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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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Oil Prices

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Top Tweets

1

So far Kenney campaign fined for cheating & staffer kicked out for awful behaviour? When someone shows you who they are, believe them #AbLeg

2

No, CTV, these are not "unconventional ideas." They're unconstitutional ones. Get it straight. https://t.co/ScwA7SW3Au

3

But he hugged her, as he likes to do. There's that. https://t.co/ZF5SCncB3s

5

The Supremes saw Justin & Sophie's $100 million demands for 24 Sussex Drive, and wanted to show him who's higher on… https://t.co/xJwCb9YsXH

Upcoming

  • Jan 14- 21 PC DSMS RAMP UP
    PC leadership delegate selection meetings (DSMs) continue apace with gatherings in Calgary-McCall (14th, 2 pm), Calgary-Elbow (18th, 7 pm), Calgary-Klein (19th, 7 pm), Drumheller-Stettler (19th, 7 pm), Edmonton-South West (19th, 6:30 pm), Whitecourt-Ste. Anne (19th, 7 pm), 7 pm), Cardston-Taber-Warner (20th, 6pm), Livingston-Macleod (20th, 7 pm), Calgary-Varsity (21st, 9:30 am), Grande Prairie-Smoky (21st, 9 am). For more details:http://leadership.pcalberta.com/delegate-selection-meetings/.
  • Jan 16- 20 ELECTORAL BOUNDARY HEARINGS
    First week of public hearings by the five-member Alberta Electoral Boundaries commission begins on the 16th in Edmonton at the Ramada Edmonton Hotel at 10:30 a.m., with four more hearings in Edmonton on Monday and Tuesday, before moving to Fort McMurray on Wednesday, Peace River & Grande Prairie on Thursday, and Red Deer on Friday. For more info or to register as a presenter: http://abebc.ca/public-hearings/#ajax-target
  • Jan 16- 20 BUDGET CONSULTATIONS
    Finance Minister Joe Ceci will hold pre-budget consultations with selected groups of “stakeholders” in Grande Prairie & Fairview (16th), Red Deer (17th), Redwater (18th), & Calgary (20th). The general public are not invited, but for all the good it will do, you can submit comments online.
  • Jan 20- 20 TRUMP TAKES POWER
    Alberta’s senior representative to the U.S. Gitane De Silva will be among the invited guests for the innauguration of Donald Trump as 45th President of the United States outside the Capitol Building in Washington, DC, on what is forecast to be an unseasonably warm day (60˚ F).
  • Jan 21- 21 JEAN IN WAINWRIGHT
    “Beef with Brian” $100-a-plate dinner featuring Wildrose Leader Brian Jean (Fort McMurray-Conklin) to raise funds for MLA Wes Taylor’s Battle River-Wainwright constituency association. Park & Trestle pub, Wainwright, 5 pm. RSVP at 587-878-0756.

This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending January 13th, 2017 Vol 31, No 16

JANE HOLDS COURT — Following her flying visit to Fort McMurray, Hollywood activist Jane Fonda hosts a press conference in Edmonton calling for an end to oilsands development
I guess the lesson is we shouldn’t be fooled by good looking liberals.
Jane Fonda expresses disappointment with Justin Trudeau's pipeline approvals

Inside this week

JANE AND RACHEL CLASH OVER OILSANDS DEVELOPMENT
KENNEY DOMINATES THE PC LEADERSHIP RACE
MAJOR CHURN IN THE GOVT'S POLITICAL RANKS
TRINITY SCHOOL GETS A REPRIEVE FROM A GRUMPY JUDGE

Political Pulse

With the delegate selections for the Progressive Conservative leadership heavily favouring him, Jason Kenney had to have been feeling his oats this week. But at two well-attended “town halls” in Calgary and Edmonton, he tried hard to portray himself as a self-less servant of the people.

Arrogance, he told the 500 or so people at the Edmonton event, was the major reason the PCs were defeated and decimated in 2015. “The solution, it seems to me, is humility,” said Kenney, 48, channeling his inner Jesuit. “And humility doesn’t just mean just uttering that word, but actually humbling yourself. And that’s not something that politicians do naturally [audience laughter]… you do it by admitting where you went wrong, by listening actively to what the other side says about you, and then changing your direction. And that’s what I propose to do.”

He insisted that he is not running for the PC leadership with the ambition of becoming premier…

Top Story

It was not so very long ago that everyone called them “tar sands.” It wasn’t a pejorative, but merely a descriptive term for the tarry treasure once seen as the ideal substance for paving Alberta’s roads. Long after that idea proved unworkable—bitumen turned to sticky flypaper in the hot summer sun—and extraction technology, perfected in the 1960s, positioned the resource as a promising, almost limitless, source of crude oil, the monicker persisted as a perfectly acceptable synonym for the new term adopted by the first major commercial extractor and incorporated into its name: Great Canadian Oil Sands (later Suncor). Premiers from Ernest Manning through Ralph Klein used both terms interchangeably.

At some point in the ’noughties, however, this changed­. It was around about the time the environmentalists latched onto Global Warming­ (as it was called in those simple days), discovered there was a disproportionate amount of CO2 emitted by energy intensive oilsands operations, and labelled bitumen “dirty oil.” And since “tar sands” sounded gunkier, stickier, and, well, dirtier than oil sands, it became the preferred term among among the pals of the planet…