May 6th, 2021

NDP working to make life better


By Lethbridge Herald Opinion on April 23, 2021.

This month, I was hoping that I could be writing this column amid a string of positive news for our community and province, with the pandemic subsiding and life beginning to return to normal.
Unfortunately, we find ourselves in the midst of a worsening third wave of the virus. All of this underscores that while we might be done with the pandemic and all that it has brought with it, it is not yet done with us.
We must remain diligent in washing our hands, wearing our masks, and when possible, getting our vaccines. Only when we all work together and take care of the most vulnerable members of our community will we be able to put this behind us. 
Still, despite this third wave, I am still feeling a bit more optimistic than in months past.
Folks are being vaccinated and we can see the end of the pandemic. Perhaps the warmer weather and the sight of crocuses blooming and grass greening is putting me in mind of the coming spring. Regardless of the cause for my optimism, I know that things will improve for our neighbours and families, and I look forward to the day that we can come together.
As the Spring sitting of the Legislature moves along I, along with my colleagues in the Alberta NDP caucus continue to do important work to make life better and more secure in our province.
We take our job as the official opposition seriously, and we know that it’s vital we propose solutions to the problems we are hearing from constituents like you. 
One of the concerns I’ve heard most loudly from constituents and from Albertans across the province is the cavalier games that Jason Kenney and the UCP are playing with the Canada Pension Plan and other retirement plans that people rely on for security in retirement. For many of us, the CPP is one of the few sure things that we have as we age. This program, and other pension plans, are a long-term promise between generations of Canadians that if you work your whole life you deserve support in your retirement. To ensure the viability of these plans,
I proposed Bill 208, which would have required a referendum if the Government of Alberta wished to pull out of CPP, and would have safeguarded pensions for teachers, nurses, and other public servants by barring political interference in investment decisions and assuring seats to workers on the board of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, which invests pension funds on behalf of Albertans. 
I was proud to stand up for members of our community concerned about their retirement, and it’s important work that I will continue – despite the UCP voting to kill this bill. 
Another vital concern – one that Southern Albertans have led the charge on – is the defense of our Eastern Slopes from the threat of strip mining for coal. To protect our mountains and water from destruction and pollutants our Leader Rachel Notley introduced Bill 214, which would halt coal exploration in the Eastern Slopes and cancel leases in ecologically sensitive areas.
More than anything, Rachel’s bill would have effectively reinstated the Coal Policy that was in place since the Lougheed era, but which Jason Kenney and his government sought to undermine with recent policy decisions.  
Finally, our caucus has seen how this government and this pandemic has impacted seniors. In addition to recent changes to prescription plans and other programs, the COVID crisis has hit older Albertans the hardest, from medical risks to loneliness and isolation brought on by months spent separated from their families.
Despite these immense challenges for seniors, we saw no action from the UCP loyalist appointed to advocate on behalf of seniors. To remedy this my colleague Lori Sigurdson, who is our caucus’s critic on seniors’ issues, has proposed Bill 215, which seeks to create a new, independent Seniors Advocate who will help seniors navigate provincial services and access the help they need and deserve.
These proposed bills address real issues that are concerning Albertans, and the residents of Lethbridge.
These are the things I hear about every day when I speak to residents by phone or Zoom or via social media platforms like Facebook. They are the types of things that keep people up at night, and solutions like ours promise to make life better and more secure for all of us.
Unfortunately, the UCP government votes time after time to dismiss these reasonable ideas that would secure the future of our province, opting instead for ideological attacks and infighting among their caucus. Given this inability to act on what Albertans care about, perhaps it isn’t surprising that recent polls are showing more and more Albertans are looking for a new and better government – one that cares about them and their priorities. 
As always, please reach out to my office if you need our assistance. You can reach us by emailing lethbridge.west@assembly.ab.ca or by calling 403-329-4644.

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Citi Zen

Life in Alberta has been much better since the exit of the NDP.

h2ofield

pfffft. What a load!

Citi Zen

Such short memory…..

brewster65

I remember and it was FAR better off under the previous Gov’t. The UCP is a joke and make us look like idiots living in caves.

h2ofield

So deluded..

Last edited 10 days ago by h2ofield
brewster65

You must be living in an alternative reality. Every single area of our lives has been negatively impacted by the UCP policies. To state otherwise is sheer ignorance or maybe in your case, stupidity.

Southern Albertan

Wholeheartedly agree! Keep up the good work AB NDP and MLA Phillips! It is being recognized by an significant increase in voting intentions by Albertans who are disillusioned with the bumbling Kenney UCP.
And re: seniors and long term care….now, there’s this:
“Bill to hinder COVID-negligence suits against long-term-care firms will also prevent Kenney Government from scrutiny.”
http://www.albertapolitics.ca
Another indication of another Kenney UCP bumbling day, not caring about the grassroots people and protecting themselves and their corporate long term care friends.

phlushie

Which is the worst pandemic, covid-19 or Jason Kenney and his henchmen. The first we will get over but the second we will regret for the rest of our lives, after they have raped and pillaged our province like a group of Vikings, taking everything and leaving scorched scorched earth.

