Welcome home, Alison. All is forgiven.

Gary Mar, the affable front-runner defeated by Ms. Redford in 2011 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Well, maybe not everything. Behave yourself, though, and there could be an Alberta Order of Excellence in it for you one of these days!

Not long ago, Alison Redford was reviled in Alberta Conservative circles. Which was sort of weird, seeing as back in the wee hours of Oct. 2, 2011, the ruling Alberta Progressive Conservative Party picked her as their leader after one of those party leadership elections where anybody could buy a membership for a few bucks and get to vote with unpredictable results. 

Part of the problem was that she wasn’t supposed to win. Meeting in the back rooms, the old boys who made the decisions for the PCs had already decided on Gary Mar, an affable schmoozer first appointed to cabinet by premier Ralph Klein, to replace the departing Ed Stelmach.

Despite his genial manner, Mr. Mar could be counted on to do all the things the party establishment wanted done. Had he won, the PCs might still be running Alberta today with two New Democrats and a half a dozen Liberals in Opposition. Who knows? 

But at around two in the morning when the final count came in, Ms. Redford shocked everyone and narrowly won the party vote to lead the PC dynasty, founded by Peter Lougheed in 1971, into another election. 

Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith in 2009 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

She was sworn in as premier six days later. 

Also part of the problem was that her victory wasn’t really supposed to matter anyway, because the favourite of Conservative hard-liners and mainstream media to win the looming provincial election was the former Fraser Institute apparatchik and market fundamentalist who led the Wildrose Party, a young woman named Danielle Smith. 

Come the election on March 26, 2012, Ms. Redford shocked everyone a second time and won the general election with a loss of only five PC seats in the Legislature. 

Ms. Smith stomped off into history to be forgotten forever – or so we thought – telling a well-known reporter to “piss off” on her way out. She blamed loose-lipped Wildrose candidates and accused Ms. Redford of appealing to Liberal and NDP voters with progressive policies. It certainly wasn’t her fault. 

Alas, as premier, Ms. Redford’s leadership was not as successful as her campaigns.

There are still arguments about why. Suffice it to say for now that she wrestled with her personal demons and her government was dogged by scandals – some of which seem positively quaint by comparison with the things the United Conservative Party led by the resuscitated Danielle Smith gets up to nowadays.

Former Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley in 2019 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

There were some pricey travel expenses, for example, and misuse of the government’s aircraft fleet, which came to be known as Sneaks on a Plane. There was certainly arrogance and entitlement. 

As Ms. Redford’s popularity in office declined, bitter rumours circulated in Conservative circles that she had been put in office by teachers, civil servants, and health care workers who had joined the party to support a candidate that would implement policies they liked – just as the party leadership had encouraged Albertans to think they could. 

Sadly, Ms. Redford was a disappointment on that front, too, bringing in policies that were no less conservative than those Mr. Mar would have implemented, but with a much less kindly manner. 

Ms. Redford’s popularity with voters plummeted. Her panicky caucus, never comfortable with a woman at its head, rebelled. In the spring of 2014, she faced a caucus revolt. There was talk of 16 MLAs quitting to sit as independents. She was summoned to Government House and assigned a humiliating “work plan” by caucus. 

Former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, an inductee into the Alberta Order of Excellence, spotted on the streets of Edmonton last month (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

On March 19, she announced she would quit on March 23. Soon after, word leaked out about the Sky Palace, atop the former Federal Building, quietly designed as a downtown Edmonton residence for the premier and MLA for Calgary-Elbow. It became a permanent part of her tarnished legacy.

Ms. Redford was followed as premier in quick succession by Dave Hancock, Jim Prentice, and … Rachel Notley, unforgivably a New Democrat.

In Conservative circles, Ms. Redford has hardly been referred to since without muttered curses. For her part, she has kept an extremely low profile.

How anyone with her huge potential and first-rate mind, as evidenced by her international and professional accomplishments before entering politics, could go so catastrophically wrong remains to this day one of the mysteries of Alberta political history.

