Trudeau, cabinet convene in Alberta
PM, ministers to meet with Notley
KAN ANA SKIS, ALTA .• Their chiefs of staff were able to hustle to the meeting room under umbrellas.
But with cameras rolling, the members of the 29th ministry simply endured the chilly spring downpour as they wound their way without rain jackets through a forested path to their meeting room for the evening.
“Glad to be here in Alberta, glad to be back to talk about the challenges and opportunities faced by people here, but also people right across the country,” said a jeans-wearing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at a microphone positioned at path’s end.
Although British Columbia is a mere 45 minutes to the west through provincial and national parks, Kananaskis is technically in Alberta.
But this is the treed, postcard-like part of wild rose country, rather than the flat oily part to the northeast that people usually associate with Alberta.
It’s from the latter that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley set out early Sunday afternoon for the four-hour drive from Edmonton to the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis.
Cabinet meetings had already begun in the lodge’s Wildflower meeting room when Notley pulled in at 5 p.m. sharp in a single, black tinted-window SUV.
“It’s not her usual style, but it’s for security,” explained a staffer, presumably in defence of the premier’s green cred.
Notley, of course, is probably best known by non-Albertans for championing one of Canada’s most robust climate-change plans. But she almost certainly was in Kananaskis to talk pipelines.
Only two weeks after Notley was trumpeting “pipelines built by Canadian steel” to a largely indifferent audience at the Edmonton NDP convention, it is fair to assume that pipelines-to-tidewater would similarly form the core of her Sunday night presentation to Trudeau and the rest of his cabinet.
Notley is hitting the lectern along with invited speaker Dan Gardner, author of Super-forecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. A lecturer on how to improve decision-making, Gardner’s website boasts that “one of his consulting clients is the prime minister of Canada.”
Cabinet members will also be getting time with Sir Michael Barber, author of How To Run a Government So that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t Go Crazy.
In 2001, then-U.K. prime minister Tony Blair appointed Barber the chief adviser on delivery, a new position designed to ensure agencies were meeting their priority targets.
Ever since, he’s toured the world as a kind of go-to motivational speaker for governments.
The cost of Barber’s services are not known for sure, but in the U.K. he reportedly commands a minimum of $8,000 per day.
Barber was also at the last retreat in St. Andrews, N.B.