities, towns, villages, and counties in the region will come to a decision themselves.

Though it is promising to see that St. Albert’s new Mayor Nolan Crouse is interested in working with the City of Edmonton on regional issues, there still remains a substantial amount of conflict between many of the smaller municipalities (not to mention Edmonton and refinery-rich Strathcona County).

As I’ve written before, public transit is a perfect example of where the Capital City regional municipalities can work together.


It’s time for City Council to address some of the key democratic issues in Edmonton civic politics including the ridiculous size of Edmonton’s Wards. Edmonton needs to take a serious look at reforming the Ward system to create smaller, more manageable Wards (perhaps, 12 or 14 Wards). It's also time for Edmonton to take a look at creating regulations on political donations for election candidates (as a response to the complete lack of any restrictions and regulations on political donations at the municipal level in Edmonton).

It’s also important that City Council position itself to be prepared for the next provincial electoral boundary redistribution to ensure that the growing city doesn’t once again fall victim to the rural Tory powerbase and lose representation in the Alberta Legislature.

There is a lot of potential for this City Council in the next three years and I will be watching with interest…

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

throne speech?

Woah! There was a throne speech this week?

I clearly stopped paying attention to Federal Politics a long time ago...

kerry diotte's close encounters of the left-kind and other conspiracy theories.

In trying to justify Don Iveson's stunning defeat of Mike Nickel in Ward 5 in the Monday, October 15, 2007 municipal elections, Edmonton Sun columnist Kerry Diotte has a new theory.

Instead of giving the much deserved credit to 16,848 Ward 5 voters who cast their ballots for Don Iveson, a strong candidate with a solid platform and very well-organized and dedicated volunteer campaign team, Diotte has declared that Mike Nickel was "short-changed by a vast left-wing conspiracy that was really behind his defeat.

It's pretty clear that Diotte is short-changing the voters of Ward 5 with his Drudge-style internet conspiracy theories.

And after listening to Nickel's only election night media comment before kicking the media out of his campaign office, it's not hard to believe that he rubbed Ward 5 voters in the wrong way:

"At the end of the day, I'm going to go make some money, which I should've been doing for three years anyway."
If there's a support group for people like Diotte, I suggest he look for one, and invite Mike Nickel too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

edmonton election 2007: more on iveson.

From today's Edmonton Journal...

Iveson's name recognition campaign planned by skilled volunteers
Gordon Kent, With files from Francois Marchand, The Edmonton Journal
Published: 7:45 am

EDMONTON - The biggest upset in Edmonton ward politics this decade began at a February meeting where Don Iveson and five advisers began to map out his strategy for winning a seat on city council.

Iveson, 28, had never sought public office and was running in Ward 5, where the seats were filled by high-profile incumbents Bryan Anderson and Mike Nickel.

But over the following few months, he and his informal communications team worked out the details about what material to put into the hands of voters, whether lawn signs were needed and the best ways to use the Internet.
Read the rest!

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?

election congrats!

Though you wouldn't know if by reading this blog, Monday, October 15 was a day of Municipal Election Days across Alberta. There are three successful candidates who ran in races in towns and cities across Alberta that I would like to congratulate.

In the Town of Drumheller, Andrew Berdahl was elected after placing a strong second in a race for six seats. This is Andrew's first-term on Drumheller's Town Council. Andrew is a younger guy and will bring some fresh perspective to Drumheller Town Council. Congrats and Good Luck!

In the City of St. Albert, former Alderman Nolan Crouse did St. Albertans a favour by keeping two-time former Mayor Richard Plain out of the Mayor's chair. I first met Mayor-elect Crouse last fall while I was part of the team advocating and lobbying for the Universal Bus Pass (U-Pass) for University of Alberta students in St. Albert (Don Iveson was a key player on our team). Though we didn't agree on everything regarding the program, I respected his common-sense stance (Crouse voted in favour of the U-Pass). Congrats!

In the north western Alberta City of Grande Prairie, Alderman Bill Given was re-elected to City Council by placing a strong first-place in a race for eight seats. Bill is one of the few Municipal representatives in Alberta to reach out in to the world of blogging and online communications. Congrats!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

edmonton election 2007: don iveson's victory in ward 5!

As many of you who came out to the Blackdog to celebrate Don Iveson's campaign and victory in Ward 5 will attest, it was a rocking party. Now some of it is preserved on YouTube...

Don Iveson gives an interview following his election...

Don Iveson's victory speech...

edmonton election 2007: the morning after.

