Alberta Politics
Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May at Edmonton’s The King’s University on Friday (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

What would Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May do in Rachel Notley’s shoes? Not the same thing as Alberta’s premier

Posted on March 13, 2019, 1:08 am
12 mins

What would have Elizabeth May have done in Rachel Notley’s shoes?

The leader of the Green Party of Canada says she would have summoned up the memory of Peter Lougheed, founder of Alberta’s 44-year Progressive Conservative Dynasty, but not the way the province’s first NDP premier has.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“I think that Albertans are reasonable,” Ms. May said during a short, 15-minute interview before she gave a talk with students and faculty at The King’s University in Edmonton Friday. “If you present the facts, and say, ‘Look, we had this plan from Peter Lougheed, let’s revisit it,” she argued, Albertans and other Canadians could find common ground.

Ms. Notley took a different road, with which the member of Parliament for Saanich and the Islands disagrees profoundly, describing Alberta’s approach “an abdication of responsibility.”

To the right of Ralph Klein on oil?

“If I had been her advisor, and I certainly tried to communicate this to her, given the political landscape, I would have sought out reclaiming the moral high ground of Peter Lougheed,” Ms. May told me. “I would have distanced myself from trying to be to the right of Ralph Klein on oil and gas, which is where I think she’s placed herself.”

Premier Notley, in the Green Party leader’s view, should have asked Albertans to look back at what Mr. Lougheed advised, to wit, developing processing infrastructure in Alberta. “Let’s look at taking a business case to the rest of Canada that we’d like to see them stop importing all foreign oil, and use Canadian product,” she said.

She recalled how, the only time she met Alberta’s premier, she told her: “You should brand it Fort Mac Strong and sell it across Canada as a branded Alberta product. And I don’t think there’s a Canadian who wouldn’t prefer, as long as we are using fossil fuels, to use Fort Mac Strong than Saudi or Nigerian.”

No expansion of the oilsands

“We could say, well, on a declining basis, in exchange for no expansion of the oil sands, this is a good way to go forward. And I think she could have sold that.” But “it’s too late now,” Ms. May lamented.

Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes, leader of the Green Party of Alberta (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Well, maybe Albertans would have listened, maybe not. But they certainly deserve to hear what Ms. May has to say. She may only lead a Parliamentary caucus of one, but she speaks for many more Canadians – leastways, outside Alberta, and this debate isn’t going away.

So it should concern Albertans that Ms. May’s two days in our province – Thursday in Calgary and Friday in Edmonton, with a long bus ride in between because that was the lowest-carbon travel option – were all but ignored by mainstream media. This has certainly not been the case elsewhere on her cross-Canada “community matters tour.”

In Alberta Ms. May was accompanied by Cheryle Chagnon-Greyeyes, leader of the provincial Green Party. And, yes, despite heavy snow last Friday, they showed up at the King’s campus in a small electric car.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

Like most serious environmentalists, Ms. May puts carbon emissions and climate change at the heart of the debate over the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, although she is highly critical of economic arguments for the project.

Neither the Alberta NDP nor Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals really have a carbon reduction plan, she asserted. “She has a carbon expansion policy,” Ms. May said of Premier Notley. “The goal of the Alberta government is to increase greenhouse gases. She wants to go to 100 megatonnes of carbon a year, from 70 megatonnes of carbon a year.”

“The cap is way above where we are right now, and we’re in a climate emergency,” she stated. “We can’t afford to expand greenhouse gases!”

But what about other aspects of Alberta’s carbon reduction plan? “Well, ‘We’re going to go off coal for Alberta’s electricity,’” she said, paraphrasing part of the Alberta Government’s position. “Which would be fantastic if we were going to 100-per-cent renewables. But she wants to go to fracked natural gas, burned in the same plants that were once burning coal. Which means it will be inefficient. … So, in the end, there won’t be much reduction.”

Selling out the climate? 

“To me it was a political trade-off, but not one that was relevant to climate science,” Ms. May said. “That’s a condemnation of both Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley for being willing to sell out climate in the interests of a papered-over political win.”

