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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 June 24th, 2016 Vol 30, No 39

GREAT RIGHT HOPE? — Rumours that Federal Conservative MP and former Harper cabinet minister Jason Kenney might make a run for the Alberta PC leadership had conservative hearts all aflutter this week.
The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.
Hubert Humphrey, US Vice President (1965-69)

Inside this week

Rumor's of Jason Kenny provincial leadership bid excite the right
Famous first words: the maiden speeches no one hears
Clamping down on the ABCs. Is it just a political strategy?
Jumbo returns to corporate service banging the same old oil drum

Political Pulse

A frisson of excitement ran down Alberta’s right wing this week following the kind-of, sort-of suggestion that federal Conservative MP and former Harper-gov’t cabinet minister Jason Kenney (Calgary-Midnapore) might actually consider running for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservatives.

At the gun ranges, revival meetings, and banjo-thons where these people gather, the idea spread like buckshot in a trout pond: Could Jason be the Saviour who was prophesied? Is Jason the Great White Hope who will Unite the Right and send the Dippers scurrying back to their Marxist collectives in 2019?

The appeal of Kenney, 48, a portly, seemingly asexual, 19-year-veteran of Parliament, whose looks have been compared to Fred Flintstone’s, escapes most non-conservatives and red Tories. His socially conservative, Irish Catholic inclinations, his claim to chastity, and his previous career with the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation—Satan’s auditor, in the minds of the progressives—gives the Sandra Jansens of this world the heebie-jeebies.We single out Jansen, 53, a potential PC leadership candidate, because…

Talk in the Corridors

In a reformist program with vaguely Soviet undertones, the NDP gov’t is in the throes of a major review and revamp of the multifarious agencies, boards, and commissions (ABCs), established and appointed by its Tory predecessors.

For an NDP gov’t not altogether certain that the diminished PC dynasty has been adequately extinguished, this protracted purge, while saving relatively little money in a universe of $10.4B deficits and escalating public service salaries, provides on-going opportunities to remind the electorate, in sensationalist fashion, of what profligate entitlement hounds those Tory bastards really were.

This week, for instance, Alberta Finance began forcing the provinces 150 or so ABCs, along with the universities, to list the salaries of every employee making more than $125K p.a.­—the “sunshine list” that the gov’t has been promising for almost a year.