Of course, it wasn’t just the party old boys who didn’t like her and wanted her to fail, although that was manifestly the case. Many of the ideologues and financial bagmen who lurk in the shadows of conservative politics and in media did what they could to ensure her failure too.

Now it is 2024. A decade has passed. Apparently someone has decided Ms. Redford has wandered in the wilderness long enough. 

Winston Churchill’s glowering effigy – untarnished, unlike his reputation – unveiled yesterday in downtown Calgary (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

In yesterday’s Orders in Council, without fanfare, she was named by Premier Smith to the board of Invest Alberta Corporation, the provincial Crown corporation set up to promote Alberta as a destination for investors. 

This does not amount to complete rehabilitation of the first woman to be Alberta’s premier, obviously. There was no mention of her appointment among the seven press releases published by the government yesterday. 

Still, it is a sign that the process of political rehabilitation is beginning. Soon she may be permitted to move back from metaphorical Siberia. Eventually, her sins may even be allowed to disappear down the Memory Hole. 

And maybe, one of these days, she really will qualify for membership in the Alberta Order of Excellence alongside Stephen Mandel, the former Conservative cabinet minister and Edmonton mayor whose appointment to that not-terribly-prestigious honour was announced yesterday

Also named in that press release was Nancy Southern, the oligarchical head of ATCO Ltd., the Calgary-based utility conglomerate. This seems fair. After all, what could be more excellent than inheriting billions from your mom and dad, who were inducted into the same order in 1988 and 2012. 

Also not warranting a press release yesterday was Premier Smith’s presence at the dedication of a statue of Winston Churchill, outside McDougall Centre in Calgary, the province’s Cowtown HQ. 

Unlike the shiny statue, Mr. Churchill’s reputation has lost its lustre in the years since the end of World War II, when he was Britain’s prime minister. One would hope the Calgary Police Service is keeping a sharp eye out for unexplained purchases of red paint. 

Join the Conversation


  1. First controversial former Health Minister and defeated MLA Shandro, now Redford. Dani is on a roll to be magnanimous lately, at least to those that call themselves conservative. Perhaps there is even hope for Kenney yet, if he can continue to keep a low profile for a year or two longer.

    One thing that unites Alberta conservatives is the desire to share the spoils of power amongst themselves. So surely the hope of a perk or position will keep some of them from being too critical of the dear leader.

    Of course everything seemed to be going ok for Redford for a while too and then she was ambushed by her subordinates with a work plan for improvement. Dear Dani does not want that to happen to her. Remember, despite her past difficulties, she was the one who walked out on her party, not the other way around.

    So she will do her best to keep as many conservatives happy as possible with perks including for a former high profile mayor and someone who got her billions the old fashioned way by inheriting it.

    1. Allison Redford, ATCO, and Invest Alberta? The suspicious could say the connection is more than excellent, it is positively 500 kV DC electrical! Premier Redford forced through the multi-billion-dollar and technologically obsolete Western Alberta Transmission Line, and its owners now enjoy taking the Government mandated return on its cost from Albertans. And ATCO got to build a duplicate to wet its beak as well – a win-win for oligarchs north and south! Consumers who are paying for both of them are perhaps not so happy.

      Thanks to the UCP effectively banning renewable energy generation and storage, legacy electrical utilities, buggy whip manufacturers, and coal companies everywhere are rejoicing. Invest Alberta will be pleased to see them.

  2. Isn’t that something? The premier with the ex-premier and a bunch of the ex-premier’s pals in a photo together, in a public place. Maybe the two of them are frenemies, or maybe they’re just carbon copies of each other, minions sent out to do the work of the man behind the curtain. Please note that there is a complete ban on outdoor water use right now in Calgary, not even a drop to spare for seagull deposits.

