The Teck Decision Provides a Lesson on Handouts

For a long time Ms Soapbox has been trying figure out what Mr Kenney and the UCP mean when they talk about a “hand up” and a “handout”. She knew from the context that a “hand up” was good and a “handout” was bad, but she was never quite sure why.   

But thanks to Jason Nixon’s statement on the UCP government’s position on the Teck Frontier oilsands project, specifically why the Trudeau Liberals must approve the project, the distinction became clear.    

Nixon started by saying, “I want to be crystal clear. Albertans are proud people. We have never viewed our relationship with the federal government as one based on charity, and we’re not about to start now. Albertans want jobs, not an ‘aid package’ from Ottawa.”

Environment Minister Jason Nixon

Mr Nixon was referring to unconfirmed reports that the Feds are working on an aid package to ease Alberta’s pain if they reject the Teck project.  The Feds deny the two are connected; they say they’ve been working on ways to send funding to Alberta, including an infusion of cash to clean up thousands of abandoned wells. One would think this would be a good thing because it will create much needed jobs.

In fact, this was exactly what the UCP finance minister and the UCP energy minister said when they asked for such funding in November 2019.   

The only difference between the Feds providing funding to clean up abandoned wells in November 2019 and the Feds providing funding to clean up abandoned wells in February 2020 is that in February the UCP connected the offer of assistance with the Feds’ go/no go decision on the Teck project.  

Or to put it into UCP-speak: If the federal government had provided such funding in Nov 2019 it would have been a “hand up” and acceptable, but if the federal government provides such funding in February 2020 after it’s rejected the Teck Frontier application, it’s a “handout” and must be rejected because it amounts to “charity.”

So, in the UCP world a “hand up” can be distinguished from a “handout” by an intervening event, in this case the rejection of an oilsands project. Presumably if the Feds were to approve the Teck project, the funding would revert back to “hand up” status.  

In the meantime, Albertans should take comfort in the fact that according to Mr Nixon, Albertans are too proud to accept charity; we’d rather be unemployed.

PS This lack of reason (let alone compassion) is hardly comforting given the cuts to healthcare and social services we’ll be experiencing over the coming months.

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73 Responses to The Teck Decision Provides a Lesson on Handouts

  1. CallmeHal2000 says:

    Any money given to Alberta right now will surely not trickle down to the projects for which it was intended, so it must come with strings attached.

    Albertans want jobs, but the UCP has driven 69,000 jobs away since they were elected. Now they’re blame-shifting. Again. That’s rich, considering Kenney’s attempt to drive investment away from Canada this week, because Canada is “dangerous”.

    Perhaps the UCP-created recession will materialize as they desire. Remembering that some corporations were able to buy up assets during the Great Depression. There were war profiteers later, too.

    It may have taken us close to a year to realize this, but the UCP don’t really want jobs for Albertans, do they? Why else would they pile on with pending public sector job cuts? This is about economic and societal disruption. And after that, the next stage. History will repeat itself, history we haven’t experienced here before. It’s coming.

    • Dwayne says:

      CallmeHal2000: We did have this, but under Ralph Klein. It’s going to be a worse run of this, under the UCP. Now, where is that voter recall legislation the UCP were going on about, prior to the last provincial election? The UCP have brainwashed so many people, that recall legislation won’t be applicable.

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        No worries if Jason Nixon loses his job. He seems to know how to live off the land. There’s plenty of game out there, just ask him.

    • CallmeHal and Dwayne, the question you both raise, ie what’s the real game plan here, is an important one. I understand why CallmeHal says Kenney’s focus is economic and societal disruption which is a precursor to the next stage, but I still don’t know whether Kenney is that intelligent or methodical (he’s not a Stephen Harper by any stretch).
      In 2015 Kenney had to appease two out of three voter sets: rural voters, Calgary voters and/or Edmonton voters. It was clear he wasn’t going to get any traction in Edmonton; that left him with the rural areas and Calgary. He’s been in power for less than a year and already he’s hurting rural Alberta and Calgary. The fact he’s prepared to alienate these supporters tells me his real allegiance is to the corporate sector, be it energy, insurance, private education or private healthcare, the rest be damned. He’s taking quite a risk by being so aggressive in the guise of “balancing the budget” and “slaying the debt”. Perhaps he’s gambling that we’ve forgotten the pain of the Klein era.

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        One of Kenney’s men. Grant Hunter, did promise in the legislature that the UCP will give Alberta an enema, and I believe him. I guess we’ll see how much they can clean us out on February 27. Load up that honey wagon. Take the money and run.

