Jason Kenney: A Failure to Communicate?

On Jan 1, 2021, Jason Kenney held a press conference to respond to the alarming news that some of his MLAs, political staff and senior government officials decided it was just fine to fly off to places like the UK, Mexico and Hawaii over the holidays notwithstanding the federal and provincial advisories against non-essential international travel.

Mr Kenney said this was okay because…wait for it…he failed to clearly communicate his expectation that they should comply with his government’s policy against non-essential international travel.

Here’s how he justified giving a pass to his traveling MLAs, political staff and senior government officers (let’s call them the Travelers).

Mr Kenney being crystal crystal clear

On Dec 29 he learned MLA Tracy Allard was in the US and immediately asked her to return to Alberta. While she was away Allard continued to work answering the phone and participating in a virtual cabinet meeting.

Just to be clear, Ms Allard was in Hawaii celebrating Christmas. It’s a tradition she and her family have enjoyed for 17 years.  

Allard is the vice-chair of Kenney’s covid committee, one would certainly hope that during her vacation she could squeeze in the occasional phone call and zoom meeting, particularly in light of the fact her colleague Health Minister Shandro failed to meet his promise to vaccinate 29,000 healthcare workers by the end of the year and AHS says it will not start vaccinating the general population until Fall 2021. That’s nine months from now.

He’s become aware that a few Travelers went abroad and is assured they complied with all relevant public health orders and legal requirements.

The issue isn’t whether the Travelers complied with public health orders and legal requirements, it’s whether their international travel was “essential travel” because the federal government and Kenney’s own government issued a global travel advisory telling Albertans to avoid non-essential travel outside Canada until further notice.  

Nevertheless, he recognizes that those in positions of public trust must maintain a higher standard in their conduct than is expected in the general population.  

Yes, people in positions of public trust are expected to maintain a higher standard, however this is not a breach of a higher standard, it is a breach of the same standard that applies to all Albertans; namely no non-essential travel outside Canada during a pandemic. If we can comply, they can comply.     

He takes responsibility for failing to clearly communicate a policy against international travel for senior decision makers in government.

Really? We’ve entrusted Kenney’s senior decision makers to get us through this pandemic. If they can’t understand a policy the rest of us can figure out by reading nine words on the government’s website, we’re doomed.

But, he’s not in the habit of tracking or regulating what the people who work for him do on their own time.

Interesting, because he’s fine with regulating what people who don’t work for him can do on their own time—he’s told them they must wear masks, maintain physical distancing and can’t have more than two singletons over for Christmas dinner.

Or maybe he’s just not in the habit of reading that little form MLAs fill out when they’re going to be away, the one Allard filled it out making Ric McIver her substitute.  

Lastly, if Kenney really believes government should be run like a business, he should be aware that a CEO knows when his VPs are going on vacation and not once in my entire career in the private sector did a member of the management team go on vacation in the middle of a crisis. Not once.  

He believes the Travelers acted in good faith and complied with the legal requirements…

Stop right there.

It doesn’t matter what Kenney believes. It doesn’t matter that the Travelers didn’t technically break the law. What matters is they refused to comply with a policy designed to limit the spread of covid.

…but he’s issuing a “clear directive” to MLAs, political staff and senior executives not to leave the country for the foreseeable future unless it is absolutely required for government-related business.  

I see. The existing laws, public health orders, policies, and evidence of strain on the healthcare system and the economy, to say nothing of the rising death toll, isn’t enough to compel the MLAs and senior decision makers to act responsibly, but Kenney’s “clear directive” which simply repeats what the non-essential travel advisory says, will do the trick.  

He takes responsibility for not being “absolutely clear” about the expectation there be no non-essential international travel, but he can’t sanction people who complied with the law and public health orders, and traveled safely.

In other words, it was simply a failure to communicate. Move along. Nothing to see here.

No, what we have here is not a failure to communicate; it’s a failure of leadership on the part of MLAs, political staff and senior government officials who chose not to comply with a government advisory against non-essential international travel.

And a colossal failure of leadership on the part of Jason Kenney who chose not to hold them to account for noncompliance with a policy designed to limit the risk of Albertans becoming sick and dying in a global pandemic.  

Some of us believed there were no exceptions to compliance, no amount of status or privilege that suspended the rules.

On January 1, 2021 Jason Kenney proved us wrong.

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134 Responses to Jason Kenney: A Failure to Communicate?

  1. Rose says:

    So how are we to trust our politicians when they just don’t care about obeying the rules or even getting caught blasting photos on the internet. I have no words?

    • Exactly Rose! When Kenney refused to demote or fire them, he destroyed what little trust people may have had in his government.

    • Dawn Friesen says:

      Vote differently. Certainly not UCP.
      From NDP – For the record, and because so many of you have rightfully asked, all 24 NDP MLAs are here in Alberta and have been for the duration of the holidays.

      We take the public health orders seriously.

      • I agree Dawn. Isn’t it interesting that the NDP MLAs, like most of the general public understood the global travel advisory without Rachel Notley having to spell it out for them in a “clear directive”.

  2. Joanne Helmer says:

    kenney wants people to think he did not know they were going away. ha!

    • Joanne, I can’t imagine that Kenney didn’t know his own chief of staff was going to the UK. Anyone who has had people reporting to them knows when they’re going on vacation and where they’re going. Or don’t these guys talk?

  3. Public Servant says:

    Jason Kenney could not care less what Albertans think. He only cares about money.

    • Public Servant…money and power. Jason Kenney really cares about power. I’m not so sure Kenney will survive this one. At least one of his MLAs (Matt Jones) has distanced himself from the scandal by posting a note on his FB page detailing where he was over the holidays (at home with his immediate family). He even recited the travel advisory as guidance when his constituents ask what they should do about their holiday plans.
      And then there’s Kenney and the Travelers to whom the advisory does not apply.

  4. Anita says:

    Well said, I totally agree. It is unbelievable that the Premier would excuse these people by saying he did not directly tell them not to travel. Perhaps he is excusing them because he condoned their travel in advance and hoped it would just slip under the radar. And the sad “error in judgement” excuses are unacceptable. On top of everything, Jason Stephan was quoted as saying he does not expect any Albertan to follow directives he himself would not follow. Apparently, as an elected UCP MLA, he does not feel compelled to follow Government of Alberta directives.

    • Anita, I saw a great comment on Twitter where someone asked whether Kenney has told the MLAs not to stick their fingers into electrical outlets, because, you know they won’t NOT do something unless it’s spelled out for them.
      And these are the people some Albertans elected to govern. Unbelievable.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Now Imagine Alberta being an independent country with this kind of government and mentality. Another Third world nation. For the last 44 years what has saved us is the money from oil and even that the Conservatives managed to screw up.

  5. Leila Keith says:

    Jason Kenney does not care about stopping this pandemic and caring about Alberta’s.He only cares about his power and money.Sad..He should resign!

  6. Leila Keith says:

    Jason Kenney does not care about stopping this pandemic and caring about Alberta’s.He only cares about his power and money.Sad..by being so incompetant he should resign!