    It seems like just moments ago Ms. Redford was jetting on government planes in advance of Nelson Mandela’s funeral, where world leaders took “selfies” (a novelty at the time) and an interpreter made flying birds with his hands. She sure knew how to be a high flyer and spendthrift on our many dimes. Seems logical for Premier Spendthrift to put her in a position involving Albertans’ money. What could go wrong? Haven’t we already seen Kenney pennies wasted on a $1.5B failed pipeline gamble and $85M of Tylenot tossed to the wind by P.S.? Big. Bold. Alberta. It’s Invest Alberta’s slogan. Who knows, maybe one day Ms. Redford will be appointed as the Alberta Pension Plan CEO. She won’t be taking Alberta’s government planes anywhere because they were sold off, most to a company in Fargo, North Dakota.

    Also, it should be noted that there will be no revolts within the UCP this time around, since almost every MLA is a cabinet minister.

  3. And in between times Marlaina was busy celebrating 50 yrs of the Fraser Institute with her creators S Harper & P Manning.
    Just out of curiosity, did anyone spot J Kenny at the unveiling? I would have thought he’d have been front and centre .
    Nice touch also, of picking DDay for the unveiling, right?

    Kudos on the red paint theory, that was my first reaction when I saw the headline.. lol

    And with all that going on, not a tweep about 1million + Calgarians* with no tap water (limited). If I put on my Reynolds hat, I can see a practice run for when they divert the water for the coal mines; but that’s just really silly, right?

    * I’m guessing she didn’t include herself in the ” most compassionate, caring UCP members.

  4. It never seems to end, does it? These retreads from yesteryear, consisting of failed political candidates, or politicians who fired Danielle Smith in other positions she was in, such as a public school trustee, as well as politicians who helped sink her in the Wildrose party, are back at the trough. No big deal for Danielle Smith. The UCP government keeps on getting larger and larger. Lyle Oberg, Preston Manning, Alison Redford, and others, just can’t get enough of the gravy train. Will Ric McIver and Danielle Smith get the Sky Palace ready for Alison Redford, and all these others that the UCP keeps hiring, because they need a place to stay while they are doing UCP business. The UCP are a big joke.

  5. We voted for Stelmach too while firmly standing with the raging grannies. I would not feed my dog the history breakfast Chris Champion served Lethbridge Herald readers today. Let us go back to the front page of the Herald of June 7, 1933 when all was well with the world: ‘Europe Peace Pledged as Pact Signed: Great Britain, Italy, France and Germany Affix Signatures to Mussolini’s Peace Proposal-‘
    Why don’t newspaper headlines use capitals anymore?

    1. Emily: Most newspapers published in all languages everywhere had stopped capitalizing all words in headlines by the 1970s. When I joined the staff of The Calgary Herald in 1972, headlines were presented in natural sentence style, only without a period at the end. The fashion for capitalizing every word was pretty well completely kaput by the end of the 1980s, with the notable exception of the New York Times, Which Writes Headlines Like This to This Day. In answer to your question, the reason is that it was concluded that “downstyle” headlines were easier to read. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. But they are the rule nowadays. DJC

  6. One small quibble: if memory serves, the matter of phantom names appearing on the flight manifests of the government’s official aircraft was nicknamed “Fakes on a Plane”, not “Sneaks” …

    Wasn’t that affair the trigger for one of Ms Redford’s successors as Premier to sell off the Alberta Government air fleet?

    1. Jerry: You are correct. I remembered that at dinner tonight because it was me, I’m pretty sure but not absolutely certain, who coined the phrase. But Sneaks on a Plane is pretty good too, so I think I’ll just leave it there with this explanation. Someone, surely, thought “Sneaks on a Plane would be even better” when they read my original post. DJC

    2. The government planes a brother in-law voluntarily flew for them in his spare time and never got paid a dime. He was proud to do it until on one occasion when he flew some of them to Calgary. They promised him that they would be back at the plane by midnight but never showed up until 3 am and were so drunk it was disgusting. He said their wives were the worse ones and he was an Air Traffic Controller and had to be at work by 8am. He never made another flight for them.

