Kenney: Rights and Responsibilities During a Pandemic

Last week when Alberta’s covid infection rate spiked to record highs, the positive-test rate climbed to 10.5%, and doctors across the province begged for more restrictive public health measures to avoid the refrigerator trucks, Mr Kenney appeared on Facebook to answer questions about the restrictions he had imposed on Nov 24.  

He appeared to be particularly proud of this exchange:  

K.C. asked: “What is the government’s responsibility when people won’t take responsibility for themselves?” 

Mr Kenney replied: “The government takes no responsibility whatsoever. The people are responsible for their irresponsible behavior.”  Okay, that’s me paraphrasing Mr Kenney’s 538-word answer, but that’s in essence what he said.   


He started his windbag response by lamenting that we don’t have a Charter of Rights and Responsibilities. Apparently our responsibility to obey the laws prohibiting killing, maiming, abusing, polluting, stealing, lying, cheating, etc contained in the Criminal Code, federal, provincial and municipal laws, the common law and the Bible are not enough.   

He said instead of exercising our constitutionally protected freedoms to protest at a super spreader event that could put someone in ICU or kill them, people could register their objections responsibly by:

  • Sending him letters and emails and calling him names (“a dictator or whatever, go for it”)
  • Organizing online petitions and virtual protests
  • “Go bully” (?)
  • Organizing a safe protest where people wore masks and spread out. Seriously? You’re asking these nuts to wear masks to an anti-mask rally?

Then he addressed those who believed covid is a hoax, or the risk is exaggerated, or masks are ineffective, or the restrictions have gone too far. He invited them to talk to his friend who spent nearly two months in ICU “fighting for his life” or to those who have lost loved ones. He asked these protesters to “just err on the side of caution and responsibility and care for your neighbours.”

The thrust of his Facebook message was threefold:

  1. Be responsible.
  2. Focus your righteous indignation on me, um, virtually, because I can take it (I’m safely ensconced behind my computer, my issues managers, and my security team),
  3. Be compassionate (follow my sterling example of compassionate leadership. I proudly fought to overturn spousal rights for gay couples during the AIDS epidemic and I continue to demonstrate compassion to this day; see for example how my government changed the payout dates for AISH recipients to make it more difficult for them to pay their monthly expenses).

Mr Kenney wrapped up his answer with this: “So, yes to rights, but yes also to their responsible exercise.”   

Responsible rights  

Mr Kenney is confused, again.

The Charter protects certain rights and freedoms subject only to such limits prescribed by law as can be justified in a free and democratic society. There is no stipulation that individuals must exercise such rights and freedoms responsibly.*

So let’s go back to K.C.’s question. They asked: “What is the government’s responsibility when people won’t take responsibility for themselves?”

Given that this a question about government responsibility, not a citizen’s Charter rights, Mr Kenney could have said: “The government must step in when people won’t take responsibility for themselves. My government declared a state of public health emergency and passed CMOH 38-2020 which imposed a number of restrictions, including one that limits outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. People who violate this restriction will be fined $1000. This limitation is necessary to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

Instead he blathered on for four minutes about the non-existent legal or moral requirement that citizens exercise their Charter rights responsibly.  Not once did he suggest irresponsible behaviour would result in fines.

Predictably Mr Kenney’s sermon had no effect whatsoever. There was another large anti-mask/anti-restrictions rally in Calgary over the weekend.  

Mr Kenney’s response? “Yes, we have Charter protected rights in Canada. But we also have responsibilities as citizens.”

He also said he’s “very disappointed.”   

Instead of being disappointed, may we suggest Mr Kenney take his own advice and “err on the side of caution and responsibility” by enforcing existing restrictions and instituting even more restrictive public health measures before the refrigerator trucks roll up next to the field tents outside of Alberta hospitals.  

*As my friend, law prof Nigel Bankes pointed out, it’s not so much that there’s an individual duty to exercise Charter freedoms responsibly, but rather that the government has the power (and arguably the duty) to adopt measures to ensure citizens don’t exercise their freedoms in a way that impairs the health and lives of others.

