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  • Edmonton's voices will be heard, MPs say

    Wednesday February 8 2006

    Edmonton's voices will be heard, MPs say
    One MP in cabinet, but others still have pull

    James Baxter
    The Edmonton Journal


    Wednesday, February 08, 2006


    EDMONTON - Edmonton will have just one voice among the 53 new federal cabinet ministers and parliamentary secretaries, but local MPs believe the city will be well represented in the Harper government.

    Rona Ambrose, who was appointed Environment Minister on Monday, is the lone member of Edmonton's eight-member caucus to receive one of the government's plum jobs.

    By contrast, Calgary has Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jim Prentice, and three parliamentary secretaries: Jason Kenney (Multiculturalism), Diane Ablonczy (Finance) and Deepak Obhrai (Foreign Affairs).

    Rural Alberta is represented by Monte Solberg, who was named minister of Citizenship and Immigration, and two parliamentary secretaries: Brian Jean of Fort McMurray-Athabasca (Transport, Infrastructure and Communities) and Ted Menzies of Fort Macleod (International Co-operation, La Francophonie and Official Languages).

    Parliamentary secretaries, who are expected to stand in for their department's minister during question period in the House of Commons, as well as attend committee meetings for that department, were announced Tuesday.

    Some Edmonton MPs admitted that, on the surface, it appears the city had been shunned, but they all said that would be a superficial take on the issue.

    "Edmonton will be well represented, especially when you consider that Rahim (Jaffer, MP for Edmonton-Strathcona) is caucus chair," said James Rajotte, MP for Edmonton-Leduc who was considered by many a solid prospect for a cabinet job. He said that with the experience of veteran MPs like John Williams and Ken Epp, who were first elected in 1993 as Reformers, Edmonton's concerns will be heard.

    Jaffer said he can understand why Edmontonians would feel they've been given short shrift, but he said the province as a whole has never been better represented and that Edmonton will benefit from that.

    "Even though it may not seem that way, because of the way the different appointments have been handed out, I think we'll see in the long run that not only Edmontonians, but all Albertans will be very pleased," Jaffer said.

    Jaffer said his new job will put him in frequent contact with cabinet ministers, the party's house leader and whip and senior committee chairs, which means Edmonton's concerns will get heard.

    Both Rajotte and Jaffer praised former deputy prime minister Anne McLellan for being a strong voice for Alberta, but said her best efforts can't match the kinds of access that Alberta now has.

    Peter Goldring, MP for Edmonton East, said he thinks Ambrose and Jaffer will advance most of Edmonton's pressing issues at cabinet, and he says Edmonton's slate of MPs will be prominent on standing committees.

    Financially, there isn't much difference between committee chairs and parliamentary secretaries.

    All MPs receive $144,300 base pay. Cabinet ministers receive an additional salary of $69,200, plus $2,122 for a car allowance, while parliamentary

    secretaries and committee chairs receive an additional $14,600 and $10,300, respectively.

    [email protected]

    The Edmonton Journal 2006








    Copyright 2006 CanWest Interactive, a division of CanWest MediaWorks Publications, Inc.. All rights reserved.
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    Yes, we will be heard
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    No, our voices will be heard by crickets and tumbleweeds
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    Too soon to tell
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    Edmonton, where's Edmonton?????
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    President and CEO - Airshow.

  • #2
    I think it's too early to tell how things will be. Anne had a loud voice in Martin's government so the new MPs will have to meet high standards.
    Edmonton first, everything else second.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's definitely too early to tell. At the moment I am very hopeful, however. From people that I know in the Tory party machine it sounds like the battle of Alberta will remain in Alberta.
      LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

      Comment


      • #4
        Personally I think on the Federal stage Edmonton's say at the table went way down with the new PC government. Should we really believe that a Calgary based group is going to listen to Edmonton's petty complaints. We had way more pull with Ottawa under the Liberal government which is funny given that we voted in more PC's than Liberals. Now that we have elected 100% of our members from the governing party our influence will go down.

