It Must Be Nice, Alberta

It must be nice to live in a bubble where Covid-19 is a hoax created by those who want to infringe your Charter right to swill beer in a pub and Covid vaccines are a plot perpetrated by multi-billionaires who want to track your movements from your house to the mall and back.

Where wearing masks is a sign of stupidity and social distancing is just silly.

It must be nice to have a premier who indulges your fantasies by saying Covid-19 is just the flu, it only kills old people, people with comorbidities, the weak, and you’re strong, you’re special, you’re safe, right?

After a while your premier admits the pandemic may be more serious, but don’t worry, he’ll wait until the absolute last minute to impose tepid public health restrictions and undercuts them repeatedly by defending cabinet ministers and caucus members who urge you to “do your own research” (He says they’re just exercising their democratic freedom to disagree with a public health policy).

Depending on his mood, he’ll praise you for allowing him to infringe your civil liberties (you poor dear) or huff and puff about people flouting the rules that he’s in no hurry to enforce.  

It must be nice to live in a bubble where the premier talks about fictitious kids’ birthday parties with “100% attack rates” (?) and alleges there’s no “direct linear relationship” between the restrictions and viral spread. If there’s no direct relationship between the restrictions and viral spread then there’s no reason for you to respect them, right?

Don’t look now, but your comfy bubble is closing in on you.

Alberta has twice the number of active cases per 100,000 as Ontario, its testing is so backlogged that labs are no longer testing for variants of concern, and AHS released a triage plan that will direct care to the patients with the greatest likelihood of survival.

Dr. Noel Gibney say the existing public health restrictions (the ones you can’t tolerate) are “absolutely not” enough and warns that unless there is a strict lockdown the triage protocol could be activated by May 22.

So go ahead, defy the public health restrictions, hang out with your chums on the beer patio, attend the anti-lockdown rodeo near Bowden with 2000 of your like-minded friends.

Because you’re special, you’re a person of destiny, nothing bad will ever happen to you.

Must be nice to live in a bubble where you’re fed up with Covid-19 and the rest of us have to suffer the consequences of your irresponsible and immoral behavior.

You live in Kenney’s Alberta.

Must be nice.

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142 Responses to It Must Be Nice, Alberta

  1. davidswann571gmailcom says:

    Our Letter to the Editor

    Alberta a Covid fire. Alberta has the highest per capita rate of Covid infection in Canada and a rate of new infections like that in India. New variants are more deadly and transmissible. Yet we are witness to a rodeo in Bowden, Alberta, this past Saturday where 2000 people gathered, many without masks violating our public Health gathering restrictions. The RCMP attended the event. We are told they laid no charges either against individuals or the organizers of the event. If true, our police ignored the provincewide restriction of 10 people at public gatherings, as well as the requirement for masks. This dereliction on their part is astounding. What does our Justice Minister say to this? Regions that enforce gathering restrictions and masks have done much better. Health and healthcare are at serious risk. Prudent and regular enforcement of our restrictions must now be engaged. Lives will be saved.

    David Swann MD, FRCP(C) Former Medical officer of Health, Former MLA Calgary Mountainview

    Brian Edy, Lawyer, Former Vice Chair Calgary Police Commission and Director Civil Liberties Association

    On Sun, May 2, 2021 at 3:40 PM Susan on the Soapbox wrote:

    > susanonthesoapbox posted: ” It must be nice to live in a bubble where > Covid-19 is a hoax created by those who want to infringe your Charter right > to swill beer in a pub and Covid vaccines are a plot perpetrated by > multi-billionaires who want to track your movements from your house ” >

    • David, this is such a good letter. It summarized the issue perfectly. Someone complained about this post saying its wrong to focus on 2000 people at a rodeo when Alberta’s population is over 4 million. Clearly they missed the point, which was the lack of adequate restrictions and the lack of enforcement. Apparently AHS is looking into its legal remedies vis a vis the rodeo. The regs say don’t do this or you’ll be fined…what else is there to look into?

      • Caroline says:

        Susan, I think the AHS has been absolutely pathetic in this case. They knew the rodeo was going to take place so they should have issued a statement saying there would be big fines if it went ahead, and either shut down the event, and/or told anyone showing up to attend that there would be fines issued on the spot for anyone attempting to enter. I’m so angry that people are able to get away with blatantly defying the restrictions.

      • Keith McClary says:

        Is there some way we could formally make a complaint that they would have to investigate? Or is that only for “indictable offences” (CC 504)?

    • jerrymacgp says:

      When will this government realize: the most important of all civil liberties is the freedom to continue to live & breathe. By failing to take effective action on this pandemic, this government has stolen or is stealing that fundamental freedom from the thousands of Albertans who have already died, as well as the thousands more yet to die as a result of these ineffective & ineffectual measures.

      It’s criminal negligence causing death, no more, no less.

      • Guy says:

        Really well said jerrymacgp. I’ve had the same thought that you expressed in your last sentence myself and wondered if there is any way to bring some accountability to the government. I’m not a lawyer but it seems reasonable to me that citizens should have some legal means to defend themselves against against a government whose actions, or lack of action in this case, is directly responsible for preventable death. If not and the only thing that we can do is wait it out until the next election, then I fear for what shape we’ll be in both individually and collectively two years from now given the trajectory that we’re on today.

