Alberta Politics
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley addresses NDP members in her speech in Edmonton yesterday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

No apologies: Rachel Notley sure didn’t sound as if she were conceding anything at campaign-style speech Sunday

Posted on October 29, 2018, 2:02 am
14 mins

In what was probably the first speech of the 2019 Alberta provincial election campaign, if not quite officially, Premier Rachel Notley was comfortable, confident, funny, hopeful, energized, charismatic, fiery and, yes, inspiring.

She sounded, in other words, like a winner. By any measure, it was a terrific speech. And the racket from the packed ballroom at Edmonton’s Westin Hotel – which yesterday morning must’ve held a thousand upbeat supporters chanting “Rachel! Rachel!” and “Four More Years!” – shows Ms. Notley’s party certainly believes her.

Ms. Notley’s speech sounded like the opening salvo in her campaign for re-election in 2019 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

You probably won’t get much sense of that from most media coverage, as befits journalism’s unhelpful tradition of apprehended neutrality. And you won’t hear much of what she actually had to say in this era of five-second clips and minimalist online news stories.

Social media will feature a relentless stream of nattering negativity from Conservative opponents of Ms. Notley’s NDP Government, which is expected to go to the polls in the spring of 2019.

The prevailing media narrative leading up to the election will likely remain that Ms. Notley and the NDP are down in the polls, down in the trajectory of history and, as soon as the election bell rings, down for the count. So why weren’t they looking down in the mouth?

Maybe something unexpected is happening again, as in May 2015. Impossible, you say? Perhaps. Still, the NDP and its leader gave a pretty good impression of a party full of fight and with a plan.

Creating a narrative of her own – “Fighting for You” – Ms. Notley certainly set out the choice Alberta voters will face next spring. And yes, she told her supporters, she will lead the NDP into that election.

Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party, sniping from the sidelines, was strangely angry for folks supposedly sure history is on their side. Maybe they’re just mad the premier’s made it clear she’s going to make a fight of it when they’ve already decided they’re entitled to victory. Maybe they were upset the disciplined NDP caucus has so far avoided the bozo eruptions that have bedeviled their ranks.

Whatever. Ms. Notley explained energetically and unapologetically why she’s sure her government is on the right track, right across the policy board.

In 2015, she told the throng, Alberta’s politics “had been diminished by Sky Palaces, lakes of fire, drama, scandal, and big money. Public health care and education were wracked by instability. And our economy, Canada’s engine, was hit by an oil-price collapse that was costing tens of thousands of jobs, tearing at the fabric of our communities, and bleeding billions from the treasury.”

But on the evening of May 5, as the NDP’s victory sank in, “I knew the job ahead of us would test us all. And I felt the weight of the enormous responsibility, and, you know, to be perfectly honest, deep down, I wondered if we would be able to shoulder that weight.”

Premier Notley meets the media after her speech yesterday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Fortunately, the premier said, “the caucus that Albertans set to the Legislature is a glorious mix of people from all walks of life. Students, community activists, social workers, small business people, civic leaders, shop stewards, academics, farmers, nurses, teachers, and, yes, some lawyers too. We also look different in another way as well. In Alberta’s history there have never been so many women elected to lead a government!”

“With our first bill, we took big money out of politics,” she summarized. “Never again should our democracy be in the hands of a few wealthy insiders.”

Since then, Ms. Notley recounted, her government has stabilized health care funding, killed the Conservative health care tax, reversed cuts to schools, and “brought in a long overdue climate leadership plan that phases out coal pollution, puts a price on carbon and invests in energy efficiency and renewables like never before,” making Alberta “a continental renewable energy leader with massive new investments and thousands of new jobs.”

“We got to work correcting major historical wrongs, such as the lack of clean, safe, reliable drinking water on First Nations in Alberta. … Just this past week we made good on a promise that generations of us have fought for, an historic land settlement agreement with the Lubicon Lake Cree.”

“We also put people to work during the downturn. Building badly needed new infrastructure projects – 240 schools built or modernized, a new cancer centre in Calgary, a new hospital is coming in South Edmonton … roads, bridges, and transit across the province.”