British Columbia Premier John Horgan (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

As for the economic case made by the two governments for the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, Ms. May was scornful. “The National Energy Board … said that on the list of issues (it) was supposed to investigate during this hearing, jobs and the economy weren’t included. Then how on earth can it be that the National Energy Board tells the Trudeau administration, as they did in the first instance and now the second instance, ‘We’ve looked at all these harms that will occur, but the benefits for the economy outweigh the harms’?”

“I’m very happy if I can fight the … pipeline solely on the basis of economics, because it loses on the economics,” she stated.

A ‘targeted attack’ on the people of B.C.

Ms. May is angered by the Alberta NDP’s $23-million national advertising campaign. “Rachel Notley’s ad campaign, which we now know from access to information requests was premised on the idea of getting people to be angry at B.C., it was a very targeted attack at the people of British Columbia and our government.”

She praised B.C.’s NDP premier, John Horgan, for not responding in kind. But, she added, “I really regret that he hasn’t taken on the lies in the ad campaign, clearly, so that people can see that they’re lies.”

Did she have an example of a lie? Consider the claim Canada is, or at least was, losing $80 million a day because of the price differential between Alberta crude and Texas oil. “That’s not true! And it doesn’t take more than 15 minutes of Google searches for economists who’ve crunched the numbers to know that isn’t true.” Claims the pipeline expansion will generate permanent jobs? She calls them “bogus.”

Faint sympathy for Rachel Notley

So does Ms. May have any sympathy for Premier Notley’s political predicament? “Yes. But I think she’d done the absolutely worst thing for her own self, strategically. I don’t think the NDP can win an election in Alberta by being more pro-oil than Jason Kenney. It’s a political miscalculation.” She continued, with a certain tone: “Do I feel sorry for her? Sure. I’m a charitable person. But she’s done something that is essentially unforgivable in that she is fighting, hard, to eliminate a viable future for our children. And that is not acceptable. She has to know better.”

Premier Peter Lougheed, founder of Alberta’s Conservative Dynasty (Photo: Provincial Archives of Alberta).

Opponents of the NDP will take Ms. May’s comments as more evidence the NDP’s efforts to win “social license” for expansion of Alberta’s oil industry have failed. As has been said here before, though, the opposite is probably true.

But as angry rhetoric toward other parts of Canada escalates among both Alberta New Democrats and their Conservative challengers, this inter-provincial dispute may get harder, not easier, to resolve. Ms. May characterized Ms. Notley’s remarks about British Columbia as “vicious” and “divisive.”

“Of course she does better things on the social justice side of the ledger for Albertans,” Ms. May observed. “But on climate change, she’s led the charge toward extinction. And it’s not a good record.”

And don’t count on this approach to pipeline building ever being effective on the West Coast, the Green leader added. “Opposition in British Columbia isn’t going away.”

Greens in the next Parliament

Nor is the Green Party of Canada, she vowed. Indeed, with a little vote-splitting from Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada, the Greens could end up able “to exercise a balance of responsibility in Parliament,” she mused.

“We’re going to have lots of seats,” she predicted. “I’m more than happy to work with New Democrats, or Liberals, or responsible Conservatives. Wherever we find people who want to think about the issues, and come to a consensus of what do we need to do now really.”

“Let’s take this seriously and find the solutions that advance the interests of Albertans, and the interests of British Columbians, and of people from Ontario,” she concludes. “We’re a country, not warring factions.”

Click here to read a transcript of the audio recording of the interview, which I have edited lightly to eliminate pauses and repetitions. DJC

17 Comments to: What would Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May do in Rachel Notley’s shoes? Not the same thing as Alberta’s premier

  1. Geoffrey Pounder

    March 13th, 2019

    “Did [Elizabeth May] have an example of a lie?”

