Something is Seriously Wrong

How fitting.

The UCP will close 2017 with yet another bozo eruption.

Bozo eruptions were mildly entertaining in the past, but they’re occurring with increasing regularity and have taken on a distinctly anti-democratic tone.

Here are two recent examples.

NDP shills!

Last week the UCP attacked two well respected Alberta economists for daring to correct misstatements made by their leader Jason Kenney.

kenney-size_-xxlarge-letterbox

Mr Kenney

They said Trevor Tombe, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Calgary, blew off the impact of the 50% increase in the carbon tax because he has a six-figure income (isn’t prosperity the UCP’s goal for all Albertans?) and enjoys guaranteed employment at a university (does he and if so why is it relevant?)

They accused Andrew Leach, Associate Professor, University of Alberta, of being pro NDP when he said Kenney was wrong in saying Alberta had suffered two years of out-migration.  Kenney clarified his comment by saying he didn’t include international migration in his numbers, he’d meant to say more “Canadians” left Alberta than moved in (why this distinction should matter to anyone but “old stock Canadians” is a mystery).

Not content to leave it alone, UCP MLA Richard Gotfried waded in demanding Leach prove he wasn’t an NDP shill by providing all his sources of income including his private tax information.  Leach directed Gotfried to his conflict of interest disclosure site which showed Leach had chaired the NDP’s Climate Leadership Panel and provided consulting services to the energy industry, held shares in some energy companies, and the Centre for Applied Business Research and Environment of which he is the director received financial support from a number of heavy hitters in the energy industry, namely Enbridge, Suncor, Capital Power, Altalink, ATCO and EPCOR.

Gotfried dismissed Leach’s responses as “Econo-speak” and said he’d check with his “research/FOIP Team” to determine…what exactly, whether Leach had lied on his conflict of interest disclosure by failing to a secret source of income from the NDP?

Ad hominin attacks on academics and others because they contradict Jason Kenney’s statements with facts have become commonplace in Alberta politics, however raising the spectre of a FOIP search to demonstrate a non-partisan academic is biased is an abuse of process and a new low even for the UCP.

Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident.  UCP MLAs have attacked the foundations of democracy in the Legislature as well.

One person, one vote?

The UCP were incensed by Bill 33, the Electoral Divisions Act, which reduced the rural ridings by 3 and increased the urban ridings by the same number to reflect the decline in rural populations and the increase in urban populations.

A couple of NDP MLAs did not support these changes either, arguing that reducing the number of rural ridings would make it more difficult for rural MLAs to meet with their constituents.

While some UCP MLAs made the same argument, three–Mr. Cyr, Mr Hansen and Mr Gotfried–went off the deep end with an argument that was profoundly undemocratic.

Scott Cyr started the ball rolling by misconstruing the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling on the meaning of “effective representation” to mean that “one person to one vote is just not possible”.

Dave Hanson picked up the thread arguing the redrawn boundaries failed to give rural Alberta the respect it deserves as being the economic driver of Alberta.

Richard Gotfried brought the argument home by arguing rural Albertans create Alberta’s wealth, those who work “in the glass towers of Calgary” merely manage it, hence rural Alberta deserves disproportionately higher representation.*

In other words, the wealth creators, whoever they may be, deserve the right to exercise greater political influence than the rest of us.  

Not to belabour the point, but has the UCP lost its collective mind?

Rebirth

Given Mr Kenney’s promise to crack down on bozo eruptions it is deeply troubling he did nothing to rein in the UCP’s ad hominem attacks on Mr Tombe and Mr Leach and his MLA’s attacks on the fundamental democratic principle of one person, one vote.

But Mr Kenney is on a mission, he doesn’t have time for such petty issues.

When asked about the merger of the Progressive Conservatives and the Wildrose Party, Kenney said, “I just realized that you cannot have a viable national conservative movement if Alberta becomes a socialist democratic province….we need Alberta back as the beating heart of free enterprise and the conservative movement in Canada.”

