November 29th, 2020

Gov’t has no solutions to crises

By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on October 23, 2020.

I have to say I wasn’t quite ready for the snow to fly yet! After a few weeks of wonderful fall weather, which Lethbridge’s wonderful tree-lined streets augmented with a dazzling – if short-lived – display of colours, I must admit that the season of backyard harvests and comfortable park visits is drawing to a close. Despite the turn in weather, I know that our neighbours will continue to find ways to enjoy our neighbourhoods in new, safe ways as we all confront what will surely be a challenging winter.

While our province continues to be challenged by the public health effects of the pandemic that we’ve all been fighting over the last several months, there can be >no doubt that our province is also facing down a cold economic winter as well. As low resource prices, the economic ramifications of the pandemic and a sluggish global economy have wreaked havoc on jobs in our province, Albertans need a government that is on their side, and that has their backs. Further, they need a premier with a clear vision for the future – a premier who knows we need to do something different this time if we want long-term prosperity for our province. >

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. As the Legislature has returned this fall, we are hearing more of the same from the Kenney government. More cuts to health care during a pandemic. More auspicious signalling for our post-secondary institutions when we need to train and retrain the most. And more threats to the quality of our kids’ education. What we aren’t hearing from the premier is something our province desperately needs: a robust plan to get us out of this cycle of boom-and-bust once and for all, and a promise not to make things worse by laying off or cutting the wages of public-sector workers who are helping to pull us all through these challenging times. >

The contrast between this premier, and his ideological approach to the concurrent crises that are hurting the working people of this province, and the alternative could not be clearer. While Jason Kenney and his ministers deliver nothing but bad news, broken promises and higher taxes to southern Albertans, I’m proud to be a part of Rachel Notley’s team. While Premier Kenney doubles down on failed experiments with corporate tax giveaways, Rachel and our team are actively seeking input from Albertans on what they want to see from the future of their province. >

Just like so many Albertans, we understand that the answers to today’s questions can’t come from the failures of yesterday’s answers. That’s why, even though times feel incredibly dark right now, I’m excited by the potential of Albertans if we’re just given a little headstart from our government to jumpstart our province’s road to recovery. I know that the answers to the jobs crisis won’t come from cutting taxes on already-profitable companies, and they won’t come from laying off health-care workers or staff at our colleges and universities. The answers will come from Albertans – who have shown themselves time and time again to be innovative, forward-looking and ready to solve the problems facing all of us. As Rachel likes to say: Alberta’s most important resource isn’t below the ground, but what walks on the ground. >

As our caucus continues reaching out to Albertans to hear from them about the future of our province, I’m already inspired and excited by the suggestions we’re hearing, especially as the MLA for Lethbridge-West. Albertans across the province are talking about so many of the things that we as southern Albertans already know: they’re talking about the need to be a hub for innovation advances, for post-secondary learning. They’re talking about finding new ways to harvest our generations of knowledge in vital industries like agriculture and energy. And they’re talking about how we unlock the vast potential of our Indigenous neighbours while reconciling for our shared past. >

I know for a fact that the residents of Lethbridge already understand these things, and it affirms to me that our city and region will be vital to the success of our province moving forward. Further, I’m hearing from residents of Lethbridge that they are ready for a premier and a government that takes these things seriously and offers new avenues rather than roadblocks to our ambitions, and that we deserve a government that puts us at the front of the global race rather than holding our kids back with outdated, parochial models of education. >

While the strength and ingenuity of southern Albertans gives me a lot of hope, I know that there is a long fight ahead of us to protect our services and jobs in the face of a government that values neither. I am privileged to represent Lethbridge in that fight and want to hear from you about the challenges you’re experiencing, or where you think our province should be focusing during this crucial time in our province’s history.

You can reach my office by emailing, or by calling 403-329-4644.

Shannon Phillips is the NDP MLA for Lethbridge West. Her column appears monthly.

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Citi Zen

Ho hum, more NDP rhetoric. Popcorn anyone?


You read the op-ed. If you find “NDP rhetoric” to be so abhorrent, what motivated you to read it in the first place? Is the reader then lead to believe that you are of the opinion that op-eds from Nathan Neudorf are not filled with ideological rhetoric?

Southern Albertan

Wholeheartedly agree….it is heartwarming indeed, to hear more and more Alberta folks expressing their disillusionment with the Kenney UCP. At least 6% of folks who voted for them will now vote for the NDP next time, or, park their votes elsewhere, i.e.Alberta Party, etc., hopefully enough to generate a right wing vote split. As it is, one of the most glaring problems with the UCP is that they are, not, exploring other avenues of revenue now that oil and gas boom times are over. Alberta is in recession and the UCP austerity budgeting is not the right thing to do during recessions. And, as more and more Alberta folks lose their jobs because of Kenney UCP austerity, Alberta may be plunged into a deeper recession yet. It seems that lessons may need to be learned the hard way, sadly, for Alberta., and that ‘things’ will have to get worse before they get better.

