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The Press Gallery: Inside Alberta politics

Updated about 24 hours ago

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Politics
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Join legislature reporter Emma Graney, columnist Keith Gerein, as well as others in The Press Gallery, Edmonton Journal's Alberta politics podcast.

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Join legislature reporter Emma Graney, columnist Keith Gerein, as well as others in The Press Gallery, Edmonton Journal's Alberta politics podcast.

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Must-listen for all Albertans who want to keep up with provincial affairs

By Olav Rokne - Jan 17 2014
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A balanced, nuanced overview of Alberta politics with some of the Edmonton Journal's leading columnists and reporters. Even when I vehemently disagree with them, I find the arguments and ideas to be compelling.

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1 Ratings
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Must-listen for all Albertans who want to keep up with provincial affairs

By Olav Rokne - Jan 17 2014
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A balanced, nuanced overview of Alberta politics with some of the Edmonton Journal's leading columnists and reporters. Even when I vehemently disagree with them, I find the arguments and ideas to be compelling.
Cover image of The Press Gallery: Inside Alberta politics

The Press Gallery: Inside Alberta politics

Latest release on Dec 13, 2019

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 24 hours ago

Rank #1: #250: The Robyn Luff Kerfuffle *ahem Ker-Luff-le* edition

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Alberta politics this week wasn't dominated by legislation and debate — it was Calgary-East MLA Robyn Luff who captured attention with her protest about treatment at the hands of NDP brass. Luff went public with her complaints about message control, whipped votes and bullying on Monday, and developments continued all week. Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Clare Clancy, Keith Gerein and Elise Stolte to talk about Luff and changes to municipal election finance laws. The team also takes on Bill 21, which made its way through the house only to be returned to the table for an amendment. That change means health care professionals found guilty of sexual assault will face a lifetime ban on practising in Alberta. Also: Happy birthday to us! Thanks to all of our listeners for your support over the last 250 episodes. Here's to another 250 more. Good Stuff from the Gallery Clare's pick: Another week, another excellent podcast recommendation from Clare. This episode she points you to UnErased, a history of conversion therapy in America. Keith's pick: This timely read by MLA Richard Stake in the Canadian Parliamentary Review called The Rise of Partisanship and How it Paralyses Parliaments. Emma's pick: Off the back of an amazing exchange between the Aussie prime minister and a journalist, these short and hilarious satirical political comedy sketches by Clarke and Dawe, including The Front Fell Off, It's The Planet, Stupid, Immigration, and How Does The Financial System Work. Elise's pick: This memorable read from The Walrus called Even Radical Extremists Deserve a Second Chance.

Nov 09 2018

35mins

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Rank #2: The Alberta budget ... finally edition

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There was practically no news in Alberta this week: A little federal election here, a long-awaited provincial budget there.

Join legislature columnist Keith Gerein, reporter Moira Wyton, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and host Janet French as they catch their breath from a week of sprinting between political news events.

They'll talk about what Edmonton and Alberta voters chose in Monday's federal election, touch on highlights of the United Conservative Party government's first provincial budget and look more closely at some of the changes coming to Alberta post-secondary education as a result of that budget.

As always, they've got Good Stuff from the Gallery recommendations:

-Dave says people should check out the trailer for Postmedia's new true crime podcast, The Dark North, which launches Nov. 4, and focuses on the gangs of Montreal. Dave interviewed host and reporter Paul Cherry about the podcast and the most recent killing in Montreal's simmering mob war.

-Keith recommends an eye-opening piece about how climate change, paired with political dysfunction, has the Indonesian capital of Jakarta in serious peril from rising sea levels.

-Janet enjoyed a podcast from BBC Radio 4 called You're Dead to Me, described as "the history podcast for people who don't like history ... and those who do." A comedian and a historian pair up to deliver a crash course in a historical character or topic in a funny and engaging way.

-Moira points to an urgent piece in the Star by Omar Mosleh about the atrocities and ongoing harm caused by one of the most deadly residential schools in Canada, right here in Alberta.

