15 July: “Tourists urged to boycott Alberta”
–Trish Audette, Provincial Affairs Writer, Edmonton Journal, A1
With files from Ryan Cormier

The oilsands public relations war heated up Wednesday, as billboards were unveiled in four major U.S. cities comparing Alberta oil production to the destruction caused by the Gulf oil spill….

9 March: “Stelmach hasn’t seen duck images”
–Trish Audette, Provincial Affairs Writer, Edmonton Journal, A1

Premier Ed Stelmach said Monday he hasn’t seen pictures of oil-soaked ducks trapped in a Syncrude tailings pond–images that have been key evidence since the start of a court case last week that has gained international attention.

“I haven’t seen them,” Stelmach said. “The trial is proceeding, and it doesn’t matter if there are 500 ducks, 1,500 ducks, 1,600, or five. There are still ducks that landed in the pond. It’s unacceptable, not the way we do things in Alberta.” …

1 February: “Liberal underdogs no closer to their day; Opposition party still on sidelines as Wildrose moves in on weakened Tories”
–Trish Audette, Provincial Affairs Writer, Edmonton Journal, A1

For David Swann’s Liberals, the perpetual underdogs of Alberta politics, the challenge of getting noticed is as stark as ever.

Survey national media and you’ll see Danielle Smith, the new leader of the right-wing Wildrose Alliance. She may not have a seat in the legislature, but she got a sitting with CBC National anchor Peter Mansbridge. Rick Mercer of CBC’s The Rick Mercer Report took her on a “first date” to West Edmonton Mall. And scribes considering her chances at toppling a decades-old Progressive Conservative government describe her as “not unattractive.”

In Edmonton, Liberals say what matters to their man — Swann, the activist medical doctor who came to politics to meet a challenge, not to be a politician — is what Alberta voters think, not the rest of Canada….

26 January: Web satirist targets political ‘bogeyman’; Prankster Twitters as Alberta Finance Minister on ‘spoof site’
–Trish Audette, Provincial Affairs Writer, Edmonton Journal, A3

Ted Morton, the self-described “bogeyman” of Alberta politics, has fallen victim to identity theft.

Sort of.

An anonymous Internet satirist has stolen the new finance minister’s name and face to impersonate him on the social media website Twitter….

18 January: “Cold Lake threatens to dissolve itself; Cash-strapped city challenges Alberta’s biggest ‘taboo'”
–Trish Audette, Provincial Affairs Writer, Edmonton Journal, A4

Step into a coffee shop in Cold Lake, and you’ll get a report card on the city mayor who is trying to reshape how Alberta’s smallest governments share their stakes in big oil.

“The mayor and the council, they don’t seem to run the city like a business,” shoe store owner Sandra Jensen says.

Millions of dollars in debt, with a handful of projects on the to-do list — including a new arena — Cold Lake cried broke last year, throwing down the gauntlet and potentially creating a giant headache for Premier Ed Stelmach’s government.

Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland says oil development in the surrounding county has drawn more traffic to his 13,000-person city, a retail hub of northeastern Alberta. He wants a piece of the Municipal District of Bonnyville’s oil money, and a new formula for urban-rural equalization to cover growing pressure on his city’s roads, sewage system and recreational facilities.

Should the province decline to introduce a revenue-sharing formula — an Alberta “taboo,” Copeland acknowledges — Cold Lake council wants the city dissolved altogether and folded into the municipal district….

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