National Newswatch

Construction firm accuses province of botching build of Grande Prairie hospital

Aug 2 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — The construction firm fighting with the Alberta government over the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital says the province has crippled the project with slapdash planning, poor budgeting and bad faith negotiations. In a statement, Graham Construction said Alberta Infrastructure has been ordering so many design changes that completed work has had to be torn down. "Until the scope […]

Alberta going to court, accused of breaking trade rules on $482M road contract

Aug 1 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Five Alberta road contractors are taking the province to court over a new $482-million highway maintenance deal for a B.C.-based firm. The contractors say the government broke tendering and free-trade rules by entering into a deal last week with Emcon Services to plow snow from and maintain 43 per cent of Alberta's highways. They say […]

Alberta appoints five judges, still seeking to fill prosecutor slots

Jul 31 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta's justice minister says the government has hired five new provincial court judges and continues work to get new Crown prosecutors in place. Kathleen Ganley says four of the judge positions were created in the last budget, while the fifth was a vacancy. The province has also filled eight of 20 new Crown prosecutor positions […]

Alberta threatens to end construction contract for Grande Prairie hospital

Jul 30 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — The Alberta government is threatening to cancel the contract of a construction firm building the problem-plagued Grande Prairie Regional Hospital. Infrastructure Minister Sandra Jansen said Calgary-based Graham Construction has 15 days to submit a plan to get the project back on schedule or see the deal terminated. She said the government no longer believes the $763-million hospital will […]

Trans Mountain pipeline work to resume in August: Kinder Morgan Canada boss

Jul 27 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — The head of Kinder Morgan Canada says work is to resume next month to prepare a route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Ian Anderson says the company will secure, survey and prepare the right-of-way in coming months, and First Nations will monitor the work to look for traditional artifacts and medicines.  "We anticipate laying physical pipe […]

Ex PM Stephen Harper to doorknock for conservatives in spring Alberta election

Jul 24 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper will be doorknocking for the upcoming Alberta election in the Calgary constituency held by a bitter foe of United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney. "I live in (NDP cabinet minister) Sandra Jansen's riding," Harper's wife, Laureen, said Tuesday night in a speech at the launch of SheLeads, a non-profit group aimed at encouraging […]

Alberta UCP Leader Jason Kenney says hateful comments won’t be tolerated

Jul 22 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, addressing party friction over nomination races, urged members to respect the outcomes and reiterated that those who promote hate will be turfed. "Those who attack human dignity, those who express hateful views toward entire groups of people are not welcome to run for the United Conservative party," Kenney told […]

Disgruntled Alberta Independent formally launches Freedom Conservative Party

Jul 20 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — A former member of Alberta's Opposition United Conservatives formally launched his own party Friday hoping to ultimately share power with those who spurned him. Independent Derek Fildebrandt said his new Freedom Conservative party will only run candidates in some constituencies in the upcoming spring election. He said job one in the election will be "the complete obliteration" […]

‘It’s an organic process:’ Alberta posts proposed curriculum changes online

Jul 19 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — People who want to see what Alberta is doing with school curriculum changes can look for themselves online. Education Minister David Eggen says his department has posted the raw proposals for changes to what students in kindergarten to Grade 4 are taught. Eggen says he had hoped to polish the proposals after getting feedback from teachers, parents, […]

Road rage: Alberta and roadbuilders feud over $500M deal involving B.C. firm

Jul 18 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — A battle is revving up between the Alberta government and its roadbuilders over reports that more than $500-million worth of road maintenance contracts are being given to a firm in British Columbia. The Alberta Roadbuilders and Heavy Construction Association says Alberta firms can do the work and should be given a chance to bid. The association […]

Alberta Opposition won’t release report on vote dust-up, cites privacy

Jul 16 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta's United Conservatives say they will not release an internal report on voting irregularities that led to the resignation of one of their legislature members. The caucus also announced Tuesday it will reimburse the treasury more than $7,000 after Prab Gill charged taxpayers for what turned out to be a party event in February. Gill resigned from […]

Alberta considers taking driver road tests back from private sector

Jul 11 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta says it might take driver road tests back from the private sector due to concerns about oversight and high fees compared with the rest of Canada. Service Alberta Minister Brian Malkinson says all options will be discussed in coming months and changes could come as early as January. "I think we'll be able to have a driver-testing system […]

War horse rides into sunset: Alberta NDP’s Brian Mason retiring from politics

Jul 4 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Brian Mason, the current war horse of Alberta politics, is riding off into the sunset, saying it's time to go after almost 30 years in public life. "There's always more to do and things you'd like to do," Mason, the NDP's transportation minister and government house leader, said Wednesday at the legislature. "But at some point […]

‘Ideological sex clubs:’ Alberta gay-straight alliance law faces court challenge

Jun 19 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — Alberta's law banning schools from telling parents when their children join a gay-straight alliance faces its first legal challenge. A Court of Queen's Bench judge in Medicine Hat, Alta., is to hear arguments Wednesday filed on behalf of 25 faith-based schools and others to put the law on hold pending a constitutional challenge. Education Minister David Eggen […]

Alberta government staff to take day course on Indigenous history, culture

Jun 18 2018 — Dean Bennett — EDMONTON — A three-year program to help government staff better understand Indigenous culture and history is to start in Alberta next week. Richard Feehan, the Indigenous relations minister, said 27,000 provincial government employees will each attend a six-hour session that includes talks with elders, films and group exercises. The direct cost of the project is $2.7 million. It is […]