  7. Who would have thought ? Circles and appointments,just say it’s not true ,poor Nancy

  8. I worked on the Federal Building project, and I’ve been in the Sky Palace when it was under construction. It was already half-built when the scandal broke, so they basically just rebranded it, and re-labelled the bedrooms as “meeting rooms” with the unique feature of ensuite bathrooms (with a bit of empty floor space where the shower stalls were originally supposed to go). Makes me wonder if anyone has conducted a meeting while on the toilet, like Lyndon Johnson. The dining room/boardroom with dark wood paneling is very nice.

  9. Tobacco-gate links AR and SM.
    At least the ANDP government was able to ban the use of flavoured cigarettes. Advertising of tobacco products was curtailed (as it should be for fossil fuels).
    AR’s ex-husband made a fortune on the tobacco litigation and the province is yet to see a nickel from the suit.

  10. People forget about another powerful political player in Alberta, the Alberta Medical Association. At least, historically, until that sweet-talking diplomat (not!) Tyler Shandro came along to show them who’s boss.

    Looking back, with Alberta’s PC governments it was almost a rite of passage where each newly-announced health minister would make a generous gift to the AMA. When Gary Mar was Health Minister he gave them an 8 year deal. No wonder he was so popular! Dave Hancock in 2007, as Health Minister, gave them a $580 million “prescription” (CTV News).

    Even through O &G industry troughs, it was a no-no to mess with the doctors. Nurses, fine. Fire them. Hospital cleaning? Meh. Food services? Who needs them? When Ed Stelmach’s Health Minister, Mr. Charm, Gene Zwozdesky tried to get a 3 year deal with the doctors in 2011 they walked away from the table and he suggested meekly “there may be political circumstances behind that”. (CBC)

    Alison Redford’s Health Minister, the mild-mannered Fred Horne, following the price-drop of oil in 2012 tried to get the AMA to help him find $215 million to cut from the physician compensation budget they told him to go fly a kite. And a year later when Alison Redford announced her government would be opening Family Care Clinics where doctors wouldn’t necessarily be the gate keepers to health care access, they lost their s*#t! Three months later Redford was done like dinner.

    Queue up Stephen Mandel, Jim Prentice’s pick for Health Minister. A bit tricky because he had to win a by-election, but Edmonton-Whitemud was a traditionally reliable PC seat. Win it he did, and then proceeded to prepare for major cuts to the health care budget, but gingerly stayed away from suggestions of cuts to doctors’ funding, which still had a year in their contract. Little did wily Mr. Mandel know that less than 7 months later the good people of Edmonton-Whitemud would send him packing, electing an NDP in his place. And, a doctor, yet! And not only that, but a whole NDP government with the first-ever NDP Health Minister, Sarah Hoffman. Then, surprise of surprises, Peace reigned with the AMA under Hoffman’s steady hand and conscientious approach. She actually had the intention
    to make the health system work and even had the AMA onside to work on Alternative Payment Models!

    Rachel Notley’s government’s loss of the next election was also a loss for any semblance of rationality in the health portfolio – as per the earlier reference to the UCP pick for Health Minister Tyler Shandro, who turned the tables on the physicians, sending them scrambling like the rest of Alberta’s health care workers. Shandro’s inept successors, following blind ideology, have continued blundering along under Danielle Smith’s erratic leadership. The AMA hasn’t been able to serve their membership very well through this chaos and certainly not Alberta patients. Maybe they are learning that they should stay away from the role of “King-maker”? Or, “Queen-maker”.

    Like universities, unions, municipalities, and so on the Alberta doctors are not to challenge the UCP grip on power.

    The concept of “team-based” primary care provision that the AMA so despised, that Redford tried to bring in and that the NDP promoted is toast now under the UCP. Ironically, what the doctors are facing, with Danielle Smith’s enthusiastic support and funding, are nurses opening up their own clinics! And pharmacists prescribing, and treating patients- and billing the government. If Smith and the UCP have their way, what independence the doctors have now will soon be gone, and like their colleagues south of the border they will be working for corporations and HMO’s.

    Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” should be required reading for every new President of the Alberta Medical Association. That is, until it becomes another limb of the monster they helped create.

  11. Looks like Queen Danielle has decided to spare Allison Redford any more pain. Like the Israelites of Biblical times, Redford was forced to wander in the wilderness for all these years. Now, like the Prodigal Son, Redford has returned and granted all the gifts and appointments denied her. Wow. Kissing Danielle’s ring (likely after kissing her a$$) scores a sweet payday. Looks like TBA is going to have to take Danielle out to the woodshed again. That is unless she coughs up more of that sweet War Room money.

  12. Redford’s contribution to AISH recipients cuts a wipe swath with me. Compared to the Premier? It is so self-evident. Our current Premier is akin to MJT.

  13. Hey! Look!! Is that Alison Redford rehabilitated? Nah, it’s only a statue of Winston Churchill— rehabilitated, though!…

    Shucks!—I shoulda known: I am also a bad-art aficionado and have a modest collection (which I quickly rotate when the missus is away—she doesn’t appreciate its proper curation—at all) including some amateur’s gawd-awful portrait of the great man whom I last saw in animated format floating down the Thames in a Union Jack-draped coffin— and whose framed visage now glowers from a purlin on my veranda. Water-colour, too (yikes!) It ain’t no Karsh, but sure good for scaring away solicitors and keeping service people polite and quiet. (Collectors in this genre know to counter aesthetic protest with a piece’s coincidental utility; for example, with sculpted pieces, a door-stopper or, with landscapes in a dentist office, a jaw-dropper; &c.)

    Now Winston’s popped up again, this time in, of all places, Calgary—and, exceptionally, here on today’s post, too! The pic’s standout-accreditation (Newsroom/Flicker) putting the other ones into relief is opportunity to appreciate DJC’s sterling shutter-work which, if seldom and, IMHO, not-enough acknowledged, it’s only because his reportage is so good. Immediately attracted to portraiture—I guess cuz my dad was a professional photographer—, particularly excellent specimens of photo-journalism like these from David’s archive got me rooting for a perfectly complete set as I scanned the image’s credits from top down on today’s post. Alas, our intrepid shutterbug can’t be everywhere at once —and, anyway, he surely would have waited for the sun angle to more-vividly sculpt Churchill’s bronze likeness with that iconic ‘hey!-Karsh-just-snatched-my-cigar!’ look.

    Once a student of the philosophy of aesthetics at UVic, my seldom-acknowledged and under-appreciated expert opinion says Alison Redford is a natural for bronze, as the hues of DJC’s flattering portrait of her amply show (and, I suppose, gold for Rachel Notley, naturally—and Danielle Smith?— hmmm, maybe something a little more bituminous). In any case, with utility always in mind, washability is a must for any statuary. Now, the only way Winston can confirm this in his current condition is by way of posthumous quotation: “Englishmen and Americans [BTW, neglecting to use nonbinary form, which was the ordinary habit of speech in Churchill’s time, and meaning ‘North Americans’ when saying ‘Americans’ is enough pretence in our time to pull his statue down—at least in Canada] are divided by an ocean of salt water but united by a bathtub of fresh water and soap.” (This, his endorsement for Pear’s Soap). Well, in any event, banded-tailed pigeon culture, having survived the carrier pigeon mass-extermination event, is more likely to be postponed than cancelled.

    For all the public exposure Ms Redford will get as board member of Invest Alberta Corp, she might as well be a statue. The irony of being appointed by her one-time partisan rival, helmswoman (uh, helmsperson?) Nº 3 of Sovereign Alberta, North America, could only be topped by rolling a cancelled Alison, bronzed, into the Sky Palace for historical reference.