Think about that for a moment.

A viable national conservative movement?  We have a viable national conservative movement.  It’s called the Conservative Party of Canada and it’s presently sitting in the Opposition benches in Ottawa.  In a democracy no one rules forever.

We need Alberta to be the beating heart of free enterprise and the conservative movement?  Why? What’s wrong with Saskatchewan?

The Saskatchewan Party was created in 1997.  It formed government in 2007 and implemented the largest debt reduction, single year income tax reductions and property tax reductions in Saskatchewan’s history.  It was re-elected with successively larger majorities in 2011 and 2016, winning 51 out of 61 seats in 2016.  Provincial conservatism is alive and well, it just happens to be living next door.

If Mr Kenney thinks the Conservative Party of Canada doesn’t represent a viable national conservative movement and the Saskatchewan Party doesn’t represent a viable provincial conservative movement, one shudders to think what he has in store for Alberta if he’s elected in 2019.

*Alberta Hansard, Dec 13, 2017 pp 2565, 2566, 2572 

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47 Responses to Something is Seriously Wrong

  1. Terry Korman says:

    In a time of such assaults upon Democracy, truth, and reason itself, you are a weekly beacon of clarity and renewed hope … thank you for your blog, Ms. Soapbox; and Happy New Year!

    • Thanks Terry. I’m grateful there are academics like Trevor Tombe and Andrew Leach who are prepared to challenge groundless and misleading UCP statements with facts and evidence. And they truly are non-partisan. Tombe for example points out that the NDP government, like the PCs before it, is still overly reliant on resource revenue and suggests it’s time to take a hard look at Alberta’s fiscal structure.

  2. rww says:

    “In other words, the wealth creators, whoever they may be, deserve the right to exercise greater political influence than the rest of us.”

    So workers should get two votes for every vote managers and stockholders get ?

    • rww: I like your example. The UCP’s focus on the augmented rights of “wealth creators” smacks of Canada in the 18th century when only adult male property owners were entitled to vote. When we said Kenney was going to take Alberta backward, none of us imagined some of his MLAs were prepared to go all the way back to the 18th century.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Actually, the franchise in Canada still had a property qualification right up to and into the 20th century: http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/franchise/. Before the Dominion Elections Act (1920), voting in Canadian federal elections was largely governed by the provinces, just as voting in US federal elections is still, even today, governed by the “several States” (as they are wont to put it)—except for the 1917 wartime election, labelled as the “largest gerrymander in Canadian history” (I’ve just finished a fascinating book about that election, fought over the issue of conscription; I highly recommend it).

  3. Douglas Taylor says:

    A couple of things:
    The hyperventilation about the “50%” increase in the carbon tax is a key point of the battle strategy of the Can Tax Fed bozos and the UCP warriors. An alliance joined at the hip. The lazy CBC Calgary home drive show on Friday featured the CTF gang leader who went on and on about the 50% thing. It went from 10 to 20, a modest incremental rise in keeping with the carbon tax emissions curbing strategy. And the guy went on and on about how everything was going up including the reflection in the gas tax of 2.5 cents and with a loaded commentary of the man in the Calgary street bleating and moaning about the loss of business jobs, how tough things are, yadda, yadda. Funnily enough the Edmonton Urinal had articles the next day on how Alberta business confidence is rising dramatically as the 3rd highest in Canada and the Alberta economy is growing at a robust 3% along with expert commentary that the carbon levy is modest to the point of insignificance. These guys want to hammer us on how bad things are and woe is us. It’s their game and they will lie and cheat to win the war.

