January 22nd, 2021

Previous Conservative governments caused Alberta’s woes

By Lethbridge Herald on July 28, 2018.

Rebuttal to Tom Burns’ letter, “Where does the blame belong?”, Lethbridge Herald, July 17.
Tom should stop blaming Rachel Notley’s New Democrats (NDP) for Alberta’s problems. The truth is, Alberta was in trouble long before the NDP formed the government.
Perhaps Tom has forgotten that it was the Conservatives, not the NDP, that left Alberta so heavily dependent on volatile oil revenues. It was the Conservatives that failed to build enough schools, hospitals and senior care facilities in spite of Alberta’s enviable wealth. Tom yearns for the good old days of Conservative rule; when socialism was something extended to the oil patch and regressive “flat tax” schemes whittled down taxes for rich Albertans. Back to a time when it was fashionable to sell off hard-won profitable public assets, give away publicly owned natural resources to foreign oil companies and leave nothing in the bank for future generations/emergencies. For emergencies just like the one the NDP are grappling with today.
Despite plummeting oil prices, the Fort McMurray wildfire and opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline, the NDP are well on the way to getting Alberta’s economy back on track. It’s time we put the blame for Alberta’s social and infrastructure deficits where it belongs, squarely on the backs of previous Alberta administrations. Real change won’t happen overnight. Let’s give these New democrats a chance. After all, we gave the Conservatives almost half a century to get it right.
Dave Volume
Crowsnest Pass

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while i do not agree these bums that call themselves ndp, but are more like redford pc than socialist, i ill fully agree with your assessment of how the pc got us to the brink. thank you for an intelligent letter.

Tris Pargeter

I also thank you for an intelligent letter. Coincidentally, and tellingly, as I write this comment I see the results for the “question of the day” on the screen. 61 percent of people say NO when asked if the Alberta government should provide funding for a safe sobering centre to deal with the city’s opioid crisis. They don’t want the injection sites either obviously, so I guess all these people should just be lined up and shot in their opinion? This cold nastiness is the hallmark of conservatism. That and saying NO to spending any of THEIR money on helping people in any way that can be construed as “liberal.”
There are a couple lines of poetry that describe conservatism: “cheap runs deep” and “do not be afraid of NO, who has so very far to go.”
Only 347 people responded, but this same split appears regularly enough to be reasonably reflective of how Alberta compares to the rest of the country. Apparently 60 percent are liberal and 40 are conservative in Canada generally. Those numbers are flipped here, unfortunately, because of how long conservatism has had sway. Lovely, these self-righteous people of Alberta. And yet so many are “Christians” as well. Cognitive dissonance is very much at home here….it’s embarrassing.

Dennis Bremner

Tris, those that are opposed to the opiod solution, are opposed to the fact ITS NOT A SOLUTION! In fact its not even a legitimate attempt to rehab anyone, period!
The Lethbridge opioid solution is the beginnings of a Redlight District homegrown through a total misunderstanding on how “BigCity ARCHES facilities came about”. You bring ARCHES to a Ghetto area to assist. You do not bring ARCHES to a growing area of a small town to create their very own, made in Lethbridge, Ghetto area!
Let me tell you why any solution proposed by the NDP will be ignored from this point onward. People use history to determine whether the future looks brighter or not. So lets look at NDP history dealing with what they call a Crisis.
1) 90% + of opioid addicted people in Lethbridge are indigenous
2) Everyone on the planet is apologizing to Indigenous people for assuming we, the white man, knew whats best for them
3) We have seen NO indigenous people installed in ARCHES
4)We see no Elders counselling or being hired by either the NDP and/or the Lethbridge Council. We see total silence out of the Blood Reserve or First Nations organizations.
5) We see a system that hands out 10’s of thousands of needles each month with absolutely no control or for that matter no purpose other than illegal drug use
6) We see the solution to needles everywhere downtown, is NEEDLE BOXES!
7) We see a faked concern for children who may get stuck with a needle, and I say faked because there is no offered prevention, period.
8) We then are asked about a rehab facility of sorts, and you think we should trust the NDP and Council based on their present history for providing solutions?