Dennis Bremner

Really not sure how you measure “Oil and Gas Boom” is over? Do you think an electric car parked in your garage changes that? I sometimes wonder at people who think that Oil and Gas are dead as they turn up their heat in their homes, gas in their cars, diesel in their trucks, polyester clothes on their backs, plastic packaging galore, which raises another piece of “amusement”. I shop and pick up Milk, plastic bottle, veggies, in plastic provided by store, cans made from steel created by NG fired furnaces and when I go to check out, I get the “evil eye” if I want a bag?
The measure the nutbars of society have created as if we are saving the planet has to be the funniest thing I have ever seen. Sometimes even more funny as I see people dropping their items in the parking lot because “they want to save the planet”. Of course we get the “every little bit helps” routine. Well if we were as smart as we think we are, we would do away with all the plastic in a grocery store EXCEPT the friggin bag you carry it out with!
We have a bastion of mental midgets that think they can snap their fingers and poof, Gas and Oil are dead. If we had a person with a spinal column in Ottawa, we could provide Oil and Gas through out Canada and do quite well. But instead, we have huggers everywhere all pulling on different parts of the economy as if we are turning off the lights tomorrow because “we have the technology”. We actually don’t but that ruins this directionless approach by the NDP and the confused approach by the UCP. NDP Albertans are trying to kill off the very thing that will pay for future en devours by maligning it every chance they get. Which achieves lack of investment, lower risk thresholds and abandonments of projects all because Canada cannot get its dung together under Mr Dressup!
The only way you will find what the “Real NDP” will do is re elect them. Then when you do they will be “SHOCKED, SHOCKED I SAY” at the decrease in revenues from O&G and will have to revisit their anti-income plan they espouse as opposition.
Am I happy with what the UCP are doing? Categorically NO! but, I am not privy the books on income, the NDP are, and the reason they are so upset with Alberta’s firings, is because its their voting base! The greatest debt load to the Province is Health Care and Unions. Falling income means falling services there is no magic pill here. The NDP survives on Provincial Public Service and Unions paid by the Gov, they captured that audience years ago and knew that if they made big unions and big Gov, they would have a job for life. The trouble is, the money paid to the big NDP Unions and PPS is Taxpayer Money, not their money. So every 4 years you toss the NDP because Socialists run out of everyone elses money, quickly!
We are at a point of Rock and a Hard Place, but trashing your largest source of income seems to be stupid at best and dangerous at worst. I can assure everyone more windmills and solar panels will NOT solve that problem.
If Biden trashes Keystone, then we are in for a world of hurt. If Mr Dressup had the balls of a real PM, we could be sending oil to New Brunswick and kill the Saudii Imports, but that puts Quebec Long shoreman out of work and you’ll never see that day as long as Mr Dressup is in office.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner
Southern Albertan

….brings back memories of when a barrel of oil was worth $100 + and how Premier Lougheed’s ‘Six Principles’ were not followed: “Behave like an owner, Collect your fair share, Save for a rainy day, Go slow, Add value, and Practice statecraft. Those, are the days, that are over, simple as that.


The usual from Phillips, next she’ll be accusing Kenney of mishandling 1.6 mil that has “disappeared from her and Fitzpatricks SCS. Shannon has no boundaries when it comes to crapping on those who don’t pander to her ideology. Yawn.


Ideology? You mean like UCP ideology morphing into conspiracy theory as noted in the recent UCP AGM Policy 27 where rationale for the Policy states that the Media, the Federal Government, the United Nations, the World Health Organization, Unions and other groups are trying to push agendas on the people of Alberta. The thing is, the UCP has a majority in the Legislature. So, tell us again who is crapping on whom?


More bibble-babble! from the BS queen herself!


The inability to craft a sound argument is demonstrated in the abundant utilisation of ad hominem.


What argument do you you want me to bring forth? And maybe more important would it really matter!


If your support of the current government resides in your statement that any argument you can present to disprove Ms. Phillips assertions doesn’t really matter, then you have made an exceptionally strong argument in support of Ms. Phillips assertions. Calling people names is not an argument. Defending your position with factual statements is.


Factual statements and the loonie-left are not compatible! Would be a exercise in futility!


The thing is, johnny57, I was not asking you to present factual statements supporting the left. I invited you to defend your position with factual statements. And, without ad hominem would be refreshing. So, give it a go. Present your factual arguments to defend your position that you think Ms. Phillips is speaking nonsense.


And ‘poof’ he disappeared. No surprise.


And another oil company (Sunovus) is laying off workers.
Time for Alberta to get off the crack, and chart a new course.
Oil profitability is shrinking.
And the Conservative’s squandering of the Heritage Fund, and brown nosing of their oil exec overlords has left Alberta on the rocks.
The blame for the present situation, as well as the multi-billion dollar debt legacy they have allowed to pile up (Who’s going to clean up those abandoned wells?) is the UCP’s. Period.

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