      • Dennis Baresco says:

        please don’t use gross hyperbole when discussing Covid! It’s not thousands that have died; it’s 2,086 as of May 1. Saying thousands suggests numerous, not barely 2. Hyperbole only serves naysayers!

      • GoinFawr says:


        “..not barely 2.”

        is the most heartless, grossly understated way to refer to thousands of deaths that I think I have ever seen.
        And that number has been limited by those who tried to follow the rules, while some are the direct result of those who didn’t.

        Sleep on that.

      • Dennis, I agree with GoinFawr. Thousands have died in Alberta. Their loss of life was entirely avoidable but Kenney lacked the guts to impose meaningful restrictions and enforce them. This is unconscionable.

      • Jerry and Guy, I’m a lawyer but don’t practice tort law. I really hope there’s a smart lawyer out there dreaming up a new cause of action to hold Kenney and his government liable for the death, pain and suffering they’ve caused. The law is an evolving thing. This is a once in 100 year event, surely there’s some way to hold those we’ve entrusted to manage this crisis to account.

  2. John McWilliams says:

    You caught our mood perfectly, Susan


    John McWilliams QC >

  3. John Warren says:

    Susan, your column and David Swann’s letter prompted me to write the following to my MLA….

    Dear Mr. Neudorf,

    Covid super spreader event.

    As you and all MLAs know, Alberta has a higher rate of Covid, per capita, than India and the rate here is twice as high as that in Ontario. On Saturday we set an all-time high of new cases. It’s killing us!

    But in Bowness, yesterday and today, a rodeo was held on private property where over 2,000 people gathered each day. Many of them did not wear masks and, in doing so, they violated Alberta’s restrictions on public gatherings.

    The RCMP attended the event but we are told that they did not lay charges, either against the organizers, the owners of the land, or the attendees. Is this not a dereliction of duty on behalf of the police? If it is, will these officers and their superiors be reprimanded? If not, why not?

    This rodeo has all the ingredients of becoming a super spreader of the virus. Is your government going to take action against the perpetrators? If not, why not?

    If laws are not in place now that strongly enforce our public health restrictions then I call on you and the UCP to introduce legislation, immediately, that will keep Albertans safe from the spread of Covid and from the people responsible for spreading it.

    I have asked a number of questions above and I look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.


    John Warren


    • Bill Cook says:

      I hope you don’t mind that I borrowed liberally from your letter, John, and sent one to my MLA, too!

    • John, this is an excellent letter, as Bill says he’s written one of his own. I think you, David and Bill are on to something. It’s time to bury the Kenney government in letters expressing our disappointment and dismay at the government faililng to do its job. Thank you for sharing your letter with us.

      • Bill, great idea. I too will be borrowing liberally from these letters.

      • I fired off my letter to my MLA on Sunday. Here it:
        I am a constituent and a lawyer with over three decades of experience in private practice and at two major energy companies. I am writing to express my deep dismay at how the UCP government has mismanaged its fundamental duty, that of keeping Albertans safe during a pandemic. As a result of its incompetence Alberta now has the highest case rate in Canada. Not surprisingly AHS has issued a triage protocol that will determine who lives and who dies upon admission to hospital. This is tragic.
        And then we have the “No More Lockdowns Rodeo Rally.” The government had prior notice of this event, it knew the event would violate many public health regulations including masking, safe distancing, and large public gatherings. It did nothing. After the fact Jason Kenney tweeted that our health care system could be overwhelmed if we don’t bend the curve and implored Albertans to follow the rules in their area. He said “To those of you already doing this, thank you. To those who aren’t, please smarten up.”
        “Please smarten up” is a milquetoast response to a blatant disregard for the public health rules your government has put in place. Feeble pleas do not take the place of stringent rules and effective enforcement, which is why we are in this predicament now.
        I urge you to act immediately to impose a sharp circuit-breaker, and then localized shut downs as needed to get this pandemic under control.
        Oh, and adjourning the Assembly “in response to public safety concerns” and to “prevent further spread” of the virus is nothing more than a pathetic attempt to hide from being held accountable for your inadequate management of this catastrophe.

        I got a response from my MLA’s office this morning. The Constituency Manager thanked me for my feedback and said they’d ensure he receives it directly. I’m not expecting a reply.

    • Caroline Csak says:

      I believe the rodeo was in Bowden not Bowness.

    • Valerie Jobson says:

      Bowden, not Bowness.
      Good letter.

    • Erin says:

      Bowden, not Bowness.

  4. Kate says:

    It’s not nice for the rest of Albertans, like myself, who follow the Public Health Orders.

  5. Randy Fiedler says:

    Too many Albertans – and apparently it’s government – now only recognize the rule of blah.

  6. Neil Fleming says:

    Great summary Susan of how frustrated so many of us are feeling right now. Sadly your examples reflect the perception of many Canadians inside and outside of Alberta. On a recent trip to Newfoundland, it became very clear to us that most people from other provinces had little empathy for the plight of Albertans during the economic downturn. Had we stayed any longer, i feel we would have stopped telling people we were from Edmonton, we got tired of trying to explain that we did not all fit the stereotype.
    We recently had a discussion with Federal Minister Hajdu’s staff. When we asked if the rest of the country viewed Albertans as whiners, the answer was an immediate, yes! I worry that our lack of reaction to the pandemic only reinforces that perceived sense of self entitlement and superiority. Not sure how this mess is going to attract employers, researchers, educators or anyone with a view to a better future, to our province?

