By Letter to the Editor on December 20, 2019.
It’s no secret, I’m no Conservative! Never have been and never will be. However, I did have respect for the Lougheed Tories who had a national vision for Alberta’s place in Confederation, cared for their neighbours by strengthening public institutions, and picked themselves up by their bootstraps to get to work.
If Lougheed had lived to see this crop of crony “Conservatives,” he wouldn’t recognize his team. Instead of showing leadership, Jason Kenney thinks separation is a great idea, firing public servants who don’t agree with him is OK, and threatening the feds is a viable business plan. How far the Tories have fallen!
Alberta is weathering a changing perspective on social responsibility as well as environmental stewardship. But, do you know who tried to help us through the storm? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau! Yes, that guy, whether you like him or not! To help, his government spent $4.6 billion on a pipeline, gave Alberta another $1.6 billion in strategic innovation funding, and tried to clarify the rules around how pipelines are built. Was there an expectation of Albertans to use the War Measures Act to build the pipeline? Nonsense! Another Trudeau calling in the army was the last thing the country needed. Did he succeed? No, but he had the right idea.
I’ll admit, Bill C-69 is flawed legislation that needs to be fixed. However, instead of mockingly calling it the “No More Pipeline” Act, Jason Kenney has opportunity to get to work to make sure the feds get the bill right this time. Instead, he fans the flames of resentment, gives $4.6 billion to job creators (at least the feds have a pipeline for our money), makes $30-million “war rooms” to spin propaganda, all with taxpayers’ money, cripples the public service, increases tuition fees for students and throws 46,000 seniors under 65 off drug benefits, including my wife who is 62. Yet Conservatives are still seen as the defenders of Alberta’s interests? Are you kidding me?
Kenney needs to find some courage and do what is right instead of what is easy. There are other ways to bring Alberta back on track. The world is a different place and we need innovative thinking and bold new investment to diversify Alberta. I challenge Jason Kenney to live up to the Lougheed standard and show the real leadership that Albertans deserve. Do the right thing, Mr. Premier. Call me if you need ideas.