The week started out strange and got a whole lot stranger.
Derek Fildebrandt’s Bev Oda moment
This week we learned that Derek Fildebrandt Airbnb-ed his taxpayer subsidized apartment, pocketed the cash and claimed the full rental expense in his housing allowance.
Most people would call it double dipping but Mr Fildebrandt said it was a Gen X thing (who wouldn’t Airbnb their apartment when they weren’t using it?). A few days later he reluctantly apologized and took a leave of absence from the UCP leadership race. Given that he has not yet endorsed a candidate we’re left to speculate who told Mr Fildebrandt to sit this one out.
We’ll miss Mr Fildebrandt. He would have spiced up Jason Kenney’s no-policies leadership campaign by lobbing in some libertarian ideas.
Take Mr Fildebrandt’s Nanny State Policy as an example. It calls for the repeal of laws protecting self-sufficient adults from themselves. If self-sufficient adults want to drink alcohol in public places, smoke flavoured cigarettes and tear around the countryside on ATVs without helmets, let them.
What Mr Fildebrandt failed to explain was who decides whether an adult is “self-sufficient”. Non-self-sufficient adults often think they’re self-sufficient (eg seniors who refuse to accept they can no longer drive).
If non-self-sufficient adults can’t be trusted to self identify would the government make the call? Would it force people to take IQ tests and emotional quotient tests to measure self-sufficiency? What happens when a self-sufficient person injures himself? Should the government deny him healthcare because he should have known better? We’ll never know because Mr Fildebrandt’s libertarian policies have been grounded along with Mr Fildebrandt.
Jason Kenney thinks he’s Rachel Notley
Jason Kenney was quick off the mark to thank Brad Wall when Wall announced he was retiring from political life.
Kenney tweeted: “On behalf of Albertans, thank-you @PremierBradWall for fighting for us when we’ve been abandoned by our own provincial government.”
Our government has not “abandoned” its people and the only person who can speak for Albertans is the premier, Rachel Notley. Jason Kenney is an unelected politician who speaks for no one but himself.
If Mr Kenney wants to share his admiration for Mr Wall he can start by explaining why it’s okay for Mr Wall to increase the provincial sales tax to 6%, rack up public debt to the tune of $22.6 billion and tax Saskatchewaniens anywhere from 10.75% to 14.75% which is higher than Alberta’s lowest tax rate and only .25% less than Alberta’s top rate.
While he’s at it, Mr Kenney can also explain how Mr Wall was “fighting for Albertans” when he offered incentives to Alberta corporations to entice them to relocate to Saskatchewan.
Donald Trump’s Dr Strangelove moment
It’s funny how we forget the Earth is round and the shortest route for a nuclear-tipped missile launched by North Korea at the US is through Canadian air space.
This has been the case since the Cold War. In 1957 Canada and the US created NORAD to protect themselves from the Soviet Union. Since then successive Canadian governments worked with or pulled back from American efforts to beef up American missile defence systems.
Donald Trump’s “fire and fury” rhetoric reminds us that Canada can’t pick up its borders and move to Australia. We need to pay attention to events unfolding in the US or face the prospect of “incineration without representation”, a phrase coined by Canadian politicians to garner support for the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).
What should we do? Who knows, but relying on MAD when Donald Trump and Kim Jung-Un are threatening to lob nukes at each other won’t get us very far.
There’s a lesson in all this madness. Weed out your loonie politicians before they gain power and mess it up for everyone else.