Saturday, December 16, 2006

Don't have a Cao, Man


Stelmach Cabinet leaves out Christmas Card Cao!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Alberta Insider's (late) Saturday Spread

As a relatively new (and as yet, not very regular) feature on Alberta's fastest growing political blog, the Alberta Report's exclusive Balzacian Insider will recap the past week of gossip, rumours, lies and damn lies in the heady world of Alberta political affairs.

BALZAC - You didn't have to be in Cardston to hear the Morton train comin' off the rails over the weekend, or the gasps of incredulity coming from Dinning mouths.

Albertans now have their first-ever Ukrainian-Canadian Premier. Slavs across the province were probably wondering what took so damn long!

While Stelmach and company break out the pedaheh under the dome, you'll just have to settle for this week's rolling gravy train of tantalizing tidbits. Enjoy!

The What-if's?
Just in from the Alliance camp is word that Mr. Paul Hinman, the Cardinal of Cardston-Taber, would have been offered a cabinet post had his ideological bed-buddy Ted Morton won Saturday's Tory leadership contest. No word on how that might have gone over in the land of Milk River and honey, where the hottest political issue at the moment is where to build a new divided highway connection to Montana. It seems that former Tory MLA Broyce Jacobs and local Tory business luminaries want it to go their way, exactly where the good townsfolk didn't want it. The Government sided with Jacobs, much to the chagrin of the local yokels.

Fun fact from Cardston-Taber-Warner: Former Alberta Liberal leadership candidate John Reil ran there in 2001, as leader of the ultra-right Alberta First Party. He came in second with nearly 30% of the vote. In the Liberal race Reil wasn't as lucky; he finished third.

The Night of the Long Knives?
There's a rumour making the rounds that Mark Norris may possess a remaining skeleton or two in the closet, unbeknownst to Lyle Oberg. During Marky-Mark's brief tenure as Minister Economic Development, he allegedly rang up a number of expenses on the ol' Government credit card that were questionable to say the least, even for an Alberta Gov't MLA. Of these extra swipes with MLA credit were $1000 shots of scotch and even a new tuxedo for one of Norris's best buddies - and backers. Even the Alberta Report won't mention the Norris knacker, because sources say the gentlemen is equally frivolous with lawsuit threats. The jury is out on what the Premier's office will do now, especially in light of Norris's geographical proximity to the new Premier himself on Saturday night. As a disclaimer, we cannot verify the truth of any of this - yet.

Taft Craps in Cornflakes at Tory Event
Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft had some Tories spittin' mad by his rather brazen approach to garnering media. Failed leadership hopeful Victor Doerksen, among others, told an Alberta report operative that Taft was crossing the line by showing up at a partisan function. Taft, for his part, didn't look like he was enjoying himself. Beet-red, haggard, and beseiged on all sides is not a good look for him. Speaking of lousy looks, did anyone see Iris Evans' conbination parachute/snow pant emsemble? Very nice Madame Minister, very nice.

NDP Talking to Dan Backs?
Sources at yesterday's Ed Stelmach availability in the Legislature TV Room were surprised to overhear Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason speaking with Dan Backs about a meeting. Mason delivered his crop of Stelmach criticism, then spotted the ousted Liberal MLA skulking around as things were winding down in the room. Mason was overheard asking Backs if he was busy later. No word on Backs' reply.

Another Blogger Likes the Alberta Report!
This isn't so much gossip as it is blatant self-aggrandizement, but the good folks at this blog have actually named us as a hot new blog-to-watch. Nice! Now when are the establishment blogs gonna start adding us to their bloody blogrolls already? C'mon guys! Please? Give it up for me my Daveberta Daddy, I just wanna be like you!

Press Gallery Gala Cometh
The politician-and-patrician-studded event of the season is this Thursday at the Faculty Club in Alberta's capital. There's a media black-out on the goings-on inside, but you can trust the good folks at the Alberta Report to dish the dirt. Watch for our sarcasm-laden lampooing of who's drunk, who's hot, and who Calgary Herald Columnist Tom Olsen has on his arm this year (last year it was Global's Carolyn Jarvis).

Send your dirt to:

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Morton, Dinning Sunk


Out With The Old: Klein can be seen here at centre with his biggest supporter, wife Colleen Klein.

(All Photos by the Alberta Report)

EDMONTON - "Thank you all."

With those words an uncharacturistically succinct Honourable Ralph Klein ceded power to the incoming Premier. It was a study in contrasts: Old Klein and relatively new Ed Stelmach, the steady opposite of the former Premier.

The faithful held off the coronation a full hour waiting for the former preem to return from his Chateau Louis excursion. They were rewarded with just three words, "thank you all," the ultimate expression of ingratitude and sore-loserness, a la Klein.

Ed Stelmach and his blue-scarved throng crowed with the adoration due to their run-up-the-middle leadership candidate's run up the middle. Even a long time staffer had trouble articulating Ed's vision - "he's got integrity," she offered, as though "integrity" were some unknown, Venutian element as yet unwitnessed in Alberta politics.

Meanwhile, Klein perched on the arm of the formidable Colleen, while a long queue of lap-topped hacks filed stories into the ether of disinterested Alberta viewership. The stalwarts paced frantically; trying to inject excitement into a story that was, at best, a profoundly boring one.

Such was life at this evening's Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta leadership convention.

Everyone who was anyone was there. From the ink-stained wretch's corner, Dave Rutherford, Graham Thompson, Fletcher Kent, Tom Olsen, Linda Steele, Larry Johnsrude, Sudha Krishnan, Mark Lisaac, Darcy Henton, et al.

From the Liberals: Taft's chief of staff, Taft's caucus outreach coordinator, two other staff flunkies, and what looked like the blogger from Daveberta. Not to mention Taft himself, who looked flushed, aged, and opportunistic in his drive to press the flesh via his personally most unflattering medium, television. One has to wonder: Did he cast a ballot?

No Brian Mason this night, but an anonymous NDP cabal milled about near the cameras, oblivious to their compromising camera position (congrats on being Iris Evans' back-drop, folks).

In the oft chance that Taft did not cast a ballot, a young Jim Dinning supporter (and former student "leader" from the College students' advocacy group) freely admitted to voting twice this day, giving credence to the oft-mentioned creed: "vote early, vote often."

Another flack told our Alberta Report operative that: "Jim Dinning would be there for the next leadership review," presumably one resulting in a poor showing for Stelmach.

There was no such optimism amongst Morton supporters; the first to bolt for the door. Aside from a fervent passion for bible-study, these leather-clad neo-Calvinists have also fervently taken up the role of scorned lovers to the dull new Tory Dauphin. Will they congregate behind the Cardinal of Cardston-Taber? Time will tell.

Who else in the who's who: Dave Hancock, Mark Norris, Victor Doerksen, Gary McPherson, Lyle Oberg (pictured), Huong Pham, Ken Chapman, Gene Zwozdeksy, Iris Evans, former St. Albert player Mary O'Neill. Well, they were all there, prancing in anticipation of the new piper. But what tunes will Stelmach pipe? What tunes will the Tories tap to?

If it's nothing more than the old 4/4, the Tories are in trouble babe, cuz this shit sucks, and it is way past its due date.

- The Xtian Solder. Email me at

TRUE COLOURS: Former contender Oberg shows off the Stelmach scarf with MLA Huong Pham.
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