“…this is going to be the most powerful step change in the Canadian economy since we did the NAFTA deal. It will really drive our economic productivity, our growth.” – Chrystia Freeland describing the Feds $10/day child care plan.*
You’d think Jason Kenney, the premier who says the economy is the central organizing pillar of his government, would be delighted with Chrystia Freeland’s announcement that the Feds will spend $30 billion over 5 years and an additional $8.3 billion/year thereafter to boost economic productivity by implementing a national child care program.
Kenney doesn’t like it because…
When Rachel Notley asked Kenney to do “whatever it takes to get that $800 million a year from Ottawa for our kids” he said meh.
Okay, he didn’t actually say meh, what he said was if the federal plan is “a cookie-cutter approach, nine-to-five, government-run, union-operated, largely urban care that excludes shift workers, largely excludes rural people, excludes informal forms of child care, [it] would not meet the needs of most Albertans.”**
There are two problems with Kenney’s glib dismissal of the Fed’s program.
First, Kenney has no idea what’s in the program so his cookie-cutter criticism is premature and possibly incorrect (it is however, a nice red flag to wave in the face of his supporters).
Second, Kenney has no idea what Albertans want. This is borne out by the fact that two days after Freeland’s announcement Kenney struck yet another committee, the Supporting Alberta Working Parents Advisory Group, to look at the “latest research, data and economic analysis to consider…initiatives to ensure parents, particularly women, take part in Alberta’s economic recovery.” I guess he forgot about working women when he put together his $10 billion economic recovery plan last June.
But the Fed’s plan isn’t “flexible”…
Kenney’s cabinet dutifully echoes his concerns about the Fed’s program. The minister of Child Services and the Finance minister both argue a child care program must be “flexible”.
Laila Goodridge, a UCP backbencher, called upon Nate Glubish, Service Minister, to explain what is meant by the term “flexible.”
Again with no knowledge about the details of the Fed’s program, Glubish said Albertans need “flexibility” because 60% of Alberta’s child care programs are offered by private child care operators.***
How is this relevant?
Assuming the Fed’s program only applies to not-for-profit child care programs, the fact that 60% of Alberta’s child care programs are privately run does not prohibit Kenney from taking advantage of the Fed’s program for the 40% that are not. And yes, the owners of private child care centres may not be happy that the not-for-profit centres are offering child care at $10/day but hey, it’s all about choice, right?
Goodridge pressed on, she said it was a given that any child care program rolled out in the province must accommodate all families and asked Glubish what the Kenney government was doing to accommodate families requiring overnight and 24-hour care.
Glubish accepted the premise of the question and said the government had just wrapped up an expression of interest that will add 1500 child care spaces across the province. He didn’t say what they would cost or whether they were overnight or 24-hour spaces.
[As an aside: If it’s a “given” that child care programs must accommodate all families, then surely it’s a given that healthcare programs must accommodate all families, including those who can’t afford to pay for private MRIs or cataract surgery, and education programs must accommodate all families, including those with children with special needs].
What we know
While there is a lot we don’t know about the Fed’s child care program we know this.
The Feds intend to negotiate with the provinces and territories to split subsidies 50-50 to reduce average child care fees to $10/day within 5 years. They’re targeting a 50% reduction in fees by the end of 2022.
The Conference Board says every $1 spend on expanding early childhood education results in $6 in economic benefit.
Kenney is all about growing the economy and Freeland has a strong bias for not-for-profit child care programs because “really little people…can’t speak up for themselves.”
Kenney asked the Working Parents Advisory Group to provide advice on how to “leverage federal funds to suit the unique needs of Alberta parents and child care operators.”
Freeland asked Canadians to “talk to people in your town, in your city, in your province…and say that you agree with me that this is the time to really do this in Canada.”
What we have here folks is Freeland, the woman who successfully took on Trump over NAFTA, telling Kenney she’s ready to address his argument for a made-in-Alberta child care program funded by Ottawa’s dollars.
Let the economic recovery games begin!
*All Freeland quotes from CBC The Current April 20, 2021
**Hansard, Apr 20, 2021, p 4668
***Hansard, Apr 21, 2021, p 4734
I can’t say enough how much I dislike Kenney and his clones. I know this comment isn’t very useful or interesting. I just had to say it. I think Kenney is trying very hard to make Alberta something that only politicians would love. (conservative politicians) I think if he doesn’t sign on to this program Albertans need to find a work around or at least the less advantaged Albertans. I hope the liberal government will make a special deal for lower income parents of Alaberta if Kenney doesn’t sign up to the program. He is such a dink.
It would be fun to watch the Federal Liberals announce that, because Kenney’s government refuses to cooperate, they’ll set up a strictly Federal day-care program, open only to low-income families (it’d have to be means-tested, but hey…). Then watch Kenney squirm and bloviate about provincial jurisdiction.
Personally, I’d like to see such a deal go to the Supreme Court, and find out if they’d extend the “peace, order and good government” clause to such an obvious refusal of Kenney’s government. After all, it worked with the carbon tax!