I do note, much like your fellow NDPers, that if you are against the NDP non-solution, then you must be for “shooting people” because its obvious there is no “inbetween solution”? Its one, or the other, right? This is why Alberta does not take the NDP seriously and use them for a break in NORMAL Alberta politics to punish Conservatives for assuming “Trough Feeding” is okay!

Everything is a crisis in name to the NDP, and their solution to their defined crisis is to pull more money out of the pockets of regular Albertans in the name of that crisis and then provide a piece of crap solution that if you are against then, you must be an uncaring non-Christian ahole and for;
Frying in hell because the NDP solution to the less than 1% GHG crisis, is the only solution to Global Warming? ,or;
Shooting people is the only possible substitute for ARCHES.
If the NDP/Council had proposed a Rehab/Safe Sober site first, then ARCHES perhaps this may have been received well. However, flinging 10’s of thousands of needles all over a small town first as an entrance to a solution describes the NDP to a tee!
Really, I am glad you spoke up, you highlight the total mismanagement thus far, very well.

Tris Pargeter

Well Dennis, how about the fact that there just ISN’T always “A solution?” You conservatives are so black and white, and so bloody harsh with it. You are overtly unkind people who still somehow manage to have the arrogance to claim both moral high ground AND fiscal responsibility. I call B.S. on both.
“Harm reduction,” stopgap though it is, has been proven to save lives and there have been a lot of deaths. All governments (non-conservative ones i.e.) have felt compelled to react as a result. I agree with you that treatment centres should ideally be present first and foremost and there should absolutely be one on every reserve, but conservative governments are not known for investing in such things are they? They don’t invest in people generally as a rule. Just business. Even science was pummelled into serving business under Harper.
The track record for treatment of addiction isn’t good either, it’s true. So you would need to go farther back to address the social reasons for rampant addiction in the first place, but of course then you’re at risk of “committing sociology” aren’t you?
And about the money of these “ordinary Canadians” that conservatives are always jawing on about, it’s become increasingly clear that investing in prevention costs less in the long run. Conservatives had a “long run” and I don’t see the city on the hill that should have resulted from all that oil money. Do you? Of course my definition of that would probably differ from yours. For me it means a society like Norway or Finland where human flourishing is what’s most common. That’s socialism for you. And the global warming thing? Another huge, complicated issue that, may I remind you again was actively denied by conservatives, and still IS? And yet they see themselves as being the realists among us! Ha! Also B.S. How does that jive with the bona fide magical thinking of religious belief? Speaking of blatant hypocrisy….
Give me the fair and open-minded, truly well-meaning people on the left any day to address modernity in all its complexity. The right wing looks more and more like a bunch of thugs.

Dennis Bremner

And yet, there were treatment centers ie ARCHES in Vancouver before the NDP arrived?
Funny you mention Norway and Finland, I have been to both and what you see today is not what was. There is a full circle approach that occurs in all the drug areas of the world. Its interesting (sometimes) to watch unless of course if its happening in your home town