        That’s quite a thing to admit openly. Clearly the intent is to take as much as they can. Albertans will be left high and dry. I don’t want to think what will happen after that. It’s going to get very ugly.

    • Dwayne says:

      CallmeHal2000: In response to one of your posts below, Grant Hunter is a nasty piece of work. How he is still an MLA is beyond me. I do agree with you that it will get very ugly, really soon, after the UCP’s next budget. A lot of Albertans will feel pain that they should not have to go through. I wish there was some way we could put an end to this insanity and madness from the UCP. Can’t the R.C.M.P finish off their investigation against Kamikaze Kenney already?

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog:
    The UCP are way out of touch with reality. This Teck oilsands mine has obstacles stacked against it, and blaming the federal government simply will not work. Oil prices are not returning to triple digit prices ever again, which were there prior to the 2014 oil price crash. It’s highly unlikely that they will. Oil prices will not even return to the $70 a barrel range either. I heard that the minimum price of oil per barrel has to be $75 dollars for this mine to be even viable. I was reading recently that an expert economist thinks that oil prices will even head down further, once again going below $30 a barrel. Apparrently, there are around 20 oilsands projects that have been approved, but can’t get anywhere. Once again, it’s because of very low oil prices. Jason Kenney, and Jason Nixon are as delusional as they come, and sadly, many Albertans follow them, and the UCP like sheep. No questioning them. I very much doubt that Albertans will be employed if this Teck oilsands mine gets the green light. This is based upon two factors. Jason Kenney has a proven history of supporting Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs). This is what he was doing, as a CPC cabinet member. Also, automation has taken hold in the oilsands, replacing jobs. Furthermore, why should the federal government be footing the cost of the cleanup for oil industry created messes in Alberta? This has a price tag of $260 billion, and was caused by the Alberta PCs, beginning in the 1990s. If Peter Lougheed were still around, he would be dismayed by the UCP. He was one who had prior experience in the oil industry, and knew about the volatility of the oil industry. As for cuts to healthcare and social services, that’s already happening. A.I.S.H clientelle, have already had the date they get paid, put to the first of every month, without any consultation, or prior notice, making them go longer on a meagre income. They no loger get paid 4 business days before the end of every month. Those on Income Support have already said the amount they receive has been cut back. Seniors on paltry incomes have had their medication coverage changed. Teacher’s pensions were switched to a low grade, high risk pension, without their consent. It’s clearly getting uglier with the UCP. They need to be out of power. Albertans need to wake up. But the question is will they?

    • diamondwalker says:

      .. Its important to clarify or specify when referring to ‘oil prices’. The situation is already muddled when dilbit such as Western Canada Select (WCS) is conflated with Benchmark oil such as Brent or West Texas Intermediate (WTI). There will always be a quoted or apparent price differential
      (which we both know is not a discount, but rather a reflection of the difference in value between the two, as seen by the market on a daily basis)

      FYI for Dwayne & Susan re her excellent catch and defining how words & terms certainly matter. I have been battling to truly understand here in the flatlands of Ontario what’s real and not real, re Trans Mountain, Teck, Coastal GasLink and most importantly in my view, the current attempt to groom, subvert & assault First Nations unceded lands, rights and complete jurisdiction. This is essentially joint Provincial and Federal collusion with Big Business to ‘gain certainty’ in regard to many sectors.. Energy (resource extraction & mining), Logging, Fishing.. you name it. Thus the grooming leading to ‘legal’ assault, which is now happening.. ie the arrest of peaceful protesters on their unceded land – per RCMP & Coastal GasLink. That is essentially colonial atrocity in these current times.

      I have serious questions re Teck, Jason Kenney and Justin Trudeau, more about that, re subsidies, pipeline to where and sold to whom ?

      But its Trans Mountain, now expected to operate at a loss for its entire lifespan .. already bleeding money that appears to be a major grift being run on Canadian taxpayers and voters, all on the taxpayers dime. Trudeau and Morneau are now being proven by CDEV financial reports to be bullshitting Canadians. Considering all the ‘profits’ from expanded Bitumen extraction and higher emissions are supposedly going to fund Their Environmental Plan to lower GHG emissions and attain ‘zero emissions by 2050.. this purchase and twinning now is proving to be a contrived fable. Trudeau / Morneau are gaming the accounting terms, a classic fraud in fact. Jim Carr is pimping the same nonsence that was Ms McKenna’s nonsence. There is no profit when expenses exceed revenue, despite truly substantial subsidies on the Taxpayer’s dime and tax credits that erode royalties.

