Alberta Politics
Reakash Walters in 2015 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

What was Rachel Notley suggesting when she said she’s not committed to voting for Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats?

Posted on October 08, 2019, 12:35 am
10 mins

Responding to former Alberta NDP premier Rachel Notley’s remark last week that she hasn’t committed to voting for Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats in her own federal riding, a young Albertan named Reakash Walters tweeted from Ontario: “I have never felt so out of touch from Alberta politics than right at this moment.”

Well, you don’t have to be living outside Alberta to feel out of touch with Alberta politics nowadays.

Ms. Walters nominates Rachel Notley as the NDP candidate in 2015, shortly before the NDP’s historic majority victory (Photo: Provided by Reakash Walters).

Ms. Walters isn’t just some random tweeter troubled by Ms. Notley’s comment and wondering what the former premier is suggesting voters in Edmonton Strathcona should do.

In 2015, she was one of Ms. Notley’s two nominators in the Edmonton-Strathcona provincial riding. Later that year, she launched an impressive campaign to be the federal NDP’s candidate in Edmonton Centre.

When this articulate and intelligent young candidate was defeated, she reacted gracefully, urging her supporters to stick with the party. She is now attending law school at the University of Ottawa.

She’s likely to have a stellar career. I hope she decides to run for public office again. If she does, I’d advise the NDP to pay closer attention.

“As one of two people who nominated Rachel in 2015,” she told me yesterday, “I am truly disappointed in the direction the provincial party has taken and that they have chosen to prioritize oil extraction in the middle of a climate crisis.”

Ms. Notley is not just any former premier either, for that matter. She is leader of the Opposition in the Alberta Legislature. She represents the provincial riding with the same name, if not exactly the same boundaries, as the federal electoral district she votes in.

Rachel Notley in 2019 (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Her provincial government caucus worked hard to ensure Heather McPherson was chosen as the federal NDP’s candidate in the face of an insurgent campaign by a young environmentalist named Paige Gorsak. And Edmonton Strathcona is the only riding in Alberta that can elect a New Democrat in 2019, and possibly the only one in Alberta that may be inclined to elect a non-Conservative MP.

So, just what is Ms. Notley saying? That because she doesn’t agree with Mr. Singh’s policy on pipelines maybe Alberta shouldn’t have a voice in the NDP Caucus in Ottawa, or the opposition generally, after Oct. 21?

And what does she think voters in Edmonton Strathcona should actually do about it? Vote for the Liberal and split the vote so a Conservative can win? Or go right out and vote Conservative, for crying out loud?

These are rude questions, I know. We’ve all been kind of reeling since we heard Ms. Notley’s comment. But they need to be asked. And those of us who have long supported the NDP and want to know the answers are entitled to an explanation.

If voters in Edmonton Strathcona want my advice, it is that they should ignore Ms. Notley’s post-election ennui and get the hell out and vote for Ms. McPherson, which is the right thing to do for both Canada and Alberta.

Mr. Singh was diplomatic in his response to Ms. Notley’s cranky comment. He complimented her work as premier and vowed to try to win her support.

Energy journalist Markham Hislop (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Regardless of what Ms. Notley is trying to achieve, electing a Conservative in Edmonton Strathcona, which is the probable outcome of weakening the turnout for Ms. McPherson, means electing someone who supports the approach to economic development taken by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

And Mr. Kenney, regardless of what kind of reception he gets while campaigning on our dime in friendly Ontario ridings for federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, is seriously on the wrong track if you want to do the right thing for Alberta.

If pipelines are indeed necessary for Alberta’s economic wellbeing, Ms. Notley has no need to be ashamed of the way she campaigned for them.

While the phrase “social licence” has fallen into disfavour thanks to Mr. Kenney’s relentless vilification of the idea, Ms. Notley’s social-licence approach to winning approval for pipelines from Alberta to the ocean was working. More importantly, it was the only approach that could work.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

As energy journalist Markham Hislop argued in a recent story on his EnergiMedia website, the current generation of leaders in the Alberta oilpatch are making a big strategic mistake that will hurt Alberta and their industry when it leads to the opposite outcome from the one they desire.

Pointing to recent public opinion polling showing “a majority of Canadians are concerned about climate change … and only support more oil and gas development if their governments enact policies that speed up the energy transition and reduce emissions,” there is not much hope Mr. Kenney’s belligerence will change many minds on the West Coast or in Quebec.