  7. Leila Keith says:

    Jason Kenney does not care about stopping this pandemic .He only cares about his power and money.Sad..by being so incompetant he should resign!

  8. Neil Fleming says:

    I don’t know Susan, the cynic in me worries that there is more to this than meets the eye. Kenney has a reputation of being a workaholic, micromanager with a clear vision of where he is going and how he is going to get there. There can be no doubt that he was aware of all these UCP slugs travel plans and i would suggest possibly even encouraged them to go knowing that one or more of them would slip up and get caught. How this can work in his favour, i can’t explain other than to allow him to exert the unlimited authority he has given himself to do what ever he pleases. The election is over two years away and i have no doubt he has many items left to do on his agenda. I honestly hope i am just being paranoid but worry that we are dealing with a very troubled man.

    • Neil, I know where you’re coming from Neil. I agree that given Kenney’s reputation he should have known and probably did know exactly where all his MLAs, political staff and senior government officials were going to spend Christmas, I think what happened is it never dawned on him that the advisory applied to them as well as to us regular folk. Then he had to scramble to find a way to get them off the hook, so he came up with the technical argument that he didn’t specifically tell them they shouldn’t do international travel over the holidays. That just makes him look stupid (can’t they read their own policies?) and arrogant (doesn’t he think we see right through this?).
      100% agree with you that we’re dealing with a very troubled man. His lack of empathy is astounding.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Excuse me for interrupting this exchange but lets get something clear

        Jason Kenney does not give a crap about what we think. It is time we stop going around the bushes and use the correct language.
        Jason Kenney is in for himself and his evangelical dreams. PERIOD

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Mea Maxima Culpa. Our fault for not asking Boss Kenney: A) What constitutes “essential travel”, giving examples. B) Whether or not these same rules apply to the Premier, Cabinet, Caucus and staff? C) If the same rules do indeed apply to them, how will they be punished if they disobey, with concrete examples.

    We have learned our lesson. We should ask questions like the ones noted above or tailored questions depending on the circumstance, before every Parliamentary break or whenever we receive a “Papal Bull” from Boss Kenney giving us conditions to which we must adhere.

    Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

    Kenney will continue to treat the citizens of Alberta like rubes unless we show him some backbone.

  10. Jaundiced Eye: well put.
    Isn’t it ironic that the man championing the elimination of red tape would create more red tape by pretending that he had to issue a “clear directive” that says exactly what the travel advisory says just so he could give air cover to his errant MLAs and staff who think the rules don’t apply to them.
    Also I’d love to know where Kenney spent the holidays.

  11. Maggie Clayton says:

    What got me was Kenney saying he takes responsibility for what happened. Coming from him it is just a bunch of mouth noises. I honestly believe he does not understand what the word means.

    • Indeed Maggie: “mouth noises” is right. Kenney announced on FB that Allard has lost her cabinet post, his chief of staff has “stepped down” (not sure what that means), and Jeremy Nixon, Jason Stephan, Tanya Fir, Pat Rehn, and Tany Yao all lost their additional responsibilities. They’re just back benchers now. The most bizarre part was Kenney’s explanation of how he came to this decision: He said: (1) on Friday I took responsibility for not being clear enough, (2) on the weekend Albertans made it clear they expected “real consequences” for these actions and (3) that’s why I demoted these guys.
      Somehow the concept of Kenney being responsible for this mess disappeared along the way. The MLAs are demoted because Albertans were mad at Kenney for not doing the right thing. Hopefully Albertans will now go the next step and demand Kenney be ousted as leader.
      Reynoldreimer: I think you nailed it, Kenney recognized this was turning into his “look in the mirror” moment and he shifted into damage control.

  12. I saw a tweet that said this is Kenney’s “Look in the mirror” moment. I certainly hope that turns out to be true.

  13. Midge says:

    Aside from his pathetic & dishonest side show of a “press conference”, Kenney obviously has no idea of what it means to be a “public servant” or what his role is as a so-called leader of a government.
    These people DO NOT WORK FOR HIM, THEY WORK FOR ALBERTANS!! Just one more insult from someone who holds our whole province in contempt.
    Really good article, Susan
    Thanks!!

    • Carl Hunt says:

      Midge: unfortunately civil servants at all levels officially & formally ‘work for the Minister’ and the Ministers are selected and hold positions at the whim of the Premier. Guess who the Premier listen to and its not the general public. We need electoral reform and a major overhaul of our old democratic system to combat the greed and corruption that controls government.

    • Midge: somehow the concept of a public servant being there to serve the public disappeared when the government adopted concepts used in the business world. For example, the public is not the “customer” despite the fact the government continues to characterize it that way. The public is made up of “citizens” who have a say in how they’re governed, because unlike customers, we can’t just go down the street and “buy” our public services from the competition.
      As Carl says, the system of democracy is in desperate need of reform.

  14. Carlos says:

    Thank you Susan for such a great post.
    This is it now – Jason Kenney has reached the ultimate irresponsibility level and he has to go along with his gang of useless human beings.

    Just like I did, write to all of them and ask them to kick him out and call an election. We have got enough

    PLEASE if you reading this – write to UCP MLAs and tell them what it is like when you follow the rules and believe in equality of rights and responsibilities. These people do not understand either of them.
    Jason Kenney does not deserve our trust and we are his employers and we should fire him and his team. He is not a capable of running this province.

    • Carlos, the fact Kenney demoted the Travelers demonstrates the public outcry had an impact. Also I understand that he cancelled the press conference he was supposed to do this afternoon. Seems to me he is afraid to face the music notwithstanding the fact he imposed “real consequences” (to use the words he used in his FB post) on the Travelers.
      The big question now is, is it too late?
      People should be focusing on the fact the Travelers thought it was fine to go take an international holiday when they were telling ordinary Albertans to stay at home and see no one but immediate family and 2 singletons. Is this enough to show Albertans who the UCP really are? One rule for the privileged and another rule for the rest of you.
      And of course there’s still the question of whether Kenney knew they were going to be out of the country. As others have said, Kenney has a reputation for being a detail-oriented, hands on kind of leader. How could he not know?

  15. carlosbeca says:

    GOD Rick Bell from the Edmonton SUN finally saw the light !!!!
    WOW when I was a kid if it took this long to see it I was called a RETARD.
    I know it is not politically correct but hey I believe in reality.

    https://www.calgarysun.com/opinion/columnists/bell-kenneys-covid-19-slap-in-the-face-to-albertans

    • papajaxn says:

      Carlos remembering Epiphany Sunday in some churches, where wise people were guided by a star and moral compass. Not sure if there will be many “road to nowhere (Damascus) conversions after these trips are accounted for. It does bring a dawning realization since the Oil and Gas boys wanting to get rid of the the air quality index availability with high NO2 (laughing gas), We can smile pain free until the next election.
      The JOKER really has no clothes. Everyone can see right through what ever costume he is wearing these days.