      Teck just more of the same ? For 40 years ?

      Wordwide LNG prices have dropped drastically and fracked Canadian natural gas via a mystery pipeline to the USA or via a pipeline to a mysterious ‘tidewater’ (Kitimat) liquification terminal and port can not compete with Australian or Russian LNG servicing Asia. More fable, more Governmental Fraud at the highest levels

      More later.. but this is the painful reality of serious research and probing. Why a 68 year old senior and house painter like me knows more than Jim Carr is shocking. I have no talking points or partisan allegiance, but I can read. What Premier Horgan is attempting to enable and perpetrate disgusts me. Same for Jason Kenney, same for Trudeau and his wealthy Finance Minister who forgot he owned a French Chateau with his zillionaire heiress wife when declaring possessions on being appointed as Minister of Finance.

      Current expectations or trust in these ‘leaders’ and captured political animals ? ZERO

      • Dwayne and Diamondwalker: thanks for highlighting the real problem facing Teck and indeed all the fossil fuel energy producers, that of failing to account for the global market. Here in Calgary many people continue to cling to the belief that the global price of [fill in the blank] will magically rise when TMX is finished. When you ask them what this is based on they have no answer other than the price of [fill in the blank] is cyclical, it went down and up before and it will go down and up again. When I was an undergrad in anthropology we studied cargo cults. The parallels between these two belief systems is uncanny.

    • John McManus says:

      Teck has a low price problem . At the same time more and more large institutional lenders are divesting from fossil fuels. They are concerned for their reputations but also worried about the number of oil company defaults and worried about stranded assets.

      • John, did you catch the article in the Herald yesterday. Front page headline “Kenney says Alberta will go green.” He told a panel in Washington that we’re going through an energy transition, it will take decades and decades, and the “last barrel” should come from “a liberal democracy” with among the “highest environmental, human-rights and labour standards on earth.” This is lip service given his reluctance to invest in renewable energy, his refusal to shut down the War Room, and his on-going court challenge to the fed’s carbon tax. He doesn’t appear to understand that for large institutional lenders actions speak louder than words.

    • Cliff Morrison says:

      Well said and I was living in Calgary through the Lougheed years and yes he must be rolling in his grave at the goings on today in Alberta. The other thing for me is every topic is drop dead or approve because the vocal Albertans are all self made victims.

      • Well said Cliff, it’s as if there is no room for discussion, it’s always my way or the highway. Although I can tell you this, if the Wexiteers take power, it will be the highway for me. My family and I are outta here.

  3. Don Cassidy says:

    Dwayne. You really nailed the essence of the issue. There is no blame to be assigned as oil prices are market influenced. USA drilling technology and fracking hit the big times in 2014, provided the USA with surplus oil since to export. Kenney has seen it fit to punish Albertans, blame the Liberals and frankly run away to the USA where he can shell out statements not helpful to Canada’s situation. He needs to get a green card and move to Texas where he obviously feels more comfortable. It is notable that at the municipal government level the UCP intends to pass recall legislation this year. Too bad the cowards wouldn’t do that at the provincial level. I can think of a number of MLAs who need to experience unemployment, and trying to qualify for Blue Cross Benefits.

    • Dwayne says:

      Don Cassidy: With a glut of cheaper oil sources saturating the market, who wants what is coming out of Northern Alberta? This was established for several years already. I don’t think the UCP and their flock would support recall legislation. They have a narrow minded view of democracy, as evidenced by them not questioning how Jason Kenney got to be premier of Alberta, by rather questionable means. This is Alberta, and for decades the Conservatives, were doing the worst and most costliest debacles, and were never taken to task for it. It happened with the Alberta PCs, when Peter Lougheed stopped being premier, and the UCP is just like them.

    • Don, there’s no better way to demonstrate the fact that oil is part of a global market than to witness the impact the coronavirus on oil prices. But Kenney’s words still ring in my ear, oil prices are impacted by government policy, not the global markets, because, well, because Kenney says so.

      • Cliff Morrison says:

        Susan; I agree with you and the problem I see with some Albertans, and I have a lot of people I know that live there and have lived there myself is that they want to be perceived as the victim. Yes they know world demand controls pricing but it makes more click bait if you blame Ottawa, Also from personal experience telling them the truth only gets back to fake news claims.