But Alberta’s fossil fuel industry has thrown its lot in with Premier Kenney. “The new strategy is to bully … other provinces and opponents into submission,” Mr. Hislop writes.

The result will damage Alberta’s economy, not save it.

Edmonton Strathcona federal NDP candidate Heather McPherson (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Meanwhile, south of the 49th Parallel, President Donald Trump will likely soon be gone. Face it, when more than half the population and the organs of state security have turned against a president, he’s done like dinner.

Media has not quite caught up. Mainstream journalists have gone from not giving President Trump enough credit for his political chops to giving him far too much.

When he is gone, the United States will quickly return to its new normal, which we had the chance to observe under the administration of President Barack Obama. This will not a particularly friendly environment for Alberta’s oil industry, Canada’s pipeliners, or blowhards like Mr. Kenney who, when it comes to dealing with the colossus next door in the age of renewable energy, doesn’t hold a very good hand.

In such circumstances, Canadians should probably worry less about having a Conservative Party leader who is a U.S. citizen than a premier in Alberta who wants to throw roadblocks in the way of action against climate change.

This is something Ms. Notley should think about too, as the Alberta Legislature resumes sitting today and she tries to puzzle out the best way forward for her party, Alberta and Canada, not to mention how she’s going to vote on Oct. 21, her resentments about the federal NDP’s current platform notwithstanding.

About that debate last night …

Readers will forgive me if I take a breath before concluding who “won” last night’s cacophonous federal leaders’ debate. That’s a question harder to answer than “which one did I like the best?” And that, in turn, is what most political partisans have in mind when they proclaim their guy the winner. When campaigns say the same thing, of course, they’re just spinning, or whistling past the graveyard.

25 Comments to: What was Rachel Notley suggesting when she said she’s not committed to voting for Jagmeet Singh’s New Democrats?

  1. Dave

    October 8th, 2019

    I think our former premier understands the political climate here well. For those that don’t, I can sum it up in three words – Pipelines to tidewater. We do live in a political bubble and I know putting all our electoral eggs in the Conservative and energy baskets is not necessarily wise, especially in the long term, but that is where Alberta is at now politically.

    The politicians who benefit most from this dangerous short term thinking, well I am certain they will be off to greener, bigger pastures in two years or less. By the time Alberta realizes the pickle it has put itself in, they will be gone, but they will use the temporary boost in popularity their appeal to populism gets as a launch pad to the next big job. Opportunists take advantage of opportunities that arise, that’s what they do. I believe they used to be called carpet baggers and other things

    Once the grifters and UCP con men and their camp followers mostly go back to Ottawa, the Alberta NDP may yet again have to clean up the Conservative mess here. However, the chances of that happening are better if someone of our former Premier’s calibre is leading them.

    The election debate reminds me of one or two of Klein’s. The incumbent was pummeled on all sides, but somehow survived. Well Mr. Scheer sure didn’t seem like Harper with a smile in the debate, more like a surly version of Harper. Scheer seemed to perform the role of opposition leader fairly well. Accordingly, I suspect the voters will let him keep that job.

    Reply
  2. Jerrymacgp

    October 8th, 2019

    The dilemma for Rachel Notley & her ANDP caucus is this: in terms of energy & the environment, they’re probably more closely aligned with the Trudeau Liberals than with either the Federal NDP or the Greens … but on everything else, they’re probably largely in line with Mr Singh. So, it’ll be a matter of deciding, are they one-issue voters, with that issue being pipelines — in which case they’ll probably hold their noses & vote Liberal — or will they take a broader perspective?

    Reply
  3. Tiddo

    October 8th, 2019

    I wish we would stop calling these preening competitions “debates”.

    Six suits standing on a stage replying to potted questions from a panel of journalists with well practiced campaign pledges and ad hominem attacks on their opponents, doesn’t tell me anything I need to know about the people who wish to run our government except that more and more, I believe the only person qualified for the job is the one who doesn’t actually want it.

    Reply
  4. Geoffrey Pounder

    October 8th, 2019

    Ms. Notley needs to be shown the door before she does any more damage to the AB NDP.
    Again, I must ask: What do long-time NDP supporters make of Notley’s public repudiation of federal NDP leadership and climate/energy policy?

