Alberta’s Um, Uh, You Know, Reopening Plan

Alberta is a train slowly emerging from a tunnel, we see the light, the vaccines are coming and most of us will be vaccinated soon. Unfortunately, Alberta is a runaway train and Jason Kenney is the engine driver (also known as the loco pilot in some jurisdictions).

Alberta’s loco pilot is singularly unqualified for the job because he can’t lead.

Leadership requires vision and courage. Good leaders set benchmarks and meet or exceed them. Bad leaders fail and it’s someone else’s fault.   

Kenney’s management of the covid crisis is the most important test of his leadership to date. He failed. Alberta has the highest covid rate per capita in North America.  

When asked to explain his dismal performance Kenney said Alberta’s rates are sky high because Albertans are “behaviorally different” and Alberta has “a compliance problem.”

It’s not me, it’s you.

What Kenney failed to explain was how his conservative peers, Scott Moe, Brian Pallister, and Doug Ford (Doug Ford for God’s sake!) were able to persuade, plead, and cajole their residents into protecting their health and healthcare systems, while Kenney could not.    

Next up, natural immunity

As if that weren’t bad enough, now we have a new concern: It appears Kenney’s reopening plan will be as much of a dog’s breakfast as his plan to reduce the spread of covid in the province.   

On April 12 Kenney said vaccines are our path to recovery and freedom. He outlined a reopening plan based on vaccination rate plus “immunity from natural infection” – when half the population has immunity we’ll be able to gather together more, when two-thirds have immunity we’ll start getting back to normal, eg the Stampede and sporting events will be permitted, and when three-quarters are immune we’ll be fully back to normal.

He said about 12% of Albertans have natural immunity.* Where did he get this number? And why does he believe all Albertans who’ve had covid are naturally immune? Chris Mody, head of Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Calgary says while “natural immunity” is likely to provide some protection, it may be relatively short lived.     

Leaving aside concerns about the validity of the “natural immunity” argument, and the fact that we have not yet achieved two-thirds immunity and Kenney gave the Stampede and another rodeo the green light to proceed anyway.

Let’s pause for a moment to compare Kenney’s nebulous reopening plan with the specificity of Saskatchewan’s 3-Step reopening plan.

Saskatchewan says it will move to Step 1 three weeks after 70% of people aged 40 and up have received their first shot. It will move to Step 2 three weeks after 70% of the people aged 30 and up have received their first shot, and to Step 3 three weeks after people aged 18 and up have received their first shot. Some experts are concerned Saskatchewan is moving too fast, but at least the idea of natural immunity doesn’t enter into the equation.  

Um, wait, uh…

On May 11 Kenney revisited his re-opening plan.   

A reporter asked whether Alberta would consider a plan similar to Saskatchewan’s plan. Kenney said the emergency management committee of cabinet tasked the Dept of Health with “beginning to develop a reopening plan” that would track Alberta’s vaccination rate and that the Dept of Health “is at the early stages of developing ah, uh, um, proposals for consideration by cabinet uh, but um, at this point, uh, you know, we’ve, our focus, our immediate focus is just getting through the next couple of weeks.”**

Um, what?

Kenney rolled out a full-blown plan on April 12 and a month later he said the Dept of Health was beginning to develop a reopening plan for cabinet’s consideration?  

Which brings us back to the runaway train.

A couple of days after Kenney’s um, uh, ah, press conference UCP MLA Todd Loewen wrote a scathing letter demanding Kenney’s resignation. Following a 7 hour caucus meeting Loewen and another UCP MLA, Drew Barnes, were expelled from caucus.  

But the turmoil continues.

And while it’s tempting to indulge in schadenfreude as the UCP rips itself apart, we must not forget we’re stuck on a runaway train watching the loco pilot and his crew duke it out for control of the locomotive.  

*Globe & Mail May 6, 2021 A10

**Verbatim quote

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99 Responses to Alberta’s Um, Uh, You Know, Reopening Plan

  1. psponderings says:

    Susan, I am more than infuriated to read today that AHS is developing a plan for the resumption of rodeos! This is so far from what the real priorities of Albertans are it is inexcusable. This is nothing more than a floundering premier looking for a lifeline from the deep pockets of the financiers of the old PCs. If this does not result in massive protests by Albertans, then I guess we get the government we deserve.

    • psponderings: Apparently AHS and/or Kenney (I’m not sure who’s running the show anymore) announced Calaway Park and Heritage Park will open soon. We’ve just hit the record number of people in ICU ever and we’re opening parks and rodeos. As you said, we get the government we deserve.

