How we plan on covering the most significant political event in Alberta in 2024 (no, it's not the budget)

The person who wins the race for Alberta NDP leader has one job—defeat the UCP in the next election. Picking the person to do that job will be one the most politically significant moments of the year, and the Progress Report plans to cover it like no other news outlet. 

We’ve already dedicated a new section of the Progress Report site to present all of our reporting on the leadership race. There you will find our Platform Tracker, collecting every campaign promise made over the campaign, and our Endorsement Tracker, to keep track of who’s stumping for who. 

The four currently declared candidates for the leadership of the Alberta NDP, Rakhi Pancholi, Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse, Sarah Hoffman, and Kathleen Ganley. 

All of our analysis and news on the race will be posted there as well. My colleague Jim Storrie kicked it off with a piece on why the various pitches to disaffiliate the Alberta NDP from the federal NDP aren’t just bad politics but lazy politics too. And I followed on with a piece on Rakhi Pancholi’s pitch to institute full-day kindergarten. You can expect both long-form analysis and quick hits on platform pitches. We’re confident that the coverage from the Report will be unique and irreplaceable. Between our institutional memory and our openly leftist perspective, there isn’t another newsroom in Alberta like ours.

Let me circle back for a bit more on kindergarten for a moment. We’re raising a young one myself in my household, so I’ve been watching the child care file closely.

Ralph Klein decided to cut full-day kindergarten as part of his brutal austerity budget in 1994 and that bad decision is still a political sore spot today. Alison Redford campaigned on bringing it back, but her caucus turned on her before she could bring it in. Jim Prentice was too busy calling an early election and dancing with the Wildrose to do anything about it. Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP campaigned on bringing back full-day kindergarten but after they won the election in 2015 they never delivered.

Rakhi Pancholi, who wasn’t a part of the NDP government, gets a pass on that broken promise, but let’s not forget that Kathleen Ganley and Sarah Hoffman were not only part of the Notley administration but cabinet ministers in it. 

I end that story on a broken promise because that sort of thing is what drove us to plan out our coverage the way we have. We’re going to make sure all of these campaign promises don’t disappear the moment the candidates take their websites down. And because we’ve had our heads in this mess for years now, we’re going to make sure you get the context of the candidates’ past actions and commitments so you get a picture of who’s really being sincere.

So keep an eye out for our coverage, share it with your family and friends and if you think what we do is useful please consider becoming a monthly donor—if you can spare us $15 a month Jim, Jeremy and I would be very grateful. 


Jeremy Appel’s exclusive report for us last week on Danielle Smith’s black tie dinner with Alberta’s conservative elite is doing wild numbers online and deservedly so. When you hear our leaked audio recordings of Smith going off about leftists, public sector workers, and her lurid tales of horror about unhoused people you’re going to blow steam out your ears.

The federal NDP have demanded that the federal Liberals at least implement a little bit of pharmacare this year or they’re going to stop supporting them in Parliament. But Danielle Smith announced this week that if the feds do any pharmacare, she won’t let Albertans have it. Instead of actual pharmacare Smith just wants the funding in cash for her government to do what it wants with it. Maybe they’ll buy us some more Tylenol.

Thursday this week is budget day so watch our Twitter and Bluesky for updates and analysis from us, we'll have the whole team in the (virtual) lockup so our social media accounts will go quiet until the budget speech starts. All signs so far point to cuts.

Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse has entered the ANDP leadership race and David Climenhaga is reporting that Gil McGowan will be entering shortly as well. We’ll be updating the campaign and endorsement tracker when information becomes available. Still no word on Naheed Nenshi but the deadline is coming soon—March 15. 

CSU 52 in Edmonton which is the union for municipal outside workers hasn’t begun their strike yet but negotiations could fail at any moment. Cindy Tran at the Journal reports that Edmonton offered their “best and final offer” today to CSU 52, and the union isn’t impressed.

This is the online version of the Progress Report email newsletter. Don't depend on some social media or search engine algorithm to find this content in the future. Sign up to get updates on the most important local political issues in your inbox every week. If you like what we do at the Progress Report there is also one big way you can support us and that's by becoming a monthly donor. The regular donations of the 500 or so regular monthly donors keeps this small, independent media shop going.