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58 Responses to Kenney: Rights and Responsibilities During a Pandemic

  1. Anita says:

    We have a long history of governments restricting our freedoms when those freedoms impair the health and lives of others (speed limits, requiring a drivers license, smoking restrictions, and so any more).

    • Mike in Edmonton says:

      That’s what good governments do. Canada was founded in part on the expectation of “peace, order and good government.” Note that “good” should mean “effective,” not necessarily “nice.” The hard part is to make the restrictions proportionate to conditions and as fair (as not-unfair) as possible.

      Jason Kenney doesn’t care about fairness, and he’s utterly indifferent to proportionality. His compulsive idea is to damage “the government” (especially his!) because government is bad and business is good. He’s absolutely proven, over and over, that HIS government is bad!

      • Mike you’ve nailed it. Contrary to what Jason Kenney says the legality of the CMOH Orders is not based on a minimum interference with Albertans’ Charter rights and Albertans are not obligated to exercise their Charter rights “responsibly.”
        As Nigel Bankes points out, it’s up to the government, not the individual to adopt measures to make sure individuals don’t exercise their rights in a way that harms others.

    • Exactly Anita, so while Kenney takes half measures in an effort not to offend John Carpay, the lawyer who heads up the libertarian nonprofit the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, the Justice Centre filed a lawsuit last Friday arguing the CMOH Orders violate Albertans’ charter rights. The Centre’s press release says ““The people of Alberta have suffered under the oppression of a medical dictatorship for long enough. The soul-destroying lockdowns have wrought havoc. It’s time for Albertans to get their freedom back,”
      That’s what happens when you use half measures, everyone is mad at you.
      Here’s the link:

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        A “medical dictatorship”? What a stupid claim. I hope the judge stomps all over Carpay.

      • Carlos says:

        You just have to talk 5 minutes to John Carpay to realize that he is a lawyer as much as Jason Kenney is an honest democrat.
        Like Jason Kenney he has survived on civil servant and non for profits but criticizes both as useless. So what do you call a person that like them work all their lives for useless government and non for profits?
        Yes you are right they are USELESS but pretentious and arrogant

  2. lungta mtn says:

    so citizens have responsibilities
    and the premier of the province has none?
    there are no duties or expectations of a premier as leader of a province then?
    i was told his only skill was rigging his own election
    now there is proof

    • lungta mtn: for someone who has been an elected representative for 23 years and who worked so hard to become Alberta’s premier, you’d think he would know that with great power comes responsibility. God, even Spiderman figured that out.

  3. Public Servant says:

    Between Kenney’s disappointment and Hinshaw’s concern we’ll have this Covid thing beat in no time.

  4. Mike in Edmonton says:

    Well, I guess I misjudged Lord Jason. I always thought he was a classic RepubliCon: rules and laws are always for the OTHER guy.

    He’s a Libertarian. He doesn’t want ANY laws. His blather about “responsible behaviour” means, “Hey, do whatever. Don’t blame me when it turns out badly.”

    But he slipped up when he said to “go bully.” WTF?!? How do you bully someone “responsibly”? And who’s supposed to responsibly bully whom? Granted that too many anti-maskers sound like 2-year old boys refusing to eat their vegetables; beating them into a proper state of “respect” only works if you repeat the beatings as needed.

    Important note: I AM NOT ADVOCATING VIOLENCE AGAINST ANYONE. I’m saying ignorant people can be educated if you are sympathetic to their fears, and supportive of their problems. Recommended reading:

    I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up (James Hoggan with Grania Litwin, New Society Publishers, 2016)

    Collaborating witht he Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust (Adam Kahane, Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2017)

    Friends and neighbours, we’ll have no choice but to take responsibility for ourselves. Jason Kenney won’t take responsibility for anything.

    • Mike, as you point out the recommendation that Albertans “go bully” was totally bizarre, but it fit Kenney’s little sermon because the whole thing was looney. Does he dream up these ridiculous explanations (yes, to rights, but also yes to exercising them responsibly) himself, or is he surrounded by a bunch of idiots, or worse yet a bunch of smart people that he ignores.
      At the Nov 24 announcement of the public health emergency he said the law requires governments do the minimum if they infringe Charter rights. He used the phrase “de minimis” to underline this point. I almost laughed out loud because (a) he was wrong about the legal test and (b) the phrase “de minimis” does not mean minimum in Latin, it means trifling as in the law does not concern itself with trifling matters. If his covid restrictions were trifling he would not need to call a press conference to announce them, would he.
      There is nothing more dangerous than an idiot on a mission. Fingers crossed we’re all here to see him voted out in 2023.

