How did we get to Wexit?

“Is this democracy’s death spiral? Are we falling, in this and other countries, into a lethal cycle of fury and reaction, that blocks the reasoned conversation on which civic life depends?” – George Monbiot

The cycle of conservative fury and reaction hasn’t stopped for Albertans. 

It started with relentless attacks on Rachel Notley and her government, it peaked in the 2019 federal election with the absurd suggestion that Justin Trudeau be hung for treason. And it went into overdrive when two-thirds of Canadians elected enough progressive MPs to allow the Liberals to form a strong minority government.

All that conservative anger and outrage failed to deliver the desired result, a Conservative government, so they moved on to Plan B:  if the conservatives can’t tear down the Liberal government, they’ll tear down confederation. 

The dilemma for progressives is how do we respond to all this conservative rage, particularly when it takes the shape of Wexit.  We have three choices: (1) they yell at us, we yell at them, (this is demeaning and no one hears a thing),  (2) we ignore them, (they continue to work themselves into a frenzy), or (3) we rebut their arguments, (this takes effort and may produce nothing, but at least the rest of the country knows we’re not as nuts as they are).         

I prefer option #3. 

There are many ways to the challenge lies and half-truths that support conservatives’ beliefs.   

The first line of rebuttal is to challenge the supposed outcome of whatever it is the conservatives are raging about.     

Take the argument that Albertans should be fearful and angry because Trudeau will kill the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.  As the economist Peter Tertzakian said, this is “highly, highly unlikely” because parliament approved TMX (twice actually) and the only way it can be stopped is if someone brings a motion in Parliament to kill it.  Such a motion would require the support of either the Liberals or the Conservatives to succeed.  Both parties have made it clear they support TMX.  Unless you’re a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist—and there’s no point in arguing with them—that’s the end of it.  (Incidentally Tertzakian also points out that it’s not the government that’s holding up TMX, it’s the courts). 

The second line of rebuttal is to cite the experts.  The UCP bristled when the NDP said the UCP budget included a tax hike for all Albertans.  The U of C economist, Trevor Tombe, weighed in.  He pointed out the UCP deindexed the amount we’re allowed to  exempt, this will raise $196 million from taxpayers by 2021 and that $196 million would not have been paid without deindexing, so “it’s fair to say it’s a tax increase.”  The UCP responded by saying they didn’t raise taxes, they simply “paused” indexation.  Tomato, Tomaato,   

The third line of rebuttal is taking the conservatives’ positions at face value and seeing if they make any sense. 

Ted Morton wrote an article calling for Alberta’s own Boston Tea Party.  He says Albertans are fearful that the Liberals will kill TMX (see above) and they’re angry because the federal political structure is rigged in the Liberal’s favour because the Liberals don’t need any votes from the West to form government.  He says BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan only have 90 seats between them while Quebec has 78.  He concludes this is wrong because Quebec contributes only 19.5% to Canada’s GDP while BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan combined contribute 32.4%.   He misrepresents how equalization works to argue the “vote-poor” West is being forced to subsidize “vote-rich” Quebec and says Trudeau must respond with political or structural fixes to benefit the West or Albertans will take up the cry “No taxation without representation.” 

This is a goofy argument.  Let’s start by acknowledging that Canada’s political system promotes voter equality by accommodating deviations from riding to riding (for example urban ridings are consistently larger by population than rural ridings).  It has never been based on who has the best GDP. 

Secondly, even if GDP were an appropriate way to allocate seats (which it’s not) why include BC which is not pushing for separation and elected more progressive candidates (25) than conservative ones (17).  If you exclude BC from the GDP calculation, that leaves Alberta and Saskatchewan contributing 18.7% to Canada’s GDP which is less than Quebec’s 19.5%.   

Thirdly, why is the GDP threshold Quebec’s 19.5% and not Ontario’s 38.3% (I know, I know, it’s because Ontario’s GDP is too high to make Morton’s argument work).  

Lastly, what’s the Boston Tea Party got to do with it?   The American colonists had a legitimate beef, they did not have the right to elect representatives to British Parliament.  Albertans have the right to elect federal representatives, and they did, all but one seat went to the Conservatives. 

The problem with Morton’s position is the right to elect representatives does not translate into the right to form government. 

And maybe that’s what this rage, fear, and anger is about.  The Conservatives did not form government.

Frankly, that’s a good thing. 

When the conservatives formed government in the last provincial election, Kenney’s government passed an austerity budget, bet the house on global oil prices (still down) and offered tax cuts to corporations in the hope they would create jobs (they didn’t). 

When the conservatives formed government federally, Harper’s government failed to deliver a pipeline to tidewater, gutted environmental laws and botched the consultation process so badly that every pipeline project ended up in court.      

Albertans have a right to be angry, but before they charge out the door yelling “Wexit” they should consider the role they played in pushing Alberta to this point by electing politicians who consistently let them down.

Oh, and if they want to engage in reasoned conversation we’re here.

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70 Responses to How did we get to Wexit?

  1. That word “Wexit” just makes me angry. I could hardly read any farther. It’s like something from an unintelligent malicious Facebook post. How can a Canadian undermine their country just because their chosen candidate didn’t “win” it all. We all have one vote. Sometimes “my guy” wins, sometimes not. You just have to discuss and negotiate with who is in power at the time and live with it until you have the chance to vote again. Now we get to listen to “I’m taking my toys and going home!”

    • Anonymous says:

      Linda of Lányos Handmade /Nice Dress! Thanks, I made it!!: You mentioned unintelligent malicious Facebook post. There are many of those, when you see news article comment sections. On Global News recently, there was an article about rural Albertans praising the UCP budget. There were about 4 or 5 comments. One said. Go Kenney Go! Re, the people on AISH. Half of them don’t deserve it. The government need to weed out the ones who are to lazy to work, and are just scamming the system (which isn’t hard) then there will be more money.
      Someone responded and said something to the effect of AISH is around $1600 a month and it is hard to live off of that. Try living off of it and you won’t last a week.
      The other person responded. No problem. I know pensioners who are doing it. Most people on A.I.S.H in Calgary are scammers. Don’t even deserve to be there. Plus some can work but are to dam lazy.
      Then, they called the other person something like an NDP union hack.
      You are correct. This is the problem that is so frequent. Why would someone covet such a meager income, when rents and the cost of living in Alberta are very high? From what I’ve heard, A.I.S.H has been very difficult to get for many years. There are strict rules for getting it. This goes back many years. The other commenters were blaming unions, the NDP and Don Iveson’s spending, yet never would admit to what I mentioned below, for Alberta’s financial state.

      • Anonymous, you’re correct that the rules to be eligible for AISH and to stay on AISH are strict. Kenney de-indexing AISH is nothing short of cruel. Hubert Humphrey said: “the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” By this standard Kenney’s government has no morality at all.

