Alberta Politics - started May 7, 2015

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jerrym

Climate change is indeed expected to warm the prairies, which would, other things being equal, increase crop yields. The problem is, other things are not equal already and almost certainly won't be in the future. A drier climate will limit crop growth despite any warming effects of climate change as the conclusions of the following report on climate change on the Canadian prairie outlines.

Quote:

KEy CoNCLUSIoNS

• There will be lower summer streamflows, falling lake levels, retreating glaciers and declining soil moisture. Less water will be stored as winter snow and ice – historically a reliable and important source of water. Water scarcity may constrain economic and population growth in Alberta.

• Within the framework of an environment that is tracking warmer and drier, there will be more flood events, severe storms and climatic extremes. The climate is becoming increasingly variable season to season and year to year.

• Droughts of extreme severity or long duration are an increasing threat to communities and industries, particularly agriculture.

• Generally summers will be especially dry. • Much of the projected temperature increase will occur in winter and spring. There will be reduced energy demand for

heating and higher demand for cooling.

• A shorter, warmer, winter season will make winter ice roads less viable and will hinder some forestry and energy industry operations. Some agricultural and forest pests will survive warmer winters more easily – mountain pine beetle is a serious threat. Ice-fishing, snowmobiling and skiing may decline.

• Higher potential forest, grassland and crop productivity from increased heat and atmospheric CO2 will be limited by available soil moisture.

• There will be major ecosystem changes. Aquatic habitats will be stressed and some fish and waterfowl populations will decline. Non-native plants and animals will appear on the landscape, while some native species will decline or disappear entirely. The southern boreal forest is at serious risk.

• Some vector-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, could become more common. • The most vulnerable people to climate change impacts include the elderly, children, the poor, those with underlying

health problems, farmers, and Aboriginal peoples.

• Adaptation to climate change is necessary. Minimum tillage practices and crop diversification in the agricultural sector, infrastructure and water conservation programs across the Prairies, new water policy in Alberta, and re-engineering of the Red River floodway in Manitoba, have enhanced resilience and increased adaptive capacity.

• Climate change impacts are on-going, and the acceleration of impacts is now inevitable. To avoid the most damaging worst-case climate change impacts scenarios, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are urgently required.

http://www.parc.ca/pdf/research_publications/summary_docs/SD2008-01.pdf'

 

 

NorthReport

We will just have to put H2O in the pipelines instead of oil.  Wink

jerrym

 

The following article includes a map of the prairies showing the prairie region under threat of desertification due to climate change currently and by 2050, including a large portion of Alberta. 

Quote:

Canada will not be spared from the effects of climate change. Canadians could stand to lose their favourite parks, see their levels of health decline, and suffer threats to their very livelihoods.

With a 2°C rise in temperature, the Prairies face a 50 percent increased risk of desertification. In this scenario, parks in the region could become very changed places. As well, other climate change scenarios often predict larger areas getting burned when it comes to wildfires, further altering landscapes as we know them.

http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/atlas/themes.aspx?id=climateprosperity&...

 

 

Policywonk

David Young wrote:

I wouldn't mind seeing Notley offer Swann the Speaker's post, for a year or so; with a New Democrat M.L.A. as Deputy Speaker until he/she learns the ropes and can take over with Swann becoming Deputy Speaker until the next election.

It's not like Swann's going to have many chances to ask questions as the lone Liberal in the House, is he?

I think he might well be the best choice for speaker, and not just until an NDP MLA learns the ropes.  He is only an interim leader and I suspect he might not run again.

 

NorthReport

What a dick!  Frown

Calgary City Councillor Sean Chu faces backlash over tweet

http://globalnews.ca/news/2014658/calgary-city-councillor-sean-chu-faces...

NorthReport

‘Today we open up a new chapter in the story of Alberta': Premier Rachel Notley

http://globalnews.ca/news/2014739/rachel-notley-sworn-in-as-17th-premier...

NorthReport
NorthReport

Historic vote sweeps NDP to victory in Alberta

Issue Analysis: what was behind the first sea change in Alberta politics in 44 years

http://angusreid.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/2015.05-Alberta-Updated-...

felixr

An extremely conservative new cabinet in that most of the members are known quantities (either through Rachel's connections to the unions or the Alberta NDP caucus). It's also a dangerous one, because membership is based on proximity as opposed to pragmatic loyalty and the echo chamber vs. diversity of perspective. Essentially the only non-dogmatic thinking the premier is going to face is from the top public servants, who serve at her pleasure and have no appeals process. Some of Rachel's cabinet colleagues also recently coveted her job. What's to say they won't think they can do better than her at some point again. I would hedge on it.

