Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just because you're paranoid ...

... doesn't mean someone isn't out to get you.

It looks like Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman will be eating crow at her next press conference. Back here, I blogged about her weird attack on Premier Stelmach after he indicated that he would reject any attempt by Canada's other Premiers to impose hard caps on GHG emissions at the then upcoming Council of the Federation meeting. Such a proposal was rumoured to be in the works.

Blakeman went ballistic and accused Stelmach of erecting a smokescreen. She then described Alberta's position as "hubris", or "extreme paranoia". Evidently, Laurie Blakeman was of the view that the other Premiers had no such plan, even though the other provinces could make billions selling meaningless carbon emissions credits to Alberta under a cap and trade system.

From Thursday's National Post:

Canada's 13 premiers and territorial leaders will walk away from a three-day meeting on climate change today exactly as they entered it -- without an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. ...

Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba were pushing an aggressive plan to surpass what they deem inadequate measures introduced by the federal government earlier this year. ...

(Ontario Premier Dalton) McGuinty came to the Moncton meeting touting an inter-provincial carbon trading market, known as a "cap and trade" system, which would set limits for greenhouse gas emissions. The arrangement, backed by Quebec Premier Jean Charest and others, would allow higher polluting companies to purchase credits from those who came under their limits.

Alberta firmly opposes cap and trade.
So, the rumours Premier Stelmach commented on were basically true, and Laurie Blakeman was completely wrong. Ontario and Quebec were pushing for hard caps, and a national cap and trade system. This wealth redistribution plan was strongly backed by British Columbia, Manitoba, and others.

Only Newfoundland and Nova Scotia were prepared to defend Alberta's right to set up its own plan. I like what Premier Danny Williams had to say:
"We don't want to basically slay the goose that lays the golden egg," said Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams, who controls significant energy deposits in his province. "I don't think Alberta should be forced into a corner or should be put into a corner. "We don't want to save the world on the back of Alberta."
It's pretty sad that Danny Williams is a better advocate for Alberta's interests than the sycophants in the Alberta Liberal Party.

Maybe one day the Alberta Liberals will wake up and actually attempt to represent the interests of the people they are paid to represent, rather than kowtowing to their Central Canadian masters.

Source (click for full screencap):

Click for full screencap

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Alberta Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman attacks Alberta


But Liberal house leader Laurie Blakeman said Albertans should be wary of the premier's position: for one, she said, it's likely just a smokescreen to divert attention from what Alberta really wants from the conference. Former premier Ralph Klein regularly preceded first ministers meetings by suggesting Alberta would be ganged up on.

"I think it's either hubris on behalf of Alberta, which always thinks it is the most important at these national meetings, or it's an extreme kind of paranoia," she joked.

"They're using it as a smokescreen."
This is the segment of the article that provoked Blakeman's attack:
"The message is very clear: don't mess with Alberta," Stelmach said yesterday, in advance of the Council of the Federation - or first ministers conference, as they used to be known - in Moncton, N.B.

While the premier wouldn't confirm he'd heard rumours that other provincial premiers are going to gang up on him over climate change, Sun Media's Neil Waugh reported in a column yesterday that there are rumblings several provincial leaders - most notably Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty - will be looking for national "hard caps" on carbon emissions.

Stelmach said he was unaware of any such effort but if it does flare up, he'll say that, while other provinces were dithering in 2003 over issues raised by the Kyoto accord, Alberta was implementing guidelines for emissions measurement.
So, Premier Ed Stelmach comments on a reporter's suggestion that Dalton McGuinty and Jean Charest are planning to propose hard caps on greenhouse gas emissions at the Premiers' meeting this coming week (caps which would be inconsistent with Alberta's emissions plan), and Laurie Blakeman rushes in to condemn Stelmach for erecting a smokescreen, then accuses the entire province of "hubris", or "extreme paranoia".

Apparently Laurie Blakeman and the Alberta Liberals know for sure that Ontario and Quebec are not going to propose a national regime that would include hard caps. The rumour must be a figment of Neil Waugh's imagination.

It will be interesting to see what exactly gets said at the meeting, now that Blakeman and the Alberta Liberals have gone on record strongly denouncing the idea that McGuinty and Charest will propose hard caps.