    The AB Govt’s pipeline advertising has been variously debunked:
    Robyn Allan dispels the myths and fear-mongering:
    “False oil price narrative used to scare Canadians into accepting Trans Mountain pipeline expansion” (National Observer, 26-Nov-18)
    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/11/26/analysis/false-oil-price-narrative-used-scare-canadians-accepting-trans-mountain-pipeline

    J. David Hughes: “Fact-checking Alberta’s pipeline ads” (Edmonton Journal, Feb 20, 2019)
    https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-fact-checking-albertas-pipeline-ads

    “How Alberta is getting away with running deceptive ads on Trans Mountain” (The Narwhal, Oct 4, 2018)
    https://thenarwhal.ca/how-alberta-is-getting-away-with-running-deceptive-ads-on-trans-mountain/

    If you vote for politicians who lie to you, expect more of the same in future — and don’t complain afterwards. You get the govt you deserve.

    Reply
  2. Geoffrey Pounder

    March 13th, 2019

    “Opponents of the NDP will take Ms. May’s comments as more evidence the NDP’s efforts to win ‘social license’ for expansion of Alberta’s oil industry have failed.”

    What about SCIENTIFIC license?
    No mainstream climate scientist or scientific institution supports fossil fuel expansion.
    In opposition, the AB NDP were the only voice of sanity on climate and energy. Notley has eliminated that option.

    Now we have zero oil industry critics in the AB Legislature. And there won’t be any after 2019. Banished to opposition benches, the NDP will be able to say nothing about oilsands expansion, oil & gas pollution, and climate inaction — because they sided with Big Oil in office.
    We no longer have a mainstream party that champions science.
    We no longer have a progressive party in the NDP.
    The AB NDP took away our last hope for real action on climate in AB.

    Notley has done irreparable damage to the AB NDP’s progressive brand. For what? A landslide defeat this May.

    Reply
    • Jennifer

      March 23rd, 2019

      We have the Alberta Greens making a proper comeback, but they’re not strong enough to take the province yet tbh.

      Reply
  3. Geoffrey Pounder

    March 13th, 2019

    Elizabeth May: “The cap is way above where we are right now, and we’re in a climate emergency. We can’t afford to expand greenhouse gases!”

    The Int’l Energy Agency agrees:

    “There is already no more room to increase the amount of pollution that humans add each year to the atmosphere. All of the cars, trucks, power plants, factories and other facilities that have already been built around the world will eat up the rest of the planet’s so-called “carbon budget”
    “A full 95% of the planet’s remaining carbon budget will be eaten up by existing infrastructure.
    “‘We have no room to maneuver, in other words. If we want to be in line with the Paris target, we wouldn’t build any non-zero carbon plants, no new cars, no new factories…'”
    “U.S. and Canadian oil production pushing planet’s climate goals out of reach, says IEA” (National Observer, Mar 8th 2019)
    https://www.nationalobserver.com/2019/03/08/news/us-and-canadian-oil-production-pushing-planets-climate-goals-out-reach-says-iea

    Reply
  4. Geoffrey Pounder

    March 13th, 2019

    Elizabeth May: “That’s a condemnation of both Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley for being willing to sell out climate in the interests of a papered-over political win.”

    The plan to fail was hatched by Big Oil and Canada’s business community years before Trudeau and Notley came to office.
    In his book, “The Big Stall: How Big Oil and Think Tanks are Blocking Action on Climate Change in Canada”, Donald Gutstein details how neoliberal “progressive” politicians like Trudeau and Notley subverted the climate change agenda and enabled Big Oil’s “predatory delay”:
    “The Rise and Fall of Trudeau’s ‘Grand Bargain’ on Climate” (The Tyee, 14 Nov 2018)
    •https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2018/11/14/Trudeau-Climate-Bargain/

    “Justin Trudeau’s grand bargain with Big Oil exposed in Donald Gutstein’s The Big Stall (The Georgia Straight, Nov 14th, 2018 )
    https://www.straight.com/news/1164161/justin-trudeaus-grand-bargain-big-oil-exposed-donald-gutsteins-big-stall

    Unconscionably, several big ENGOs signed on to AB’s plan to fail. Some, like Tzeporah Berman, have since backed away, but others like Pembina’s Ed Whittingham continue to defend the deal. (The NDP just appointed him to the Alberta Energy Regulator board, lighting conspiracy theorist Vivian Krause’s hair on fire.)