I am a little sore after a night of celebrating Don Iveson's victory in Ward 5, but I would like to congratulate all the candidates and their campaign teams for their hard work.

Here are some thoughts on last night's results...

Mayor: Stephen Mandel received a much lesser than expected second mandate of 65% (compared to predictions of 80%), leaving last-minute candidate Don Koziak and his Core Values with the 25% anti-Mandel vote. Also, marijuana enthusiast Dave Dowling actually placed third...

Ward 1 - Councillors Linda Sloan and Karen Leibovici road the easy train to victory last night placing +8,000 votes ahead of challenger Andrew Knack.

Ward 2 - Kim Krushell and Ron Hayter were also easily re-elected (Hayter for his 11th term).

Ward 3 - With the retirement of Councillor Janice Melnychuk, both conservative Tony Caterina and progressive Harvey Voogd fought hard for the Ward 3 seat. Caterina prevailed. Ed Gibbons was re-elected.

Ward 4 - In a very close three-way race, Jane Batty, Ben Henderson, and Lewis Cardinal duked it out in this hot Ward race. Batty placed first with Henderson and Cardinal placing incredibly close to each other in second and third place. Ward 4 will now be represented by Jane Batty and Ben Henderson.

Ward 5 - The story of the night was in Ward 5, where my friend and candidate of choice Don Iveson pwned incumbent-Councillor Mike Nickel.

Don and his team campaigned hard using solid traditional campaigning techniques with a mix of online communication tools (such as a solid website, blogs, Google ads, and YouTube videos) and presented a solid platform (using full-sentences, rather than vague bullet points).

Having knocked on many doors for Don in Ward 5 over the summer and fall, it wasn't hard to sense an appetite for change.

Don Iveson's election in Ward 5 proved that incumbency isn't the all protecting shield that some pundits, such as Jim Lightbody, would preach.

Don also placed not too far behind incumbent-Councillor Bryan Anderson.

Needless to say, I am very proud of my new representation on Edmonton City Council!

I was also live-blogging from the Don Iveson victory party.

Ward 6 - The dogfight between Amarjeet Sohi and Chinwe Okelu ended in a tight victory for Mr. Sohi! Both were strong candidates and I think Ward 6 will do well with Sohi as their Councillor. Incumbent Dave Thiele was also re-elected.

Turnout - Was low.

Next Post: What does this means for Edmonton, City Council, and the future?

Monday, October 15, 2007

ward 5 councillor don iveson.

I am very very proud to announce that my good friend Don Iveson is the new City Councillor for Ward 5. Smart Growth. Efficiency. Environmental Responsibility. Vibrant Communities.

Ward 5 have elected a good candidate today.

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 44 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 17867 33.76%
Don Iveson 16848 31.84%
Mike Nickel 14597 27.58%
Brent Michalyk 3610 6.82%

Congrats to Don. Congrats to the campaign team and volunteers, and congrats to Ward 5 for making a great choice!

edmonton election 2007: ward 5 showdown/live at the underdog/election results party.

I'm live from the Don Iveson Campaign Party at the Underdog on Whyte Avenue!

8:15 p.m. - The Underdog is filled with Don Iveson supporters. A photographer from the Edmonton Journal is taking picture of me live-blogging as I write.

8:17 p.m. - The Edmonton Journal has a story with me taking on U of A Political Science Professor Jim Lightbody on incumbency re-election.

8:25 p.m. - Live results will soon be posted at Edmonton Election. U of A Students' Union President Michael Janz is arguing about provincial lobbying with fellow students.

8:29 pm - First results rolling in: Ward 5: Don is in second place with 5 polls reporting...

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 5 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 1264 33.19%
Don Iveson 1192 31.30%
Mike Nickel 1103 28.97%
Brent Michalyk 249 6.54%
There is cautious optimisim in the room as the mood is excited!

8:42 pm - After some computer difficulties, the Underdog is rocking as 17 polls are released in Ward 5:

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 17 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 6540 33.61%
Don Iveson 6487 33.33%
Mike Nickel 5090 26.15%
Brent Michalyk 1344 6.91%

Don Iveson is in a solid second. Still a lot of polls to come in, but volunteers are pumped!

8:44 pm = Beers are flowing as the excitement fills the room. Cautious optimism, but major excitement. The room is now packed. Don Iveson and his wife Sarah Chan are milling with the campaign volunteers in the room.


COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 23 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Don Iveson 9007 33.78%
Bryan Kent Anderson 8940 33.53%
Mike Nickel 6859 25.72%
Brent Michalyk 1860 6.98%

Half the polls reporting! The room continues to bounce. I'm taking another drink! Reporters cameras are going off in every direction. Half of the polls to come in, but this is exciting!

