... have been greatly exaggerated, Nation.
I've been ridiculously busy over the past 2 weeks, however there have been a great many developments on the political and local scene that I wanted to touch on. Also, there will be more discussion on Bill 44 in the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that.
The quick hits, in no particular order:
Ron Stevens resigns as MLA and Deputy Premier, is named to the Bench: Stevens is a good and decent man who will do very well as a Justice. His absence in the Tory caucus leaves a void that will take more than a by-election or cabinet shuffle to fill. I'm hearing about a minor cabinet shuffle and by-election in the fall. I'm betting that there won't be anyone named to the Deputy Premier's post - the posting for Stevens was an olive branch to the Calgary caucus, and the pickings for a new Deputy Premier from Calgary are somewhat slim at this point, without over-loading Minister Redford's plate.
Alberta's Legislative Assembly starts to get a little stir-crazy: The questions and answers in the Legislative Question Period are getting snarky, the preambles are getting out of hand, and the partisan rhetoric is reaching a fevered pitch. Could it be any more obvious that it's time for a summer recess?
The Enlightened Savage is the 7th most popular blogger in Alberta. Wait until they see me in the swim-suit competition. ;)
Harper's Tories launch attack ads on Iggy: Are the statements true? Sure... but trying to paint them as "information pieces" instead of attack ads is ridiculous - Kinsella would be proud of these ads if the shoe was on the other foot, the Tories should just stand by them.
Alberta PC Policy Convention comes to Calgary this week-end: The early line says that a lot of Tories are going to get together, discuss important issues related to health and the environment, vote on policy statements, make recommendations to the party, and those recommendations will likely be ignored by Caucus. At least the networking possibilities will be useful.
Calgary police officer shoots and kills an armed suspect: Not hearing a lot from the "usual suspects" about police conduct - could it be because they're busy blowing the horn to have Tasers taken out of service? A question for these critics - if you take all the Tasers away from the police, won't you see the "officers shoots and kills suspect" headline a LOT more often?
Doug Griffiths rumoured to be crossing the floor on Twitter - this was shocking news to a lot of insiders, especially to Griff himself. From Twitter, on May 21st: "Ha ha. Wow! I would like to announce that I am NOT crossing any floor."
Sabre-rattling on Parliament Hill regarding Employment Insurance: Harper: "Don't push me, Iggy." Iggy: "Don't make me pull the plug, Steve-o". Layton: "Does anyone remember who I am?"
Victoria Day Long Week-end sees a more orderly camping week-end than in past years: Fish & Wildlife Officers, Forest Officers, Conservation Officers, Alberta Parks staff, Sheriffs and RCMP are to all be commended. I was camping myself that week-end, and it was an absolute pleasure compared to previous years.
Harper announces $100M for South-East Ring Road in Calgary: Great, Stephen. Thanks. What we REALLY need is the promise that you have a rubber stamp waiting in Ottawa to approve the agreement between the Tsuu T'ina Nation and the province of Alberta regarding the South-WEST Ring Road. You know, Calgary South-West? You should talk to their Member of Parliament about the long-overdue road, I'm sure he gets a lot of letters about it. This road needed to be built 10 years ago, not 15 years from now.
The Flames fire Mike Keenan: Good. I like it when the Flames do well - as an Oilers fan, it ensures that MY team will keep trying to do well, instead of treading water. Keenan had to go. Flames, take it from an Oilers fan: You could do a LOT worse than former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. He's a good coach, but a new voice was needed up North after the better part of a decade.
Star Trek was a phenomenal movie. That is all. See it.
Nation, I WILL be updating more frequently - keep coming back for more. If I've forgotten anything, please mention it in the comments and I'll get on it. :)