    • Neil, to your point about Albertans being whiners, the day this blew up one rodeo goer posted a comment on Twitter complaining that the libtards wouldn’t even give them one day, “can’t we just have one day, just one day,” he said. He’s miffed because people condemned him for whooping it up at the rodeo while 2000 plus Albertans will never see a sunrise or moonfall again. Unbelievably selfish..

  7. Avalon Roberts says:

    Short but pointed. Have to wonder why more docs dont publicly speak out. Must we keep repeating this ad more than nauseam? ,Are people in the southern hemisphere just smarter and tougher so could do the right thing ?, Your despairing friend. Avalon

    Sent from my iPad


  8. Tom Bowen says:

    Welcome to kenneys bubble of oblivion If you dont look it cant be happening Tom

    Sent from my iPad


    • Tom, in Monday’s press conference he had the temerity to suggest he’s always looked at covid through a non-partisan lens. This from the man who’s afraid to discipline the 17 MLAs who tell their constituents and anyone else who’ll listen that the public health restrictions are a violation of their Charter rights and they should “do their own research” on whether to take the vaccine. It’s partisan all right. Kenney is fighting for his political future.

  9. Carlos says:

    This province has reached absolute levels of craziness. It starts with the premier that goes after activists with a 30 million dollar bunker and is incapable of enforcing the law on people breaking the rules right under his nose. What a travesty and an embarrassment. We are now known as the joke of Canada.
    When is this idiot going to pack it in and let us live our lives as decent citizens rather than having to be puppets of Drew Barnes and his gang of idiot borgs.

    • Carlos, I read in the Western Standard paper today that Kenney’s Cabinet reminded him that the rodeo clowns were part of his base and he said he needs a different base. I suspect the three UCP MLAs who leaked this story to the WS are of the view this was a bad thing for Kenney to say, that’s how crazy this province is.

      • Carlos says:

        Yes I saw that about the new base and it is just mind boggling what comes out of Jason Kenney’s mouth. He lies, contradicts himself in the same speech and nothing of any value is ever expressed in any way.
        What different base Jason Kenney? You already have the White Supremacists, the Knights of Odim and all that jazz, what do you want more? Hard criminals and drug pushers? Those are already yours as well.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Susan and Carlos, it may be Kenney received new marching orders from his rich masters in Calgary. “Cut those idiots loose, or we cut off your campaign contributions. We can’t afford to prop you up when our businesses are going broke!” Speculation on my part, but a possible explanation for Kenney suddenly growing a backbone.

  10. papajaxn says:

    I have been wondering about this question for a while. Delusional Disorder – Could an undiagnosed problem of delusions and conspiracy theories being the issue for those in power?? It is quite serious. Here is a link to 10 questions.

    • Papajaxn: interesting. Is there a test to diagnose overgrown babies who continually scream “you can’t make me” every time someone with an ounce of wisdom tries to save their lives.

  11. janewestman says:

    As a champion of your blog and your courage in stimulating the clear and truthful look at the politics of this province and the injustices within which the future is being pointedly steered to a Libertarian morass, I appreciate your sarcasm as we look at the behaviour of Albertans. I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised by the behaviour of those who knowingly elected these Mensa members. .

    I am so disappointed that the professional associations have not taken a clear public stance against all of this. Uh oh, I am forgetting that even within those esteemed groups and organizations there are those who check their moral obligations at the door when they step into Alberta politics and competitions for positions of status and influence.

    I admire and appreciate you, Susan, and those wonderful supporters who show up regularly on your blog!! I need to know that you will not give up ….. I have grandchildren who are growing up in spite of this mess and I just hope that you and others will be the force that slowly turns this ship around once we get a chance to clean up after this mess!!

    • Janewestman: what a lovely note of support. I really appreciate it because I have to tell you this “no more lockdowns” rodeo almost finished me off. Stupidity and selfishness on such an epic scale shakes you to the core.
      I truly believe Kenney’s hold on the UCP is slipping. We’ll just have to wait until they’re done, then pick up the pieces and start all over again. It won’t be easy given the hole Kenney dug for us, but we play the cards we’re dealt, right?

  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. We in Alberta now have the unfortunate distinction of having the highest per capita rate of people with covid in North America. This is not something we can be proud of. The UCP does not have what it takes to deal with this properly, because they have their ideological blinders on, and their earplugs in. The UCP didn’t listen to medical experts, and look at what that did for us. We have had the unfortunate distinction of having the highest per capita rate of people with covid in Canada, more than once, but now we surpassed all of North America.

    • Dwayne, today’s Globe said if Alberta were a country its covid rate per one million would make it the second worst in the G20. Even Brazil and India are doing better in case rates than we are. And Kenney says the reason this is happening is “behavioral differences”. My husband says that means we have more a*#@% per capita than pretty much everywhere else on the planet.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This is a cover of an Ian Tyson song. It seems fitting here.

  14. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This was written by another Canadian, Neil Young. It describes the mess the UCP did for Alberta perfectly.

  15. Guy says:

    Hell yeah its nice to live in Alberta! Well its gettin to be anyway. We had a rodeo this weekend and I couldn’t wait to get there. I went with my wife and my sister, which makes perfect sense cause their the same person!! We finally got to enjoy some down home made in Alberta fun.