    Our house is on fire. The only rational response is to put the fire out. Notley and Trudeau are fuelling the flames!

    Reply
  5. David

    March 13th, 2019

    Just how many seats do the Greens and Elizabeth May have in Alberta, or in any province other than BC actually? While I do take her fairly seriously, I don’t disagree with some of what she is saying and I think she is a credible representative of her party, but her party and views are not the political mainstream or even close. Maybe that will change in the future, or maybe not.

    In any event it is easy for her to put forth certain ideas because she has no seats in Alberta to lose or Alberta MP’s to give her feedback. At least to her credit, she is not one of those celebrity fly over types that helicopter in to Fort McMurray take some video of oilsands operations, proclaim how terrible it is and then fly back to where ever it is they came from without talking to the people whose livelihood depends on these operations. Its good that she has visited Calgary and Edmonton recently, but I hope she would stop in a few more places along the way in Alberta, like some of those communities that are dependent on the energy industry. Would it change her mind? I doubt it, but perhaps it would broaden her perspective a bit, which might be a good thing because the Greens have a very black and white view of things when it comes to the environment and the energy industry. The world does not so easily fit into such preconceived notions.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      March 13th, 2019

      If the next Parliament unfolds the way Ms. May hopes and dreams, she wouldn’t need many to hold the balance of power, or, as she put it, the balance of responsibility. And it wouldn’t really matter if they all came from one region, say, Vancouver island. Personally, I think that is unlikely in the present scheme of things, which, as we have seen, the perennial winners have no desire to change – for obvious reasons. Still, there is more than one way to skin a cat, and one of them is by infiltration of another party – as utopian market fundamentalists came to possess the conservative parties of yore, which once upon a time in Canada were actually conservative in the plain meaning of that word. Change is coming on this front because survival requires it. Will it be too late? Maybe. DJC

      Reply
      • Sub-Boreal

        March 13th, 2019

        David:

        I wish I could hold out more hope for the efficacy of the infiltration strategy. My own observation of, and experience in, the BC NDP over the past ~ 30 years is that members/activists of a greenish tendency are consistently marginalized and kept pretty harmless, although they get just enough of a trickle of symbolic nods to keep a few in the fold. But there never are enough of them to create a critical mass that exerts an effective veto over policy in that domain. In contrast, it’s instructive to see how quickly the rise of transgender activism has solidified into an internal constituency (also in major unions and labour federations) whose recognition is now part of the dominant orthodoxy.

        Why the difference? People whose main impetus for activism is environmental concern – now focused predominantly on the climate crisis – often come at this independently of the recruitment pathways that have traditionally brought trade unionists, feminists, and many other flavors of social justice activists into social democratic parties. Coming from diverse backgrounds which include strong representation from non-ideological middle-class do-goodism and those with hardcore training in environmental science, there’s generally a pretty weak matching to the traditional ideological spectrum. So that’s why we find such a weird coexistence of flaky libertarianism and ecosocialist tendencies expressed in existing “Green” parties. And it’s why only a fairly small minority of the overall population of green-priority voters and activists will ever commit themselves to a particular political outlet.

        Some of the residual rump of greenish activists in the BC NDP initially saw the Green-NDP power-sharing agreement as being more promising than it has turned out be. Their hope was that this would lever stronger stands than the NDP would otherwise adopt on its own. However, the ascendancy of the “Brown” tendency under Horgan (i.e. continuing strong influence from the building trade unions despite reforms to political fundraising), combined with the continuing influence of the Carol James-style of militant timidity, meant that Site C and LNG development were probably inevitable. And despite (or perhaps because of) Andrew Weaver’s high regard for his own political skills, he was simply outsmarted when the confidence and supply agreement was drawn up. With the dramatic collapse of the Green vote in the recent Nanaimo byelection, he is now greatly weakened AND the internal greenish rump inside the NDP can’t argue convincingly that stronger policy stands are needed to prevent vote bleeding to the Greens. (I can imagine a Provincial Secretary asking, “And how many divisions do the Greens have?”)

