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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    Political columnist National Post
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This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending June 30th, 2018 Vol 32, No 35

JULY 12 BYELECTION CANDIDATES — Top Row: Sylvan Lake-Innisfail (l-r) Abigail Douglass (AP), Devin Dreeshen (UPC), Nicole Mooney (NDP), Nicolaas Jansen (LIB). Bottom row, Fort McMurray-Conklin- Jane Stroud (NDP), Laila Goodridge (UCP), Robin LeFevre (LIB), Sid Fayeed (AP
One likes people much better when they're battered down by a prodigious siege of misfortune than when they triumph.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Inside this week

ANOTHER PANGLOSSIAN FISCAL PRESENTATION BY JOE CECI, BUT ONE GETS THE FEELING THAT THE DIPPERS' LUCK IS ABOUT TO CHANGE
AS THE ELECTION APPROACHES, THE NOMINATION RACES HEAT UP - AT LEAST FOR THE UCP
THE COST OF TRUDEAU'S $50 CARBON TAX REVEALED
KING NENSHI SLAMS THE GOVT'S MUNICIPAL ELECTORAL REFORMS

Top Story

It might have been a fever dream, but we seem to recall Premier Rachel Notely recently calling Joe Ceci “Alberta’s greatest ever finance minister.” Debatable that may be, but smilin’ Joe has certainly been one of the unluckiest, immediately landing knee-deep in the ordure of recession and having to put a brave face on things as he glumped through the uncharted territories of deficit, debt, and despair.

Not to worry, Joe assures us, with that nervous, gap-toothed, half-grin, as he reads his script; Albertans are “resilient,” the gov’t “has your back,” we’ll borrow our way out of this mess (ex-Bank of Canada boss David Dodge gave us permission), and, while we’re at it, we’ll diversify the economy one craft brewery and potato factory at a time. Look! Green shoots! Making life better for Albertans..Through all the palaver, it was obvious the main thing that Joe lacked was luck, and in Alberta the word is synonymous with oil.

Political Pulse

When considering the nomination contests for the next election, there is only one show in town: the United Conservative Party. At this writing none of the other parties have more than a single candidate competing in any riding, while the Unicons, to quote a veteran campaigner, are experiencing “an embarrassment of riches.”

It is, in other words, like the good old days of the Progressive Conservative dynasty, or like the current situation with the federal Conservative ridings where winning the nomination is seen as tantamount to a coronation.It should be noted that in the current provincial situation this electoral gold rush is most pronounced in the rural and the Calgary constituencies—regions where the UCP have been out-polling the NDP by as much as 20- points for months going on years.