    I just can’t figure out why you lefties are always wantin to take away our Constipational Rights to do what we want. We have the Right to choose what we do with our own bodies don’t we? Well maybe not the women, but you get what I mean.

    Now your tellin me that the Easterners are callin us winers. No wonder we don’t want them around any more. It just shows what I’ve always said that they don’t know nuthin about Alberta. It’s the hippies in BC that are the winers everybody knows that cept you. Why don’t you all just go back to Lawrencia, or wherever all you elites come from and leave all us hard workin Albertans alone?

    Yeah we’re in a bubble here but it ain’t shrinkin its growin. Pretty soon its gonna be called the Republic of Alberta and Jason Kenney’s gonna make it happen just as soon as he gets back from his two week vacation. That poor guys gotta be wore right out from from fightin off those nutjob NDPers. Then we’re gonna have our own Special Ejication Plan, our own Pension Plan so True-dough don’t get his hands on our dough (ya saw what I did there didn’t ya) and we’ll have our own police force too. Though I gotta say those RCMP guys didn’t seem too bad. It kinda felt like they were on our side if ya know what I mean.

    I could write some more but I know you lefties never listen anyway and besides me and the missus gotta go meet my friend Billy Bob and his first cousin for a beer on the patio of the Dew Drop Inn. Too bad it looks like rain but I know Thelma will let us in if we want. She ain’t no left-leanin sheep. Y’all can stay home and cry in your beer if you want, but if you was real Albertans you’d sit down and have one with us instead. Facts is facts, things ain’t never gonna get back to normal til you do.

  16. Mike Priaro says:

    Nice satire, Guy. Hope readers get it.

    • Guy says:

      Thanks very much Mike. I’m glad that you got it!

      For others who I may have confused with my comment it may help to know that there is a strong Carl Hiaasen influence in much of what I write so it helps to keep that in mind when reading some of my crazier rants. I don’t possess Mr. Hiaasen’s skill but he does give me something to strive for.

  17. Carolyn Taylor-Smith says:

    Beautifully written, Guy! Isn’t it sad that some outside Alberta (and perhaps some inside Alberta) will take it seriously?
    But seriously, though, I loved it. 🤣

    • Guy says:

      Thanks so much Carolyn! I share your trepidation about perpetuating the Alberta stereotype though. It is truly sad that so many people think that this is the way most of us are. I guess we’ll just have to keep working to change their perception, as difficult as that may be at times.

      • Guy, one way we can change the way people perceive us is to go into overdrive to resist every stupid, self-serving, policy the UCP throws at us. God, the next 2 years are going to be busy!

  18. Carlos says:

    Good Morning Guy
    🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Guy says:

      Happy Monday Carlos! It’s a great day to be alive isn’t it?

      • carlosbeca says:

        Well if this circus continues I think we might just be fortune enough to see a repeat of Redford’s debacle and have some chance of an early election.
        Others are talking of Drew Barnes as the next leader of the UCP and we would all be lucky to have him as premier in which case Alberta will witness its first political revolution.

      • Carlos, you made me smile…although on a serious note I’m beginning to wonder whether Alberta is so polarized it’s becoming ungovernable. Yikes.

      • Carlos says:

        That is a possibility – we would not be the first or the last to be ungovernable

  19. Anita says:

    Thanks Susan for telling it like it is. When our premier calls people who defy public health directives “freedom loving Albertans” it can’t get much worse.

    • Anita, you nailed it. WE are now hearing reports that the provincial government told the cops to lighten up on giving out fines for those who break the rules. God I hope that is’t true because it will either (1) confirm Kenney is talking out of both sides of his mouth or (2) assuming he’s serious about following the rules, his own Cabinet is undermining him.

  20. Carlos says:

    Yes it is – the political crisis in Alberta is growing and that is very good news because I cannot take this moron for too long before I have to go to after him with a baseball bat. 🙂

    This is the best circus in North America

    • Now Carlos, we can’t be running around with baseball bats, however you are right that the political crisis in Alberta is growing.
      I thought it strange that Kenney announced yesterday that he’d be announcing new restrictions today even though he and his Cabinet were still working on them. It’s a tactic I’ve used when negotiating a deal, you tell the other side you’ve got a hard deadline which puts pressure on them to give you what you want or lose the deal all together.
      To get a hard lockdown Kenney will have to override the rodeo rally types who don’t want tighter restrictions (the 17 MLAs who signed the open letter rejecting his restrictions).
      I hope I’m wrong but I think he’s too cowardly to do this so he’ll nibble at the edges, close a few more businesses and put the responsibility on the municipalities if they want to close more.
      This is not leadership. It’s political opportunism.

  21. Survivor Ken says:

    If we zoom out and look at the big picture we see a premier beholden to many of the big businesses in the oil and gas sector with fly-in and fly-out workcamps as well as the foreign owned meat packing plants as well as smaller and medium sized businesses that donated to him as listed at Add in the moneyed folks that want to privatize our health care system and dig coal and we see the powers behind keeping Alberta open at the huge cost of lives and a health care system on the edge of collapse. Time to call these folks to be accountable as well as their puppet in the premier’s office

    While this proposal likely isn’t very realistic, it seems that those violating the health restrictions by meeting in groups larger than 10, could be ticketed, fined and have their AHC card revoked just as careless drivers can lose their license. If these folks can’t trust the professional medical community on a serious issue like COVID-19, they shouldn’t trust the medical system on anything else and should refuse to go to a hospital or seek medical help from the medical community. They can retain their individual freedoms, accept the liability of putting others in danger and take responsibility for their health care without accessing the medical system they don’t trust.