“We took unprecedented steps to fight poverty by expanding the Alberta child benefit, helping hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable families and kids. We froze tuition, expanded student aid, and established a school nutrition program and – you know what? – today, 35,000 children are guaranteed a healthy meal every day at school across this province.”

“We took our labour laws out if the dark ages, giving workers the basic protections that they need” – never again, she vowed, will a mother be fired because she needs time to care for a child with cancer.

“We finally, and without apology in any way, shape or form, did something that had the Opposition screaming: We raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour!”

“To do these things, we got our spending priorities right as well. We asked the wealthy to pay a little bit more. At the same time, we cut salaries for some of the highly overpaid heads of government boards, and we got rid of perks that the conservatives had in place that they liked to hand out to their friends – do you remember these? Like golf club memberships! Think about that!”

She continued: “Not long ago, a UCP MLA in a fit of transparency said, ‘It’s gonna hurt’ if the UCP get elected. Now, I guess some of us got into politics to help people, and others got into politics to hurt people.”

“If the UCP platform was a product, the advertisement would come with one of those drug warnings,” Ms. Notley observed, adding at American-drug-advertising-speed: “‘People beware. This product will privatize your health care, cut your kids’ education, roll back your rights, and hand a big fat tax cut to the top 1 per cent. It will hurt you. For more information, call Jason Kenney!’”

United Conservative Party House Leader Jason Nixon at the NDP convention yesterday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“In fact,” Ms. Notley observed slyly, “one of the key consumer protections we brought in for people is truth in advertising when you’re buying a new or used car. Pretty common-sense stuff, right? Well, apparently not for everybody! You may have seen this week that Mr. Kenney is promising to undo it all. He got caught promising to gut protections for the family buying a minivan in order to help fill the pockets of a few car lot owners!”

“I say a few owners,” the premier added, “because the fact is we have heard from many others in that industry who think that his plan is disgusting, and it is. Now, Mr. Kenney insists over and over and over again that he’s not for sale. But it sure does sound like he’s willing to work out one heck of a lease!”

“Albertans do in fact expect and in fact deserve a plan to pay down the deficit and bring the budget to balance,” Ms. Notley said toward the end of her speech. “But they also expect and deserve one that does so while staying focused on the needs of people.

“So that’s exactly what we’re doing. As of today, with our economy coming back up, our deficit is in fact coming down much faster than forecast. Last quarter it was a billion dollars ahead of schedule and our budget is on track to be balanced just as we said it would be.”

“To those who say we need to sacrifice our kids’ education, sacrifice the health of patients in hospitals and blow up more hospitals while we’re at it, I say this: The record is clear, you can choose to help people, choose to protect jobs, choose to build hospitals and cancer centres, and still grow the economy. … In fact, let’s go further. This is how you grow the economy.”

Ms. Notley summarized the government’s fight for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, its determination to see it completed, and promised to take measures in her government’s next term to ensure more Alberta resources are processed in Alberta. Spurred by its energy diversification program, the government expects a decision soon on a new petrochemical plant that will create thousands of construction jobs, she said.

By contrast, Ms. Notley said, “the old government sat around dithered while Louisiana and Texas ate our lunch. We’re fixing that.”

“Today, in Alberta our services are stronger because we resisted the calls to cut, to privatize and to move the wealthiest to the front of the line,” said Premier Notley. “Today in Alberta, the classrooms our kids learn in aren’t being sacrificed to pay for another CEO tax cut.“

“Today in Alberta patients in our hospitals know when they hit that call button, a nurse is just down the hall, not in the unemployment line.”

“Today in Alberta, a young person who is lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, queer, two-spirited, or however they identify, they can form a GSA without fear.”

The premier went on in this vein, and I’m sure readers will get the idea. She was interrupted by 15 standing ovations.

Later, Ms. Notley took part in the traditional short scrum with journalists – not much new there – after which UCP House Leader Jason Nixon took advantage of the premier’s crowd to try to counter her points. Those car dealers must’ve misunderstood, I heard him say.

Nothing wrong with this, people, I’ve done it myself at someone else’s news conference. I’m just wondering how the UCP would react if Joe Ceci, say, turned up at one of their nomination meetings to hold an impromptu newser.