      • Carlos says:

        You are absolutely right and thank you for your comment – The JOKER really does not even know clothes exist.
        Write all UCP MLAs and let them know how you feel about this circus.

      • Papajaxn: interesting and very apt analogy given Kenney’s deep religiosity. The Pope publicly condemned those who traveled saying “They are good people, but they didn’t think about those who were staying at home, of the economic problems of many people who have been hit hard by the lockdown, of the sick people,”
        I doubt Kenney would take any notice of the Pope’s words, he prefers the conservative pontiffs over the more liberal ones.
        Carlos: I agree with your approach. Letter writing and phone calls to local MLAs did the trick this time. I think the MLAs’ confidence in Kenney has taken a beating, which means we have to continue the campaign.

  16. Neil Kirkwood says:

    Mr. Kenney said he was going to take responsibility for this issue, but what does that mean? Is he going to resign? Can he take responsibility without material consequences? Of course the next leadership review for his party may telll the tale.

    On the other hand, I’d like to encourage all the members of the UCP caucus to leave the province, permanently, if possible, but at least until after a vote of non-confidence is held during the next session of the Legislature.

    • Neil, I like your suggestion that Kenney resign, but I suspect you’re correct, he’ll hang in there until his approval rating drops low enough for someone to finally demand a leadership review, I’ve been told Alison Redford’s approval rating dropped all the way down to 18% before she was pushed out. That’s shocking when you consider most of the PCs didn’t really like Redford, they thought it was Gary Mar’s turn to be the premier (and many couldn’t stomach the fact she was a woman). For whatever reason Kenney is able to garner support notwithstanding the missteps he’s made with the doctors and the parks (just to name a couple that struck a cord regardless of party affiliation).
      Regardless, If he botches the vaccine roll out, he’s toast.

  17. Avalon Roberts says:

    Well the Travellers take the cake for entitlement and tone deafness. What a tragedy to miss your eighteenth Christmas in Hawaii, seeing your mother in law in the us or a week in Mexico. Apparently this group do not care that their constituents have missed seeing their relatives in hospital or longterm care. They may have missed hugging their friends and grandchildren at Christmas. They may even have lost their lives. Meantime the frontline struggle to keep people alive every day at extreme stress to their own emotional and physical health. To say the Travellers are repellant is putting it far too mildly.Thanks again for a great article Susan.

    • Avalon, you’ve put your finger on why Albertans are beyond furious with the Travellers and with Kenney for wimping out on holding them accountable. He finally punished them today, not because he wanted to but because Albertans forced him to by making it clear he was in big trouble if he didn’t do something more meaningful.
      God, even Doug Ford had the, um shall we say, machismo, to demote his finance minister. Things are not good when Ford lowers the bar and Kenney digs a hole to get under it.
      What a screwed up province we live it.

  18. Comment says:

    Kenney did exactly what he always does in the face of criticism of himself or members of his caucus. First, he addresses it (even if it involves someone else). Second, he dismisses it. Sometimes, the dismissal is cocky and arrogant; sometimes, it is done with flippant amusement. But, his MO remains the same. He made it very clear from the beginning that he will not flip his stance if or when the public squawks. And he, like Harper, always maintains an iron grip on the narrative.

    Their majority makes this all very easy. Time will tell if this latest development has done irreparable damage. After all, even Harper lost one day.

    • Comment: you’re right, Kenney did what he always does in the face of criticism, only this time he couldn’t blame the feds or the NDP. However as we saw this afternoon he caved to public pressure and did it in a way to maintain the illusion that (1) it wasn’t him who was demoting these good people, it was the public and (2) none of this mess was his responsibility, notwithstanding all his fine words on Friday in which he said it WAS his responsibility. He is the master of double talk. I just hope his supporters don’t fall for it, because at the end of the day, he’s the leader and he allowed this mess to happen on his watch.

  19. joan lovas says:

    I think that I have lost my trust in this man.

  20. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. The antics of the UCP are disgusting. It seems to get worse, day by day. What is even more repulsive is that there still are people who think the UCP has done nothing wrong here. There are others who were in the UCP camp, but they expressed displeasure at this, and stopped supporting the UCP. The ones who defend the UCP seem to be popping up again. The proverbial icing on the cake is when staunch advocates of the UCP, that being columnists Rick Bell and Lorne Gunter, from The Sun, condemn the UCP for this. The other political parties in Canada, who had politicians in their party pull this foolish move, dealt with this swiftly, or the politicians that did it, repented and stepped down. In the UCP party, the premier didn’t condemn them, by firing them, and there were UCP MLAs who said they did nothing wrong. We are aware that Alberta still has the highest per capita rate of people with covid in Canada. The UCP have done a myriad of different things to cause this. I clearly remember for decades, since the mid to late 1980s, where the Alberta PCs were doing all kinds of bad things, including very costly debacles, and stupid things. It was allowed to continue for so long. It finally caught up with Ralph Klein. We recall he also did very costly mistakes, and did things like ridicule the disabled in front of news cameras, get drunk and throw money at the homeless, berate and bully opposition MLAs, and so on. Will the premier of Alberta get punished by Albertans for not coming down strongly on his MLAs who were jet setting to different locations? What will happen to the UCP? Will Albertans punish the party? I hope you have a Happy New Year.

    • Dwayne, I’ll definitely have a Happy New Year if the answer to your question at the end of your comment is YES, Albertans will punish the party. But like Trump, Kenney seems to have his die hard supporters. Some of the comments following the Rick Bell column were supportive of Kenney saying it’s not his fault, or these people deserve a break, they’ve worked so hard, or the restrictions are silly, or it’s Trudeau’s fault for not closing the borders (the concept of the Canada/US border being closed to all but essential travel seems to have eluded them). So what do you do when you’ve got a province full of these wingnuts. My hope is that the really wingy wingnuts split from the run of the mill wingnuts and fracture the party. That would allow the NDP to return with a majority, which is what we’re going to need to repair the damage after Kenney is done with us.

  21. Louise says:

    All are Egotistical entitled ignorant self absorbed poor excuses for human beings.They went into politics to better their own selfish interests and not to improve our country/Provence. As a whole they disgust me.

  22. jerrymacgp says:

    Ms Allard is not just an MLA, she’s a Minister of the Crown (Municipal Affairs & Emergency Management) and vice-chair of Cabinet’s COVID-19 Committee. The Deputy Minister of her department is assigned to oversee the Alberta government’s rollout of vaccines (why it isn’t the DM in Health is a question for another day). She shouldn’t just have been following the rules, she should have been setting the example for the populace at large.

    The disdain with which this has been received in her urban constituency of Grande Prairie is a sight to behold. Just check out Twitter, hashtag #alohaallard: https://twitter.com/ericasia/status/1345786495739645952?s=21

    Or, the comments on EverythingGP’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/336231306837888/posts/1089503658177312/.

    Note, the sign outside her constituency office has since been taken down … one wonders by whom.

