Is It Too Late For The Facts?

Where is Sgt Joe Friday when you need him?  Sgt Friday is the detective from Dragnet known for saying, “Just the facts, ma’am” when he’s investigating a crime.

Why are we talking about facts?

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Joe “Just the facts, ma’am” Friday

Because Jason Kenney has yet to be sworn into office and already he’s warning Albertans to brace for the “challenging years” ahead (years, who said anything about years?).  He’s softening up Albertans for the possibility that he’ll fail to deliver “jobs, the economy and pipelines”.

This will be fun.

The UCP were elected with 54.9% of the vote, they hold 63 seats, the NDP hold the remaining 24; in the eyes of their supporters there is absolutely nothing stopping the UCP from delivering on their promises, well, nothing other than Mr Kenney’s failure to give Albertans the facts.

Just the facts, please

In order to temper sky high expectations Mr Kenney should admit he over-played his hand and the facts are that:

  • Proclaiming Bill 12 to punish BC for opposing the Trans Mountain expansion won’t shut off the taps, it will trigger a lawsuit from BC.
  • Repealing the NDP’s carbon tax won’t get rid of the carbon tax, it will be replaced by the federal carbon tax. Mr Kenney is trying to soften the blow by saying the Trudeau carbon tax is better than the Notley carbon tax.  It’s not.
  • The time it takes to build pipelines won’t get shorter, it will get longer because Mr Kenney will remove the NDP cap on oilsands emissions and the federal government will exert jurisdiction on in situ emissions under Bill C-69, then Mr Kenney will have to sue the federal government to have this section of Bill C-69 declared ultra vires.
  • Threatening to call a referendum to change the equalization formula is meaningless even if the purpose of the referendum is scaled back from amending the Constitution to simply forcing the feds to put it on their agenda because there is no incentive for the have-not provinces, which include Quebec and Ontario, to change the existing formula.

The only way Mr Kenney can avoid getting egg on his face is if Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party of Canada are elected in October and Mr Scheer decides it’s in his best interest to help Mr Kenney by including more pipelines to eastern Canada as part of his platform.

Why wouldn’t Mr Scheer help Mr Kenney deliver on his campaign promises?

Let me count the ways.

Big fish, small pond

Notwithstanding what Albertans have been told about how important Alberta is to the rest of Canada, we’re not a gorilla province like Ontario or Quebec.  We have 11.6% of Canada’s population, we contribute 15.5% to Canada’s GDP (of which energy is about 11%) and most importantly we have 34 federal ridings that typically go conservative, but here’s the snag, our total seat count falls far below Ontario’s 121 seats and Quebec’s 78 seats.

The federal conservatives could win every seat west of Ontario and Mr Scheer would still need 63 seats from central Canada and the Atlantic provinces to form government.

Bottom line: Ontario and Quebec call the shots.

Friends?

Mr Scheer needs a block of votes from Quebec and Ontario to form government so he will consider how receptive Quebec and Ontario are to Mr Kenney’s promise to build more pipelines to eastern Canada before he decides to add “more pipelines” to his election platform.

Unfortunately for Mr Kenney, Quebec made it crystal clear it has zero interest in helping Alberta get more pipelines approved.  Mr Scheer knows he’s got Alberta sewn up, why would he risk alienating Quebec by supporting Alberta on this one?

That leaves Ontario.

Mr Kenney made it clear that eastern Canada should get off of “unethical foreign” crude in favour of Alberta crude, however this argument won’t hold sway in Ontario which  imports about 15% of its crude from the US (the rest comes from Western Canada).  And while the US president is Donald Trump, it’s unlikely Ontarians would consider US crude to be “unethical foreign” crude.

The only reason for Ontario customers to switch from American crude to Alberta crude would be if Alberta crude is cheaper.  While Mr Kenney professes to know what’s best for the energy sector he does not know the terms and conditions of crude purchase and sale contracts or whether reducing the price of Alberta crude to Ontario customers is feasible.

Which means it’s not clear Mr Kenney has anything to offer Ontario.  And Mr Scheer knows it.

Too late for facts  

Mr Kenney made a number of sweeping promises to Alberta voters; it’s too bad they weren’t based on the facts.

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47 Responses to Is It Too Late For The Facts?

  1. And, judging by the way the Ford PCs are alienating many voters in Ontario it is unlikely the federal PC party i.e. Andrew Scheer will get a nod from that part of the country. Thanks for the fact check, and the reality check.