        All in all, not a pretty picture. But at least it’s not quite as bleak as the prospects in Alberta. As one of your other commenters always says, “enjoy your day”.

        Reply
    • Geoffrey Pounder

      March 13th, 2019

      “… the Greens have a very black and white view of things when it comes to the environment and the energy industry. The world does not so easily fit into such preconceived notions.”

      Unfortunately, planet Earth is not open to compromise. The laws of physics are not open for debate. The science is black and white. The climate does not care one whit about human politics.
      It’s up to us to adapt to nature’s realities and limits, not the other way around.
      In face of climate change, Albertans who insist on pipelines (now on both sides of the spectrum) are like small children who stamp their feet: “But I want to!”
      Either we change the way we live, or the Earth will change it for us.

      Reply
    • Rodger Hamilton

      March 13th, 2019

      Hi David… “The Greens have a very black and white view of things..” especially climate science. Your comments suggest the social science concerns would broaden their perspective, perhaps make their climate policies more acceptable. The physical sciences underlying climate change, like physics and chemistry, are not influenced by social upheaval. It is a “black and white “ kind of thing, and the physical sciences are paramount. As E.O.Wilson said, “All biological processes are obedient to physics and chemistry .”

      The world is ultimately governed by the physical sciences; policies intended to address climate change have to reflect this hard truth.

      Reply
    • Pat Cuthbert

      March 15th, 2019

      Alberta currently has no Green MP’s. There are several very viable potential candidates who could win seats.

      As to the results of the next election, I anticipate that Ms. May will not sit alone. The East Coast will elect several MP’s. Ontario and Quebec have the potential to put Greens in office. Manitoba has several potential candidates who can win.

      The Greens have not folded into big business control. They do not wish to ‘buy jobs’ as other parties have done. Yes, you are correct in saying that the Greens are ‘not mainstream’. This means that they would do things a bit differently. Energy diversification is one of those. Refining of petroleum in the Province is one aspect that cannot be ignored. Permanent jobs result with higher pay scales to help maintain the Alberta economy.

      You hear about pipelines and how the Greens are against them. Not quite the case. Greens would prefer that pipelines carry less damaging products than diluted bitumen. Specifically, refined products.

      Should you have the desire to do so, you will find that the Greens are not a ‘one trick pony’, and have developed policy that encompasses all parts of our economy. Sustainability is the key word in the Green Party plans.

      Reply
  6. Political Ranger

    March 13th, 2019

    “… or responsible Conservatives” ??? no such an animal in these parts!

    It’s more than a little interesting to hear from someone outside of and away from the nexus of the CAPP campus and the ‘Ledge. The utter lack of truth-telling and facts coupled with the preponderance of partisan one-upmanship that passes for political insight is well know by now around these here parts. May’s comments are a bit like the child pointing out that the King is, in fact, naked, unclothed!
    Albertans, in general and Notley, in particular do not have a leg to stand on when it comes to environmental and petroleum policy. They have, collectively, missed the next train to the future.
    There is no future in petroleum, as premised by the glories of the past. Even Norway is weaning itself away from a reliance on petroleum – and if there is any jurisdiction in the world that Alberta should be paying attention to now, it’s Norway. Not least because it is, in fact, a world-class energy economy, unlike so many of the empty boasts by so many Albertan blow-hards. There will be petroleum in our future but it will not be anything like the past; many less people, much more regulation, more like a utility, less independent entrepreneur.
    There is no such thing as social license either. It’s just an in-group, us versus them bunch of clap-trap. It’s a regionalist and classist prejudice foisted on an ignorant, fearful and largely unthinking population by a cabal of a few wealthy petro-corp shareholders, some nakedly covetous political aspirants and a pliant and corrupt media.
    A few unhealthy sociopaths had a good thing going during the idiocy of the Klien era and they don’t want to give it up. Who can blame ’em? But that does not translate into viable socio-economic policy for a province or a country or a path forward into a 21rst Century future