      • Doug Brown says:

        Can’t find a comparison more recent than 2011, but AB seems to pay higher amounts for disability (AISH etc.) than do BC or ON where the cost of living is considerably higher:

        Click to access disabilitiessept_0.pdf

        A few years of de-indexing may be warranted to bring AB more inline.

      • Doug, thanks for this paper. As you said it indicates that in 2011 AB’s AISH support was higher than BC and Ont. The authors recommend (1) indexing AISH to the inflation rate because this is how Canada treats taxpayers and seniors on public pensions and (2) matching AISH to the income support the federal government provides for poor seniors. The paper notes that recent changes (~2011) made AISH consistent with the support the Harper government gave to poor seniors. I don’t have the 2018 stats for federal support for poor seniors at hand and don’t know whether that would support an argument for decreasing AISH.

      • rubennelson says:

        Quite right. Alison Redford raised payments for AISH recipients because “She was embarrassed to pay them so little in the richest province in Canada.” On tjhis, I am with her. Her point is the wages here are way higher than anywhere else. And, just so you know, the cost of living in Calgary is almost as expensive as Toronto and Vancouver, and much higher than most places in BC and Ont. What Kenny has done is shameful. But them you cannot shame someone who has no sense of shame.

    • I agree Linda, these Wexit guys have done nothing but make us look bad. I can’t count the number of Tweets I’ve seen from outside Alberta saying, you guys made money hand over fist in the good times and failed to save it, you have higher average incomes than that rest of us and you refuse to implement a PST (which at 7% would eliminate the deficit entirely) and you’re blaming us for your problems. Get real.

  2. Ruben Nelson says:

    Do not be fooled by the insubstantial nature of the arguments. The point of Wexit is not to win an argument, but to rile folks up into an angry and irrational “war” on Ottawa. Remember that this is begin driven by serious money that hides behind the Manning Centre among others. They are well organized. They have been waiting for this wave for decades. At root this is about power. They want to turn Alberta into a place where neoliberalism is protected by the state. You cannot fight an organized insurrection with disorganized argument. We need to get organized.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ruben Nelson: I agree. We need to get our friends and relatives together and attend these public forums that Jason Kenney will be creating with his “panel”, about the problems Alberta has with Confederation and tell the truth about what is really the matter. The forums will probably be recorded, and any “dissidents” might be punished, but it is important that we speak our minds.

      • Anonymous, I agree with you that we too need to show up to demonstrate to this panel of “respected Albertans” that not every Albertan is nursing a grievance against the rest of Canada. As you said we “dissidents” will likely be recorded–that happened at the all-party debate in Kenney’s riding when he was running to be elected MLA, some Kenney supporters followed former NDP MLA Sandra Jensan around recording her on their phones and blocking her from leaving. Quite threatening.
        If we don’t speak up, we’ll all get mowed down.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        It was threatening because they knew they could scare Sandra Jensan.
        They can try that with people like myself and we would see who would be peeing their pants first. They did that because they knew very well Sandra was an easy target. Furthermore I am sure they were told to do so by our smart premier. He is more than capable to do that or worse.

    • Ruben, you raise an extremely important point. When Kenney first showed up on the scene he made a point of saying his job was to restore the “conservative movement” in Alberta and Canada. Too many people made the mistaken assumption that he was talking about going back to the Lougheed or even the Mulroney style of conservatism. His vicious austerity budget is an indication of things to come and as long as he can use Wexit to distract the population from their suffering he’s got it made.
      You said we should organized to fight the shift to neoliberalism. This is a great idea. I know many people who are trying to do their bit, however one large group pulling in the same direction would be much more effective than a bunch of little groups charging off in all directions. Any suggestions?

      • rubennelson says:

        Susan, here are some ideas:
        1. Draft a short, 1 page, draft statement to organize around — a call to action for all Albertans who (a) reject the means (confrontational and extreme populism) and the ends (Alberta stuck in the 20th Century as a bastion of a now-dying neoliberal capitalism) of Jason Kenny and those who support him; (b) affirm their commitment to a radically progressive and emotionally mature Alberta — an Alberta that moves beyond the now sterile Left/Right debates; an Alberta that deeply understands and responds to the emerging challenges of the 21st Centre; and (c) understand that this is a struggle that must be engaged.
        2. Use the draft to pull together one or more gatherings. The point is to find 6-20 folks who are willing and able to lead an ongoing province-wide campaign to challenge the legitimacy of the Premier’s thought and action and to offer a positive and serious alternative vision of what we can become. Over time, these efforts need to be supported by appropriate infrastructure, staff and funds.
        3. I suspect that some of the folks on your blog are ready to help.

      • These are good suggestions Ruben. I had lunch with a friend who’s working on something similar. Who knows, we may come out of this a stronger and more democratic society.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Ruben I fully agree with this idea just one opinion if I may.
        We tend to form too many groups doing the same thing and for some reason we never really grow to the level we need to battle groups that are super funded and with strong propaganda machines behind them.

        Right now for example there is ‘Progress Alberta’ and also ‘Public Interest Alberta’ and I do not know how many environmental organizations.
        When people get together somehow we all suffer the same disease that has pushed us back – lack of democratic values and too much egos involved.
        Along with Environmental groups, there are just too many groups, finances are thin for all of them and effectiveness is in most cases is close to zero. It is not easy to organize human beings and without that kind of preparedness it becomes basically impossible to advance any cause at all. Most people I know are tired of having to donate to so many different organizations with very dismal effectiveness. On the other hand there is the tendency for these organizations to turn into job creation groups and objectives are transformed into job sustainability for some. I believe examples are everywhere.
        So creating a structure that minimizes these problems is not easy of course. We need people that are willing not to just make noises and protest, but that are knowledgeable in different areas and ready to be able to debate and implement the structures for a more equitable and just society with strong views in the commons. We need an organization that promotes what we preach and demonstrates confidence and clear vision of where we want to go. In Europe, for example, parties do not just exist during elections. I was fortunate to be close to a person with strong roots in a socialist party and I was part of some conferences organized throughout the year, as part of their educational activities. I had the good fortune to see Francois Mitterrand give a talk in the late 70s. Unfortunately his government in 1980 in France was a failure. At that social democracy was getting strongly influenced by the so called ‘Third Way’ which was nothing but Neo-Liberalism with a black face. Social democracy is paying the price for that marriage even in the Nordic countries where they had the most successful forms of Social Democracy.
        I am all for anything to try to move us forward but it has to be a very serious try. I have been disappointed too many times to take another experiment. We have the resources and we have the people to create strong educational foundations but we are too individualistic and greedy to let go of self-promotion and egotism. This to me is the number one problem.