    Secondly the rural ripoff whinging. The neocons are exploiting an extremely tired male bovine faeces line about how the rurals are some kind of elite driving force in the economy. This social mythology has been festered unfettered for decades. I have worked with rurals and many firmly believe that without them, we’d all starve. They have leveraged that whine to wheedle much business and infrastructure welfare funds from the public purse year after year. The old, with a gun to the pooch’s head, they cry, pay up or the dog gets it. The farmer ( and bozos like Cyr, Hanson and Gotfried) who declares they are gawd’s gift to our survival, stands there in clothing from wellies socks, underwear, coveralls, fat belt buckle, coat, mitts and on up to hats, amongst vehicles, machinery, inputs and technology, all from factories located in those dratted urban environs, all of which without them, the declared saviour would be as useless and ineffectual as tits on a boar. We have a complex economy and is it simply nonsense to blather on about who is more deserving of public admiration in the scheme of things.

    • Douglas you raise some really important points. It’s appalling to realize that the CBC hasn’t learned from the American media’s experience with Trump. They didn’t realize until it was too late that reporting what Trump said even if it was a lie did not serve the public interest unless they also simultaneously reported the facts which demonstrate the lie. It would have been easy for CBC to add Trevor Tombe to the program to correct the CTF’s misstatements.
      The narrative of rural Alberta driving our economy was new to me. Here’s how Gotfried put it. The wealth is “actually in the field, whether that field be the farmer’s field or the forest that we enjoy or the oil and gas industries’ operations, whether that be in the oil sands or whether that be drilling activity or natural gas drilling in the province. That is where our wealth is created.” When he added the bit about the oil sands and drilling activity I wondered whether he had any idea of how Crown mineral rights and land sales work. Perhaps he should review this link on the government website: http://www.energy.alberta.ca/OilSands/4081.asp

      • Douglas Taylor says:

        Thx. Here’s another nose stretcher I have heard from rurals and that only the primary industries like ag ( and mining, forestry, etc.) create real wealth from nothing. Grain growing for example is the original fountain of gold and all the businesses along the supply chain owe their existance to this source of all wealth. A facetious waste of mental gymnastics but supportive of the assertion that “ you people” really oughtta wanna value and appreciate us more. And give us more of the vote, I suppose. ;>)

      • Douglas, I wonder how we’d allocate the number of votes these creators of real wealth should get vis-a-vis the rest of us. Would it be based on how many acres of land they own? Would we city folk get a “vote credit” because our taxes pay for crop insurance that compensates them for crop loss due to hail, floods, or snow. In 2016 960,000 acres of land were eligible for crop insurance due to unharvested (snowed under) crop loss. https://www.afsc.ca/Default.aspx?cid=3698-3874. It boggles the mind, it really does.

      • I was also listening to the CBC that day, when every news break (30/60 min) the CBC would repeat one side of a story (the CTF’s side), and not give another side. It’s concerning how pro-conservative CBC Alberta is. About a week ago, Portia Clark (co-host of CBC’s Radioactive – Edmonton) insinuated that there was still ‘a debate’ about climate change. They have to be called out on this garbage. No wonder so many Albertans are so ill informed. Democracy doesn’t function well when so many voters are disinformed or misinformed. Information and facts are to the UCP what kryptonite is to Superman. Now even the CBC, along with the other usual corporate media suspects, are getting in on the act of spreading fake news and making people so cynical and skeptical of what they read and hear, that it’s contributing (imo) to the rise of the alt-right and people believing just about anything, or nothing at all. And CBC Alberta is contributing to this very negative social phenomenon.

      • Thanks Chee Chee Lorne. I listen to CBC FM and was unaware of this. It’s actually shocking given that the mandate of the CBC as set out in the Broadcasting Act includes the obligation to “provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be exposed to the expression of differing views on matters of public concern”. “Differing views” should mean both sides of an issue. I agree they need to be called out on this if for no other reason than to send a clear message that we won’t stand for it and will turn to another station on the dial if they don’t clean up their act.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: The things coming from the UCP are scary. They seem to mirror what we saw from the Alberta PCs, in the Ralph Klein era. He would chasize anyone who would disagee with him, or when they exposed what he did wrong. It will be very scary to see what the UCP would do if they ever got into power. Let’s hope that they are not given the chance to rule Alberta. Hope you have a Happy New Year.