    So glad to get that off my chest!

    • carlosbeca says:

      I could not agree more and in the process if they also dislike our form of government we can easily get them a visa to Siberia along with their libertarian friends in the Kremlin
      I am sure this would help them and us even more.

    • Survivor Ken: I’m glad we gave you a chance to get that off your chest.
      Your comment reminded me of an article that says if you’re having a hard time figuring out why politicians like Kenney do what they do, all you have to do is follow the money, and bingo! there’s your answer. Funny how that works, eh?

  22. Dave says:

    Reality is not always pleasant, so I can understand on a psychological level why some people would like to ignore it or dismiss it. However, it does have a nasty way of catching up with those people who prefer to deny or ignore it.

    While I don’t believe the Premier is completely responsible for the actions and bad behaviour of some people out there I think his equivocation and at times pandering to the COVID reality deniers has emboldened them and reinforced their views. Real leadership involves telling people how things really are in very clear terms, particularly in a time of crisis, even if that is not immediately politically beneficial and taking action quickly In this regard our provincial government has failed.

    Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened recently. Back in the fall of last year, we saw the same pattern from the UCP and Kenney. They equivocated and delayed action and as a result things got worse and worse, until even they were reluctantly forced to act. They seem to have learned nothing from this recent experience.

    Surely, at some level Kenny must know his long term political survival depends on getting COVID under control soon, but he seems to be stuck in very short term thinking in that more restrictions risk triggering more of rebellion in his own party. I suspect with all the delay and equivocation, Alberta will be on of the last places in Canada to get through the COVID crisis. I do not believe it will be the great summer for Albertans that Kenney fairly recently promised. On a related note, I suspect it will not be very good for what is left of his political career either.

    • carlosbeca says:

      I hope you are right with your last paragraph. Jason Kenney is not competent to be premier. He himself does not believe in the restrictions he has to impose and so it has become a circus. He does not deserve any better anyway, this is who he truly is and he can no longer hide it. His lying and cheating is catching up to him and I for one could not be happier because he is not fit to run this province as much as he wants to believe he is the almighty evangelical man.

    • Dave, your comment struck a chord with me. Especially this sentence: “They seem to have learned nothing from this recent experience.” I think part of Kenney’s problem is he believes the malarkey he’s peddling to Albertans. He says, for example, that Alberta’s restrictions are similar to those in BC and Sask. I don’t know about Sask, but I have 3 sisters in BC. I know for a fact Kenney is misstating the facts.
      But what else is new.

  23. Mike J Danysh says:

    It’s a truism now that Alberta is the most Americanized province in Confederation. Worse, we must be the most Republicanized province. The kind of stupidity flouted in Bowden seems more like Texas than Canada. We can’t really blame Jason Kenney for the underlying ignorance of far too many good ol’ folks in Oilberduh—but I damn well do blame him for encouraging these pinheads to mouth off.

    How did this guy get a reputation as a top performer in the Conservative cabinet under Stephen Harper? I’m certain I read that Elizabeth May respected Kenney for his work ethic and strong understanding of his duties as a Cabinet minister (though not for his decisions or policies). Kenney was once considered the next-in-line for leader of the CPC. That’s gotta be a case of deceptive packaging.

    Or maybe Kenney’s problem is that he follows much better than he leads. Put him in the big chair, tell him he’s The Boss, and he flounders. Some people have the “executive mindset”—decisive, able to prioritize, able to delegate, and—critically important—willing to take responsibility. Premier Jason Kenney has none of that.

    As for The Base: I recall a psychologist quoted (in the Guardian?) saying that people often latch onto the first thing they hear, and ignore updated information and “on-the-other-hand” opinions. This probably explains a lot of the resistance (not just in rural areas!) to Covid precautions. Kenney said it was flu-like, not a deadly new disease. End of story, end of thought. Some can also be explained by reluctance of businessmen, small and large, to risk their profits by closing the doors again. How, exactly, they’ll be profitable when staff and customers are afraid to show up and get deathly sick is beyond me.

    Worse, we’ll be stuck with this noise. It’ll take years to convince these people Kenney was wrong about Covid, much less everything else. Kenney has set Alberta’ laws and attitudes back about 70 years, and it’s going to be a long, hard job to bring this province into the 21st Century. (I should know—my cell phone is an obsolete Star Trek flip phone, and I own a horse. Just a 19th Century guy in a 21st Century world.) Covid denial, climate-change denial, Wexit—all aspects of the same delusional mindset.

    Notley’s government was elected partly in reaction to Old-Tory hubris and entitlement. People were sick and tired of the no-longer-progressive Conservatives. But—and this is hopeful—people were also ready for a change toward more inclusive and tolerant attitudes. We can encourage this, friends. We need to start now.

    • Political Ranger says:

      I am glad (glad? … I don’t know Mike, comforted perhaps, something positive anyways) to read your posts Mike. In some way they express some of my absolute anger and dismay and utter embarrassment of the Alberta gov’t and the Alberta people.
      I can’t get the words out.
      I feels like it’s a war. My side is losing. The right side, the good guys and gals are losing! It feels like it’s time for war-fighting.
      And I’m all too aware that that is a door that once opened is unlikely to be closed again in my lifetime.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Ranger, it’s hard to feel we’re not under siege. Between Kenney, who believes government can do nothing right (and sets himself to prove it) and the Covid crisis, we’re all going a little crazy.