    • Jerrymacgp: Wow! Talk about backlash. And with good reason, Allard of all people should have been modeling compliance with the restrictions and guidelines, not flouting them.
      Dr Daisy Fancourt of the UK Covid-19 project says the key to minimizing the spread of the virus is to control human behaviour, in the sense that the majority of the population has to comply with the rules. When the public sees people in authority ignoring the rules, they lose trust and compliance is eroded. As you point out Allard, like Kenney and Shandro, was right up there in the effort to get us through the pandemic. Her refusal to comply with her own rules is astounding.
      Ignoring the rules is a serious concern here in Alberta given that AHS won’t start to inoculate the general population until the fall. BC expects to have finished inoculating the the general public by then. It’s going to be a tough year.

  23. Steven Methot says:

    On March 15th and March 16th he stated and reiterated on Twitter that all Albertans should cancel their leisure travel plans. What part of that changed? When? Did he fail to communicate the change in plans? Was he stuttering?

    • Steven: in other words Kenney issued a “clear directive” in March. The fact the Travelers went AWOL despite that “clear directive” confirms (yet again) that Kenney is a lousy leader and must be replaced. Either that or he’s losing it and can’t remember what he said from one day to the next. Or, like Trump, he can’t keep his stories straight.
      All of which lead to the same conclusion. That man has to go.

      • Carlos says:

        I personally think that like Trump he is above everyone else and he lies openly probably as bad as Trump does. He finally broke the trust and he may continue being premier but he is toast. There is very little left of any kind of connection with us citizens. Of course there are some exceptions and that is fine. It is time they all get together and declare independence North of Nunavut.
        I am getting ready for fireworks.

  24. Lynn Moisan says:

    I believe we need to remain vigilant in tracking what this government is doing behind our backs. We must not, while fighting this dumpster fire, lose sight of all the others out there. Diversion is a well known Kenney tactic, he is a devious little man.

    • Lynn you are absolutely right. Kenney’s attack on publicly funded and publicly delivered healthcare (Bill 30) is a prime example of his stealth tactics. The changes he’s pushing through in this omnibus bill are far more destructive that anything we’ve seen with this weekend’s dumpster fire.

    • Carlos, thanks for the link to David Climenhaga’s article. He summed up the issues very well and reminded me that one of the many things Kenney said to confuse the issue was that “Completely shutting down travel would result not only tens of thousands of more job losses, but would likely result in the financial collapse of Canada’s airline industry, which is an essential part of a modern economy for Alberta.”
      No one is talking about “completely shutting down travel”. We’re talking about 8 Travelers traveling in violation of Kenney’s global travel advisory (and the tweet Steven mentioned above). If Kenney has a beef with that he should not have issued the global travel advisory in the first place.
      He really can’t have it both ways.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Susan you are absolutely right but the question is does he understand any of what you are saying? Does he actually understand anything at all other than money?

  25. Janna says:

    I find it funny that THIS is the line. This is where people get angry and are disgusted with the UCP in general and Kenney in particular. Not when he reduced minimum wage for young people. Not when he passed Bill 1, which limits our Charter Rights and Freedoms. Not when he reduced environmental monitoring. Not when he sold mountain tops to coal miners. Not when he ripped up physician contracts. Not when he told 11,000 laundry workers and others that they will no longer be AHS employees, they lost their pension and benefits. Not when he reduced education spending to the public system but increased it to private schools.

    I could go on and on. To me, this is a small thing. I mean, it’s blatant disregard of the masses, but I expect that with the UCP MLAs and ministers.

    Kenney is abhorrent. The fact he still has any support at all blows my mind.

    • ingamarie says:

      I couldn’t have said it better myself….too many Albertans grew up apolitical, trusting in oil and Big Business. Ripping up our watersheds, selling our mountains or boreal forest to the highest bidder, chintzing the folks who do the caregiving work…….that’s all part of The Alberta Advantage.

      But flaunt a privilege, when its been taken away from those well off enough to partake of it in this province….and the fur will fly.
      For a day or two.

    • Caron says:

      Alberta has the highest per-capita Covid 19 death rate in Canada. When do we see the rule of law applied and the UCP MLAs and Cabinet responsible for these needless deaths charged with criminal negligence causing death? Or is the law like public health advisories, only applicable to the common folk? To ask the question is to supply the answer.

      • Caron, this is a very important question. While I’m not confident a criminal charge would stick, there may be enough for a civil suit similar to the one launched by the 14 diplomats and their families who are suing the Canadian government for $28 million with respect to Havana Syndrome. They’re arguing the feds underplayed the issue, failed to pull them out when the US government was pulling out its diplomats, withheld information, gave them false or misleading information, interfered with their ability to get medical assistance, etc. Many of these arguments would work here in Alberta.
        The feds say there’s no such syndrome (obviously not the case here) and crown immunity (an argument that IS available to the AB government).
        Anyway, I hope someone is seriously looking into this, because the Kenney government has a lot to answer for.

    • Janna, you make a very good point. The pollster Janet Brown said this hit a nerve because the public could understand what happened, a bunch of UCP MLAs and staff took exotic holidays while at the same time telling everyone to hunker down at home with their immediate family. This comes across as shameful elitism. She compared it to the Bev Oda orange juice debacle that got Oda bounced out of the Harper cabinet back in 2012.
      I accept Brown’s comment that people don’t understand the significance of things like Bill 1, but I also think Kenney’s supporters believe him when he says outsourcing 11,000 AHS employees will save money, less environmental monitoring will save money and blowing up mountain tops to attract coal mining companies will create jobs. It’s all part of the UCP mantra that the private sector is cheaper and more efficient and corporations create jobs. There is a lot of evidence to the contrary, but Albertans won’t take the time to read it.

    • Comment says:

      Interesting perspective, Janna.
      I wonder if it is because this could be personally felt, whereas most of the rest is a bit theoretical and requires critical thought?

      • Janna says:

        Comment, I agree with that but it’s sad it’s come to this. The rest WILL affect everyone, eventually. Our hospitals will be less clean. Linens will be less clean. Our kids won’t do as well in education compared to the rest of the world. Doctors and nurses will leave. Heck, I’d be gone too if it wasn’t that I’m so close to retirement, and moving in a pandemic is crazy. Those worker protections that were removed? Will mostly affect workers in physically demanding, dangerous jobs, such as oil fields, farm work, manufacturing, etc. Once people start getting injured and find that they no longer have the rights they expected to have, then they will see it.

        It’s shocking to me. Truly shocking.

  26. Raymond says:

    Got to be a lot of stupid people if they have to be told to stay at HOME when everybody else was told!!! Maybe time to get some smart ones that know everyone is the same!! Sure blew my trust!!

    • ingamarie says:

      Since when was ‘everyone the same’ in Alberta??? Conservative privilege has been a long standing tradition in this province…not to know that might suggest you’ve been among the ‘winners’ heretofore. Check out Kenney’s plans to privatize support workers in all our hospitals. During a pandemic, this ‘democrat’ is going to do for the people who make from 17-21 bucks an hour, what our governments have already allowed for long term care worker. Private corporations dictating their hours, places of employment, and salaries….pensions and sick days???? Don’t make me laugh.