  2. GoinFawr says:

    “Can’t afford to be neutral on a moving train!” – Howard Zinn

    I hear you Susan, if only we could uncouple the cars with everyone else in them and let them run themselves and the locomotive off the end of the line.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Susan: It isn’t getting any better under the blind leadership of the UCP. It won’t get better. We also have witnessed Kaycee Madu’s out of line comments relating to the covid matter in Alberta, because the UCP are failing Alberta miserably, and with the Conservatives in Alberta, all they can do is blame shift. I have also heard that the Calgary Stampede will proceed. That is certainly not a smart thing to do. I have been to the Calgary Stampede before, and I know it is very packed. What will the UCP do when the covid virus spreads even further? There are variants of the virus spreading around. Alberta has been in the situation, more than once before, where we had the highest per capita rate of people with covid in Canada. The UCP didn’t learn from this. Also, the UCP have basically turned Dr. Deena Hinshaw into a marionette. She doesn’t think for herself anymore. Where is Tyler Shandro? He hasn’t been seen lately. Furthermore, it was a big mistake for the UCP to cancel the building of the super lab that the NDP got going. I think it’s crucial that people tell Albertans about how bad the UCP are. Show the major mistakes the UCP have done, and get the UCP out of power. The UCP aren’t fit to govern. It’s not benefiting Alberta to have the UCP in charge.

    • Dwayne, did you watch yesterday’s press conference. Kenney made a point of saying covid is real and the ICU numbers are at a record high. Then as you said, he turns around an announces more things are being allowed to open up. There’s a reason why Albertans aren’t taking him seriously. His words and actions make no sense.

      • Carlos says:

        Susan I think that the lying and lack of common sense are so atrocious that he does not realize anymore that he is contradicting himself constantly. It is the lowest level possible for a person and I wonder who still believes this guy?

  4. Irene says:

    As usual, Jason Kenney gambles big-time to keep positioning himself to some perceived advantage politically- and he ALWAYS tosses the dice with other people’s money and lives. And, as the stakes get higher, the people of Alberta are always the biggest losers when his gambles fail. Which is, all the time. Rodeos and everything else equated with “opening up” will lead to a fourth wave of Covid-19 and its ugly and mutating variants. It doesn’t look like Alberta will ever achieve a high enough vaccination rate to have any kind of effective “herd immunity”- diabolically because of Kenney’s own game-playing and the kind of people he has hearkened to his caucus and power base. We have seen the pattern of Jason Kenney’s mish-mash of policies and cock-eyed logic through this pandemic, and if he follows through with this debacle we will have that Fourth Wave, with another resurgence of failing businesses, cratering families, high death rates, a health system in tatters, and our kids losing another year of school. Are Jason Kenney’s political ambitions worth that?

    • Dwayne says:

      Irene: The premier of Alberta, if he can be called that title, is likely going to lick his wounds, and retire at age 55, after a life in politics. The UCP are tattered like a piece of old cloth, and the premier will likely be dumped by his party. He is not relatable to ordinary people, because of certain characteristics. He can’t relate to the struggles of a working person, because he has had no actual employment, outside of politics. He can’t relate to a family, and the struggles they face, because he has no children. He can’t relate to a student, because he didn’t finish post secondary education. He cannot relate to a financially struggling person, such as a senior, or someone on AISH, because he gets a nice political salary, and he also will get a very large political pension, at age 55, with a certain amount of that being tax free. The premier of Alberta also puts forth ideas and solutions that are imbalanced, and very out of date.

    • Irene and Dwayne, I agree with you both. Kenney was asked about Alberta’s reopening plan at Monday’s press conference. He said the emergency management committee of Cabinet would review it this week and there may be an announcement next week. He indicated it would have a 70% vaccination rate similar to what Saskatchewan has done. (He didn’t mention this ridiculous natural immunity thing he’s talked about in the past so that’s a good thing). But what I can’t figure out is if the reopening plan has not yet been settled and it’s dependent on 70% immunization and we haven’t hit 50% immunization yet, why is he jumping the gun by reopening events that guarantee large crowds?

  5. Mike Priaro says:

    “…we’re stuck on a runaway train watching the loco pilot and his crew duke it out for control of the locomotive…” Love the apt metaphor! Well done, Susan.

  6. Guy says:

    Yes, it’s true that the government’s plan for re-opening is somewhat difficult to understand and while this week’s offering from Ms. Soapbox would appear to effectively skewer Jason Kenney like the last piece of fatty pork on the end of the kebab because of this, perhaps there is also room for a more fair and balanced viewpoint.

    What I believe is being overlooked is that we are witnessing the lean and efficient model of government that Albertans voted for when they elected the UCP. Jason Kenney merely questions why his government should waste valuable time and energy developing a re-opening strategy when there was never a plan to close anything in the first place. The thinking is that if you don’t do anything today there will not be a need to undo it tomorrow. Any graduate of the Adriana LaGrange School Of Smart Stuff And Religion Too would immediately recognize the logic in this. It’s simple.