      • Carlos, I agree with your comment that it would be more beneficial to consolidate the disparate groups we already have than to create a new group. I think that could be done either under Ruben’s plan or a different plan. I sense progressive Albertans are finally waking up to what’s happening here–I’ve talked to some lawyers who are very alarmed about Kenney’s $30M war room and the so-called public inquiry, both of which are government funded entities that don’t appear to be acting in accordance with the rules of natural justice. First we need to admit we have a problem, then we need to converge under one organizational structure to educate Albertans to the damage Kenney’s conservative movement is having on our democracy.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Well Susan if you mean sue Jason Kenney’s government based on the War Room operating outside natural justice – let me know the day of the first meeting!!

      • Withheld says:

        We did elect an NDP government that talked a very good line on most issues in opposition. They stabbed most of us in the back when they got into power. So now you want to start another group and have a “big talk?” With who? How do we answer Greta Thunberg’s question: “when facts no longer matter, what is the point of going to school?” The other side is in power and has no intention of having a dialogue. When the NDP had power it missed the chance to change things. Pity.

      • Einar Davison says:

        Withheld, If only it were that simple! The NDP was elected not to govern how just NDP supporters wanted but for all the people of this province. I thought Rachel Notley’s government attempts at a carbon tax were fair but more than most people wanted. Rachel Notley could have went all out and basically put the oil and gas industry out of business. However she was smart enough to realize that she still had to govern all of Alberta and a lot of people have jobs in that industry. Now even though she was well reasoned in her approach, when the government changed the carbon tax was dropped. What seems to be lost is that between the Right not wanting to do anything and the Left wanting to write of the industry nothing gets done. The Right will undo what the Left has done and the Left will always want to do something without thinking of the consequences because they arrogantly believe they have all the answers.
        So nothing will get done and if that continues Ms. Thundberg will be 46 years old and the climate will probably be worse. We ALL have to admit that there is a problem, but we all need to work together, cooperatively. I would rather changes occur incrementally but actually get done, instead of everyone getting stuck on their own ideology and going back and forth and nothing ever gets done. The world managed to get rid of the use of CFC’s, North America managed to put limits on SOX and NOX which ended the threat of Acid Rain. With all the crap everyone keeps throwing around, I wonder if that would even be possible today. Why not put on a carbon tax, why not trade carbon credits and why not hit big emitters, but let’s do it gradually – evolutionary if you will? Why not incentivize coal fired power plants to convert to natural gas, and do carbon sequestering as a middle step? We are not going to reverse over 100 years of CO2 overnight.
        Ideology won’t fix the problem, but a lot of small steps in the right direction may. I swear there has been more CO2 emitted by all the talking…well talk is cheap. Now that the politics have become so partisan, the changes are going to be made by us alone or as groups, practicing what we preach and looking at where we are being hypocrites. I’m not banging my own drum, but for the short time the carbon tax was on, I paid no tax on my electricity because back in the 2000’s I had the opportunity to buy green power and took it even though it costs more. So how many of you paid carbon tax on electricity? I hope no one because if you did, you proved my point. Sure you can drive an electric car but there is a good chance that your power comes from a coal fired power plant, or it comes from a natural gas fired plant like the one off Glenmore near Calgary or it comes from a hydroelectric dam which causes mercury. There are 7.7 Billion people on this planet which is 4.5 billion more than when I was born. We are and will continue to be a major impact on this world and what we need to do is start going in the other direction, but it won’t happen overnight. However I have faith that we can do it, by making personal decisions, getting our governments to do whatever changes they can make that won’t get rolled back, by making use of the technology we have now. So Withheld say Rachel Notley and the Alberta NDP let you down, but at least she tried. It’s easy to be a “Withheld”. Finding common ground not so easy, at least she tried that too. We on all sides of the political spectrum are going to need to find common ground to ensure our country stays together. Yes there are whiners on all sides, and there are a lot of irrational people out there who feed on emotions and not look for solutions. Barry Commoner’s famous saying is “There is no such thing as a free lunch” to me that means we are ALL responsible for what has happened and all responsible for fixing it. The other is “You are either part of the problem or part of the solution” Well the solution is first we need to be able to talk to each other with open minds and a willingness to find that common ground. If we keep calling each other names like little children that just won’t happen. I’d rather stay in Canada and find a way to make it work, on climate I want to be part of the solution, but I’m practical too, we are going to need to learn to “crawl before we can run”

  3. David Watson says:

    Perfect analysis, I will take option 3 but it is hard work. The short sightedness of conservative government after conservative government have brought us to this point. The ’emperor ‘ is naked we have revenue problem that will not be solved by blaming everyone else and one that will not be disappear by predicting the good times are just over the hill..

    • Anonymous says:

      David Watson: My response to David Swann says a lot. It’s best if it is shared. Your comments are correct.

    • Thanks David, you’re right about it being hard work. I grab any opportunity that presents itself. Here are two examples:
      Last night I was at an event at the UofC law school. I was judging a debate with another woman. We chatted quite a bit in between rounds and after the debates were over. She asked what I thought about the Liberal minority government. I said it was much better than a Scheer government. She was surprised and said all her friends were Conservatives. I said all my friends are Liberals and New Democrats. The fact we’d spent two hours together judging the debates helped us see each other as intelligent human beings who might be able to find common ground if we have to. I’m not saying she changed her political stripes (I don’t know what her personal politics were), but I felt I’d succeeded in showing her there are many thoughtful people in Alberta who support progressive politicians.
      This morning my hairdresser asked whether the Liberal minority government will last, he thought there might be lots of conflict. I told him the Liberals and NDP have similar progressive values and this was a stable minority government. He said he was likely the only person in his riding who voted Liberal.
      We progressives need to make ourselves more visible in the community.

  4. diamondwalker says:

    .. I caution Canadian people (mainly on Twitter) but also in comments to Indy Blogs.. to avoid generalizing or reinforcing lazy inaccurate terms, words etc.. Bitumen is not oil is a biggie. Its a granular substance, consistancy like brown sugar. ‘Westerners’ is another, as is Albertans. We have a Great Divide.. meltwater runs west or east.. I have hiked and driven and snowboarded & skied along or over it probably hundreds of times. British Columbia has approx 4 million people west of The Great Divide.. They are ‘westerners’ and also bump up against a large body of water called The Pacific Ocean, or the Salish Sea, or Desolation Sound. Renaming it with the euphamism ‘tidewater’ is a political insult in my view. After all, all salt water bodies in Canada have tides.