        But we’re not the only ones. Remember, Kenney’s fleeing both Notley’s hard questions AND the UCP rebels led by Drew Barnes. The vipers are fanging each other. Even if Kenney resigns tomorrow, the UCP will be in such a mess they’d have trouble winning rock-paper-scissors, let alone an election.

        Yes, it feels like a war at times. Fortunately, Kenney has more in common with Adolf Hitler than with Winston Churchill. (I’m not referring to the Holocaust—it was totally indefensible—but to Hitler’s personality.) John Keegan in “The Mask of Command” details how Hitler’s “leadership” style fell apart as the war progressed. Hitler was decisive and dynamic before the war started, but gradually became erratic, then neurotic. Kenney isn’t mentally ill—I think he’s just weak.

        This is, I hope, the lowest point in the Covid crisis. AHS, despite the UCP, is getting vaccine doses into arms. The walk-in clinics had a slow start, then people showed up in (physically-distanced, mask-protected) droves. We haven’t turned the corner yet, but I think I can see the “bend ahead” sign. We need two things: time to wait out the third wave, and patience to wait out the UCP’s self-destruction. Then we can begin a counter-offensive.

        We can’t stop Kenney & the Even Dumber Klowns from making things worse. Right now, that’s actually in our favour. The smart people—and that really is a majority—know the UCP is a disaster.

        I just started my retirement, after 35+ years as a civil servant—lab tech at Alberta Research Council. I still haven’t decided what to do with my free time. But hey, everybody needs a hobby. Maybe I’ll become politically ACTIVE, instead of just venting. The best cure for “What the hell can I do about it?” is—act! Political parties rely on volunteers. We could both start a new hobby—defeat the UCP in 2023. What do you say?

    • Political Ranger says:

      If you have the spirit and the faith in humanity Mike, then you should throw your hat in. We need more fine people like you in leadership.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Well Ranger, I just might. I ought to at least volunteer as a campaign worker. But leadership? Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I’m more of an observer and analyst (some might say analist).

    • Mike great comments.
      I too have heard that Kenney was a star at the federal level because he worked harder than anyone else. If I learned anything after working for decades in the private sector it’s that working hard is a waste of time if you’re working on the wrong thing.
      Kenney may be outworking everyone in his cabinet, but he’s rapidly taking Alberta back to the 1950s. As we’ve all said many times before, that is not a good thing.

  24. carlosbeca says:

    Mike, Kenney was considered 2nd after Harper in a time when the loonies were everywhere and this kind of Conservatism was the fad. Trump in the US, Harper here and Boris Johnson in the UK. If you look at his record in Ottawa like I did for a long time it was as bad as it is now except at the time the circus had a lot more audience. He screwed badly with the foreign workers and he was right behind the lunacy about the hijab in Quebec.
    Furthermore in a time when Harper was king any lunatic prince was not as noticeable. He has been this style for as long as I know him.

  25. Ice is Nice says:

    I’ve always found that freedom follows respect and humility. Your mileage may vary!

  26. Janna says:

    It isn’t nice living in Kenney’s Alberta. Not nice at all. I am so full of rage, all the time.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      “And this, too, shall pass away.” But we may have to give them a push in 2023. We can do this.

  27. GoinFawr says:

    Protest near a railway: go to jail, or pay an outrageous fine, or both.

    Mass protest against public health orders at the worst moment during a pandemic, callously, deliberately placing entire communities at grave risk:

    receive tweats

    How do you get rodeo people to understand that while responsibility isn’t the bane of freedom it is a fixed cost in the price when their elected UCP officials repeatedly encourage deliberately callous irresponsibility, and then immediately swan off on holiday, utterly neglecting the responsibility they bear for all the previous, and subsequent irresponsible behaviour their complete lack of competency enables.

    In short: It’s like these rodeo folk want everyone else terrified of them!
    It must take horse tranquilizers to knock ’em out so they can get to sleep at night! Lord knows they have access to ’em!

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Sorry, GoinFawr, I have to quibble. It’s not rodeo people so much as rural folks who’ve guzzled the Libertarian Kool-ade. Worse, it becomes a self-reinforcing cycle of ignorance. Folks who don’t get why Covid isn’t the flu, hearing from allegedly respectable power figures (MLAs and preachers) who share their mistaken beliefs–then add “confirmation bias” and you have our current health crisis.

      “Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.” Most folks would prefer to be friendly, it’s just a few know-it-alls and s–t disturbers who get the neighbours riled up. People always behave worse when they’re part of a crowd.

      To break this dangerous cycle, we need to convince those willing to listen that there’s a damn good reason to wear a mask (even if you don’t like it), keep your distance from others (even your good buddies) and get the damn jab (even it it hurts your arm). None of that will happen while Kenney & the Klowns are in power. Barnes & the Even Dumber Klowns will see to that.

  28. Dust Bunny says:

    “If there’s no direct relationship between the restrictions and viral spread then there’s no reason for you to respect them, right?
    Don’t look now, but your comfy bubble is closing in on you.” So I guess it’s closing in a snails pace.. Who are we? Why do we tolerate this?