      Be outraged about that, while your trust is being eroded by a few entitled UCP’ers doing what entitled people do: write their own rules for their own selves.

    • Raymond and Ingamarie: I think we can all agree that Kenney’s gang blew our trust. Some people (me) had very little trust in Kenney et al from the very beginning, others took a little longer to lose trust. At the end of the day Albertans cannot continue to support a government they do not trust.
      And that, hopefully, is the lesson we’ll all take from this miserable experience, notwithstanding the machinations Kenney will undertake to make us all forget it ever happened.

  27. Tina Dmytryshyn says:

    Since all these MLA’S are now supposed to isolate they should not receive a pay cheque during that time. They broke the rules so they should suffer the consequences.

  28. Randy Chappel says:

    The other thing that makes me wonder is; did those MLA’s that took vacations outside of Canada or those that didn’t; approve of “their” Deputy Ministers, Assistant Deputy Ministers, Private Secretaries and so on; to go on foreign holidays too? Nothing like the elite supporting each other in these trying times‼️
    “ELECTION TIME!”

    • Randy, this issue of people not knowing whether those who report to them are taking a vacation continues to mystify me. Take Kenney for example. He said he doesn’t “track or regulate” what the people who work for him do on their own time. Of course that’s not the issue. The issue is did he know his people were taking a vacation which required them to leave the country. From my years in the private sector I know that a boss has to approve a subordinate’s request for vacation time, the process of getting approval leads to a conversation about where the subordinate is going. Kenney is saying this didn’t happen with his chief of staff. I find that very hard to believe.

  29. Keith McClary says:

    Another one, I’ve lost count:
    “Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo MLA Tany Yao is one of several MLAs who travelled outside the country during the holiday break and has been unreachable.
    Timothy Gerwing, director of communications for the United Conservative Party caucus, confirmed Sunday Yao is in Mexico but the party has been unable to contact him.
    ‘We’re not even sure where in Mexico he is,’ he said. ‘Typically, we do know where they are.’ ”
    https://www.fortmcmurraytoday.com/news/yao-travelled-to-mexico-during-break-government-unable-to-reach-him

    Mr. Gerwing, please tell us where they are.

    If Kenney fired all these he would be scraping the bottom of the barrel for replacements.

    • Keith, the situation with Tany Yao is very weird. First, it’s inconceivable that Yao would disappear and no one would know where he is, and second, Gerwing’s comment indicates that normally he knows where the MLAs are when they’re out of the office. I assume that’s because the MLAs tell Gerwing where they’re going. If they tell Gerwing why wouldn’t they inform the premier as well. Surely Kenney isn’t this far out of the loop.

  30. janewestman says:

    The issue of “sneaking” through the USA to Britain where the new variant is causing huge spikes and new challenges is unthinkable!! This behaviour compounds the evidence of arrogant and unscrupulous attitude indicating a character flaw that puts in question the trust that can be put in this person in matters of stewardship … a fundamental ethical expectation of our elected representatives.
    The cavalier attitude and misplaced sense of entitlement in this situation is deplorable!

    • carlosbeca says:

      Where is the recall law that Kenney talked about every single day when he was not in power?

      • GoinFawr says:

        Perhaps it is possible for Albertans to simply meet the ‘conditions’ Mr.Kenney claims he requires to trigger a recall, and then shove them in his pudgy face?

        Important: Do not let it go when he attempts to take ‘full responsibility’, for not communicating that that particular election promise was just another example of his western sense of humour.

        Mr. Kenney,
        taking responsibility does not mean simply saying you take responsibility and then flushing the transgression down the ‘memory hole’, it means there are consequences proportional to the failure. eg. in your case, your resignation would be an excellent place to start.

      • GoinFawr: how resourceful, meet Kenney’s conditions to trigger a recall and present it to him. His party has already approved recalls at its last policy convention, so it’s full steam ahead.

      • GoinFawr says:

        UCP,
        “Recall legislation?, What recall legislation?”
        https://www.unitedconservative.ca/Article?name=UCPNews_Feb142019

      • Keith McClary says:

        Member Policy Declaration as Approved on Oct 16, 2020
        https://static.unitedconservative.ca/UCP-2020-Policy.docx
        Page 16
        The United Conservative Party believes that the Government of Alberta should…
        a) conduct genuine consultations with stakeholders and the public before enacting significant legislation.
        b) ban government ministries and departments from conducting political advertising.
        c) require that all candidates in elections governed by Alberta prove their Canadian citizenship by providing documented proof like a birth certificate, passport, or citizenship certificate;
        d) require presentation of appropriate identification and proof of residency for a non-registered voter, or robust confirmation of identity for a registered voter, prior to issuing a ballot in all provincial and municipal elections, plebiscites, and referenda;
        e) adopt a mechanism for the recall of MLAs by their constituents.

      • papajaxn says:

        The proposed recall legislation was in committee late last fall even into Dec. The position that was taken would need at least 50% of the vote total for the candidate to be enough to toss. In rural ridings trying to do a petition would be a mammoth task without much chance of succeeding. On the other hand, establishing and seeking support on a written petition would be a good exercise in preparation, awareness and education. The comment in one election I received door knocking was “the conservatives got us into this mess they can get us out of the mess!” Failure as citizens to admit they voted the wrong way based on unconscious bias and beliefs may not want to take a more responsible next step!

    • Janewestman: I agree! It’s karma isn’t it. When you sneak away to holiday in the covid ravaged UK, you can find yourself having to sneak back home via the covid ravaged USA. As you said, it’s a blatant example of privilege and entitlement.

  31. Dave says:

    I don’t agree with Premier Kenney a lot, but I do agree a part of the problem is his own failure to communicate. However, it is not the whole problem and it certainly doesn’t absolve all the MLA’s, Ministers and staff who recently travelled outside of Canada of the consequences for their own lack of judgment.

    Also, it is really more than a communications issue on the Premier’s part, it is also his own office’s lack of judgment. I believe he, or staff in his office, would have been aware in advance of many, perhaps even all of the travel plans of the various staff, MLA’s and Ministers. If the Premier, or his staff, had just said to those people beforehand that it was really not a good idea for them to take those trips at this time, do you think we would be having the problems we are now?

    I am surprised how strong the reaction to this situation is particularly by many of those that have been supportive of the UCP in the past. This tells me the Premier has a serious problem that he can not easily wiggle out of this time. The words arrogance and entitlement have been used to describe this situation, but I think the word hubris also applies, particularly to our Premier here. He probably figured that there would be some controversy, but he could count on his supporters and those who have been generally been supportive of him in the mainstream media to rally to his defence and he would tough it out for a few days, like he has with various past controversies and get through it. The problem is I think this time it has offended his supporters as much as, perhaps even more than, other Albertans, who have already come to expect to be disappointed by Kenney. With hubris, the fall is usually sudden and unexpected.