    I also believe that Mr. Kenney’s comment about Albertans being behaviorally different has been widely misunderstood. Most often it is interpreted to mean that he believes that Albertans behave differently from people in BC and Saskatchewan, but this presupposes that he knows or cares anything about our neighbouring provinces which is absurd. What he really means is that Albertans are behaviorally different from the version of Albertans that lives in his head. For example, he developed a response to the pandemic that he was certain would be embraced by most Albertans, best captured as a bumper sticker prominently adorned with the UCP logo, stating simply ‘COVID-19: Let ‘er buck!’ Imagine his surprise when it turned out that most Albertans, when given the option to receive a spa treatment, attend a rodeo, or engage in some form of hollow consumerist activity in a vain attempt to fill the void created by another week of grueling labour in the coal mines, chose instead to protect the health of themselves, their loved ones and their community by staying home. His disappointment with us must have been profound and, as such, the blame for the failure of the pandemic response resides with us and not with the government. A simple interpretation once you see it.

    So the point that I’m trying to make is that when discussing Jason Kenney it’s often best not to over-analyze what he says and does because most often the explanation is much like the man himself. Simple.

    • Carlos says:

      Well simple is fine but he is anything but simple, he is a complete idiot and that is why it is hard to analyze him. My opinion anyway.
      He is an egomaniac and that is the problem. He should be running his life if he can and leave the rest of us run ours.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      😊 well written Guy, your first paragraph had me wondering “Who is this, and what’s he done with Guy?”

      I suspect your assessment of the Kenney Klowns’ MO in paragraph 2 is accurate. I’d sum up their management style as, “Oh, deal with it yourself, snowflakes! We’re busy.” Funny how life is more complex than we imagine, isn’t it?

      It’s time for a new election slogan for UCP 2023: “We’re all in this together. Some of us, anyway.”

      • Guy says:

        Thanks for hanging in there past the first paragraph Mike. I’m glad I didn’t lose you completely! I hope I don’t lose Susan too soon when she reads it. My description of her skewering of Kenney is my contorted way of expressing admiration for the quality of her post.

      • Thank you Guy…like Mike I thought “What? What’s happened to Guy?” And then I read on and your wit shone through. There’s a lot of truth in what you say. Kenney is a simple man following a simple ideology. Consequently he’s blindsided by change and the complexity of modern life. Very ill-suited to govern in the 21st century.

  7. Dave says:

    I suppose its Albertans faults, is Kenney speak for look in the mirror. Yes, there is a very vocal minority here who are COVID deniers and anti-lock down, but it is the Premier’s job to lead, not to try to accommodate, mollify or encourage them. He should know better. I suppose another part of the problem, is once you start to encourage conspiracy theories in one area, the kookiness can spread to others. A final part of the problem is Kenney has exhausted a lot of his political credibility already and even his own caucus notices that, so is it any wonder a bunch of them will no longer listen to the Kenney lecture series any more.

    Yes, unfortunately we are all together on this runaway train. Yeah, the one where various factions of the UCP are fighting over the controls, while it hurdles down the tracks. I can’t see it ending well for the UCP, but regardless it is also a big distraction from dealing with the health crisis at hand.

    • carlosbeca says:

      Absolutely Dave and this afternoon again he is going to be scolding us in his press conference. I am sure it would be more credible if he seriously scolded his own ministers for the garbage they put out.

      • Dwayne says:

        Carlos: I have seen the recent press conferences. The premier of Alberta is the one speaking, and Dr. Deena Hinshaw isn’t there. Hardly surprising here.

      • Carlos: Monday’s press conference was one for the record books. The French Canadian reporter (she’s fantastic) asked Kenney why he didn’t move up the leadership review to quell the discontent on display in his party last week. He replied the leadership review is a question for the UCP Board and it wouldn’t be helpful for the government to be “distracted by internal politics” during a crisis such as the one we’re facing.
        Perhaps he hasn’t noticed yet, but the government has been and continues to be extremely “distracted by internal politics” during the covid crisis. Duh!

  8. Mike J Danysh says:

    Good news and bad news, my friends. The good news is that Covid case numbers are falling in Alberta; vaccinations and responsible people are making the difference in bringing down the rate of spreading.

    The bad news is, this is just what Kenney needs to browbeat his caucus back into a proper state of obedience, and then claim that he won.

    How it will turn out is a puzzle, but—assuming the vaccination program keeps ramping up, and case numbers keep falling–I think the UCP base will stop howling and go back to mere grumbling. They’ll probably be satisfied if the bars, or at least patios, reopen soon and they can have a beer or six with their buddies again. That will take the wind out of Barnes et al’s sails, leaving Kenney by default the only Leader on the right. (Despite their yammering, the Wexit splinter groups are nowhere.)

