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Alberta Politics

the spies among us.

Some find humour in it and some find none, but claims by CSIS Director Richard Fadden that elected officials in Canada are under the influence of foreign powers are not unreasonable.

Think about it. At the least, all it could take is an unknowing politician caught in a compromising situation on a trip overseas. A few drinks in a hotel bar, a flirtatious young lady, some embarrassing photos, and all of a sudden a cabinet minister is an intelligence asset to a foreign government or corporation. Money, ideology, ego, and compromising situations are powerful motivators.

Alberta MLAs and cabinet ministers regularly travel on worldwide junkets and I would imagine that our province’s wealth of natural resources would make our elected officials targets to influence.

Of course, being “under the influence” does not necessarily translate into the cloak and dagger intrigue of a Cold War Manchurian Candidate. Perhaps all that keeps those compromising photos secret is an advance tip about a regulatory change or announcement, an equivalent to insider-trading on the stock market. Maybe it is more.

It is not a stretch to imagine this happening.

4 replies on “the spies among us.”

I always see Alberta voters influenced like the Manchurian Candidate. Every election, at the appointed time, the premier says the trigger word NEP and voters vote en masse for the government in spite of its record.

Politicians are under the influence… of developers, of capitalists, of the oil companies, of various interests at variance with the public interest. Foreign interest? Just look at the Americans.

But this sudden publicity makes me wonder if CSIS isn’t after more money, and putting politicians under the influence, so as to get what they want?

Hopefully those “foreign interests” are Russians because their spies are hot redheads who apparently enjoy a good romp.

Other data points to consider include the (partly Canadian-based!) Russian spy ring recently foiled in the U.S. None of these were particularly high level jobs these people were in, yet they existed and the crimes were considered quite serious. Also, when the comments were made Stelmach went on the defensive instantly: rather than any statement indicatng that he either had done or will do a security assessment of his own cabinet.

If you can say for sure the accusations are not true in Alberta, then you say it. If you aren’t sure, then you say that your government will get assurances on every minister.

It doesn’t take much to think of the few possible scenarios that explain Ed Stelmach’s response.

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