    • carlosbeca says:

      Yes the fall is usually sudden and unexpected but unfortunately the polls suggest that the people escaping the sinking of the UCP titanic are going to parties to the right of the UCP – Susan the idea of moving to BC is growing day by day. Can you imagine this province more right wing than already is? Hmmm there is a limit for me.

    • Dave, I’ve noticed the conservatives use the poor communication excuse a lot (they said that was why Scheer lost to Trudeau). I think the problem here is the Travelers’ and Kenney’s appalling lack of judgment. It boggles the mind that none of them thought for a moment that traveling abroad when they told the public to stay home might be a bad idea. And I find it very hard to believe Kenney had no idea they were outside the country. I believe UCP supporters are so angry because they’re emotionally attached to their brand and hence to their leader. They felt betrayed that he let the Travelers go abroad and that he “punished” them by blaming himself (what was that all about?). It’s a gong show. We’ll see whether it sticks to Kenney over the next two years. One thing is for certain, if he botches the vaccination program there will be hell to pay.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Susan he is already botching the vaccination program – we are the slowest in the country and of course it is Trudeaus fault as far as Jason Kenney is concerned.
        Allard was the program manager and it was already bad so now it gets worse.
        You are right this is the Gongest show ever. LOL
        At least Redford was not as disorganized. I thought I had seen THE circus when she was premier but I did not know we would have premier Kenney after. 🙂

  32. JCurrie says:

    My goodness, Alberta is certainly exciting these days!! On the weekend Kenney defended his ministers and staff and said travelling was not illegal etc. I guess somebody else had to tell him that his political future may be doomed before he reversed course a bit today (Monday). But because he didn’t act when he should have and when it would have been ethical, he has blown it again. People will take this as being too little and too late.

    It doesn’t surprise me that his ministers and staff act without consideration of the people they are supposed to be governing and are making cynical and selfish decisions. They are all cut from the same cloth and nobody should be surprised. Obviously the travelers felt they could get away with what they did because they have no idea of public service, ethics, honesty, the sacrifice so many of us are making and the tragic and preventable deaths that can be laid at their government’s feet. Surely this type of selfish and ignorant behaviour must be sanctioned by the UCP and by Kenney himself.

    • JCurrie: I agree with you 100%. I was talking with an online friend today who said if I lived in BC I’d have nothing to blog about. Imagine living in a province that is governed in the best interests of the people, that sets up appropriate taxation to fund public services, an appropriate regulatory structure to ensure our workers aren’t harmed on the job and our natural resources aren’t destroyed, a government that anticipates the end of fossil fuels and lays the groundwork for what’s coming next. Wouldn’t that be sublime.

  33. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Decades ago, a Canadian songwriter, Edward Bear wrote a song called Me, You and Mexico. The lyrics went like this. Cause I’m thinking of you, down in Mexico, feeling free as the air. Here I am, stuck in the city, still going nowhere. This is how people can relate to the UCP MLA who went to Mexico.

  34. Pete Smith says:

    I disagree with the very last line, that on January 1, Jason Kenney proved us wrong. On January 1, he proved many of us right. He is a person who cannot be trusted. He proved that beyond reasonable doubt.

    • Pete: I take your point. On Jan 1 Jason Kenney proved many of us right (myself included). And the gong show continues as he fails to show up for press conferences and mumbles whatever he’s mumbling about the slow vaccination rollout being the feds fault.

  35. Mike in Edmonton says:

    With so many thoughtful comments posted already, I’m not sure how much I can add. Still, that never stopped me before….

    First, of the politicians known to have left Canada during Covid Christmas, almost half are from Alberta. I’m disgusted and angry–but not the least bit surprised.

    Several people have said they don’t understand how Kenney could NOT have known his MLAs–at the very least, his (ex-)cabinet minister Allard would be out of the country. There’s a short answer to those comments: he did know. He had to.

    Brian Mason pointed out on Twitter that there are rules for what happens when a cabinet minister goes on vacation. The Premier has to approve, and somebody gets interim signing authority for the absent minister. Here’s a link (via David Climenhega’s blog) to Mason’s tweet, in which he wrote–actually wrote for all the Twitterati to see–that Kenney was lying.

    Kenney knew. The vacationing MLAs knew travel was “not advised.” They chose to ignore the warnings because they weren’t written in “Thou Shalt Not” terms with penalites for non-compliance. Likely enough they never even considered the restrictions, except maybe for the inconvininece of working from home for 2 weeks.

    “Look in the mirror.” “Math is hard.” The Sky Palace. A drunken argument at a homeless shelter. All the angst and “It ain’t fair!” after the Old Tories blew it in 2015. Kenney and the Klowns are far worse. None of their predecessors proved themselves this arrogant. Keep reminding your friends about “Hawaiigate” because in 2023 these guys have GOT to go!

    • Carlos says:

      These guys have to go in 2021 not 2023. This is enough and it is time to recall them all just like they screamed for constantly when they were in opposition. Get them all out and call an election and change to proportional representation so we do not have to be dominated by the rednecks in the rural areas.

    • Mike in Edmonton, my internet has been down for 4 days (damn squirrels eating the wires). The Shaw guy just fixed it and I’m trying to catch up with the comments. Great comments here from you and all the others. Thank you.

  36. Brent McFadyen says:

    “Hawaiigate” is a golden opportunity to help oust the UCP. Never let the public forget what these clowns have done never. Be prepared for their bid in local politics, school boards etc. monitor the funding the candidates receive from donors, that will determine the agenda the candidate must follow. Look south to the US this is what the Republicans did to control the US. It is happening in Canada with the encouragement of Steven Harper.
    Progressives have an opportunity here don’t screw it up, donate volunteer run for office.

  37. Michael says:

    Okay, let’s play a little game here. The following is a list of “travel”, a word that itself is open to interpretation. The object of the game is to draw a line where essential travel ends and non essential travel beings. One is free to reorganized the list to suit one’s opinion.
    Some of these travel items I have personally experienced, some are for illustration purposes.

    Walk to Coop to get groceries.
    Walk to Lukes Drug Mart to pick up my daughter’s prescription
    Walk to Nose Creek for an afternoon of exercise
    Walk to my community skating rink for an hour of skating
    Drive 15 minutes to Nose Hill to walk the dog
    Drive 30 minutes to Bowness Park to experience the new skating trails.
    Drive 30 minutes to Cross Iron Mills to buy my daughter Christmas presents
    Drive 1 hour to Nakiska/Kananaskis to downhill/cross country ski.
    Drive 2 hours to Lake Louise to downhill ski and drive home
    Drive 3 hours to Golden to ski and stay for the weekend (BC guidelines say “stay local” but what does local mean for a ski hill that has an inter- provincial drawing area)
    Fly to Seattle to attend your father’s funeral with a small group of family members.*
    Fly to Oklahoma to see your husband who you haven’t seen for 6 months and see your mother in law who has stage 4 breast cancer*
    Fly to Greece to say goodbye to your ailing grandmother*
    Fly to California to finalize your house sale and move even though the Covid numbers there are insane.*
    Fly to Hawaii for a vacation because Westjet, an Alberta company employing thousands of Albertans are permitted to take people there and Hawaii has much stricter Covid protocols than we do*

    *and follow all LEGALLY required public health orders upon return

    So where did you draw the line and why? I believe that only the first 2 qualify as “essential travel” maybe the first 4 if you really push it. My point is, if the government believes you should not be doing something, they have the capability to legislate against it. The Eastern provinces did when they barred non-residents.