    But rehabilitation isn’t about one-upping (that’d be Reconciliation); it’s a gradual, many-faceted process. Redford should know all about that because her ouster was itself part of a larger, gradual process, but in mirror image: the devolution from traditional Tory conservatism to the stateless corporatocracy of its neoliberal usurpers which, 50 years later, is currently a good ways into its throes.

    Much has been made of Redford’s supposed entitlement and hubris as reason to dump her—which might be the reason why she looked very pissed-off as she departed the caucus meeting which forced her resignation. She can’t be entirely blamed for thinking that it was disrespectful treatment —she was (and shall forever remain) Helmswoman Nº 1 of Alberta, Canada, after all. Perhaps she deserved better but her ProgCon party, 44 years in power, deserves some blame too: it was its own hubris and sense of entitlement, after all, which advanced the process of its demise until so weak the most-veteran government in Canada was felled by a single, quick rejoinder to a foolishly sexist quip during the televised leaders’ debate of the 2015 election campaign.

    Betcha Alison gave a wryly knowing nod of sorority with Rachel from wherever she watched the fateful event as her successor sunk the ProgCons’ election chances with a condescending remark to his demur NDP rival that “math is hard”; betcha Alison did a fist-pump—not only when Notley responded that math is not hard for her —or for most people—, but also when she deftly demonstrated Prentice’s own math was too hard for him. A double fist-pump (I shan’t hazard where she probably would have liked to aim it, squarely).

    Is there really any mystery as to why a brainy and well-credentialed politician like Redford went down in such a tub of mire? She was aboard a ProgCon ship that had been chucking its Tory ballast overboard since Klein, and listing dangerously to starboard since Prentice took on a scowfull of Wild Rose mutineers just before hailing a snap election. Whatever sank her political career, Redford was already on a sinking ship.

    But, hey!—stop it right there! Like a Fukuyama “End of Herstory”, it’s right-wingers’ self-righteous right of ritual revision that crops the timeline down closely to the Redford chapter so’s to throw their hands up in the air and wonder at the female mystery of it all, and then: move along, move along, now, nothing to see here, just a charred stake… Notley might find herself similarly decontextualized, with no past of recognized effort or future legacy expected, who, for the right, is just a golden anomaly. Her iconography was used to pit angel against demon instead of career policy-maker against impolitic incompetent. By the left, that is.

    On the left women aren’t supposed to hafta prove anything; on the right they’re supposed to prove their male colleagues’ feminism looks genuine. But it’s a real insult to women when the right is blind to whatever intelligence or stupidity, virtue or vice a woman leader might have, just so long’s they don’t overshadow the men’s. It was the paleo-ProgCons’ dullness that weighed them down, but it was Redford’s brilliance—recast as extravagance in the revised version—that got blamed. And just wait: Danielle Smith herself might yet be rewritten as a witch—even though that broom-riding silhouette is really David Parker’s, the hater of drag who’d don a burka in a heartbeat in Kabul.

    And, while reworking the end of herstory through magic seeing-stones, the right will want to look fair, as well, by footnoting that K-Boy, whoever he was, had to go because he made no reflection in a mirror —and therefore no likeness will ever be remembered to model a bronze from.

    1. Scotty: Thank you for your kind words about my photos. I am just an amateur, although I know a good shot when I see one. Just a couple of clarifications. The cropped photo of the Churchill statue, as noted in the credit line, is not mine. It was taken by an excellent Alberta government photographer, Chris Schwarz, a veteran photojournalist employed for many years by The Edmonton Journal. He is not to be confused with the British photographer of the same name. As for my flattering portrait of Alison Redford – who was difficult to photograph, especially as her political and personal troubles mounted – I picked it for that reason. I do try, even when photographing people with whom I do not agree, to get shots that make them look good. I’m less scrupulous when picking photos taken for the politician in question. They OKed it, so they must have thought it made them look good. Ms. Redford looked smart, confident and clear-eyed at that all-candidates’ meeting in Red Deer. It’s one of the tragedies of Alberta politics that her leadership proved to be such a disappointment. She was undoubtedly sabotaged by members of her own government. She contributed herself to her downfall as well, alas. To her credit, she had the good sense to pack up and leave while she still had some dignity left. DJC

  14. https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/protesters-crash-calgary-s-winston-churchill-monument-unveiling-1.6916827

    Looks like there were some surprise visitors at the Churchill statue dedication.

