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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Top Tweets


BC wants to stop Trans Mountain: Notley takes action, Kenney wants to talk. #ableg #abndp


Glad to see over 1000 Canadians have already signed my petition demanding the federal government stop the illegal a…


Ahh good. The international press is now reporting on Pierre Jr, making a fool of himself in India #cdnpoli


Outrageous that the official opposition leader gets donations of an undisclosed amount by undisclosed people to def…


What a clown. Flies in to #yyc, charges 50k to speak & says crap like“I’m sorry Alberta but we have to keep that fu…


    Feb. 19—Family Day events at the Legislature include a magic show, puppetry, roving musicians, movies, and art displays. Elsewhere museums and historic sites will offer free admission. For more info go to:
    The Environment & Parks ministry holds information sessions on its Draft Provincial Woodland Caribou Range Plan, a land-management initiative aimed at recovering and achieving self-sustaining populations of the threatened species in northern Alberta. Tuesday’s session is in Whitecourt from 3 to 8 pm at St. Joseph Parish Hall, 5538 Mink Creek Rd.; Thursday’s session is in Edmonton between 3 and 8 pm at Kingsway Legion 14339 50 St. More info at:
    Culture & Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda journeys to Seoul & PyeongChang Korea in support of Travel Alberta and Canada Beef promotions at the Olympics, to meet with the vice-governor of Gangwon province (a sister province to Alberta since 1974), and to “observe Olympic events.” Total cost for this trip and the Olympic junket by Deputy-Premier Sarah Hoffman the preceding week, is estimated at $45.2K.
  • Feb 21 SALES TAX: YES OR NO?
    The Economics Society of Northern Alberta hosts an event entitled “The Pros & Cons of a Sales Tax for Alberta,” with speakers arguing for and against a PST (aka “Political Suicide Tax.”), including Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan (con?), UofC economist Bev Dahlby (pro?). 7:30 am - 12 pm, Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Tickets $45-$60 at:
    Feb. 21—“Shindig with Shannon,” a $250-a-head fundraiser in support of the reelection of Banff-Cochrane NDP MLA Cam Westhead (who will be running in the redrawn riding of Banff-Kananaskis) and featuring an appearance by Environment & Parks Minister Shannon Phillips. Starts at 6:30 pm at the Canmore Nordic Centre. For tickets and info on this & other NDP fundraisers go to:
    The 9th annual Growing the North Conference, an economic development, innovation, & networking event for businesses & municipalities happens in Grande Prairie. Spearkers include Economic & Trade Minister Deron Bilous (12:30 pm, Wed.), Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd (12:15 pm Thu.), Aurora Cannabis VP Cam Battley (3 pm, Wed), & retired Fort McMurray fire chief Darby Allen (3 pm, Thu); at the Evergreen Park ENTREC Centre; registration & info:
    Calgary-Acadia UCP constituency association holds a $100-a-head fundraiser featuring former PC cabinet minister and, later, interim Wildrose leader Heather Forsythe. 5:30-7:30 pm, Carriage House Inn, 9030 McLeod Tr. SE. Tickets:
    Feb. 23—The Alberta Liberals hold a “February Fiesta” $50-a-head fundraiser in Calgary, with leader David Khan and MLA David Swann (Calgary-Mountain View), and featuring Mexican food, at the Rosedale Hall, 901 11 Ave. NW. More info:
    The yet-to-be-registered Alberta Advantage Party announces its leader & outlines its party platform for the 2019 election. The rightist party was started by Wildrose members who turned against Wildrose leader Brian Jean last summer after his decision to unite with the Jason Kenney & the remaining conservative PCs to form the United Conservative Party. The event will be held at the Springbrook Multiplex, 3216 22 St, Springbrook (near the Red Deer airport), starting at noon. Admission $25. For more info:

This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending February 17th, 2018 Vol 32, No 72

RACHEL THE ROUGHNECK — Premier Notley during a recent visit to a Calgary pipe plant. She's been making a point lately of connecting with unionized workers to remind them of her defence of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the jobs it will create.
Politics is the skilled use of blunt objects.
Lester B. Pearson

Inside this week

The province moves closer to legalizing marijuana retailers. But can they all survive?
Hints of an armistice in the Alberta-BC pipeline fracas
The UNA agrees to a 0-0 contract, but AUPE may prove less compliant
Kim Campbell's diss-arming tweet

Top Story

Alberta was first province out of the gate Friday in announcing regulations governing the distribution and retail sale of cannabis. Potential pot purveyors with puckish names immediately rushed to the Alberta Gaming & Liquor Commission (AGLC) website to download the long and convoluted application forms that—assuming they pay the fees, pass the criminal checks, and are deemed free from the taint of organized crime—will enable them to open stores and retail dried marijuana and cannabis oil in plain, 30-gram packages to adults (18+) once the retail licenses have been approved.

Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley, making her first official appearance since the birth of daughter Wren on Nov. 27, outlined the new regulations at Calgary’s McDougall Centre, flanked by Dave Berry, an AGLC boffin versed in the minutiae of the regulations, and by Calgary Economic Development President Bruce Leslie, there to pat the gov’t on the back for growing the “agri business” sector.

Ganley reported “an enormous amount of interest” from those anxious to open cannabis stores. Based on this interest and the experience in pot-legal states like Colorado and Oregon, the AGLC anticipates it will issue 250 retail licences in the first year.

Political Pulse

While most of the country moved its attention to other matters, Premier Rachel Notley did her best this week to keep herself and the pipeline fight with BC alive in the minds of Albertans, ever mindful that no Trans Mountain means no NDP gov’t come the election in 2019.

If any actual progress was made this week resolving the three-way impasse between Notley, BC Premier John Horgan, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it was, not widely apparent, but there were a couple of developments that suggested a minor shifting of the political tectonics.Rachel, as expected, gave us a bit more theatre—though most was of the drawing room sort; nothing to match last week’s wine offensive.

Trudeau offered a little more encouragement for Alberta in an interview in which he actually criticized Horgan by name. (Which might not sound like much to normal folk, but it had the ladies & gents of the Press Gallery reaching for their smelling salts.)