      • Agreed Cliff. Why blame yourself when you can blame the federal Liberals. You’ll note Kenney never blames the federal Conservatives though, everything he and Harper did was perfect…at least until he became premier in which case it was bad and it was Trudeau’s fault. Bizarre.

  4. Political Ranger says:

    Yeah, I gotta say this Jason Nixon fellow, seems to be a mite slow. Some people talk that way. When I was younger, I travelled around and met lots of fellers who talked real slow but you mostly wanted to listen to these guys because they always, eventually, got to something real interesting.
    Jason Nixon, not so much.

    • Political Ranger: the fact that Kenney made Jason Nixon government house leader tells us everything we need to know about both of them. In the government press release on Teck, Nixon said Trudeau “emphasized his desire to work with Alberta and to preserve national unity. It’s time he backed up his words with action. Albertans are watching closely.” This veiled threat–approve Teck or Alberta walks–has been repeated by UCP MLA Drew Barnes, who just happens to sit on the Fair Deal Panel, which then leads me to wonder just how objective and unbiased the FD Panel is. (sorry, ignore me, I just had a fit of the giggles.)

  5. jerrymacgp says:

    Alberta insists on maintaining the lowest tax regime in Canada. Why should taxpayers in B.C., Ontario, Quebec or the Atlantic provinces, be asked to subsidize Jason Kenney’s $4.7 billion corporate tax giveaway?

    Set our tax rates to match those of the median in Canada, then we can talk. Until then, not one thin dime of federal funds should go to Alberta.

  6. ronmac says:

    I think this handup/handout has already started-thanks to TMX where it has been just announced that costs have ballooned to $12 billion.

    • Ronmac, the media keeps talking about “delays” which pushed up the costs, but the media isn’t explicit on what caused these delays. In fact they’re the result of First Nations going to court to determine whether the federal consultation process abrogated their charter rights. Some may call this a “delay”, others (me) would call this the democratic process in action.

  7. lindamcfarlane says:

    nice blog!!! 

    Linda McFarlane

    403-453-1158 or 403-999-9299 C

  8. CallmeHal2000 says:

    Dwayne, my belief is that this will be much worse than the Klein era. I was here for that. Back then, there were old guard conservatives in the party who would step in from behind the scenes and pull the plug. There were people with a conscience in the nooks and crannies of Alberta conservatism, maybe some of them left over from the Lougheed days. Yes, things did get very far, brutally far, out of whack sometimes, but someone would pull the reins on things eventually. They’re gone now, replaced by yellow vest truckers and Wexiteers, prepared to take things the extra step down Kenney’s rabbit warren. Brown shirts are so passé.

    • Dwayne says:

      CallmeHal2000: I was an adult when Ralph Klein became premier. I know he was bad news, because I recall how Don Getty started to ruin what Peter Lougheed built up. Ralph Klein was part of Don Getty’s cabinet. Ralph Klein furthered the damage, including more intense austerity, and more very costly debacles. We are seeing this with the UCP. So bad.

  9. Brent McFadyen says:

    A government for the few, to benefit the few that started about 1980 under Saint Reagan. Canada is always about ten years behind the US, enter Ralph Klein, Mike Harris and the Preston Manning’s of the world in the nineties. We need to get angry because the right wing has stolen democracy from under our feet.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Brent we do need to get angry but I would not put a penny in the pot that we will.
      Many people in Alberta believe in this cheating business like, market fundamentalist, with religious overtones this government represents. The rest of us, play the violin and hope that after 44 years anything changes. I do not think it will. Alberta is destined to probably become a have not province in the near future. The idea that we are better entrepreneurs than the rest of Canada is only because until recently it was easier to make it because of abundance. Once that is gone we are like everyone else and most of people with businesses quickly leave to better pastures. We have a complex of superiority and a victim against the federal government syndrome. We do need to grow up and build this province with our eyes in the future and not like these dinosaurs that cannot even read what most people are saying about our oil.
      Teck will not be built and we will see the pipeline – 12.5 billion to not be used? This is a pipeline that will not be ready until at least 2023 or later. Hmm that is going to be a waste.

      • Brent McFadyen says:

        Carlos I agree with most of what you say here. This province has been spoiled with abundance. Trans Mountain I dearly hope will not be a failure, the far east will require oil to produce more than fossil fuels. That way China can bury us with the plastics they produce from our raw materials.