    • Carol, once I realized that not all conservative provinces shared the same agenda I felt better about the upcoming federal election. Also while quite a few provinces have conservative premiers they’re not all cut from the same cloth and they’re not all equally powerful. Thank god!

      • Blair Backman says:

        They might not be cut from the same cloth, but many have to wear the same “comfort cut” clothes.

        Brian Pallister seems to be the last of fit conservatives. They may have had their faults but Preston Manning, Brad Wall and Grant Devine did not have that “I live at the Golden Corral Buffet look”,

        But I am afraid this Premier that Saskatchewan has sent you is not of the same calibre as Ernest Manning, a farm boy from Rosetown Sk.

        Alberta has a reality check coming up—no matter how much smoke Kenney blows up their ass, they don’t really scare anyone-comical, maybe even laughable but certainly not a serious threat.

      • Blair, you’re right, Alberta does have a reality check coming. Kenney’s supporters appear to believe he can deliver high paying oil jobs by snapping his fingers. I hope they’re watching what Kenney has done this week, strut around, talk big and deliver nothing other than a lawsuit from BC. I’m curious to see how long it will take them to wake up to the fact they’ve elected a fast talking snake oil salesman.

      • Have to take small comforts where we find them. Thanks Susan.

    • Trudy Grebens says:

      Kenney sure did and Conservative Albertans wanted to believe, so they voted UCP. Wanting it to be true does not make it so folks. What Albertans WILL see is the very human pain of staff cuts and freezes in health, education and public service jobs.

      • You’re right Trudy. I’ve received a number of comments from people who are delighted the UCP won and want Kenney to cut even deeper (they suggest 25%). What I don’t understand is why they think this will make their lives better. I have yet to receive a comment that said I support deep cuts because a 25% reduction in the cost of healthcare and education will improve my life and my kids lives by X and Y, and then back it up.

      • Jerrymacgp says:

        When voters look for spending restraint, they are looking for that ephemeral entity called “waste”, meaning those putative billions of taxpayer dollars being spent on frivolous work that ordinary voters will never miss, or on luxuries for public servants like shiny new cars and office furniture. But, of course there is none of that going on, and in the public sectors of virtually every jurisdiction in Canada all of the fat—if it ever existed at all, which I do not concede—has long been stripped from the system, leaving nothing but muscle and bone, i.e. core services affecting people. If you cut more from health care, education, or child intervention services, for example, classrooms will get more crowded, wait times will get longer, and children in care will die, period.

        Look at AHS, for example, one of Mr Kenney’s favourite targets during the campaign, when he repeatedly claimed there were “too many managers managing managers”. I work as a direct care staff nurse, but my immediate boss doesn’t report directly to CEO Verna Yiu. This is an organization with over 100,000 staffers, and the CEO can’t run it all herself, it’s just too big. There is a management concept called “span of control”, which involves the optimal number of direct reports any management person should have, and for 100,000 staff, that concept means there need to be multiple layers in the org chart. According to CIHI, AHS already has the lowest administration costs of any health care organization in the country, at about 3.5% of the annual budget. How much more does he want to trim? Direct care staff like me need managers—to set policy direction for the organization; to fund our services; to hire our coworkers; to make sure we get paid on time; to buy the stuff we need to deliver care, from high-tech equipment and supplies to the most basically office supplies; to set our work schedules in a 24/7/365 operation; and so much more. Cut management too deeply or stretch it too thin, and these things start to stop happening and the system breaks down, hampering the care we provide the public we’re supposed to be serving.

      • That is my fear….

    • Trudy Greb says:

      I was thinking the very same thing. Perhaps Sheer will figure that out too!!

      • Trudy if Scheer doesn’t figure this out it may cost him significant support. If Scheer doesn’t win this election there will be a leadership review and Kenney will be hovering around in the background wondering when to jump ship. It will be very interesting. Of course this assumes the RCMP investigation doesn’t throw a monkey wrench into Kenney’s plans.

  2. Keith McClary says:

    “Ontario which gets 100% of its crude from the US”

    Your source says:
    “Ontario receives all of its crude oil imports from the U.S.”, but from Fig. 15 only ~15% of Ontario’s supply is imported. (Western Canadian Crude is not considered an import!)