Donna and Mike: the workaround, that’s an interesting suggestion. In the meantime I’m going to take Chrystia Freeland up on her suggestion and write to my MLA (again) and others urging the UCP government to sign on to the federal child care program, I will let him know that if his government fails Alberta parents we’ll be going directly to Trudeau to fix it. That ought to rile them to no end!
Outstanding. The comment I won’t put public but came to my mind in a nano second – a woman, who is a Rhodes scholar, who is a working mom with the position and intent to make a significant positive impact for women, children, families and society – up against JK???? No competition, not even in the same game.
Sent from my iPad
Dawn I agree! I was looking at some stories of Kenney’s meeting with Freeland when she was minister of intergovernmental affairs. There are lots of shots showing him laughing and smiling, I wonder whether he’s just a tad intimidated by this woman who graduated from Harvard, went to Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, is a highly respected author and led the negotiations for CETA as well as NAFTA 2.0. In her CBC interview she said she is going to be one of the people personally driving this effort. Kenney is toast.
If he passes this up the women in this province will tar and feather him and run him out of town on a rail.
I think you’re right Irene. I had two kids in daycare when I started my articles at large downtown law firm. My husband and I made a decent living and still the cost of child care took a big chunk out of our income. I can’t imagine what it costs today.
Kenney has gone after doctors, nurses, teachers, farmers, ranchers, AISH recipients, municipalities, and many other groups. None of that ended well, but if he goes after working moms, well, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
Susan: The UCP only cares if you are one of their rich corporate associates. That, or their Conservative friends, who they can hire for positions that are as redundant as they come, and for really hefty salaries. $100,000 per year, for Benjamin Harper, and $250,000 per year, for Dave Rodney, just as examples. There are even more than that. Sickening, and others have to do with less, or go without. This isn’t the 1950s, where one parent could work, while the other could stay at home and raise the children. In the words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a changing.
Absolutely 💯 % agree and I don’t think he’s going to win this one with Chrystia!
She’s one smart cookie, who also understands. When she has a good plan she likes to see it implemented for the benefit of all… There is an excellent article in the April 2021 edition of Alberta Views” entitled “ Not a White Bread Childhood” about Chrystia Freeland and her families roots in AB. I find it interesting she’s from the Peace River country and another strong individual who leads our opposition is from the Fairview area. Both socially conscience backgrounds bred into them at an early age.
As usual Kenney is way out this league again !
Bota28: What’s shocking is comments that people have made about Chrystia Freeland and her grandfather, who was from the Ukraine. When comments on her came out at one time, there was an individual who personally knew Chrystia’s family since the 1970s, and said they were wrong. The other people continued to slag the individual who was defending Chrystia Freeland. They wouldn’t care what this person had to say.
Sorry Dwayne, I can’t say it’s shocking. It’s typical of the trolls and knuckle-draggers Kenney attracts.
Dwayne, I agree with Mike. Not shocking given the caliber of many of Kenney’s supporters.
In the CBC interview, Freeland talked about the Fed’s efforts on Covid. She’s the chair of the Fed’s Covid committee (and unlike Kenney’s chair, did not traipse off to Hawaii with her family over the Christmas break). Freeland pointed out that 8 out of every 10 dollars spent on Covid in Canada come from the federal government. Can you imagine the mess Canada would be in if we had the federal conservatives in charge. God, it would be as bad as Ontario and Alberta!
Bota28: I’ll have to find that Alberta Views article. The title certainly strikes a cord, Freeland is certainly not “white bread” but Kenney, well…I wonder when his supporters will finally figure out he’s the epitome of the despised Laurentian elite he’s always railing on about.
Every week I read your blog and the theme is always the same wether it be pipelines coal education childcare and of course COVID. The theme of course is our provincial government in their wisdom is failing all Albertans except for their buddies.We have had bad Premiers before but Kenney so far out to lunch it is almost laughable.But then again no one is laughing keep writing 2023 not soon enough.
I know Paul. At the start of every week I wonder whether there will be something new for me to write about and sure enough, Kenney and the UCP never fail to deliver.
Political blogger, Dave Cournoyer, pointed out that right now the UCP Caucus (ie elected MLAs, not just party members) are running FaceBook ads attacking Alberta parents, teachers and school boards for raising valid concerns about the UCP government’s draft K to 6 curriculum. They’re saying “for the NDP and their activist union friends, the fight against the new curriculum is all about politics, not about our kids. They want to cancel everyone and everything not full of socialist ideology.” It’s pathetic.
These MLAs are attacking their own constituents for voicing concerns. If that isn’t ideological I don’t know what is.
Susan: Thanks for another great blog. As I recall, this scenario with the federal Liberals and daycare has been seen before, and it also involved the provinces and territories. The Alberta PCs were in power then, and they were also saying the same thing, that they wanted choice in daycare, (which only really meant supporting private for profit daycare facilities). In Alberta, there has been private for profit day care centers that have been in the news, because children were put at risk. Private for profit enterprises put quality of services in the back, while putting profits up front. We have seen this with things such as long term care centres. The UCP are trying to copy their hero Ralph Klein, and want to privatize as much as they can, regardless of how bad the consequences will be.