    Reply
  7. pogo

    March 13th, 2019

    The last time I believed anything from the “stop and pitch tents” party? I ended up in jail! Now I’m not sayin’ I haven’t ended up in jail since then. I’m certainly not sayin’ that those folks aren’t an occupier of my crippled memory! What I am trying to say is this! Do not let the forces of phony, take you for a ride on the last roller-coaster! With that? I must find a tune.. https://youtu.be/w0rOOdjQUIU?t=23

    Reply
  8. Scotty on Denman

    March 13th, 2019

    Premier Rachel Notley’s strategy has been to seed policies which take more years than a single term of government to fruit while, at the same time, tending to the garden of public enterprise and services during a drought of petroleum revenues. The voters who elected her, however, were much more tactical and may turn as many ways and as many times as they want during a single term of government. Last election their prime motivation was to turn a tired government of forty-odd years out of office (it’d been stumbling for a decade and evaporated completely after the NDP’s upset victory). It might well have been that many voters didn’t give much thought to what an NDP government would do but, rather, figured it couldn’t do much worse than the one they just rejected and could be gotten rid of before any granny-state policies could come into fruition, after which a reformed party of the right could then be (“re~”) elected.

    In the equivocal way of the right these days, voters can parry with the fact that the party of the right in Alberta contention right now is not really a conservative party they might expect it to be by countering that neither is the NDP what they expected it to be. There, thinking process of your average voter done!

    What voters who are likely to vote UCP expect is a pipeline to the West Coast and expansion of bitumen mining. Thus, if there’s any hope of Notley winning a second term—as her strategy demands—she has to get a pipeline together and expand bitumen mining in order to capture enough of voters of practical, as opposed to ideological, partisanship—that is, tactical, fairweather partisanship. Having substantially done the preparation—to an extent unprecedented by any conservative government—she has to present her party to voters as the little engine that could: “I think-we-can; I-think-we-can; I-think-we-can…” while pointing eagerly to measures already accomplished— again, not insubstantial, and superlative to anything hitherto.

    To any voters not mentally paralyzed by chauvinism—and the PC’s defeat means there must be some, at least sometimes—their attention, if gotten, must turn thence from those accomplishments to the question of the NDP’s ostensible, longterm commitment to the bitumen industry. They might even be pleasantly surprised, for the moment, but be as easily swayed to UCP cynicism that, no matter what the parked-vote NDP says or does it’s simply a trick to sneak in higher taxes (in Alberta the traditional sales-tax bogeyman is now joined with the carbon tax), promote gay lifestyles and abortions and generally botch up even a reasonable plan for the bitumen industry.

    One has to wonder if the NDP could have captured the default vote if it had promised anything other than the status quo position on bitumen mining and dilbit pipelines. Once it did win that default vote, what could Notley possibly do but compete directly with Jason KeKKenny’s UCP for the blue-ribbon, Biggest Bitumen Booster prize? Was there any other strategy for her but winning more than one mandate?

    I have my sympathies for Ms Notley’s predicamnet. But it stops at the targeted vitriol towards BC. If she’s decided to parry with KeKKenny for the same turf, she should have targeted him instead. He might criticize spending public dollars for the demonization propaganda—but only hypocritically because it tops what his party has to spend doing exactly what he’d like to do if he held the public purse strings. To his mind, that’s “unfair” and of course, if he ever does win power, it’ll justify righteous revenge by spending even more on the same thing and demonizing everything that could possibly be connected to the NDP. (Don’t worry, there won’t be any pipeline built before the next Alberta election likely this spring and, if Kekkenney wins, he’ll claim the credit for whatever part of it looks successful and blame JT and Notley for what doesn’t.) Naturally, KeKKenney would pay for this kind of self-serving stuff by cutting social services—at least Ms Notley contrast with him in this respect.

