Alberta Politics
Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan — why is this man smiling? Photo: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta).

Uh oh! Those perfidious Swedes have clearly joined the anti-Alberta energy ‘misinformation campaign of defamation’!

Posted on November 15, 2019, 1:54 am
9 mins

Why, those perfidious Swedes!

First they sent their sneaky little agent Greta Thunberg in a sailboat to Alberta’s shores to stir up our young people — and that’s no mean feat when you consider that we don’t have any shores here in Alberta! Which, as we keep telling the rest of Canada, is a problem they need to fix!

Greta Thunberg, fresh off the sailboat as it were, in Alberta (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

There had to be big money behind that boat cruise, right? Probably bankrolled by the Rockefellers.

Now the Swedish central bank has sold off all its holdings in Alberta on the flimsy grounds our greenhouse gas emissions are three times higher than those of Ontario and Quebec, and they think those are too high.

What sanctimony! Don’t they understand how energy intensive it is to live in a northern climate? … oh, wait.

Bloomberg News quotes one of the big shots of the Swedish central bank saying, “we can contribute to the climate work to some extent by giving consideration to sustainability aspects when investing in the foreign exchange reserves. We are now doing this by rejecting issuers who have a large climate footprint.” (Emphasis added.)

In an official statement, Sveriges Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Flodén explained: “We have therefore recently sold holdings of bonds issued by the Canadian province of Alberta and the Australian states of Queensland and Western Australia.”

Can somebody send Dave Knight Legg over to Stockholm to straighten them out? Put him in the Grand Hôtel by the Royal Palace. It’s certainly suitable for aristocrats. And don’t forget to make sure he flies first class!

Plus, call Steve Allan over at the Inquiry into Anti-Alberta Energy Campaigns and get him to look into who paid for that damned sailboat. Plus the wind. What’s wind cost nowadays? Plenty!

Kenney Government advisor and world traveller David Knight Legg (Photo:

Steve should still have about half his budget left when the inquiry pays its lawyers, even with the $291,000 we’re paying him.

OK. Enough sarcasm.

I don’t care what anyone from the United Conservative Party says, this can’t have been a good couple of days for Premier Jason Kenney and his government.

For one thing, it’s not just the Swedes. As Bloomberg News went on to explain, “the Riksbank’s initiative comes as central bankers around the world are becoming increasingly concerned with the threats posed by climate change.” That includes the Bank of England, headed by its Canadian governor, Mark Carney — from the UCP perspective, an obvious member of the accursed “Laurentian Elite,” even if he was born in Fort Smith, N.W.T.

As for Mr. Knight Legg, even if he used to be a banker and was working against that “misinformation campaign of defamation,” as the premier’s spokesthingy Harrison Fleming explained, Wednesday’s revelations by the NDP aren’t necessarily going to endear a lot of Albertans to his indulgent ways, especially if some positive results aren’t evident soon.

Back in the days of the Progressive Conservatives, the Wildrosers who nowadays make up the core of the UCP used to call this kind of behaviour entitled. That wasn’t a compliment.

I mean, you can blame the NDP for all your troubles for a while, and you can call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau names any day of the week, but sooner or later you’d think folks around here would cotton on to the fact that whatever it is that Mr. Kenney’s up to isn’t doing anything but costing us more money.

No sooner were Mr. Knight Legg’s prodigal travel habits shoved into the Memory Hole by Mr. Kenney’s capable propagandists than the CBC’s Charles Rusnell and Jenny Russell revealed yesterday morning that 11 days after he was appointed, Commissioner Allan spent $905,000 of his $2.5-million inquiry budget on legal services provided by a law firm in which his son is a partner.

Well, the Dentons law firm is said to be the world’s largest. So that’s lots and lots of lawyers. So many it even used to include Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer in its legion of legalists.

Sveriges Riksbank Deputy Governor Martin Flodén (Photo: Karlstads Universitet).

But whatever it was that led to this decision, it sure as hell doesn’t pass the traditional political sniff test.

Mr. Allan told the CBC he chose the firm because of his “long and successful history of working with counsel at Dentons through my professional career.” After that, by the sound of it, he stopped returning his phone calls.

He probably won’t be returning any calls today, either, seeing as someone has dropped the dime on the fact he’s going to be making $291,000 for the year he spends as commissioner. Nice work if you can find it.

The inquiry he runs — set up, as it is, to prove a thoroughly debunked conspiracy theory — already had a strong whiff of jackassery about it. None of this is going to make anyone serious take it seriously.

If Alberta had a normal government, it wouldn’t have done something like this in the first place. If the UCP had normal instincts, it would realize any conclusion the inquiry reaches is even further compromised by these developments. The sensible thing to do would be to pull the plug on it immediately, then maintain radio silence for a couple of weeks. After that, they could pretend it never happened.

