Jason Kenney has resigned, but he’s not leaving until there’s a new UCP leader, so I regret to inform you that we have entered Kenney’s lame duck period. No long-term goals, no power over his caucus, dwindling influence, and worst of all for us, no consequences. After all, he’s already lost; so brace yourself, things could get wacky.
He can still do a lot of damage; just this week Kenney was amping up the drug war rhetoric again in response to news that the B.C. government has received a federal exemption that will allow them to decriminalize small quantities of drugs. But increasingly Jason Kenney is just not the main character anymore.
Silly season is upon us and the leadership race will have its fair share of it. Kenney’s cabinet colleague Travis Toews has now thrown his debris-flecked hat (was that… poop?) in the ring. For someone who was Finance Minister from the beginning of the UCP regime, he hasn’t managed to really build a profile. Transportation Minister Rajan Sawnhey is kicking the tires on a leadership run, though she’s hired the man who left Christy Clark's office under never-explained circumstances Ken Boessenkool to do it. Ontario based Rebel Media co-founder Brian Lilley is even inexplicably stumping for the baby-faced MAGA guy Devin “Shields Up” Dreeshen for leader. And Danielle Smith and Brian Jean are also still lurking.
Kenney’s slow retreat leaves open space to fill, so look out for cabinet ministers trying to leave their mark. Demetrious Nicolaides, the cabinet minister responsible for universities has let go of the board chair of Athabasca University after a fight between the new CEO of the university and the province over keeping well paying university jobs in the small central Alberta town. Justice Minister Tyler Shandro metaphorically rolled up to Amarjeet Sohi’s driveway and demanded that he give Chief Dale McFee whatever he wants when it comes to police funding.
Edmonton has even been treated to Calgary MLAs Jason Luan, Mike Ellis and Josephine Pon touring Chinatown to make concerned listening faces in pictures, ostensibly about the problems facing Chinatown. Never mind, of course, that the challenges Edmonton is facing were grossly worsened by aggressive funding cuts from the UCP administration.
Every grifter and ghoul around is stepping on stage to get a foot in what was Jason Kenney’s spotlight. Get ready for a wild six months.
Image from Youtube video The Great Interregnum.
- An 11-person Edmonton jury found Anthony Bilodeau guilty of second degree murder and his father Roger Bilodeau guilty of manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two Metis hunters in rural Alberta. The two men, who had deliberately chased after and confronted their victims, tried to argue self-defense and even raised the specter of rural crime as justifications for the killings in the two week trial but the jury was unconvinced.
Despite granting an exemption to British Columbia, the federal government will not be decriminalizing drugs anywhere else for now after a decrim bill proposed by the federal NDP, Bill C-216. Randy Boissoneault, the Liberal MP representing Edmonton’s downtown which has been hit hard by the drug poisoning epidemic, was among the MPs who voted it down.
- Rob Houle has filed a complaint against two police commissioners for inflammatory comments made in mid-May at city hall. The requested remedy is the removal of both Edmonton Police Commission chair John McDougall and commissioner Jodi Calahoo-Stonehouse.
- Edmonton Police are responsible for a quarter of Edmonton’s homicides this year. Do they really need $3.8 million worth of weaponry to do their jobs?
- On the heels of another tragic elementary school shooting in the US Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced a bill banning the sale of handguns. Perhaps what’s most significant is the part of the bill that takes away the gun licenses of anyone involved in domestic violence or criminal harassment, such as stalking. This law would presumably affect this Calgary police officer in this bizarre stalking case.
- We are now officially less than a year away from the next provincial election in Alberta. If you want to keep track of the latest news when it comes to nomination races the best place to go is daveberta.ca and the blog of Dave Cournoyer. As of publication the Alberta NDP have 28/87 candidates nominated while the UCP have 21/87 candidates ready to go.
- Our latest podcast features Sarah Hoyles as she joins me for an interview about what the hell Kenney is still doing hanging around, her dramatic departure from Ryan Jespersen’s show and the state of indie media in Alberta.
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