Mandel is cleaning house in the Mayors race. Eugene Plawiuk is here joining the fun!

8:51pm - Tight races in Ward 3, 4, and 6. Still tight in Ward 5, but there is something going on here. The room is now packed. A young excited crowd is filling the room.

8:53 pm - 29 polls reporting in Ward 5!

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 29 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 11716 33.55%
Don Iveson 11563 33.11%
Mike Nickel 9238 26.46%
Brent Michalyk 2402 6.88%

Don is now in second to Anderson and Nickel is still trailing in Ward 5!

8:55 pm - Tight race between Chinwe Okelu, Chuck McKenna, and Amarjeet Sohi in Ward 6. Jane Batty, Ben Henderson, and Lewis Cardinal tight in Ward 4.

My good friend Anonymotron is talking on the phone with the wife next to me about Tony Caterina's strong placing in Ward 3.

Still close in Ward 5. The tension in the room is unbearable!

9:01pm - Campaign Manager Chris Henderson, Deputy CM Leanne Brown, and U of A SU VP External Steven Dollansky are closely watching the results. It's exciting, but still some more polls to come in. It's very hot in here.

I think Stephen Mandel might win.

Live-blogging is fun.

9:05 pm - It's been a really long time since the last poll update. The room is booming. I just got another beer. Campaign partiers are crowded around the three or four laptops in the room. thank god for wireless.

9:07pm - The sweat is pouring off the roof of the Underdog. If you're not busy tonight, come on down to the rocking Don Iveson party. Cautious optimism. Cautious optimism.

9:12 pm - New results - 41 out of 44 in Ward 5 - Bryan Anderson and Don Iveson in the lead. Nickel 1200 votes behind Iveson!

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 41 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 16782 33.73%
Don Iveson 15821 31.80%
Mike Nickel 13773 27.68%
Brent Michalyk 3380 6.79%

The house is errupting. But still 3 polls left. It's almost done! Can three polls make a big enough of a difference? We shall see. Reporters are crowding in the room. My good friend Don Iveson is doing very well. It's up to those three last polls!!!

9:16 pm - I just spoke with a campaign volunteer from the Ben Hendsonson campaign in Ward 4, it's a dog fight in Ward 4. Still waiting for the last three polls in Ward 5!

9:17pm - Councillor Bryan Anderson just called to congradulate Don Iveson. We're moving to the Blackdog upstairs!

Liberal Leader Kevin Taft has joined the party! So has Tory candidate Raj Sherman!

9:23 pm - Where are those three polls!?!?!?

9:29 DON DON DON DON DON DONDONDONDONDON! It's DONE Ward 5 has demanded better than their Nickel's worth! Don Iveson is elected!

COUNCILLOR - WARD 5 44 / 44 Polls Reported
Candidate Name # of Votes % of Votes
Bryan Kent Anderson 17867 33.76%
Don Iveson 16848 31.84%
Mike Nickel 14597 27.58%
Brent Michalyk 3610 6.82%

Don Iveson has been elected. Brilliant. Congrats to all for their hard work.

I'm getting another beer.

live from don iveson hq.

Volunteers are pouring in and out of Don Iveson's campaign headquarters in Edmonton's Ward 5.

Phones are ringing off the hook. The website is buzzing. Campaign volunteers are working hard to get the vote out. With an episode of the West Wing playing in the background, the Edmonton Journal has released a new story about voter turnout in Ward 5:

The biggest voter turnout today has been in Ward 5, where two incumbent councillors, Bryan Anderson and Mike Nickel, are facing a challenge from 28-year-old Don Iveson and one other candidate. Ward 5, in southwest Edmonton, traditionally has a high voter turnout; its population tends to be higher income and better educated.

where to find the results.

Once the polls close at 8:00 p.m. tonight, updated results can be found at Elections Edmonton and CBC Edmonton.

And of course, I will be providing live commentary from the Don Iveson for Ward 5 Election Night Party at The Underdog.

vote today and vote for don iveson in ward 5!

Today is Election Day in Edmonton and it's important that you get out and vote!

See my previous post for more information on what you need to do in order to and where you need to go to vote!

Also, I encourage voters in Ward 5 to join me in supporting Don Iveson to become one of Ward 5's two City Councillors.

Don's ideas for Edmonton and Ward 5 will bring a much needed new perspective to Edmonton's City Council.