Dwayne: you’re correct that the issue of federal funding for child care has been around for a long time.
The Globe & Mail ran an op ed last Saturday in which they traced the issue back to 1971 when the Status of Women report called for change. The minority Lib government wanted tax deductible child care expenses, the Mulroney conservatives called for more tax breaks including funding for for-profit care, then everything died with the 1988 election.
The Paul Martins LIbs got the provinces to sign onto a 5 year $5 billion plan which died when Harper was elected in 2006.
Harper introduced grants for parents. Then Trudeau’s Libs reformed and increased these under the Canada Child Benefit and offered a plan ($7B over 10 years which was less than the original $5B over 5 years).
The Globe says the argument is always the same: the Conservatives want to give money directly to parents while the Liberals want to cut the cost of care.
I suspect Kenney will push for the Harper plan, grants to the parents.
Susan: I also remember the term “beer and popcorn” money being brought up. I can’t believe what goes through the minds of people.
How much of this is about the UCP’s well-documented preference for private, for-profit everything — and how much is about their so-con wing’s preference for keeping women barefoot, pregnant, in the kitchen & clutching a Bible, remains to be seen. But when you consider Finance Minister Travis Toews’ pre-politics gig on the Board of the Peace River Bible Institute — a tiny theological college located in Sexsmith, about 20 km North of Grande Prairie — you have to infer that the so-cons are a big part of the UCP’s resistance to universal child care.
The so-con position on the matter is that parents alone should take care of their children, period. Whether a family can afford to have one parent stay at home instead of both parents holding down jobs — rare enough in today’s economy — or whether single parents can afford to have jobs at all, is irrelevant to that gang.
Jerry, the same thought crossed my mind. Restricting access to child care works on two so-con ideological perspectives. The one you mentioned (1) women belong at home, not in the workplace and (2) women should step out of the workforce, not competing with men for jobs, then the men can turn this economy around (why would that work? who knows).
The stats show women’s participation in the workforce dropped to the same level as in the 1980s as a result of covid. What better way to keep them from returning to work (and leaving all those jobs for the men) than by restricting their access to childcare.
Of course this doesn’t address the fundamental problems you’ve highlighted: that most families need both partners working to afford even the basics and many women are single parents who have to work to keep themselves and their families afloat.
But hey, we’re talking about the UCP brain trust here, no one expects coherent thought or a viable long term strategy from that crowd.
Kenney’s dismissal managed to mash every hot button the Base has, in one run-on sentence. Anti-Fed, anti-union, anti-office-worker, anti-city, anti-regulation. Wow.
The most telling “anti-” is the “informal forms of child care” bit. How’s that work? I doubt Kenney’s referring to the grandparents agreeing to babysit while Mom and Dad work full-time (or more!) at low-paying jobs. Does this mean unlicensed day-cares somebody runs out of his/her house? If so–why do Albertans need to use such services?
If that’s the “flexibility” Kenney and Glubish mean, then Alberta parents are in trouble. We’re going to see a lot of flexible daycare spaces, as parents drop out when the cost becomes too high.
I’m not surprised at the sudden appointment of yet another “advisory committee,” with yet another pre-determined conclusion. It’s Kenney’s MO, after all. When in doubt, get someone to rubber-stamp the decision you’ve already made and make it “the will of the Peepul.”
As for the economics of child care–that’s not Kenney’s concern. His big problem is that the GOVERNMENT is supposed to pony up. That’s against every Republican/ Libertarian principle he’s learned in the US. The thing that sticks in his craw sideways, is that the FEDS are trying to make him look bad by spending money on poor people–and telling Kenney to cough up, too.
“As for the economics of child care–that’s not Kenney’s concern.”
well, to be fair, he doesn’t have any kids of his own, so there is that. Shouldn’t kids just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps anyway? I mean, to hear these libertarians speak you’d think they popped outta their collective mommas and hit the ground running. They must really really hate the whole ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ adage, regardless of its truth.
“His big problem is that the GOVERNMENT is supposed to pony up. That’s against every Republican/ Libertarian principle he’s learned in the US”
Except those are not Kenney’s principles at all, they are merely talking points he has learned to repeat. “Money Talks” is the only ‘principle’ of the UCP as a whole, and you are tarred with the epithet ‘socialist’ if you argue that is not actually the mandate they elected to pursue.
Sure, public roads, publicly funded and overseen police and judiciary, potable water in their cities, are all prime examples of ACTUAL socialism that even the overwhelming majority of UCP voters would never want to end, but try getting them to recognize that fact…. ugh.
I don’t get these Albertan pseudo christians at all; you shouldn’t be able to call yourself a member of the faith if there is a single starving person left in the world while you have plenty. They’re their rules, they should either follow them or abandon the faith.
“I am a Christian. That obliges me to be a Communist. ” – George Bernard Shaw
You’ve made some good points, GoinFawr, that I wouldn’t have considered. In fairness to Kenney, though (not that I want to be) I’m 60, single, never married, no kids. At least I don’t live in my Mom’s basement. But I also don’t callously dismiss an initiative to help people cope during an unprecedented crisis of public health, especially with a series of dog-whistle arguments intended to provoke a Pavlovian response from the Base.
