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Ric Dolphin is president of Dolphin Media, Inc. and the editor and publisher of Insight into Government, a weekly newsletter available by subscription. He reports on Alberta political affairs from the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

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Week ending September 23rd, 2016 Vol 31, No 03

LEG. BABY 2 — Associate Minister of Health Brandy Payne shortly after giviing birth to her second daughter, Cassidy, on July 23. Husband Scott and first daughter Zoe, 5, help celebrated. This will be the second infant granted entry to assembly and plans are underway for family friendly accoutrements within the Legislature.
They say that these pipelines are nation building, and they’re right.” said Berman to a group of hursute protesters. “They’re building a nation of resistance, and from Northern Quebec where thousands of people are joining town halls against Energy East, from northern Ontario, in Alberta, across British Columbia we are seeing people standing up, people taking a stand for the future to ensure that we can build a Canada that we are proud of again
Tzeporah Berman, environmental activists and a Shannon Phillips appointee to the Oilsands Advisory Council, speaking to those protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, Burnaby Mountain, 2014

Inside this week

The Heritage turns 40 not with a bang but a whimper
Doug Schweitzer, Calgary lawyer and a darling of the progressives, suddenly pulls the plug on his PC candidacy
Insight's annual review of K-12 educational salaries and finances
An all party committee conceived in love, falls into dysfunction when the NDP tries to push through its election finance rules

Political Pulse

For one or other of those competing Calgary groups that have sprung up in the last year to bring the right together—Get Alberta Working, or Alberta Prosperity, or Annihilate the Orange Bastards… one loses track—the young Calgary lawyer, former Manitoba PC party President, and Jim Prentice’s 2014 leadership campaign manager Doug Schweitzer, 37, was the golden boy: youthful, confident, polished, centrist… almost—dare one breathe it?—Lougheedian.

At least that’s what his fan base were selling. We find him a tad dull.Anyway, Doug was all set to announce his candidacy for next March’s Progressive Conservative Leadership contest. He had, he said, “attracted a talented team, and developed campaign infrastructure that is unrivalled” and team Doug had reputedly hosted “hundreds of meetings across Alberta.”

Talk in the Corridors

We can’t help it: the name excites visions of pagan stuff: witches, goblins, dark forests, and, well, wild-eyed eco hippies from British Columbia. For that of course is what Tzeporah Berman, whom Environment Minister Shannon Phillips appointed as one of many co-chairs on Alberta’s 15-member Oilsands Advisory Group, is. Or what she might seem from a distance. And certain intemperate remarks Tseporah has made about the “tar sands” —i.e. they resemble Mordor—and the need for no more pipelines, have excited the Wildrose opposition, Ezra Levants’s Rebel Media, and other right-wing planet burners. Not to mention the Liberal, PC, and Alberta parties.

Her celebrated activism and affiliations in BC, most famously as an organizer of the 1992 mass protest of clearcut logging in Clayoquet Sound—


  • Sep 27
    Stephanie McLean, Minister of Women, in her ongoing crusade for unisex boardrooms and a diaper change table in every loo, speaks at the KNOVO Awards: Celebrating corporate gender diversity, Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, 1415 14 Ave NW, Calgary
  • Sep 27
    The Heritage Savings Trust Fund committee holds its public AGM in the Rocky Mountain Room on the second floor of the Federal Building between 7 pm and 9 pm. Your chance to grill AIMCo CEO Peter Uebelein.
  • Sep 28
    Happy Birthday to Education Minister David Eggen, born 54 years ago in Brazil.