    Alberta, once clear of The Rockies and any steep foothills is flatland, the Prairies, along with Saskatchewan and Manitoba. More specifically, there is a tiny loud collection of ‘proud’ people in Alberta shouting and snouting about ‘seperating’ from Canada. They may be in, or even born in Alberta, but that does not qualify them.. as the Main Media like to generalize.. as Albertans as a whole. And in reality, they may be seen as prairie folk.

    Keep in mind that 96% of Canada’s ‘vast petroleum reserves’ are in the tar sands. That’s important to remember. Needs astonishing amounts of free freshwater to harvest ‘in situ’ by steaming the bitumen out of the earth.. that water will end up as a toxic soup in tailings or settling ‘ponds’. Ponds they call them. They are small lakes thst seep or weep toxic residue, just like all fracking fluids and natural seepage from well heads, along with methane. Let me know when ‘remediation’ crosses Jason Kenney or Andrew Scheer’s lips, if ever.. Canadians need to face the reality of that 96% .. all or any of its ‘harvest’ subidized to the max.. but paying off in truly minor league royalty fees, fracking the same re water and electricity.. ie Site C .. past ‘the point of no return’ ulp. Words and terms are critical.. Raising emissions to lower emissions, thsnks, Gerald Butts.. you a genius.. unelected but best friends.. just like Ray Novak & Stephen Harper.

    The ‘oil patch’ is a laughable term now.. and Kenney and Trudeau are ‘negotiating’ how tailings ‘ponds’ visible from the moon can be ‘vented’ – dangerous toxic seepage.. in well known daily amounts, will then instead be dumped directly in OUR major river systems, The Athabaska for example.. to head to the Arctic.. Its the very same principle as Boat Harbour, Nova Scotia.. daily ‘venting’ of the accumulated toxic liquid byproduct of one single pulp mill.. tens of thousands even hundreds of thousand litres daily, to end up in Canada’s prime lobster and shellfish waters.. Northumberland Straits.. ludicrous !! The local tidal waters died within days of the pulp and paper operation opening some 50 year since ago. What hope when the tar sands start dumping ..

    • Diamondwalker, thank you for this excellent comment. It illustrates exactly why simple memes circulating on social media and one-note editorials and blogs are not the way to inform ourselves about the harsh realities we’re facing. It is only after we know the facts that we can decide how to deal with them.

  5. david swann says:

    Wells said Susan!
    And you forgot to mention that, what 44 years of Alberta Conservative faith in the unfettered market has left us is a $Trillion less than Norway, which not only received the public share of the public oil resource, it invested it for difficult times in the future. Well, the future is here!
    Oh, and sorry Albertans, the clean up cost under regulation hasn’t been enforced so you’re going to have to pick up the $260B!

    • Anonymous says:

      david swann: You are so right. I will elaborate what the Alberta PCs did, after Peter Lougheed left office, and what the CPC did, and what the UCP is now doing. This is best if it is shared. Anyone who reads this should share it. There are people who won’t like it, but it is the truth.
      Since 1986, the Alberta PCs allowed rip off royalty rates for our oil, depriving Alberta of $200 billion. Since 1986, the Alberta PCs virtually depleted the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, leaving hardly anything in it. Ralph Klein used it for very costly scandals, like Alpac/Misubishi, to help fund his election campaigns, and to help pay off the provincial debt/deficit. Since 1986, the Alberta PCs did the most costliest scandals in Canadian history. The $67 million Gainer’s scandal, the Principle Trust scandal, wasted $110 million on a metal smelting plant screwup, did the $600 million NovaTel scandal, the now $5 billion, (and growing) Swan Hills waste treatment plant blunder, the $180 million Miller West Pulp Mill fiasco, the $240 million MagCan scandal, blew almost $500 million, trying to bailout West Edmonton Mall, did the $125 million ambulance amalgamation screwup, the $110 million A.I.S.H scandal, (which was complete with Ralph Klein and his colleagues laughing at and mocking the handicapped on T.V), made us pay for the Stockwell Day defamation lawsuit costs, did the $400 million B.S.E bailout failure, the $34.5 billion electricity deregulation disaster, the $7 billion PPA debacle, that went with it, wasted $2 billion on carbon capture and storage, wasted money on luxury penthouse suites, wasted money on expensive plane flights, that had no extra passengers, did the $26 billion Northwest Upgrader fiasco, that had $9 billion in added costs, lost Alberta $10 billion on Alison Redford’s tobaccogate lawsuit scheme, which she did, & got away with, has expensive lawsuit costs, relating to the numerous deaths of foster children in Alberta, left Albertans with a $260 billion bill, to cleanup abandoned oil wells in Alberta, and many, many more. As of 2014, corporations in Alberta owed $1.1 billion in unpaid taxes. For many years prior, corporations in Alberta owed the Alberta government very large sums of money, which the Alberta PCs never collected. Ralph Klein’s flat tax lost Alberta billions of dollars in revenue. The Alberta PCs, after Peter Lougheed left office, badly neglected infrastructure in Alberta, leaving Alberta with a $26 billion infrastructure debt. The Alberta PCs put in different kinds of taxes for Alberta. Taxes on alcoholic beverage purchases in Alberta, taxes on cigarettes, and tobacco related products, taxes on beverage container purchases in Alberta, taxes on motel stays in Alberta, with health care premiums in Alberta, with VLT’s, (this is called a regressive type of tax), with electronic goods that are purchased in Alberta, and with North America’s first ever carbon tax, that Ed Stelmach put in (yes, Alberta still has a carbon tax, and Jason Kenney did no get rid of it).
      Jason Kenney was in the CPC. The CPC did the $35 billion income trust scandal, the robocalls scandal, (which Jason Kenney orchestrated), prorouged Parliament, did not properly handle Senate scandals and corruption, wasted money on fake lakes and gazebos, had dealings with the SNC Lavalin scandal, (that was John Baird), sold the Canadian Wheat Board to the Saudis, did the $15 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia, the CPC did not help get a pipeline built, that went to tidewater, when the CPC had a majority government, along with far superior oil prices, blew billions of dollars trying to bailout the oil sector, increased the number of TFWs in Canada, (Jason Kenney was also behind that), and the CPC increased Canada’s debt to nearly $150 billion – $170 billion, all by themselves.
      The UCP’s corporate tax cuts have lost Alberta $4.5 billion. No jobs were created from this. The UCP has already made over $13 billion in very costly mistakes. Isn’t all of this worse than the Federal Liberal’s $100 million “Adscam”, or the Federal Liberals giving $12 million to Loblaw’s for fridges/freezers? Now the UCP’s budget will penalize those on A.I.S.H, the other lower income folks, including senior citizens trying to get by on a measly pension, post secondary students, with increased tuition costs, burden municipalities, with infrastructure maintenance costs, increasing their property tax rates, and cause the cost of utilities to skyrocket even more than Ralph Klein’s electricity deregulation disaster had.
      Another curious and coincidental matter. Someone in the AER, or some other similar area who reported the oil industry cleanup, where they acknowledged the hefty cost of cleaning up the abandoned oil wells in Alberta, resigned, or was let go of their position. I think you suffered a similar fate, because you were gutsy enough to admit that climate change and environmental damage is real. I think you know what you are talking about.
      This Wexit issue is complete malarkey. Now, Jason Kenney is setting up a panel that will tour Alberta and ask Albertans what their frustrations with Confederation are. It’s another waste of money. The panel will be one sided and the event will be recorded, and in Kafkaesque fashion, anyone who opposes, or brings up the UCP’s bad policies will be punished. The hypocrisy abounds. There are people who accuse Justin Trudeau of treason, (when he is not being treasonous), and then support this Wexit nonsense. Jason Kenney claims to support Alberta remaining in Canada, yet he and Scott Moe, premier of Saskatchewan, are fuelling these Wexiteers, which another former Reformacon politician, Jay Hill is spearheading. At least Manitoba PC premier, Brian Pallister is more level headed and is thinking more calmly and collectively about this separation garbage, and does not think it’s a good idea to go down that road.
      Oil booms are gone for good. Oil prices sank in 2014, because Saudi Arabia and America are controlling oil prices. In early 2016, a government minister from Saudi Arabia went on record as saying that higher cost oil producers need to get out of the market, and basically be shut down. He was referring to the Alberta oilsands and anything like it. Jason Kenney’s new fangled war room and his corporate tax cuts will not make oil prices rise, and will certainly not bring oil booms back. Brian Mulroney abolished the “NEP”.
      I don’t think anyone in their right frame of mind should trust Jason Kenney who blatantly cheated his way into becoming the premier of Alberta, and is still being investigated by the R.C.M.P for election related crimes. What does Jason Kenney know about actual employment, because he has never had a job in his life? What does Jason Kenney know about being poor, because he has a $19 million political pension?