    So that should go the way of election promises.
    :>}

    • Keith, thanks for catching that. I was looking at Figure 17 which shows 100% of imports coming from the US, but as you point out, that’s on top of the stuff coming from Western Canada. I fixed it in the post.

  3. David Elm says:

    Susan, UCP with 54.9%.

    >

    • Thanks David. Lesson learned, never write a blog with a migraine,

    • Ken Larsen says:

      So a majority of the voting public endorsed a pipeline cargo-cult fantasy in the belief it will give them another oil boom. What could possibly go wrong in a society led by a group of fantasists already identifying scapegoats for their hopes not being realized?

      A more useful question is what went wrong with the Ab NDP? Here is an Op-Ed article in the Regina Leader Post by a lawyer who pretty much sums up what went wrong with the Notley administration from the start.
      https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/notleys-enabling-of-oil-and-gas-sector-poor-political-strategy

      Don’t get me started on how the Ab NDP dropped the ball on property rights and agricultural issues.

      • Ken, thanks for this. I thought the link to the op-ed was enlightening. A friend of mine said Notley ran into trouble when she tried to out-Kenney Kenney because that forced her to compete with Kenney on his battleground where she’d surely lose.
        The article says the UCP branded “jobs, economy, and pipelines” as one and the same, and since the NDP spent 4 years conflating those concepts they were unable to set up a meaningful contrasting economic message. I think there’s merit to this point but I didn’t see the conflating start at the beginning of her mandate, I think it crept in about halfway through as the recession deepened and the conservatives painted her out as hopelessly out of touch with unemployed oil workers who were living in their cars. This was the classic “when did you stop beating your wife” scenario. If she said the unemployment figures weren’t out of line with the collapse of oil prices and they had no one to blame but themselves for electing conservative governments who refused to build a rainy day fund or implement a sales tax to keep the revenue flowing, she’d have been tarred and feathered, so she became sympathetic, she said she was building a safety net to tide them over and a transition plan to shift them to a new reduced-carbon world. Unfortunately these people don’t want to shift to a new reduced-carbon world, they want their old jobs back. Kenney promised to “fight” for their old jobs and the old economy and more pipelines and they lapped it up.
        God only knows what they’re going to do when they discover, pipeline or no pipeline, their old jobs and the old economy are gone forever. We’re in the new world now.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      54.9% of the total vote and 63 seats
      They should have gotten 48 seats that is what 55% of the total is

      Rachel Notley never even mentioned changing the voting system which would change the political landscape completely

      The NDP would have gotten 28 seats instead of 25 and the Alberta party 8 seats.
      This would bring into the legislature different ideas and new discussions.
      Unfortunately no party in Canada can see the benefit of more perspectives instead of just majorities.
      This majority could damage the province for good but we keep obsessing with coalitions do not work because we can only understand our way or the highway.
      Even Britain is now realizing how the first past the post is paralyzing their political system

      • Exactly Carlos! As you point out coalitions don’t work, so-called strategic voting doesn’t work unless one party is willing not to run in a riding to prevent splitting the vote, and it’s highly unlikely that the progressive parties will merge so where do we go from here.
        People argue that proportional representation will allow extreme right wing parties into the Legislature, maybe so, but surely it’s better to have one or two nutballs in the Leg than what we have now which is the far right element infiltrating the free enterprise conservatives and pulling them (and the progressive parties) further to the right.
        People complain that a government elected under PR would never get anything done, so instead we’ve elected the UCP who will dismantle everything the NDP have done and if we elect a progressive government in 2023, it will dismantle everything the UCP have done. That creates uncertainty and instability. It makes absolutely no sense.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Well Susan you said it all and very well
        PR is way better than what we have but the parties do not want it.
        Justin Trudeau lost my vote when he broke that promise only because that is not the system he likes. That was the first time I had a hint of who he really is. I was not wrong.

      • Carlos, I too was extremely disappointed when Justin Trudeau went back on his pledge to reform the voting system. I distinctly remember him saying that if he were elected this would be the last election under the FPTP system, and then poof, the promise vapourized. Here’s my problem, if we don’t elect Trudeau we get stuck with Scheer who I think is a stupider version of Kenney (and as a result even more dangerous). I like Elizabeth May but the Greens don’t have the nation-wide support they need to form government, and I’m even less sure about Jagmeet Singh.

