January 16th, 2021

Klein’s advantage over Kenney

By Letter to the Editor on February 13, 2020.

An interesting situation is happening here in Alberta since Ralph Klein began his cuts to the budget in 1993 verses what Jason Kenney is now facing in 2020.

First, I want to say, as an old Progressive Conservative, that I agreed with Ralph and I agree with what Jason is trying to do.

The tone of politics these days is nastier. Democracy can only survive if we have informed losers. There has to be a winner. We, the people, decide who that winner will be. The losers need to realize that fact and proceed to fill their roles in opposition in a respectful way.

Second, Jason is not Ralph. He does not conduct himself in a manner like Ralph. The different styles of presenting information is the biggest difference that I notice.

Third, we are still without a social policy for this province. Jason hasn’t got one, Rachel didn’t, Alison or Ed didn’t and neither did Ralph. However, the big difference for Ralph was that the departmental budgets were magnitudes smaller than what governments are facing today. There are some really big ships in a narrow canal that, if not turned around, certainly need trimming. With no social policy to guide us, we continue this ad hoc mentality of social services being provided with no moral map to be guided by, especially in health and education.

Ralph had real help from the people at the time. Almost every Albertan gave up five per cent of their wages or salary. Not all classes of work did it willingly, and yes, a couple of occupations escaped unscathed. But people of the day could not stand the thought of kicking deficits and debt down the road to our kids. I find it ironic that the biggest howling against a five-per-cent wage and salary reduction is coming from those departments that are absolutely needed for our kids, the receivers of this massive spending.

One more irony to conclude on. As your elected representative for Lethbridge-West for 14-plus years, I talked to many of you people. Some of you raised hell with me over the five-per-cent cut. But guess what? Some of these same people raised supreme hell with me again when Ralph said thanks by sending $400 back to every Albertan over 18 years of age.

I just love human beings being human.

Clint Dunford


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Whaddaya mean “you people”


Southern Albertan

“…find it ironic that the biggest howling against a five-per-cent wage and salary reduction….”, while we have to pay for the $4.7 billion useless corporate welfare tax cut, a $30 milion/year ‘War Room,” the guy heading up the ‘War Room’ making $195,000/year, cushy trips, those surrounding Kenney making in the $190,000s t0 $200,000/year…..on and on with the Kenney UCP spending and still operating with a deficit. I guess it really depends who gets the brunt of the Kenney UCP austerity program.
What Klein did do was leave us with a $20-30 billion infrastructure debt which is still impacting us today.
Also, what subsequent AB Conservative governments did do, including Klein, was left us with the aftermath of not following Lougheed’s ‘Six Principles’ for resource development. They are: “Behave like an owner, Collect your fair share, Save for a rainy day, Add value, Go slow and Practice statecraft.” As we should all know, is that the aftermath of, not, following these ‘Six Principles.’ has permanantly, and negatively, affected Alberta and Albertans, the true owners of the oil and gas resource.
What is really sad, is that during those years and even now, some Albertans keep voting for these old, outdated, unsuccessful, right wing financial policies. Is it a situation of just not knowing, or doggedly following this ultra right wing populist authoritarian ideology with regard to cognitive dissonance.
Read more today at http://www.albertapolitics.ca about the “face-palming” antics of the AB ‘War Room’ with regard to the New York Times. What will it be tomorrow?


clint, you did little of anything for those 14 years, except do as you were told by your beloved ralph, and line your pockets with a great income for doing nothing and a great pension for having done nothing. i wonder: if you need to raise your hand for anything now, how do you do so without ralph telling you?
your letter here is all about telling folks who have lost massive ground to the cost of living to take another hit. no mention that over the last dozen years those at the very top of the economic pyramid have enjoyed great gains, even as the masses have been worn down. no mention from you, or any govt leader, how our economy is setting new records time and again…but nothing is coming to the masses, except growing debts, lower wages relative to the cost of living, pensions always at risk because no govt steps up to ensure pensions are secured, increased costs of necessities…and all against worker wage cuts, and govt cuts in public programs – and all the while govt handouts to the wealthiest increase. thanks, clint – ever the same.


An “informed” opposition [referred to by the letter writer as “losers”] conducting themselves with “respect”. This is Mr. Dunford’s cherry picked thesis statement?

Perhaps Mr. Dunford should consider pondering over a sample taken from the litany of disregard for the Rule of Law and disrespect for the institution of Democracy demonstrated by Mr. Kenney:

1. Mr. Kenney initiated his campaigning in Alberta while still a sitting MP and collecting a salary from the federal government.
2. The Kamikaze campaign.
3. RCMP investigations over allegations of voter fraud in the UCP leadership race.
4. Dismissal of the Election Commissioner
5. Funnelling off taxpayer money to the War Room (CEC)
6. Allegations of conflict of interest vis a vis Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Doug Schweitzer and the Public Inquiry of Anti Energy Campaigns Commissioner Steve Allen.
7. The Neon Ear Plug incident.

The real irony here, is that former Progressive Conservative MLA Clint Dunford states specifically that the UCP are operating without a moral compass at the same time he argues that Albertans should accept the normalising of the deterioration of core democratic principles by the current government in this province because Mr. Dunford agrees with what Mr. Kenney is doing!

BTW, Mr. Dunford, that was a 1.4 billion dollar boondoggle with the Klein prosperity bonus, so called.

How much would that sum have earned had it been invested in the Heritage Savings Trust Fund?

Fedup Conservative

So Dunford is such a great conservative he even supports Liberals pretending to be Conservatives , like Klein and Kenney, and that’s good enough for him. My conservative friends and I aren’t that stupid. Apparently he doesn’t care about the fines or RCMP investigation being conducted concerning this Kenney Reform Party. My true Conservative friends and I think he has a lot of explaining to do and should start by explaining why this Orphan Well Mess was allowed to occur under his watch and who does he think we should hold financially responsible for allowing it to happen? When I had ties to the oil industry and was involved with the financing of a company that was cleaning up abandon wells for Imperial Oil there were strong rules and regulations in place to prevent this from happening. Why was it changed? Was it to help the rich oil executives become a lot richer as we expect happened?

We also want to know what were the skeletons in their closet that were hidden behind Bill 15, that MLA Dr. Lyle Oberg hinted at when he was campaigning to become premier. Of course they were hidden under a gag order so Albertans aren’t allowed to find out until 2021 so that those involved can’t be sued we were told. Can Dunford see any reason why we shouldn’t request the courts and the RCMP to look into it to see if it’s covering up any illegal activity? If not why was it such a big secret?

It’s no secret that the Klein government created this horrific mess we are in , as Lougheed called it, and it’s why a group of lawyers lead by Marilyn Burns formed the Wildrose Party in 2002 to try to put a stop to what they were doing to us. Marilyn asked me to run as their leader in the 2004 election and I refused, knowing my wife was retiring in two years and were planning to do a lot of travelling and we have.
Every lawyer, accountant, oilman, banker, doctor, nurse, teacher or former MLA from the Lougheed era points their fingers at the Klein Government for the mess we are in and that includes Klein’s father Phil and daughter Angie who were trying to help us vote him out of office knowing that what he was doing was wrong. It doesn’t take a genius to see what Norway and Alaska have accomplished with proper management of their oil wealth and it’s not hard to understand that if the Klein, Stelmach, and Redford governments continued to collect royalties and taxes at the Lougheed levels we would have at least $400 billion in our Heritage Trust Fund.