Thursday, January 11, 2007

Albertatory lives to 101

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season. For my part, I took time to reflect on 2006 (and what a year it was!) and where 2007 and beyond will lead me.

It is with that in mind that I have come to a final conclusion regarding the future of this blog.

When I started albertatory, the idea was to provide some comment and insight into provincial affairs from a PC Party insider. I think that, more or less, that goal was achieved over the life of this blog.

Since I moved to BC, however, my status as an "insider" has wained considerably. While I still talk to a number of people back in Alberta on a regular basis, I don't think that'll cut it. I'm no longer a resident, i'm no longer a party executive member, and, if you ask a few sore winners in my hometown, i'm not all that welcome in the party anymore.

Conversely, I have found myself quickly becoming aware of/concerned with/wrapped up in a number of issues as they relate to politics and policy here in BC. Try as I might, my enthusiasm for Alberta issues can't help but take a back seat to my enthusiasm for life on the coast.

Given all this, you've probably gathered that you're reading my last post as the albertatory. Fret not, though! One of my New Year's resolutions was to blog a lot more often and that will indeed be the case over at BLAKE ON THE COAST. I may still chime in about Alberta issues once in a while and most of the comment will still be political... just a bit different in scope.

Before I go, there are 3 Alberta stories i'll offer some comment on:

Alberta: Confederation's Bad Boys
Alberta's new Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Guy Boutilier has recently been quoted as saying Alberta is the "bad boy" of confederation... and was then seen a few days later to be claiming it as a misquote.

Guy's musings in the media over the last year haven't been all that flattering, and this latest venture into the headlines wasn't a resounding success.

Having a former East Coaster and the current MLA for Canada's most economically important region in the Intergovernmental Affairs role can be a huge benefit to Alberta... but Guy's communications department is going to have to craft a set of VERY clear messages for their Minister to deliver during his tenure.

That and $5K will buy you a cup of coffee...
Premier Stelmach returned from his holidays to find that the party had organized a set of very exclusive, very expensive meetings with himself and key ministers to help clear the campaign debts of certain PC leadership contenders. It would appear from his shotgun news conference this morning that the Premier certainly does not agree with this idea. He has cancelled these fundraisers.

That's a good start. The next step would be to fire the moron who came up with the idea in the first place.

The new government cannot afford too many mistakes like this... keeping those who make them on the payroll only increases their likelyhood.

The end of an era
During my time in the PC Party of Alberta, no single person had greater respect from me than Shirley McClellan.

As a Minister, she was always forthright and exceptionally competant in her duties... whether it was dealing with the health care portfolio in the early years of the Klein government or her outstanding handling of the BSE crisis as Agriculture minister, Shirley McClellan was always someone that people listened to and respected.

As a friend, Shirley is equally forthright and always approachable. She was always one of my most ardent supporters. I hope she knows how much that meant to me over the years, and that that support was reciprocal 10 times over.

The people of Alberta and, in particular, her constituents will lose a strong voice when Shirley McClellan retires on Monday. We can be proud, though, that we were able to benefit from her talents for so long.

Thank you Shirley, and God Bless.

And with that, thanks to ALL OF YOU for reading and commenting so often. I'll keep the site up with this last post for a while and I might even be persuaded to comment... but from here on in, bloglife continues on the coast.