    If Notley’s vote depends on pipelines, whom will she vote for? Not the NDP or Greens, obviously. Notley also staunchly opposes the Liberal’s tanker ban (Bill C-48) and environmental review legislation (Bill C-69).
    Perhaps Notley would feel more at home in Andrew Scheer’s party. The Conservatives can’t get enough pipelines.
    Who else can she vote for? Maxime Bernier People’s Party?
    Will AB NDP supporters ever wake up and realize Notley has led them down the neoliberal garden path?

    Reply
  5. Balter

    October 8th, 2019

    There is no “climate crisis” it’s the latest iteration of a propaganda campaign that began with “global warming” and proceeded to adapt new clothing every time there was a scandal. The latest is “climate emergency” which employs climate shock doctrine: claim every adverse weather event “proves” you are right and exploit the hysteria. Greta Thunberg’s parents are millionaires specializing in entertainment and entertainment management. They first tried to get Swedish Television to do a series using their daughter when she was twelve. When SVT refused they embarked on the current scheme. In the climate of mass hysteria this sort of saviour figure is very effective. That does not indicate verity.

    Reply
    • Murphy

      October 8th, 2019

      Well, that’s it for me. Here I thought that sixteen-year-old girl was the world’s foremost researcher in the field of climate instability. I’ll never doubt the ASU scientist paid by the coal industry again!

      Reply
    • Simon Renouf

      October 8th, 2019

      “Entertainment” sounds a little fly-by-night. Ms Thunberg’s mother, Malena Ernman is a well known opera singer and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

      Reply
    • Expat Albertan

      October 8th, 2019

      I see the tinfoil hat crowd is up and about.

      Reply
    • anon

      October 8th, 2019

      your sources on Ms. Thunberg please.

      Reply
  6. Bill Malcolm

    October 8th, 2019

    I applaud you, DJC. That must have been difficult to write considering all the circumstances, and I have nothing to add — you covered it all, and very well.

    I listened on radio, and occasionally watched on TV in passing, the “debate”, as chores took me around the house. I cannot continually watch people’s faces perjuring themselves in public – I feel embarrassed both for them and my own sensibilities. Nixon started it for me. Hadn’t tuned in to a debate for ages, but this is an important time to keep tabs on what’s going on. The format was awful, and the moderation only one step above utterly useless, as expected.

    The very first question was disregarded by Scheer who went off onto an anti-Trudeau tirade instead and wasn’t brought up short for it by the first moderator. In fact, I suppose one has to be a Con not to observe that their policies are almost non-existent beyond typical boiler-plate ideology. Cut taxes bring in austerity and halleluyah we’re all happy shiny people who read the Bible and obey orders from our corporate betters while consuming at non-sustainable rates. Scheer calls it a “real plan” – real dopey. I used to hear more clearly thought-out stuff than that at Model Parliaments almost 60 years at high school and then university. And a not very bright man like Scheer working himself up into a minor rage on others’ positions as interpreted by him, while spouting stupid lacklustre policy himself is a giant turnoff for me. Meanwhile, your local friendly completely smarmy and glib, in it only for himself, entirely un-empathetic psychopath Kenney is roaming around Ontario propounding nonsense on the Alberta taxpayer dime. Yes, I’ve read up on sociopaths and psychopaths and it is one of the latter, the Alberta premier that is. It roamed around Alberta organizing the UCP on the Federal government dime because it didn’t resign its seat while doing so. So the pattern was set. A complete shite.

    One supposes it’s Gallic xenophobic logic that allows Blanchet to happily accept that 70% of Quebecers are racist and happy to cut the civil/human rights of people to wear religious symbol/clothing at work in public service, while being progressive on the environment. Of course, a lot of the latter is on the back of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Churchill Falls hydro at a penny a kWh. Quebec at its illogical best, I suppose. Quietly making the place unliveable for anybody but the native-born in a closeted society. Afeared of having their “culture” subsumed. It never seems to occur to Quebec politicians to “lead” and change the social discourse – they’re happy with the people’s bigotries.

    Trudeau awarded himself the title of being Chief Environmentalist of Canada, but he’s been unable to grasp reality in much the same way Notley cannot. The same tired argument about flogging dilbit to get rich and then we’ll be able to rilly, rilly tackle environmental issues. A true pol. Full of nonsense and so full of himself he cannot understand that he’s done anything wrong, not met promises or that his logic is suspect. Its all tra-la-la in Liberal land.