  4. Katie Pearlman says:

    Yeah, too bad Mr. Kenney didn’t present the facts and really too bad that the majority of Albertans believed what he was peddling.
    But really too bad for all Albertans who really do want whatever government we have to be successful.
    When will people finally realize that the government works for us and that WE are the bosses not them?
    The NDP was on the right path: diversifying the economy FINALLY, not cutting programs that support Albertans in hard times, and standing up for the vulnerable.
    We are in for a rough ride. Turning back the clock NEVER works. As Bill McKibben says “oil is now anachronistic “ (not exact quote).
    What can we do? Fight for what we believe in. One step, one day at a time

    • Katie, you ask a good question: when will people finally realize the government works for them and it’s not the other way around. This reminded me of how resistant people are to unions, which also work for them not the corporation. I suspect part of the rationale is that people hand power to the entity they think will take care of them, they hand power to government but forget governments are influenced by wealthy corporations, they hand power to corporations but forget corporations take care of their shareholders not their workers. I’ve worked in the private sector long enough to see how this plays out in real life. It ain’t pretty!

  5. Pingback: The game’s afoot in Ottawa as the moment nears for Jason Kenney to implement his ‘revenge platform’ - Alberta Politics

  6. Marilyn Koyanagi says:

    Mr Kenney is telling the truth about challenging times ahead but it will be the the cuts to social services, health care and education that will hurt Albertans.

    • Dwayne says:

      Marilyn Koyanagi: Math is easy in this case for us. Corporate tax cuts, when oil prices are staying low, means less provincial revenue. This leads to the cuts you mentioned. There is absolutely no savings here, like there was no savings in Ralph Klein’s austerity measures. Poorly thought out pain, with no long term gain. The wealthy never suffer from the effects of austerity. The middle class and lower income earners pay for it. With these corporate tax cuts, corporations will help themselves, not anyone else.

      • Dwayne as you said the middle and lower income earners pay the price of austerity because they don’t have the financial means to buy private education and private healthcare and yet so many of them don’t understand that that’s the quid pro quo for electing a premier who will implement the cuts they seem to think they need.
        Odd how that works.

    • Very true Marilyn and it’s not as if there aren’t enough examples to show us how destructive Kenney will be, older Albertans suffered through the Klein cuts, younger Albertans are watching Ford take an axe to Ontario’s public service, but still they voted for Kenney in the mistaken belief that he’ll bring back the good old days. Silly people.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The provincial election has been done and over with for around half a month now, and all I see is broken election promises, followed by one contradiction after another, and misleading statements from Jason Kenney. First of all, oil prices are not going up. They had a temporary spike, but went back down again. Why didn’t Jason Kenney give any help on the pipeline matter, that was going to the B.C coast, when he was in the CPC cabinet, under more than one majority government, and when oil prices were in the triple digit range? Now, he is unhappy with what others are doing, when he did nothing himself on this matter. Jason Kenney thinks he can block equalization payments from Alberta to other provinces, if the pipeline isn’t built. He is misleading people with something he helped rework, when he was in the CPC cabinet, and should also know that Alberta does not write a cheque for X number of dollars, and give it to another province. Furthetmore, Jason Kenney said he would turn off the taps to B.C, right after he and the UCP were given a majority government. That never happened. I also recall Jason Kenney stating he would stand up to Ottawa. Also, this never happened, after he was elected. He agrees with the delay on the pipeline, when he wanted it hurried along. Jason Kenney also said he would fight Ottawa’s carbon tax. Now, he says he supports it. He claims it’s better than Alberta’s carbon tax. Jason Kenney also supported the carbon tax that Ed Stelmach put in. He also supports a carbon tax himself. Which is it? Jason Kenney also thinks that Alberta’s oil should benefit Quebec. He claims that Quebec should not rely on oil from places like Saudi Arabia. It is the oil and refinery companies who control where they get their oil from, not any government. Alberta’s oil, and America’s oil are the major part of oil that comes into Quebec. Another kicker is that decades ago, people out in Alberta were screaming at the NEP. Now, they support something like it. Unfortunately, Brian Mulroney permanently changed where our oil must go to. Jason Kenney blames the NDP for Alberta’s fiscal problems. He fails to mention the bIatant fiscal recklessness of the Alberta PCs, since Peter Lougheed was not the premier. I think this last provincial election is like infomercials. I remember those from decades ago. What you see advertised on T.V, is not exactly what you get, after you’ve ordered it. This is the case with the UCP. I wonder how the columnists in our print media, like the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Sun, The Calgary Herald, the Calgary Sun, and other Alberta newspapers will try and spin what the UCP is doing. They were favouring the UCP. It’s like the infomercial. Did they, and Albertans get what was advertised? I’d say no. Also, there seems to be silence from these columnists on the R.C.M.P investigations involving Jason Kenney and the UCP. Yet, they keep rehashing the Liberal’s SNC issue. Alas, Alberta is the next province in line to regret electing a Conservative government. It’s happened elsewhere in Canada. The Conservative government that was elected in Alberta, when Dragnet was still on the air, was much different from any other Conservative government in Alberta that followed. Principled, fiscally prudent, by saving money, and building things up, forward thinking, while respecting all Albertans, as a part of Confederation. The UCP is a solid reminder as to why the Alberta PCs had to be let go in 2015. 1993 was the time for the Alberta PCs to be gone in Alberta. What were people thinking, when they elected the UCP? It will be interesting to see how the R.C.M.P investigations work out, that involve the UCP. I wonder what your thoughts are on that matter too?

