Saturday, September 30, 2006

If you mine it here, upgrade it here

Good morning from scenic Parksville, BC!

The BC adventure continues, and at some point in the next day or so I will sit down and reflect on it at blakeonthecoast.

In the meantime, though, it seems that things are heating up back in Alberta.

In particular, i'm really happy about Jim's latest comments regarding the upgrading of our natural resources right here in Alberta. It only stands to reason that we generate as much wealth as we can from the resources that are under our feet.

In addition to benefiting the provincial coffers, a targeted strategy to encourage Alberta-based resource refinement can also be the key to ensuring the "Alberta Advantage" is spread beyond the Highway 2 corridor.

Its our resource, we all deserve a piece of the pie.

Bravo, Jim!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

It's baaaaaaaack

After a rather long, techno-crash imposed hiatus, the albertatory is back in action online!

Most sincere and deepest thanks go out to Allie and Duncan, without whom I would not have known about the problem, nor would I have been able to fix it. Their web/blog skills are beyond compare, and they're pretty irreplaceable as friends, too.

There's a fair bit to talk about and i'm anxious to get to it, but first a pause to remember...

LeRoy Johnson, the MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose, is one of the truly good people in this world. He is genuine, sincere, and honest to a fault. His entire family also shares these qualities, which is why I was deeply saddened to learn that his wonderful wife Dianne lost her battle with cancer last week.

Dianne was a community leader in her own right, and just much a servant of her husband's constituents as he is. I know the good Lord will grant Dianne the rest she so richly deserves, and that He will be a source of strength for LeRoy and his family as they mourn their loss.

Godspeed Mrs. Johnson.

Now then, on with a summary of what's going on:

  • I'm trying to draw some parallels between the federal Liberal leadership race and the provincial PC leadership race. It doesn't completely work, but there are a couple of distinctions that can/have been drawn. The most obvious one is that Ed Stelmach is our Ken Dryden. Nobody has anything substantially bad to say about Ed, and he's your safest bet as a second choice. Will it translate into votes? Will it make Ed the Kingmaker? Too early to tell, but it'll be fun to watch. The other parallel i've heard is between my candidate, Jim Dinning, and Michael Ignatieff in the sense that we're both leading the first ballot with little room to grow. I don't know that I totally agree with this conclusion, but its an interesting thought nonetheless.

  • McBeath and Chapman are having a great back-and-forth about what is really driving voters away from PC Alberta. I'm not really sure if I side with one argument over the other, but its sure is fun to read.

  • I caught two absolutely hilarious sound bites from federal QP over the past couple of weeks. One was Hon. Monte Solberg who, after quoting Michael Ignatieff, said "Mr. Speaker, that was the Honourable Member from Haaaavud". The other was Hon. John Baird who, in a series of replies to hapless Liberal backbenchers, spoke of "the Honourable Member from Six Feet Under (Joe Volpe)" and the "shakedown of school children for their milk money". Damn fine political theatre indeed.

  • I, for one, like the Belinda Stronach-Tie Domi affair. I hate them both, so I can now hate them as a couple.

  • Life in BC has been an adjustment, for sure. Its a fun place to live, although I do have "Alberta moments". I'll be putting up some reflections of life on the coast soon over on my other blog.

Thanks for reading... i'll be back with more soon!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

My other family

I've been in Edmonton the past couple of days and, as luck would have it, I was able to take in the first PC Alberta Leadership Debate tonight. First, hats off to the St. Albert and Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert PC Associations for putting together an excellent forum.

It was great to see all the candidates on stage together and i'm particularily proud of my how my guy, Mr. Jim Dinning, performed.

As far as the rest of the pack, a couple of observations:

-Victor Doerksen was far more eloquent than I expected he would.

-Gary McPherson is a very witty, charming and intelligent fellow. Slim as his chances may be, his message is an important one and he delivers it well.

-Dave Hancock doesn't seem to like Ted Morton very much.

The part that I enjoyed most about this evening, though, had absolutely nothing to do with the debate.

As many of you know, I have had the opportunity to travel far and wide within the ranks of PC Alberta. I've been to functions in every corner of the province and made some great friends along the way. Given the stellar attendance tonight, I was able to see and chat with or say hi to (however briefly) a great many of them including:

Rob Lougheed, Allie Wojtaszek, Helen Stephenson, Linda Robertson, Jordan Cleland, Alan Hallman, Grant Doyle, Linda Lo, Michael Cooper, Bill Stewart, Brent Rathgeber, Ken Chapman, Leslie Stitt, Bill Shields, Scott Hierath, Tim Shipton, Dave Broda, Evelyn Main, Jim Dinning, Mike Gladstone, Betty Ann Hicks, Dave Hancock, Lloyd Snelgrove, Luke Ouellette, Doug Horner, Rochelle Marshall, Scott Thorkelson, Alison Boychuk, Sara Katz, Wayne Cao, Tim Boston, Joan Hertz-Benkendorf... you get the idea... a LOT of people.

It was great to run into so many friends, although a bit sad knowing that i'm not going to be around some of these folks as much as I have been over the last 8 years or so.

Its corny to some, and downright pathetic to others, but PC Alberta really has become an extended family of sorts for me and they're a big part of what i'm leaving behind here in Alberta.

Its definetly an incentive to consider return at the end of my 2 1/2 years on the Island, for sure.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Alternative perspectives

I share this only for information, and give the hat tip to daveberta for coming across it.

The Tyee is fairly well-read in BC, and has some interesting stuff. Namely, THIS article about Premier Klein.

In sort-of-related commentary, Graham Thomson has an interesting bit with former Premier Peter Lougheed HERE.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

An Albertatory in BC

cross-posted from

Well here I am, a British Columbian.

Some of you are probably wondering how I can say that, given that being Albertan has been so much a part of my identity.

Well that's true, of course. And i'm still very much Albertan at heart. So why am I labelling myself as a British Columbian?

Here's why:

One of the things that drove me nuts in McMurray were people who lived there, but didn't really "live" there. You know what I mean... they didn't care what was going on, spent all their weekends and most of their money out of town, didn't get involved in anything.

I have vowed not to become one of those people while i'm here in Victoria. I may only reside on this beautiful island for a few years, but so long as i'm here, this is my home and I will treat it as such.

That being said, you can be assured that i'll have lots to say about what is going on back in Alberta. Given that, i've decided to keep my original blog, albertatory, operational for those purposes.

So that's the deal... special just for you, my loyal readers. One Blake, two blogs. Alberta stuff on albertatory, BC stuff and life in general on blakeonthecoast.

Hope you enjoy the reads!