    • Excellent point David. I doubt Albertans have any idea they’re on the hook for $260B in clean up costs. I suppose that’s because none of our provincial governments pointed this out to the public and the media is too hamstrung by ideology or lack of resources to pick up on it.
      By the way did you see Jason Kenney’s response to the comment that Norway is sitting on a $Trillion rainy day fund. Kenney said Lougheed was worried that if the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund grew too large, “it would become a big fiscal target for Ottawa. Who doubts that the NDP would demand that Alberta ‘share the wealth’ if we were sitting on a trillion dollar fund?” Wasn’t that sly of him? He invokes Lougheed’s name as the gold seal of approval for what he’s going to say next, then he says Ottawa would steal the fund, and the thieves in Ottawa are the NDP, not the Liberals. It’s a mind bender. There’s a word for this in the music industry. It’s called a “mashup”.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Your take on Mr. Kenney’s response to the Norway comment reminds me of how the papers maligned T.Douglas and the CCF:

        “The newspapers said we were going to socialize everything, that the government would own the farms, the corner store, the barber-shop, (every last drop of oil,- ed.) and the beauty parlor, and that everybody would be working for the state. When that didn’t happen, they had to give some explanation. So the explanation was that we had betrayed our principles, we were no longer Socialists and we were now reactionaries, having departed from our original ideals. In effect, we were now traitors, because we didn’t do the horrible things they promised we would. They (Kenney and his ilk – ed.) had built up a straw man and now they were (preemptively- ed.) knocking it down.”

      • GoinFawr, the stupidity of Kenney’s comment is he’s arguing we squandered the Heritage Fund to protect it from the NDP. In what universe does that make any sense?

      • pecgregor says:

        Someone has got to educate progressives on the differences between Norway and Alberta NOT just in Norway saved and Alberta didn’t …. It is FAR FAR FAR more complex than that! !. Do you know the difference between Norway sweet light oil and Alberta 96% bitumen in oil sands oil??? Costs of getting each of these to market? Market proximity? And what about geography? and and and and. Get someone well versed in the world of oil to give a straightforward objective and researched answer to the differences. And then, perhaps we will stop bashing our own province … Simple answers are often just that. Simple.

      • pecgrego: the differences you mention are not relevant in the context of Jason Kenney’s comment which was it’s a good thing Alberta’s HSTF isn’t as big as Norway’s because Alberta’s NDP government would have spent it. This is an unfounded supposition. Who knows what the NDP would have done with a $Trillion Fund, perhaps it would have used some of the money to further the objectives Lougheed set out for the fund. These were (1) to save for the future, (2) to strengthen or diversify the economy, and (3) to improve the quality of life of Albertans. Alberta’s fund is paltry compared to Norway’s not because of the differences in their respective resource industries, but because Norway managed its fund wisely while Alberta did not. Everyone from the Fraser Institute to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives agrees Alberta should have saved more of its nonrenewable resource revenues. As Carlos points out Alberta saved a much smaller proportion of NRR and stopped saving altogether in 1987.
        The other problem with Kenney’s comment is when he referred to Ottawa he creates the impression that an outsider is going to take the Fund away from Albertans, then he identifies the culprit as the NDP. All the NDP could do with the Fund is spend it to benefit Albertans in accordance with Lougheed’s three objectives set out above.
        We can’t allow Kenney’s muddled thinking to confuse us by setting up the NDP as the enemy in an illogical hypothetical.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Hmm I am sorry pecgregor but although I agree with you that there are differences in the type of industry between Norway and Alberta, I think that you missing the most important point.
        When Norway started developing their oil industry they started from the social view point that the oil belongs to Norwegians and they would keep 85% of the profits, whatever value they were. Alberta on the other hand managed by people that believe way more in capital then in people, created an industry which view point was we get the royalties and whatever you want to do with the oil is none of our business. So despite the differences the end product was that Norway got 85% of the pie and left 15% to the private industry, we did exactly the opposite – we gave them 85% of the pie and we barely make it to even 12%. So lets not get lost in details – the problem is that we cannot think of us first versus private interests because we have changed our DNA to be in the slave syndrome or the battered wife syndrome. We somehow prefer to serve the masters that just feed back a handful of us. Medieval style politics but very profitable for corporations and those that have direct interests with them. This kind of attitude is very visible in Alberta at many different levels and I do not vilify it but I certainly have the right as a citizen to strongly criticize views that I believe to be very detrimental to our province and to the interests of Albertans. The UCP is the reflection of that ideology and in my view they do not move us forward. Denying that renewal energy is the future and we should be transitioning to it is criminal to me.

      • Well said Carlos. Another example of a better managed sovereign wealth fund is Alaska’s Permanent Fund. It was established in 1976 and at the end of 2016 was worth $55 billion. The Fund pays out annual dividends to Alaskans that range from approximately $300 to $2000 a year.