    • Dwayne you’ve raised many good points including the fact that many of the things Mr Kenney is ranting about now as being unfair are the same things he put into place when he was a federal cabinet minister in the Harper government. I marvel at how he plays the victimized Albertan struggling under the burden of his own creation.
      Your question about the ongoing RCMP investigation is a good one. I don’t think we have any precedents for this type of situation in Alberta politics but if the trail of wrongdoing finds its way into the premier’s office and the premier is found guilty of an offense I suspect he would be forced to resign and the deputy premier would step into his place on a interim basis. The UCP would then hold a leadership convention to elect a new leader who in turn would become the premier. It’s a bizarre situation but nothing is normal in Alberta politics.
      We’ll have to wait and see what, if anything, comes out of the RCMP investigation.

  8. Political Ranger says:

    Alberta has been a fact-free zone for more than a few generations now. It sounds mean-spirited to say so but the facts speak for themselves. Elsewhere.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      I could not agree more and it is not mean-spirited – Alberta does not know FACTS and this fellow Jason is just another fact less monarch, except this one is a flat earth, 7 day world creation homophobic.

      IN FACT, we have not been very fact based anywhere in Canada and that is the reason behind the destruction of whatever we had which we blindly call a Democracy.

      IN FACT, in Alberta, facts went up in the air with the 1947 Leduc oil discovery – too rich for us to handle so we contracted it out to the US oil companies and in fact they are doing very well thank you.

      We cannot complain too much about anything because we have IN FACT voted this fact less party for 44 years and counting.
      Governing without FACTS has been the base of our failure. Where we are today is a clear consequence of that process and unfortunately we learned NOTHING. We definitely have the government we deserve.

      • Excellent points Carlos, particularly the point about facts going up in the air with the 1947 Leduc oil discovery. The fact people were able to make money hand over fist blinded them to what a good government is supposed to do which take care of the public good while also planning for the future and what good citizens do which is support the government through fair taxation so that everyone could reach their full potential. Other countries seem to be able to accomplish this without blowing their brains out, but we got stuck. I’m working my way through Monique Begin’s book, she was in cabinet under Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Her family was in France when WWII broke out. Her father had the opportunity to take his family back to Canada or the US but decided against it because as Begin put it, “[Canada and the US] had already become overly materialistic, … brutal capitalism was their common credo.” That was in 1939. Can you imagine what he’d think if he could see what they’ve become 80 years later.

    • I agree Political Ranger, I agree.

  9. David Grant says:

    He does have many issues facing him here that will take away time from doing what he ought to be doing, which is to figure out how to diversify Alberta’s economy and bring in revenues that will help fund the public services that we need. He has spent so much time spreading such disinformation when it comes to the carbon tax, green energy, and so many other issues that too many people believe that he will be able to deliver the promises that made in the campaign. I hope that he doesn’t bring back the legislation that Alison Redford tried to bring in 2013 that would have had devastating impacts on public pensions if it was passed and implemented.

    • David, Kenney’s modus operandi appears to be passing off old ideas as new ones. I read his policy document from cover to cover, his rural crime prevention plan mirrors the federal conservatives’ rural crime prevention plan, his plan to reduce surgical wait times is based on Saskatchewan’s plan (Saskatchewan cancelled it after 4 years because it was too expensive) and his plan to protect minorities from hate crimes is a knock-off of the federal plan which has been around since 2009. I didn’t see anything in his policy document that was fresh or new. But then again, they’re conservatives, they don’t like change, their best days are behind them.