Don has run a substance-based campaign focused around the three principles of Efficiency, Environmental Responsibility, and Vibrant Communities - and more on his campaign website.

Don has also released a number of YouTube videos focusing on Smarter Urban Planning, Public Transit, Affordable Housing, and Community Consultation.

Edmonton's Jam Union has also released a great podcast interview with Don.

As mentioned previously, I will be live-blogging commentary and election results from the Don Iveson campaign party at the Underdog on Whyte Avenue after the polls close at 8:00 p.m.

UPDATE: I've voted!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

get out and vote tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Edmonton's Municipal Election, so remember to get out and vote!

To vote, you must:
* be at least 18 years old,
* be a Canadian citizen,
* be a resident in Alberta for the six consecutive months immediately preceding election day (as of April 16, 2007)
* be a resident of Edmonton on election day,
* not have voted previously in this election

Voting stations will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

DON'T FORGET - all voters must present identification at the polls. The ID, such as an Alberta Driver's Licence, Alberta Health Care Card or a Canadian passport, must confirm your age and identity.

To find out where to vote, click here.

For more information on the election, click here.

To read profiles of the Mayoral and Ward elections, see below.

Edmonton Election 2007: Race Profiles
The Non-Race for Mayor
Ward 1
The Race in Ward 2
A Race in Ward 3
Something about Ward 4
Choice in Ward 5
Wrath of Ward 6

election night live-blogging.

Tomorrow is Election Day in Edmonton and I will be live-blogging tomorrow night after the polls close at 8:00 p.m. from the Don Iveson for Ward 5 campaign party at the Underdog on Whyte Avenue (on the extreme northern boundary of Ward 5).

Election results, blogging, and beer. A solid election night combination.

edmonton election 2007: my predictions.

In preparation for tomorrow's Edmonton Municipal Election, here are my predictions for the Mayor, City Council, and Edmonton Public School Board elections...

2007 Edmonton Municipal Election Predictions
1. Stephen Mandel
2. Don Koziak
3. Dave Dowling

Ward 1
1. Karen Leibovici
2. Linda Sloan
3. Andrew Knack

Ward 2
1. Kim Krushell
2. Ron Hayter
3. Dave Loken

Ward 3
1. Ed Gibbons
2. Harvey Voogd
3. Tony Caterina

Ward 4
1. Ben Henderson
2. Lewis Cardinal
3. Jane Batty (within 1,000 votes)

Ward 5
1. Bryan Anderson
2. Don Iveson
3. Mike Nickel

Ward 6
1. Dave Theile
2. Amarjeet Sohi
3. Chinwe Okelu

Edmonton Public School Board
Ward A
1. Bev Esslinger

Ward B
1. Wendy Keiver
2. Ken Shipka

Ward C
1. Sue Huff
2. Don Williams

Ward D
1. Dave Colburn
2. Amanda Beisiegel

Ward E
1. Ken Gibson
2. Neil MacDonald

Ward F
1. Don Fleming
2. Susan O'Neil

Ward H
1. Catherine Ripley
2. Neil Robblee

Ward I
1. Gerry Gibeault
2. Judith Axelson

Saturday, October 13, 2007

a day with don iveson in ward 5.

On Thursday, October 11, I joined Ward 5 City Council candidate Don Iveson and volunteers for an afternoon and evening of campaigning. Here's my story of the day:

12:30 p.m. Don Iveson and his Deputy Campaign Manager Leanne Brown pop by my house to pick me up.

12:45 p.m. We start doorknocking in the Belgravia neighbourhood. As a first time candidate, I was surprised at the amount of positive support Don got at the doors. The big issues I heard of at the doors with Don were transportation, and the sorry state of our roads and planning in Edmonton.

It also wasn't uncommon to hear complaints about the demon dialing ways of another Ward 5 candidate.

We also got eight lawn sign requests in less than an hour in Belgravia. Go team!

1:50 p.m. Don, Leanne, and I head off to the Queen Alexandra Seniors Lodge in the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood.

Don spoke to a group of about 40 seniors and covered a wide range of issues. Following Don's introductions, the residents had a chance to ask Don questions about his platform and what his stances as a City Councillor for Ward 5 would be.

Questions ranged from snow removal, the labour shortage, the difficulty of keeping up with Alberta's and Edmonton's growth, roads and potholes, sidewalk maintenance, and the state of infrastructure in Edmonton's mature neighbourhoods (such as Queen Alexandra).

Don's was also able to cover issues spanning from smarter planning, public transit, road maintenance, education, and fair taxation.