    The big problem with that scenario is the more virulent mutations that are spreading now. If the Covid “variants of concern” spread faster and we enter a fourth wave—then Kenney is done. Much as I’d like to see him expelled from the UCP, I can’t say the cost would be worth the reward.

    • Guy says:

      Mike, I’m with you on the good news portion of your message. The dropping COVID numbers are welcome news indeed. I’m more uncertain that Kenney retaining his leadership position is totally bad news. I know how that sounds, but I’m under the impression that a big part of the reason for the UCP’s dismal polling numbers is Kenney himself. In two years he has managed to alienate Albertans across the political spectrum and he has attracted a great deal of animosity towards himself personally. I’m not sure that his reputation is salvageable before the next election.

      My concern is that if Kenney is replaced as leader it gives the UCP a fresh face to rally behind, regardless of how inept the new leader proves to be, and a new opportunity to spin another Jobs and Pipelines story to Albertans. If Kenney remains in place, hopefully most voters will remember the damage he has caused and will vote against him, so it’s possible that Jason Kenney as leader represents the UCP’s worst chance at re-election. The way I see it, the UCP’s ideology of privatization of public services and blind devotion to corporate interests is the source of many of Alberta’s present woes and Kenney is simply the driving force behind the implementation that ideology. The entire party needs to be removed from power, not just the leader, and replaced with one that acts more in accordance with the actual needs and wishes of Albertans.

      • One word only – Amen!

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Guy, I’m sure you’re right that the UCP’s ideology causes most of Alberta’s current problems. Jason Kenney is–for now–Rachel Notley’s best recruiter.

        I’m not sure enough Albertans will think about the long-running train wreck when they actually stand at the polling booth. If Kenney continues in power, and stays true to form, he’s “one and done,” and his circus Klowns with him. But give the chumps of Oilberduh a reason to ignore the rolling dumpster fire of the UCP misgovernment, or a small bribe with their tax money, and I wouldn’t care to bet on the outcome.

        With two years to get past the pandemic, and even a modest turn-around in the economy, there’ll be a swing back to the right. Kenney will, of course, claim total victory and all the credit. If he can fend off internal attackers, he might bamboozle enough life-long Con voters to pull off a win.

        The chances right now are against him, given that Edmonton and Calgary are fed up with the UCP. We’ll see if Albertans are now politicized enough to keep score for two more years. Here’s hopin’ pardners….

    • Dwayne says:

      Mike J Danysh I think we are in for increased covid numbers, because of the UCP’s bad reopening plans. They aren’t thought out so well.

    • GoinFawr says:

      “With two years to get past the pandemic, and even a modest turn-around in the economy, there’ll be a swing back to the right. Kenney will, of course, claim total victory and all the credit. If he can fend off internal attackers, he might bamboozle enough life-long Con voters to pull off a win.”

      Bite your tongue, sir.

      • Interesting conversation. My feeling is that Kenney is finished with the far right part of his base. Kenney’s denunciation of Calgary mayoral candidate Kevin Johnston (the guy who said he’ll arm himself and go to the homes of AHS workers) was the last straw for many. Kenney lost the true “progressive” conservatives a long time ago, so I don’t know who’s left.
        The problem the conservatives face is they can’t win with Kenney and they can’t win if they split the party so they have to find a leader who is acceptable to the PC and WR factions.
        I don’t think such a person exists, do you?

      • GoinFawr says:

        “I don’t think such a person exists, do you?”

        I expect maybe Mr. Jean, or (shudder) Danielle Smith still possess the wherewithal, network, and the connections to the privatization machine to be of use to it.

    • Dwayne says:

      Mike J Danysh: I remember this song from the 1970s. Michael McDonald is a very brilliant songwriter. This is so relatable to what we see in Alberta, under the leadership of the UCP.

      The Doobie Brothers are a great band.

  9. carlosbeca says:

    Yes Susan you are absolutely right. Jason Kenney is not competent to be even trying to run this province. It seems we have another press conference this afternoon to open up again now that the vaccines are coming faster. Maybe another scolding blaming us and Trudeau but that is the normal. I am sure that even with enough vaccine he will be attacking Ottawa to satisfy the morons that support him. In the meantime the Federal government has released a new program for better insulation and I am wondering if he will ban it in Alberta as well. After all it is again Trudeau trying to into Alberta’s affairs.

    • Carlos, Kenney said something really hypocritical at Monday’s press conference about the federal/provincial jurisdiction. He was asked to comment on the conflict in Gaza. He said it was a matter of federal jurisdiction and just as he doesn’t want the feds to step into provincial jurisdiction, so to will he refrain from stepping into federal jurisdiction. The irony is he’s constantly trying to usurp federal jurisdiction, especially when it comes to federal environmental and climate change mitigation efforts. I wonder sometimes whether he listens to the nonsense coming out of his mouth.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Gee, Susan, why would Kenney listen to himself? That would cramp his style.