      • Carlos and Brent: interesting discussion. I agree that the sooner we get our heads screwed on straight the better. That won’t happen with people like Jason Kenney telling Albertans they’re “people of destiny” (we’re special, the rules don’t apply to us). Incidentally the phrase “people of destiny” is often used in evangelical religions.
        Today’s Herald is full of stories quoting the two Jasons (Kenney and Nixon) on what will happen if the feds turn down Teck, interestingly while the headlines make it sound like a slam dunk decision (approve it already!) if you read all the way to the end of the stories you’ll discover the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, which has signed a support agreement with Teck, “still has several outstanding environmental and cultural mitigation concerns” it wants the Alberta government to address. Nixon characterized the FN position as them trying “to get the best deal that they can for their constituents” whereas his government is trying to make sure it gets “the appropriate deal for the Alberta taxpayers.”
        What’s not clear to me is how the Alberta taxpayers figure into a “deal” between the FN and Teck.
        One thing the feds could do is make any approval contingent on the FN reaching agreement with the UCP government on environmental and cultural concerns, in addition to all the other conditions it will place on the project.
        Having said that, I don’t think Teck will go ahead,

      • Dwayne says:

        Carlos Beca: Alberta has oil which is of a lower grade quality, when compared to other types of oil that is out there. That’s been an issue for quite some time now. Given this fact, and the UCP’s habit of squandering money like it is going out of style, how is Alberta going to get ahead? Triple digit oil prices are no more. The UCP’s next budget will really hurt many people. Premiers like the late Peter Lougheed and Rachel Notley are surely missed by me. I wish the UCP were gone.

  10. Blair Backman says:

    As usual Susan, you hit the nail squarely and drove your point home.
    When Jason Kenney starts to talk about a “Hand Up”, I am reminded of my Mormon Kansas Grandmother who even after the best part of her life in Western Canada, still retained a bit of her Kansas plain speaking raising and was quick to diagnose a troublesome adolescent as needing a “hand upside his head”.

    I would so like to hear her again writing letters to the Calgary papers correcting self important politicians. Nobody has ever been so needing of one of her attitude correcting treatments as spoiled self important Jason Kenney.

    If I were Albertan, I would extremely nervous for any of my pensions once they become subject to the wise oversight of Mr Kenney and his cronies. I am sure a portfolio of abandoned oil wells and derelict tar sand projects will one up the standard Conservative policy of just “Pissing against the Wall” any proper provision for the future.

    Thanks again for focusing our attention where it is needed.

    • Cliff Morrison says:

      I would love to see your Kansas Grandma stride in and give a few upside the head smacks. For me I saw the end when the ear plugs were used. That was more than a metaphor. That was an indication of what was to come. My other thought is with Kenney trying to grab pension money to prop up his government, will he include his fully indexed pension as an MP or will he keep that in his own back pocket?

      • Cliff: you’re absolutely right about the significance of the ear plugs incident. The UCP are in charge, no need for anyone to offer anything else in the way of constructive feedback because the UCP is not listening. Recently a bunch of UCP MLAs were celebrating at a local restaurant. They were heard to say “we OWN Alberta.” That’s as disrespectful of the democratic process as the ear plugs incident in my view.

    • Blair, your grandmother sounds delightful! I find this hand up/handout dichotomy bizarre. When the UCP was still the Wildrose one of their MLAs made a members statement in the Legislature about how a small town in his riding collected money to build a small house for a poor family. It sounded like the potential recipients of the house knew they were under consideration and the donors got together to decide which family would get the house. For the life of me I couldn’t see why this was a “hand up” and not a “hand out”. Also I wondered whether the lucky family felt it had to ingratiate itself with the donor group to be truly deserving of this “hand up”. God only knows.

  11. Carlos Beca says:

    Here is what we can do to this delusional premier
    Another fabrication?
    This is getting worse than Trump

  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This is something I was reading recently. Jason Kenney and company will not like this. › sites › gauravsharma › 2020/02/07 › perfect-mark…
    Perfect Market Storm Could Drive Oil Prices Below $30 – Forbes
    3 days ago – Here are five factors that could combine to set a perfect market storm in motion dragging oil prices below $30 per barrel. … Crude oil options floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange: Perfect market storm could see oil fall .

    • Dwayne I read something similar on Vice which said the perfect storm almost cratered global financial markets in 2008/09, a similar situation is developing with global oil prices. And here we sit, praying for global oil prices to come back. We’re bananas.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: As I have said before, I can’t see a return to triple digit oil prices. The UCP’s next budget is going to sting like stepping on a hornet’s nest. The so called asking “thousands of Albertans”, for their feedback is a farce. The UCP has its mind already made up. Albertans better brace themselves for a brutal time under the UCP. So many will be affected.

