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Alberta Politics

Alberta politics this week… where do I even start?

It’s 9:30 p.m. I’m sitting down in my living room with the intention of writing a piece about what happened in Alberta politics this week. But where the heck do I even start?

I could write about Premier Jason Kenney‘s growing focus on not alienating anti-vaxxers following his recent announcement about the potential distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021. Or I could write about how Health Minister Tyler Shandro amplified Kenney’s comments that basically amount to protecting anti-vaxxers from a vaccine that could stop a pandemic that has almost ground many part of our society and economy to a halt this year.

I could also write about Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw’s announcement today that there were more than 1,800 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths in Alberta. Overworked doctors and nurses also remain concerned that understaffed hospitals could be overwhelmed by the growing number of new COVID-19 cases in Alberta. And Alberta remains the only province without a province-wide mandatory mask mandate.

I would like to write about the steady stream of information leaks coming from the Alberta government to the media and the NDP opposition, which has led to stories about public health advice presented to cabinet, modelling projections and the government’s plans to set up Red Cross and federal government field hospitals in Alberta.

I could write about how in a radio interview this week, Kenney singled out the South Asian community in northeast Calgary as spreaders of COVID-19. I could also write about City Councillor George Chahal‘s response, tweeting that Kenney “should focus on those knowingly putting our frontline workers and their families at risk by violating public health orders, not the people working the jobs we need to keep our city going during a global pandemic.”

I might also write about the handful of recent public opinion polls that suggest the Kenney government is continuing to flounder. Kenney’s approval rating has dropped to 40 per cent, according to a recent Angus Reid survey, and the United Conservative Party fell behind the New Democratic Party in a voter intention poll conducted by Environics and commissioned by CUPE Alberta.

But I also might pen a piece about how politicians from other provinces are starting to refer to Alberta to downplay the spread of COVID in their own provinces.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott, the wife of Kenney’s former colleague the late Jim Flaherty, singled out Alberta during Question Period at Queen’s Park earlier this week.

“You want to speak about who is in crisis? Have you taken a look at Alberta, where they’re doubling up patients in intensive care units? We’re not doing that in Ontario,” Elliott said.

And our neighbours to the north are even asking questions about us. Northwest Territories MLA Kevin O’Reilly is asking whether the territory will stop sending patients to Alberta.

I might delve into why the Alberta government has left at least $300 million on the table that could be used to pay top-up wages to health-care workers, correctional officers, first responders and other essential workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alberta Senator Paula Simons asked about that in Ottawa this week.

Or I could write about how the Alberta government’s own data seems to contradict Environment & Parks Minister Jason Nixon‘s claims about provincial parks being shuttered and privatized because of low usage.

I could try to figure out what in the world Red Deer-South UCP MLA Jason Stephan means when he raised red flags about “socialist decarbonization” during a private members statement in the Legislative Assembly this week. But that might take a series of think-pieces to even attempt to explain.

Now I’m getting tired, so I’ll leave you with these thoughts and a tweet from William Shatner, aka Captain James T. Kirk, about the Alberta government’s stubborn refusal to adopt the federal CovidAlert Tracing app.

Good night.

12 replies on “Alberta politics this week… where do I even start?”

Oh yes, where does one start? It seems like the wheels are falling off the Wildrose, er sorry, different name now – UCP, bus.

Politics has on occasion been compared to boxing. Well if that metaphor has any resonance, Kenney and the UCP have taken a series of hard hits lately. Although, I would depart from that metaphor a bit to argue that unlike boxing, much of their damage lately has been to a large degree self inflicted.

I would say probably the most damaging and corrosive aspects to this is the reaction to Alberta in Ontario, the NWT and apparently by Captain Kirk. The UCP and their stalwart media friends are fairly good at keeping at least a slightly positive spin on things in news coverage here regardless of how bad things get. However, they can’t control the coverage outside of Alberta much. This seeps back into Alberta and it is becoming quite negative now.

Alberta is not doing very well with COVID compared to most other parts of Canada and it is starting to be widely noticed and commented on.

It is just that concrete and obvious. The UCP are a total failure. From a financial standpoint, on employment and job creation, handling Covid-19, and anything else under the sun, that the UCP is overseeing. The sooner the UCP are gone, the better.

What Kenney is doing is what a rational response to the pandemic looks like. What is the alternative? Police in the streets going door to door. Documentation checks if you are out and about. I guess that is what NDPr’s dream of.