    And to open a whole other can of worms….should we hold politicians to a higher standard than everyone else. My opinion: NO!. Who gets to decide the standard? If one starts holding people to different standards of behaviour, doesn’t that beget inequality. Remember at one time women were held to a different standard than men. How was that? And who set the standard? And then do we start to allow corporations to start setting the standards? They decide how we are to behave in our off hours so that we don’t “reflect badly” on the corporation.

    So if you are a liberal thinker I ask you two things: Are all people equal and do you want corporations to be the arbiter of the standards?

    • Carl Hunt says:

      Clever argument but you are obviously unaware of environmental protection where corporations have been setting the standards for the past 25 years and civil servants were effectively told ‘stay out of the way of business’. Who do you think is pushing the demise of the Alberta Coal Policy, 1976 that has protected our prairie water supply for the past 40 years? I could forgive the UCP ‘tourists’ but not politicians that allow corporations to destroy our environment.

      • Michael says:

        I think we’re on the same page. Corporations shouldn’t be setting standards.

      • carlosbeca says:

        On that I fully agree

      • Carl, Michael and Carlos: I think we’re all in agreement. Governments, not corporations, should set the rules. There’s been a lot of talk recently about corporations adopting ESG (environmental, social, and governmental) criteria to become better corporate citizens, but this is malarkey.
        Corporate law specifically says directors and officers owe a duty of care to the corporation, and only the corporation, period. The more profit a corporation makes, the happier the corporation and its shareholders are.
        Governments can impose additional laws governing how a corporation treats its workers, the public and the environment. The NDP started to undo the damage 40 years of Conservative rule did. Then Kenney came along. He’s working hard to “modernize” those protections by “cutting the red tape” that governs wages, the right to organize, the relationship between the corporation and its customers, workers’ health and safety and the environment. All in an effort to “unleash” corporations so they’ll “invest” in Alberta because as he’s constantly telling us, trickle down economics works, right?

    • Carlos says:

      to be honest I am not sure what you are trying with this game but here is reality

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/st-joes-niagara-health-ceo-vacation-covid-19-1.5862449

      We need way more than games in our country if we are to survive. We are losing way more than just people to this pandemic. We are bringing out how darn low we have become as a society and we better get moving in the right direction before it is too late not just in Alberta.

      • Michael says:

        We’re sorta on the same page. I just wanted to point out with my “game” that everyone draws their line in a different place IF they are given recommendations instead of rules. We will wear masks because it’s a rule. We will make a non-essential trip to the Rockies because that’s not legislatively prohibited.

      • Michael: I enjoyed your thought experiment and agree that when governments make recommendations instead of rules people will interpret the recommendations differently based on their individual circumstances; your examples illustrate this very well. A black and white rule (no travel except for essential business travel) would have been better, even though it too has some wiggle room for those who want to blow through it.
        I think politicians should be held to (1) the same standard as the rest of the population, eg. the public can’t libel or slander someone without risking a defamation action but politicians can slander others in the Legislative Assembly and issue untrue press releases which are in turn published without getting sued and (2) a higher standard (breach of public trust) because they are elected to act in the public interest, they’re funded by public dollars, and they hold power over everything vital to our existence, our health and safety, education, environment, and economy, etc.
        Politicians have forgotten they owe a duty to those they govern (which is different from those who elected them).

      • Carlos says:

        Thank you for explaining. I do have a different view. I do not live my life or nurture my ethics or moral values based solely on what is legislated.
        The development of character is not a consequence of legislation. In my view anyway.
        It is very clear to me that many people in the UCP have no character at all and that is a grave problem.

  38. carlosbeca says:

    ‘Albertans have the right to be angry over politicians vacations’

    These are – His Royal Highness Shandro words yesterday about his UCP vacation schedule during the pandemic.

    We not only have the right we pay your salary and we have the right to fire you. Too bad you did not fulfill your promise of MLA recall because you would be the first to hit the road. Unfortunately you have a boss that does not have any shame whatsoever and does not have the guts to do it for us and of course he is very busy at the sky palace to avoid the crowds, it is tough to be a king these days. So yeah he has to go as well.

    You are counting on spin, lack of memory and regain trust to escape the firing squad but I promise you that we will remind you of your lack of character on time. No worries, we will do that for you. We are nice citizens.

    • Carlos: the “humble pie” press conference was something to behold wasn’t it. This incident tainted the UCP’s brand. How many ordinary Albertans can afford to take their families to Hawaii every Christmas for 17 years. Just think of the airfare, the hotels, the food and the cost of sightseeing. I’m not begrudging Allard of her good fortune, but I am angry at Kenney for pretending his caucus isn’t packed with people we would call “the elite.”

  39. Carlos says:

    Finally the complete fascist circus descended on Washington today backed and called for by their own president that has been the example of the new extreme Conservatism that now spread around the Democratic world.

    My friends our democracy is in free fall and this is the type of politics that people like Jason Kenney and Conservatives at the Federal level want to bring to our provinces and federal government.

    Wake up before it is to late.

    The US is now like the third world countries they point the finger to constantly and call them shitholes, a candidate for a civil war.

    We better think twice about having this kind of lunacy in our country and especially in Alberta where most UCP members are strong supporters of what Trump is doing in the US.

  40. Mary Axworthy says:

    Another great one Susan. You won’t run out of material to be outraged by with this hypocritical idiot. Mary

    On Sun., Jan. 3, 2021, 5:24 p.m. Susan on the Soapbox, wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: ” On Jan 1, 2021, Jason Kenney held a press > conference to respond to the alarming news that some of his MLAs, political > staff and senior government officials decided it was just fine to fly off > to places like the UK, Mexico and Hawaii over the holidays not” >

  41. JCurrie says:

    These have not been spontaneous trips but well planned and thought out. The role of Westjet in facilitating, testing and encouraging travel to Hawaii is so irresponsible. I will be continuing my boycott of this company.

    Let’s be real here. Kenney is an over-controller, micro-manager and knew all about this. The only reason I can think of why he allowed it to happen is because he didn’t think the rules applied to him. Or he is pandering to WJ. If he didn’t know, then we have even more to worry about.

    The whole schools return thing is also a debacle. No warning, no planning, no consultation. There was talk at the recent update of “new measures” to be introduced in the schools to make them safe but they never got around to describing them. I believe schools are super spreaders when rates are high in an area and it appears (so far) that the new variant is more infectious in children. It does not make sense to open the schools but then extend other restrictions. We have not experienced the full brunt of Christmas and New Year’s yet so it doesn’t make any kind of sense.

