Informative, enlightening, irreverent, witty, and occasionally profane, Insight has, for more than 30 years, become essential weekly reading for hundreds of people working in and around government in Alberta.

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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    Executive Director, Public School Boards' Association of Alberta
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    MLA Grande Prairie-Wapiti
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    Vice-president of constituencies, Alberta Liberal Party, and past president of AUPE

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  • Apr 23 - 27 SPRING BREAK II
    MLAs take their second constituency break, allowing the NDP members to cut ribbons, break ground, and dole out cash—when they’re not holding campaign fundraisers
  • Apr 26 JASON, ART, WINE
    Four Calgary UCP constituencies hold a $150-a-head fundraiser with wine, appies, an art auction, and a speech by leader Jason Kenney at the Winston Golf Club, 2502 – 6 Street NE, 6-9 pm. Tickets at:
    Calgarians wishing to schmooze with Alberta Party leader Stephen Mandel will be granted the privilege at a meet & greet being held at the Genesis Centre, 7555 Falconridge Blvd NE, 5:30-8 pm. RSVP at:
    Prepare to have a Dipper knocking at your door for this is “Neightbour-to-Neighbour Day,” when volunteers in all corners of the province will spend the afternoon spreading the NDP message in a warm-up for the 2019 campaign. Those interested in participating can sign up at:
    UCP members gather at the Sheraton in Red Deer for their founding AGM and policy convention. A busy weekend is in store. Opening ceremonies begin at 6 pm Friday; plenary sessions take place in the mornings and afternoons on Saturday and Sunday; the leader’s speech is on Saturday at 7 pm. Ticket for the three days: $249 for adult members; $149 for students. To register, buy tickets, and get the agenda, go to:

This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending April 21st, 2018 Vol 32, No 81

TMX PROTEST CROSSES POND — Greenpeace activists with the display they prepared outside the Canadian High Commission in London to greet the visiting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. There's been no escaping the pipeline.
An incompetent attorney can delay a trial for months or years. A competent attorney can delay one even longer.
Evelle J. Younger (1918-1989) California Attorney General (1971-79)

Inside this week

Notley and McCuaig-Boyd table Bill 12, the so-called "turn-off-the-taps" bill, but will it ever be enacted?
Justin meets the Queen and a bunch of Greenpeace pipeline protesters in London
Auditor General Merwan Saher submits his swan song. Nothing flashy, just more common sense
Derek the Dead does his best to effect a resurrection

Political Pulse

Following his summit last weekend with the stalemated premiers of Alberta and BC (Insight Apr. 14) , Justin Trudeau resumed his international junket, with stops in France and England. But any hope the PM might have had about escaping pipeline politics for a few days, was spoiled Wednesday morning when he arrived at the Canadian High Commission in London.

About 30 industrious members of Greenpeace had risen early and constructed a 98-foot long fake pipeline outside the entrance to Canada House on Trafalgar Square. Liberal-red signs labelled “Crudeau Oil” were affixed to the pipe and draped the length of the columns of the Greek Revival edifice. Standing proud before the assemblage was a life-sized cardboard Justin (shown) wearing a hard hat bearing the same awfully clever pun…

Top Story

Since Premier Rachel Notley and Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd unveiled their much anticipated “turn-off-the-taps” legislation on Monday, the chattering classes have been all over the place on the constitutionality of the bill, the chances that it will ever actually be enacted, its ability to bring the BC gov’t to heel if it is passed, and whether or not the threat of the bill is an empty bluff tactic. Add to these all the hanging questions surrounding Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX) from past weeks—will Alberta and the feds buy into the pipeline? What will the prime minister’s promised legislation look like? Is Kinder Morgan serious about abandoning the project on May 31?­ Can the BC Aboriginal groups fight it in court? Will the Federal Court of Appeal rule against the project’s approval?—and one is inclined to retreat to one’s bed with instructions not to be disturbed until its all over and the pipeline is either built or killed.

But since we do not have that luxury, we press on. And this week’s story was Bill 12, unctuously named the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act, which wouldn’t actually turn down the oil taps to BC. Rather it would give the energy minister the power to determine what type of oil and how much of it is transported, and by which method (pipeline or rail). This control would be effected…