    So the NDP can only win by winning the next election: as mentioned above, an NDP Opposition wouldn’t have an environmental leg to stand on when criticizing UCP pipeline and bitumen mining expansion.

    Does Notley have to worry about the Greens? After burning environmental bridges behind her, I should think so, but probably not so much from the Alberta Greens, rather from BC federal Greens where Ms May’s riding is and to which one provincial Green seat attached geographically, then two more, contiguously, all on the Island, which now hold the balance of power in the BC Assembly. With opposition to TMX so strong on the Coast, I expect the federal Greens will continue to prosper there. Hey, they could double their seats!

    And lets remember that the BC NDP minority government the BC Greens support has disappointed and angered Dipper environmentalists with respect LNG pipelines, the Site-C dam, fish-farm policy and other things. Given that stiffening opposition to TMX and shipping dilbit through inside waters is of primary concern to Albertans, it’s worth their consideration whether the Greens continue to ascend provincially in BC. It’s too early yet to speculate about the next BC election scheduled for Spring, 2021: we have Albertan, Canadian and American elections in the interim, all of which will feature strengthening environmental concerns, and none of which will jive with Notley’s bitumen expansionism.

    You just gotta feel a little bit sorry for Ms Notley.

    Reply
    • Sub-Boreal

      March 13th, 2019

      Just a little bit.

      Her primal misjudgment was imagining that her election was anything other than a lucky, one-time combination of voter fatigue with the old PCs AND a split on the right.

      She would have done well to remember how Dave Barrett assessed his unexpected good fortune in 1972, asking at his first Cabinet meeting, “Are we here for a good time, or a long time?”

      Yes, give her credit for several overdue modernizations of public services that briefly returned AB to the orbit of Canadian norms, instead of the Kuiper belt of market fundamentalism.

      But such missed opportunities! There were so many rocks left unturned, where multiple public inquiries could have effectively armed them for their inevitable resumption of Opposition duties: the inner workings of AB’s captured energy regulator, the true debt of contaminated sites with abandoned wells, the real magnitude of hidden subsidies to the oil industry — just for starters.

      Such a pity to have squandered this one chance!

      Reply
      • Scotty on Denman

        March 14th, 2019

        Do you suppose she might be keeping some of this powder dry for the upcoming contest?

        I know in BC the Green-Dippers have been advised to use the treasure trove of BC Liberal perfidy now in their possession to discredit their predecessor and (still) main rival in good time for the next election in 2021. They’ve been rolling some of it out more often these days, but it’s a process that takes time to sink through the boney protective cranial armour of the average voter—so I’m glad they’ve begun now, not later.

        But it does seem too late for the Alberta NDP to do that except in the hoopla of campaign. It’s a big mistake, in my view. As you say, there’s just so much more it could have done—but didn’t—at least not yet.

        Reply
    • Political Ranger

      March 14th, 2019

      “… what could Notley possibly do …”

      Excellent question but rather than skip over it, lets examine a wee bit.
      There will be a future, not too many years hence, in which Alberta has a productive economy. That economy will have very little in common with the economy of the last couple decades. There will be petroleum; there will always be petroleum! But the petro-industry that Kenney and Notley are promising simply will not exist.

      It cannot. The whole of the rest of the world is moving away from fossil fuels. Science and just plain reality is telling us, the whole of humanity, that if we don’t stop, cease, quit petroleum use immediately our existing global economy will cease to exist eventually.
      So, the petro-industry as we know it is done for.

      What then is next? Do we crawl in a hole and eat worms? I think not.
      What Notley could possibly do, is begin the conversation and exploration of what a future economy could look like. Regardless of the specifics of future economic prosperity we know there are some general prerequisites, like education, infrastructure, plentiful usable power, safe environments and clean water. There is more than enough in these to keep 4 million Albertan’s occupied.
      As to her electoral success, I believe the nod is always going to go to the candidate who is looking ahead to a brighter future than the one who is reaching back to burnish a historic artifact.

      Reply

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