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Friday, April 04, 2008

suiting up for spring session #1.

With the Spring Session of the Alberta Legislature set to begin on April 14, here's a part of the pre-game show that I will be spotlighting over the next ten days...

- Back for a 9th season. It's unlikely that anyone in the Tory caucus will take a run to unseat the Boss Hogg of Alberta politics from his throne. Yep, I'm speaking of Speaker Ken Kowalski (Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock). Kowalski was re-elected to his 9th term in the Assembly on March 3 after having been first elected MLA in 1979 (which also happens to be the same year that the Dukes of Harzzard aired...).

- Keep an eye on the guy from the north. After getting the boot in Tory Premier Ed Stelmach's post-election cabinet, Guy Boutilier (Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo) might not be too happy-go-lucky about his new backbench real estate (in both Legislature office and assembly seating terms). Boutilier was first elected MLA in 1997 after serving as Mayor of Wood Buffalo. If anything, he'll at least have former Klein-era Ministers Heather Forsyth (Calgary-Fish Creek) and Pearl Calahasen (Lesser Slave Lake) to keep him company in the backbenches...

- New faces in the 11-member opposition. Newly elected Alberta Liberals Kent Hehr (Calgary-Buffalo) and Darshan Kang (Calgary-McCall), and New Democrat Rachel Notley (Edmonton-Strathcona) are the new faces in Alberta's opposition benches. It will also be interesting to see how Alberta Liberal Leader Kevin Taft (Edmonton-Riverview) and New Democrat leader Brian Mason (Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood) carry themselves in this session following their setbacks in the March 3 election.

- Who art thou? With Tory MLA Sharaz Shariff's defeat to Darshan Kang in Calgary-McCall, the Assembly will be looking for a new Deputy Chair of Committees. Following the last election, Shariff was outsted as Deputy Speaker by fellow Tory MLA Richard Marz (Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills) in a seemingly obvious Rural clique v. Calgary power struggle in the Tory caucus. Though most all Albertans could probably care less who the Deputy Speaker and Deputy Chair of Committees are, they are important indicators of the power politics of the governing caucus.

- License Plates. As far as I can tell, Heather Klimchuck (Edmonton-Glenora), a rookie Tory MLA and Minister of Service Alberta is going to be spending most of her time overseeing the important project of designing Alberta's new licence plate.


Anonymous said...

You must think that you are so funny, hey? YOU and YOUR Liberal friends should shut up and listen to the majority of Albertans who voted Tory.


Anonymous said...

"Kowalski was re-elected to his 9th term in the Assembly on March 3 after having been first elected MLA in 1979 (which also happens to be the same year that the Dukes of Harzzard aired...)."


Anonymous said...

Any comments to the rumour Dave Taylor is thinking of leaving for the private sector?

Just as a hypothetical, don't you think would be purely disingenuous and the height of opportunism to quit so soon after an election? (Just hypothetically, in case you want to reserve judgement on Taylor.)

I mean, heck, it's not like he was the Party Leader and got his head handed to him, which would be an understandable excuse to phase out into retirement (in 2009, say). But a departure within months of being re-elected - if that was true the guy should get an invoice for the cost of the by-election.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Service Alberta and Minister Klimchuk will take seriously the task of restoring security to Alberta's Registry Services.

The outsourcing of these Registries has allowed far too many criminal exploits. US Homeland Security now expects that if an illegal immigrant has setup a fake ID, they probably started the process in Alberta. Makes me feel safe, not. :(

The answer to this problem is not "harder to copy" ID's, which is what Service Alberta's focus was up until now. These people aren't copying ID's, they are getting access to government systems and generating real IDs from fake names!

Registries need to be brought back in house, with all employees facing strict government scrutiny before being handed access to such important systems. We can no longer outsource these tasks, the risk is too high.

Anonymous said...

Taylor will probably run for the Liberal leadership whenever that is. Why would he resign? It's his time to shine. He has an audience.

As for the rest of the Liberals I hear that Laurie Blakeman will be running for Speaker which is grand. Laurie is the anti-Ken Kowalski and eventhough she won't win, she'll be doing a lot more than the Tory women MLAs in that caucus. I wonder what Klimchuk's opinion on front end license plates is.

Anonymous said...

Dukes of Hazzard was canceled in 1984. One can only wonder what the Dukes would be up to if they had lasted as long as Kowalski.

Anonymous said...

Laurie Blakeman rocks.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Anonymous said...

I voted for Kang.

Jonathan said...

I'd have to say that bf sounds quite graceful in victory.