Dennis Bremner

$8.5 billion in expenditures added to debt per year, unfunded promises of road widenings, taking credit for other companies solar installs, and of course Lightbulbs installed by an Ontario Company, and NO Pandemic VERSUS, Coal Policy Ignorance, Teacher/Health System Ignorance, War Rooms, mishandled COVID strategy, and Pandemic Debt?
Can’t wait for Ms Phillips/Notley to once again promise the pie and deliver the empty plate but they luck in as the Party in Waiting! Even their inability to deliver to anyone but Unionized Albertans will not stop them, so you can be assured the “Universities/Teachers Unions/Healthcare Unions of Alberta” will benefit hugely! Ultimately it is still better than what Kenney’s troop fumbled!
There will be more schools built then we need, more teachers hired then we could ever use, and more credit taken for anyone installing a single solar panel on an outhouse, then one could possibly imagine! University Professors will once again be lauded for their NDP “Job for Life” brilliance in every Newspaper submission!

Last edited 9 days ago by Dennis Bremner
Seth Anthony

Wasn’t it more like 70 billion in added expenditures for the NDP?, or was it 70 billion in total debt? If the former, what the hell was it spent on?

EDIT: In before Fedup Conservative accuses me of being a UCP supporter because I asked a “negative” question about the NDP.

Last edited 9 days ago by Seth Anthony
Dakota

The NDP had a 4 year history of failure.
As soon as the NDP government were accidentally elected they commenced to hire many anti-oilsands extremists, some even being outside of Alberta. For example, David Eggen, Toronto registered anti-oil lobbyist, Graham Michell, Tzeporah Berman, Melody Lepine and Brian Topp.
Just 16 days into office the NDP invited people to Notley’s public swearing-in ceremony, while asking them to contribute money to the party! NDP fundraising started almost immediately after they obtained power. 
How about the now infamous picture of Rachael Notley and Shannon Phillips holding anti-pipeline/anti oilsands protest signs while participating in an anti oilsands rallies? That pretty much makes a rather bold statement about their mentality towards our energy industry.
The Alberta economy relies heavily on our oil/gas sector to stimulate our provincial economy, supply jobs and create revenues for a myriad of social programs. Just how can voters have any faith that this anti-oil activist government will competently and without personal prejudice or bias, govern our oil and gas industry competently and fairly? 
The NDP waited 9 months before making any firm decision of policy changes to the already suffering oil/gas industry causing massive economic uncertainty. This precipitated an exodus of oil/gas investment from Alberta and many job losses in the oil and gas industry. In all fairness at that time the oil/gas sector was already in decline but the NDP only increased the negative pressure and enlarged the damage onto this industry.
The NDP installed another anti-oil activist, Ed Wittingham, as director of the Alberta Energy Regulator to further stack the deck. With all of the past and current anti-oilsands and anti-pipeline activities the NDP has hired, how can Notley even have any modicum of honesty with her blathering about supporting our energy industry and pipelines? The NDP claim that they are in support of the Alberta energy industry is ludicrous. 
As well, the NDP raised business taxes 20%, increased personal income taxes, increased gas taxes and created and implemented a carbon tax. The carbon tax came out of nowhere and was a total shock and surprise to the electorate as nowhere in the NDP election campaign was a “carbon tax” mentioned or addressed. Albertans were blindsided and hoodwinked. 
Add to the above the NDP hiked the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour which contributed to the shutting down of some small businesses, and increased nearly 50% operating costs for small businesses as well as resulted in many layoffs.
We witnessed multiple credit downgrades as a result of the excessive, reckless borrowing and fiscal mismanagement by the NDP. Alberta once was the envy of Canada with its AAA credit rating. The Alberta credit rating took serious blows and got worse than it was before the NDP were elected. Their massive borrowing did plenty of damage to Alberta credit rating.
Bill 6 was rammed into law without proper and adequate input and consultations from farmers and other stakeholders. This has had a negative impact on those operators in this economic sector. 
The NDP cut 15 million from the fire budget and shortly after that Fort McMurray burned. The NDP government also refused the offer of outside agencies assistance with this massive fire. The fine folks of Fort McMurray are still rebuilding and trying to overcome their losses.
Commercial real estate in Calgary took a huge downturn, as many office buildings became and stood and still stand vacant. The City of Calgary must operate with less revenue to deliver the same services to its residents. 
The NDPs implementation of their controversial sexual education programs is yet another example of the NDP government overreach into families personal lives. Not enough consultation was allowed for these changes. Another example of ideological driven agenda. 
The NDP hired over 47,000 new public sector jobs while private unemployment increased rapidly and steadily. Their unionist agenda was then and is still clear, preference for union over private sector that results in more government control to secure votes. As well the cronyism with the NDP hiring former AUPE union leader, Kevin Davediuk to negotiate with government in labor matters gives more proof of the unionist driven policies of the NDP. This was a huge conflict of interest. Furthermore, they implemented pay freezes for 7,000 non-union senior government employees but their union and public sector workers, which the vast majority being NDP voters, were always taken care of and are still today, untouched by the economic realities of job losses and loss of a paycheque than the private sector workers. 
The NDP is driven by blind, ideological social extremism which hugely favors unions and union workers, and other pro-NDP associations such as the ATA over non-union labor. During the last election the NDP were so afraid of the UCP and Kenney they created numerous anti-Kenney trashing websites that sunk to a total fear, smear and trash talk attack election campaign. They are currently using that same tactic again with the help of their allies in the teachers unions, ATA and other public sector affiliates as well as likely receiving financial contributions. The next election is more than a year away but the NDP are again in attack mode. The NDP are mute about any positive economic, social or other “achievements” they made during their tenure in government because they did not have many if any successful political, social or economic achievement’s during their time in office.
Do I even need to mention that the NDP labelled conservative voters as, “sewer rats” and the rest of Albertans as “embarrassing cousins”?
These are only a small collection of some examples of NDP failures. There are many more.
The NDP had not much if anything to be proud of during their fluke tenure into office.