As we were leaving the Seniors Lodge, one of the residents leaned over to Don, thanked him for speaking to the residents, and told Don that he "had learned more about Edmonton in the one hour talking with Don than he had in the past 10 years." Touching and powerful.

3:10 p.m. Leave the Queen Alexandra Seniors Lodge and hard off towards Riverbend!

3:30 p.m. - We stop to have a quick lunch at the Fresh Start Cafe in Riverbend neighbourhood. I had a great roast beef sandwich with a tomato soup (not really relavent to this story, but good none the less).

While at Fresh Start, we meet up with Dr. Rob Agostinis, President of the Terwilliger-Riverbend Advisory Council, who joins us for some doorknocking in Riverbend.

3:45 p.m. After a quick lunch, Don, Leanne, Dr. Agostinis, and I head off to Riverbend to do some doorknocking!

Some big issues at the doors in Riverbend include transportation, I hear something at the doors that sticks in my head:

"there is a great willingness to take public transit, if service was improved and made more convenient for the residents in Riverbend."
I also canvass a surprising amount of families who will be voting for Don Iveson and Mike Nickel. An interesting mix. There seems to be quite a bit of hostility towards Ward Five's other City Councillor, Bryan Anderson, in this neighbourhood.

I also sense some strong support for Edmonton Public School Board candidate Catherine Ripley in this area.

7:10 p.m. Now that the sun has set, I join Don and his team as we depart Riverbend, pick up another volunteer, and head to downtown Edmonton to listen to an urban development lecture at the Citadel Theatre. The lecture was part of the Edmonton 2007 Cultural Capital of Canada program delivered by Dr. Roberta Brandes-Gratz.

Dr. Brandes-Gratz is an award-winning journalist and urban critic, lecturer and author of The Living City: Thinking Small in a Big Way, and Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown. She is an international lecturer on urban development issues and former reporter for the New York Post.

It was a very interesting lecture (and really makes me wish I studied Urban Planning, rather than Political Science). Dr. Brandes-Gratz had some great quotes, here are some I remember:
"Urbanism cannout exist with out the layers of history."

"Density is not a problem, overcrowding is."

"Urbanism does not exist with out denisity, density breeds diversity, diversity defines a city."

"Lively diverse cities contain the seeds of their own rejuvination."
As much of Don's campaign has centered around vibrant communities and efficiency, this lecture was particularly fitting.

While filing out after the talk, we bumped into former City Councillor Gene Dub who wished Don good luck in the final days of his campaign (Dub has also endorsed Don).

9:00 p.m. After Dr. Brandes-Gratz's lecture, we joined fellow audience members and delegates of a national urban planning conference at a reception hosted by the Edmonton Arts Council

While at the reception (and enjoying the complementary wine and brilliant goat cheese), we were joined by retiring Ward 3 City Councillor Janice Melnychuk. Though the conversation began as a review of the talk, it soon turned to discussion about the final days of campaign.

9:45 p.m. Leaving the Citadel Theatre reception, I continue to tag along with Don and team as we head back to headquarters (not headquaters) in the Malmo Plains neighbourhood, but not before we pick up some pizza, and drive through Belgravia to put up some of those lawn signs that were requested earlier that day.

10:30 p.m. We arrive back at the campaign headquarters after a long and hard day of campaigning. We open up and the pizza and start the daily debrief and small talk.

It was a good day, but with only a hand full of days left in the 2007 Edmonton Municipal campaign, the final push over the weekend is what will make the difference on Monday, October 15, 2007.

Friday, October 12, 2007

edmonton election 2007: choice in ward 5.

In what should have been an easy re-election of two incumbents, the 2007 election in Ward 5 has ended up as a three-way race.

The main challenger to the two incumbents is Don Iveson (who I am proud to call a friend).

Running on the message of Smart Sustainable Growth for Ward 5, Don Iveson is easily the strongest and most energetic candidate running in in this Ward. As the underdog of the race, Don Iveson's team has relied on volunteer power rather than the expensive American-style demon dialing of one of the incumbents.

With a solid platform centered around the principles of efficiency, environmental responsibility, and vibrant communities, the residents of Ward 5 and the City of Edmonton would be well-served by the fresh voice and ideas that Don Iveson would bring to the next City Council.

Since the beginning of the campaign, Don Iveson has gained the support of some of Edmonton's strongest advocates including retiring City Councillors Michael Phair and Janice Melnychuk, former MLA Don Massey, Edmonton-Strathcona MLA Raj Pannu, and former City Councillors Larry Langley and Gene Dub.