  10. A train wreck waiting to happen just about sums it up. My sympathies are with Rachel Notley and the mess she will be left with that will take decades to mop up.

    • Irene says:

      Yes Carol, and sympathy also to the families who have lost loved ones through this terrible time, and are still facing really horrible consequences of Covid-19. Our ICU numbers are at record highs. This is nothing to celebrate. Many of these people (and most younger) will die, and the rest likely to have ongoing health issues. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have to go to work as a doctor, nurse, respiratory technician these 15 months and watch helplessly as so many people die. It has dragged on way too long for even super-human health workers to keep coping. I know our health professionals have tried so hard to advocate for sensible Pandemic measures and have been largely ignored by the Jason Kenney government. We all need an update as to what is happening in the real world so I am recommending this presentation. Doctors! Imagine that. What could they possibly know? https://static1.squarespace.com/static/568eb5bbd82d5eecf06026c4/t/609ee3a47280ff52c5867f54/1621025701508/EZMSA+EVENT+AD_B.pdf

      • Irene, I missed the “Long Haul” presentation at the link, but it looks well worth the time. Do you know whether it was recorded and is now available somewhere on the internet?
        As you said, it’s time for the “lives and livelihoods” bureaucrats to step aside and let experts who know what they’re talking provide some much needed input or God help us, lives and livelihoods will go down for good in the 4th wave.

      • Thank you for providing the link, Irene. My hubby has dialysis three times a week at our hospital and tells me stories of how exhausted our health care teams really are. The hospital here in FMM is now at full capacity and patients are being shipped to other hospitals. It’s frightening.

  11. GoinFawr says:

    “Since February, people living in rural areas have been 26 per cent more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those in urban areas”….

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/deena-hinshaw-covid-alberta-1.6029367

    Well well well, I am shocked! Shocked I tell you! How was the RODEO, you DUDE?

    You know the saying, I suppose: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think that maybe, just maybe, there are professionals in our healthcare system who actually earned their positions, and whose directives deserve(d) your respect, at the very least over your best friend Ms.Info’s FB page.

    What a shame you fooled yourself into thinking you knew more than anyone else about everything…

    Personally, I have simply had it with ‘rural’ folk threatening everyone else with their self destructive wilful ignorance, because they have the utter gall to insult everyone else while they are at it.

    • GoinFawr says:

      Alberta’s ‘conservatives’, illustrating to the world just how dangerous the Dunning-Kruger effect can be when combined with a religion whose only tenet is,

      “I’m all right, so $#@& all the rest.”

    • GoinFawr, I sympathize although I suspect this willful ignorance is pretty widespread. It seems to go hand in hand with complaints about the “elites.” A friend told me about a bizarre conversation where one guy, a well educated, well paid professional, was complaining to a second guy, another well educated, well paid professional, about the “elites.” The second guy stopped the conversation when he asked the first guy who he was complaining about because they were both “elites.”
      This sloppy thinking has got to stop. It’s destructive and deflects us from the real issues plaguing us in a society rift with inequality and inequity.

      • Carlos says:

        Susan with all due respect I think that you are generalizing a concept that is clear in a certain context. I myself use the term “elites” but not it the sense you seem to be talking about. Most people equate ‘elites’ in economic conversation of those who basically own the planet like the Jeff Bezos and Koch Brothers and…etc
        So I do not mean to be disrespectful of elites in the sense of educated people because I am also one of them and I am proud of it. So maybe we will have to create our own term to mean the super rich and tax evaders and those that have illegal tax free accounts offshore and have no respect for the rest of us good citizens. I have no problem to be on these people’s tails because they couldn’t careless about us or anything other than themselves.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        “Elites” in this context doesn’t really refer to the rich or well-off, or people who have power & influence in our society. No, when used by RepubliCons like Kenney, Ford, The Donald, et. al., it refers to anyone who knows shit about important matters like science or economics. It’s about contempt for expertise & a fact-averse worldview.

    • psponderings says:

      I am very surprised at her closing comments.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        In 2000, Steward and Kevin Taft wrote a small book called “Clear Answers” about the sorry state of health care under Ralph Klein. It was sponsored by the Parkland Institute.

        I’ve seen her by-line in a few other places, always for progressive causes. I’d paraphrase her closing remarks as, “Hey UCP! The job is to stop the pandemic. Do the cage match on your own time.”

      • Thanks for the link Dwayne. I always enjoy Gillian’s articles and agree with her conclusion that the government would be well advised to focus on addressing this pandemic instead of being mired in internal squabbles. For all of Kenney’s talk about Alberta being the first in things pandemic related, he is lagging Saskatchewan and Ontario on a re-opening plan and Saskatchewan and Manitoba on the start of booking second doses.
        You know what they say, all hat, no cattle.