NOTE TO READERS: The transcription of Ms. Notley’s speech is my own, so any errors are likely mine as well. I’m sorry to have gone on at such length, but I really despise media’s habit of not letting politicians speak for themselves. The speech should be available on the premier’s Facebook page, and is well worth a listen.

21 Comments to: No apologies: Rachel Notley sure didn’t sound as if she were conceding anything at campaign-style speech Sunday

  1. Brett

    October 29th, 2018

    Why should she? I think that the Notley Gov’t has done a good job. So refreshing after the previous four or five years, with three or four different Consevative Premiers. And this, from someone whohas always voted Concervative in Alberta Provincial elections.

    I honestly do not understand where Jason Kenney stands on anything. More importantly I have not seen any alternate solutions or options. To much bluster and nonsensical comments/statements. Nor do I understand whose policies will prevail….UCP policies or Jason Kenney policies. Or perhaps WildRose in some parts of the Province.

    Reply
  2. Farmer Brian

    October 29th, 2018

    I certainly agree David that Premier Notley is a very effective politician but as a rural based Alberta farmer there is nothing that she has done in the last 3 years that makes my life more affordable. First off the NDP’s climate leadership plan has done nothing to get those who are against pipeline construction on side. In fact the same Indigenous groups that fought against the TMX expansion in court are planning to do it again after the next round of consultation, this pipeline will never be built in my opinion. Plus this same plan has done nothing but increase my costs such as heating, drying grain and freight just to name a few. The latest increase is in the cost to attain a class 1 licence. I certainly blame myself here, should have got one years ago, I just didn’t need it but with how much the cost is rising to have my grain hauled I was looking at getting my own truck. Under the new rules the cost of getting a class 1 will go from $3000 to $8000 ouch! Then there is the huge budget deficits under the NDP, they just can’t resist increasing spending every year, somebody will have to pay this back either through increased taxes or reduced services. There is much more I could say but I must get to work. I do hope the NDP runs on its record because from my standpoint it is a broken one! Enjoy your day.

    Reply
    • St Albertan

      October 29th, 2018

      1. “as a rural based Alberta farmer there is nothing that she has done in the last 3 years that makes my life more affordable” I’d say keeping a lot of people employed buying your produce likely saved you from becoming a victim of a vicious downturn in oil price that if we had cut employment and capital spending would directly hurt you. (of course you’re just a tax dodge hobby horse so point taken)
      2. “the NDP’s climate leadership plan has done nothing to get those who are against pipeline construction on side” You should stand corrected. The feds spent 4.5 Billion buying that thing because outside of BC (over a decade of prosperity along with a carbon tax under conservative governments) we were the shining example of industry and social consensus, which, if you ever spent a day off your acreage and went up to FMM or FMC you’d know, and then were stymied because of (C)onservative technical laziness.
      3. As far as your class one? I’m no farmer, but I’ve had a class one since the sixties. I thought you were an older person. Maybe 40’s 50’s, farming, you know, heavy equipment, grain hauling! You want some fleet of newbies rolling molten sulphur for Gibsons with nudge nudge wink and couple hundred bucks on the side on your roads?
      4. Ahh budget deficits. Is that like where we keep the hospitals open with the lowest bed counts because of “conservative” voters? Or is it the schools and paved roads at millions per kilometer? Is it only good spending when it’s for you and only a bad tax when it’s for them? How does your calculus work?

      Oh you must get back to work! Good boy! Glad to see that in spite of weathering the 4th great recession in my lifetime here you kept your job and cheered for the others who pump every cent they make every day back into the local economy after they pay their taxes to service your roads, hospitals and schools!

      Reply
    • Farmer Dave

      October 29th, 2018

      Farmer Brian, what was your position on the Wheat Board. The Wheat Board was formed to help small farmers by finding markets and transporting their grain. Now you need to find your own way. I recall my father as a small farmer and his friends at coffee all saying (screaming) the government has to subsidise farmers (so much money per acre) and all the big farmers didn’t say a thing because they knew they would get most of the money from government. Today if you are not farming 100,000 acres plus you will be in trouble. There is no such thing as a family farm today. Small businesses and small farmers continue to make this problem themselves and Jason Kenney will never help them if elected as he has no policy and only looks forward to collect money from the big guys like the car dealers.