Your point that the UCP’s only real principle is “money talks” may well be right. I’m honestly not sure they have guiding principles at all. What they DO is pretty much classic Republican, e.g. screech about the other guys’ deficit spending, then slash taxes and increase corporate welfare–thus driving up the deficit. The REASON they do so much damage may have less to do with principle(s) and more to do with anger at people who are better educated and/or more successful. I’m not a sociologist or psychologist, so I’m just guessing at their collective motivation.
One aside: your observations about roads et al being “socialist” in origin reminded me of an episode of the old Lang and O’Leary Show on CBC. Kevin O’Leary made some remark like, “Amanda, don’t you want your taxes to go down?” Lang replied instantly, “I prefer to drive on paved roads, so—NO.”
As for religion, full disclosure: I decided years ago that atheism, not religion, is the choice for me. Mostly, that’s because I can’t make heads or tails out of Christian doctrine, and the built-in contradictions leave me baffled. There’s another reason, though, which parallels your point about “pseudo Christians.” I’ve read enough history to know something of the suffering religious belief has caused. Some examples: the Crusades (way more than four); the Spanish Inquisition; the 30 years’ War (started by a Catholic emperor who broke his solemn oath to respect a Protestant prince’s religious practice); from recent history, far too many “pro-life” fanatics who “protect babies” by murdering abortion doctors. Some people can justify anything to themselves by claiming “God wills it.” I can’t use that excuse; as an atheist, I have nobody to blame but myself. (By the way, the quote from Shaw was interesting.)
Mike, as you said Kenney hit all the hot buttons in his glib dismissal of Trudeau’s plan…and once again he finds himself in an inconsistent position from one day to the next.
On Apr 20 Kenney told Notley “it used to be that Alberta government before the NDP…used to join provinces like Quebec in fighting for maximum flexibility so we could design programs that are most relevant to our people on the ground.” (Vive le Quebec!)
On Apr 21 Glubish says “Quebec’s child care landscape is far different than what we see in Alberta…we have a mixed model of private and nonprofit child care programs, and Quebec has government-run child care centres as well.” Then he goes off on a tangent and says “…people pay far more taxes in Quebec…Are Alberta taxpayers willing to pay more for a universal system that only benefits a few, or can we continue to make decisions that better serve all families in this province?”
There are too many logical flaws with that response to go into here, but my first question is why assume Albertans would have to pay more taxes for universal childcare? If Alberta corporations paid their fair share and Kenney stopped throwing billions of dollars at stupid projects like KXL and millions of dollars at the War Room, there would be plenty of tax dollars to go around.
This time around the child care plan just may be implemented. Chrystria Freeland is one intelligent and very determined woman. She likes accomplishment and if Kenny wants to oppose her it will be at his peril and the Used Car Party. I see change coming to Alberta in the form of some Liberal Party of Canada seats for Ottawa. Even rural Alberta is tired of his games. Next we will have an NDP government in 2023 that will govern for everyone.
I agree Brent: Freeland says she’s going to do this. Kenney can negotiate with her or leave us in the ditch again. If Kenney’s past behavior is any indication he’s going to leave us in the ditch, because…you know…Trudeau…blah blah blah.
How many ‘working groups’ does this guy need? Perhaps this research should have been done much earlier, like when the UCP was putting policies together…..
James, indeed!. As others have pointed out, Kenney’s working groups are nothing more than rubber stamps to deliver the result he wants. Speaking of delivering “results” I can’t wait to see to see the Public Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy’s report to the Energy Minister. That will be fun reading.
Well if nothing else you will learn a lot about conspiracy theories
As Dwayne and jerry have pointed out, if the money is only for not-for-profit daycare the reason for Kenney’s resistance is obvious: not-for-profits won’t line UCP pols pockets.
Also, there is evidence that nothing delivers private businesses lessons in balancing efficiency and fair pricing like having to compete with a publicly funded enterprise, and goodness gracious is THAT something every Used Car Partier wants to keep under their bonnet as they incessantly quack about ‘freedom’.
In Canada, the least expensive and best coverage for the average consumer’s mobile phone is in Sask. where private telecom has to compete with Sasktel, so private carriers are unable to gouge their customers like they do to the rest of the country.
Oh, the private telecoms still keep their books deep in the black east of Lloyd’, but, because it is publicly owned, Sasktel won’t collude with them in order to rip their customers off.
Kenney will only be happy to take even more of our money from the feds if, and only if, Ottawa will allow him and the UCP to simply sign the funds directly over to Gina Rinehart, or her ilk. According to the now thoroughly debunked ideology the UCP cling to like so many stubborn ‘will-Knots’ the benefits of that wealth will eventually trickle down to everyone, just like the higher concentrations of Selenium will in their contaminated water supplies.
Here’s a link to a story illustrating how the Used Car Partiers’ ‘small gov’t’ ethos conveniently only applies to the (de)regulation of polluting industries, when it comes to cutting red tape for environmentally progressive industries looking to create opportunities in Alberta, the UCP won’t lift a finger.