  6. Einar Davison says:

    I keep trying to suggest that the people who want to separate because they like the US and Trump better, they should actually move there. Funny how they don’t want to because they know it won’t be better (in their sense of what is better). I suspect it’s just us rednecks (just don’t call me a hillbilly I have no hills to billy), blowing off steam, because truly like most people it’s easier to whine than it is to do something.
    That all being said we need to stop being left wing or right wing in this country before we become the US, we need to find common ground and that will mean that we won’t have privatized education or health care, but we won’t go all out on the environment either. However we might actually get something done. If we don’t nothing will get done and that scares me more than a few blowhards.
    However Susan as you are a voice of reason in a sea of ignorance, every political ideology has its blowhards. Another great column!

    • Anonymous says:

      Einar Davison: Who in their right frame of mind would want to be part of America’s problems? There is a recession lurking around the corner, and it likely will be long lasting and hard on many people. The American government will be the cause of it and it will effect Canada greatly. The UCP’s poorly crafted (crappy) budget will compound it. The needy will suffer even more. The UCP will make more cuts. Ugggh!

      • That’s right Anonymous, UCP Finance Minister Travis Toews is already on record saying we can expect more cuts if the economy doesn’t improve. Given the UCP’s vicious attack on everything but the corporate sector, it makes you wonder where the cuts will be coming from.

      • Carlos Beca says:

        Susan they will use the same vicious circle. They will cut corporate taxes because it will attract investment and then cut social programs because we are all lazy and have to work harder to attract investment. They will never stop until they are kicked in the rear end.
        They cannot think outside that neoliberal box. If you try to persuade them you are the enemy. These are all Ayn Rand disciples and they are as hard headed as her books.

    • Einar, you raise a valid point when you say we’re in danger of becoming the US if we insist on being left wing and right wing instead of trying to do what’s best for all of us. From what I’ve read the quickest way to becoming more polarized is to settle into a
      two-party system. For some reason this encourages extremism. We need only look at the UCP to see how quickly merging the Wildrose and the PCs resulted in a shift to the far right, the same thing happened when the federal Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance to create the federal Conservative Party. I don’t know why the extremist elements win the ideological battle, it must be something like being attacked by a zombie, the zombie doesn’t become human, the human becomes a zombie.

      • Einar Davison says:

        Susan, Truly I think I inherited my grandparents and parents co-operative philosophy, small town survival used to depend on it, if no one worked together everyone failed. So I guess it makes me sad to see so much potential lost by screaming. There are too many zombies and not enough humans, who think and speak with an open mind, who debate yes, but respectfully. Who look for solutions and not ways to dispatch their enemies. I think the extremists win because they yell the loudest, they play on emotions, they can’t see beyond their own tribes and they drown out reason. Yes too many “zombies” and that makes me very sad. I’ve been both a Progressive Conservative and a Liberal and I liked Rachel Notley as Premier, she was very reasonable and very smart, maybe too smart for Alberta. To paraphrase Martin Luther King “We need to judge a person by the content of their character and not the colour of their party”. Thank you again for the good words you write! Einar

  7. Dave says:

    I decided not to read Mr. Morton’s article, there is enough kookyness going around these days and it is sort of like exposure to radiation, too much is not good. Someone describes Morton as the worst premier Alberta never had and I think that is very apt. Mr. Kenney is a formidable politician even though he is a bit to cozy with conspiracy theorists these days – him I worry about, Mr. Morton not so much.

    Conservatives, both Federally and Provincialy are very frustrated after a hard fought Federal election and now the outcome is only making them angrier and more unbalanced. The rage did help them win provincially here, but did not work so well Federally, so they are doubling down on what seemed to work initially. The smarter ones will eventually figure out digging a deeper hole is not a winning strategy. Mr. Morton, I suspect will keep on digging for quite a while.

    Alberta has real problems and frustrations and it is politically expedient now for some to try turn Mr. Trudeau and the rest of the country into scapegoats. For instance, it may help Mr. Kenney to deflect attention from his bad news budget. However, Wexit or whatever is really not in his interest or that of any credible mainstream Alberta politician.

    • Dave, I 100% agree with your conclusion that Wexit in whatever form is not in Kenney’s best interests (other than to cover his tracks) and it’s certainly not in Alberta’s best interests. The economist Peter Tertzakian said that as an investor looking into Alberta from the outside he would be hesitant to invest given all this turmoil. Of course Kenney won’t blame the lack of investment on his own actions, but instead he’ll pin it on the “NDP/Liberal” government in Ottawa. Kenney’s base won’t see through this charade, but the rest of Canada will soon tire of our whining. The Wexit story does not end well for Alberta anyway you slice it.

  8. ronmac says:

    In many ways, this rage reminds me of a drug addict going cold turkey. The oil boom was great while it lasted before it dried up. Now everyone is lashing out at everyone else and blaming Trudeau. As if he was responsible for the drop in oil prices.

    The oil and gas guys keep pointing to Texas where there is a shale boom. Why can’t Alberta be like that? Well, all is not well in the shale patch.

    • Ronmac, thanks for the article. Haliburton’s decline in profits and its decision to cut costs and staff puts the lie to Kenney’s argument that, but for Trudeau and Rachel everything would be rosy in Alberta. The investment banking analyst commenting on Haliburton’s decision said it is a reflection of three important trends in the industry: “higher costs of capital, lower reinvestment by exploration and production companies into oil and gas fields, and the beginning of a trend that could become a broader decline in U.S. oil production.” The article also points out customer demand is dropping in every basin in North America.
      I note the Republican stage government in Texas has not jumped in with a huge corporate tax cut to encourage Haliburton to continue to invest. I guess they know better.

  9. Jerrymacgp says:

    Option 3 is the most rational, but I despair of it ever working. If the average Oilbertastan voter responded to rational argument based on evidence, Rachel Notley would have gotten a second mandate. Last May’s provincial election, and Saskaberta’s blue wave in this month’s federal one, were both based on rage, not reason.

    Albertans’ blind hatred for anyone named Trudeau, and all his works, is irrational. The Liberal government is not the reason the TMX pipeline has been delayed — in fact, it’s probably the only reason it’s still a viable project, since its US-based private owners were about to walk away from it altogether before the Trudeau government bought the damned thing. It’s the courts, and the various court challenges by project opponents that are even now still in play, that are why it’s taken so long, and no conservative politician has clearly elucidated how he would fix that problem.