    • Dwayne, I’d heard the same thing about Klein. Apparently the Calgary Herald ran an unfavourable article about his government and he warned them that if they ever did it again they’d be cut out of the media loop. My bigger worry is the UCP is adopting Trump tactics, right down to using trolls and bots on social media to spread their message and attack those who disagree. Last January the Alberta Prosperity Fund which is a conservative advocacy group invited Kellyanne Conway to Calgary. The event was billed as an opportunity to learn from a Trump insider how to win an election. Conway cancelled at the last minute but I wouldn’t be surprised if Manning Foundation and UCP strategists have met with members of Trump’s team to get the inside scoop.

      I hope you have a Happy New Year too!

  5. J.E. Molnar says:

    There is a manipulation technique that was successfully employed by Donald J. Trump, now being used by Jason Kenney and others in the UCP to create a politically charged atmosphere with the sole purpose of disorienting voters.

    Albertans are being *gaslighted* by Jason Kenney. The techniques include claiming outrageous statements were jokes or misunderstandings; saying and doing things and then denying it; blaming others for misunderstanding their intent; disparaging others’ concerns as over-sensitivity; and other forms of twilighting the truth. Sound familiar yet?

    Trump used it successfully to help win the U.S. presidential election. Now, Jason Kenney has imported the technique in an attempt to confuse and mislead Alberta voters. It is sad that it has come to this for conservatives who appear willing to use any sleazy technique to regain political power to which they feel they are entitled. Let’s hope mainstream media finally starts to underscore this abuse in the same manner that Ms Soapbox does every week in her blog.

    • Paul Armstrong says:

      You’ve nicely put the hammer to the nail on this one.. Thanks for clearing the air…it will likely make some UCP members apoplectic….so what? Shining a light on the skullduggery makes them crawl back in to their deep dark holes. Good on you!

      • Thanks Paul. The UCP “feedback” would be more effective if it was evidence based, but it’s not so it’s pretty easy to dismiss. They’re certainly a touchy bunch though.

    • J.E. Your comment about *gaslighting* is bang on. Political observers in the US say Trump was able to get away with his lies because the right-wing media and politicians conditioned the American people to distrust everything. Garry Kasparov, the Russian chess champion and Putin critic calls it modern propaganda and said “The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking,to annihilate truth.” Bingo!

  6. Munroe Scott says:

    As a resident of Eastern Ontario I find your blog not only enlightening but essential reading. Thank you, and keep it up.

  7. Carlos Beca says:

    This is what I expect from Jason Kenney and it will only get worse. He will do anything necessary to get to be premier of Alberta. He is obsessed with power and control and he does not understand or care for democratic values.

    He is the Bozo King and he will change reality and lie in order to make his eruptions be fact.

    No one or nothing will stop Jason Kenney and our reluctance to fight back the same way is dangerous and could be disastrous for the province.

    The mainstream media will not report the facts because they are all in the same bag.

    Jason Kenney is a bully and he only understands that language.

    • Carlos, you’ve touched on something I constantly ask myself. Is it better to “go high”, and hit them with the facts when they “go low” or to get down in the gutter with them? In the recent Calgary-Lougheed byelection the NDP used a few (mild) attack postcards. I can’t remember exactly what they said but it was something along the lines of “he didn’t come back for you”. I’m not sure how well they were received.
      The NDP will never change the minds of Kenney’s hard core supporters, but they have a good chance to win over the undecideds. The key will be to ensure the NDP’s message isn’t swamped by the UCP’s propaganda because it’s very hard to correct false “facts” once they’ve lodged in people’s minds. The fake story that Hilary Clinton ran a child porn ring out of Cosmos pizza is a good example.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        I would not suggest get down in the gutter with them. We have to find a way to get the facts to stick to them. They always seem to be able not have to face the truth.
        Not allowing them to disrupt forums and situations where they bully people into not being able to talk or present the facts.
        Maybe we should use the strategy used in the movie ‘ The Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri’ 🙂