The cabinet also fails to stray far from Edmonton, particularly in the weighty portfolios. I wonder how long until that gets noticed.

Of all the cabinet ministers Joe Ceci has got the toughest job. He is essentially the face of the NDP to Calgary. He is also the finance minister at a time when the province has a staggering deficit. He is the messenger for the NDP's tax raising and corporate curbing mandate, the economic heft of which will heartily land at corporate Calgary's doorstep. Based on the lineup, he also is likely to have few allies in cabinet. Notley has arrayed her forces to counterbalance the finance minister. I hope Ceci is in for a rough ride or we could see a new finance minister before 2 years (and thus 2 budgets, one the post-election scramble and the other the well-thought out one) are out. Notley needed a prominent senior cabinet minister from Alberta's biggest city and she just lured him into the street with no exit. Good luck Joe.

First thing on Brian Topp's agenda, prop up the PCs and divide the conservative opposition. The best way to do that is to rile up the tensions between social and non-social conservatives, to give the PCs a reason for being. Then try to rub the Liberal and Alberta Party out into irrelevance. Out of the two, the Alberta Party is the greater threat given its tabula rasa brand credentials and "centrist" positioning, but they also have the least capital, so you crush their ability to organise. Get to work Brian Topp, chew up our democracy into another backroom intrigue of darts and daggers. Feed the beast (the unions) and keep the NDP's lifeline and golden parachutes open. Enjoy the post-election honeymoon.

Here's hoping Alberta oil prices rise soon, because I'm not eager to witness the alternative...Rule Topplandia!

P.S. When, in recent memory, has a chief of staff ever so badly/publicly outshone their leader? More has been made of his views, since appointment, than Rachel Notley's.

felixr

The message Rachel Notley wanted to send with the cabinet is "experience," to counter all the media chatter of "rookies," but that's not the message I got.

Newfoundlander_...

I think Notley went to small with her cabinet. I'm not sure of the exact numbers now but there were probably 3 or so others who pundits put on their cabinet shortlist. From following on Twitter some of those pundits were surprised by a couple of people who did not make it. I think Notley would have been wise to perhaps go with a 15 member cabinet. There has been a lot of talk on how she had to go small because there were so many new MLAs. However, I think that would be reason for going a bit bigger.

Newfoundkand and Labrador recently reduced their cabinet to 12 - plus an attorney general who they try not to consider a full minister - and many ministers have big workloads. Recently there have been a few small blunders that could probably be linked back to minsters having such a big workload. Notley could have appointed 15 and still touted that it was smaller than the PCs, while lessening the workloads for ministers. I wouldn't be surprised to see her cabinet increase in a year or so, as Darrell Dexter did with his.

terrytowel

Once again Rachel Notley completely IGNORED Pam Barrett in her speech.

No mention AT ALL about Pam legacy in Alberta politics.

Not only was Pam the first female NDP leader, but the FIRST woman to lead any party in Alberta.

If there was no Pam Barrett, there would be no Rachel Notley.

I think I see some arrogance creeping in.

Newfoundlander_...

terrytowel wrote:

Once again Rachel Notley completely IGNORED Pam Barrett in her speech.

No mention AT ALL about Pam legacy in Alberta politics.

Not only was Pam the first female NDP leader, but the FIRST woman to lead any party in Alberta.

If there was no Pam Barrett, there would be no Rachel Notley.

I think I see some arrogance creeping in.

I never saw her speech after the swearing in but did she discuss the NDP in her speech? That would seem like an unusual thing to do to me.

NorthReport
NorthReport

Sunshine, ice cream and a mellow multitude of 10,000 or so usher in the NDP era in Alberta

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2015/05/sunshine-ice-cream-...

NorthReport

Was Lake of Fire 2.0, the 2015 edition, averted by an incompetent Tory war room?

http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2015/05/was-lake-fire-20-20...

Policywonk

felixr wrote:

An extremely conservative new cabinet in that most of the members are known quantities (either through Rachel's connections to the unions or the Alberta NDP caucus). It's also a dangerous one, because membership is based on proximity as opposed to pragmatic loyalty and the echo chamber vs. diversity of perspective. Essentially the only non-dogmatic thinking the premier is going to face is from the top public servants, who serve at her pleasure and have no appeals process. Some of Rachel's cabinet colleagues also recently coveted her job. What's to say they won't think they can do better than her at some point again. I would hedge on it.