Last edited 9 days ago by Dakota
Dennis Bremner

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/premier-rachel-notley-defends-10-3b-budget-deficit-and-higher-debt-1.4030153
Every time you demand an NDP to cut back spending, its the private sector that takes the hit! Not their beloved “Job For Life Unions”!

Last edited 9 days ago by Dennis Bremner
Dakota

It is the unions and their union affiliates that fund and provide votes to keep the NDP alive both with money and votes, its their lifeblood.

h2ofield

I fell asleep halfway through your rant..loaded with cherry-picked embellishments and typical right-wing cheap shots. You must have a lot of spare time to whine so much. Off to work I go.

Dakota

You are welcome to disprove my points none of them are “cherry picked”. Nice try at deflection but a miserable fail. There are a lot more I did not bother to mention. For you and your left wing intolerant and obtuse cohorts truth is an inconvenience and not tolerated.

Last edited 9 days ago by Dakota
h2ofield

I have little time to waste, so let’s look at one of your lies. The ‘picture’ you say allegedly shows Notley and Phillips at some anti-oil rally. You know, the one that made the rounds 5 -6 years ago. It’s NOT Phillips in the foreground. It’s been debunked many times. Typical righty stretching the truth. Whiny crybabies. Now you & Dennis can continue stroking each other.

Last edited 9 days ago by h2ofield
Dakota

Ah yes, the typical resort to insult. The lowest and most inerudite form of argument.

Seth Anthony

If you had to address one of the “lies”, why did you choose something as benign and fairly insignificant as Philips not being in that picture?

Dakota made very serious accusations about the NDP. Why didn’t you address one of those? I mean, whether or not Philips was in the picture doesn’t really matter to the main points Dakota made. Much more important in regards to the picture, was if Notley was in it AND was actually there supporting anti-oil.

Most of Dakota’s points seem very accurate. However, I’m not so sure that Notley is anti-oil. It certainly seems like she used to be, but perhaps changed her mind slightly? I mean, wasn’t she travelling the country to try and sell Alberta oil?

Last edited 8 days ago by Seth Anthony
h2ofield

“”If you had to address one of the “lies”, why did you choose something as benign and fairly insignificant as Philips not being in that picture?”””

Why not? Lie is a lie. If it’s just ‘filler’, then why say it in the first place? pffft…clowns.

Seth Anthony

Well a lie would be if Dakota knew that it wasn’t Philips, but said so anyway. I doubt that’s the case. It seems more like a case of mistaken identity.

EDIT:

Is this the picture? If so, well um, it kind of looks like Philips, but it’s definitely not her.

https://twitter.com/mattwolfab/status/1263564166318755842

EDIT 2 : I just noticed that the accompanying text for that picture said, “And no, that’s not Shannon Phillips, although she attended at least one other anti-pipeline protest”.

Last edited 8 days ago by Seth Anthony
Seth Anthony

The following is the only other picture I could find, which definitely looks like Philips. Then again, a good image editor can convincingly make it look like Santa Claus attended the rally. Plus, even if it was proven to be her, it could be argued that she was there observing and just hearing what they had to say.

I seem to recall her spoken words saying something similar to, “A transition away from oil has to be a gradual and careful process”. If she did indeed say that, then that’s a wise thing to say.

https://gatewaygazette.ca/ndp-environment-minister-must-answer-on-anti-pipeline-activities/

Last edited 8 days ago by Seth Anthony


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