…regardless of how many former ‘oilmans’ those industries could potentially put back to work.
Progressive policies don’t sit well with Jason “Forward to the ’50s!” Kenney,
GoinFawr: I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The 2019 Child Care Fee survey found the median month fee for full time child care was $1300 for infants, $1100 for toddlers and $1075 for preschoolers. Compare this to the federal plan which works out to $200/month and the private care providers are in trouble.
I found two programs Kenney says offer “relief” to working parents:
(1) a one-time payment of $561 that Child Services minister, Rebecca Schulz, said “will make a huge difference for families. They can reinvest it into the child care of their choice or back into the economy.” That’s about one-half of one month’s fee. Gee thanks Rebecca.
And (2) a grant program to child care providers (not parents) offering a max of $12,000 to child care providers to add more child care spaces (again at these ridiculously high costs to parents). Gee thanks Kenney.
Re: your point about red tape. I find it ironic that the red tape reduction party creates even more red tape by setting up all these working groups, task forces, etc to gather our input, and ignore it before they present a “What We Heard” report to the responsible minister who will go ahead and do whatever he/she/they were planning to do in the first place.
And the songs write themselves I guess, but the performance? Now that takes people. Good and all the rest! https://youtu.be/l1NjmTAPiZ4
Good one JI, but too much style for the Used Car Partiers, they’re all:
“Dirty deeds, and they’re done dirt cheap.”
All the dirty sheets need airing I’d suppose. Here’s one for the workers in the laundries in any hospital! https://youtu.be/rSWDrfl1Tk8?t=3
Just Ice: thanks! So is there a song for the latest example of UCP idiocy: the warning outside of LaGrange’s office that chalking sidewalks is an offence under section 430 of the Criminal Code.
It’s comforting to know we’ve got our priorities straight. The sidewalk police will keep us safe from little girls playing hopscotch but the police won’t take action against anti-maskers or tiki torch carrying racists spewing hate speech.
As I feared the reply to GoinFawr where he has the sentence on Bernard Shaw did not work for me and so I will have to post it here separately
Very good points GoinFawr
Yes Jason Kenney does not have any kids and he has no clue of what it is like to raise children and I am quite certain he is not interested anyway.
For a long time especially when he was the Taxpayers Association Director, he seemed to have learned the basics of neo-liberal slogans coming from Chicago where their guru taught at the University and at the time they all sounded like some religious groups singing the same slogans until they could see nothing or believe in nothing but what they were repeating ad nauseum. The song is starting to sound pretty old and with no value. He is a bit slow on catching up with the rest of the world and so he continues at 72 RPM
Neo-Liberal policies are at the base of inequality and globalization where all that matters is how much can be made by allowing capital to go where the cheapest manpower is and of course selling products at whatever prices they want and making exorbitant profits. I really do not care where they go but if I was prime minister they could go anywhere but they could not sell their products back in Canada. This is where I do not have the same opinion as some of you in relationship to Chrystia Freeland. She is no doubts an intelligent and very effective and smart politician and she has written a book about Plutocracy but in the end when they get in power very little changes. She negotiated a new NAFTA within strong neo-liberal beliefs and she allowed the opening of the Milk and Egg production to the US which just like the PPE and the Vaccines and many others soon will wipe out our capacity to be self sufficient in those foods. Canada has lost a lot of its manufacturing capacity with these agreements and she certainly with others has accelerated that process. Soon the American producers, with access to whatever low wages they want from Central America and treating the cows like robots of milk production and without any ethical or moral concerns will overwhelm our industries. If you care about what we do to the cows in order to produce milk at bottom prices just google it and if you feels comfortable with it then just dismiss my comment. Also in the same magazine there is an article about Freeland that has not received as much publicity. The fact that she considers Plutocrats to be of 2 different kinds. One that deserve what they have and other than do not. An acceptance of plutocracy depending on the kind. I do not share that belief because I think they are all detrimental to equality and should be taxed to a determined level which in a democratic society should be chosen by its citizens. In other words you can make whatever you want but there are limits of accumulation especially in todays world where they can hide wherever they want and not pay any taxes on it.
And there is more but this is already too long.
Also I believe that George Bernard Shaw is right in the true sense of what communism really means except that most Christians believe in convenience Christianity. Calvinism is not really Christianity is it?
Thank you for reading
re: Kenney does not have any kids of his own.
I heard the next UCP spin fest will be to try and convince Albertans that Jason Kenney was once a child, contrary to the popular conception.
Bob to be honest, I believe anything from the UCP. They have no problems implementing whatever is necessary for their benefit. In the old days we call it fascism but we are all very politically correct so cannot call them anything.
To me they are a bunch of socially illiterate goons. I would use a different language but not here.
Bob: that was funny.
I tried to imagine what kind of child Kenney once was and decided not to go there.
This is a polite respectful blog. 🙂
Susan I can elaborate a little more on what I said about GBS. The reason I did not is because communism is a tabu subject in Alberta and in North America in general and talking about it brings some risks of misinterpretation.
