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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

  • WTI $47.97 +0.57%
  • Brent $50.80 +0.47%
  • WCS $34.22 +1.03%
  • Natural Gas $1.91 -1.55%

Top Tweets

1

My Motion 505 pushes fed government to phase out foreign oil and promote Alberta oil https://t.co/wMmk2OEtsO #ableg https://t.co/tPfAS2nYvW

2

Jason Kenney talks a good line but his promise to be a "free enterprise" leader doesn't cut it. #ableg https://t.co/jcBIgDReGW

3

She doesn’t do outrage,doesn’t play the victim card. She has a gift for becoming the only adult in the room. #AbLeg https://t.co/UTDvKuGlEi

4

Excited to kick off a great opportunity for $10.5B+ of private investment & 7200 jobs thru renewable power!… https://t.co/zQwAUa7z2q

5

To be clear, this is the kind of thing @shoffmanAB was referring to when she said "sewer rats" The Kenney/WRP axis… https://t.co/uMsW9xKEY9

Upcoming

  • Mar 27- 31 A WEEK OFF
    Legislators take a one-week constituency break, which, theoretically, allows MLAs time to spend in their constituencies connecting with constituents. Of course some of those connections may be made with snowbirding constituents in, say, Palm Springs. We’ll be watching for tans when the Legislature returns on Apr. 3.
  • Mar 29- 30 RED TORY RESCUE PROGRAM
    Hoping to position his party as the lifeboat for progressives abandoning the Tory ship in the wake of Jason Kenney’s election as leader, Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark is hosting what he’s calling “CentreTogether Get Togethers.” On Wednesday in Edmonton at Hudson’s on Whyte, 10307 82 Ave., 5 pm - 7:30 pm; and on Thursday in Calgary at the Hudson’s at 1201 5 St SW from 5-7 pm. Also on Thursday, party representatives will host an event in Grande Prairie from 7 to 9 pm at Guerino’s Italian Kitchen, 103 10635 Westside Dr. To RSVP, go to: http://www.albertaparty.ca/calendar
  • Mar 30 DEAD KID PANEL
    This week’s meeting of the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention, open to the public, takes place in Calgary at the Mahmawi-atoskiwin native family counselling & healing centre, Suite 100, 2323 32nd Ave. NE, from 9 am to 4 pm.
  • Mar 31 ARE YOU LIBERAL LEADERSHIP MATERIAL?
    Nominations close for the Alberta Liberal’s leadership contest. At this writing only St. Albert Mayor Nolan Crouse, 63, was officially registered, though two more are expected to join the slate by deadline. Online voting begins on May 27, ending with the announcement of a winner on June 4.
  • Apr 1 JEAN'S LATEST UNITY MEETING
    Wildrose Leader Brian Jean holds another of his “unity consultation” townhalls along with Aidrie MLA Angela Pitt at the community hall in the hamlet of Madden, 16 km west of Crossfiedld, at 9:30 am. RSVP at http://www.wildrose.ca/oys_madden
  • Apr 2 CHAMPERS WITH RACHE
    Attention champagne socialists: Premier Rachel Notley is the guest speaker at a $200-a-plate fundraising brunch at the “elegant Edmonton Golf & Country Club” put on by Edmonton-McClung MLA and former realtor Lorne Dach. The mimosa pouring begins at 10:30 am and tickets can be had at: http://www.albertandp.ca/mcclungbrunch201
  • Apr 7 TIME TINKERER HITS 22
    Happy birthday to Alberta’s youngest legislator, MLA Thomas Dang (Edmonton-South West) and the brain behind the elimination of Daylight Saving Time, born 22 years ago in Edmonton. The Dang-er, who, like the other six NDP 20-somethings in the House, has taken to flaunting his youth, will celebrate with a “Birthday Bash,” $65 fundraiser at Denizen Hall, 10311 103 Ave. Tickets at: http://www.albertandp.ca/dangsbirthdaybash
  • Apr 8 LIBERAL LEADERSHIP DEBATE
    Liberal Leadership debate takes place at the Glenbow Museum, 130 9 Ave. SE, Calgary at 2 pm. We are assured there will be at least three candidates.

This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending March 24th, 2017 Vol 31, No 26

HAPPY OILMAN — TransCanada Corp. CEO Russ Girling reacts with pleasure in the Oval Office to Donald Trump's approval of the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline
It’s going to be an incredible pipeline, greatest technology known to man or woman. And frankly, we’re very proud of it.
US President Donald Trump in approving the cross-border permit for the Keystone XL pipeline

Inside this week

TRUMP GIVES KEYSTONE HIS IMPRIMATUR BUT NOW COMES THE PROBLEM OF NEBRASKA
THOMAS LUKASZUK'S ANTI-KENNEY CAMPAIGN & THE PROSPECTS FOR ORPHANED PC PROGRESSIVES
KENNEY AND JEAN MEET, STRIKE DISCUSSION GROUPS, WAIT
BILLS BEFORE THE HOUSE INCLUDE A BAN ON BLOOD SALES AND PROTECTION AGAINST NON-CONSENSUAL SEXTING

Political Pulse

Since Jason Kenney first announced his intention to run for the PC leadership, former PC cabinet minister and Edmonton Castle Downs MLA Thomas Lukaszuk, 47, has dogged his every step, with a relentless sniping campaign on Twitter and during his periodic appearances on TV and radio.

Lukaszuk, 47, the flaxen-haired Polish immigrant and liberal Catholic, has, since losing his seat in 2015, done a lot of cuddling up to gays, transsexuals, and other darlings of the left in an apparent attempt to burnish his progressive bona fides­ and better arm himself for combat with the conservative Catholic Kennosaur, whom he accuses of having hi-jacked the centre-right party he knew and loved, and whom, somewhere down the road, we can imagine Lukaszuk taking on politically.

The thrust of Lukaszuk’s air campaign has been to portray Kenney as one of those “scary” social conservatives…

Top Story

A tip to energy investors: don’t dump those rail stocks just yet. Donald Trump’s approval of the presidential permit for the 830K-barrel-day, US$8B Keystone XL pipeline in Washington on Friday, flanked by a happy Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada Corp., may improve the prospects for Alberta oil sales and prices, but as with November’s “federal approval” of Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain pipeline, many’s the slip twixt cup and lip.

Both pipes face legal challenges, some sourced by the same organizations (e.g. the Sierra Club, Greenpeace), that could delay the construction start dates well beyond the companies’ optimistic projections of September for the Trans-Mountain and December for the KXL­—though in Trump’s America, the chances of Keystone proceeding on schedule are perhaps slight better than those for the Trans-Mountain in Canada, where a dozen actions have been commenced in federal court and Alberta has applied for intervenor status.

Premier Rachel Notley, unable to attribute the Keystone permit to the “social license” from her Climate Leadership Plan as she had with Trans Mountain and Line 3, expressed muted enthusiasm for Trump’s Keystone approval. This, after all, is the same pipeline that, during an election campaign two short years ago, she opposed…