    I live in former NDP MP Stoffer’s riding, found him good, on point for veterans in a manner as Dutch and Northern French people liberated by us in WW2 would praise, and voted for him every time on the trot. Too bad he was dumped by the Red Wave for a nonentity whose main talent is collecting pay and standing up and sitting down on cue from the Liberal whip, all the while collecting valuable pension points. But then we found out Stoffer was a boozy misogynist despite being most popular MP etc. Oh well, more trust dashed on the shores of reality. Following Notley going off the deep end and ruining the NDP, I then transferred allegiance to the Greens, and my local candidate is a young aerospace engineer who has done well in provincial bye-election polling. Well hell, when an engineer, and I is one, can stand up for the environment and not be frowned upon as a radical, well, that’s good enough for me.

    May is May and I respect her. Unwavering, but hampered by lack of party funds to come up with an immaculate logical party platform on the trot single-handedly, she holds her own. Got her dig in at JT and his illogic. Perhaps I might observe that a lot of fundamentalists have offered themselves up as Green Party candidates, without much of a clue about pragmatism. Idealists without a general focus as to how real implementation of real environmental policy would work – and stumbling over minutiae before understanding general policy issues. At least my candidate doesn’t follow that individual, often mythically-based, improbable and impractical outlook.

    But the man who was a dignified unrattleable person was Jagmeet Singh. I am impressed. For me he easily outshone the rest of these people and that at a mere canter. Too bad he hid his light under a bushel for several years. Notley could take a tip or two from him but thinks far too much of herself to change. I’ll be following Singh’s fortunes closely in future.

    Bernier should be committed or sent back to high school for remedial instruction – we could call it community service. A bewildered dolt who isn’t bright enough to work out why he’s bewildered. So mixed-up and out-of-it, no wonder May objected to his mere presence when she herself had been frozen out of “debates” for years. I still don’t get why we were subjected to Bernier’s ravings this time. Is he really a libertarian? Not sure he even knows what such attitudes are or mean. He doesn’t like immigrants regardless of whether they’re refugees, opportunists with a suitcase or actual legal entries — and I don’t like him.

    My take, my biases. Everyone else is welcome to theirs.

    Reply
  7. Andy M.

    October 8th, 2019

    Quite a bit of careening around since the headline on David’s blog.
    As a Rachel Notley fan going back to her initial election to the Leg, I was struck numb if not dumb by her musings on her voting intentions. Unwise move on her part. Many NDPers in Alberta are caught in the pipeline/anti-pipeline dilemma. We can still support Notley and Jagmeet Singh, though. But to jeopardize the result in Edmonton Strathcona? That hurts. She just about has time to make amends. Here’s hoping.

    Reply
    • John Kolkman

      October 9th, 2019

      I think you are overestimating how helpful Notley or the Alberta NDP can be to the federal NDP fortunes in this province. Didn’t even make much difference in 2015 when the Notley government was newly elected. The provincial results failed to translate to the federal level.

      Meanwhile, publicly supporting the candidates of the federal NDP which is opposed to the Trans Mountain expansion would open her up to new lines of attack from the UCP. And they would have a point when you consider Rachel said getting a new pipeline built to tidewater was the fight of her political life just six months ago.

      Reply
      • Geoffrey Pounder

        October 9th, 2019

        John Kolkman wrote: “I think you are overestimating how helpful Notley or the Alberta NDP can be to the federal NDP fortunes in this province.”

        I think you are overestimating how helpful pushing pipelines can be to Notley’s or the Alberta NDP’s fortunes in this province.
        Pushing pipelines didn’t stave off defeat for the AB NDP in last April’s election. The NDP lost more than half its seats. The NDP lost all of its rural seats. It was left with Fortress Edmonton and a mere handful of seats outside the capital.
        There is no path to future NDP victory in AB thru pipelines.

        Of course, we are not talking about “federal NDP fortunes in this province”. That’s a red herring. What’s at stake is the key seat in Edmonton Strathcona, held by the NDP since 2008.
        Could Notley help the federal candidate in Edmonton Strathcona? If not, Notley doesn’t have much political capital in her own riding. But at the very least she could keep her own counsel. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.
        Sabotaging federal NDP fortunes in Edmonton Strathcona does nothing to help the AB NDP. No right-wingers will give Notley any credit.
        Notley’s swerve to the right only alienates her own supporters. Her antics grow more baffling by the day. Clearly not a team player.
        The sooner the AB NDP show Notley the door, the sooner it can return to its progressive roots, and speak up for progressive Albertans and future generations on this most important file.

