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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 November 27th, 2015 Vol 30, No 13

Big guy, little guy — MLA Manmeet Bhullar interacts with constituent. The former cabinet minister was killed on the highway Monday.
What do I know? How will I die? What sort of death will it be? If I do not forget the Lord Master from my mind, then my death will be easy. The world is terrified of death; everyone longs to live. By Guru’s grace, one who dies while yet alive understands the Lord’s will. O Nanak, one who dies such a death lives forever.
Sikh prayer delivered by Speaker Bob Wanner Tuesday morning before adjourning the Legislature for the day in commemoration of the death of PC MLA Manmeet Bhullar on Monday.

Inside this week

The futility! How the budget process works
The Heritage Fund in a tailspin
Another Dipper straggles west
A mountain of a man falls in mid-trajectory

Political Pulse

Just over a year ago, during a speech to the Progressive Conservative Association membership at the party’s AGM in Banff, then Infrastructure Minister Manmeet Bhullar half-jokingly took a moment to correct those who mispronounced his first name. It was not pronounced “man meat,” with emphasis on the second syllable, he told them, a smile briefly showing through the black beard to acknowledge the double entendre, but rather “mammeet” and with equal emphasis on both syllables. If memory serves, he then went on to talk ...

Talk in the Corridors

As anticipated on these pages recently (Insight, Oct. 30) Alberta Health Services CEO Vickie Kaminiski, 64, has been relieved of her duties, almost six months before her two-year, $580K-p.a. contract was up.The dirty deed marks the first significant act by the AHS’ new board of governors led by ...


  • Nov 28 - Dec 2
    Rachel Notley and an entourage journey to Paris to join the Canadian delegation at the COP21 climate summit as part of the Canadian delegation led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. This latest gathering, we’re told, is a significant one in that it hopes to get a commitment from 143 countries to limit temperature rise to 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels. From what we read, there may be agreement, but commitment and execution will be another matter. As for Rachel’s stated goal of sharing Alberta’s climate strategy with the world, she will be meeting with the CEO of the International Emissions Trading Association and with “representatives from the World Economic Forum.” More interestingly, she will meet with representatives from Air Liquide, a large French corporation that produces hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. This calls to mind a passage from the Andrew Leach panel’s report where technical innovation is being discussed: “We heard ‘moonshot’ ideas where the oil sands become a producer of hydrogen, while leaving the carbon in the ground.”
  • Dec 3
    Lighting of the (coal-fired) Christmas illuminations in the Legislature grounds, between 5 and 5:10 p.m., usually by the Premier. (No word on whether carbon offsets have been purchased.)
  • Dec 4 - 10
    Environment Minister Shannon Phillips makes her trip to Paris to participate in the COP21 events and meetings for subnational gov’t representatives and leaders, including meetings with the Chief Executive of the Committee on Climate Change, the governor of Washington State, and a representative from the California Environmental Protection Agency.