A couple weeks ago, I wrote (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) about central Alberta becoming the revolutionary hotbed of Albert politics, but while it may not be an actual hot bed of revolution, politics in central Alberta have becoming increasingly interesting.
After Infrastructure Minister Jack Hayden introduced Bill 19: Land Assembly Project Area Act into the Legislature on March 2, 2009, the legislation has met strong opposition from landowners in central Alberta, including Green Party leader Joe Anglin. Anglin described Bill 19 as “a punitive Bill that is chock-full of consequences for any landowner or citizen who would defy the Minister of Energy,” and is a member of a group of landowners who have organized town hall forums and information sessions on Bill 19 in communities across central Alberta. The opposition to Bill 19 appears to have caught the attention of the region’s PC MLAs, four who have been seen attending these town halls to defend the legislation.
At a forum in Warburg, PC MLAs Ray Prins (Lacombe-Ponoka), Diana McQueen (Drayton Valley-Calmar) and Evan Berger (Livingstone-MacLeod) were in attendance, and yesterday in Ponoka, Prins, McQueen, Berger, and Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA Verlyn Olson defended Bill 19 at an information session hosted by Anglin.
Rather than using the reliable ‘ignore the opposition between elections‘ strategy that has served the PCs so well over the past 36 years, the very presence of these four PC MLAs have actually legitimized the opposition to Bill 19 in rural central Alberta.