The cabinet also fails to stray far from Edmonton, particularly in the weighty portfolios. I wonder how long until that gets noticed.

Of all the cabinet ministers Joe Ceci has got the toughest job. He is essentially the face of the NDP to Calgary. He is also the finance minister at a time when the province has a staggering deficit. He is the messenger for the NDP's tax raising and corporate curbing mandate, the economic heft of which will heartily land at corporate Calgary's doorstep. Based on the lineup, he also is likely to have few allies in cabinet. Notley has arrayed her forces to counterbalance the finance minister. I hope Ceci is in for a rough ride or we could see a new finance minister before 2 years (and thus 2 budgets, one the post-election scramble and the other the well-thought out one) are out. Notley needed a prominent senior cabinet minister from Alberta's biggest city and she just lured him into the street with no exit. Good luck Joe.

First thing on Brian Topp's agenda, prop up the PCs and divide the conservative opposition. The best way to do that is to rile up the tensions between social and non-social conservatives, to give the PCs a reason for being. Then try to rub the Liberal and Alberta Party out into irrelevance. Out of the two, the Alberta Party is the greater threat given its tabula rasa brand credentials and "centrist" positioning, but they also have the least capital, so you crush their ability to organise. Get to work Brian Topp, chew up our democracy into another backroom intrigue of darts and daggers. Feed the beast (the unions) and keep the NDP's lifeline and golden parachutes open. Enjoy the post-election honeymoon.

Here's hoping Alberta oil prices rise soon, because I'm not eager to witness the alternative...Rule Topplandia!

P.S. When, in recent memory, has a chief of staff ever so badly/publicly outshone their leader? More has been made of his views, since appointment, than Rachel Notley's.

Your post is contradictory, as Finance and Treasury Board are surely weighty portfolios, as is Energy. The first item on the agenda should be to govern well. Period. And I don't think Topp has outshone Notley.  

NorthReport

Pure sour grapes.

Wake us up in a couple of years if the AB NDP are not meeting expectations.

In the meantime if you are so concerned about government finances, why don't you call on the right-wing community in Alberta to do the right-thing and insist that the oil and gas industry pay up the $13 billion they owe in royalties to the people. 

 

felixr wrote:

An extremely conservative new cabinet in that most of the members are known quantities (either through Rachel's connections to the unions or the Alberta NDP caucus). It's also a dangerous one, because membership is based on proximity as opposed to pragmatic loyalty and the echo chamber vs. diversity of perspective. Essentially the only non-dogmatic thinking the premier is going to face is from the top public servants, who serve at her pleasure and have no appeals process. Some of Rachel's cabinet colleagues also recently coveted her job. What's to say they won't think they can do better than her at some point again. I would hedge on it.

The cabinet also fails to stray far from Edmonton, particularly in the weighty portfolios. I wonder how long until that gets noticed.

Of all the cabinet ministers Joe Ceci has got the toughest job. He is essentially the face of the NDP to Calgary. He is also the finance minister at a time when the province has a staggering deficit. He is the messenger for the NDP's tax raising and corporate curbing mandate, the economic heft of which will heartily land at corporate Calgary's doorstep. Based on the lineup, he also is likely to have few allies in cabinet. Notley has arrayed her forces to counterbalance the finance minister. I hope Ceci is in for a rough ride or we could see a new finance minister before 2 years (and thus 2 budgets, one the post-election scramble and the other the well-thought out one) are out. Notley needed a prominent senior cabinet minister from Alberta's biggest city and she just lured him into the street with no exit. Good luck Joe.

First thing on Brian Topp's agenda, prop up the PCs and divide the conservative opposition. The best way to do that is to rile up the tensions between social and non-social conservatives, to give the PCs a reason for being. Then try to rub the Liberal and Alberta Party out into irrelevance. Out of the two, the Alberta Party is the greater threat given its tabula rasa brand credentials and "centrist" positioning, but they also have the least capital, so you crush their ability to organise. Get to work Brian Topp, chew up our democracy into another backroom intrigue of darts and daggers. Feed the beast (the unions) and keep the NDP's lifeline and golden parachutes open. Enjoy the post-election honeymoon.

Here's hoping Alberta oil prices rise soon, because I'm not eager to witness the alternative...Rule Topplandia!

P.S. When, in recent memory, has a chief of staff ever so badly/publicly outshone their leader? More has been made of his views, since appointment, than Rachel Notley's.

