Friday Focus: Municipal Meddling, Oil and Optics, and COVID Chaos
UCP’s Municipal Meddling
With municipal elections fast approaching the UCP are putting their thumbs on the scale. The UCP will be asking Albertans for a mandate to support a demand for the removal of equalization from the Canadian constitution. The UCP knows this referendum is completely unactionable. This referendum is nothing more than a taxpayer-funded GOTV strategy for right-wing conservative municipal candidates.
The political interference doesn’t stop there. The UCP are also looking to do away with codes of conduct for municipal politicians. Instead of holding politicians to a higher standard, Kenney is seeking to lower the bar for politicians even further. Conservative councillors are the ones violating these codes. Instead of lowering the standards for municipal politics Kenney should lead by example and raise the standards for politicians in the legislature.
Oil and Optics
This week U.S. President Joe Biden angered more than just the environmental wing of the Democrats when he called on OPEC to produce more oil in order to ease gasoline prices. Many Albertans were upset at this move coming hot on the heels of his cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.
I understand the frustration many Albertans feel here. However, our own provincial government owns a lot of the blame for our plight. The UCP has done Alberta no favours by being obstinate laggards on environmental issues. We need to show the world that we are taking those issues seriously and rigorously and making changes to fight climate change.
Continued COVID Chaos
There’s good news and bad news on the COVID-19 front. On a positive note, we’ve seen school boards, health care professionals and municipalities step up to fill the vacuum created by the UCP. We’ve even seen the UCP halt their rollback of existing protections for the next 6 weeks. The bad news is the UCP continues to offload responsibility onto lower-level officials and won’t bring in new protections despite case counts continuing to rise.
The UCP Government's approach to COVID suffers from the same fatal flaw as their approach to our energy industry. The UCP is stubborn, antagonistic towards evidence and completely out of step with the rest of the world. They make Alberta seem ignorant and self-destructive when the truth is that only applies to the UCP.
We need a government that shows the real Alberta spirit. We MUST be winners, not whiners. Leaders, not laggards. It’s going to take a noticeable philosophical shift in our government to fix the damage that has been done. In the meantime, our influence in Canada and internationally will wane and more and more young people will leave the province. That is why it is so critical that we bring a Liberal approach to the legislature. With the stakes, this high, positive, evidence-based, and forward-thinking Government is exactly what Alberta needs.