Kenney’s intended resignation as Leader of the UCP has sent waves through Alberta politics this week. I for one hope that Kenney’s eventual departure will lead to less drama and division and a greater focus on issues that affect the lives of Alberta. That being said, I think the issues with our political climate go much deeper than any single politician, so I’m not holding my breath.
We now know Jason Kenney will stay on as premier until a new UCP leader is chosen. Will this mean months of inactive government failing to address serious issues, or will Kenney be emboldened with nothing holding him back? In either case, Albertans are likely to be hurt by this political instability. We desperately need a new approach to politics. One that focuses on people and how to help them. That can’t happen until we dial down the rhetoric and get back to healthy debates and seek to find common ground.
The UCP’s carbon capture plan is being criticized by Alberta’s energy industry. It fails to provide transparency around project approval and clear rules for when companies have to use a different company’s hub and it favours larger companies over smaller ones. This is troubling as it is causing billions in delayed investment and undermines our industry’s ability to contribute to climate change targets, which in turn hurts Alberta’s reputation.
Despite the UCP’s constant attacks blaming the federal government, this is yet more evidence that it’s the UCP that’s failing. The UCP needs to address these flaws in its carbon capture program. More importantly, however, is the need for a more robust and comprehensive energy strategy. Right now the UCP is failing on both the details and the big picture. Alberta’s economic future can’t afford failure on either front.
Caution on COVID
It’s easy to get complacent with COVID. We are continuing to see downward trends in PCR testing and wastewater surveillance. However, there are also reasons to be cautious. From May 10th to 15th, 55 deaths were reported and new data shows our emergency rooms are still strained beyond capacity.
People are still dying and the health care system is still being pushed to the brink. Both government and individuals need to be vigilant. We can’t let political drama and other issues distract us from the fact that the battle against COVID still wages on.