As to the resources available, keep in mind, the previous NDP government continued to spend like it was 2013 for their 4 years in power. A rationalization of the government payroll at that time was required. But they didnt do it. We could sure use that 40 billion dollars now.

And we wont mention that the shutdowns have destroyed whole industries. People in those industries are not receiving a pay cheque or a much smaller one. But government worker unions are still getting their full pay. So how is it that one sector has to bare the brunt and the other sector gets off scott free?

That doesnt sound like we are all in this together.

This disparity is the reason behind the disagreement on the pandemic response to affect.

> What is the alternative? Police in the streets going door to door.
> Documentation checks if you are out and about.
> I guess that is what NDPr’s dream of.

When you lack a compelling counter-argument just go straight for the ridiculous strawman, amirite?

Begone.

Alright, Jason Kenney, it’s time for you to look in the mirror. Stop blaming everyone else for this pandemic and your incompetence in managing it. Be a grown-up. The frat party is over.

Stop blame -shifting. Stop with the straw man arguments. Just stop.

You are fooling no one. You are the fool. The world knows about you now, for all the wrong reasons. You F’d up. You continue to F up. You are looking like a deranged psychopath, and if you continue down this path of destruction, any remaining doubt will be removed.

Sure, fame is a thing. Some very famous people are famous for all the wrong reasons. Stop this delusion. Stop this madness. History has dealt with people like you before. It won’t be kind or gentle.

Except Kenney us trying to appease his crazy case who refuse to wear masks and are hosting super spreader events. The UCP have no idea what they’re doing and they are failing Albertans at every turn. Worst Government in the history of Alberta politics.

Tina Dmytryshyn: The UCP are so bad, that they even make Ralph Klein look good. Believe me, for those of us who are old enough to recall, Ralph Klein was a very bad premier. The downward trajectory of the Alberta PCs began with Don Getty, but Ralph Klein rapidly increased that. The UCP are admirers of Ralph Klein, so it’s not surprising Alberta has the problems it has.

Bret Larson: So, please explain what the NDP spent money on? You can’t do that, because it never happened.The Alberta PCs, who were in power before the NDP were, are the ones who blew away Alberta’s revenue on the worst ever scandals, and shenanigans, from the mid 1980s, and onwards.The Alberta PCs did a horrendous job of maintaining core services, and our infrastructure was also left in disrepair. The NDP had to fix that. The UCP certainly isn’t fixing up anything.

I will say, it will be interesting to see what Kenney’s support at the UCP AGM will be next year. Are they happy or will the knives come out with a low support vote? But, I guess we have to live through several more months of self-inflicted COVID first.

Sara-Anne Peterson: Bret can’t do it. However, the previous Alberta PC government, from the mid 1980s, and onwards, managed to blow and forsake far more than $40 billion. Trevor Tombe noted that Alberta had lost $433 billion, from when the Alberta PCs stopped collecting the proper oil royalty rates that Peter Lougheed was getting. Ralph Klein also was the cause of Albertans being liable for $260 billion, to cleanup oil industry related messes. If anyone was around from the mid 1980s, and onwards, they will recall the Alberta PCs doing one very expensive mistake after another. All kinds of things where vast sums of money were wasted. Telecommunications firms, the pulp and paper industry, deregulation of utilities, metal processing facilities, grandiose palaces, bitumen processing facility bungling, improperly handled farmer’s relief money, the storage of carbon, flawed litigation issues, waste treatment facilities, corporate bailouts, among so many other things. The UCP don’t seem to be any different, in that regard.

Sara-Anne Peterson: There is no proof of where the NDP squandered $40 billion. For those of us old enough to recall, the Alberta PCs were not the greatest money managers, from the mid 1980s, and onwards. Far more than $40 billion was squandered on the worst shenanigans, and misdeeds. Trevor Tombe noted that Alberta lost $433 billion, when the Alberta PCs ceased to collect the oil royalty rates that Peter Lougheed was getting. Ralph Klein was responsible for giving Albertans a $260 billion price tag to cleanup oil industry related messes. Telecommunications firms, the pulp and paper industry, deregulation of utilities, metal processing facilities, improperly allocated farmer’s relief money, a waste treatment facility, the storage of carbon, a bitumen processing facility, grandiose penthouse suites, flawed litigation issues, among many other things, are also where the Alberta PCs threw our money away on. The UCP are also doing very expensive shenanigans too.

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