It has been fascinating to observe how Alberta’s long-governing Progressive Conservatives have reacted to the challenge created by the Wildrose Alliance‘s rise in the polls. In most circumstances, the PCs appear to have kept a level head and tacted their policies to the centre to compete with Danielle Smith’s party’s more right-wing conservative policies, but there are exceptions.
Even though she was elected with 75% of the vote in 2008, Bonnyville-Cold Lake PC MLA Genia Leskiw appears to be feeling the pressure of the Wildrose within her own constituency. Ms. Smith recently toured the area and former PC MLA and current Bonnyville Mayor Ernie Isley is now supporting the Wildrosers. On her website, Ms. Leskiw recently published a long rant on her website about the dangers of the Wildrose Alliance in which she invokes union-busting, George W. Bush, and the fear of southern Alberta domination.
Be wary of the Wild Rose Alliance!
Very often the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. When one looks deeper at the quality of grass that actually exists there, the extra greenness is usually an illusion. Politics is no different, as many Conservatives look at the Wildrose Alliance. Another old saying fits this situation is “Beware of a wolf in sheep’s clothing!”
All this attention to this new party is a result of their leader. A former broadcaster, she is articulate, and a master of the quick soundbite that the media eats up. As a result she has given her party much more publicity than it deserves. Her normalcy masks some of the lunacy of the platform of her upstart party. Her biggest challenge will be to try and hide some of the ridiculous promises in her party platform before critical Albertans see them for what they are. The party’s strength is in its timing. During harsh economic times, when tough decisions are being made, it is much easier to be a critic than a builder. We are in such a time now.
The platform of the party follows a shotgun approach to political planning. Promise everything to everybody, and hope no-one actually reads the whole platform. Some of their promises, like ending all homelessness in Alberta during their first term in office are naively simplistic. Some are dangerous, like striking down parts of our Human Rights and Multicultural Act that prevent discrimination. Other policies of the party are openly contradictory. They promise the oil companies they will slash our royalty system, other sectors they will slash taxes that affect input costs, yet promise Albertans they will keep a balanced budget.
Putting an end to public education by using ‘Alberta Opportunity Scholarships’ instead of per pupil student grants to public schools will set off alarm bells for those concerned about the future of public education. They promise standardized annual testing of students and teacher quality. This comes straight from George Bush’s American plans for school improvement. We all know how well that worked. During a time of labour peace, when all teachers are in a long term contract, this party wants to pick a fight and limit teacher’s labour rights. The only MLA in the party speaks of limiting teacher’s right to strike to weekends and holidays. A well thought out platform indeed. They also intend to punish teachers if their students do not perform to Wildrose standards. Pity the poor teacher of disadvantaged kids. It is critical that teachers everywhere have a close look at this platform before they remove the controversial parts until after they are elected! Most of the sane parts of their platform merely reflect what the current government is doing in education, such as enhancing online educational initiatives for students, or funding arts, music, and physical education. I analyze education first, because that was my career for thirty six years, and I know it well. I challenge every constituent in Bonnyville-Cold Lake to zero in on the area you are most familiar with, and read their platform carefully and critically. The problem with an all encompassing platform is that it may seem reasonable in areas you are unfamiliar with, but alarm bells should go off when you analyze your area of specialization. Beware of this party!
Teachers aren’t the only group they want to pick a fight with though. The Wildrose aim is to strip unions of any influence they currently have by setting up a situation that would ‘allow individual workers the choice to determine their membership in labour organizations’. It is difficult to imagine a union jobsite with workers who choose not to be union members!
Read the platform with a wary eye. Remember that this is a Calgary based, southern Alberta party. We can’t be certain if promises to ‘Develop and implement an on and off-stream fresh water storage plan.’ is code for inter-basin transfers of water from northern Alberta to southern Alberta. Scientists have told us this would be environmentally catastrophic. But we shouldn’t let science get in the way of sugar beet irrigation. Maybe Cold Lake water should be shipped to southern Alberta farms before Bonnyville.
21 replies on “genia leskiw posts anti-wildrose rant on her mla website.”
I can only imagine how disappointed Kowalski will be to learn of such partisan use of her publicly funded site. It’s just not right to put the poor guy through such turmoil.
