We dived into a discussion about the employment numbers released a day prior showing the unemployed rate of 7.4% in Alberta. I don't believe these are accurate number because of the amount of self employed and contractors in our province. Hector is a very personable guy, although I am not too sure he takes the position of employment minister serious enough. Returning back inside I bumped into Rob Anderson who didn't look overly impressed and made the comment we would talk later.
The day was almost done and time to sit for the meal. Going through the sponsor lists I had to question in the back of my mind if there are really favours done by our government in return. There were a few groups that came to mind right away.
- With the backtracking on the liquor tax but not the tobacco tax these were questionable in the back of my mind: Labatts, Molson Coors, Big Rock Brewery, and the Liquor Depot.
- With Bill 50 I wondered on TransAlta and the Capital Power Corp.
- Farmer subsidies? Alberta Egg Producers, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Turkey Producers, Alberta Hatching Egg Producers and Alberta Milk.
- The Oil and Gas sector was down to Imperial Oil, Enbridge, and DOW.
- The others listed were WestJet, Capri Centre, Manning Diversified Forest Products, Telus and Willson Audio Visual.
As the tables started to fill up much talk of the numbers for leadership was flowing. When the number of 77.4% support was released Ed received a very loud standing ovation from the crowd. I am sure there was much relief with the number coming in where it did. It was above the 70% benchmark set by Ralph, but not so high to say the party had no recognition of the problems. A 72- 75% may have served the Party better, however this was a significant number they received. Another question that came to mind was the other 300+ that did not vote. I personally did not see anyone from the GOC there, and wondered of the ones that stayed away which way they would vote. Once the numbers wee released Ed gave a reasonable speech taking of how they are on the right path, contradicting with the important changes he would make on his schedule. The appointments were announced and I enjoyed a great Prime rib dinner.
All in all the PC AGM was a well put together event. The people were great and MLA's made themselves available. Some of the meeting rooms were small and the Resources only being available in a small room one time was a disappointment, but there was plenty of room on the others. Ed, I would say, gave some of his best speeches ever and even managed to stay on topic. The party faithful have spoken and Ed is the man to lead the party, dissent in the party ranks was over rated. I wish Ed and his party all the best in the future, but with the stay the course decision I have to work on the other options. Thats a WRAP!