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: The UCP are basically dithering, giving different messages, talking out of both sides of their mouth, and showing weak leadership, with the covid situation in Alberta, while cases of people with covid in the province continue to rise exponentially. Alberta has gained the status of having the highest per capita rate of covid cases in Canada. Things are getting worse in Alberta. The premier, (which he shouldn’t really be called that), only can say that he is disappointed with Calgary’s anti mask rally. Really pathetic! It’s also bad that there are people who still defend him, and blame Rachel Notley and the NDP for not cooperating with the UCP. The UCP flat out rejected a motion from an NDP MLA, who wanted Dr. Deena Hinshaw to be independent. She is under complete control of the UCP. I think things will not improve, with the way the UCP is recklessly handling things. Really bad when Alberta is the only province in Canada, which doesn’t have mandatory masks, province wide. This reminds me of Alberta being the last province in Canada to have mandatory seat belt legislation. Nowhere does the Charter state that individual liberties can compromise the safety and well being of others. Also, I heard that the investigation into UCP’s election tomfoolery has hit a roadblock. Nothing can proceed with it, because of covid. That is rubbish! In a number of ways, including with the abysmal handling of the covid crisis in Alberta, and the bad management of Alberta’s finances, the UCP are not helping Alberta. It is quite shameful.

    • Dwayne, “shameful” is exactly the right word to describe Kenney’s abysmal leadership in the pandemic (and hundreds of other issues).
      The Globe and Mail health columnist André Picard described Kenney’s new measures as “feckless.” (Feckless has many meanings including “useless” and “incompetent” so that characterization fits perfectly). Picard said this was “inaction posing as action, a quasi-libertarian Premier bending over backward to do nothing while pretending otherwise.” The article ended with this: “Albertans should brace themselves because they’re in for a world of hurt in the coming weeks.”
      So here we are a couple of weeks later, we’re in a world of hurt and it’s getting much much worse with each passing day. Like you said, shameful.
      Here’s the link to the Picard article:

  6. lindamcfarlane says:

    Thanks – great! Linda McFarlane403-999-9299 C

  7. JanRideout says:

    Very well said, really enjoy your articles. A lot of the people I have spoken with in my community feel helpless and feel they are intentionally shut out of the conversation about the very apparent direction Kenney is trying to take all of Alberta. It is very troubling. Glad there are individuals like yourself that can articulate this nonsense.

    • Thank you Jan. I certainly agree that we are being intentionally shut out. Last week I wrote to my MLA (Schweitzer), Shandro and Kenney expressing my deep concern about how Kenney/Shandro were handling this pandemic. A staffer in Schweitzer’s office replied with a form letter saying they’d give Schweitzer my feedback. Shandro’s office sent me an email regurgitating info on the covid website and Kenney ignored me completely.
      I wasn’t surprised. If they won’t listen to the doctors, they sure as heck aren’t going to listen to me. However one person Shandro is listening to is “the guy in Cold Lake”. When people stopped by his CA office demanding he do more he replied “what am I going to tell the guy in Cold Lake.” Given that the guy in Cold Lake has greater sway over the UCP government than we do I’d love to get his name, at least we’d know who the puppet master is.

  8. So…how does one responsibly yell “fire” in a crowded theatre? Also, the speech that he made after being MIA for days was not the speech of an effective leader. Thank you for shining a clear light on this leader’s ineffective performance.

    • Esme, this is exactly the point. Our Charter rights and freedoms are not unlimited and no amount of bafflegab from Kenney will change that. Kenney has completely lost the thread. His milquetoast measures infuriated most Albertans and managed to alienate the anti-mask/anti-vaxx base he was trying to appease. And they say he’s a savvy politician; he’s a train wreck.

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    It is my belief that Jason Kenney’s ego is one of the leading causes of death in Alberta. We have to remember this bloviating gasbag is not doing this alone, he has an entire regime in lockstep.