Incumbent Councillor Bryan Anderson, whom I consider an "inoffensive" candidate has served on City Council since 1995 and though he has been a lower profile Councillor, has been a strong constituency worker. Much like Dave Theile in Ward 6, Anderson should beware of voters starting to think that he's been around for too long.

Incumbent Mike Nickel (aka Mr. Demon Dialer), who was first elected in 2004 after failing to be elected Mayor in 1998 and 2001, is widely believed to be running re-election in order to set himself up for a 2010 Mayoral campaign. Part of Nickel '10 includes the Nickel campaign's fronting of pro-Nickel candidates in other Wards (Tony Caterina in Ward 3, Debbie Yeung in Ward 4, and Chuck McKenna in Ward 6).

Nickel, who, along with Mayoral candidate Bill Whatcott, is a fan of Ted Morton, proudly supported Morton in the 2006 Tory leadership selection over local-boy and moderate conservative, Edmonton-Whitemud MLA Dave Hancock.

Though Nickel has a reputation as an opponent towards any City involvement that does not include bare bones core services (such as his strident opposition to the Universal Bus Pass for University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College students) he should be respected for standing firm and actually believing in his Ronald Reaganesq-vaules. That said, it's 2007 and the Reagan-era ended in 1988.

With serious transportation and urban sprawl issues facing Ward 5 now and in the immediate future, it's important that Edmontonians in Ward 5 look carefully at these candidates and support the candidates who will fight for smart growth in Ward 5.

2007 Candidates
Bryan Anderson
Don Iveson
Mike Nickel
Brent Michalyk

2004 Election Results
Bryan Anderson - 19,650
Mike Nickel - 16,803
Donna Finucane - 15,123
Al Slemko - 6,576
Ian Crawford - 5,307
Jung-Suk Ryu - 3,817
Katie Oppen - 2,029
Adil Pirbhai - 533

Facebook Race
Don Iveson for Ward 5 City Councillor - 366 members

edmonton election 2007: the wrath of ward 6.

Edmonton's Ward 6 covers the entire southeast section (Mill Woods) of Edmonton and includes some of the most ethnically diverse areas of the City. Not shying away from its reputation for delivering raucous election campaigns, Ward 6 presents an interesting race for 2007.

With the overdue retirement of long-time Councillor Terry Cavanagh (who was appointed and defeated as Mayor two-times since first being elected to Council in 1971), there are no shortage of candidates lining up for the challenge of representing Ward 6.

Incumbent Dave Theile, who was first elected in 1998, is seeking re-election. Though I like Theile's easy-going style, he may be reaching the point of getting too comfortable in his City Council chair. Hopefully he won't fall victim to the 'big chair syndrome' if he is re-elected on Monday.

Two of the main challengers lined up are Chinwe Okelu and Amarjeet Sohi, and both are in a dog fight with each other after mounting very strong campaigns (and both aren't shying away from their partisan connections to help them over the top - Okelu as a Liberal and Sohi as a New Democrat).

Okelu, who has run in Ward 6 in 1998, 2001, and 2004, placed a very strong third in 2004 against Cavanagh. This is Sohi's second run at Ward 6, having placed a strong fourth in 2004.

I've met both candidates a number of times and though both would be effective advocates for Ward 6, I've been particularly impressed with Amarjeet Sohi's work with Public Interest Alberta.

With both of the main challengers holding decent name recognition, boasting strong teams and platforms, and campaigning hard I wouldn't be surprised if either of them won (or if both of them won).

The 'other interesting candidates' category includes Lori Jeffery Heaney who is a former Councillor from the Summer Village of Val Quentin and right-wing 'Mike Nickel' candidate Chuck McKenna.

2007 Candidates
Lori Jeffery-Heaney
Chuck McKenna
Chinwe Okelu
Amarjeet Sohi
Dave Thiele*
Tomas Dennis Vasquez

2004 Election Results
Dave Thiele - 16,128
Terry Cavanagh - 14,725
Chinwe Okelu - 12,877
Amarjeet Sohi - 8,077
Barbara Ann Thompson - 6,339
Terry McKinnon - 2,908
Sean Diakiw - 1,013

Facebook Count
Friends of Chinwe Okelu - 19 members
Elect Amarjeet Sohi for Ward 6 Councillor - 80 members

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

more edmonton municipal election posts!

Coming soon: Race profiles of Ward 5, Ward 6, the Edmonton Catholic School District and Edmonton Public School Boards, as well as my predictions for Monday October 15, 2007.

give me a p-a-t-r-o-n-a-g-e!

