Join legislature reporter Emma Graney, columnist Keith Gerein, as well as others in The Press Gallery, Edmonton Journal's Alberta politics podcast.
The 2019 year-end quiz show edition
Which candidate did the United Conservative Party parachute into the Edmonton-Meadows riding for the spring provincial election?
What government bills prompted the NDP to mount filibusters, and how many hours did the longest marathon debate take?
Who bragged about laying pipe during the televised leaders' debate?
Join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and National Post Alberta correspondent Tyler Dawson as host Janet French tests their knowledge of the wacky year in provincial politics that was 2019.
Good stuff from the Gallery
Keith recommends Paul Wells’ take on the end of Andrew Scheer’s tenure as leader of the federal Conservatives, the tensions within the party and where the movement goes from here.
Dave recommends a New York times interactive piece about how the opioid crisis affected people who came of age at the turn of the millennium.
Janet wants you to listen to an emotional episode of the NPR podcast Hidden Brain, which explores choices about end-of-life care through the eyes of one family.
Tyler enjoyed a ProPublica investigation into a lifelong con artist whose jailhouse snitching could lead to a man's execution.
The Rising House Temperature edition
Thank goodness that’s over. Hansard scribes, security guards, clerks, press gallery members and, likely, many others are in for some relief after an intense fall sitting of the 30th legislature ended at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
Join reporter Lisa Johnson, managing editor Dave Breakenridge, legislature columnist Keith Gerein and host Janet French as they review a jammed eight-week sitting, stuffed with 16 pieces of government legislation, one private members' bill, and a bunch of motions and government announcements.
The crew also discuss the tension between parties inside and outside the legislative chamber and some strained relationships between the provincial government and local governments, like city councils and school boards.
Good stuff from the gallery Lisa was captivated by the recently published story, "Why some Muslim women take off the hijab," by Haneen Al-Hassoun. It's a "taboo and sensitive topic in the Muslim community — but it's a reality that can't be ignored," Al-Hassoun tweeted about the story.
Dave recommends everyone watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, which turns 30 this year, and have a read about why it’s an enduring Christmas classic.
Janet, who misses interviewing non-politicians, recommends the first part of a Financial Post series by Geoffrey Morgan about the effects on small town Alberta of changes in the energy industry.
Keith recommends a feature on how the federal government has been failing Afghan-Canadians who played a dangerous and vital role during our 10-year war against the Taliban.
The Nice, Cool Freeze edition
Cupcake, anyone? We're celebrating an unbelievable 300th episode of the Press Gallery today, which adds up to at least 6,000 hours of Alberta politics analysis since this podcast began in 2013.
Profuse thanks to all the listeners who have stuck with us through these whiplash-inducing six years in the legislature and beyond.
This week, join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, business columnist David Staples, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and host Janet French as they chat about the continuing fallout from government's firing of election commissioner Lorne Gibson and what that means for future investigations into people who break election law.
They also tackle a newly announced freeze on new photo radar equipment and locations in Alberta while the province requests cities to conduct a standardized study to collect safety data. Finally, the panelists look at a few potentially awkward moves this week from the Opposition NDP.
Then they stuff their faces with carrot cake cupcakes and some cookies thoughtfully sent along by recently departed host Emma Graney.
The Press Gallery podcast was the brainchild of our brilliant former colleague, Sarah O'Donnell, who came up with the idea before podcasts were A Big Thing. Talented and delightful photojournalist Ryan Jackson initially set us up with the equipment to record the podcast back in 2013.
Since then, our weekly gabfest had also been hosted by the formidable Mariam Ibrahim, then unforgettable Australian, Emma Graney. Our oft-suffering producer is Carson Jerema. Thank you to everyone who has appeared on, filmed or edited The Press Gallery over the years.
The 'Do we still have an election commissioner?' edition
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.
The Planes, Trains and Automobiles edition
It may have been constituency week at the legislature, but things didn’t slow down for a moment in politics.
Join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, National Post Alberta correspondent Tyler Dawson, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and host Janet French as they dissect Premier Jason Kenney’s announcement of a panel that will test Albertans’ appetites for more autonomy, including ideas like an Alberta pension plan or independent provincial police force.
The gang will also assess the fallout from another revelation of travel expenses by one of the premier’s senior advisers and dig into why Jason Kenney is trading barbs with the leader of the Bloc Quebecois.
The premiers' pancake and plane party edition
It was another breakneck week in Alberta provincial politics, and Premier Jason Kenney hit some turbulence on Thursday when the opposition revealed Albertans had paid more than $16,000 to fly him, three other "like-minded premiers," and some of their wives and staff on a charter plane from a Calgary meeting to the Council of the Federation gathering in Saskatoon last July.
Join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, reporter Lisa Johnson, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and host Janet French as they discuss the flight fallout, as well as more revelations trickling out from the provincial budget and a controversial new private members' bill that examines doctors' conscience rights.
Good stuff from the gallery Lisa may have described this book, Trick Mirror, as being "about the internet," but it only uses social media as a jumping-off point for some engaging and ingenious essays. Maybe it's about how we see ourselves in the middle of a tornado of terrifying and distorted information bouncing and refracting all around us? Anyway, it's been touted as "an instant classic of the worst decade yet."
Dave recommends a piece by Jen Gerson in Macleans magazine on why some Albertans are fed up with Canada.
For this week's finest political theatre, Janet insists you watch the Thursday committee meeting in which Opposition leader Rachel Notley grills Premier Jason Kenney on the aforementioned flights and other executive council hires and expenses, and Kenney deftly lobs back some zingers.
For the parents, Janet also recommends the Chicken Squad books by Doreen Cronin. They are short, yellow, fuzzy, and sharply humorous for the delight of both adults and kids.
Keith is recommending two informative articles speculating on the political and economic implications of a radical idea gaining more traction in Alberta: pulling out of the Canada Pension Plan and establishing our own.
Shame it was cancelled
It was an excellent podcast. Too bad it was cancelled, but it was lost after the departure of EG.
Big fan of you ;)
I follow you on Twitter and you have Interviewed me last year on class sizes.
This is a podcast I highly recommended. I always know what is what after listening to your podcast !! Way to go on episode 209.
I am surprised that Staples has not joined the UCP in some capacity. He is a biased climate denier in my opinion and a believer in trickle down economics.