May 28th, 2024

Notley says leadership is lacking during crisis

By Lethbridge Herald on September 23, 2020.

Herald photo by Ian Martens Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley speaks with downtown business owner Levi Cox at the outdoor tables at Festival Square Wednesday during her visit to the city. @IMartensHerald

Tim Kalinowski
Lethbridge Herald
Opposition leader Rachel Notley arrived in Lethbridge on Wednesday for a two-day visit to the city to bring a message of change which works for Albertans and gets Albertans back to work.
“I think clearly Alberta is going through some generational and historic challenges right now, and there needs to be a very strong vision for how we go forward that focuses on job creation and ensures all Albertans are part of the recovery,” Notley told The Herald in an exclusive interview.
“What we have seen over the last 18 months is a failure to provide that kind of leadership by the UCP. I think now more than ever there needs to be a really robust and meaningful conversation going forward what the implications are for the majority of Albertans.
“This is not a caretaker kind of time,” she added. “This is an historic time. And I think that people who are truly engaged in the future of their province need to be part of that conversation.”
Notley acknowledged the vast financial challenges facing the province right now, but she also stressed, in her opinion, the Kenney government had not risen to the challenge of facing them in a way which will make Alberta stronger and better coming out of the worst financial downturn the province has seen in several generations. She noted that despite a generous corporate tax cut last year 50,000 jobs were lost in Alberta in 2019, and the economy had begun shrinking long before the onset of this year’s COVID-19 pandemic.
“If I were then faced with these kinds of pressures like every jurisdiction across the country and across the world was facing, would I double down on a (tax-cut) strategy that was clearly failing?” she asked. “Unfortunately what Jason Kenney has done is exactly that, and then he is turning around threatening Albertans with this so-called reckoning in the midst of this.”
If faced with the same difficult circumstances, Notley said an NDP government would have done things differently.
“In my view, a job is a job,” she said. “And you don’t build the economy by firing more people. You cannot cut your way to prosperity. Alberta has, even now despite the mismanagement of the Kenney government, good fiscal bones. We have the ability now to help each other, support each other, invest in economic stimulus, invest in job creation, and ensure the economic recovery that will come is experienced by all Albertans on an equitable basis.”
“As I talk about investing in each other,” Notley added, “I also mean we would go back to the strategic investments we had in place before that were focused on diversifying the economy and were getting results.”
Notley also criticized the Kenney government’s handling of the ongoing dispute with the Alberta Medical Association, and its handling of the re-opening strategy for schools across the province in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s absolutely a self-inflicted wound,” she said in reference to the ongoing doctors’ dispute. “It’s very ideological in nature. It flows from a general lack of concern for maintaining a high-functioning system of public health care. It flows from a general lack of concern of effective access to health care no matter where you live or how much you earn. If you think health care is something you should get if you can afford to pay for it then you are going to be less concerned about the consequences of making really aggressive moves within the public healthcare system. That’s what we see (from the UCP).
“It’s very arrogant,” she stated. “It’s very top down. And it demonstrates an ambivalence with respect to the outcomes particularly with respect to the rural communities.”
Again, Notley said, the NDP would have done things differently.
“It’s pretty simple,” she stated. “Let’s get back to the table and negotiate in good faith. And if it doesn’t work, fine. Send it to arbitration with fair arbitration rules, and go from there. Common sense, and the vast majority of doctors, I think would understand there are places where there need to be some changes, and a bending of the cost curve with respect to the rate at which doctors’ compensation is increasing. I think an arbitrator would find that, too, but I think it would be done in a balanced, respectful, and negotiated way. I think there is room for that.”
On schools re-opening, and the rising numbers of reported COVID cases in schools across the province, Notley said again, in her opinion, the UCP didn’t do what it needed with respect to class sizes and proper funding to limit the risks for teachers and students as it should have done.
“It is absolutely true that nobody has a strategy for a zero-case return; that doesn’t exist,” Notley acknowledged.
“But the question is do we put ourselves into a situation where we are blithely walking around pretending because kids are under 18 the very rules we are asking each and every citizen of this province to follow, don’t apply to kids and teachers? That makes no sense.
“The other key piece here is they (the UCP) haven’t funded a safe return,” she added. “And not only have they not funded it, they have continued with their previously laid out plans to cut education funding. They claimed in the election they would not cut education funding, and they still claim that, but it is a lie.
“Jason Kenney lies every single time he says he has not cut education funding,” she emphasized. “The per student allotment has gone down by just under $500 per student since the election.”
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter


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Thank you Ms. Notley for your absolute crock of s***! You have the nerve to criticize the leadership of the UCP yet you have proven to us in you recent term of office, that you have absolutely no concept of leadership, no integrity, and above all, no concept of reality. You speak of job loses in Alberta you were the author of job loses Ms. Notley, do you not recognize this? You also leave a legacy of uncontrolled spending that has all but left our Province bankrupt. Thanks, but no thanks Ms

diplomacy works

Job losses in the oil patch are periodic but the most recent was in 2015 when Prentice was premier.