For those who doubted the existence of the culture of entitlement and partisan patronage present under Alberta's 36-year Tory regime, I present Case #9731.

Edmonton... Edmonton lawyer and community volunteer Douglas Goss has been designated chair of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)’s Board of Governors.
It just so happens that Doug Goss is also the co-chair of the Stelmach Tories' election campaign.

For more information on Tory political patronage in Alberta, click here, here, and here.

out-of-the-box development.

I have a new post up on CBC's Edmonton Votes 2007 in which I discuss Transit-Oriented Development - one alternative to the current reckless urban sprawl-type development we are witnessing.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

it's about a plan.

I have a new post up on CBC's Edmonton Votes 2007 on some ideas about how Edmonton can be savvier in the way we let our city grow while avoiding the mistakes that other cities have made in not managing their growth and development properly.


edmonton election 2007: something about ward 4.

It must be something in the water that attracts the flood of candidates that Ward 4 perennially does.

There are 15 candidates running in this Ward with one vacant seat left by retiring Councillor Michael Phair. I don’t blame Phair for retiring after 13 years on City Council, but his retirement has cost Edmonton its easily most effective and progressive member of City Council.

That said, there are some pretty good candidates running to replace Phair.

Ben Henderson (who I am supporting and voted for when I lived in Ward 4 in 2004) is the front-runner to take Phair’s seat. Henderson placed a unusually strong third place in 2004 – nearly defeating Councillor Jane Batty (who is seeking re-election).

Ben Henderson has a strong team (including his wife – Edmonton-Centre MLA Laurie Blakeman) and has been campaigning hard since April. Henderson is a strong candidate with strong ties to Edmonton’s Community Leagues and Arts Community.

Another candidate who I’ve been fairly impressed with is Lewis Cardinal. Cardinal, a consultant and aboriginal social activist, has laid out a good platform and would be a strong and effective voice on City Council.

A Ben Henderson and Lewis Cardinal Ward tag-team could be the most effective Edmonton has seen in years.

The only other two candidates who I would classify as ‘serious’ are Jane Batty and Debbie Yeung. Batty, who was first elected in 2001, is what I like to consider an ‘inoffensive candidate,’ I don’t have much against Batty but she hasn’t been the strong advocate that one would expect would come out of an eclectic district like Ward 4.

Third-time candidate Debbie Yeung has stunned Edmontonians with her campaign team's superior website designing skills, but her platform hasn’t really diverged from the typical right-wing pablum that usually comes out of candidates aligned with the likes of Mike Nickel (which she is).

Other entertaining candidates include former Ward 6 City Councillor Sheila McKay (who claims she invented the LRT), Reverend Brian Patterson (who thinks prayer would solve fire response problems), Adil Pirbhai (a perennial candidate), Margaret Saunter (of Christian Heritage Party of Canada fame), and Brian Wissink (who clearly has no idea what he’s getting himself into).

2007 Candidates
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

2004 Election Results
Michael Phair - 23,219
Jane Batty - 14,352
Ben Henderson - 12,475
Debbie Yeung - 10,500
Thomas Roberts - 1,945
Dale Ferris - 1,702
Paul Welke - 1,417

Facebook Count
Elect Ben Henderson - Ward 4 - 40 members
Lewis Cardinal for Ward Four - 382 members
Rev. Brian Patterson for Edmonton City Councillor, Ward 4 - 17 members
Vote Brent Thompson for Alderman (Ward 4) - 138 members
Change for Ward 4 (Brian Wissink) - 8 members

mayoral forum.

The Vote Project will be hosting a Mayoral Forum tomorrow night (October 10) at Red Star (10534 Jasper Avenue NW) starting at 7:30 p.m.

It's your chance to hear what the Mayoral candidates have to say!

Monday, October 08, 2007

building a big tent in ward 5.

Don Iveson has received another round of endorsements in his campaign to represent Ward 5 on Edmonton City Council.

Recent endorsements include:
- Larry Langley (Ward 5 Councillor, 1995-2004)
- Janice Melnychuk (Ward 3 Councillor 2001-2007)
- Dr. Gary McPherson (Former PC leadership candidate)
- Gene Dub (Architect, Ward 2 Councillor 1977-1980)

Earlier endorsements included:
- Michael Phair (Ward 4 Councillor, 1992-2007)
- Dr. Don Massey (Alberta Liberal MLA Edmonton-Mill Woods, 1993-2004)
- Dr. Raj Pannu (New Democrat MLA Edmonton-Strathcona, 1997-present)
- Ellen Shoeck (Author of I was there, an alumni history of the University of Alberta)
- Alex Khan (President, Malmo Plains Community League)
- Dr. Don Carmichael (University of Alberta Political Science Professor)

edmonton election 2007: a race in ward 3.