  13. Susan Podlog says:

    Re: your text ….So, in the UCP world a “hand up” can be distinguished from a “handout” by an intervening event, in this case the rejection of an oilsands project. Presumably if the Feds were to approve the Teck project, the funding would revert back to “hand up” status.

    May I quote you, Susan, or mention/ summarize the thoughts in a letter to Finance Minister, Bill Morneau? Does the UPC government put the Feds in a bind with such positions? I do not always get a response but I like to write and say that not all Albertans see the options in the same way.

    • Susan, absolutely feel free to use whatever you’d like. I fully support your effort to let the Feds know that we’re not cut from the same cloth as Jason Kenney’s UCP. The rest of Canada must be getting awfully tired of us. Who can blame them?

      • diamondwalker says:

        .. any Canadian knows what a special land we live in.. with each other.. wherever each may roam. This Canadian does, so never a worry, Albertans ! Tired of you ? Uh uh not ! Real Canadians don’t jump on travelling medicine show grifts. Bitumen is not the holy moly cure all elexir. The conversation in Alberta should focus on adaption, insight, getting into the ridings at community & neighborhood levels. Kenney is trying to reinvent Alberta.. smartest guy in the room syndrome a la Harper, ego tripping, all hat no cattle

      • carlos beca says:

        You right DiamondWalker – Jason Kenney is trying to reinvent Alberta into an evangelical fundamentalist cul de sac
        4000 young Albertans already left Calgary since the implementation started,
        An egocentric explosion of nothing.
        I am sure his bank account is growing – I have never seem such an obvious servitude to corporations.

  14. diamondwalker says:

    .. It behooves folks, all across Canada to actually
    1) get the facts
    2) form and/or express informed opinions based on credible, coherent reference sources

    Here’s several suggestions

    – Try to understand where the various ‘Energy’ sources in or into Canada’s vast regions exist, or are imported and the basic how/why & the myriad uses of said ‘Energy’. One could start with Energy for basic functions, heating, electricity, transportation, industry etc..

    – Comprehend that fully 96% of Canada’s ‘vast oil reserves’ are not ‘oil’. Our reserves are Bitumen, full stop ! What we extract, export and also to very small extent utilize in Canada is ‘dilbit’ & in various upgraded ‘synthetic’ blends such as WCS – Western Canada Select

    – The current protest by First Nations ie Wet’suwet’n re a natural gas pipeline to Kitmaat goes back to the non stop continuous effort to quash or deny Aboriginal Title to gain ‘certainty’ – the new euphanism for Government defying The Supreme Court, primarily in British Columbia.. but also wherever never ceded tribal lands still exist. Trans Mountain Pipeline is another example, Teck Frontier also, Bitumen requires pipeline infrastructure, just as natural gas require pipeline

    – The ‘Calder’ case 1973 – The Delgamuukw vs The Queen case was decided by Canada’s Supreme Court in 1997 – The Tsilqot’in Case in 2014. I have read the judgement in its entirety twice. Let me repeat I am currently a senior and a house painter, not a lawyer.

    – The current attacks upon Aboriginal Title follows Stephen Harper and immigrant Tom Flanagan learned opinion. But now its Justin Trudeau et al and John Horgan et al. Since 1997 several Governments have stalled acting upon the Supreme Court decision directing a new trial. Not impacting Aboriginal Title which is ironclad, but instead delaying ‘only’ a determination of the actual boundaries of territories held via Aboriginal Title. The legal costs to such trials are astonishing as is the amount of time & duration involved. What is 35 million in legal costs to the Wet’suwet’en is up against unlimited taxpayer covered legal cost $ to Governments in bed with Big Business. Well Hallelujah eh.. Public Servants selling all of us out

    – Now, jump forward in time.. to red dresses hanging from trees and bridges being stripped down by RCMP.. and ask yourself why Horgan and Trudeau.. and throw in Kenney too, are all in collusion over this ? Whoa ! Did I leave out Social Conservative Evangelicals ? Oh dear I forgot foreign controlled or owned Mainstream Media all in on this massive grift as well ?

    – Devise your own analogy to this atrocity. Snipers and ‘whatever level of violence required are being deployed against peaceful protesters to ‘protect or enforce’ an injunction that should never have been granted on behalf of Coastal GasLink. Any Prime Minister or Premier, or Minister of Justice either needs to resign or have their token trashy ‘legacy’ flushed down the toilet and exposed over what they did. Trump has nothing to match this political fuckery

    Full Stop .. Thank You !

