Thursday, May 12, 2011

Calgary MLA Art Johnson Loses PC Nomination Battle In Calgary Southeast

   I am sure many people will be surprised to hear the news today that longtime Calgary Hays MLA Art Johnston has lost the nomination vote to run as the Alberta PC candidate for the newly created riding of Calgary Southeast in the next provincial election, to Rick Fraser. 

  As a member of the Calgary Hays/Calgary Southeast Board of Directors, I had the opportunity to volunteer at last nights nomination vote to see who would become the PC candidate for the newly created riding of Calgary SE.   This riding was created during the last electoral boundary commission due to the explosive growth in population in the deep south corridor.  It essentially split the existing Calgary Hays riding into two, and includes the neighborhoods of Silverado, Chaparral, Walden, Cranston, Auburn Bay, Mahogany, Copperfield and New Brighton. 

  Current Hays MLA Art Johnston had decided to run in this part of the split riding and faced a last minute challenge to the nomination by Mr. Fraser.  For months, Rick had declared his intentions to run in the existing Calgary Hays riding in the next election and has been actively selling memberships and even pulled a major coup and took control of the Hays board at this springs AGM, ousting the long time riding association president.  Many where shocked to learn that Rick then decided to instead run against Art for the Calgary SE nomination. 

While it is rare for sitting MLA's to be challenged for a nomination, it is even rarer to see a sitting MLA lose his position as the party candidate in the next election.  Due to the short time frame, both parties had worked extremely hard in securing new memberships ( I hear that over 350 new memberships where sold this week between the two candidates)  and urging party members to come out and vote.  The race was extremely close, with Rick Fraser edging Art by a vote of 78 to 74

That's democracy.....

 Before the vote, Art had jokingly said to me that "I'm not ready to put out on any Ice Floes..." and I believe he still has a lot of work he wants to accomplish in the legislature.  I am not sure what the future holds for Art, but I think he should be commended for the work he has done in Calgary Hays, especially in securing new schools for our area.

 While I congratulate Rick on his nomination victory,  I was a little discouraged to learn of his association with the PGIB ( and its often polarizing founder, Craig Chandler.) following the meeting,  as Rick always spoke to me about his desire for change and transparency.   Many people will recall that Chandler was disqualified as a PC candidate in 2007 due to some comments made by the by a group also founded by him. I have gotten to know Rick over the past two years and I cannot imagine what these two would have in common at all.

Interesting times...

Rick's website can be found at


I have been getting a lot of emails and a few comments requesting proof of the PGIB affiliation. Please click the link below for a copy of the lit.

I certaintly hope that Rick posts a followup confirming his association with PGIB and their founders, as it may become a small distraction going forward.


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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mayor Naheed Nenshi's Calgary Stampeder Game Face!

  When I first saw this ad on a giant billboard on Blackfoot Trail last week, I had to do a double take!  I thought "was that Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the ad for the Calgary Stampeders?"  I tried looking online for a copy of the ad without luck,  but soon found it in the Calgary Herald.

Personally, I think that this is a really cool ad.  I cannot imagine many political figures being able to pull this off the way he did.  Can you imagine Al Duerr or Bronco trying to be as cool as this?  Me neither.

The fact that Mayor Nenshi allows himself to be shown in a humorous light impresses me.

Go Stamps Go!

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