Con voters got Con govts for 44+ years in Alberta and everyone of those Con govts (except Lougheed) took time to run the economy into the ground.

Notley worked hard to bring people together and diversify.
Kenney’s a disaster who made a very bad situation exponentially worse.

It’s only ideological Cons still drinking the kool aid at this point.


Voting NDP to spite the two establishment parties, then blaming the NDP for the downturn of the economy is fallacious reasoning. One term is not long enough for the NDP transform the economy, as Kenney is finding out now, and he is stomping his feet like a petulant child.
Conservative “leadership” in AB has more been abt padding industries pockets -unchecked… The AB Energy Regulatory Board was deeply corrupt on the Conservatives watch. AB now has a $260 Billion clean up bill b/c of Conservatives blatant corruption & mismanagement.
The funny part abt rural voters hating on Notely abt healthcare is they will be the first ones effected by Kenny’s master plan of privatization.


Also, Kenney seems immune to diversifying our economy? He wanted throw 30M of taxpayers money at War Room for O&G propaganda… to lie obfuscate the truth!!!
Seems like u are stuck in your ways & u can’t think outside the box.. u want what AB has always known regardless of the consequnces .
Irresponsibility 101.


The old NDP diversity nonsense.


Thanks Kenny & Shandro..You’re the two biggest a******s in Alberta


They’re trying to import American corruption into Canada for quick profit for them both. They’re the definition of crony politicians.

Southern Albertan

Perhaps, we need to pay attention to ‘the people have spoken,’ in that in recent polling, the Kenney UCP has dropped in the polls by 17 points and Premier Kenney is the 2nd most unpopular Premier in Canada. And, many right wing votes appear to be splitting off to the Alberta Party, and other, parties. 6% of Alberta folks who voted for the UCP would now, vote for the NDP. This is very, significant. The intelligence and observations of these folks should not be discredited or underestimated.
Many of us Albertans are, expecting, things to get worse in Alberta under this populist authoritarian ultra right wing Kenney UCP rule, sadly. It certainly is not the more inclusive fiscal conservatism of the Premier Peter Lougheed era. It would be a great thing if more Alberta folks understood the difference.


The people spoke last year and elected the UCP party to form government. Your silly survey and mainstream media activity cannot be taken as the people’s voice in any way. Nice try.


The UCP were elected b/c many ppl want a quick fix to a complex problem. The major banks in he world are freezing financing for O&G projects signaling & change in energy production.
This is a much larger problem than blaming the NDP for a their term, the downturn started before Notley’s election, she inherited a sinking ship, perfect timing for Conservatives to blame her for their corrupt mismanagement.


With all due respect to both the subject and the author of this article, ie none, I request this socialist propaganda cease. Notley is socialist so her defined definition of good and right is whatever serves her interest. Zero principles. No absolutes, only the context of proletariat advancement. Go home to Russia dear.

Citi Zen

A vote to re-elect the NDP is a vote to reopen the SCS in lethbridge

diplomacy works

Notley led a proactive, pragmatic and yes, progressive government with an eye on the future for all Albertans.

It seems to be very much part of her character. Of course if you want doctors to make changes, leaders like Notley invite them to the table and negotiate in good faith.

As opposed to the hidebound ideologue Jason Kenney who wants to kill public health care so had Shandro simply rip up the doctors contract and fill the air waves with expensive political operatives spewing propaganda and lies against the doctors.

Night and day and there will be little sunshine while Kenney’s ruining the province.


Well said comrade Bolshevik.

diplomacy works

You say nothing with that comment except that you have swallowed stereotypes about an ideology that you don’t understand.

Any more than you understand how ideological are you and the politicians for whom you vote.

What’s the equivalent to comrade?
Wall Street Sucker?

Canadian version; Bay Street Sucker?