  10. Valerie Jobson says:

    I’ve been thinking that one effect of the pandemic will be that more people than ever will need AISH, having been disabled temporarily or permanently.

    • Valerie, you’ve raised a very important point. It’s not just covid deaths we should be worried about, it’s also the long term health impacts that follow after someone has recovered from the virus. If we’ve learned anything from Kenney’s treatment of the sick and the vulnerable, these people are on their own.

      • Dwayne says:

        Susan: The UCP has already made cuts to the A.I.S.H program, and plans to do more cuts to the program. They have to pay for their numerous very costly shenanigans somehow. This is another throwback to Ralph Klein, and what he did with A.I.S.H, which included he, and members of his own cabinet, ridiculing the disabled in front of television cameras, and doing a very costly fiasco with A.I.S.H payments. Those on A.I.S.H will be struggling even more, under the UCP.

    • Dwayne says:

      Valerie Jobson: Under the UCP, there has been cuts to A.I.S.H. More cuts are on the way for A.I.S.H. There are many people who need A.I.S.H, but are flat out rejected for it. The UCP has no money, other than for very costly shenanigans.

  11. Dawn Friesen says:

    Thank you, Susan. An engaging read, as always.
    – Mr Kenney’s response? “Yes, we have Charter protected rights in Canada. But we also have responsibilities as citizens.”

    How rich for him to come out with “social responsibility” as a concept 8 months after the pandemic started here. This from the Premier who does not support masks, who flaunts public health recommendations and who has already created animosity on immunization. If social responsibility was inspired on day one and people believed in taking action to help themselves, their families, their work, their communities – we would be in a different place entirely. Leaders can do that.

    He also said he’s “very disappointed.” Albertans know this feeling well – we are disappointed on a daily basis with this Premier and his government.

    • Dawn, I’ve been wondering about Kenney’s lip service to “social responsibility”. He’s been referring to society a lot more lately, as if he thinks by saying the words we’ll believe he actually cares about society and social responsibility. But as Barrack Obama said when he was asked whether he thought Trump was a racist–I don’t know what’s in Trump’s heart or his mind, but his behavior fans the flames of racism. The same holds true here. Kenney can talk about society all he wants, but the true measure of whether he cares is how he behaves and it’s clear he doesn’t care at all.

  12. Keith McClary says:

    I hope this is a “look in the mirror” moment.

    Has Kenney said or done anything about violent anti-masker attacks on retail staff? How about a blue ribbon commission or public inquiry?

    TYPOS: “Kenny” in the title. Flaunt/flout?

    • Keith, this is an excellent suggestion. We should all petition for a public inquiry into this mess. The public inquiry into queue jumping back in 2013 revealed many things that needed to improve, including politicians getting to the front of the line and getting top notch service when they were hospitalized. Kenney owes it to Albertans, those who died and those who’ve developed long term health impairments as a result of his failure to act expeditiously to be transparent about what happened if for no other reason than to ensure we’ll be better prepared the next time.
      I also think a smart lawyer should be building a file on everything Kenney and his crew have said and done. Just like the Canadian diplomats and their families who are suing Ottawa for $28M in connection with the Cuba radio-energy attacks, Albertans should be able to argue the government failed to protect them, hid crucial information and downplayed the illness. This is far from over.
      PS thanks for the typo alert.

  13. Dave says:

    It is as if the UCP stops thinking once they come up with something that fits their political ideology. The mantra of “personal responsibility” fits this perfectly. Yes, it does have some application to health or anything. If you are not feeling well, yes it is your personal responsibility to seek medical care, the state is probably not going to come check up on you.

    However, it does not work so well when it comes to a global pandemic, or in this case even worse a communicable disease that does not affect everyone the same. Quarantine measures have existed for hundreds or possibly thousands of years, they are not the invention of some modern interventionist state. The Alberta government’s power to issue public health orders has been around for a long time and is not a modern or recent invention either. There is a reason for all this and those that glibly dismiss all of this and cling to personal responsibility are focusing on the wrong prescription for the current situation.

    Personal responsibility is great, but clearly it is not working well here so far. For the same reason we have speed limits and stop signs, along with fines for failing to comply, governments exist to also create and enforce rules, not just to hector about personal responsibility.