    Here’s what one protestor, a graduate history student named William Gillies, had to say:

    “Statues aren’t history,” he told CTV News. “They’re political statements, and this one is on public property. Churchill was a public figure and his legacy is open to fair debate.”

    Your readers might not have recognized Jason Kenney, in his would-be history professor disguise, but he was there, telling us all that we should not look for “absolute perfection” in our leaders. Professor Kenney, it seems, wants us to consider the shooting deaths of 367 unarmed Punjabi protesters and wounding of thousands more as a mere character flaw. By this standard, our public square might be littered with thousands of statues of Alberta’s political figures, more prolific than the dandelions on Calgary boulevards. There might even be one for the Great Kennificent one day, who, although very far indeed from “absolute perfection”, certainly cannot be blamed for any of the horrific deeds now accredited to Churchill.

  15. And with all the interesting hand wringing over the interesting restoration of Allison Redford and Tyler Shandro, the sort of things that should be raising the ire of, well, Alberta voters, who for some crazy reason believed that Queen Danielle had everyone’s best interests in mind when she was elected premier. No. All it proved is that Smith is just another kind of gatekeeper, the gatekeeper to the patronage trough.

    But while the relentless pursuit of unrestrained self-interest is cool in the UCP’s Alberta, the one place where this is evident is in Calgary during their water supply crisis. People were asked to just hold off on your water consumption for a few days while the repairs are made. Well, no sooner had that call for public action and cooperation went out that water consumption shot upwards all over the city. Why? It’s seems that screwing your neighbour (and everyone else) by grabbing an even bigger slice of the water supply is the fashionable thing to do. Car washes are busier than ever, lawns are being watered like never before, and everyone is taking showers 24/7, and all of it is just to get back at whoever the conspiracy leaders are. Yes, they are blaming the water supply situation on PMJT, for some crazy reason. I’ve often heard, since moving to Alberta as a callow youth, that Calgarians aren’t like normal people. They are slobby lunatics, who love grabbing more than they need, and being rude to everyone. Personally, I’ve never believed this, and I’ve seen plenty of examples to suggest that, yes, Calgarians are pretty normal people, and not Americans in overdrive. But these days, I’m not so sure. The yahoos who voted for the UCP in Calgary really are the worst kind of people one could ever imagine. I mean, they are so bad, even the RPC crowd I associated with during the 90s were nothing like this bunch. Actually, they would be horrified by the level of sociopathic behaviour I’ve witnessed, that weird obsession with alcohol aside.

    So, while Calgary drifts aimlessly into an existential water crisis, and the fabric of their society is ripped to shreds, remember that Danielle Smith was no thoughtful as to dedicate (likely) unlimited funding for a super-expensive NHL arena (AKA. community hockey rink) to replace a perfectly decent NHL arena.

  16. Perhaps Smith is appointing people to these positions so they won’t challenge her or her party. they may have been appointed so Smith isn’t seen to be as “crazy” as she is. Given some would say the new appointees have been “rehabilitated”, it may also be a message to those in her party who aren’t keen on her, that she does have a back up plan and has just introduced it.
    When Redford was Premier in Alberta, B.C. had Christy Clark. Alberta had the better premier.

    1. e.a.f.: Hard to say from this side of the Rockies which was worse. Or which seemed worse at the time. I do think Ms. Clark was a less promising politician when she first ran, but that arguably would make her ultimate performance as premier less disappointing. DJC

  17. Probably the wrong forum, but I got an IVR poll around Redford’s appointment. It came from the 1905 Committee, which seems to be a TBA rebrand. Most interesting is that I only live in AB part-time and my area code is from the USA.

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