  29. Carlos says:

    This shameless idiot has the courage to go on radio and scold Albertans that have been following his real orders. He has called covid-19 a flu until very recently has avoided any kind of real measures to appease his masters in the oil Industry and others and then has the guts to try to blame us for the results. I wished I could have an opportunity to tell you a couple of things you darn spineless coward.

  30. carlosbeca says:

    Read and have someone read as well
    Time to pack the circus and send them away

    • Guy says:

      Thanks for the link Carlos. That story was an excellent summary of why and how we got to be where we are now.

      The UCP: Protecting Lives and Livelihoods… of the UCP.

  31. Comment says:

    Kenney has contaminated everything he has touched – much like Trump did in the US. Both of them are populist leaders who speak out of both sides of their mouths. Alberta has always had more than its share of backwood hicks with an attitude, but Kenney has given them huge airtime (just like Trump gave his QAnon nutty tinfoil hat supporters). And, like the US, it will take Kenney being voted out to cut off that air supply. Only then, can this province hope to get (back?) to some sort of normalcy.

    • Political Ranger says:

      Are you kidding? Are you not aware of what’s going on with the GOP? Now that tRump is out of office?
      No one in their right mind thinks the “air supply” for the nutjobs and “hicks” has been cut off.

      • Carlos says:

        I agree with Political Ranger. They will go on hibernation and wait for the next nut to show up and be elected by circumstances and next time we might not be as lucky as being only 4 years of this show of fantasy. We need Proportional Representation to avoid this 2 party system that does not work, or better works to cause this kind of situation.

  32. Just Ice says:

    Our host Ms Soapbox, has written what I think is best and most respectful take-down I’ve seen! The key to unlock the problem? “Because you’re special, you’re a person of destiny, nothing bad will ever happen to you.” Because that was written? I’m going to post the addict’s theme song for my friends over in the wingnut welfare line-up of cheap suit serenaders!

  33. Dust Bunny says:

    I think it’s time for a dance. Never!, have I been to a party I’d want to remember, without dancing! So I guess we could maybe use a dance tune! Holy Hanna! If I pick a bad one this party’s gonna kick me out! Oh well. So for all my friends who I know are ready willing and able? Time for..

  34. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Let us not forget that Deena Hinshaw has chosen not to use the powers available to the Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health. Rather, she has decided to offer suggestions and allowed herself to be pushed front and centre when it is convenient for the UCP. Is she that ambitious or has she been cowed?

    As an aside, why does Jason Kenney want to replace the RCMP? They appear to do as they are told.

    • Carlos says:

      To be honest I think Deena Hinshaw to me despite probably being a very nice person, has failed her job miserably. She should have taken a tough stance with this bunch of clowns and impose the rules that she saw fit. She did not or if she did than she is a bigger failure.
      A person cannot be cowed in a matter of life and death like this is.
      As far as the RCMP there are probably several reasons but I believe that if you ask Jason Kenney he does not have an answer on that either. It is just a great slogan for his ideology to go against the RCMP which is a federal police force and everything federal is bad. These people have these slogans and fads memorized and do not even know what is behind it in the real world. Just part of the circus – a side ring.

  35. Mike J Danysh says:

    Looking through some old, bookmarked CBC articles, I came across the name Scott Harold Payne. This is Mr. Payne’s latest blog, published in January this year. It’s an astonishing look into the workings of the old “Progressive” Conservative party and the upstart UCP:

    Most astonishing is that Mr. Payne interviewed two former PC MLAs, Sandra Jansen and Thomas Lukaszuk. They describe how the party leader is picked, and who he reports to. Briefly—if you believed the Old Tories and the UCP answer to the Calgary old boys’ club, you are correct.

    It also suggests why Rachel Notley couldn’t drag Oilberduh closer to the political center. The big money in Calgary wouldn’t let her.

    Worse, Mr. Payne, supported by Lukaszuk and Jansen, believes the rich guys have decided “progressives” are bad for business. Hence their choice of front man for the United Conservative Party—Jason Kenney.

    Now we know why not-so-lordly Jason changed the campaign finance rules. He’s allowing big money from PACs into our elections because that’s what Kenney’s masters in Calgary want. We all thought so; Payne, Lukaszuk and Jansen confirm it.

    This puts a new perspective on Kenney and the UCP. He’s not Lord Jason of Oilberduh; he’s Jason the Court Jester for the rich elite in Calgary. And the rage over Alohagate? The UCP rank and file discovered they’re just another bunch of peons. They got their noses rubbed into the Golden Rule: “Whoever has the gold, makes the rules.” The UCP isn’t grassroots; it’s Astro Turf. And the peons don’t like it.

    Being forced to realize they don’t make the rules hurt the Base’s pride. It may have been the opening wedge that will split the party into far-right (Kenney and his masters) and extreme-right (Barnes et al, anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, anti-education, anti-everyone-who’s-not-us).

    This gives us ordinary folks an opening to undermine the ruling elite. Note to self: start leaving suggestions and comments on the NDP official web site, and writing to my NDP MLA!