I think GBS meant that the basic principles of communism are closer to the basic principles of Christianity than for example capitalism is.
We on the other hand think that our economic system is fair and we all declare ourselves to be Christian when in fact by accepting our economic system we are anything but Christian. Calvinism is to me the base of acceptance of who we are today and that is why I ask the question – is Calvinism actually Christian?
Communism is more Christian than capitalism is without a doubt. I do not mean the so called communism that is practiced in China now as well as the one practiced in the old Soviet Union. I had an opportunity of experiencing this type of communism for about a year in my life and it was nothing but a extreme Mafia dictatorship similar to what existed in the Soviet Union.
Interestingly enough we keep calling China a communist country. No wonder people do not understand what it is.
By the way I am not advocating for communism or against, it is irrelevant to me, but I can understand in a way what GBS meant by that sentence because it makes sense;
I don’t remember who said it, but here’s an appropriate quote:
“Christianity has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and not tried.”
We could say the same of reducing carbon pollution, of controlling Covid-19, of racial equality, of economic fairness, etc etc etc.
Carlos, these are excellent points. Thank you for sharing them. You’ve reminded us of the bigger picture. I wholeheartedly agree with your point that there should not be any acceptance of plutocracy, which by definition is government by a ruling class whose power is derived from their wealth.
I find your comments about GBS intriguing and will have to look into this to understand them more fully.
Susan I replied to you but somehow it jumped up – in regards to my GBS comment
You’re right Carlos, Kenney is just another manifestation of John Perkins’ ‘Economic Hitmen’ out of the Chicago school.
Here is where his and Shandro’s interpretation of christianity will be taking Albertans right smartly:
… small ‘c’ christianity.
GoinFawr and Carlos, I couldn’t agree more with you on this. For some time now I’ve considered Chile to be the country to look at if we want to see where these economic policies will take us. As I recall from The Shock Doctrine, Chile was the first country where Milton Friedman and his Chicago school cronies implemented their free-market policies, so modern-day Chile provides a view of one possible outcome from this implementation. Let me provide a couple of quick examples of things that I have been told about Chile today.
First, essentially everything is privatized including water. I understand that there are no public drinking fountains and that there is a great deal of social unrest due to unequal access to water among the citizens. Second, in these pandemic days, most citizens who present symptoms simply stay home and isolate as best they can. They must pay for a COVID test and the cost of the test is prohibitive for most so they forgo it and hope for the best.
If you recall, late in 2019 there were daily public demonstrations in Santiago that I believe began in response to an increase in transit fares. I think the increase was relatively modest but it essentially became the last straw for many people who felt as though they had been nickel-and-dimed their whole lives. As the demonstrations continued, the theme shifted more to focus on social inequality. Lives have been lost in these demonstrations and there has been a huge economic impact as well.
What I see in Chile today isn’t the type of society where I would want to live. The people that I have met from there are great. They are lively, exuberant, friendly and fun to be around but for me, the economic model of the country sucks. That’s why, when our own provincial government pushes as hard as they have been for the privatization of everything I’m motivated to show up here and speak out before we become the ones contending with daily riots in our public spaces. Of course, if the UCP continues on the path that they’re on now, we may have that anyway.
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Could it be that Mr. Kenney is right on this issue? Maybe the federal child care proposal isn’t a good fit for Albertans. We should take a few examples from the past two years to see why this may be so.
When he took office Mr. Kenney quickly identified the huge deficit in Alberta’s finances and soon after set about trying to balance the books by selling off many provincial parks. No one else had seen this opportunity or requested this action so Mr. Kenney was way ahead of us. He also was able to spy the socialist messages that had previously gone unnoticed, buried deep within the existing education curriculum. He took swift action to replace the flawed curriculum with one that is, I suppose you could say, not socialist. When he recognized the tremendous burden that the health care system placed on taxpayers he acted decisively to reduce compensation for doctors and encouraged the private sector to help cover some of the cost. He fought for this particular measure even in the face of a global public health emergency. And finally he saw further opportunity for increased government revenue by encouraging the development of coal mines in the Rocky Mountains. To be fair, the profits from these mines would be sent to Australia, so this maybe wasn’t Mr. Kenney’s finest moment. I’m simply pointing out that once again he sees opportunities that virtually no one else does and he pursues them with a commitment and dedication far beyond that of a normal person. In fact, I’ve come to think of him as something quite different entirely. I think of him as, for lack of a better term, a Person Of Substance, for only such a person would be able to consistently recognize what is best for Albertans and deliver it to them before they even know themselves that it is what they want. I think this may be what is happening now with the federal child care proposal.
I’m suggesting that it’s well past time for all Albertans to recognize that Jason Kenney is indeed a Person Of Substance and that we should proclaim it as loudly and as often as possible. That way his reputation will almost certainly extend beyond Alberta’s borders, maybe even to Ottawa. Then, if and when Ms. Freeland is confronted with the unenviable task of negotiating with Mr. Kenney over child care, she may find herself somewhat off balance from having to deal with the formidable POS that leads Alberta.