Here is the cycle

1) An area is picked by drug users and the drug suppliers that is least likely to cause angst with the police
2) Food kitchens tend to start the cycle but its chicken and egg. Did the homeless and the user migrate to the kitchen or did the user frequent an area for drugs and the kitchen setup in the area?
3) Homeless shelters then set up in the same area
4) The area then becomes over ridden with users who literally overpower both pieces of infrastructure
5) Crime rises, and police become overburdened with calls
6)The police start to prioritize their workload and start to ignore incidents in the area that they used to respond too, and a silent agreement begins. You stay in your area and we won’t harass you, becomes the new approach
7) Suddenly the user is not being harrassed for using. The word spreads that you can use in this section of Copenhagen, Stockholm ,Kiel, Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam , Antwerp etc and not be harrassed.(I have been to them all in the 60’s and numerous times between the 60’s and 90’s) have you?
8) Users start taking over that part of the city, and it becomes a “don’t visit after dark”. Don’t walk alone during the day because you will be mugged.
9) Soon, pimps and dealers have their “territories” and small gang wars breakout. Crime skyrockets!
10) Eventually, the police and administrators make a decision to take back their city
11) They invest in rehab centers and safe zones, they legalize prostitution and set up ground rules and start jailing people.
12) They create a business out of the illegal drugs and prostitution and legalize, and TAX it
13) They use those funds to then better their treatment facilities.
14) They take back control of the Red Light zone and its what you see today in Copenhagen,Amsterdam and all the other places you would like to refer.
You NEVER saw the hard part, just the finished circle! I know because I was there for 1-14 and watch it develop. What you, the Council and the NDP hope is you can get to 14 without going through 2-13, IT WON’T HAPPEN! Canadians cannot separate Church and state. They say they can, but can’t. You will never see a “Canal Street” with prostitutes in the windows marketing their “wears”!

I also have some shocking news for you, if the Conservatives were running this dung show I would be hounding them as well. What I see is a naive’ bunch of people that actually believe the goody two shoes approach will work. The goody two shoes approach gets you 1-14 without missing a step Tris, are you prepared for that because I can assure you Lethbridge residents are not!

I would be slagging NDP, LIBERALS or CONSERVATIVES if they took this approach. There is a right way and a wrong way, so far the NDP and Council are doing it the wrong way.

What the NDP and Council think is they can do this, screw with real estate values, entreneurship, and law abiding citizens lives by going 1 straight to 14 with a brief and unfortunate bad time between. Again, I will say it again IT WON’T HAPPEN LIKE THAT!

So, here is whats happening. We are at 7 and no one wants to talk about 8-14. But realize now there are decisions being taken to sacrifice an area of Lethbridge as we speak. But, the people organizing the sacrifice won’t tell entrepeneurs, real estate owners and businesses till its too late. So as long as you are happy that law abiding citizens doing lawful business are going to be whacked and they just don’t know it yet, I guess thats fine for you, its not for me!
In 99.999% of the cases, the people like you, don’t own property in that area, do not lease in that area, or feed their children conducting business in that area. So its an easy step out of set of heels into the goody two shoes because of no financial interest.

We could jump to 11 if Canadian Society thought as Scandinavian Europeans do. Sex/drugs are not a dirty word, nor is abortion in Scandinavian Europe. Canadians cannot get by either because Church and state are far too intermingled. So wishing for a Scandinavian solution shows me you really do not understand Canadian politics. It took us 40 more years to accept LGBT then it did “Scandinavian” Europe. There approach to sex and drugs are drastically different from ours. Thats what will make us go, 8,9,10,11,12,13,14
I have no financial interest in the area, but someone should defend their interests that knows what is about to happen if things don’t change drastically. If you are not making money from your Red Light district you better be prepared to pay big time and so far all I see is insulting levels of money from the NDP, and no plan!! So I might as well defend the businessman in the area, no one else seems to be focused on them!
When it comes to drugs, you either have to be ALL IN or you stay the hell out of the Game! The NDP are still trying to ante with a Loonie!

I predicted 1000 users in Lethbridge by November. 2 months ago we had 500, last report about a week ago, we have 700. I feel confident we will hit 1000, why? The NDP picked the wrong city to do this in. We are now the Southern Alberta hub for Drug Addicts, and they will come by the bus load! Why? very simple, if I was the Chief of Police in Taber I would be making life miserable for the Taber Drug addict and at the same time let him/her know Lethbridge doesn’t harass users anymore. They wouldn’t do that would they Tris! Council and the NDP haven’t figured that out yet. We did not have 200 more people suddenly decide to turn to drugs………we had them bused in!
That means Lethbridge drug dealers have more clients. Taber drug dealer has no clients, so where does the Taber Drug dealer move too? That creates turf wars……..So you continue with the bleeding heart approach and I will continue to play “Bad Cop”!