Wow, I think the PC’s are running scared, but then we know that by all of their actions since December 2009 when it became obvious that the Wildrose Alliance Party was a viable option to the old and tired PC’s. Nothing the PC’s have done since December 2009 is for the benefit of the people of Alberta, it is strictly so that the PC’s can stay in power. Come next election they are going to find that there are a good number of us that cannot be purchased with our own tax dollars.
George W. Bush? Really? What is this, 2004?
Genia Leskiw must be a Michael Moore fan.
The Genia is out of the bottle now.
Readers will judge Genia Leskiw and the PC party for themselves, one voter at a time. This is a classic example of an elected PC official trying to dictate how people of Alberta should think. To a certain extent I understand this partisan approach, and could tolerate it if it were beneficial to Alberta’s future. This vitriolic rant must surely be embarrassing to the entire population of Alberta. Get ready for more of this type of biased commentary from the increasingly desparate PC party.
Wow. after 36 years in education field, do you think she could have been able to do better than this poorly written rant?
That was painful to read.
When did the PCs become a labour friendly party?
I think Leskiw might be slightly confused.
This should be required reading for every conservative Albertan south of Red Deer.
This divisive, hateful rhetoric is what we would expect from the Canadian left, not so-called Alberta (Progressive) Conservatives.
Kiss the south goodbye, Stelmach.
Good for this obscure Tory MLA for standing up. The Wildrose is nothing but a bunch of extremist complainers. They will be wiped off the map next time.
Last I heard Cold Lake water doesn’t go to Bonnyville. They get their water from Moose Lake. Under the PC watch with the collapsing lakes, they won’t have to worry about their water being shipped anywhere.
But Genia knows her audience. Will the wall be built south or north of Red Deer?
Seriously – if 36 years of the current education system makes one write like an illiterate ten year old, what the hell could the WAP possibly do to hurt it further?
There’s a lot of truth in Ms. Leskiw’s commentary, which is hardly fairly described as a rant and is certainly not vitriolic. It’s pretty restrained, actually, and it’s largely correct on a number of key points, including the WRAP’s election and labour polices. Far be it from me to defend the Conservatives, but really, is Ms. Leskiw trying to tell people how to think any more than Danielle Smith is trying to tell people how to think with her commentaries? I personally quite like Ms. Smith – I think she is an engaging and interesting politician. That said, I believe Albertans would sincerely regret it if we are ever so foolish as to elect a Wildrose government, for the very reasons Ms. Leskiw points out and several more.
Karen: the wall will be built south of Red Deer. Genia and Mary A Jablonski are chums.
That issue is just fine, everyone of us has its own idea and voice to express how we feel.
Tories, Wildrose, they are all the same. One Party is the insurance policy for the other. Throw the bums out! Both of them!
The Wildrose caucus actually sympathizes with Leskiw to a large degree.
At the Wildrose AGM in June, the unspecified Wildrose “caucus” submitted a proposal that sought to delete the party plank calling for the striking of s. 3 of the Human Rights Act. The caucus also supported most of Leskiw’s allegations about education policy, with Heather Forsyth in particular wanting the party to back off on things like teaching testing. Rob Anderson also attacked his new party’s student funding policy on the convention floor, claiming that “anything that suggests ‘vouchers’ is a red flag.” The caucus lobbied to delete the party plank restricting teachers’ right to strike and did so successfully, with the party voting in June to back the union-friendly move.
The bottom line is that Leskiw’s criticisms are largely obsolete, now that the caucus has expanded well beyond Hinman and the Wildrose caucus now has a hand in most of the party’s communications.
David, that is more unsubstantiated BS that I keep hearing but nobody ever backs up. They’re a hell of a lot better than the PC’s that for damn sure.
What a shame that the Wildrose has given up abolishing s. 3 as Brian talks about. This party is nothing more than a second PC party. Different people, same phony conservative ideas.
^^^^^^^^^Blah Blah Blah “What a shame that the Wildrose has given up abolishing s. 3 as Brian talks about. This party is nothing more than a second PC party. Different people, same phony conservative ideas.”
Joe Albertan does not post on this site
It’s getting alittle tiresome all this fear monegring by the antui WRA people. Spare us the BS, the PC are done for and this will be the next government in Alberta. The conservatives that are4 in power now are not in any way the conservatives of the past, only in name. They have become nothing more than a federal liberal party painted blue.