NorthReport

Nenshi: Notley's cabinet will be good for Calgary

http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/nenshi-notleys-cabinet-will-be-...

NorthReport

This is shocking I tell you, shocking, as if government is not political  Laughing

 

Wanner endorsed as legislative speaker

http://medicinehatnews.com/news/local-news/2015/05/25/wanner-endorsed-as...

NorthReport

Boo! Fucking Hoo!

Suck it up right-wingers. Get used to the fact you don't run everything in Alberta any more. 

NDP criticized for method of choosing the next Speaker

http://www.newstalk770.com/2015/05/25/ndp-critized-for-method-of-chosing...

Policywonk

How was the last speaker chosen?

bekayne

Policywonk wrote:

How was the last speaker chosen?

Since 1997, secret ballot

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Kowalski

Kowalski would be elected Speaker of the Assembly in following the election on April 14, 1997. He would defeat Don Tannas and Glen Clegg on the second ballot to win the position. The speakers election was the first one to be held by secret ballot in the assembly.[7] He would run for his seventh term in office, and his first as incumbent speaker in the 2001 general election. His popular vote would rise significantly as he would defeat three other candidates in a landslide.[8]

After the election he would be acclaimed to his second term as Speaker.[9] He ran for his eighth term in office in the 2004 general election. His electoral district would again be redistributed and he ran in the new electoral district of Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock. He won a slightly reduced popular vote, but still easily won the electoral district defeating four other candidates.[10]

Kowalski would be acclaimed to his third term as Speaker.[9] 

 

robbie_dee

This is a tempest in a teapot. Regardless of past practice under the PCs, this is an entirely different situation. 70/87 MLAs are rookies, including 49/53 members of the governing caucus. It would have been irresponsible for the government to take a "hands-off" approach to the election of a Speaker and let all MLAs compete in a free-for-all. Since the NDP caucus is in the majority, the Speaker was inevitably going to come from among the non-cabinet MLAs in that caucus unless Notley leaned even harder on her MLAs to push an opposition MLA (e.g. David Swann was rumored) into the chair. The most important consideration is therefore not partiality but competence. The rookie MLAs were inevitably going to look to their party leadership for guidance since they've never been here before and probably don't even know all of their colleagues that well yet. At least the party leaders can do some basic review and vetting before making a recommendation. Wanner seems like a reasonable pick.

NorthReport
bagkitty bagkitty's picture

I certainly hope the news cycle moves on ... soon. The conservative outrage machine is baying for blood in the comments sections of th elocal (Calgary) media. It is sickly amusing to see the same names that cheered on Ralph Klein when he blustered on about invoking the not withstanding clause in order to prevent SSM suddenly denouncing Ms. Drever for her Instagram message.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

My goodness... the con-bots flagged my comment on the latest Drever story over at CBC as offensive... you be the judge:

bagkitty wrote:

As a gay male, I find all this pearl clutching by the resident right wingers a bit, how should I put this... precious. In the words of the Divine Miss M... F*** 'em if they can't take a joke. I do not disagree that Ms. Drever needs to mature a bit, but the same right wingers who cheered on Ralph Klein when he threatened to "invoke the notwithstanding clause" to prevent same sex marriage have crossed the line into rank hypocrisy when they accuse Ms. Drever of homophobia -- "ironic" comments usually backfire, I think she has received the message loud and clear. Time to call off the lynch mob.

mark_alfred

I don't find your post offensive.  You're telling it like it is.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Thanks M_A, I am looking on the bright side, as long as the con-bots are busy flooding the local boards with their musings, they are not in the position to do any real life damage to the young and impressionable... Innocent

NorthReport

Notley temporarily moved Drever to the side in order that the anti-NDP zealots not be able to use Drever as an opportunity to derail the NDP program, which, let's face it, is going to be a tad different than the past 100 years in Alberta, eh!

Drever will be returned to the Caucus in due course. 

voice of the damned

NorthReport wrote:
the NDP program, which, let's face it, is going to be a tad different than the past 100 years in Alberta, eh!

Drever will be returned to the Caucus in due course. 

Well, the last twenty years, anyway. Unless Notley is planning to establish a state-owned bank and nationalize an airline, she'll likely end up being somewhat to the right of where Alberta governments managed to get to in 1938 and 1974.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

LOL, I believe we still own ATB (okay, a registered financial institution, not a full fledged chartered bank), but I am afraid Peter's Western Airline went belly up when the private sector got their hands onto it... and don't get me started on what happened to AGT when it was privatized and became Telus...