    • Carlos says:

      Well I agree but it does make sense to Jason Kenney because he is an idiot and will never concede that this virus matters. He is only doing this because he has to otherwise he would be shot.
      He is still waiting for God to come resolve this.

    • JCurrie, I share your concern about the school re-entry plan, such as it is. The NDP have been calling for more government funding to support more teachers and aides, more facilities to accommodate fewer kids in the classroom, more measures to increase sanitation including better ventilation, but my major concern is we have no idea where the spread is coming from because our contact tracing has collapsed, so Kenney has no basis for saying schools are safe. It’s a gong show and kids will join the ranks of Albertans who are getting sick and dying every day.

  42. GoinFawr says:

    Calgary-Lougheed isn’t that large of a constituency, I wonder if ~50% of the eligible electorate would be willing to sign a petition?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary-Lougheed

  43. Carlos says:

    ‘A COVID-19 outbreak at an Ottawa women’s shelter was linked to two long-term care workers who were staying at the facility because their income couldn’t cover their rent, an independent commission has heard.’

    ‘Reuters) ― Tesla chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk surpassed Amazon.com’s top boss Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest man, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
    Including Thursday’s gains in Tesla shares, Musk, 49, had a net worth of more than US$188.5 billion (C$239.77 billion), $1.5 billion more than Bezos, the report said.’

    These are the reflection of our current values – we do need to think seriously about what it is that we want our future to be.

    Happy New Year

    • This is absolutely true Carlos. There are politicians (AOC comes to mind) who are on top of this and other issues like climate change. We need more of them in Canada, especially in Alberta.

      • carlosbeca says:

        Yes I agree with you.
        It is absolutely mind boggling that while billionaires grow their fortunes by the second and pay less taxes than us, our people taking care of our parents and grandparents with all kind of mental and physical disabilities cannot afford to pay rent. This is our responsibility to fix instead of complaining to everyone that they do a bad job and abuse them.
        If you think it is an easy job try it at any salary never mind making 15 dollars an hour.
        We really have to wake up and start taking seriously what is our responsibility as citizens instead of allowing private interests take over and do whatever makes money for them.
        We do not provide these services to our parents and grandparents by reducing taxes and privatizing so that these services can be reduced to the lowest standards possible.
        This is our common responsibility. We cannot allow Jason Kenney to determine how this is going to be done. HE DOES NOT CARE.
        He cares about the shares he has with the companies he is giving access to what is ours.

      • Comment says:

        I agree. UCP ideology is to decrease public services and the public sector as much as possible. Albertans have two more years to mull this over and vote accordingly.

  44. carlosbeca says:

    So what happens now?
    Is Jason Kenney with Trump or against? What about his Minister of Agriculture?
    So is it time to make white supremacy a terrorist group the same way we do for ISIS?
    What is it Jason proud boy?

    • GoinFawr says:

      With Montana yet voting all red all the time, I am afraid it will be ‘business as usual.

      Re: ISIS

      When it comes to the UCP’s ductile, but utter lack of a sense of ethics, or their feigned inability to recognize their position’s palpable irony, there will be the exception that the House of Saud is now ‘right-on-in-style’,
      because money. Further hypocrisy to follow, no doubt.

      • GoinFawr: Makes you wonder just how much hypocrisy the typical UCP supporter will stomach. If the Trump supporters are any example the answer is: way more than any sane person would tolerate, because it’s about loyalty and nothing else.

    • Carlos, Kenney posted this comment on Twitter: “Alberta has always had close ties to the United States, so it’s painful to watch the bizarre scenes unfolding at the US Capitol today. Political violence is always wrong, especially when it seeks to interrupt the peaceful transition of power in a democracy. The United States must be an example of democracy to the world. I hope that order is urgently restored, and that duly-elected president @JoeBiden is certified and sworn in without further disruptions from the opponents of democracy.”
      Note the weasel words: bizarre scenes were “unfolding” (all by themselves with no spark to ignite the tinder?) and no mention of Trump, whereas both Trudeau and Notley condemned the violence and said Trump had incited it.
      Another example of Kenney as milquetoast, Notley and Trudeau as leaders.

      • janewestman says:

        Susan: This is a blog that has clearly stirred a host of interesting feedback. You are, a beacon for us all in very difficult times and waking up the best of us who would otherwise not be offering their wisdom and understanding. This blog never fails to educate and stimulate serious egalitarian examination of the issues of the day! In his remarks acknowledging the American ‘situation’ Kenney is, as you indicated, sleazy …. but I do not think that milquetoast applies as well as ‘manipulative’. He is, like Trump, carefully choosing his words to ensure that he does not
        challenge the position of his base and yet appears to be lining up with the rest of us. He is crafty … sometimes he is frightened and it shows, but never is he unaware of what his underlying responsibility is to his supporters and the back room boys. He is no friend to Albertans or to the democracy that we are attempting to protect and preserve!
        Thank you, Ms. Soapbox, for your persistent stand as a beacon in the storm and a paragon of the greater good!!

      • carlosbeca says:

        Well that is exactly why I ask at the end of my post ‘What is it proud boy?’ because he has always shown all the attributes of a someone who sympathizes with that kind of group of white supremacists. The Fact is that just like some of the Senators and Congressman in the Us that are turncoats, they are now hoping for a soft landing after igniting the fire for 4 years.
        I think that many questions are to be asked as to how was this allowed. Where is the rule of law? Trump has been doing this forever and no one was ever able to touch him because of the support he got from the GOP. So my question is – is the GOP to be considered a terrorist group and charged as so? Is terrorism not what happened?

        Seriously I am tired of this wishy washy approach to politics as it has been for 4 years including in Alberta where these goons in the government have been very supportive of what Trump was doing there. Did they not know that all those lies and propaganda were dangerous or they approved of it because that is what they actually believe?
        If is then I want to see Canadian Conservatives of this kind like Jason Kenney himself to answer for what he supported and approved all along. Or is he also especial in Canada and cannot be touched?

        They are using the same kind of tactics here and are we expecting a different result?
        We have to stop the lies and propaganda NOW.

  45. GoinFawr says:

    WAIT: Just who really has socialized medicine again?

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/1/9/2007491/-I-ve-seen-enough?pm_source=story_sidebar&pm_medium=web&pm_campaign=recommended

    Specifically,

    “In theory sometime in the next week or so I — as a school teacher who lives in Virginia — will be able to be vaccinated against Covid. ”

    So if I understand this correctly, right now in the US, with its supposedly PRIVATE medical system, if you are a teacher in Virginia as such you have practically immediate access to a covid vaccine.

    Whereas here in Alberta, with an allegedly robust, PUBLICLY funded health care system, as a teacher in the PUBLIC’s system you are expected to deliver classes, in person, to those who are in all likelihood superspreaders, without hope of protection from a vaccine…. indefinitely, indeed likely into the NEXT school year!

    COME ON CALGARY LOUGHEED! Recall that vicious little man, today!

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