Oct 25 2019

37mins

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Rank #3: #253: The Oil's Very Slippery Slope edition

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Between the oil differential and Premier Rachel Notley's commitment to buying rail cars to ship black gold, it was oil, oil, oil in Alberta politics this week. Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Chris Varcoe, Dave Breakenridge and Keith Gerein to talk about what's happening with the glut and what all this means for the province's coffers. Speaking of oil prices and the hit to the Alberta's books, Edmonton and Calgary will see their funding tied to provincial revenues under a new deal inked this week. The team will talk about that and take a brief look at the kerfuffle around committee memberships that erupted into furious accusations of NDP-UCP collusion by the minor parties.

Nov 30 2018

30mins

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Rank #4: #254: The Oil, Oil, Oil And Trouble edition

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The fall legislative session is over, but the oil price crash and its impact on Canadian coffers is nowhere near done. Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Chris Varcoe, Dave Breakenridge and Keith Gerein to talk about Premier Rachel Notley's decision to curtail oil production, what that means for Alberta and reaction from the oil and gas sector. The team also takes a look at a couple of United Conservative nomination races in Calgary — Peter Singh, who is accused of buying votes with cash and chocolates, and MLA Prab Gill's attempt to clear his name over vote misappropriation allegations that led to his departure from the UCP — and a brief look back at what else happened during the fall session. Good Stuff from the Gallery Dave's pick: Dave is very excited about the Edmonton Public Library's speaker series, announced this week. In particular, a visit by John E. Douglas who wrote Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's elite serial crime unit. Emma's pick: This excellent read from ProPublica entitled I Don't Want to Shoot You, Brother. It's a shocking story of police and lethal force — but not the one you might expect. Keith's pick: This fascinating read about about a century-old family treasure and the hope it cracks a deadly flu’s secret.

Dec 08 2018

36mins

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Rank #5: The Routing Alberta Labour edition

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It's been a trying week for Alberta's public sector unions. The United Conservative Party government wants to make changes to their pension plans, amend the law to allow replacement workers, and cut 7.7 per cent of the public service by 2023.

Then on Tuesday, Finance Minister Travis said public sector employers like Alberta Health Services and the government would be seeking wage cuts of two-to-five per cent when heading into arbitration hearings.

Join reporter Lisa Johnson, managing editor Dave Breakenridge, legislature columnist Keith Gerein and host Janet French as they dive into the tension between unions and government, two omnibus bills that were tabled on Monday containing a laundry list of proposed tweaks and the government's new plan for Alberta's carbon tax on heavy industrial emitters.

Good stuff from the gallery

Season 5 of sitcom Schitt's Creek was recently released on Netflix, and Lisa has been watching it "with the vigour of a wartime radio operator" — to use a turn-of-phrase from the show's Moira Rose, played by the inimitable Catherine O'Hara. Good clean CanCon fun.

Dave recommends Season 3 of Slate’s Slow Burn podcast, which focuses on the murders of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.

Janet recommends a masterful work of literary journalism from the 1990s she recently finished reading: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berendt. It explores the zany characters of Savannah, Georgia, and high-profile murder of an unsavoury chap.

Keith is recommending an unusual whodunnit that also serves as a cautionary tale for anyone who books short-term accommodation rentals online. The Vice story tracks one woman’s investigation to discover how she was scammed on a trip to Chicago.

Nov 01 2019

42mins

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Rank #6: Interview: Richard Starke warns of hyper-partisanship in Alberta

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Keith Gerein talks with the MLA from Vermilion-Lloydminster — Richard Starke. Starke has seen the legislature from virtually all sides. He was both a backbencher and cabinet minister in the former Progressive Conservative government, was part of an opposition caucus, and now sits as an independent MLA after deciding not to join the United Conservative Party. From those vantage points, Starke has seen a rise in hyper-partisanship in recent years, an issue highlighted this session by former NDP MLA Robyn Luff's allegations that the party leadership controls all of her public votes, speeches and questions. Starke talks about his own experiences with hyper-partisanship, including an episode when he wanted to vote for an opposition amendment and how he was coached to answer in question period. The trend has negative implications for democracy in Alberta, says Starke.

Nov 14 2018

21mins

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Rank #7: The Greta Thunberg in Alberta edition

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A packed week in Alberta politics culminated with a huge climate protest at the Alberta legislature as international figure and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg came to speak about the science of climate change.

Join reporters Anna Junker and Jason Herring, managing editor Dave Breakenridge and host Janet French as they discuss the politics behind the climate protest, the latest local twist in the federal election campaign. They also look at a difficult day at the legislature when grieving families of the Humboldt Broncos hockey team pushed for an end to truck driver training exemptions.

