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.
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Well the NDP didn’t disappoint in this, the first real battle of the Culture War with Jason Kenney’s UCP. Jace may have been physically absent from the Legislature, but his spirit—a malevolent one, judging from the countless invocations voiced by the Dippers—was very much present during the debate on Bill 24, An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances, the legislation that prohibits teachers from telling parents that their children have joined GSAs.
The initial volleys were fired by Education Minister Dave Eggen when he introduced the legislation for second reading. “Jason Kenney suggested earlier this year that schools should be able to out LGBTQ students to their parents, and that, Mr. Speaker, is dangerous. We’re trying to create a safe and caring environment and a safe sanctuary for students in a GSA and we can’t compromise the integrity of that…”Thus was the theme established.
And over the next three days NDP MLAs outdid themselves in their variations…
We guess Greg Clark’s resignation as Alberta Party leader on Friday should not have come as a big surprise. As early as last June, at the “Alberta Together” gathering, where disaffected Progressive Conservatives, Liberals, and Alberta Party members, chose the Alberta Party as the designated political vehicle for centrists (Insight, June 24), we were hearing mutterings about Clark’s leadership.
Specifically they were coming from ex-Tories connected to the Alberta Together political action committee (PAC). This is the fundraising entity founded by former PC Health Minister and former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel and financed by some deep-pocketed long-time PC supporters like rancher/developer Brian Heidecker. Katherine O’Neill, who had served as president of the PC party during the leadership contest and quit following Kenney’s win, was hired as executive director.Clark, 46 (Calgary-Elbow), an able and hard-working parliamentarian, and a likeable and principled politician, was considered by many of the ex-Tory members of the Alberta Party to lack the horsepower to grow the party.
For Clark had, until PC refugees began trickling in following Kenney’s March leadership win, failed to build the party’s membership. Outside the House, he remains a virtual unknown…