Then again, the bar is not that high... simply reversing the Klein experiments (flat tax, Enroneque deregulated electricity market, etc.) should bring a smile to most Albertans, not mention improve their personal financial situation.

voice of the damned

bagkitty wrote:

LOL, I believe we still own ATB (okay, a registered financial institution, not a full fledged chartered bank), but I am afraid Peter's Western Airline went belly up when the private sector got their hands onto it...

Yeah, how often does it happen that a company is nationalized and then privatized by the same guy? NEXT...

voice of the damned

I suspect the ATB is safe for the foreseeable, since the NDP is not likely to go on a privatization spree(not that there would be much left to privatize), and my understanding is that the branches are popular enough in the rural areas that the Tories or Wildrose won't wanna touch them.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Actually, I am hoping they might actually expand the number of branches. The lack of financial service institutions in smaller communities is not exactly a big secret.

NorthReport

Alberta premier gets new executive assistant from B.C.

http://www.cknw.com/2015/05/28/78255/

NorthReport

This is the kind of mentality Rachel now has to deal with:

Exxon CEO ridicules green energy: “We choose not to lose money on purpose”

Big Oil is not interested in being part of the solution

http://www.salon.com/2015/05/28/exxon_ceo_ridicules_green_energy_we_choo...

NorthReport

Alberta NDP spurs education ‘celebration’ with $103M announcement

http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/1380993/alberta-ndp-greenlights-plan-to...

felixr

A truly great idea from Nenshi link

felixr

Reducing class sizes, aka increasing teacher hires and union dues, is that what this is for?

NorthReport

University of Alberta - propaganda machine for the oil industry?

U of A study ‘flawed’ that found no heavy metal contamination in oilsands region: scientists

A controversial University of Alberta study that found no evidence of airborne pollution from oilsands operations is “misleading” and “fundamentally flawed,” say two scientists who study pollution.

University of Ottawa toxicologist Jules Blais and Alberta water expert William Donahue reviewed U of A researcher William Shotyk’s findings and said they found several flaws in the 2014 study.

“We take exception to these authors’ assertion that there is no evidence of atmospheric contamination of metals” in the active oilsands zone, the two scientists said in a commentary in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

 

 

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/edmonton/study+flawed+that+found+heavy...

voice of the damned

NorthReport wrote:

University of Alberta - propaganda machine for the oil industry?

Well, I wouldn't neccessarily say the WHOLE university. Maybe that one prof, probably a few others.

When I was at the U Of A in the early 90s, I knew of a few profs in the natural sciences who were pretty progressive on environmental issues, including one who publically opposed government policies(can't recall the specific issue). And the prof for my climatology class was given to toting around Edward Abbey books.

To be sure, we had our share of right-wing jerkrags and corporate shills as well. None are really coming to mind right now, but then, I don't really follow that sort of thing.

NorthReport

Are there not some kind of scientific standards before people can pontificate like that?

If I were a professor in another department I would be concerned about all the university being tarred with the same brush.

It's like the head of that Calgary University - the sooner he is gone the better.

voice of the damned

NorthReport wrote:

Are there not some kind of scientific standards before people can pontificate like that?

You might be overestimating the power of "scientific standards" to act as a gatekeeper. Remember when the LANCET in published that paper saying that vaccines caused autism? They later retracted it, but the fact remains that they did consider it credible research to begin with.

As for this guy tarnishing the reputation of the U Of A, well, I think anyone who is familiar with universities knows that the opinions of one prof rarely represent an institutional party-line. I don't think the entire McGill faculty, for example, is made up of assimilationist neo-cons, just because their publishing house put out Tom Flanagan's book on First Nations.

NorthReport
NorthReport

In other words universities are not what they are cracked to be.  Who knew! 

 

NorthReport

In other words universities are not what they are cracked up to be.  Who knew! 

 

NorthReport

This looks significant. Sounds like Notley is actually going to walk the talk. How refreshing!

This kind of thinking could turn Canadian politics on its head.

Public interest advocate Bill Moore-Kilgannon joins NDP government

http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/edmonton/Public+interest+advocate+Bi...

NorthReport

Alberta's shattered Tories have a tougher task ahead than the ‘inexperienced’ NDP


http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/djclimenhaga/2015/05/albertas-shattered-...

NorthReport

 

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi says Keystone XL pipeline getting unfair treatment in U.S.

http://www.thewhig.com/2015/05/30/calgary-mayor-naheed-nenshi-says-keyst...

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