    • Jerrymacgp: fair point. A mind filled with rage cannot comprehend facts or logic.
      As you point out, conservative voters said Trudeau killed pipelines and he must be replaced by Scheer who would…do what? Conservatives like Senator Doug Black said say all the government has to do is declare the pipeline to be “for the general advantage of Canada.” He proposed Bill S-245 as a way to do this. I’ve read Bill S-245. All it says is that “for greater certainty regarding jurisdiction,” TMX is declared to be a project falling under federal authority under section 91(29) and section 92 (10)(c) of the Constitution Act. TMX already falls under federal authority under those sections, there is absolutely no uncertainty about this. If there were uncertainty the NEB couldn’t have heard the application and the federal government couldn’t have approved it (twice). So I have no idea why Senator Black and others think passing Bill S-245 reiterating federal jurisdiction found under section 91(29) and 92(10)(c) would help. Furthermore, there’s nothing in these sections or S-245 that overrides the aboriginal right of consultation enshrined in S 35 of the Constitution Act. The Bill doesn’t say the feds would invoke the War Measures Act to suspend the constitutional rights of the aboriginal communities to block them from accessing the Supreme Court of Canada to protect those rights, so what pray tell would Bill S-245 accomplish. This reminds me of the brilliant kudatah plan to bring down the Notley government on day one by invoking a secret piece of legislation that no one had ever considered before. God!

  10. Hi Susan. Me again. I heard Mr. Scheer say (paraphrasing here) “Western Canada I hear you.” Well he didnt hear correctly because I voted for the liberal party and I DONT want BC to separate. If Alberta wants to join the US, have fun with that. In my years of voting I have never seen a politician stoop to such childish antics. I, a resident of BC, do not want to separate. That would be absolutely ridiculous. If the Conservatives want to win an election, as I heard one political analysts say, they better start thinking about how to fight climate change instead of how to keep lining their pockets. Making up WEXIT proves to me why I will never vote for them because they will make up anything to try to get in power. We all voted on October 19. Get over it.

    • JVC, I couldn’t have said it better. Jason Kenney and the premier of Saskatchewan, Scott Moe have no idea how presumptuous they sound when they say “we’re leaving and we’re taking BC with us.” Really, have you talked to BC?
      I like what Brian Pallister, the premier of Manitoba, said about western separation: “I don’t think you ever get anywhere in building a stronger relationship by threatening to leave it, so I don’t have any time for that.”
      Isn’t it nice to know there’s at least one mature premier on the prairies.

  11. Mark says:

    Indeed. Bunch of whiners if you ask me. Facts are useless with them too, if one manages to get some into a conversation they simply back out and don’t talk anymore.

    • Mark, I’ve experienced that as well in some of the comments I get on the blog. It usually starts with someone completely missing the point of the blog and then escalates into taunts and name calling. I block them and that’s that.

  12. Political Ranger says:

    I cannot agree with your option #3 Susan. For me it’s option 2.
    These people are whiners and bullies – to a person. They all, every last one of them represent a lower form of humanity and are simply incapable of discussing or negotiating a ‘good’ deal for Canadians. btw, a good deal, by definition, is one in which both sides are satisfied with the outcome.
    These people want what they want and that’s the end of it!

    You might say that if we don’t attend to their complaints then things might blow up or we come to blows of one sort or another. I agree!
    But these sort of people are not likely to change their point of view until they get a bloody nose, or two. This is not a criticism of supporters of option #3, it’s just the way our opponents are.
    If the progressive and liberal-minded are not clear-eyed about these so-called conservatives, then we all will be int it for a bad outcome. A quick and cursory glance at early 20th century history should be all the review and feedback any thinking individual needs to assess the future direction of these so-called conservatives.
    It’s time to be sober and serious.

    • Fair comment Political Ranger. I particularly like how you defined a “good” deal for Canadians which results in both sides being satisfied with the outcome. A good deal isn’t “my way or the highway”.
      In this case the democratic process resulted in a Liberal minority government and the Conservatives in opposition. They can try again next time.
      The irony here is after the last provincial election when we complained about the UCP dismantling everything the NDP had done, we were told the UCP won, the NDP lost, get over it. Now that the shoe is on the other foot (the progressives won, the conservatives lost) they’re not prepared to accept the result and are working themselves into a froth because they have no representation in Ottawa.
      Sorry Charlie, but that’s how the first past the post system works, sometimes it breaks in your favour and sometimes it doesn’t.

  13. Anonymous says:

    These are quite interesting reads. Interesting how people claim the Conservatives do nothing wrong, when we know that’s not true.

    • Anonymous. thanks for the articles. I especially liked the first paragraph in the story about the growing liability for Swan Hills: “Former Alberta premier Ralph Klein once defended the money-losing Swan Hills hazardous waste treatment facility saying ‘you can’t put a price on cleaning up the environment,’ but a new report says it will cost the province $176.2 million to clean up the plant site a decade from now.”
      Apparently it’s OK to spend millions cleaning up the environment if it’s in connection with a conservative boondoggle like Swan Hills, but if you put a price on pollution you’ll be hung for treason.

  14. Desiree Bauer says:

    You tell ‘em! What kind of voter votes for representatives that lie and misrepresent? Come on, Alberta! Smarten up!

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Unfortunately the majority voted for these people which makes me depressed to be an Albertan. What kind of people are we?
      Well the answer is clear. The majority believe in being bullies, being dishonest and win at any price even if that means putting others at risk. The environment is irrelevant and the heck with those that need our help.
      The biggest problem about this, is that for as long as I have lived in this province this has been the reality and we do not want to change. Money talks and we just want it all, regardless of the consequences. If you challenge this you are a communist and you are under the radar of a government that spends 30 million dollars to check on us.
      It is a very sad picture but we cannot deny it. No wonder other Canadians look at us as if we are a third species, because we are.
      My son left this province because he just could not see himself living with this attitude just like I have done. I feel like I have wasted my years feeding corporations and elites because we cannot do otherwise. We are going to be left with nothing to show. It is shocking to say the least. Billions have left the province and continue to do so thanks to the smarts of people that do not care at all about the province and its people. I cannot think of anything other than the question – what have we done here? An absolute waste of talent, educated people and resources. On top of this failure we will have the tailing ponds forever. In the meantime Jason Kenney cuts 1 billion dollars in taxes needlessly and we all have to pay for that donation to some of the richest companies in the world. Jason Kenney has reduced assistance even to seniors to pay for tax cuts. No wonder he had not qualms allowing gay men to die alone and without the comfort of their loved ones. This man is a disgrace but he is what the majority of Albertans want.
      I am sorry but I do not believe this is just ideology, there is more to this picture that unfortunately we cannot prove. I have no problem saying that some people other than the corporations are making lots of money under the table. If not then we are all darn crazy and we may have already been affected by oil pollution.

      • Dwayne says:

        Carlos Beca: I completely agree with you.