        Reply
        • Jerrymacgp

          October 10th, 2019

          Mr Pounder: the world has once again returned to normal, & I once again find myself vociferously disagreeing with you & your environmental absolutism.

          Recall Claude Legault, the CAQ Premier of Quebec, when he said there was “no social acceptability for oil pipelines through Quebec”? In fact, there is a solid consensus there: all parties — left, right or centre, sovereigntist, federalist, or nationalist — uniformly oppose any pipeline to the East coast.

          Well, the reverse is true here in Alberta: there is no social acceptability for opposing pipelines here: every party — from the NDP to the Alberta Independence Party — was firmly, even desperately in favour of getting that pipeline to “tidewater”. Any party or politician who was not a vocal champion of TMX had ZERO chance of getting elected. The ballot question was not for or against the pipeline: it was what are you going to do to get it built, and what are the rest of your policy proposals along with it. When you look at the popular vote totals, especially outside the two major metropolitan centres — and the voter turnout — it’s pretty obvious there was no voter appetite for any candidate opposed to pipelines.

          As for the federal election, I recently attended one of the Alberta NDP’s “Shadow Budget Town Halls”, where members of the Opposition NDP caucus toured around the province & met with members of the public to discuss their budgetary priorities for the next provincial budget. Ms Notley was not at the one I attended, but both MLAs that were there clearly & openly disagreed with the Singh-led Federal NDP on the pipeline issue; there was also a recently-unseated former rural NDP MLA in the crowd, who also held the portfolio of Energy Minister in the NDP government, and when she was invited to speak, she also spoke out in favour of getting a TMX built. So, it isn’t just Rachel Notley that is doubtful about their vote on Oct 21st … it’s virtually the entire ANDP caucus.

          You might as well ask an American to oppose apple pie as ask any ordinary Alberta voter to oppose the pipeline.

          Reply
          • Geoffrey Pounder

            October 11th, 2019

            If “environmental absolutism” means I respect the science and heed IPCC warnings (whereas Notley, Trudeau and Big Oil do not), I gladly accept the accolade.

            No evidence that the support of NDP voters in 2015 hinged on pipelines. No evidence that long-time NDP supporters would reject Notley if she did not bang the drums for pipelines.
            In 2015, with a split conservative vote, Alberta elected a NDP govt on a platform that included “climate leadership”, “a fair share” for Albertans on royalties, and opposition to new export pipelines like Keystone XL.

            “[The PCs] squandered Alberta’s natural resource wealth, failed to achieve greater value-added processing in alberta, and have focused only on more export pipelines for unprocessed bitumen – sending our jobs to Texas.”
            http://www.poltext.org/sites/poltext.org/files/plateformes/alberta_ndp_platform_2015.pdf

            Kevin Taft: “Through her whole career and her whole party, up until they became government, [Notley and the NDP] were very effective critics, counterbalances to the oil industry. As soon as she stepped into office, as soon as she and her party became government, they’ve simply became instruments of the oil industry.”

            Post-election, Notley and her backroom advisors shifted the NDP’s position. No one fuelled pipeline hysteria more than Notley. If TMX became a key issue, it was Notley who made it so.
            Of course, this strategy backfired on the NDP. Notley had no pipeline to show voters last April. Voters anxious for pipelines mostly voted UCP. No right-winger would give Notley credit even if she built a billion pipelines. If you want neoliberal energy/climate policies, may as well vote for the real thing. Notley played right into Kenney’s hands.

            For once, I agree with Jason Kenney: “I’ve never believed there is a large number of Alberta voters whose ballot question is energy or pipelines who are likely to vote for the NDP. The NDP electorate is not people who get up in the morning passionate about pipelines and energy.”

            You write: “Any party or politician who was not a vocal champion of TMX had ZERO chance of getting elected.”
            This claim fails for lack of evidence. Show us the evidence.

            You write: “Both MLAs that were there clearly & openly disagreed with the Singh-led Federal NDP on the pipeline issue.”
            Do you suppose that MLAs under Notley have any choice but to follow the leader and toe the party line?
            Albertans will never return the NDP to power on their pro-pipeline policies.
            The AB NDP are chasing a chimera.

      • Geoffrey Pounder

        October 9th, 2019

        2) It’s a fallacy that pushing pipelines has aided AB NDP fortunes.
        No one did more to fuel pipeline hysteria in this province than Notley. The same hysteria swept the NDP away in the April election. No one forced that blunder on Notley.
        No one forced Notley to tie her carbon tax and fraudulent climate plan to new pipelines. No one forced Notley to prop up the oil industry, throw billions of dollars in subsidies out the window, and sabotage Canada’s climate efforts. That’s on her.