      Reply
      • Farmer Brian

        October 30th, 2018

        Farmer Dave I was not a fan of the wheat board. For exportable wheat there was only 1 place to sell your wheat, the CWB. When it was delivered to the elevator, timing usually chosen by the CWB and it was usually in May when I would rather be seeding, you were payed your initial payment, somewhere between half and two thirds of what you eventually recieved. Then over the next six months or so you recieved interm payments and then your final payment. Today I watch the futures market or put in a price target with an elevator and when I am happy with the price I sell or if I need cash flow I sell on the spot and take the given price. The big difference is that I get payed the full amount right away, no guessing on what I will end up with. Plus I have 6 or 7 potential buyers not 1. As for your assertion that the family farm is dead, I farm less than 2000 acres with my wife and my son and the help of my other kids. Plus we have a small cow herd. There is no doubt that the constantly rising costs and the fact that we recieve no more dollars per bushel for our grain than we did back in the seventies, almost 50 years ago, certainly necessitates expansion but there are still family farms and as you point out there are certainly 20 and 30 thousand acre farms as well. I would also point out that the increasing size and cost of government creates by necessity more large companies and eliminates many of the small ones because you can’t spread the extra costs over enough produced units to make the business viable. Enjoy your day.

        Reply
        • Ken Larsen

          October 31st, 2018

          Farmer Brian: bless your optimism but I have to call BS on your “7 potential buyers” of export grain. The annual publication of the Food Atlas by the Heinrich Boll Foundation reports that as of last year four companies controlled the sales of greater than 70% of the grain on the whole planet. So your so-called buyers of export grain, in spite of what they may claim, are ultimately dependent on those big four (known as the “ABCD group”).

          Since the formation of the ABCD group in the early 1900s, long before big government, there has never been an open or free market for grain. This was a big reason the Pools and the CWB were formed in the first place. Incidentally, that concentration of market power is why the futures market is not really representative of anything in grain pricing except what the big four want to pay.

          In any event the big change since killing the CWB has been that Canadian wheat now usually trades at a discount to US wheat out of the Pacific NW. One of my colleagues remarked: “on average the price of wheat in Canada and the US is now around six bucks, but the Canadians get paid in Canadian funny money while the world pays in US dollars.” Most independent Agricultural Economists on the prairies have observed prairie farmers are now getting about one-third less for their wheat crops without the CWB. United we stand, divided we fall.

          On some of your other points, please see my response to Farmer Dave.

          Reply
          • Farmer Brian

            October 31st, 2018

            First off Ken, a little farm history. My Dad and Uncle started a beef feedlot in 1968, the primary reason was they couldn’t sell all their grain due restrictions from the CWB at the time on how many bushels per acre of grain you were allowed to deliver. Another Uncle on my mothers side started a business arrangement with a custom feedlot for the same reason and it worked very well. Then during the 80’s along came canola, a crop that was never under the control of the CWB but was and certainly is one of the more consistently profitable crops on western Canadian farms. I am very fortunate that I have Paterson grain, Richardson Pioneer, Viterra, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus and GrainsConnect all within 45 minutes of my farm. I also deal with Permolex in Red Deer and a flour mill in Armstrong BC. As I pointed out before with the CWB there was 1 buyer setting the price. Today hard red spring wheat is roughly $5.80 USD on the futures market, at the same time elevators are bidding roughly $7.25 CAD for #2 13.5 protein hard red spring locally.

            Now as for your connection between rising debt on farms and the loss of the CWB, in my opinion there is no correlation. Since 2012 the price of farmland in western Canada has basically tripled due to low interest policies of government and decent farm profits. During the same period the price of machinery such as combines has basically doubled. I would say that rising costs and an increase of young farmers coming back to farm have increased farmers debt not the loss of the CWB.