Source (click for screencap):

Click for screencap

Friday, August 3, 2007

Remembering the National Energy Program - 1

I was going through some archives on the CBC and came across a page on "Striking Oil in Alberta". There are some interesting radio clips on this page dating back to the implementation of the NEP in the fall of 1980.

I have made a recording of a couple of the most relevant clips. The first aired on the CBC on October 31, 1980, just after the 1980 budget when the NEP was introduced. It has two parts: (i) Pierre Trudeau responding in the House of Commons to Peter Lougheed's announcement of Alberta's intention to impose retaliatory sanctions, and (ii) Alberta Liberal Senator Bud Olsen being interviewed by Barbara Frum. During the interview, Olsen denies that the NEP was about Eastern Canada taking control of Alberta's resources, and was simply an effort to ensure the East got its "fair share". The clip of Olsen is a testament to the quisling character of Alberta Liberals:

Barbara Frum interviews Bud Olsen - Oct. 31, 1980

Evidently, Olsen is too stupid to understand that if the Federal Government can unilaterally implement a vast new array of taxes and regulation on Alberta's oil industry, it effectively has complete control.

The second clip aired on November 2, 1980, and features a recording of Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed announcing the cuts to oil production. It also contains some calls from angry Alberta residents over the implementation of the NEP:

Peter Lougheed retaliates to NEP - Nov. 2, 1980

I'll post on the NEP again, as I come across further information.

Alberta Liberals at 19% in recent Leger poll

Some bad news for Alberta Liberals:

Forty-one per cent of Albertans polled this month said they would vote for the Stelmach government if elections were held this month -- up slightly since June. ...

According to the poll, support for Kevin Taft's Liberal party is at 19 per cent, while the New Democratic Party sits at six per cent and the Greens at five.

Almost one in five people polled did not know who they would vote for.

The Leger Marketing opinion poll was conducted by phone among a random selection of 901 Albertans, between July 19 and 27. The margin of error was 3.3 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
This result is 10 points lower than the Ipsos Reid poll released on June 22, and 10 points off what the Alberta Liberals received in the 2004 election.

The article notes that the Tory slide that we witnessed between April and June, appears to be over.

If Taft can't do better than this against a stumblebum like Ed Stelmach, he really has no future as leader.

My advice to Kevin Taft is that he start polishing up his resume.

Source (click for full screencap):

Click for full screencap

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Alberta Liberals call Washington trade office "a complete waste"

Alberta Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald has characterized Alberta's Washington trade office as "a complete waste of money":

It’s a complete waste of money is what it is,” said Liberal critic Hugh MacDonald, the MLA for Goldbar.

“How ironic is it that the current premier, Mr. Stelmach, and the former energy minister Murray Smith were in the ‘deep six’ together: the fiscal hawks in cabinet who demanded the closure of these overseas offices. Now, they won’t even tell us what’s he’s going to get for a pension from this job.”

Ministers do have to go to Washington sometimes, said MacDonald, while Smith spends most of his time entertaining. “They have executive assistants to handle the travel and meeting planning for them.

"They don't need Murray Smith ..."
The story notes that the office in Washington costs Alberta taxpayers a total of $1.4 million annually.

Of course, it comes as no surprise to those who follow the Alberta Liberals that they want Alberta's Washington trade office closed. Liberals (and New Democrats) want to impose their view of a highly centralized Canadian federation on Alberta, which means Liberal Ottawa must "represent" Alberta's interests abroad. This very aggressive centralization agenda mandates that the jurisdiction and activities of the Alberta government be reduced - and the role of Ottawa enlarged - in every area, not just trade. This blog alone contains stories on Liberals and New Democrats taking the following positions:
  1. The Alberta Securities Commission should be shut down, and replaced with a federal regulator. (*)
  2. The federal government should take over responsibility for setting education standards in the provinces. (*)
  3. The federal government should become the primary regulator of growth in the Athabasca oil sands, and use the new federal regulatory power to limit growth to a level that Ottawa unilaterally deems "sustainable". (*)
This small sampling is just the tip of the iceberg.

I also note that Hugh MacDonald couldn't make it through the interview without taking a shot at the American government:
"... If Dick Cheney wants a busboy, he should pay for it himself.”

An interview on Alberta's trade office turns into a personal attack on Dick Cheney. This sort of attitude, and this kind of cheap shot, are the norm whenever Liberals and their ilk discuss America or the American government ...

... and this is exactly why Alberta should continue to have it's own representatives in Washington.