Guy! This was wonderfully clever! I googled POS to see what other meanings it might have. There are many meanings, point of service, point of sale, but the best one appears in the Urban Dictionary, it’s a euphemism used to avoid explicit vulgarity. Take a guess.
Thanks so much Susan. You are, of course, correct. ‘Point of sale’ wasn’t what I was thinking when I wrote this.
Thanks GoinFawr. I’m glad you got a chuckle out of it!
Guy this pretty much puts an end to the discussion 🙂 🙂 🙂
If you do not mind I will have to borough your dictionary
For all the chalk drawers who dare to hop-scotch! https://youtu.be/Oxs-cOwBWT4?t=23
Oh and a round for my friends! https://youtu.be/kBihcOtiS1g
Thanks Carlos. You’re more than welcome to share my dictionary any time.
I appreciate that Guy 🙂 🙂 🙂
I just came home to the news that all essential workers in our hospitals are starting to learn the triage protocol that may be needed in our hospitals.
Forget more preventive measures. The goon government is passing the buck to Alberta doctors to make the decision who gets to gets full treatment or not in case our hospitals get overwhelmed.
Simple decision and of course a la UCP that responsibility is a thing of the past. Being a Christian like them is all one needs to salvation.
What a bunch of fascists and I mean it.
Carlos, I saw your longer comment about GBS. I understand where you’re coming from. Thank you.
PS I’m the host of this website and WordPress throws my comments up all over the place too. That’s why I preface every comment with the name of person I’m responding too. 🙂
Day care costs in this province are extremely high. Our daughter was paying over $1,400/month in Calgary for one child, taking up a big portion of her income- more than food, more than mortgage. When the Notley government gave a pilot subsidy for this day care, along with others in Alberta- it was a huge breather for many families- and very encouraging that with its success it would likely expand to become a universal program across the province for all families.Then the Kenney government came into power and cancelled the program. So now, guess what? Our grandson’s daycare has gone from 80 children to 12. So many of the working mothers, fathers too, have had to quit jobs to stay home with the children or seek out cheaper, unregulated options- which I don’t have to go into detail- can put their little ones at risk. Not to mention most of the day care employees have been laid off now. So, who is benefiting now? And the saddest part for our family, is that our daughter, husband and family- fed up with everything “Alberta” have packed up, sold their house and along with many other young health professionals, are moving to B.C. whose government is paying their moving expenses. And their full-time day care costs are now $639. So, here we are, my husband and I in our dotage, saying good-bye to our family, our grandchildren, who were 6th generation Albertans from people who came here with nothing and worked their asses off to build a decent, high standard place for their kids- child care, schools, universities, health care- all of that. So, yes, I am very bitter and angry at Jason Kenney and his corrupt and useless caucus- and am giving them all, and everybody who voted for them a gnarly old middle finger and hope they all rot in Hell for destroying what was, and could have been a prosperous, progressive province for all people, and all generations. Now it is going to be a s*#thole wasteland, hollowed out of our talent and youth that we have devotedly cultivated for generations. Albertans have been robbed, deceived, and betrayed by this bunch of grifters. I hope all citizens wake up and smell the coffee. If not, what do we or anybody else have to look forward to?
Irene, what you wrote was powerful and beautifully expressed. My heart breaks for you and your family. I wish for much better days ahead for all of you. Be strong and take good care of yourself and your loved ones.
Thanks Guy. I’m sure going to miss the little ones, especially. We just had them and their Mom here for a week while their father shined up their house for showings and got the house sold. I must say my husband and I aren’t used to 6:00 a.m. mornings anymore, but it was pretty cute to see the 3 year old at the bedside with my slippers, and going to fetch my robe, glasses and hearing aides for me. He was quite fascinated by the whole process of getting Grandma out of bed!
So, our daughter’s house sold in 5 days, which was good. And surprising to me, seeing as there are 2 others- the one right next door and another one across the street- for sale as well. They would have liked to get a bit more for it, but they are both getting very good job offers from B.C. and our son-in-law’s job starts on June 1. As I mentioned in my previous post, they are both health professionals. I heard them say to each other how nice it was to be valued and wanted. So, they are really happy. Our daughter said it felt good to delete her Alberta Twitter feed …. And, now instead of a “Protect Our Rockies And Headwaters” sign on their front lawn, there is a “SOLD” sign. Yes, Carlos, I am happy for them. That is in the end what all parents wish for, for their kids. But it still breaks my heart. I am sad also for the other families, and communities being hollowed out with the loss of their talented young people- one of Alberta’s most valuable resources. I can’t imagine what this province will look like in another 2 years or how we will be able to repair all the damage from the Jason Kenney government. It reminds me of a certain nursery rhyme. How many terms would a Notley government need to put Humpty together again? I don’t know.
Irene, your comments broke my heart. It must have been very difficult for your daughter and son-in-law to make the decision to move given how close you and your husband are to them and the little ones, but it was a very wise decision and kudos to them for having the courage to make it. Like you I am angry with Kenney and the buffoons he calls his caucus, but I’m even more angry with the idiots who elected them and gave them free rein to run this beautiful province into the ground. My only hope is that when the Notley government is re-elected the people will give them the time they’ll need to fix the mess Kenney created.
