June 13th, 2021

It’s time to cut Jason Kenney some slack

By Lethbridge Herald Opinion on May 13, 2021.

W. Brett Wilson

Politics is a tough and nasty business – more so these days than ever. I don’t envy any leaders making choices with challenging and uncertain impacts on both the health and livelihoods of Albertans.
One of those leaders in the most difficult position of all is Premier Jason Kenney, who just imposed another level of COVID based restrictions, while having to contend with keeping a raucous conservative political family united.
In Alberta, our Latin motto, Fortis et Liber, or ‘Strong and Free’, couldn’t be a more apt description of the wonderful people who live and work to prosper here.
You won’t find folks elsewhere with a deeper devotion to hard work and family values while coupled with a fierce belief in personal and economic freedoms.
There exists a resilient spirit of individual liberty in our province – and I know, in principle, that’s a very good thing.
But some folks have recently gone way too far. Premier Kenney and his family have received death threats for imposing restrictions that are ONLY similar or less restrictive than other provinces.
Frustration about restrictions is a given, complaining vigorously is understood and expected but physical threats towards anyone are completely unacceptable. Period. Such actions have absolutely no place in a civil society.
There are still those that decry the new restrictions as not harsh enough, often with language designed to help themselves politically. On the other extreme, there are some who seem to believe that complete freedom (i.e. no lockdowns whatsoever) without meaningful vaccination levels is also possible. Confusing times.
The Premier and his government are simply in a no-win situation regardless of the direction they evolve.
During this time of frustration and hardship, it’s tempting for conservatives to turn on their leadership and their party, but it’s the wrong move. We need alignment across all parties to improve the health of residents and restore the economy that we all rely on.
This is really way beyond politics. It’s about rational and reasonable thought for the benefit of Alberta. It’s about working with the new lockdowns where there is – for the first time in more than a year – a sightline to recovery as the impact of our vaccination program finally becomes our reality.
Some of those attacking our leader overlook that at the federal level, we don’t have a single person – Prime Minister or Cabinet – willing to directly answer a question. Press events are carefully managed and Question Period has nothing to do with honest or transparent answers – only political speaking points. Premier Kenney and his colleagues should be celebrated for responding in an open and transparent way even when we don’t like the answers.
We are close to the other side of the final wave of this pandemic – better times are ahead – given the experience of Israel and other regions that are further ahead on the vaccination curve. That is the wave that matters.
And on the economy, energy and commodity prices have rebounded to unexpected levels, and investment is truly beginning to come back to our province. I am putting my money where my mouth is with an innovative outdoor entertainment complex in downtown Calgary. I believe in Alberta and the summer that lies ahead.
No one has governed perfectly at any level during this pandemic, but while navigating through it, our Premier has also achieved a great deal. We have significant improvements to our labour laws, we have removed burdensome levels of red tape, we are bringing sanity back to our education curriculum, and continuing to move forward on a fair deal within Confederation – all while navigating the most challenging pandemic imaginable.
I implore Albertans to show a little patience and give the guy the opportunity to get us through this. We are at the finish line. We are weeks away.
Let’s focus on what’s important: vaccinating to beat the pandemic into submission, while restarting our economic engines in the spirit of keeping our great province together.
If we’re divided, we lose. If we’re united, we win.

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Hypocrite. Asking for Albertans to give Jason Kenney a free pass with one hand while tweeting about how Trudeau is a failure with the other is really undermining his message here. Kenney’s already been given the “opportunity to get us through this” and now we’ve got the worst COVID rates per capita of any jurisdiction in Canada and the United States. He doesn’t deserve a clean slate just because we’re “at the finish line.”
Kenney must be in serious trouble if he’s got his wealthy buddies spewing defensive nonsense like this. Then again I guess if I contributed as little to society as Wilson does I’d have a lot of free time on my hands, too. Maybe he should stick to what he knows and go back to being the third-most annoying guy on Dragons Den.

Southern Albertan

What? On a day when we are hearing a UCP inner, but probably not isolated call, for Kenney’s resignation? Let’s not kid ourselves here..it is coming to the realization that the Kenney UCP and its problematic leadership is in trouble, of his/their own making. Bumbling shoddiness like this can only be tolerated for so long.

