Former Alberta premier Alison Redford, left, confronts a frightened Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock. Below: A frame from the lost video clip of Ms. Redford’s part in the video tribute to Alberta’s past Tory premiers. Actual Alberta politicians may not appear exactly as illustrated.


Official Alberta Progressive Conservative Party Position No. 1: Alison Redford is the sole cause of all the PC Party’s problems. Now that she’s gone, everything in Alberta is hunky-dory again.


Official Alberta Progressive Conservative Party Position No. 2: Alison Redford was never premier of Alberta. It was a hallucination or something. An undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato… So let’s just move on, shall we?

At any rate, a long-distance reading of Premier pro tempore Dave Hancock’s weird Rob-Fordesque confessional at the Alberta Tory Leadership Dinner in Edmonton yesterday suggests these contradictory positions are now both the party’s official interpretation of recent history.

I think there’s a word for this, actually: Doublethink.

For evidence of the adoption of the first position, look no further than Mr. Hancock’s serial apology, strangely reminiscent of confessional section of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, for the many recent sins of the party under the incompetent leadership of Ms. Redford, who was never actually mentioned.

“We took Albertans and your support for granted and acted in a way that’s contrary to our values,” Mr. Hancock said, confessing that the party had sinned against voters in thought word and deed, by what it did and by what it had left undone.

“I am truly sorry,” Mr. Hancock went on, “that we allowed government to become a distraction from the vital work that we’re doing on issues that matter to Alberta.

“I am sorry that we damaged Albertans’ confidence in our party.

“I apologize for losing touch with our grassroots, for not listening to you the way we should have.”

“We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.” Um, just a minute, that last bit actually did come from the Book of Common Prayer. But you get the general idea.

One caveat here: Mr. Hancock parsed the sins of the Tories carefully to illustrate his notion that while party leaders made mistakes, they are not suffering from flaws of character. In other words, they meant well. It was all Ms. Redford’s fault. Now can we just move on, please?

Meanwhile, though, one image at a time, Ms. Redford is disappearing down the party’s Memory Hole. The Canadian Press reported that while her picture may remain on a faded poster or two, presumably accidentally, it had had disappeared from the party’s official video of (almost) all past leaders.

Well, give them time. Soon enough the MLA for Calgary-Palm Springs will disappear completely from party materials, and then from all government publications and websites and almost everywhere else. Thank goodness for Photoshop! It makes removal of political pariahs so much more convenient. And thanks as well for the media’s advancing case of institutional Alzheimer’s.

Needless to say, Ms. Redford was not at the dinner.

Alison Who? Sorry. No idea who you’re talking about. Welcome to a Redford-free future, where all the problems were caused by someone named … Alison Redford.

This post also appears on

Join the Conversation


  1. Shameful….but indicative. This is a party that thinks with enough massaging everything can be turned into something else. Tar into Oil, subsidies to Big Oil into Job Creation, advertising in Washington for private companies, using with tax dollars: its all good for someone’s business.

    And when it doesn’t work, find a scapegoat, pillory him or her in public, and then, once the cartharsis of right wing meanness is accomplished, go right back to playing the same backroom games.
    Albertans continue to fall for it, so it must be the way of good government in a petro state!

    I”m beginning to feel sorry for Alison, but then, as my mom told me years ago, ‘we are judged by the friends we keep.’ Alison’s were neither progressive nor honourable. And none of it is very funny.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.