            The first time I heard about end point royalties on cereal grain seed I was talking to my local seed grower. His assertion was that to many farmers were selling seed to neighbors and that the royalties that he was paying to the seed companies were getting high enough that it was putting a lot of pressure on his margins. I am certainly not a fan of the idea and certainly have a lot of respect for the work done by our government research centres on new varietal developement and not a fan of UPOV 91. Not sure what the answer is to fund seed research but I certainly support continued funding of our Canadian research facilities. Ken there is apparently little you and I will agree on but I enjoy the debate, enjoy your day!

        • St Albertan

          October 31st, 2018

          And you’re complaining? How much do other people have to hurt before you’re satisfied! Are you dense! Don’t you know that most of what you want to claim is blood and soil has been bought by the people you enable? Are you that vacant? So captured? Such a.. Jesus buddy! Get a grip!

          Reply
          • Ken Larsen

            November 5th, 2018

            I’m afraid Farmer Brian’s determination to see free enterprise and competition where it cannot exist has clouded his understanding on grain buyers. His list of local grain buyers really only contains two of global significance: Dreyfus and Cargill. Along with the other two giants of the ABCD group, they control the commanding heights of the global grain market. By comparison, the others on Farmer Brian’s list are smaller operations that get pneumonia when one of the ABCD group sneezes.

            Classical economics tells us that when three four corporations control close to 80% of a market, as the top of the ABCD group do, there simply cannot be competition among them on anything but margins which have to come out of farmers grain cheques. In spite of some trivial recent capacity additions to the port of Vancouver Farmer Brian’s other smaller buyers are also constrained by terminal capacity at deep water largely controlled by the ABCD group and their control of access to foreign markets. And of course such market concentration makes a mockery of the futures market. At least with the CWB we kept the beneficial ownership of the grain until it hit the customers’ factory (take a careful re-read of my note about the US Dept. of Commerce findings on the CWB).

            With apologies for further hijacking our host’s web page I would just re-iterate that Farmer Brian should forget about the carbon tax and start worrying about seed costs if the Harper/Trudeau/UCP gets their way. There is really not much of a shortage of funds for seed development – especially if the money wasted on things like the Ab Wheat Commission is reallocated. You can see a schematic of how public plant breeding works here:
            http://www.cwbafacts.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Public-Cereals-Research-Flow-3.pdf

            You will note that in 2014 Harper gave effective veto control over varietal finishing to the agro-chemical-seed companies. Now they want total control with end-point royalties. Putting those in place will make pedigreed seed growers effectively obsolete (much like canola seed now, most of which comes in from outside Canada).

            For non-farm readers this means the Monsantoes of this world will control what farmers are allowed to plant and ultimately what goes into your food basket. As with canola, zero choice and more expensive seed. I hate to say it, but at least the old PCs understood the issue and supported public plant breeding. On this subject Farmer Brian is also missing a chance to give the Ab NDP a very justified kick for being asleep at the switch.

      • Ken Larsen

        October 31st, 2018

        Dear Farmer Dave: please let me make a few observations based on my direct experience with Canadian Wheat Board Directors’ elections between 1998 and the killing of the CWB by Harper in 2011 as well as my experience of the CWB over most of my 40 some years of full time grain farming.

        First: the CWB enjoyed the strongest support from the largest and the most solvent grain farmers. These farmers got that way because they understood the complexity of grain marketing was something best left to professionals working for them, not the private sector. 14 International Trade Tribunals conducted under oath with full subpoena powers by the US Dept. of Commerce all found the CWB was a fair trader and usually got premium prices for Cdn grain. Simple arithmetic tells us that the CWB, by returning a certain extra percentage on every bushel it sold, gave the greatest benefit to the largest farmers while providing a fair market place to all farmers.

        Second: much of the farmer opposition to the CWB came from smaller mixed farmers in relatively marginal grain growing areas. Of course there were always a few who thought they could buy out their neighbours if the CWB was gone and others who blamed the CWB for the cost/price squeeze and/or their own management difficulties. Naturally the giant foreign grain companies hated the CWB and encouraged this type of thinking. Now they are enjoying record margins by ripping off prairie farmers on grain prices.

