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Episode 49: Radical Sabbatical. Climate justice and Alberta politics with Chris Gusen

Is Alberta ready to face the challenges of climate change?

Climate activist and communicator Chris Gusen joins Dave Cournoyer to discuss Alberta politics, climate justice, and a Green New Deal on the latest episode of the Daveberta Podcast.

Chris shares some insight into his transition from his role as the Alberta government’s Director of Identity to his current volunteer efforts with Extinction Rebellion and Climate Justice Edmonton, and what meaningful action against climate change could look like in Alberta.

Daveberta Podcast Alberta Politics Dave Cournoyer Adam Rozenhart
Daveberta Podcast

As always, a big thanks to our producer Adam Rozenhart for making the show sound so good.

The Daveberta Podcast is a member of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB. The Alberta Podcast Network includes more than 30 great made-in-Alberta podcasts.

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1 reply on “Episode 49: Radical Sabbatical. Climate justice and Alberta politics with Chris Gusen”

Listening to your guest, Mr Chris Gusen, on this week’s pod, he is indeed well-spoken and puts forward a number of valid points. However, there are a couple of things on which I’d like to cross swords with him.

– Firstly, the whole notion of getting all of us out of our cars & into mass transit, and his proposal for a road-building moratorium. This is all well & good for the two million or so who live in the two big cities … but what about the small cities & rural areas? I live in Grande Prairie. Our City transit system is abysmal; routes take forever and are very infrequent. It is not at all designed to get daily drivers to ride the bus instead, but to serve those that cannot drive at all. It also only serves the city limits — other than a provincially-funded pilot project called the County Connector — and does not serve many of the County subdivisions that abut the city limits. When your commute to work is only 10 minutes in your car, but half an hour or longer on the bus — if it even goes to your neighbourhood — who’s going to: get up that much earlier to get to work, take longer to get home, and be unable to make any stops or run errands on the way home? I’m sure the same issue exists to one extent or another in Fort McMurray, Red Deer, Lethbridge & Medicine Hat. Not to mention shift workers … workers in natural resource occupations that have to commute to distant worksites … and residents of truly rural areas, all of whom who have no choice but to drive. (So, by the way, carbon pricing is unfair to residents of such areas, because they literally have no choices available to them to reduce their tax burden, such as urban dwellers have).

– Then there’s the matter of well-site reclamation as an employment opportunity for oilpatch workers displaced from the industry. Sounds like a great idea … but, where’s the money to pay them going to come from? To be clear, I totally support such an initiative, but good governance requires looking at it in the cold light of realism. Oil & gas industry workers are — or were — employed by private businesses, with investors who purchase shares in the enterprise, & expect a profit to come out of the business. The revenue sources for a public project like this would have to be taxes or other levies of some kind or another — maybe the carbon tax? Oops, the UCP government killed that. I think any credible proposal to use orphan well reclamation as the path to a just transition for displaced oil & gas workers, must be explicit in identifying how it will be funded.

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