    • Dave, I agree. It’s impossible to have personal responsibility for something that is beyond your personal control. Your fundamental rights and freedoms are protected by the Charter, but to paraphrase Nigel Bankes, it’s up to the state, not the individual to ensure you exercise those rights and freedoms responsibly. That’s why your freedom of speech does not extend to hollering “fire” in a crowded theatre.
      Kenney should know this. I suspect he’s throwing around the concept of “responsibility” to deflect us from what he’s really doing, governing in accordance with his libertarian ideology.
      Kenney may not know it yet, but he and his party are going to pay a heavy price for their ideological blindness. Sadly some Albertans will pay an even steeper price, they’ll die.

    • F. Brook says:

      UCP does not think.Ideologues do not think. They have a mantra and follow it regardless of any facts. If it does not fit the teachings of “Dear Leader” they just ignore it and hope it goes away.

      • F. Brook: good point, which is why Kenney and the UCP continue to plow ahead with their destructive policies.
        PS: your comment made me look up the definition of ideologue. I found this: “an adherent of an ideology, especially one who is uncompromising and dogmatic.” That about sums it up.

  14. carlosbeca says:

    This personal responsibility is a wonderful virtue and we all just develop it but for the UCP is just a slogan to justify no discussion. As always they use this wonderful words that they themselves know the meaning and do not practice but it works to get the masses in line and obedient. Another communist practice. In the end fascists and communists use the same approach to get what they want. I think both are impractical in reality and both are anti-democratic just because they are both extreme.

  15. carlosbeca says:

    This post accidently got posted without my corrections so I will repeat it

    This personal responsibility is a wonderful virtue and we all must develop it but for the UCP is just a slogan to justify no discussion. As always they use this wonderful words that they themselves do not know the meaning and do not practice but it works to get the masses in line and obedient. Another communist practice. In the end fascists and communists use the same approach to get what they want. I think both are impractical in reality and both are anti-democratic just because they are both extreme.

    • Carlos, this is an excellent point. George Orwell and Timothy Snyder both talk about how authoritarian regimes use language to manipulate citizens, to make them compliant and obedient.
      Kenney is good at this. Rather than accept responsibility for failing to implement restrictions in a timely fashion, he shifted the blame on to people who show up at protests (which he says is fine) but fail to protest responsibly (a made up concept with no basis in law). So now we’re all focused on the protesters instead of on Kenney who continues to do nothing as Alberta’s death toll and infection rate rises. The only difference between Kenney and Trump on this point is Kenney is more articulate.

  16. carlosbeca says:

    Despite all this government has not done and all the ridiculous statements, lies, racist statements and much more Calgary still approves the UCP over the NDP (44% to 42%)
    I never really understood Calgary and its political ideology but this is more than political. This is religious, cult and lack of reasonable thinking. I find this embarrassing to all of us. What possible explanation to support this kind of obvious incompetence? If it is just stubbornness against the left then it is a definite cult position. I cannot believe that educated and well rounded people can support this crap. It is nothing but a total failure.

    • Mike in Edmonton says:

      Well, Carlos, sometimes I think people in Edmonton have a better look at the government of the day than Calgarians do. Maybe we see their contradictions, arrogance and blowhard tendencies more clearly.

      We need to remember that a lot of Albertans still believe oil and gas dominate the provincial economy. Big, yes. Number 1? Not for years. Two perspectives from the Notley years, just AFTER the Saudi vs. US oil-price war:

      But if people believe the choice is “oil or nothing” (pardon the pun) then they won’t try anything that isn’t gooey, black and stinky. That learned helplessness is EXACTLY what populists like Kenney prey on. The Strong Man promises to save the downtrodden from everyone–except himself. He hurts the Enemy more than his followers, so they win.

      We all need to help each other realize there ARE alternatives. Renewable energy may be Alberta’s best-kept secret. Who knows how many jobs we could create by cleaning up old oil-well sites? Construction could easily mean energy upgrades to existing buildings.

      We can DO this–but we have to convince hopeless people to try.