This week’s good stuff from the gallery should delight many of your senses.

Jason recommends Two Hands, a new album by Brooklyn folk rock band, Big Thief. You can watch their first single, “Not,” on YouTube. 

In the world of playlists and shuffled tracks, Dave makes a heartfelt pitch for the resurgence of the album, sparked by this blog post on A Journey of Musical Things.

Janet recommends Jason Markusoff’s piece, Scrubbing the Oilsands Record, in Maclean’s magazine, which challenges the narrative that Alberta’s oil and gas are the cleanest in the world. 

Anna thinks politics watchers will love The Politician, a Netflix comedy-drama satirical show starring Ben Platt and Gwyneth Paltrow. 

Oct 20 2019

37mins

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Rank #8: The flurried fall feast edition

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The Alberta legislature grounds had a back-to-school feel this week as MLAs returned to the capital for the fall sitting of the government’s first session.

As colourful leaves fluttered down, so did a few new pieces of legislation, with House Leader Jason Nixon pledging to introduce between 14 and 17 bills during the next nine weeks.

Join reporter Moira Wyton, managing editor Dave Breakenridge, National Post reporter Tyler Dawson and host Janet French as they break down some political highlights from the week, including an unexpected piece of legislation to fire the board of Alberta’s real estate regulator. 

We’ll also dive into the federal election's televised leadership debates — in English and French — to suss out if any of the contenders spared a thought Alberta’s way. 

Finally, the UCP government now has a name for its promised war room, which is meant to combat what they say are unfair characterizations of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. We’ll talk about how the Canadian Energy Centre has been set up, who’s at the helm and what the government says it will do.

Good Stuff from the Gallery.

-Moira brings the ear candy with Pitchfork’s list of the 200 best songs of the 2010s 

-Dave: The new season of Broken Record is out. 

-If climate change is a major issue for you as you mull your federal election vote, Janet recommends this Maclean’s piece by energy economist Andrew Leach and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, who rated the major parties’ climate plans for ambition and feasibility.

-If you're a fan of fantasy, you'll want to check out the latest in the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials canon. The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and the Amber Spyglass came out ages ago. Last year, a new novel came out. Last week, The Secret Commonwealth came out. It's set after The Amber Spyglass.

Oct 11 2019

35mins

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Rank #9: Budget Signs And Supreme Strangeness edition

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With Alberta's budget now confirmed for Oct. 24, the government this week floated a couple of snippets at the AUMA convention about what we might see in the UCP's first set of complete fiscal plans.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney and guests Moira Wyton, Keith Gerein and Dave Breakenridge to talk about what else happened at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association convention in Edmonton.

The team also takes you to what might be the oddest political press conference of 2019 thus far, and visits the court decision that granted B.C. a temporary injunction against Alberta's so-called turn-off-the-taps legislation.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Dave's pick: Listen Up, a new podcast with the lads from Oasis.

Keith's pick: This excellent piece on the Burnaby North-Seymour riding in Vancouver, the epicentre of the Trans Mountain pipeline battle.

Emma's pick: Emma suggests you go visit Chobe National Park in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zambia. Failing that, she'd like you to read How The West Was Lost by Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo.

Moira's pick: Moira has a couple of intertwined recommendations for you this week, both revolving around the film Hustlers — this 2015 piece from The Cut called The Hustlers At Scores, and this read on HuffPost about how Canadian sex workers felt about the movie.

Sep 28 2019

36mins

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Rank #10: The Jason Kenney goes to New York edition

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney recently visited New York hoping to sell Alberta to investors.

Join Dave Breakenridge, Janet French and Keith Gerein as they talk about Kenney's American travels.

The team also talks about rural policing, and news that a lawsuit over gay-straight alliances has been dropped.

Regular host Emma Graney was busy chasing elephants this week, but will hopefully return soon.

Sep 20 2019

33mins

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Rank #11: The Kenney vs. Amnesty edition

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This week, Alberta premier Jason Kenney got into a war of words with Amnesty International.

Kenney's colourful letter made full use of his thesaurus.

Our regular host Emma Graney is away this week.

Join Dave Breakenridge, Janet French, Clare Clancy in Edmonton and Chris Varcoe in Calgary.

