2008

12 October:Tory Reform roots: withered or blossomed?; Former allies divided over where Harper has taken the party”
— Trish Audette, Staff Writer, With files from Darcy Henton, Edmonton Journal, A1

… Of the 52 Reformers who stampeded Ottawa in 1993 — all but one from the West — just 10 are seeking re-election this year, including Harper.

First-wave Reformers choosing to sit this one out include Myron Thompson in Wild Rose, Monte Solberg in Medicine Hat, Art Hanger in Calgary, Ken Epp in Edmonton-Sherwood Park and John Williams in Edmonton-St. Albert.

“In this election we’ve seen a number of the old-time Reformers are not running,” says Chaldeans Mensah, a political scientist at Grant MacEwan college in Edmonton.

“I think part of the explanation is this Conservative party, under Stephen Harper, is trying to move to the centre of the political spectrum … .

“The old Reformers have abandoned some of their core principles in the interest of keeping political power.”

Gone are the days of hitting hard on Senate reform or ranting, “The West wants in!” Stockwell Day will not be hopping on a sea-doo for the media. No one wearing a cowboy hat will say anything to the public that might read poorly in Toronto or Montreal. …

25 February: Slain prostitute part of growing sex trade in Northern Alberta; Vice followed oil boom, driven by ‘lots of men with lots of money’

After she was found dead, the people who knew Theresa Merrie Innes couldn’t remember the last time they saw her.

The known prostitute had slipped away from family and friends, an anonymous drug addict working the bars of High Level, Alta. The town of 4,000 is home to the oil and gas industry, logging and lots of men with lots of money.

“There’s all kinds of money up there,” says JoAnn McCartney, a former Edmonton vice officer who is now an outreach worker with the city’s Prostitution Action and Awareness Foundation.

“You can choose between standing on a corner here when it’s 25 below or go up there and hang out in a bar where it’s warm, and make more money.”

The 36-year-old Innes was known to work as a prostitute in oil-rich Zama City, about an hour’s drive north of High Level.

As the cash from the oil and gas industry flowed into northwest Albertan communities, so did the sex trade and social problems more commonly seen in larger cities. …

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