Please keep sharing your story. It speaks to the deep deep damage Kenney has done to everyone and everything we hold dear.
Irene I am sorry what is happening to you and all I can say unfortunately is that you are not alone. My son left a while back and my daughter is leaving this week to BC.
They got tired of conspiracy theories, white supremacy garbage and governments that are way more interested in large corporations than their younger citizens. So that is it for them and they will never come back. Both are highly educated and tired of listening to drop outs and red necks that call progress a socialist coup. .
Carlos, I’m so sorry to hear that your children are leaving Alberta. It’s so unfortunate but at the same time I completely understand how they feel. I think that if I was in their position I could easily make the same choice. In my view of the world there is nothing more important than family and it truly breaks my heart to hear about how families are becoming separated this way when it’s so unnecessary. I want to thank both you and Irene for sharing such personal stories of how the current political climate in Alberta is affecting your families. In my opinion it’s an act of bravery. I wish nothing but the best for both of your families in the future.
I am not sorry really, I am sure they are better off there. One has to make decisions throughout life and unfortunately the concept of families living in the same cities from generation to generation is in extinction as it was for me and for my parents. It seems there is a congruence of extinctions all happening at the same time as if in rehearsal for what some have called the 5th and final step on our own species. I would not be surprised if that is to happen. When you look at the suffering around the world by real refugees our move sideways to BC is real not much to worry about. This government will fall sometime and we just have to hope we as a society have the good sense of choosing something a bit more human and intelligent next time. I personally think that Jason Kenney becoming premier of Alberta may have been a good wake up call for Albertans that have been sleeping for 43 years under the papaya tree. I certainly hope so.
Carlos, I am sorry to hear your children are moving away .
I understand what you mean when you say the days of families staying together are long gone, however in the past, at least in Canada, when the young ones left, they left for better opportunities elsewhere. They weren’t moving from one part of Canada to another to escape an ideological, incompetent, self-serving premier and his selfish, uninformed supporters.
Kenney used to talk about being the first and the best at all sorts of things (remember when he was bragging about sending PPE to other provinces, that was before he clocked the highest covid rates/100,000 in the country). Well, now he’s achieved something truly remarkable, he’s succeeded at driving out the people we need the most to get Alberta out of the mess he created for us. Good job Kenney!
Susan: In times like these, songs like this come to my mind. I remember this song from the 1970s. It goes against what the UCP does.
Dwayne, thank you for the lovely clips. They made me smile.
Susan: This particular song would describe the fate of the UCP quite well.
Intelligent conversation and music! Susan, I think you’ve got a party goin’ on! Thank you for being such a gracious host! https://youtu.be/3i8fizlg7jY
Just Ice. You’re very welcome. Hopefully with all these fabulous people talking it won’t take us 100 years to realize what kind of trouble we’re in.
Just for fun, I thought I would contribute to this week’s playlist. Here’s Rick Fines with ‘The Perfect Politician’.
Thieves, minstrels, acrobats! Jesters and magicians! Well, I guess you fight the war with the army you have! Thank the lord it’ll be bloodless but not painless!
Guy; BTW thank you! I am a laugh cryer and that post? It reminded why!
Just Ice, I’m glad you liked my comment. These days I think all of us can use a good laugh or cry at some time. I hope you’re laughing more than crying!
Now what to do? Do you all know like I know you do? https://youtu.be/haT8g7oKnns
So K-Bro Linen got the Alberta Health Services contract… anyone know if they have donated to any political parties of any particular stripe over the past, oh, say, three years or so? Or how many of the 11 thousand jobs directly lost to the Kenney gov’t will be replaced by K-Bro?
By the way, those are pretty much rhetorical questions, both, as everyone who isn’t lying to themselves knows full well.
Ralph Klein and the K brothers hid behind NAFTA. The financing for a previously non-existent corporate citizen came from.. oh ya. Berkshire LLB The costs skyrocketed! We paid and are paying to this day. Utilities? Same bad deal, different day! For the sake of my blood pressure? I need a song to calm me down! https://youtu.be/K1lDTiMxD5A
I’m just droppin’ this in case some new party breaks out and you favour an antique to get the jello gigglin’! https://youtu.be/qjtbe8oMgrc?t=1174 Props to Willy and the \walkers!
Maybe Kenney should just change his name to Dr. No, further upsetting physicians and also disappointing those who want more affordable child care. I get the sense if it is a plan from the Trudeau government, Kenney’s response is probably an automatic no.
However, this reflexive response is not in the best interest of the needs of Albertans. I doubt it will do much for Kenney’s languishing popularity either, to see the Feds gladly spend money on childcare in a number of other provinces, while Alberta refuses it. I suppose he could take some short term comfort in sabotaging or preventing the Liberals from claiming to establish a national child care program, but if the Federal Liberals outlast the UCP, that boast could be temporary.
Perhaps the Alberta government will just be late to embrace this new program, just like an earlier Alberta Social Credit government was among the last to embrace medicare. Come to think of it that reluctance didn’t help the Socreds much either. Didn’t they lose the election after that?