Alberta Politics

Jason Kenney has mastered the ability to anger the maximum number of Albertans possible at any given time

I’m not sure I’ve ever witnessed a government that has so successfully mastered the ability to make decisions that will almost immediately anger the maximum number of Albertans possible as Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government has done over the past two years.

Open-pit coal mining, privatizing provincial parks, attacking doctors, attacking nurses, writing a draft school curriculum that would take the education system back to the 1950s are just a few of the almost universally unpopular policies this government has thrown itself into, and now – as the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hits Alberta – paying unvaccinated Albertans $100 to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

The response to the spike in COVID cases and hospitalizations announced by Kenney was almost uuniversally panned by everyone – including the gaggle of conservative political pundits and columnists who can usually be depended upon to print defences and justifications for the government.

Political watchers who praised Kenney for throwing off public health restrictions at the beginning of the summer and declaring Alberta open for the summer are now openly questioning the UCP’s mind-boggling latest move.

One hundred dollars is much cheaper than paying for an unvaccinated Albertan who ends up in the now overflowing Intensive Care Units, the idea of paying people who did not get vaccinated when the majority of Albertans flocked to their clinics and pharmacies to get the jab is, well, pretty insulting – and tone deaf.

And the almost arbitrary move to impose a curfew on alcohol sales to 10:00 p.m., while granting immediate exemptions to a handful of rural rodeos, but not Calgary’s Pride events, suggests that this move could be more about what is politically palatable than what might work to stop the spread of COVID-19.

At the beginning of the summer, Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro stood on the banks high above Edmonton’s River Valley and declared that Alberta was open for summer. They even had vanity baseball hats made that said “Alberta Best Summer Ever.” Then cases started to rise, as did hospitalizations, and Kenney disappeared on a late summer vacation.

So, the question on the minds of many Albertans, and one that has been frequently asked since the pandemic began in early 2020: is this the best for Albertans or is this the best that Kenney could get his UCP cabinet and caucus to agree to?

5 replies on “Jason Kenney has mastered the ability to anger the maximum number of Albertans possible at any given time”

It seems Kenney et al changed their minds (such as they are, and what there is of them) and granted a liquor-license exemption to the Pride Parade. But why?

The small-town rodeos I can understand; that’s where Kenney’s base lives. But I would have expected Kenney & the Klowns to loathe the whole LGBTQ+ movement.

Conspiracy Theory #N (where N is very large): somebody pointed out Kenney could achieve herd immunity by thinning out the herd. What groups could be more deserving of Kenney’s wrath than the fickle, disloyal Base and a bunch of “queers”?

You have written an excellent summary, Dave.

Sir John A killed his party’s success in Quebec in 1885 when he hung Louis Riel; Brian Mulroney ended the Progressive Conservative Party when he brought in the GST.

I have wondered if we are seeing a similar seismic shift with Jason Kenney’s irresponsible decisions.

Where is society going when our leaders reward abysmal behaviour??? Are the unvaccinated members of caucus leading or disrupting??? Social responsibility should not be a foreign concept for those elected!!!

Isn’t there a saying about if you only have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail? So, if you are a career politician, maybe you start to see everything as a political problem. However, of course in this case it is not a political problem – it is a health one.

So, we get a consistent mix of reluctance and half measures, perhaps to appease core supporters that are against any sort of restrictions, including the more minor ones, like wearing a mask and are also not so enthusiastic about vaccinations either.

Unfortunately, a series of past bad moves by Kenney and the UCP has left him in a weakened position. The more moderate have already largely abandoned him, so he has to pander to those who are more extreme, just to stay in power.

I cannot bring myself to vote with a risk of this piece of lying $hit staying in Politics. I cannot risk the medical person’s livelihood, the homeless, the lack of schools and teachers plus MORE! He is a trader of politics and a genuine embarrassment of Alberta. Vote NO on Jason KENNY

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