      • I agree Carlos, the key is challenging propaganda with facts and finding an effective way to get the facts to stick in the minds of the voters. I haven’t seen “Three Billboards” but I’ve heard good things about it. I’ll check it out. 🙂

  8. jerrymacgp says:

    Maybe our diminishing rural population needs to rediscover « la revanche du berceau » (the revenge of the cradle), and restore its dominance over Alberta politics the old-fashioned way: by breeding more voters …

    In all seriousness, Alberta’s political map has long been gerrymandered in favour of rural voters; the new electoral division boundaries are simply increasing equality of influence, in line with (Conservative) Sir John A.’s “rep-by-pop” principle.

  9. Jerry, that’s exactly what the conservative commentator David Frum said about how to stabilize the US–have more babies…oh and don’t keep asking for “entitlements” like childcare because you’re ticking off the rich who don’t want to pay more taxes. (I’m going to do a blog on Frum’s speech one day, it was a real eyeopener.)
    I agree with you that the new electoral division boundaries are meant to increase equality of influence. What I can’t figure out is this culture of victimhood that seems to pervade the UCP. J.D. Vance, the Yale lawyer and venture capitalist, wrote about growing up dirt poor in Appalachia in his book Hillbilly Elegy. He says a culture of grievance, victimhood and scapegoating has replaced traditional values like self-reliance and hard work. I wonder if the same thing is happening here and more importantly, why.

  10. Kevin says:

    I stopped reading after this:

    “They said Trevor Tombe, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Calgary, blew off the impact of the 50% increase in the carbon tax because he has a six-figure income (isn’t prosperity the UCP’s goal for all Albertans?) and enjoys guaranteed employment at a university (does he and if so why is it relevant?)”

    In regard to your snide parenthetical comments:

    A) Prosperity is of course our goal, but it does no good to claim that everyone is currently prosperous under the Notley regime. It is completely ridiculous to deny that a consumption-based tax is most onerous on the middle class who spends the greatest proportion of their income on it without receiving the rebates for low-income Albertans.

    B) As Tombe is an associate professor, I concede that he likely doesn’t have a tenured position. However, it’s patently absurd to ignore that a person who does have tenure (or some other employment contract which is difficult to break) is thoroughly insulated from economic conditions, good or bad.

    • Kevin, let’s take it from the top:
      • No one claimed “everyone is currently prosperous under the Notley regime.”
      • The direct and indirect impact of the carbon tax on average Alberta households who don’t receive a full rebate is around $150/year (about 41 cents a day), yes this is an impact, no it’s not onerous, and 60% of these households will get a full rebate so the impact on them is zero.
      • To say that it’s “patently absurd” to ignore the fact that Tombe is “thoroughly insulated from economic conditions” because he has tenure or an employment contract, is an ad hominem attack. You can argue he got the facts wrong and consequently his conclusions are flawed, but you can’t argue his statement is bunk because he has a well paying job. BTW as a lawyer I can assure you there’s no such thing as an employment contract that’s “difficult to break”, every employment contract I’ve worked on specifies exactly how it can be “broken” by either party prior to the end of its term.
      Colin Craig of the Canadian Tax Foundation had an opportunity to refute Tombe’s numbers and conclusions, but he didn’t. Instead Craig went back to the arguments that were raised when the carbon tax was announced in 2016. At that time it was suggested that the cost could be as high as $600 for the top 20% of Alberta households. The income level for this top 20% is $291,260. $600 amounts to .2% of their household income, .2% isn’t exactly a “pretty sizable number”. I pulled these numbers out of news stories that appeared when the original carbon tax was announced. I’m not an economist, Craig has a BA in economics and is the Alberta director of the CTF. If he had better numbers he should have used them. He didn’t so the public is left with a choice: do we believe Tombe, a nonpartisan academic or Craig, the head of the CTF, a non-profit group once led by Jason Kenney. I believe Tombe, you’re free to believe Craig.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/carbon-tax-economy-alberta-university-of-calgary-trevor-tombe-1.3851872
      http://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/fifty-per-cent-hike-in-carbon-wont-hammer-homes-economy-u-of-c-economist