        With no hopes for re-election against a united Conservative party, the NDP had nothing to gain by shifting right. Stoking Albertans’ perennial resentment over pipelines and everything else under the sun only helped the UCP.
        Most pipeline boosters would not vote NDP if Notley built a billion pipelines. Notley only alienated progressives.
        Pandering to the right was never going to win Notley a second term. Albertans who support neoliberal energy policies will just vote for the real thing.
        Facing off against a united conservative party, Notley was always a one-term premier — but her alliance with Big Oil did nothing to help the NDP and the progressive cause in AB.

        Naomi Klein (06-Feb-18): “Alberta has a left-wing political party in power, one that has somehow convinced itself it can beat the right by being a better suck up to Big Oil.”

        Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour lashed out at the NDP govt on its failure to raise royalties:
        “At the heart of Mr. McGowan’s critique of the government’s announcement and the panel report that recommended it is the view it is both bad economics and bad politics. ‘Some people say the NDP have come face to face with reality. I say what happened can best be described as the government being captured by industry.’
        ‘I honestly think the government has made a profound political mistake. We don’t believe progressive governments have to become conservative to deal effectively with economic issues or to succeed politically. That’s a fallacy.
        ‘Virtually none of our concerns or suggestions are reflected in the royalty report. Those ideas were passed over in favour of a plan that could have been introduced by a PC or Wildrose government.'”
        “Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan assails Notley Government’s royalty ‘mistake’”

        UCP Leader Jason Kenney: “I’ve never believed there is a large number of Alberta voters whose ballot question is energy or pipelines who are likely to vote for the NDP. The NDP electorate is not people who get up in the morning passionate about pipelines and energy.”

        David Climenhaga: “Indeed, the more [Notley] fights for the pipeline, the stronger Mr. Kenney seems to get because the file is seen, however wrongfully, by too many voters as a United Conservative Party strength.

        Reply
      • Geoffrey Pounder

        October 9th, 2019

        3) Markham Hislop: “Exploiting industry difficulties for political gain helps no one but Kenney and the UCP.”

        David Climenhaga: Hoping the belligerent attitude demanded by Mr. Kenney’s Conservatives would persuade die-hard right-wingers to grant the NDP another term in office in gratitude for legislation that horrified many of its most loyal supporters was foolhardy.”

        The more Notley fought for pipelines, the more she fanned the flames of anger among Albertans. Underlining her own failure on the file. All Albertans seemed to get out of the deal was a detested carbon tax. The blame for all our ills, real and imagined, fell upon Notley and Trudeau.
        A pipeline project became the rallying flag for Albertans, whose sense of grievance against Ottawa burns eternal. Fuelling the right-wing rage machine.

        Greg Fingas: “Notley’s enabling of oil and gas sector poor political strategy”
        https://leaderpost.com/opinion/columnists/notleys-enabling-of-oil-and-gas-sector-poor-political-strategy

        Taft: “Through her whole career and her whole party, up until they became government, [Notley and the NDP] were very effective critics, counterbalances to the oil industry. As soon as she stepped into office, as soon as she and her party became government, they’ve simply became instruments of the oil industry.”

        Taft: “The world is working hard to end its dependence on oil, so hitching the country’s economy to an industry that must be phased out is recklessly short-sighted.”

        “[Donna Daum, a retired teacher] points out that members of the current NDP govt — including Premier Rachel Notley — were loud in their support when they were in opposition.
        “‘(Notley) talked about the precautionary principle, which obviously is no longer in their dictionary. I can’t believe how these dictionaries get rewritten the moment there’s some responsibility attached to things.'”

        In opposition, the NDP voiced support for a comprehensive healthy study on cancers in Fort Chipewyan. In govt, the only sound was crickets.
        “[Allan Adam, chief of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation,] said his people continue to die from cancer at alarmingly high rates, a fact he blamed on oilsands developments. ‘Whatever food I’m bringing in from the bush, it is getting our people sick.’ The chief said he had hoped that after four decades of Conservative rule in Alberta, things would be different when the NDP government came to power in May 2015. But under the Rachel Notley government, he said, it’s business as usual. ‘I feel very, very ashamed to call myself an Albertan. I feel very, very ashamed to call myself a Canadian citizen.'” (January 2017)

        “The talk around our table is that the NDP government is just another platform of the previous Conservative government with a different logo. Nothing has changed.” (Chief Allan Adam)

        Dr John O’Connor: “Pre-election, the NDP/Rachel Notley were vocally supportive of bringing accountability and responsibility to bear on the environmental and health impacts,especially downstream, of the tarsands. After the AB Cancer Board report on Fort Chipewyan, she was notably outspoken on the need to comply with the recommendation for a comprehensive health study of Fort Chip, which was never even started.
        “Now—it’s buried and forgotten. Such hypocrisy.”