  12. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is something else that is interesting. So much for the UCP’s corporate tax cuts, ($8 billion – $10 billion) being a success.
    https://boereport.com/2021/05/17/oilsands-firms-expected-to-spur-60-billion-in-cash-flow-over-two-years/

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Interesting. The article implies the Big 5 are focusing more on dividends and paying down debt, rather than more and bigger extraction facilities. Construction is under way on projects now, but does this mean Suncor et al are rethinking long-term expansion plans?

    • Dwayne and Mike the link confirms what Markam Hislop has been saying all along. The big oil sands companies are in “brown field/harvest” mode not “green field/expansion” mode. This means they won’t be hiring back all the people they’ve laid off over the last few years because they don’t need them. If that’s the case, it’s another blow to Kenney’s promise of jobs, jobs, jobs.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Another interesting article.
    https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Oil-Markets-Will-Face-A-Supply-Crisis-Before-Demand-Peaks.html
    I wonder how this will effect the UCP world?

    • Thanks for the links Dwayne. The one quoting BP about the industry already having passed peak oil was especially fascinating. As Mike points out the crunch may not come for another decade but Kenney would have to be an idiot not to heed the warning and take meaningful steps to diversify the economy. On Wed S&P Global downgraded Alberta’s credit rating, noting that because of the double whammy of slumping oil prices and covid, Alberta may not recover as quickly as other Canadian jurisdictions.
      Could it be that those who’ve warned Alberta’s economy is overly reliant on oil prices were correct?

  14. Mike J Danysh says:

    Like a slap upside the head?

    Interesting tone when you read further into the article. BP is projecting a large drop in oil demand as the world transitions to renewable energy. The writer quotes several oil industry analysts and adopts their “grim” tone for the oil sector. “Catastrophic” declines in oil demand are possible if BP is correct that governments will push hard for renewables.

    “Luckily” (if you’re an oil baron) business as usual may well continue for a decade or so. Long enough for the UCP to pretend they saved the oilpatch from itself and get themselves a nice MLA pension.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      (Oops–clicked on wrong “reply” button. I was trying to answer Dwayne’s post about the oilprice.com article. Sorry….)

      • Dwayne says:

        Mike J Danysh: The UCP has many lessons to learn, and when they are replaced by the NDP in 2023, they will learn what a responsible government looks like.

  15. carlosbeca says:

    Well the International Energy Agency is now quite clear as well

    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2021/05/18/news/%20stop-coal-oil-gas-investments-international-energy-agency

    I am not sure Jason Kenney can read anything that is not ingrained in his mind but this one is very important and so I decided to post it for all of you

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Thanks Carlos, a very important step in the fight against global heating. For those who (like me) don’t subscribe to the NO, here’s a link to the Guardian report:

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/18/no-new-investment-in-fossil-fuels-demands-top-energy-economist

      I’m not confident any government–Kenney’s least of all–will move as fast as Mr. Birol says we must. But it’s gotta shake the confidence of a whole lot of oil executives….

      • Carlos says:

        I find it incredible that even with a 30 million dollar a year war room and an army of advisers and issue managers, Jason Kenney somehow does not seem to see where the world is heading or better put is not intelligent enough to understand what is going on as he does with many other issues. He prefers his evangelical dogmatic irrational way of thinking that is sinking this province into backwardness and stupidity.

      • Guy says:

        Carlos, in my opinion the war room, advisers and issues managers aren’t there to provide guidance for Kenney. I believe they could all be more appropriately called enablers, put in place to make it easier for him enact his ideological beliefs once he was elected. I completely agree when you point out that his dogmatism is perhaps one of his biggest flaws. His belief in his ideology appears to be unshakeable, even as he is forced to contend with the fallout from one spectacular failure after another. His inability to adjust his thinking and behaviour make it clear that he is unfit for any position of leadership.

        I’m not a scientist, but it’s my understanding that species in the natural world must constantly adapt and change as their environment changes around them. Their survival depends upon it. Hopefully the same principle applies to politicians and Jason Kenney’s political future will soon be facing extinction.

      • carlosbeca says:

        I fully agree Guy – you are absolutely right – these people are there to enable him and get paid well above most of us. It is a sad state of affairs and it is obvious to me and it has been for a long time that even our fossil fuel political system is outdated and needs a big change. Conservatives are as outdated as they can be and according to Erin O’Toole ‘Climate Change’ was a distraction. It is getting worse by the day.