Sep 13 2019

30mins

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Rank #12: The MacKinnon Panel Panel edition

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The big news out of Alberta politics this week was, of course, the MacKinnon panel report, which is slated to guide the UCP's spending over the party's four-year mandate as government.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Clare Clancy, Dave Breakenridge and the Calgary Herald's Chris Varcoe to unpack the 26 recommendations, what it means for Alberta, provincial policy and the path to balance. The team also takes a look at transparency, possible legislation out of the report and the political fallout.

The Press Gallery also farewells a very special podcast pal (we're not crying, you're crying).

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Clare's pick: With the death of former Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe, Clare recommends you read When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, a memoir of Africa by journalist Peter Godwin.

Emma's pick: Emma recommends you dive into the excellent multi-part series from The Walrus, which details seven cases of corruption around the world.

Dave's pick: Dave recommends a disturbing but important read from The Atlantic, called Why Don’t Police Catch Serial Rapists?

Sep 06 2019

36mins

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Rank #13: The Quarterly Report That Wasn't edition

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Two flimsy, stapled pages formed the entirety of the province's first-quarter fiscal update this week, leading Alberta politics watchers to wonder — where's the rest?

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Keith Gerein and Clare Clancy to dive into what that was such an odd turn of events, and what it means for Alberta.

The team also tackles two new auditor reports released this week, and drags education reporter Janet French into the studio to talk seclusion rooms and school funding challenges.

Good stuff from the Gallery

Clare's pick: This incredible long read from Elle magazine about two sisters and the terrorist that came between them.

Emma's pick: For the science nerds among us, Emma recommends the excellent Washington Post Moonrise podcast, which tells the tale of nuclear brinkmanship, backroom politics, and science fiction — all thanks to mankind's race to the moon.

Keith's pick: This fascinating long read out of the UK about folks who are decidedly ungrateful for their social worker.

Aug 30 2019

35mins

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Rank #14: The ABCs, As Easy As Reappointing edition

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Alberta's agencies, boards and commissions (ABCs for short) have undergone an overhaul by the UCP government, with 61 new appointments all at once.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney (who apologizes for her singing) and guests Clare Clancy and Keith Gerein to talk about what the thwack of changes means for Alberta politics.

The team also takes a look at developments on the education file around the curriculum, and a potential change to property tax laws for cannabis producers.

Good stuffy from the gallery

Clare's pick: This is one of the best podcast episodes Clare has ever heard — so you know it's good. Called 'The right to be forgotten,' by Radiolab, it takes a look at why some journalists are unpublishing stories from the internet.

Emma's pick: This excellent read from Drew Anderson at CBC Calgary, who used court documents to fully explain the allegations around Jeff Callaway's UCP leadership campaign.

Keith's pick: This fascinating piece in Esquire about a detective who only finds missing million-dollar cars.

Aug 23 2019

37mins

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Rank #15: The Panels, Panels, Panels edition

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Minimum wage gets a panel! Alberta's finances get a panel! You ALLLLLL get a panel! Such was the case in Alberta politics this week.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney with guests Clare Clancy and Dave Breakenridge to talk about panels galore, and take a brief look at what legislation is ahead for the UCP government.

Good stuff from the gallery

Clare's pick: Clare wants you to listen to the Reply All podcast. Specifcially, this awesome episode called The Crime Machine.

Emma's pick: Emma recommends this excellent and relevant deep dive by Journal reporter Liane Faulder about conversion therapy in Alberta.

Dave's pick: Dave thinks you should go and check out as many Edmonton Fringe Festival shows as you possibly can. You can find the Journal team's swath of show reviews online here at the edmontonjournal.com, and maybe find your next favourite act.

Aug 16 2019

26mins

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Rank #16: The Paycuts And Promises edition

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Sure, it was a four-day week in the middle of summer, but that didn't stop MLAs from giving themselves a five per cent pay cut and Premier Jason Kenney from celebrating his first 100 days in office.

Join host Emma Graney with guests Keith Gerein and Dave Breakenridge to talk all things Alberta politics, and find out why former U.S. president Roosevelt ended up in the discussion this week.

We also have a very special interview with departing editor Sarah O'Donnell (*Emma starts crying*), without whom The Press Gallery wouldn't even exist.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Keith's pick: Keith would like you to read the editorials that earned Sarah O'Donnell a national newspaper award.