  11. Harce says:

    These are not “bozo eruptions” but rather fair commentary in the political arena. Except I guess on this blog where there’s a strongly extreme left wing bias. Anything but objective!

    • Harce, the UCP MLA’s ad hominem attacks on two expert economists were an attempt to discredit their arguments by casting aspersions on their character. This is a logical fallacy, not “fair commentary”. Sadly, some people can’t tell the difference.

  12. Carlos Beca says:

    So ‘Two years of population decline’ is not a lie?
    The Population in Alberta has not declined since 1946 – so what is it?
    Is this what you call the extreme left wing bias? I see.
    I am starting to see the light. Halleluiah.

    Oh that communist Susan Wright 🙂

  13. Harce says:

    Saskatchewan is anything but conservative. It has government owned telephone companies, power companies, and until the recent wisdom of the Saskatchewan government, even a government owned bus company (thank goodness they sold it off). No other province has this level of government ownership.

    “If Mr Kenney thinks the Conservative Party of Canada doesn’t represent a viable national conservative movement and the Saskatchewan Party doesn’t represent a viable provincial conservative movement, one shudders to think what he has in store for Alberta if he’s elected in 2019.”

    I’d say a return to a much more true conservative governance like we had under Klein. The reason the PC’s lost in 2015 was simply because they weren’t right wing enough. Albertans want a return to the Alberta advantage under Klein. The only criticism to be had of Kenney is that he wants to take 4 years to balance the budget, which will mean more borrowing for future generations to repay. The budget must be balanced immediately – which means we need much more than the 20% cuts he’s promised, and we need them now.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Yes Harce you are right. The Saskatchewan Government has all of those companies including car and home insurance like no other province in Canada. I would suggest you check which province has the lowest costs of all of those services.

      So in 2015 the voters upset that the PCs were not right wing enough vote in a center left party – makes sense !!!!!

      • Carlos, it seems to me that any Albertan who thinks Saskatchewan isn’t conservative enough for Kenney should ask themselves why Kenney was so effusive in his praise of Brad Wall. Either Kenney is a hypocrite or he’s going to adopt the Saskatchewan Party’s play book.

    • jerrymacgp says:

      Here we go … another apologist for the sainted Ralph Klein. He cut wages for front line public sector workers like teachers and health care professionals on the promise they would keep their jobs … then laid thousands off anyway. He blew up Calgary’s downtown hospital. He privatized liquor retailing, which led to liquor stores on every street corner (almost 60 in the City of Grande Prairie alone!); and deregulated natural gas and electricity, leading to more expensive utility bills for all of us. Oh, and his government and his PC successors later spent like drunken sailors while the economy was booming, priming an overheated pump, driving up costs for everything built with taxpayer dollars, and were unable to balance the budget on $100/bbl oil.

      Now we have an NDP government which has slashed spending on hosting and travel to less than a quarter what it was when they took office; built out infrastructure during a recession, keeping people working while also getting lower bids on tenders and saving money; borrowed to keep the lights on and keep public services working to support Albertans while interest rates were at historic lows; and made significant reforms to consumer protection and worker health & safety laws and raised employment standards to match or exceed those of the rest of Canada.

      We can’t afford a “return to Conservative governments” if they look anything like King Ralph’s era.

      • Brian says:

        When you talk about cutting wages, firing public sector employees, and blowing up hospitals, it rings true for what we need to balance the budget and makes me want to vote UCP all the more. If you want such an extreme leftist society, maybe try moving to North Korea.