        Reply
  8. Paula Evans

    October 8th, 2019

    Bill Malcolm, though you had nothing to add to DJC’s article, I certainly enjoyed the language and thoughts of what you did add. Thanks.

    Reply
  9. John Kolkman

    October 9th, 2019

    As uncomfortable as this is for many NDP supporters including me, I’m with Rachel on this one.

    Notley is an Alberta political leader. The last thing she or the Alberta NDP needs is giving new attack lines to the UCP. Which is exactly what would happen were she to publicly support the candidates of the federal NDP which is opposed to expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline. Especially when Notley called getting a new pipeline built to Pacific tidewater the fight of her political life less than six months ago.

    Reply
    • Kang

      October 9th, 2019

      John: A real leader would have exposed the TMX pipeline as the cargo-cult fraud that it is.

      Reply
      • camjournal

        October 9th, 2019

        You state this as fact Kang, but you understand that it’s just your opinion, right? Having an opinion different from yours does not mean someone is not a leader – or does it?

        Reply
        • Kang

          October 10th, 2019

          Dear CamJ: A real leader deals with facts. The fact is that TMX is purportedly for exporting DilBit. DilBit is a lower quality product. The more lower quality product you pump into a world market with at best a soft demand for it, the lower the price you get.

          Add in the high transportation cost of TMX compared to competitors selling essentially the same stuff, but who are much closer to tidewater and potential customers, and you have a formula for lower prices in Alberta.

          Leading people down the garden path with the promise that TMX will improve the fortunes of the oil industry much less provide more jobs just does not fit with that economic situation. Saying it is a cargo-cult is being rather kind, I thought.

          Reply
          • camjournal

            October 14th, 2019

            Facts? Kang, today’s price of your DilBit is $38.35 USD and today’s price of Mexican Maya which is a very similar heavy crude oil is $49.34 USD. This is why they want to get the DilBit to tidewater – at today’s prices and exchange rate they can get $14.50 CDN more per barrel. Now I’m not an oil company cheerleader and Alta should probably diversify it’s economy away from oil but let’s make better arguments than name-calling.

            I know this thread is getting old but I just can’t let the fictional statements slide.

  10. camjournal

    October 9th, 2019

    John Kolkman nailed it, count me with Rachel too, after all Mr. Singh that week repeated his opposition to TMX so what is she supposed to say? The question was certainly asked in order to stir up the issue and would supply ammunition to NDP opponents, both federal and provincial. I can relate to how Ms. Walters feels, I also have never felt so out of touch with the NDP as now. The list of anti-worker, anti-socialist positions taken by many of their representatives has made it harder for me to support them, but their party platform is very good and Jagmeet Singh is performing well. They deserve our support and I’ll bet my next paycheque that Rachel Notley feels this way too.

    What Ms. Walter’s comment does “I am truly disappointed in the direction the provincial party has taken and that they have chosen to prioritize oil extraction in the middle of a climate crisis” is sweep aside all the good things the Alta NDP government did and brings it down to the one issue – which is exactly what Jason Kenny wants. The response from Mr. Singh to the comment was excellent (we can disagree on a specific issue but we are all doing good work) and came across as sincere rather than just political rhetoric. If Ms. Walters is interested in a political career she should pay attention to it.

    DJC, you then do what so many journalists mistakenly do which is to interpret what people are thinking. There is no explanation required from Rachel Notley regarding your “rude questions” and you’re justifiably not going to get one. What she said was absolutely clear, “Notley said pitting economic security against combating climate change is a failure…”

    Meanwhile south of the Medicine Line it looks to me like Donald Trump is going to get his second term. I don’t think that’s very good but I don’t see things happening that would change that – yet.

    Reply
    • camjournal

      October 10th, 2019

      “…and would supply ammunition to NDP opponents…” And right on cue Mr. Pounder jumps in with more of his blather.

      Reply

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