    • Carlos and Mike, thanks for the articles on the recent IEA announcement. It’s going to be tough getting China and some other countries on board, but this is a landmark reversal on the part of the IEA. As their executive director Fatih Birol said, meeting net-zero “requires nothing short of a total transformation of the energy systems that underpin” economies around the world.
      Kenney responded that the IEA still anticipates 70 million barrels/day being consumed and that the best place for those barrels to come from is Alberta. Fine, but if OPEC can produce those barrels easier and cheaper, they’ll come from the Middle East, not Alberta, no matter how much Kenney wishes it were otherwise.
      No matter how you cut it rampant growth is a thing of the past.

  16. Mike J Danysh says:

    Susan, you asked above who might be acceptable to the Wildrose and (rump of the) Old Tories in the UCP. Dave Cournoyer considered that in April:
    https://daveberta.ca/2021/04/who-could-replace-jason-kenney-as-leader-of-the-united-conservative-party/

    His list (but my guess as to ranking) included:

    1. Travis Toews. Not flashy but a strong fiscal conservative. Supposed to be one of the UCP’s better political operatives. “Steady as she goes” would appeal to UCP members rattled by Kenney’s erratic leadership.

    2. Drew Barnes, but only assuming Kenney is kicked out. While Kenney stays in, Barnes drops to about 5th.

    3. Jason Nixon. Noisy, belligerent, big, social conservative. A representative specimen of Wildrose Country. Loyal to the Leader, his own leadership qualities are a question mark.

    4. Nathan Cooper. Supposed to be be an effective communicator (Cournoyer mentions Cooper’s “informative and humorous videos” about the Office of the Speaker). Strong partisan tendencies led to a slap-down for violating the neutrality of the Speaker’s Office, but that wouldn’t hurt his chances much in a UCP leadership race.

    5. Doug Schweitzer. Still a bit of a cipher, he at least hasn’t developed foot-in-mouth disease, and seems fairly effective as a minister. Finished third in the UCP leadership race, he still has some name recognition.

    6. Brian Jean. Rumored to want back in, but I sure haven’t tried to confirm. Presumably he’d purge some of Kenney’s strongest supporters—and therefore is unlikely to win a leadership race.

    7. Jim Dinning. Cournoyer says the Old Tories are “glorified” by the UCP, and since Dinning had nothing to do with Kenney’s repeated gaffes, he’d have some appeal as the Good Ol’ Days personified. Whether he’d want to lead the UCP is an open question (my guess is, “NO!!!”).

    • Interesting list Mike (and David). I could see Toews and Cooper as possible “bridging” candidates who might be able to hold the right and the far right together (maybe). I think Barnes and Nixon are too far right for the old Tories and Schweitzer is too far left for the old Wild Rosers. I suspect Dinning wouldn’t want the job unless he were guaranteed a win and that’s not going to happen (heaven forbid he’d have to resign on Election Night like Prentice did). And Brian Jean? Well he’s a wild card.

      • Carlos says:

        Interesting comment

      • GoinFawr says:

        What, nobody else thinks Danielle Smith could be in the running?

        I mean, that’s a terrifying thought to all things decent without a doubt, but I’m giving her another dishonourable mention then when it comes to the excremental demon that will arise from what spills out of this UCP self-evisceration.

      • Carlos says:

        I said interesting comment because I do not think that is possible at all to bridge Conservatism with Fascism. The only reason this became a possibility is because Jason Kenney lied all through the process of unification only to satisfy his ego of becoming leader and get elected premier which he knew in gullible Alberta it was more than possible. But he was convinced that he would be able to start another boom and with money flowing again none of the parties involved would be complaining. After all that is all they all wanted. But that was something that even without a pandemic was quite impossible to accomplish. He forgot that we are in the 21 century not in the 12th.

      • Carlos says:

        Danielle Smith could be in the running because like most of them she does not have a gram of common sense and of a working brain. But I think that other than the 30% that seem to be as stuck as all of them are in the past, she will not go anywhere like they never did before they unified with the Progressive Conservative party.

  17. GoinFawr says:

    Bear in mind folks,

    (Well, except in Alberta)

  18. Carlos says:

    So the public inquiry has been delayed another 3 months. My goodness this is all beyond comprehension. One wonders how much longer before we can wake up from this nightmare.
    Is it possible that Jason Kenney still has not realized that this is all unacceptable and mediocre and that he is incapable of running an outhouse never mind a province?
    I am glad that my family has already moved out of here I can really understand their concerns about not only their future but their mental health of having to deal with this daily dose of propaganda and incompetence. It is mind boggling.
    What is happening in this province is as bad as climate change denialism and in a way not surprising because it is a situation created by denialists.

    • Carlos if Steve Allan worked in the private sector he would have been fired long ago. Kenney said the Allan report was delayed because Eco Justice filed a court action. Law prof Martin Olszynski says that’s a silly excuse. All the work for the law suit was completed in February around the time Allan asked for the last extension. There’s no reason why he couldn’t finish the report. I wonder if he’s afraid he’s going to be sued for defamation by the groups he’s suggesting have an anti-Alberta energy intent and as a result has nothing to say. Time will tell.