      • rww says:

        or Scandinavia

      • Brian: the topic is appropriate levels of spending; shots about moving to North Korea (it’s not leftist, it’s a dictatorship) are out of line.

      • rww: piling on with shots that are out of line is also out of line…although Scandinavia is a cool place, maybe we can recreate it here.

      • Jerry, I saw a tweet by economist Trevor Tombe a while back that said even after Klein cut spending to the bone we were still $18 billion in debt. Essentially when Klein held that PAID IN FULL sign over his head he was lying. I’m not sure why the conservatives think it’s better to damage Albertans today by cutting education, healthcare, and infrastructure, than borrow and carry slightly higher debt in the future. Tombe also says the issue isn’t debt per se but whether the province can effectively manage the debt. That’s why he always brings the discussion back to fixing the fiscal structure.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Scandinavia ?
        You wished
        You have no idea what you are talking about.

    • Harce, two things: (1) what is the “Alberta Advantage” and how would your life change if Kenney brought it back? (2) at the Calgary-Lougheed debate Kenney denied he’d ever said he’s going to cut spending by 20%. He said he’d balance the budget by 2022 by holding spending to zero or perhaps cutting it by 1% or at most 2%. Does this change your opinion that Kenney is right wing enough to bring back the “Alberta Advantage”.

      • Farmer Dave says:

        Brian has no idea what North Korea is and North Korea being so far away from the left Brian will be left spinning in his own rubbish. Ralf Klein balanced the budget by deferring infrasture to another day such as the building of highways, hospitals, schools, etc. Ralf Klein’s leadership is the only reason Alberta is in a deficit situation today. Brian you should vote UCP so they could take us back to those good old days so businesses could start manufacturing horse whips and buggy’s again.

  14. Ernie says:

    “Bozo eruptions” tend to happen on both sides, but only ones from conservatives seem to be talked about. What about Shannon Phillips, our “beloved” environment minister, telling us via twitter to eat less meat (wonder what her ranchers in Lethbridge have to say about that) and then throwing her staff under the bus?

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Not sure in what way the eat less meat is a bozo eruption.
      It is an accepted fact that we should eat way less meat than what we do to be healthier and a cleaner environment. Only in Alberta this is surprising. It seems that anything people say about any of the strong industries in Alberta we have to apologize for.
      The fact that we have a meat industry does not mean that vegetarians or vegan are to be thrown in the river. Raising cattle is of course an industry that creates wealth for the province but it does not mean that we all have to like and eat meat to death.
      There are of course bozo eruptions in the left but with all due respect this is not one.
      There is a difference between ‘eat less meat’ (as it is better for your health and a better environment – fact) and ‘the population of Alberta is declining with the NDP government – a lie) – the population of Alberta has not declined since 1946 – fact.
      I know you may not understand the difference but that is the problem with the current right wing crowd. A lie seems to be a fact if it comes from a leader – i.e. Jason Kenney.
      He has the right to his beliefs but he will have to back them up from now on. I for one will make sure I join the fact police that is growing in Alberta politics.

    • Farmer Dave says:

      Ernie, Alberta has long turned away from eating meat as their main source of diet. You should look at all the Agricultural greenhouses built in Alberta over the past 20 years that are providing healthy food through farmers markets all year including those cold winter days. Ernie time for you to get out from under the dome before you get dome syndrome.

    • Bob Raynard says:

      I wonder if it would have made any difference if Sarah Hoffman, the minister of health, had made the comment. Eating less meat, especially beef, is undeniably good medical advice.

  15. Farmer Dave and Bob, I think you’ve both hit the nail on the head. Eating less red meat is good for the climate and good for your health. But I guess we should expect this sort of nonsense from the UCP, especially when their narrative that Alberta is going down the drain is debunked by Stats Canada and their attempt to discredit university professors make them look like fools.

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