      • Carlos says:

        I agree Mike just hard to understand because we do have an educated work force that can do better than this. We are not walking around bare feet like zombies. There are alternatives and we all know that they are better for our survival in the future and to our health in general. Just focusing on greed is a recipe for disaster on all levels.

  17. Mike in Edmonton says:

    “responsibility” (noun):
    (often responsibilities) a thing that one is required to do as part of a job, role, or legal obligation: he will take over the responsibilities of overseas director.
    [ in sing. ] (responsibility to/toward) a moral obligation to behave correctly toward or in respect of: individuals have a responsibility to control personal behavior.

    That last definition is the only one Lord Jason the Worst wants us to know. Heck, he wants us to think it’s the ONLY definition. But read the first part again.

    Now let’s talk about responsible government. I can’t possibly match Scott Harold Payne’s analysis, so here it is:

    (Susan, you’ll be relieved to know I have nothing more to add….this time.)

    • Mike, you raise a really important point when you compare Calgary to Edmonton. We have a weird psyche down here. Part of it stems from pinning everything on the fossil fuel sector, when it boomed we boomed, when it crashed, we believed it would come back because it always did in the past. And then when it didn’t we had to find someone to blame because god knows, it couldn’t be that we were stupid and missed all the alarm bells that have been ringing for the last 5 years.
      Then along came the OPEC/Russia price war and covid. And it still took 6 months for some people to accept the boom is gone and will never come back. (Others still believe Kenney walks on water and will fix it somehow).
      What’s really sad is the Notley government was laying the foundation for diversification which would have helped Alberta and especially Calgary work its way through this transition, but nope, they decided Kenney was better.
      Add to that the weird self-image thing (an oil man is better than a solar power man) and the conservative ideology which I can’t pretend to understand anymore and you’ve got a lot of angry people looking for someone (other than themselves) to blame.

      On a lighter note, I smiled when I read your last sentence…I am delighted when you and others return to the Soapbox over the course of the week to add to the discussion. Thanks!

  18. You need to correct the spelling of Mr Kenney’s last name. Great columns, Keep ’em coming! Esme.

    On Sun, 6 Dec 2020 at 17:34, Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: ” Last week when Alberta’s covid infection rate > spiked to record highs, the positive-test rate climbed to 10.5%, and > doctors across the province begged for more restrictive public health > measures to avoid the refrigerator trucks, Mr Kenney appeared on Face” >

    • Carlos says:

      Correct his last name?
      I am sorry Esme this man does not even deserve to be in this wonderful blog. I would only correct one thing about him – he is not just an idiot, he is beyond repair and should be forced out for reasons of insanity. That 4 million people have to witness this show of irresponsibility, lack of character and lying is the best sign of the awful state of our pseudo democracy as well as all of us in general. We better assume fast our responsibilities as citizens before this creature destroys our province our morals and ethics once and for all.
      If this is not enough what is? His evangelical apocalypse?
      What an horror show of someone who intentionally blames everyone for his lack of responsibility, for his refusal to accept reality instead of his gong show in his brain.
      His last name matters nothing to me. In fact he should be banned from television and radio so that his lies do not affect the wellbeing of young people in this province. It is toxic.

      • Carlos and Esme, thanks for the heads up on the typo in Kenney’s name. I fixed it.
        With respect to Kenney’s character, I suspect he’s going to go on the attack more stridently than ever. He’s facing tremendous backlash from his supporters who can’t believe he went ahead with the Dec 8 lock down measures. He’ll flail around looking for someone to blame. But this time he can’t blame on Notley or Trudeau so what’s he going to do, hide until the vaccine arrives and hope everyone forgets about it?
        The next few months are going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

      • Dwayne says:

        Carlos: To say that democracy exists in Alberta, after seeing how the last provincial election in Alberta was orchestrated and went down, (with Postmedia clearly aiding and abetting the UCP) is laughable. The UCP mocks democracy at every chance they get. The covid issue was the reason why the investigation into the UCP’s leadership race was halted. The supposed premier of Alberta is only in it for himself, and wants to advance his tenure as a career politician, then laugh all the way to the bank, after he collects his hefty political pension.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Could not agree more with you Dwayne – it is time for us to act and be assertive. Right all UCP MLAs and tell them your disapproval of what they are doing – all of us here in this blog should do it. They have to come to their senses.
        This is ridiculous and we now have our Health Care in Crisis.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Thanks very much for the link Keith!
      It is another credible affirmation of our understanding of the situation we find ourselves in, and a confirmation of just how dire that situation is.