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      I think they grossly underestimated the backlash. That backlash has gone nationwide, and the Mohawk are involved. I don’t think this will end well.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      Kenney doubles down and makes things worse again, accusing others of doing what he has done, destabilizing the lives of thousands of Albertans with his policy decisions. We call this “projection”. It is a form of deflection. So, how about those 69,000 jobs lost in Alberta since last April?

      Meanwhile, his alter-ego Jason Two takes on the people of Fort Chip, accusing them of being all about money. And the UCP aren’t?

      Head-butting First Nations. Same thing they do with unions. There is no negotiation. But First Nations are not unions. This will be…complicated.

      • CallmeHal2000, it took the UCP what, two days to make a mess of this in the press. In one newspaper article Jason Nixon says Athabasca Chipewyan FN Chief Adam is fighting to get the best deal for his constituents and the UCP government is fighting to get the best deal for taxpayers. He paints the FN request for support for water monitoring, protection of back country areas and implementation of conservation plans as nothing more than hardball negotiation (get the best “deal”). Then UCP MLA Rick Wilson says the FN letter contained “false and misleading information.”
        Between the two of them they’ve created the impression that the government is trying to protect taxpayers against slippery deal sharks. Unbelievable.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Well said DiamonWalker – it is a disgrace that we convince ourselves of a tolerant people that respects human rights …(you know the song)
      We call out countries on human rights and freedom of expression …(again you know the song)
      We do exactly the same things but somehow they are different. 🙂
      Boisonaro in Brazil said openly that he hates the Amazon Indians and the world shook – we do not say it publicly but our actions certainly talk louder than our words.

    • carlosbeca says:

      Political F**kery is an amazing clear definition and that is what we keeping doing over and over for the sake of giving corporations whatever is that they want and can extract without royalties and paying minimum taxes. There are no benefits to Canadians anymore. The benefits are the bank accounts offshore for the corporations and for many of these so called politicians that cannot make one darn decision to benefit their our citizens.
      In Alberta we have a minister of Injustice – a lawyer that has no idea what ethics and morals or even the basic concepts of decency mean. Every time he opens his mouth I have to go on mental quarantine.
      Facts do not exist for these people – just clear get and run attitude while there is still something to take.

      • Carlos, you’ll notice I PG-rated your comment. I did so because I want to keep the dialogue on this blog as civil as possible. I know we’re angry and frustrated but people need to know why we’re angry and frustrated. That’s best accomplished by the use of clear language and facts as Diamondwalker pointed out in an earlier comment. Thanks.

      • diamondwalker says:

        .. ergh .. the blame is mine.. I can police myself much better !

      • Thank you Diamondwalker!

      • carlos beca says:

        I apologize I did not mean to be exactly what I was when I wrote it.
        Should definitely know better but got excited with conversation and did not use common sense.
        It will not happen again
        I fully understand your point

      • That’s okay Carlos. You’ve been a Soapbox commentator since the very beginning, one little slip is understandable. 🙂

  15. Dave says:

    The Teck decision is just the latest example of distraction by the UCP. Try to focus the blame on the anemic Alberta economy on Trudeau. Surely, all those recent cuts by the UCP couldn’t have anything to do with the increasingly sad state of our economy could they?

    Well distraction works for a while, but probably better for magicians with rabbits than politicians. Voters eventually expect results from governments, not more excuses. Mr. Kenney is as responsible, probably more so, for job creation in Alberta than Mr. Trudeau. It is ironic that Mr. Kenney went around the province as opposition leader for quite a while blaming the previous provincial government for the sad state of the economy. Well, guess what, it hasn’t got better since then and seems to be getting worse since Kenney won that election on the hopes he would somehow magically revive the economy.

    The saddest things about the whole Teck decision is first, there is already a whole bunch of other approved oil sands projects waiting to go ahead. They are waiting for pipeline capacity (which seems to be progressing now, but slowly) and price improvement (not sure if that will happen). In fact the Teck owners have previously said they would need prices that are higher to proceed. So what would approving another project that will not go ahead achieve economically?

    This whole political issue created by the UCP is another meaningless example of trying to create a controversy about essentially nothing. However, I suppose looking at their job creation record so far, they are pretty good at doing nothing.