Les Elford

I am sorry, but I must respectfully disagree. Mr. Kenney has been nothing but a career politician all his life. As such; he clearly understood the good the bad and the ugly which comes with the job. His style has been to be a pit bull on the attack against someone or something always (most recently calling out protestors and insulting them). If he didn’t know or cannot handle the heat (and it’s getting hotter all the time form inside and outside his own party) then it is time to go. Most people would say “Gee, if this many people disagree with my policies, my approach (Coal Mining , War Room, Stealing people’s pensions, creation of Alberta Pension Plan, private police force etc etc Maybe its me , maybe I am on the wrong track here , Maybe …… I should stop listening to myself and my advisors and Start listening to the people” Yes the pandemic has been horrible, is unprecedented and tragic. It would be exceptionally difficult / challenging / stressful to try to find an effective solution. Yet that is why he was chosen as the “leader” of your party. To lead.. He has not done that , All he has done is sown dissent, division cast blame, accepted no responsibility for his action and inaction ( closed the government for three weeks for “safety”, Yet the people, the real people the constituents, his constituents, believed him when he said he was going to serve and protect them. The UCP party is delusional to keep this up , your ideology , dogma, mantra is old outdated and tiresome. You seriously need to reinvent yourselves and seriously need to listen and pay attention to the people and serve them,,,,,,,,,, Not attack them
But alas I think it is too late for that my friend. Mr. Dwayne Wladyka very clearly provided in a response to an Edmonton Journal article about the Minister of Justice’s recent commentary and a good historical recitation of how the PC/UCP/ Wildrose experiment helped Albertan’s over the years.  
“The only good and sensible Conservative premier in Alberta was Peter Lougheed. The rest were very bad, and did more very costly debacles, that exceed the We debacle. $575 lost from accepting bad oil royalty rates, a mammoth bill of $260 billion left for Albertans to remediate messes left behind by the oil companies in Alberta, $150 billion lost from bad tax policies, Alpac, metal smelting plants, pulp and paper mills, like Daishowa and Miller West Pulp, Swan Hills, trying to salvage a sinking shopping mall, (West Edmonton Mall), on a failed farmer’s aid fund, on a disability payment debacle, on consolidation of paramedic services, well over $30 billion on electricity deregulation, on carbon sequestration, on luxury sky palaces, on pricey plane flights, which were full of empty seats, $35 billion on a bitumen upgrader debacle, a mega billion dollar lawsuit ploy against the tobacco companies, $8 billion lost from 2 rounds of corporate tax cuts, which failed to produce a single new hire, well over $7 billion lost on a pipeline bet gone bad, $4 billion lost on a pension fund debacle, nearly $2 billion lost from the Heritage Savings Trust Fund, $1.6 billion lost on an ‘accounting error’, a $408 million grant to a petrochemical company, and so on. That We debacle sure pales in comparison to what the Conservatives in Alberta lost and wasted on very costly debacles, ever since Don Getty was premier of this province. The UCP must be removed from power. Albertans can’t have a Conservative government in power ever again”
We have all been played by a bunch of old, white, privileged men and some women who have had a really good ability to look after themselves for a long time .I didn’t think think thing could get worse than Redford. Guess I was wrong. Time for a change, time for something better. While I don’t agree with all the NDP policies , they did not create this economic mess during their 4 years of tenure. I would suggest 40 years of a PC kingdom may have had something to do with it . Certainly the NDP did not appear to exhibit anywhere near the amount of scandal and disagreement your party has
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Les Elford “


I totally agree with Wilson. No provincial premiers are popular with pandemic decisions now. There are no right or wrong answers to it. If you believe the saying divide and conquer, it’s working right now with the pandemic. Have you ever seen so many people hating each other since the last year?
Let’s back up our premier to hopefully get through these bad times and move forward.

diplomacy works

Actually Horgan in BC and Legault in Quebec are quite popular.

Perhaps you meant to say no premier is as unpopular as Kenney – because that would be correct.

No other premier pursued a war on Doctors and Nurses during a pandemic, either. Wonder is that’s related.

diplomacy works

I’m cutting Kenney as much slack as he cut Notley during her term.
And Notley wasn’t a dang train wreck with a messiah complex – she actually knew how to move to the centre and GOVERN.


Yeh, leaving a train wreck of 70 billion in debt says all you need to know about Notley’s government. Oh, yes, two words of resource destruction, Tzeporah Berman. ‘nuff said.

diplomacy works

Notley convened a group of renowned experts in their field to hammer out some peace on pipelines and oil.
The group included environmentalists, Oil’s Big 5, First Nations leaders and others to get to a Climate Action Plan.
Tzeporah Berman was asked to sit with the panel by former CEO of the Canadian Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Dave Collyer.

Of course, that’s all so complicated.
So Kenney just told you environmentalists and Notley were out to kill oil.

And you fools believed it. That’s on you.

The Climate Action plan bought a little bit of peace that might have diminished some of that billions in debt 44+ years of Con govt in Alberta has left us.

But you wanted a War Room. That’s on you.

Dennis Bremner

Picking the best of the worse, is just that. There is no political party in Alberta that can do a good job anymore, all they are, are self interest groups who from day one, govern with clear intent of manipulating their voters and massaging their egos. I had hoped UCP were different, they aren’t.

diplomacy works

Dennis Bremner,

If you think Notley’s errors are in any way even slightly comparable to those of Kenney or most Con premiers after Lougheed — you might just be wallowing in partisan pity.

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