Source (click for full screencap):

Click for full screencap

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Alberta Tories at 34%?

Werner Patels has a post up on Jeffrey Simpson's latest column in the Globe and Mail. In that column, Simpson alleges that the Tories are polling at 34% in Alberta:

Rub your eyes, political junkies, when you read this: The Alberta Conservative Party stands at 34 per cent in the latest public opinion polls. Yes, poll numbers rise and fall. They are just snapshots. But still: only 34 per cent support for Canada's leading political dynasty, the party of Peter Lougheed and Ralph Klein.
I left a comment over on Werner's blog regarding the inaccuracy of the column:
In his column, Simpson states that the Alberta Tories are polling at 34%. I have seen no poll that has them that low, and just blogged about this yesterday.

An Ipsos-Reid poll published on June 23 had the Tories at 47%. There was a poll from Leger Marketing last week that put Stelmach's approval rating at 39%, and had the Tories at 34% in Calgary, 37% in Edmonton, and 45% in the rest of the province. That poll was reported in the Calgary Herald.

The Calgary Herald and Leger Marketing rarely get things right. They predicted Dinning was way out front in the PC leadership race, followed by Oberg. The rest, including Ted Morton, were supposedly in the 5% range.

We all know how accurate that prediction turned out to be.

Posted by: The Watcher ¦ July 18, 2007 at 09:48 AM
I, for one, don't buy this 34% nonsense. I think Mr. Simpson is letting his own Liberal bias cloud his reading comprehension.

I would welcome a link to a credible poll that has the Alberta Tories at 34%, and will open comments for this purpose.

Correction: The Calgary Herald poll that I refer to in my comment on Werner's blog as being published "last week", was in fact published on July 3, 2007.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

New polls roundup

You can read about the latest Alberta provincial polling data at In fact, they have compiled most of the provincial polls since 2006 in one chart. Here is a screencap: Alberta provincial polls

For more detailed coverage of some of these numbers, go to this post and this post at Alberta Alliance Watch.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

When blogging Liberals, screencap often

I noticed something strange today when doing up my response to Liberal tough guy Aman Hayer. His blog, "Wild Rose Grit", was formerly hosted at the following URL:

When you go there now, you will find nothing but jibberish. "Wild Rose Grit" was definitely at this URL; it is where I got the screencap of Hayer's January 4, 2007 post (that being the one in which he intimates Taft should step down). Now, "Wild Rose Grit" is hosted here:

If you look at the January archives, the January 4 post shown in my screencap has vanished.

So Hayer has changed the URL of his blog, and deleted at least one post. Why? If he wanted to revise history, why not just delete the January 4 post, and pretend it wasn't there?

And why keep the original URL, delete the posts, and insert some phrases from a foreign language?

I don't know the answers to these questions, and I certainly am not going to waste any time trying to find some logic in the strange behavior of Aman Hayer. However, it is obvious that Hayer is trying to cover something up, and he is willing to engage in destructive tactics to achieve whatever end he has in mind.

Which only goes to show that you need to have a good screencap program when blogging Liberals, because what is here today, could be "Hayered" tomorrow.

Liberal punk threatens lawsuit

Back on January 6, 2007, I wrote a post wherein I quoted a Liberal blogger known as the Wild Rose Grit, and accurately reproduced statements from his blog in which he impugned the leadership abilities of one Kevin Taft. In his post, the Wild Rose Grit stated Taft was about to "reach his expiration date", and he further stated that Taft did not have what it takes to be "Priemer".

His post seemed pretty definitive at the time, so, I was a bit surprised to receive an email on March 9, 2007, from "Aman Hayer (aka Wild Rose Grit)", asking me to take the post down, and threatening legal action if I failed to do so:

Hayer, your email is bullshit, and your threats are frivolous. I did not quote out of context. Here is a screencap of the post.

In the paragraph following the one from which I pulled the first quote, you state: "If the Alberta Liberal Party wants the premiership we should ponder a new leader." You then go on to list 4 potential replacements for Taft, and give the pros and cons of each.

In addition, several of the comments to your post reflect the fact that other people recognized this post for what it was - a call for Taft to resign.

I should have responded to your nonsense earlier, but, your legal threats didn't exactly leave me quaking in my boots, and I forgot about your email back in March. I am responding now because I happened to come across the email while cleaning out my inbox.