        Third: there are always a few ultra-large acre farms out there, but those operations are not financially sustainable this far north without the US Farm Bill propping them up. So your dad was right about subsidies. Most prairie farms, including the incorporated ones, are still family farms.

        Aggregate farm debt in Canada has more than doubled since the killing of the CWB and is now over $102 billion. Almost all of that debt sits on the Cdn prairies and most is owed by the largest farms. If history is any guide, sooner or later higher interest rates will kill off many of those.

        I share the view that farmers who think Harper and Kenney have done, or will do them any favours are whistling past the graveyard.

        My apologies to our host for this longish response.

        Reply
    • Ken Larsen

      October 31st, 2018

      Dear Farmer Brian: There are some very substantial reasons to be disappointed with the Notley Government’s handling of agricultural issues, not the least of which is their passive support of the Harper agenda for agriculture still being implemented by Ottawa.

      The Ab NDP’s silence on farmers being forced to pay end-point royalties to the foreign agro-chemical-seed companies selling us seed genetics we have already paid to develop is a current example. The UCP infested ag check off groups and Ab Dept. of Ag are pushing this privatization agenda very hard.

      These extra seed costs will make the carbon tax seem trivial by comparison.

      Reply
  3. Maggie

    October 29th, 2018

    Honestly, it’s like the news media deeply resents the lack of drama from the Notley government.

    I went to see Premier Notley speak yesterday and the atmosphere in the room was so positive and up-lifting. How could any rational person shit all over what she and her government have accomplished so far for the people of Alberta, are hoping yet to accomplish, and add to that, her words of encouragement to her party members and supporters? As far as I see it, the CBC, the Star and of course, Postmedia, have aided and abetted the UCP to do just that. To what end?

    Is it some kind of nod to some kind of notion of supposed “balance”? I just don’t get it.

    Reply
  4. Geoffrey Pounder

    October 29th, 2018

    “Fighting for You”

    Rachel Notley can fight for you and your children — or she can fight for Kinder Morgan and oilsands companies.
    She can’t do both.

    Scientific reality is non-negotiable. Climate change is a global emergency. Either we accept the science and respond accordingly or we do not.
    Political parties who ignore scientific reality do not deserve the votes of responsible citizens.
    Rachel Notley and the NDP are betting on failure. Oilsands expansion makes sense only if the world fails to take real action on climate change. The NDP’s climate plan is a plan to fail.

    Climate change is not one issue among many. Energy, environment, and economy is THE issue. The environment underlies all we do, the economy, and life itself. If you are not progressive on climate change and the environment, don’t call yourself progressive.

    Rapid man-made global warming is a disaster.
    So are govts that fail to address it.
    And so are leaders who make it worse.

    Notley’s oilsands expansion and pipeline agenda and the industry’s agenda are one and the same. But the public interest and industry’s interest are not the same. On climate change, they are in direct conflict. We must choose.

    Doubtless the NDP will wrap themselves in “progressive” packaging and prey on voters’ fears of the UCP. Don’t fall for it.
    GSAs and farm safety regulations are commendable. But not much comfort on a planet suffering raging wildfires, deadly heat waves, prolonged drought, vanishing glaciers, interminable sea level rise, ecosystem collapse, etc. It is a question of priorities.

    The good news is that we don’t have to give up our progressive values in 2019. We can continue to fight for them and support a new, improved NDP under new leadership that champions ALL progressive values — not just the easy ones.

    Reply
    • JohnT

      October 29th, 2018

      I agree but with the CPC you get all the baggage of that party plus a pipeline or a promise of one. To me it’s a no brainer.

      Reply
    • Kang

      October 29th, 2018

      Things are never so bad they cannot get worse. Consider this little summation of Australian energy policy.
      https://youtu.be/xqegTsi6SiE

      Reply
    • November 11th, 2018

      Actually, GSAs are pretty harmful to closeted kids, who are disproportionately gay trans girls. Why? Turns out the best thing to do with severely bullied kids is not to make them internalize the idea that they have to ally to their more-privileged out counterparts, and that they’re morally deficient if they don’t.