  19. Carlos says:

    Here is more of NDP neo-liberal garbage that they cannot divorce from because that is what they have become. This is criminal and there are no excuses to do this. This is like extinguishing trees that are older than the best monuments created by men. Money talks is the slogan here.
    BC would make way more money and for as long as they wanted having people over to see these majestic trees than cutting them down to build houses. What a lack of imagination and respect for ourselves. It is as bad as Jason Kenney and his oil obsession.
    It is almost written in stone that humans cannot be stopped in their destruction of everything that supports us as a species. It is as if we cannot accept the fact that we are part of nature. We continue living in this myth that somehow we are created by some God that made us the ultimate species. How wrong we all are and what price we will pay. In the meantime as if this lack of common sense is not enough we are trying to find ways to survive in other planets. My goodness we already have one and lets work hard to make it the most beautiful and our paradise in this unlimited Universe. Let us not just find another planet to destroy.

    https://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2021/05/19/BC-Cynical-Attack-Old-Growth-Forests/

  20. Carlos, this is very disappointing. Apparently the government is relying on a study that claims less than one per cent of the timber left in the province is logged annually and only one-quarter of that is considered old growth. Is there any way to confirm that?

    • Carlos says:

      Susan unfortunately I cannot answer that question and I understand your question because I had a similar one.
      I can try to contact the author of this article and ask because in most cases in the ‘The Tyee’ the authors leave their email.

    • Carlos says:

      By the way they have been doing this for decades. I am surprised there is anything still left in terms of old growth in BC.
      I was involved with the Wilderness Society to protect the Carmanah Valley in the 1980s where some very old trees exist. It was a real battle and although I do not know much of what has been happening there since, it is protected at least until some psychopath like Jason Kenney decides to sell it to Australian interests to build homes with old growth wood.

  21. GoinFawr says:

    Here’s one for us to take some action on:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-energy-war-room-may-be-subject-to-freedom-of-information-law-1.6034560

    “,,,Sibbald said the office can test whether the centre is subject to FOIP after receiving a complaint from the public; for example, from someone who submitted a request to the centre but was denied. He said no one has made a complaint or raised a concern with Clayton.”

    Well, I am certainly not above complaining about some fascist institution set up by Kenney and Co.

    Let’s shine a light on this.

    • Carlos says:

      Yes saw this in the morning and I think that it is about time that if they are working for government and they are using government money they are not private.
      I think that by now they have already started to destroy whatever they have and as usual nothing exists at all. What a colossal waste of money but hey we have to make sure we get rid of all zombies fighting against the UCP paranoias. We have to specially protect our government from collapsing. What would we all do without them? 🙂 🙂

      • GoinFawr says:

        From the CEC’s “About Us” webpage:

        “It is an independent provincial corporation that is primarily supported by the Government of Alberta’s industry-funded Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund.”

        “Innovation”?! “Emissions REDUCTION”?! Who on earth buys their double-speak?

        ps
        Unless it is just my ineptitude. so far it is looking like you can’t make the FOIP request through the Alberta gov’t FOIP page….

      • carlosbeca says:

        Yes INNOVATION – maybe to device better ways to start getting people like us in jail
        Yes Emission Reduction – maybe just like they are doing with cows now the war room is going to reduce our flatulence to compensate and allow more emissions in the oil sands
        What a joke this all is and somehow they are allowed to continue this circus.
        After Ralph Klein, Allison Redford and now this clown we should not worry with laws to control the deficit but should focus on laws to avoid psychos to take over the government. We definitely should have a citizen body that has the power to end governments like this instead of witnessing destruction for 4 years. A government recall law with elected regular citizens as an oversight to possible situations like we are experiencing.
        I got a phone call from a friend in Toronto last night and the very first comment I got – Gee I thought we had a lunatic in power here but reading what is going on in Alberta I wonder if Trudeau needs to send the troops to make sure you guys are ok not from the pandemic but any war room coup.
        I think that says it all

  22. carlosbeca says:

    I think this is way more important – I am sure Jason Kenney will find our money to insure them all
    just wait

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/bakx-oilsands-tmx-insurance-1.6030960

  23. carlosbeca says:

    Here is the opening of David Climenhaga article today

    Let’s give ourselves some respite from the horror of living in Alberta under Jason Kenney and his United Conspiracy Party.

    We are finally getting courageous even in the media

  24. GoinFawr says:

    CPP rate of return 20.4% Astounding!

    AimCo’s rate of return 2.4% Abysmal!

    Please make the UCP give back the money they stole from Alberta teachers; money those educators had already earned by fulfilling their signed contracts, and teaching our kids.

    A contract is a contract, so post payment the gov’t had absolutely no claim on it beyond taxation. None.

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