      • Carlos, you raise some very important points about what this election tells us about Albertans. Apparently 30% or so of Albertans did not vote CPC but we’re a smallish minority compared to those who did.
        As you point out Scheer’s mentor, Kenney lost no time hacking our health,education and social programs to bits, This will drive people out of Alberta and leave us weaker as a province. And for what? To balance the budget? If that was the sole aim, he could implement a 7% sales tax and the budget would balance tomorrow. But he won’t. Why? Because Albertans are “special” and don’t need to pay a sales tax like everyone else in the country. Why do we think we’re special? Because we happen to live in a province sitting on oil and natural gas reserves and we made a bundle in the good times and all that money “proves” we’re superior to everyone else and the ordinary rules don’t apply to us. This is lunacy, but Kenney is pushing it to its logical conclusion by allowing the Wexit talk to continue. If he cared about this province he’d stop the separatist talk now, instead he’s sending a panel of “respected Albertans” around the province with the sole purpose of hearing Albertans gripe about how hard it is to be a part of Canada and if Canada doesn’t roll over and give them everything they want they’re leaving. Unbelievable!

    • Exactly Desiree. People asked why Scheer got into so much trouble over his pro-life and anti-same sex marriage comments when other progressive politicians did not. The answer is the progressive politicians clearly said they’d changed their views and their campaigns were not funded by pro-lifers who said, yippee we’re finally going to get MPs into power who will reverse the abortion and same-sex marriage laws. The old adage: birds of a feather flock together and you’re defined by the company you keep applies here. And the company Scheer keeps says it all.

  15. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. What is this separation nonsense going to accomplish? These separatists are upset that Andrew Scheer lost. They should get over it. Separation has way too many obstacles to make it even remotely practical. It is not a productive goal.

    • diamondwalker says:

      .. we can roll with Dwayne on this.. in our salamander view.. the separation talk.. is bullying threat. its driven or directed via Jason Kenney et al.. a carpet bagger from Saskatchewan via Ontario. It reminds of Trump style hysteria.. Do we (Canadians) have any idea how many are pimping, harping, echoing this noyz ?? We have perhaps 25 cousins in Alberta, mainly Calgary based, and some in beautiful BC.. who see Kenney et al as jackasses.. nothing more, nothing less.

      Is this flavor of so called ‘western outrage’ driven by 2,000 disenchanted people from Alberta ? 5,000 ? 10,000 ? Plus the current ‘public servants’ serving as Alberta’s elected ‘public service’ .. Kenney is a ‘public servant’ .. simply an MPL elected in a riding, who happens to be the ‘leader’ of a strident & shrill political Party that completely fails and ignores the electorate.. instead it plays upon them a la Trump. Nothing more, nothing less. His ‘scope of work’ mob description defines servicing the dreams, needs and wishes of his riding.. the rest of the posturing is just that.. posturing for Mainstream Media.. We assume he went on a strict diet as he was a fattie boy.. about to be as fat and plump as Andrew Scheer.. who’s federal level ‘job’ and accomplishment is well.. uh .. TBA .. to be determined.

      Kenney is essentially unelectable.. faked Mommy’s basement domicile, while owning and living in his Ottawa condo.. just not enough.. even for evangelicals.. ‘family values’ ? What ‘family’ ? What or who was his last ‘date’ A blue pickup truck ? ? Whether male or female hardly & simply none of my business. the bedrooms of the nation, the families of Scott Brison, Warren Kinsella, John Baird cavorting in London England, Laureen’s dalliance with her RCMP officer girlfriend in the Chateau Laurier or the indescretions of James Moore that blew him out of office or Tony Clement’s weenie wagging on social media are not my concern.. never will be.. and I expect the reverse to be true.. don’t come here unless you are OK with toothmarks of very aggresive dogs.. (I am even worse.. I a bad dog or worse)

      • Diamondwalker…I have yet to get a firm number on how many Albertans (real people not bots) are pushing Wexit but you’re right, the provincial and national media are lapping it up and in so doing, giving it a semblance of credibility. Kenney could kill this with a single soundbite similar to the Brian Pallister statement (“I have no time for this”) but he won’t because it distracts Albertans from his inability to create jobs and “fix” the economy and the pain he’s going to inflict upon them with the austerity budget. I suspect his supporters will stick with him through thick and thin because he, like Trump, is delivering something they like, be it promoting a pro-life anti-gay agenda, or sticking it to the unions, who knows. Maybe it all boils down to the fact he’s given them someone to blame for their failure to plan ahead so they wouldn’t be caught with their pants down when the bust hit.

  16. Pingback: Gaslighting continues: Gut and Cut is the ideology of Deficit-Haters but stealth is a factor – Lie Tracker

  17. Lie Tracker says:

    Another home run Susan! Great post. You hit the nail on the head: “And maybe that’s what this rage, fear, and anger is about. The Conservatives did not form government.”

    My teenagers were better behaved when they didn’t get their way than WEXIT Conservatives with their temper tantrums. We need more adults in the room.

    To be fair though,there may be a case to be made that some Canadian Media are also exacerbating national divisions because it’s lucrative.

    • Thanks Lie Tracker. I liked your comparison to your teenagers. We expect little kids to throw their toys on the floor when they don’t get their way, but we also teach them that that’s not acceptable behavior. And yet the Wexit folks think the fact Scheer isn’t PM gives them the right to leave. I read the Wexit manifesto and got an immediate fix on who these people were when I read they were going to fix family court to ensure fathers get a fair deal. Really? We’re going to separate from Canada because some men feel like they’ve been shafted in family court. If getting shafted by the justice system was all it took women would have been out of here decades ago.

  18. Carlos Beca says:

    UCP jobs-jobs-jobs first victory – Encana leaves Calgary and pays for the move with Alberta taxpayers donation rushed by Jason Kenney.
    It is all the Federal government’s fault of course. Conservatives have had 43 years to fix the problem and it has always been someone else fault – no ones likes us and we are so sweet.
    We will sue them if necessary, it seems the diversification is in the lines of service industries anyway – a new MacDonald just opened and Jason did not miss the photo opportunity, after all when he promised all those great jobs, he never mentioned what kind of jobs.
    Encana just showed us where their interests are – get all you can from sweet Alberta and move to no regulation country – there they can release whatever they want – American citizens love pollution and the more carbon the better, it helps the plants grow at night. I guess Encana is betting Trump will win again next year and it will all be groovy.
    I am also wondering if they smelled clean up is just around the corner and it is better leave before it is too late. The Encana that helped build our the 8th Marvel of the World and Heritage Site – our gorgeous tailing ponds no longer exists – now it is called Encana USA. We will see – I am keeping track of who is going to clean up.
    I can already see the advertising on our main newspapers – volunteer and be proud to be Albertan – the Government of Alberta provides free boots. Lets keep our province clean and rat free.

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