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Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper adds weight to Alberta’s Economic Recovery Council


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Stephen Harper (61), has been the Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU) since February 2018. In 2017 he joined the IDU, which comprises 73 full and associate members from 63 different countries around the world.

The University of Calgary graduate, completed a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1985 and later Harper earned his master’s degree in economics in 1991.

Over Harper’s political career, which spanned several national conservative parties, was elected to the House of Commons seven times. In 2006 Harper became the first prime minister to come from the merged conservative parties which became the Conservative Party of Canada in December 2003. The Harper lead Conservative Party of Canada beat the Paul Martin lead Liberal Part of Canada to become Canada’s 22nd prime minister from February 6, 2006, to November 4, 2015.

After leaving Canadian politics Harper took on a number of international business and leadership roles, building up the global consulting firm, Harper & Associates Consulting Inc., appearing mostly on US and British media.

In 2018 he published the book Right Here, Right Now: Politics and Leadership in the Age of Disruption.

Here are the members of the council.  You’ll see more of Tom’s stories about this group as the week progresses.

  • Jack Mintz, chair
  • Clive Beddoe – former chair, president and CEO, WestJet
  • Robert Blakely
  • Brent Belzberg – founder and senior managing partner, TorQuest Partners
  • Bob Dhillon – founder, president and CEO, Mainstreet Equity Corporation
  • Chris Fowler – president and CEO, Canadian Western Bank
  • Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper – Canada’s 22nd prime minister
  • Peter Kiss – owner and president, Morgan Construction and Environmental
  • Zainul Mawji – president, Telus Home Solutions
  • Nancy Southern – chair and CEO, ATCO Ltd.
  • Kevin Uebelein – CEO, AIMCo
  • Mac Van Wielingen – founder, ARC Financial


Zainul Mawji- passion and a track record in technology, entrepreneurship, and community


Pulling the plug: Edmonton Folk Music Festival cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic

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EDMONTON — Despite Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s hope that the COVID-19 vaccine will allow summer events like the Calgary Stampede to go ahead, the Edmonton Folk Music Festival has been cancelled

The festival says in a statement that without full vaccination, people won’t be entirely safe from the spread of COVID-19. 

It says that with virus variants and an uncertain vaccine rollout, the impossibility of social distancing at the outdoor festival could lead to community spread.

Kenney has said that two-thirds of the population should have a vaccine shot by the end of June and things should begin to feel back-to-normal.

He says the Stampede, which is held in early July, along with sporting events and other festivals will be possible.

The Edmonton Folk Music Festival says it will continue to offer online content and, if small gatherings are permitted, it hopes to add some community engagement.

“With so many variables at play, the complexity of planning and delivering a festival of our size makes it impossible to move forward in our usual manner,” the statement said Monday.

“As profoundly disappointing as this news is, we believe this is the only safe way forward. The safety of our patrons, volunteers, and artists was of paramount importance in coming to this conclusion.”

The annual four-day festival in the city’s Gallagher Park usually attracts thousands of music fans and boasts approximately 2,700 volunteers.

Alberta introduced new health rules last week, closing restaurants to in-person dining and further reducing customer capacity at retail stores in response to rising COVID-19 numbers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Start of Humpty's Champions Cup pushed back a day in Calgary

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CALGARY — Curling’s Humpty’s Champions Cup in Calgary has been pushed back a day.

The first of two Grand Slams was scheduled to open Wednesday morning, but Rogers Sportsnet announced Monday the first draw is now Thursday at noon. 

The final will be played Monday instead of Sunday.

A Sportsnet spokesperson said the delay allows more time to change the sponsorship logos and restore the ice at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre because the delayed men’s world championship final did not finish there until midnight Sunday.

The Humpty’s Champions Cup followed April 20-25 by the Princess Auto Players’ Championship offers a combined $560,000 in prize money.

The top-ranked women’s and men’s team in the world are in the 24-team fields, including five-time world champion Niklas Edin of Sweden, former world champions Brad Gushue and Kevin Koe of Canada and reigning Canadian champions Kerri Einarson and Brendan Bottcher.

The Grand Slams are Calgary’s fifth and sixth events among seven held in a controlled environment without spectators to avoid the COVID-19 virus.

Einarson will represent Canada in the women’s world championship April 30 to May 9 in Calgary.

The conclusion of the men’s world championship was delayed because four participants tested positive for the virus. 

Playoff and semifinal games were postponed from Saturday to Sunday, which pushed the medal games late into the evening.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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