tp – your last three lines say so much about the level of, and lack of, human development here, and in chunks of western canada…not unlike numerous chunks of the anal usa. the curious thing is how those that align with hard core conservative values – as per fox tv – while hating their taxes being appropriated to the needs that benefit the whole, seem to be oblivious to or are happy with the graft that siphons the public purse into the hands of very few. this mindset further seems happy to allow private mining corps steal wealth that belongs to the public, so as to enrich the few, and leave the masses with a toxic mess. i prefer to not label, but it is hard to not utter the word idiots as an expression of frustration.

Tris Pargeter

Indeed it is hard not to utter that word when it is so accurate, so go ahead how about, especially if it relieves frustration!? I don’t see that the “going high” style has accomplished much. It’s not like they’re listening anyway. Most of them are like bulls with red flag headlines setting them off into thoughtless, knee-jerk tirades. They don’t even bother reading the content. Further proof of the aforementioned descriptor.

George Haeh

Back in the early 80s a certain Progressive Conservative named Peter Lougheed set up the Heritage Fund to sock away oil revenues for thin years. His Profligate Conservative successors then raided that piggy bank and never thought of putting anything back during various boom years.

Oil goes up and down, but this time around Mohammed bin Salman flooded the market and pushed prices down. There’s next to nothing Notley or Prentice (had he remained in office) could do about MbS.

Between MbS and 42 years of neglect of many files, the NDP got handed a mess. If you want to see a mess made worse, watch Rob Ford. This coming May think hard whether a grandstanding hot button pusher can do a better job.

Fedup Conservative

@George Haeh there is more to oil crash than that, as oilmen point out. It was a well known fact that in the 1980s the oil crash occurred because the Vietnam War ended in 1975 and the oil industry didn’t cut back production so by 1980 we had huge surpluses. Now after the heavy fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan ended they didn’t cut back on production and once again we have these huge surpluses added to like you pointed out by Mohammed bin Salman..

Now we have another former Liberal, like Ralph Klein was, trying to use it against the NDP claiming they were the ones responsible for the loss of 100,000 jobs in Albertans, forgetting Albertans are smarter than that. The fact is there was nothing Liberal about Klein or Kenney they did and intend to use the Reform Party policies, which cater to their rich friends and put the rest of us in financial trouble and Rob Ford is another one cut from the same cloth, he doesn’t care who gets hurt by his actions.

Dennis Bremner

Not really sure where you are getting your history from but the Vietnam war had little to nothing to do with the Surplus of the 80s. The shortages of the 70s specifically 1973 and 1979 created a mindset in the buying public. It was the time of the Honda, Toyota etc. Americans in their capacity to over emphasize, decided a Surplus” after sustaining shortages for sometime needed a more dramatic name, so Surplus became “Glut”! The Surplus was created by declining consumption, not over production. During the early stages of the 1980s it was difficult to predict a 13% decrease in demand so surpluses were a little larger then the norm for awhile but nothing dramatic. Predicting Joe consumers exit from gas guzzlers to 30mpg Japanese cars was not something anyone had modeled effectively. But, like anything else in the markets, Glut stuck and the price of crude fell in lock step with the media coverage.
As demand dropped during the 1980’s many producers associated with OPEC saw the price of crude drop to a point where they could not service their debt, so increased production which exacerbated the problem. None of these issues were associated with Vietnam as far as I can see. The price of Oil was $17-22 a barrel from 1950’s to the Arab embargo of 1973 and even then it remained around $25 after the initial shortage created settled out.
As for “huge surpluses now” where are you reading that? If we had huge surpluses Crude would be $30 not $70? OPEC controls Crude closely always attempting to ensure it barely meets demand. Where the variances appear is at the refineries. Surpluses or deficiencies in Diesel, home heating oil or gasoline can occur due to refinery cycles and shutdowns.
Your theory of things being “well known” or “fact” is not shared by analysts as far as I can see?