    • Guy says:

      That is such a good article Mike. It explains a lot about the past decade or so in Alberta politics. Enlightening and, sadly, unsurprising. It’s too bad that the author didn’t, or perhaps couldn’t, name the members of the ‘backroom boys’. They remind me of the group that I saw recently referred to on the Alberta Politics blog as the ‘Sprawl Cabal’ who, as I understand it, are the driving force behind the delays to the Green Line LRT expansion in Calgary. I’ve never been able to understand the mentality of people who, having already acquired great wealth, want nothing more than to acquire more regardless of the cost to the society that they are a part of. *Sigh* I guess it just shows what most of us already know, that being wealthy doesn’t imbue a person with wisdom, intelligence or compassion. In the case of these two groups at least, it seems instead that these qualities have been replaced with simple greed.

      On a different note, congrats on your recent retirement and I hope you enjoy whatever hobby you decide to pursue!

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Thanks Guy. Somebody smarter than me said, “The worst enemy of capitalism is a successful businessman.” The more you have to lose, the harder you fight to keep it. It’s another aspect of the mental condition called “entitlement.”

        I’m weighing options for retirement hobbies, and it occurred to me–maybe I should start a blog of my own. I could maybe spare our host, Ms Soapbox, some effort reviewing my rants 😊

  36. GoinFawr says:

    A family member, moving TO Alberta next month, sent me the following cartoon outlining the completely mental thought process of the right wing loonies:

    So true.

  37. Dwayne says:

    Susan: This also describes Alberta under the Conservatives/UCP. It’s a Jim Cox penned tune. It features an 18 year old Steve Winwood on piano, organ and vocals, with the Spencer Davis Group. It’s from 1966.

  38. Mike J Danysh says:

    Somewhere above, I compared Jason Kenney to Adolf Hitler–not for the Holocaust, but for his complete collapse into failure as a leader. Max Fawcett, writing in National Observer, has a much better comparison:

    (NOTE: there’s a paywall, but try if you don’t get through.)

    Adolf Hitler and the “mask of command” or Nevil Chamberlain and appeasement? You decide.

  39. Carlos says:

    Finally after 4 decades things are starting to open up for us citizens – i certainly hope so.
    I expected the NDP to do this but they never did and so they never really convinced me they are the way to go, they seem to be more of the same with a few changes.

    I am not a believer in Joe Biden because he is a neo-liberal but maybe he has changed his mind on the effectiveness of the biggest political scam ever in modern politics

    • GoinFawr says:

      The thoroughly-debunked-by-historical-record socioeconomic theory of neoliberalism is well characterized by rabble… there are a lot of moving parts to any political system because it must mesh with a society’s economy, naturally, but if Mr.Biden keeps bypassing those with the most to provide support of the gov’t to those who have the least, Canada should take notice.

      For example, Canada’s federal gov’t opted not to attack the current plague through elimination but by ‘flattening the curve’, and hoping for a vaccine to be developed. Of course it would have to be developed somewhere ELSE, since Canada’s once robust public health care systems have been so eviscerated by decades of abuse by federal, provincial, and municipal conservative/neoliberal governance that by 2020 no provinces have had the capability to administer, let alone produce, a vaccine in time to effect that defence. Pretty big gamble, if you ask me.

      While the US, with its allegedly 100% privatized healthcare system, successfully employed the most socialist response to the pandemic since Norway.

      • Carlos says:

        Absolutely correct.
        Actually I would venture to say that Joe Biden is starting to move more towards Bernie Sanders ideas than Justin Trudeau ever will. It may change but it seems he is smart enough to understand that he can do much better work helping the lower and middle classes than the Jeff Bezos that have accumulated immense fortunes.

        I am hoping this is a correct assumption because if it is, the US can pull Canada to the left as well and we need it. We can leave the Conservatives behind wondering if they believe in climate change or not or if they are going to ban abortion again.

        My prediction is that O’Toole is a walking dead and if he falls worse will come up and hopefully one as nutty as Jason Kenney which will take the Conservatives out of government for at least another decade

  40. Pogo says:

    I definitely hear an echo! Bowness? Bowden? Shall the mighty fall upon the map?

  41. Pogo says:

    Open dialogue. A lost predilection. I’d post a recipe, if it would make at least one person here happy! I do have some fantastic ones!

  42. Bubbles says:

    Dialectics.How refreshing! Finally! A place to call home!

  43. Christina says:

    These rodeos are being advertised by some wing nut UCP . The whistle stop demonstrations seem just to be in defiance of govt. he wants it legislated to get him to follow the law. Just have to read it x3. Although public health orders trump legislation. The lack of fines, etc by police and govt make people not believe it.why isn’t some tattoo artist making some money so that when they come in and test pos no more medical treatment for balcony diagnosis. I now know 2 people who passed suddenly. I work with several who I have because of covid. Yesterday, 1:175 chance of being posative in Alberta. The roads are packed, the malls are full, brainwashed to spend money vs stay home that’s what you get paid the cerb for. Should do check stops…un nessisary travel looses you cerb pmt. you obviously aren’t staying home, no point using tax payer money to keep you there. So, when is Kenny planning on doing these healthcare layoffs? With contracts still not done are we closer to being locked out in the midst of a pandemic?

  44. Just Ice says:

    I guess I gotta be the reminder nanny. Ok then! Vote for your interests. If that’s Q anon on facebook? So be it! Just don’t expect your bad choices to protect you from some major agricorp or oilgas slickard from stripping you to your undies!

  45. Megan says:

    It’s sad that this is still relevant. I just read this and thought it was posted a couple days ago. Not almost a year ago.

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