Emma's pick: Off the back of a recent recommendation by Press Gallery regular Clare Clancy about young women becoming Catholic nuns, Emma's pick is along a similar vein but takes us to India where more young people are becoming Jain monks.

Dave's pick: Dave recommends you drive across Canada and check out all the awesome stuff our wonderful country has to offer. Here are some tips from Culture Trip if you need them.

Sarah's (final) pick: Keep on reading the Edmonton Journal (we're not crying YOU'RE crying).

Aug 09 2019

40mins

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Rank #17: The Flipping The Switch edition

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The new UCP government this week reversed an NDP decision around Alberta's electricity market, announcing the province will stick with an energy-only market.

Confused as to what that means? You're not alone. It's outrageously complex. Join host Emma Graney who tries to explain it all with the help of guests Sarah O'Donnell and Clare Clancy.

The team also takes a look at Alberta's sunshine list and the latest in party fundraising totals.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Clare's pick: Clare recommends two things this week. First up, Emma Graney's deep dive into the work of Janice MacKinnon who is overseeing a panel about Alberta's finances ("Thanks, Clancy!" - Emma.) She also recommends this horrifying read from The Guardian about the rise of domestic killings using the defense of a "sex game gone wrong."

Emma's pick: Not to be outdone, Emma also recommends two things this week. Firstly, this amusing Washington Post interview with the graphic designer behind a parody presidential seal mistakenly used at a Trump speech this week. Also, she thinks you should absolutely go watch the Good Omens television series on Amazon.

Sarah's pick: Sarah also jumps aboard the multiple recommendations train this week, but wins with three. She recommends the This Sounds Serious podcast, Elise Stolte's column about Edmonton drawing a line on urban sprawl, and — for the power geeks — the AESO real-time electricity tracker.

egraney@postmedia.com

twitter.com/EmmaLGraney

Jul 26 2019

35mins

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Rank #18: The Pipelines and Earplugs edition

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The federal government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (again) this week, but Premier Jason Kenney was not jumping for joy.

Join Press Gallery host Emma Graney and guests Keith Gerein, Janet French and Dave Breakenridge to talk about why.

The team also takes a look at this week's passage of Bill 9 and why the government didn't want to hear about it (very literally), and a new immigration office announced by the UCP.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Keith's pick: Keith's digging on another John Ivison column this week, this time on the Scheer climate plan giving voters expressions of concern with no actual cost.

Janet's pick: This fascinating article on Toronto's Stronach family and their $500-million family feud.

Emma's pick: Getting far away from Alberta politics, Emma recommends the YA novel Cinder by Marissa Meyer — a retelling of Cinderella featuring cyborgs, robots and a handsome prince.

Dave's pick: This gob-smacking read in The Atlantic, What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane.

Jun 21 2019

36mins

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Rank #19: The All-Night Filibuster Fun edition

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The Alberta legislature broke a record for the longest Wednesday sitting in provincial history this week, and Press Gallery host Emma Graney was there watching... for some of it, anyway.

Join Graney and guests Clare Clancy, Janet French and Sarah O'Donnell to discuss why on earth Alberta MLAs were in the house for a full 24 hours.

The team also dives into changes around the Education Act and what the report on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls means for Alberta.

Good Stuff from the Gallery

Clare's pick: Season 4 of the awesome podcast series called Ear Hustle, which is recorded in prison.

Janet's pick: This fascinating piece from The Star on something called atmospheric rivers, and how they're changing .

Emma's pick: This book by former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer called Yes we (still) can, about journalism and social media in the age of Trump.

Sarah's pick: This series on sexual violence and policing in remote Alaska, called Lawless. It's a partnership between ProPublica and Anchorage Daily News.

Jun 07 2019

37mins

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Rank #20: How the Alberta election was won and lost: Chapter 3

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Jason Kenney was elected premier of Alberta on April 16 after a bitterly fought campaign. But the journey started nearly three years ago.

This special series from the Press Gallery, the Edmonton Journal’s long-running politics podcast, will give listeners a deep dive into Alberta’s 2019 election.

Chapter 3 focuses on the NDP campaign and whether or not the election was lost before the writ was even dropped.

Jun 06 2019

17mins

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