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The Press Gallery: Inside Alberta politics


Nov 23, 2019

It had a benign-sounding name: the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions and Government Enterprises Act.

But Bill 22 caused a real ruckus this week, including allegations of government corruption and orations about threats to democracy.

Among the reforms in this omnibus bill of administrative changes meant to save the government money was the termination of Alberta’s election commissioner.

Regular podcast listeners will know that since his position was created in July 2018, election commissioner Lorne Gibson has-been investigating and penalizing dozens of election financing violations, many of them connected to the 2017 United Conservative Party leadership race.

Join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, managing editor Dave Breakenridge, reporter Lisa Johnson and host Janet French as they review the fallout.

The crew also also follows the latest developments on Bill 207, a controversial private members’ bill about health care workers’ conscience rights that could have implications for patient access to medical care.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also appointed his federal cabinet this week, and the panel reviews what his choices mean for Alberta.

Good stuff from the gallery

Lisa is excited after watching this trailer for the Mr. Rogers movie, Won't You Be My Neighbor (American spelling alert!), which is streaming on Netflix in Canada. Along with this great New York Times long read about Fred Rogers, it ought to restore a little bit of your faith in humanity — and get you primed for the Tom Hanks feature film A Beautiful Day.

Dave recommends the HBO series Watchmen, which is a sort-of sequel to the original 1986 graphic novel. It's available on Crave in Canada, and the Journal's Fish Griwkowsky offered a write-up about what makes the series so good.

One of the questions raised in Alberta politics this week was, can the lieutenant-governor refuse to grant a bill royal assent? Is it a thing that's done? National Post columnist Colby Cosh says, pffft — no. Janet wants you to read his column, A letter that should not exist: On Notley's obnoxious viceregal fantasy.

Keith recommends a Washington Post feature on how the United States is attempting to combat a rural physician shortage using digital and video technology in a way that seems somewhat extreme.