      • David Grant says:

        Very true. I know that this is the view from AUPE who have been watching the emergence of UCP with great concern since they came on the stage. I will be in a telephone town hall on Thursday and I will be listening to the concerns of those who work in post-secondary education to hear what issues they have of concern to the Executive. For me, control of the pensions by the union is important as is privatization. There is a plan where they want to allow a form of right to work in the Student’s Union which is a step towards right to work on campus. I will have to check on that one. In any case, there are going to be a lot issues for those of us to keep working on in the next four years. Hopefully we can push back against as many of them as we can. From talking to other people at my workplace, there are so many who really don’t understand what could happen to them.

      • David, I was interested in your comment that there are other people in your workplace who don’t understand what could happen to them. I’ve heard two variations on this theme. The first is complete ignorance of what the UCP has planned (example: some people were completely unaware of the UCP’s plan to roll back banked overtime from time and a half to straight time) and the second is the naive belief in the face of this information that Kenney won’t follow through with it because he wouldn’t “hurt those who support him”. The first example goes to the problem of not having the facts, and there’s no reason why people don’t have the facts, even in the age of Post Media. The second example goes to blind faith in the brand and a misplaced trust in its leader.
        We’ll have our work cut out for us in the four years ahead.

  10. david says:

    Yes campaigns are one thing; governing is another. Unfortunately this feeds into the cynicism and detachment many people experience with Politics, thereby reducing their willingness to demand open access to the facts and accountability for promises. Citizens, if they value our freedoms and democracy itself, must actually strengthen their resolve to keep close watch on the people they elect!!

    • I agree with this David. In addition to keeping a close watch on the people we elect we need to keep watch on the people who influence the people we elect. I may have mentioned this before but I accidentally ended up on the mailing list of a retired lawyer who was up in arms about Alberta being shafted by the feds and the environmentalists, and BC and Quebec, etc etc etc. Now that Kenney is elected he’s going after Trudeau. He posts all sorts of stuff that simply isn’t true. Today, as part of the poor victimized Alberta theme, he said the energy sector is the largest contributor to Canada’s GDP. This is not true, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction is the third largest contributor to Canada’s GDP at ~8%, manufacturing is just over 11% and real estate, rental and leasing is ~13%. I’ve seen a number of charts where the percentage varies by a point or two but the hierarchy is always the same, first real estate/leasing, second manufacturing, third mining, quarrying, oil and gas.
      People believe this guy because (1) he’s a lawyer, (2) they’re too lazy to look it up and (3) it fits their political narrative.
      Like I said, where is Sgt Friday when you need him???!!!
      Here’s the link: https://www.investorsfriend.com/canadian-gdp-canadian-imports-and-exports/

    • Carlos Beca says:

      This is absolutely correct and I wished that all organizations out there fighting for democracy would join forces and create a site where every single decision by the government would be compared to the promises and examined for real value.
      I think this would be way more effective then everything that is being done right now which accomplishes almost nothing. Make the fact public and call them out including the opposition which seems to always be on the side of the common citizen when they are not government. Gosh this system stinks and experts still wonder what has gone wrong. How difficult is it to realize that the system is a total failure and only serves the interests of parties and lobbyists with the powerful dollar? Seriously – how many PHDs do we need to know the system is completely bankrupt and corrupt? How many prime ministers do we have to elect before something really gets changed at the political system?

      • Carlos, like you I’m a strong believer in the power of the facts when it comes to guiding our political decisions, but here’s my problem. Kenney’s supporters, like Trump’s, don’t seem to care about the facts. Kenney’s been in power less than 2 weeks and already he’s waffling on his campaign promises. He said he’d get rid of the 100 megaton cap on oilsands emissions and “turn off the taps” to BC. His supporters cheered him on, they said he was defending the oil companies and sticking it to BC.
        Then he’s elected and what does he do? He flip flops on the 100 megaton cap promise saying it wasn’t really a promise because it wasn’t actually in his policy document (if he’s suggesting we need to get political promises in writing, someone should remind him of the Grassroots Guarantee, it was in writing and he ignored that too). He enacted the “turn off the taps” legislation but said he won’t use it right now.
        Why is he ignoring the 100 megaton cap promise? Maybe because the oil companies told him they aren’t worried about the cap and Trudeau made it clear there would be no TMX if the cap was removed,. Why is he delaying in turning off the taps to BC? Maybe because this would hurt Alberta producers and he’ll lose the case in court anyway.
        In both cases he told his supporters what they wanted to hear so he could come across like Alberta’s champion who wouldn’t let anyone push poor little Alberta around. His supporters fell for it, they put him in office and now that he has what he wants (power) he can forget what he promised.
        What mystifies me is why his supporters let him get away with it.