      That, along with Susan’s words and the insights of the many wonderful commenters here, goes straight into my armoury.

    • GoinFawr says:

      I had to add a post script to include this Kenney quote from the article, because the utter gall of the Orewellian ‘doublethought’ (lie) it contains, and the complete contempt it illustrates Kenney has for Albertans, is just so incredibly outrageous it is beggars belief:

      ” Heck no! We are not going to exploit or take advantage of a crisis to advance a political agenda. … It’s very distasteful and regrettable that influential people would explicitly seek to take advantage of a crisis like this to advance their own political vision and values.” – JKenney

      And anyone who could believe those words of Kenney’s despite all the evidence being laid before them would believe simply anything,,, which explains a lot about Alberta.

      • Carlos says:

        Thank you for that it is amazing
        Now the new one is ‘Alberta Bashing’
        Does he ever know how to hide behind everything – the level of irresponsibility is just beyond a black hole. Nothing he has done is his responsibility unless it is to get the brownie points. If his caucus cannot see this and revolt then they are the BORG and we have to call the JEDI

      • Carlos, you mentioned Kenney’s “Alberta bashing” comment. I think this is just the beginning. Kenney is looking for a way to deflect the anger of his supporters who never believed he’d impose a lock down. I have no idea what he’ll come up with but it’s not going to be pretty.

      • GoinFawr: I agree that anyone who believes Kenney would not take advantage of a crisis to advance his political agenda is naive. And if there isn’t a crisis Kenney will make one up, ie. the Fair Deal Panel road and War Room.
        What’s interesting (and ironic) is that when presented with a real crisis (pandemic) he blew it. He spent the last few months badmouthing the NDP and the doctors who were calling for a 2 week lock down. He dithered so long he had to impose a 4 week lock down, over Christmas no less.
        I took a look at his Facebook page to see how his loyal subjects were reacting to his Dec 8 announcement. They’re furious. They say he betrayed their trust, caved to the NDP, and it’s just the flu, etc. This is not going to end well for Kenney.

    • Keith, thanks for the link to the excellent Naomi Klein article. It never ceases to amaze me that people continue to believe that corporations will voluntarily take action to solve the crises they themselves created. Naomi Klein is absolutely right when she says corporations want to create the impression they’ve got it in hand because the alternative, people squawking so loudly that government has to regulate and tax these companies, is anathema to them.
      I was listening to a talk by Ian Morris who referred to a book (I haven’t read it yet) by Walter Scheidel entitled The Great Leveler. Scheidel says history shows the only thing that reverses mass inequity is a horrific event like the Black Death or a world war–these events wipe out fortunes and redistribute wealth. Time will tell whether a global pandemic is horrific enough to meet the definition of horrific event.

      • Carlos says:

        I could not agree more with Scheidel and with the election of Joe Biden and the continuation of neo-liberal politics we will witness a serious revolution in the western world like I have been saying for a while. Many people said that what is happening in the US was not possible. Well we will see way worse that that because people are done with our pseudo democratic process and neo-liberal force fed nonsense. It seems better than Trump of course but as a whole it is just more sophisticated. We need real democratic process and equality. Short of this and considering the education levels in the west a revolution seems inevitable because the Bezos and Gates and the superrich of today are obviously feeling entitled already and will not accept change. I am sorry what their status will be soon but that is their choice.

      • carlosbeca says:

        I have not read the Great Leveler but I think another book came out recently which I think it is great and important reading.
        Joel Bakan has a new book entitled ‘New Corporation’
        Those who have never seen his documentary ‘The Corporation’ should definitely watch it during the holidays. It is not uplifting but it is factual and real and that is what we all need more than ever instead of this lollipop world of Jason Kenney and his dreamy followers.

  19. Brilliant post Susan! Your satire has stripped the Emperor of his clothing, piece by piece! I suspect his reaction to today’s anti-mask protest will reveal another blatant display of hypocrisy and failed leadership.

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