Press Gallery #226: The Pipelines, Pipelines, Pipelines edition

Another week in Alberta politics, and yet more developments in the Trans Mountain pipeline skirmish with British Columbia.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Clare Clancy, Paula Simons and Graham Thomson to talk about the new oil control legislation introduced in the legislature Monday, a meeting with the prime minister, and the latest comments from Kinder Morgan. OH! And a poll. About pipelines. Because it’s all pipelines, all the time.

The team also has a chat about a handful of Alberta MLAs who have decided not to run in 2019 — including one of the nicest guys in politics. You’ll have to listen to find out who that is.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Clare’s picks: This read in The Guardian about the murder that shook Iceland. Also, the film A Quiet Place.

Paula’s picks: The podcast Slow Burn, about Watergate. Simons also highly recommend’s Thomson’s pick, The Death of Stalin.

Emma’s pick: This super interesting read in The New Yorker about Chinese immigrants in Italy and their production of cheap fashion.

Graham’s pick: This awesome new TV show called The Terror.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics


Notes from the Dome: Culture Days cash and a school bus survey

Funding available to celebrate culture

The Alberta government is planning to dole out money for community celebrations focusing on diversity and culture.

Alberta Culture Days will take place Sept. 28-30, with funding ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 available. In 2017, there were 421 events in 56 communities hosted by cultural organizations, non-profit groups, libraries and schools.

“Alberta Culture Days is an opportunity for communities across the province to demonstrate and share their passion for art, music, history and culture with Albertans and visitors,” said Culture and Tourism Minister Ricardo Miranda in a Friday news release.

Communities can apply for $10,000 to create a designated feature celebration site, or launch a host celebration site for $5,000. Up to $1,000 is available for one-day pop up events.

Applications are due June 1.

Bus survey

Alberta Education is asking for feedback on proposed changes to student bus services for the 2019-20 school year.

An online survey that includes questions on distance and safety criteria will close June 15. The government plans to finalize changes this fall, said a Friday news release.

“Making sure students are transported to school and back home safely each day is an extremely important yet complicated task that involves a number of organizations,” said Education Minister David Eggen in the release. “We want to know Albertans’ views on how to make this process the best it can be.”

He introduced legislation last fall that eliminated a student walk limit from the School Act. When the government moved to reduce school fees last year, only students who lived more than 2.4 kilometres from their designated school were eligible for free yellow school bus rides or reduced-price bus passes.

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics


Grande Prairie MLA Wayne Drysdale announces retirement

When the 2019 election rolls around, Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale won’t be seeking re-election.

After 25 years in politics, the former farmer is retiring.

Sitting down with Postmedia, his heart on his sleeve, Drysdale nods when asked if it was a tough decision.

“It’s an honour. Not many people get the honour to sit here,” he said. He pauses, chuckling, “There I go again” as his emotions get the better of him.

He clears his throat.

“Not many people get to represent their community and have a little bit of a say to develop this great province. It’s an institution that I’m proud to have been part of.”

The soft-spoken Drysdale is widely seen as one of the nicest guys in the legislature — he’s not into what he calls the “cheap shots” of question period or political posturing.

“I got into this to help my community. That’s the only reason I’m here. I didn’t get into politics to be a minister or an MLA,” he said.

Even those across the aisle respect the former infrastructure minister.

Politically, he and Health Minister Sarah Hoffman don’t see eye to eye, but she’s tried to put a smile on his face, “and he always puts one on mine,” she said.

Congratulating Drysdale on his service, Hoffman said she respects his work, his approach to politics and his focus on serving his community.

A bittersweet departure

Drysdale started out in municipal politics, serving as a councillor for 15 years before pursuing a provincial government seat.

Former staffers tell stories of his time as minister, when he would meet with anyone who asked. His door was always open and he tried to take every call.

“It’s corny, but I go back to the old adage — you treat people the way you want to be treated,” he said. “I think if you treat people with respect and decency, they treat you that way.”

It will be bittersweet to leave the legislature, he said, but it’s time to hand the torch to the next generation.

Drysdale has no firm plans aside from travelling and spending time with his family “who sacrificed a lot,” including his wife Sherry. He’ll also spoil his two young granddaughters, who he misses greatly.

“With the support of the community and partners, we’ve done a lot of good things over the last 25 years,” he said.

“I think I’ve left it better than I found it.”

…read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal – Politics