  11. David says:

    Oh, its never too late for the facts. Unfortunately, they often get lost, buried or willfully disregarded in the heat of an election campaign. Fortunately, they do not always stay buried. Watergate was a classic example of this. In 1972 Nixon won with a landslide victory and the rumors of dirty tricks that were floating around had not yet registered with hardly anyone. A few years later he resigned to avoid impeachment and was completely discredited – the facts did not stay buried.

    Nowadays, people seem more inclined to ignore fact that do not match their opinions, but facts are like the elephant in the room, they do not go away and can not be easily pushed aside. For instance, don’t believe in climate change – fine, but that doesn’t mean the earth will behave to suit your views. At some point the gap between imagination and reality becomes to big to bridge and it collapses spectacularly. Remember at one time some powerful people argued forcefully that the sun revolved around the earth and at another time many argued smoking did not cause cancer. These people have now been confined to the dustbin of history and ridicule. Its never a good long term strategy to get on the wrong side of the facts.

    Mr. Nixon came to his end more quickly than some, but the facts will eventually prevail against those politicians today, who prefer to pander to misconceptions and prejudices for short term political success and their eventual fall will probably be sudden and spectacular too.

  12. Roy G. says:

    “I have yet to receive a comment that said I support deep cuts because a 25% reduction in the cost of healthcare and education will improve my life and my kids lives by X and Y, and then back it up.”

    Well let me be the first. Deep cuts of 20-25% or more in the cost of health care willimprove my life and my kids lives. Why? This will encourage choice in health care and a move away from the monopolistic, single payer system of health care that is bankrupting the country – and causing literal deaths because of the wait times imposed by it.

    So yes, Susan, I am the first to comment like this. Deep cuts will improve our health care system and the tax savings will encourage more economic activity in our province. The giant sucking sound that you hear now is just the beginning of the businesses that will relocate here due to having the lowest corporate tax rate in Canada by a longshot.

    Deep cuts are coming! And I can’t wait.

    • Roy, you’re simply repeating Kenney’s talking points. You haven’t explained why Kenney’s plan to implement something akin to the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative will work in Alberta when it failed in Saskatchewan, you haven’t explained whether you’re talking about US style healthcare (I lived in the US for 7 years, I have first hand experience with private healthcare, it’s nothing to aspire to) or a system based on European models. When you bring some facts to support your position, then we can have a conversation.

  13. David Grant says:

    I agree with you Susan at the work that will be cutout for us in the next four years. I just participated in a telephone town hall meeting and our president, Guy Smith, stated that from his experience with AUPE that there are some potential legislation that really could affect our members on their work sites, some we mentioned in our posts. It was meant to prepare, not scare us, to take the action necessary to do what we can to push back against these changes. I feel much better knowing this as well as knowing that my union is prepared to do what it can to deal with these changes. For those who are concerned and have no union to work with can either support us or join like-minded organizations such as Friends of Medicare and other groups to help us. I understand that Friends of Medicare is trying to restart the Calgary Chapter so there is an opportunity for those people to participate there. It is important that people become a lot more protective in the next four years to confront these challenges that will come.

    • David, this is an excellent suggestion. I am convinced that when Kenney’s promise of job nirvana fails to materialize, he’ll crank up his enemies list. The unions will become public enemy number one. I’m already getting goofy comments from people who can’t wait for cuts to the public service (in headcount and in compensation) and “right to work legislation” which they say is synonymous with “freedom”. I say it’s stupidity. Not one commentator has put forward a rational explanation of why cutting wages for nurses in ER results in more jobs for unemployed oil service workers. Yes, that’s a specific example for illustration purposes, but no one can connect the dots between cutting the public sector and a healthy economy; public sector wages weren’t a problem in the boom, why are they a problem now?

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