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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 April 29th, 2016 Vol 30, No 31

UNHISTORIC AGREEMENT — In a picturesque photo op, Premier Rachel Motley signs a "protocol agreement" with chiefs from Treaty 8. On the left, Chief Roland Twinn and Deputy Grand Chief Isaac Laboucan-Avirom; to the right Indigenous Affairs Minister Richard Feehan. The agreement essentially says that the gov't and the treaty council will talk about stuff from time to time.
Committee--a group of men who individually can do nothing but as a group decide that nothing can be done.
Fred Allen

Inside this week

Joe Ceci touts his budget in Toronto and New York just as Moody's downgrades the province's bond rating
Wildrose leads the Q1 fundraising sweepstakes while the Tories suck the hind teat
During their week off from the Legislature, cabinet ministers hand out cash around the province

Top Story

It’s one of those rituals in which finance ministers feel obliged to partake—like kissing the Blarney for an Irishman, or suiting up and playing hockey for the Edmonton Oilers—symbolic gestures, which accomplish little, but provide spiritual salve to the adherent and bestow upon him a degree of esteem among his friends and public for having at least made the effort.

Such has been the case for years with Alberta’s finance ministers who inevitably feel they must make the obligatory trip to the financial centres of Toronto and New York to “tell Alberta’s story” and “consult with investors.” And this week it was Joe Ceci, accompanied by deputy minister Ray Gilmour and ADM of risk management Lowell Epp, who made the sentimental journey east.

Political Pulse

The first-quarter contribution fi gures postedby Elections Alberta, suggest that the Wildrose’savid telephone fundraising is paying off ,with the party having raised $448,912.71 in thefi rst three months of 2016 (about $350K afterexpenses). The NDP were not too far behind,with $398,843.71—ruling parties tend to be thebelle of the ball for lobbyists and others seekingfavour.

Meanwhile the poor old ProgressiveConservative party, the wallfl ower at the dance,was a distant third with $105,436.45—less thanhalf what they got last quarter.As has always been the case for the Rosers,the bulk of the contributions came from