So, the post will be staying up. In fact, I'm thinking of forwarding it by email (along with the screencap) to Taft's office, in order to remind him that you were trying to stick the knife in him and destroy his leadership. As for the lawsuit, this is my formal response:

Bring. It. On.

Hayer, I will open comments on this post, in case you wish to respond here. I do moderate comments, but will publish anything you submit as is.

A fixer upper

"The Archive" reached a milestone in traffic last week, so I decided to give it an upgrade.

I have changed the blog template used on this site and at Alberta Alliance Watch. Things went flawlessly. I have also moved all audio to my shared media account on Twango. The server I used previously to host my audio files was a bit moody. Twango is much faster, and appears to be more reliable. If you are looking for a reliable, free, audio host, I recommend Twango.

Pretty impressed thus far.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Adscam investigation finally focuses on Jacques Corriveau

Blogger Trevor Harris has a post up regarding the ongoing investigation into the Adscam affair:

Jean Lafleur gets 45 months in jail and is ordered to repay $1.5 million that he stole from Canadian taxpayers as part of the Liberal sponsorship scandal. You would think we would be nearing the end of the road when it comes to tales of Liberal corruption, scandal and greed...nope!

A long-time Liberal party campaign organizer and friend of former prime minister Jean Chretien, Jacques Corriveau, saw his house get raided by the RCMP just yesterday. Remember him? Gomery characterized Corriveau as:

"the central figure in an elaborate kickback scheme by which he enriched himself personally and provided funds and benefits to the (Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec)."

I assume as time passes we will discover why - and who knows - maybe we'll find out who was driving that armoured getaway car when $200 million or so was heisted from hard working taxpayers.

But we can't forget the sage words from all Liberals when it comes to this historic breach of public trust - most recently uttered by MP, Mark Holland;

"It was in fact the Liberal party that called for the Gomery Inquiry, that called for the auditor general, that ensured we were able to go after the individuals who were responsible."

True... but it was in fact the Liberal party that was running the government when former Cabinet Ministers and dozens of Liberal friendly operatives violated the public trust by funnelling millions of dollars into the hands of people like Jean Lafleur. Pleading guilty does not absolve you of the crime. Nice try though.
Two points:
  1. It is great to see Jacques Corriveau taking some heat. I hope some incriminating evidence managed to escape the paper shredder in the 18 month period between Gomery fingering Corriveau, and the police finally getting around to searching Corriveau's premises.
  2. It comes as no surprise to see Liberal Party pipsqueak Mark Holland giving the Liberals credit for calling the Gomery Inquiry. In saying this, Holland is in fact dredging up an old mantra used by Paul Martin during his brief time as Prime Minister. For those readers interested in the full history of the Liberal Party's approach to Gomery, may I remind you that Jean Chretien and his entourage were against any type of inquiry, and thought Paul Martin was a complete incompetent for calling the Gomery Inquiry and shining so much light on this issue.
  3. If it was up to Chretien and his minions, the Gomery Inquiry never would have happened, and the sordid operations of the Liberal Party of Canada in Quebec likely never would have become public knowledge.

    But, why let the facts get in the way of some good propaganda, eh Mark?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Alberta Liberals are "gristle from ear to ear"; Alberta New Democrats are "boneheads"

That's the verdict of Calgary Sun columnist Paul Jackson, in a column he wrote on April 1, 2007:

Back to Alberta and our 36-year rule of the Progressive Conservatives.

Isn't it about time it's over?

Is it not time we got some fresh blood, and some new ideas at the Alberta Legislative Assembly?

Well, I don't think we are going to get any out of Premier Ed Stelmach and his team.

So what's the alternative?

Where is Alberta's Mario Dumont and ADQ?

It's certainly not Kevin Taft's zany Liberals -- every one of them gristle from ear-to-ear.

It's not Brian Mason's socialist New Democrats -- every one a bonehead.

What then, has happened to Hinman and the Alberta Alliance, which under former leader Randy Thorsteinson, hauled in 9% of the vote in the 2004 provincial election.

Where have they gone to ground. And why?

Why now? I just happened to stumble across this journalistic masterpiece, and found it funny. Besides, given the positions of the Alberta Liberal Party and Alberta New Democrats on federal-provincial issues, Jackson's comments are totally justifiable.

Have a pleasant day.

Source (click for screencap):

Click for full screencap