      But hey, these policies are designed not to actually help children, but to use them as political props, which is why neither this government nor this reporter are willing to actually listen to a queer trans woman who was the closeted kid expected to play ally while participating in a GSA.

      Reply
  5. Scotty on Denman

    October 29th, 2018

    You’ve done a great job letting Rachel Notley speak for herself. So many great things going on in your fair province, one wonders if the completion of a dilbit pipeline to tidewater in Burnaby, BC is as critical for Alberta’s prosperity as it has been polically spun—on both sides of the party spectrum. The proposed petro-chemical plant is great news, not just for Notley’s political use—the PCs dithered but the NDP delivers—but for common sense and rational, prudent feasibility’s sake: Alberta’s huge, natural endowment in the tar sands needs to be wound down —one of the prime bones of contention worldwide, but especially in oil-producing jurisdictions—but only from developing combustible fuel to, on the wind-up side, development of other petroleum products, some of which haven’t been discovered yet, a great prospect for a resource so big it will take many generations to deplete. But one Big Bitumen has denied with as much willfull blindness as it has denied human-caused climate change. This new policy alone should be a huge endorsement of the power of fair public policy and government incentive which has for decades been derided by vested self-interests as “market-distorting interference” while they try to hog the benefits of enterprise to themselves. It’s like legalization of marijuana: what the powerful used to condemn as a costly evil impossible by its very nature to control is now a burgeoning industry these same interests are now clamouring to get a piece of; it only happened by ignoring the naysayers. But if you shake a paper bag of Day-old doughnuts at a herd of recently boorish pigs, all is forgiven—it’s all they ever really wanted.

    We can only be relieved Notley has confirmed she will lead the party into the next election. She’s done a superb job, can prove it, and will make sure Albertans know about it in good time. I dunno—I just get the vicarious feeling that Kekenny’s brand is losing its fire—you know, like trying to start a campfire with a can of spray-paint: fiery and impressive enough to scare away bears at first, but eventually smothering itself with its own crisp.

    Great reporting!

    Reply
  6. St Albertan

    October 29th, 2018

    I can’t find her speech on their website and I refuse to use Facebook for anything other than family and can’t find it on the youtube. Do you or anyone else here have a link to the whole speech?

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      October 29th, 2018

      I just can’t understand why the Alberta NDP makes it so hard to find material like this, which helps them and makes them look good. It has been a persistent problem since Day 1 of the NDP Government. DJC

      Reply
      • St Albertan

        October 29th, 2018

        Thanks! Do you know of any way that someone with some clout, could explain to Premier Notley that she really needs her voice out there? She is a truly compelling person. Given she couldn’t re-brand her party, her party better realize that they should use her as their brand! That’s from an old PCer door knocking telephone election pest!

        Reply
  7. David

    November 1st, 2018

    The UCP and their associates in the media have pretty much decided the outcome of the upcoming election, even though it is a number of months away. Although Kenney himself is not too gaffe prone, you have to wonder about all the clowns around him and as the saying goes a week is an eternity in politics. I realize the UPC does not like the term bozo eruption anymore, only saving that term for their predecessor Wildrose party, where a lot of the bozo’s apparently came from, but it is becoming obvious that taking over the PC remnants does not seem to have fixed this problem.

    I am rather sceptical of what passes for the conventional wisdom and I think Premier Notley has a good point. Around 6 months before the last provincial election, it seemed like Prentice was the white knight to save the PC’s and the opposition was going to be obliterated. Well surprise! It turned out voters didn’t like arrogance, being taken for granted and the PC’s increasingly cozy relationship with corporate donors and friends. Well, this time instead of a small group of well off Edmonton businessmen campaigning against the NDP, we have car dealers through PACs.

    In many ways, I think Prentice was a better candidate than Kenney, more able to appeal to moderates and appear more reasonable. Even though both come from Federal politics, Kenney seems to veer off into overdone attacks on the Federal government and making promises that involve Federal powers that he can’t possibly keep (ex. carbon tax elimination and regulating environmental groups). It has been noticed by some already and I suspect as the provincial election gets closer, more voters will scrutinize what he says and his platform (or lack thereof) more closely.

    Reply

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