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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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Inconvenient news for NDP naysayers: AB's economy is set to grow faster than other provs #ableg via @HuffPostCanada


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This Week's Get a free sample

Week ending September 30th, 2016 Vol 31, No 04

Jason Busters — Newly announced PC leadership candidates (l-r) Richard Starke, Donna Kennedy-Glans, and Byron Nelson. All are at odds with fellow candidate Jason Kenney's plan to unite the right
He is not only dull himself, but the cause of dullness in others.
Samuel Johnson

Inside this week

With the economy on the skids, Bilous applies a few bandaids
Three anti-Kenney candidates enter the PC race
The Liberals announce their leadership for June, but who might run?
The Heritage fund's first quarter shows signs of improvement

Political Pulse

The official announcements this week by two reddish Calgary Tories and a centrist from east-central Alberta of their intentions to run for the PC Leadership on March 18 marked the beginnings of the inevitable “anyone-but-Kenney” (ABK) movement.

The east-centralist was no surprise: sitting MLA Dr. Richard Starke, 56, (Vermilion-Lloydminster), a veterinarian who was Tourism minister in Alison Redford’s gov’t, had been musing about running for months. On Thursday at an Edmonton community hall he made it official and voiced his opposition to candidate and former MP Jason Kenney’s “five point plan.”

The plan culminates in the dissolving of the PC and Wildrose parties and the creation of a new party consisting of conservatives from both.“They’re two different parties; they’re two different cultures,” said Starke. “A pursuit of a merger with the Wildrose is putting power ahead of principle.

Top Story

As the economy creaks, groans, and threatens to fall in on itself, this unlucky Alberta gov’ts does what it can to salve the growing unrest and unhappiness with brave talk and small but sweet tokens of assistance.

Chief among the front-line soothers of late has been our doughty Economic Development & Trade Minister Deron Bilous whose mitigation efforts might be compared to those of a battlefield medic administering morphine and comforting words to a wounded soldier while over the ridge a whole platoon lies dying.

This week his mercy visits took in Calgary.As is now well-known, this is the worst recession since 1986, and barring a miracle of supra-biblical proportions­­­­­—think: parting of the Red Sea with Moses skipping atop the wave walls turning the brine into wine —we will have the first back-to-back years of GDP decline since


  • Oct 3 - 4
    Municipal Affairs holds the first of its information sessions on the Big City Charters in Edmonton. These long-lobbied-for initiatives, which will be developed alongside changes to the Municipal Government Act (MGA), are designed to give the two largest cities more local decision-making powers and develop a “new-fiscal framework” which the opposition fears may include new municipal taxing powers. The sessions will be held between 5:30 and 8:30 pm both evenings in the Maple Leaf Room of the UofA’s Lister Centre, 11613 87 Ave. The Calgary sessions will be held the following week. For more info:
  • Oct 6
    Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann (Calgary-Mountain View) hosts an open house in his Calgary riding on the subject of fentanyl abuse. Several addiction specialists will participate in the live-streamed event ( which takes place at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association, 1320 5th Ave NW, between 6 and 9 pm.