        All you have to do is look at the current Provincial government if you want to see what kind of influence we are going to have with the new Federal government.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ponza
          Personally I think on the Federal stage Edmonton's say at the table went way down with the new PC government. Should we really believe that a Calgary based group is going to listen to Edmonton's petty complaints. We had way more pull with Ottawa under the Liberal government which is funny given that we voted in more PC's than Liberals. Now that we have elected 100% of our members from the governing party our influence will go down.

          All you have to do is look at the current Provincial government if you want to see what kind of influence we are going to have with the new Federal government.
          It's definitely far too early to make any of those claims. We seem to think we had a lot of pull under the Liberals, but how much of that was really pull? Good heavens, Spar lost their contract due to politicking.

          There are plenty of forces in the Conservative party from other parts of Canada as well. If they ever want to break into Ontario they can't pull a Calgary favourtism stance. That would just alienate the entire east from voting blue more than they already are.

          The Federal Conservative party most definitely does not equal Ralph Klein's vision of the provincial PC party.
          LA today, Athens tomorrow. I miss E-town.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Ponza
            We had way more pull with Ottawa under the Liberal government which is funny given that we voted in more PC's than Liberals. Now that we have elected 100% of our members from the governing party our influence will go down.
            That is the wonderful conflict of interest that sparked this thread. I wonder what if anything will happen here, or for the entire Yellowhead Highway corridor for that matter.

            Originally posted by MylesC

            There are plenty of forces in the Conservative party from other parts of Canada as well. If they ever want to break into Ontario they can't pull a Calgary favourtism stance. That would just alienate the entire east from voting blue more than they already are.

            The Federal Conservative party most definitely does not equal Ralph Klein's vision of the provincial PC party.
            Correct. This alone is what really made the headlines of "The West is IN!' by the media so funny. If Stephen really wants to break in and get a majority, he cannot show any Western favoritism. You are even seeing this in the Fed's lukewarm to icy cold response to the Third Way - a nice indication that Harper is not myopic on the national stage.
            President and CEO - Airshow.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MylesC

              If they ever want to break into Ontario they can't pull a Calgary favourtism stance.
              You are correct. They cannot favour Calgary over Toronto but nobody out east cares if they ignore Edmonton. I am not saying they are going to screw us the way the Province does but I don't think our voice will really be listened to either.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think we will be well represented because Stephen Harper is from Alberta, not eastern Canada. Calgary may have a somewhat greater representation to a degree, but overall I think we will do well.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Will Edmonton's voice be heard, more particularily my Edmonton's? That Stephen Harper is from Alberta offers me no comfort as his views do not reflect mine... he will perhaps listent to Rdmonton voices but which ones?

                  What is of primary importance is how will Harper deal with cities... not just Montreal, TO and Vancouver but all the Urban areas of 100,000 people or more where the vast majority of Canadians live.

                  Will he continue and further Martin's intitial efforts to widen our revenue and taxation stream? Will there be a the funding, if not the focus, for Urban issues?

                  Or will he decide to deal with the provinces, and then let the cities try and pry something out the provincial governments?

                  Harper has shown no interest in, nor stomach for the messy everyday issues of city politics, of streets, sewers, zoning, and all the everyday issues that affect most canadians daily lives the most. I think he'll prefer to play "big ball" politics at the provincial level. And of course the provinces have a vested interest in preserving their position... they don't want the Feds dealing directly with the cities.

                  I suspect that "city issues" will simply not even be on the table.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't really know, but I am sure they wouldn't listen to what I have to say, or a good chunk of the population who didn't vote for the Conservatives. I am sure they will only listen to what they want to hear.

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                    • #11
                      This one is rather old. If someone would like to create a new one with a new poll that is relevant to today, that would be great.
                      President and CEO - Airshow.

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