  16. Dwayne says:

    Susan: I’m seeing more and more things that make me shake my head. There was a Calgary Herald article that was from yesterday that said 80% of Albertans think Canada is in a unity crisis. As if other questionable polls were not bad enough, here we go again. Who did they survey, as Alberta’s population is roughly 4.5 million people? They were also mentioning Saskatchewan, Quebec and other parts of Canada. I wonder who is hiring these polling companies? Time after time, they give results that are questionable. This poll had to do with pipelines and the Teck mine, if I recall correctly. Did you see this article?

    • Dwayne, I didn’t see the article you’re referring to and would be shocked and disappointed if 80% of Albertans think Canada is in a unity crisis. I think Albertans are having a nervous breakdown, brought on by Kenney cranking them up every two minutes. That’s not to say people aren’t hurting because oil prices crashed and they’ve lost their jobs, but for goodness sake, the NDP anticipated the “bust” part of the “boom/bust” cycle and was working to diversify the economy. These yo-yos voted them out because Kenney promised to bring back the good old days. Hopefully they’ll think twice before re-electing the UCP in the next election!

  17. GoinFawr says:

    “Sanderson: In a sentence, we want to set something up, and have the public as our friends. And there are a variety of ways we can do that.

    Let me tell you how this kind of thing works, Paul. Suppose, by way of example, you wanted to put up taxes by five percent. The smart way of doing it is to float the idea of a ten percent hike. Let them all shout about it, get themselves in a fuss, then you offer concessions,

    “How about seven percent?”

    “No way,” they’ll say.

    “All right, let’s stay friends and make a compromise at five.”


    They think they won something, you get the five percent you wanted in the first place. Same thing applies to…” (insert UCP unnecessary, wholly unconscionable public services eviscerating/privatizing agenda item here).

    -Taken from The Rum Diary

    In addition to this, near the end of Kenney’s term, the UCP will toss tiny, fractional crumbs of what they have stolen back to those that they’ve stolen from, to give the impression the Used Car Party really cares, even though it is as plain as an azure of deepest summer that they most certainly do not. While the history of these actions will be abhorrent to anyone with a decent memory and a conscience, the interests that bought Jason Kenney will amplify with their media megaphones the returned scraps, to make them appear as feasts. And, in all likelihood the duped beasts that were dumb enough to vote for the Used Car Party the first time around will make the same mistake again; because they are hopelessly stupid.

    And now you know exactly how the Used Car Party decides everything they do.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      Cut every citizen a cheque for $400. That ought to do it. Worked last time, with Ralph Bucks.

    • Excellent example GoinFawr. The private sector uses a variation on this tactic. When a business unit wants the Board of Directors to fund a new project, they make a presentation setting out the high case, the medium case, and the low case. Invariably the Board approves funding for the medium case which just happens to be exactly the amount of money the business unit wanted all along. It never fails.

  18. carlos beca says:

    Well and now as if we do not have enough, we have the Federal government circus as well.
    Andrew Scheer who has resigned and who is part of one of the most privileged class in Canada, plays the courageous guy and tells the Indigenous people to go check their privileges. WOW what a man. Andrew do you mean order the RCMP to do your dirty work and follow the orders? You mean shoot them if need be?
    Gosh we are getting better than our cousins in the South. Lets get some Victor Orbans and lets run this country a la true Conservative way. Just call Harper to come with the piano and sing the Hitler songs. Invite Preston Manning to come convert the undesirables

    • Carlos, I saw saw this story. To think that Scheer and other conservatives are insisting Trudeau order the RCMP to take action (whatever that means) is ludicrous. First of all the railway blockades are happening in Ontario. Apparently, Ontario has an injunction to stop the blockade, but the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is exercising its discretion NOT to enforce the injunction. As Trudeau said, it’s up to the police to determine their operational tactics.
      It’s hypocritical that conservatives who scream blue murder when the feds “meddle” in matters they say are in provincial jurisdiction will demand the feds “intervene” in matters of provincial jurisdiction when it suits their purposes.
      There’s a reason why these people should not be allowed to run a province, let alone a country.

    • Bob Raynard says:

      Andrew Scheer didn’t seem as concerned about the yellow vest crowd holding up traffic in their convoy to Ottawa.

      • Good point Bob. on an unrelated point but picking up on the issue of hypocrisy, I just saw an article this morning in The Hill which said Scheer received $900,000 from the conservative party, $700,000 more than his $200,000 stipend. Some conservatives want an audit because as one said, it didn’t all go paying for private schools. And this is the guy who wanted to be our next prime minister.

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