Whether you observe Easter, Passover, or the rising of the first full moon after the spring equinox, this is the time of year when we emerge from the gloom of winter with renewed hope for the spring.
Sadly, some of us are crawling out of a pit that is darker and bleaker than in past years as Covid-19 ravages our families and our community. This ordeal has been exacerbated by the Kenney government’s mismanagement of the pandemic on all fronts.
Add to that the onslaught of cruel and misguided UCP government policies including:*
- curtailing the right to peaceful protest
- attacking workers’ rights
- a boondoggle corporate tax cut that failed to create jobs
- a billion-dollar gamble on Trump and KXL that blew up in our faces
- a joke of the war room (was Bigfoot only two weeks ago?)
- the undemocratic not-public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy activities
- launching and losing a challenge to the federal carbon levy at the highest court in the land
- surreptitiously green-lighting coal mining in the Eastern Slopes, then pretending to put it on hold when they got caught
- selling, then not selling, provincial parks
- sticking the public with additional fees and costs on everything from car insurance to electricity bills
- downloading costs on municipalities and refusing to live up to funding commitments for capital projects while at the same time undermining municipalities’ ability to provide services by forcing them to give tax breaks to the energy sector
- slashing funding for public services including healthcare, K-12 and post-secondary education
- trying to make an example of the doctors in the recent AMA contract negotiations by unilaterally ripping up their contract and taking away their right to binding arbitration causing additional stress in the middle of the pandemic
- signaling to nurses and teachers they’re next on the chopping block
- pushing a curriculum revamp that is described by educators as “deeply Eurocentric, colonial, religious, ideological, capitalist, American, and ‘othering’” (and yet it’s endorsed by Jordan Peterson, fancy that), and
- framing policies as us-versus-them to pit Albertans against each other and against the rest of Canada.
Some Albertans see nothing but dark gloomy days ahead. There is no light, there is no joy.
Here’s what I see.
I live in a relatively conservative neighbourhood represented by Doug Schweitzer. Our man is a cabinet minister who has held two formidable cabinet posts, first as justice minister and solicitor general, now as the minister of jobs, economy, and innovation. He’s responsible for implementing Alberta’s economic recovery plan.
You’d think we’d be happy, right?
And yet when I walk the dog past these lovely houses I see lawn signs, lots and lots of lawn signs—Defend Alberta Parks, Protect Our Eastern Slopes, Protect Public Health Care. Stop Post Secondary Cuts, etc.
These are literally signs of resistance.
Mr Kenney’s destructive ideologically driven agenda has achieved something no premier has accomplished. He is uniting Albertans across party lines to throw him and his party out of office.
Albertans will continue to resist. We will stay on top of issues—the more Kenney throws at us, the greater the resistance becomes (this curriculum review just might be the last straw).
We will write letters to the government and our MLAs and even the odious Postmedia press. We will rally and protest (safely) in support of doctors and nurses and teachers and workers. We will join groups to amplify our voices.
And we will support Rachel Notley and the NDP who are the only credible alternative to Kenney and the UCP.
We take hope from polls that show the NDP’s support is at 39.1% while the UCP’s support is at 29.8% and falling.
As a friend of mine said this Easter weekend: together we will make a difference.
*This is by no means a complete list