With the retirement of two-term Councillor Janice Melnychuk, the open seat in Ward 3 has captured the imagination of a couple interesting candidates (though not the floodgate of 15 candidates vying for the vacant seat in Ward 4).

Contenders for Ward 3 include social activist and Friends of Medicare head Harvey Voogd and businessperson Tony Caterina. You might remember both of them from previous races such as Voodg’s 2001 adventure with the New Democrats in Edmonton-Norwood and as a candidates for the short-lived elected Capital Health Board. Tony Caterina's previous adventures include time as Ward 3's third place candidate in 2004 and the Alberta Alliance in provincial constituency of Edmonton-Centre in the same year. I'm sure both Voogd and Caterina are hoping that the 'third time's a charm.'

It should be a close fight between Voogd and Caterina for the vacant seat, but with Voogd as the natural candidate for the northeast’s Liberal and New Democrat voters, I’m predicting Voogd has the edge over Caterina.

Incumbent Councillor Ed Gibbons will most likely be safely re-elected. Even though Ed Gibbons hasn’t been the most effective voice on City Council, his long-time involvement in Ward 3 has bolstered his name recognition in Edmonton’s northeast. Gibbons is the former President of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues and served one-term as the Liberal MLA for Edmonton-Manning from 1997 to 2001.

Ward 3 has elected a number of luminaries in the past, including former Mayoral candidate Robert Noce, current leader of the New Democrats Brian Mason, and former Edmonton-East Federal Liberal MP Judy Bethel.

2007 Candidates
Kyle Balombin
Tony Caterina
Ed Gibbons*
Shiu Wing Mak
Chris Martin
Chris Roehrs
Thomas James Tomilson
Harvey Voogd

2004 Election Results
Janice Melnychuk - 21,020
Ed Gibbons - 17,524
Tony Caterina - 9,416
Joan Duiker - 5,978
Kyle Balombin - 3,334

Facebook Count
Tony Caterina for Ward 3 - 48 members
Chris Martin for Edmonton City Council - Ward 3 - 118 members

Saturday, October 06, 2007

reveal yourselves,

The scandal has received no shortage of attention in the blogosphere - you can find some good posts on this astroturf here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The astroturfing has also spread to the emerging facebook world.

Luckily, online civil society is alive and well as another group is set up calling on the Government to 'Do what's right for Alberta.'

But, the question still remains: who is behind Hill & Knowlton's

The debate over Alberta's natural resource royalties is too important to include anonymous stakeholders. Reveal yourselves!

edmonton election 2007: the race for ward 2.

There is a pretty straightforward race in northwest Edmonton’s Ward 2.

Ron “ten-terms isn’t enough” Hayter is seeking his eleventh-term on Council. This is unfortunate, because Edmontonians would do well to rid themselves of the dead weight of having Hayter in the Council Chambers (I’m sure he was an effective City Councillor when he was first elected in 1971).

Hayter’s ward-mate, Kim Krushell, shouldn’t have much of a problem getting a second-term representing Ward 2. First elected in 2004, Krushell was EA to former Ward 5 Councillor Larry Langley before running in Ward 2. Though I have some reservations about Krushell’s cutthroat networking style, she has been a fairly effective advocate on City Council (her spearheading of the Universal Bus Pass for University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College students on City Council was a particularly bright spot).

Both Hayter and Krushell are facing some interesting challengers though. Dave Loken and Jabin Caouette, who both ran in 2004, have come off as more tight and together with their ideas and presentation than they did three years ago. Unfortunately for first-time challenger Shelley Tupper, crying during her speech at the first Ward 2 forum has set an unfortunate tone for her chances on October 15.

Dave Loken will have a good chance in 2010 if and when either a) Hayter FINALLY retires for good in 2010 (don’t bet on it), or b) Krushell take a run for the Mayor’s chair in 2010.

2007 Candidates
Jabin Caouette
Ron Hayter*
Kerry Hutton
Kim Krushell*
Dave Loken
Shelley Tupper

2004 election results
Ron Hayter - 18,386
Kim Krushell - 12,966
Dave Loken - 7,512
Don Koziak - 7,289
Tim Hajar - 4,542
Mimi Williams - 3,978
Kerry Hutton - 1,820
Larry Thomson - 1,629
Jabin Caouette - 1,526

Facebook Count
Re-Elect Kim Krushell: 56 members