That is not going to happen. The entire Prairie conservative movement is acting like it’s undergoing a psychotic episode in the wake of Mr. Trudeau’s apparently unexpected reelection on Oct. 21.

Only the CBC public affairs department, Postmedia (which is bidding for the contract to write press releases for Mr. Kenney’s “War Room,” AKA the Canadian Energy Centre Ltd.), and a couple of demented Wexiters south of Fort Macleod appear to take Mr. Allan’s inquiry seriously.

Nevertheless, it’s said here, Mr. Kenney will double down on the inquiry, as well as the War Room campaign to spread the same narrative about that conspiracy Mr. Knight Legg was supposedly battling from his sumptuous temporary digs in London. The general stream of unconstitutional, destructive and divisive policies the government has been churning out will continue unimpeded.

This is rather like the United States in the early days of the Trump Administration. If you’re thinking things are bound to settle down soon and get back to common sense governance, you’re almost certainly deluded.

Meanwhile, in other news, Volvo Cars, the Swedish-based automaker, has just introduced its first fully electric automobile and says that half its line of cars will be electric by 2025, which, in case you missed it, is in five years, one month and 39 days. All Volvo cars will be fully electric by 2040, the company says.

Coincidence? I think not!

16 Comments to: Uh oh! Those perfidious Swedes have clearly joined the anti-Alberta energy ‘misinformation campaign of defamation’!

  1. Doig

    November 15th, 2019

    If credit markets are turning against Alberta’s debt, the imperative to pay it down is even higher. Further public sector austerity is required. Perhaps some form of Right to Work legislation should be enacted to increase the government’s flexibility to alter contracts. Eliminating public sector unions, for example, would deliver a easy 1 to 1.5% savings as the overhead of union dues would disappear.

    • David in Sask

      November 15th, 2019

      If that comment isn’t made tongue in cheek, everywhere right to work has been tried leads to lower consumer spending which leads to lower small business incomes and rapidly declining state or provincial economies.

      Eliminating public sector unions won’t benefit other Albertans either. Get your toboggan out for a long downhill ride.

    • Ken F

      November 25th, 2019

      Eliminating public sector unions to save union dues overhead by replacing them, with what, private sector companies bidding on contracts to do the same work? Those private sector companies that will be looking for a profit margin? Not sure that the public coffers will come out ahead on that and the service received by the public will definitely suffer.

  2. Public Servant

    November 15th, 2019

    What will it take for Albertans to realize they’ve been conned?

    It’s getting hard to keep track of all Kenney’s slush funds: $30 million here, $2.5 million there… Even worse, when caught abusing taxpayer dollars, they basically tell us it’s none of our business.

  3. ronmac

    November 15th, 2019

    Well it’s not like you couldn’t see this coming from a mile away. Slashing health, education and a host of other social services, diverting the funds to reward friends and cronies with big fat juicy paydays and unlimited expense accounts on a Club Kenney card.

    If this keeps up they’re going to start calling the premier Jason Kenney Rockefeller.

    In other related news, Elon Musk announced plans to build an EV plant in Germany. I wonder if this has anything’s to do with the coup in Bolivia? Not too long ago the Bolivian government ripped up an agreement with a German company to mine lithium which made friends in high places unhappy. You know oil’s days are numbered when they don’t even bother staging coups over it any more.

    • Kang

      November 15th, 2019

      As a matter of interest, Tesla has just completed its third gigafactory, this one in China. The time from ground breaking to the first Model 3 rolling of the assembly line was ten months. Want to bet the Germans can beat that?

      The International Energy Agency says that roughly 60% of GHG emissions come from transportation. Almost half of that is gasoline used in cars. Most of those cars are used by city people to commute to their jobs. Where was the crash program from Notley to put public transit in the cities so they had an alternative? Instead the NDP built more ring roads for more cars.

      Like Redford attempting to stop the future with her centralized electrical grid, Notley locked the urbans into a car-based future. Effectively the Notley administered the coup de grâce to public transit and the UCP are simply dragging the body off stage.

      Alberta is truly heading to being Louisiana or Alabama without the sort-of nice weather and spicy cuisine.

      • Death and Gravity

        November 17th, 2019

        Overheated, much? The ring roads will prove handy for electric vehicles and trucks as well as ICE-powered machines. The decision against public transit was made long, long ago with the urban sprawl.

        • Kang

          November 18th, 2019

          Dear D & G: If you accept there is a climate emergency, then it makes sense to have a crash program to provide public transit to the two cities. Much quicker and certainly more inclusive and cheaper than building obsolete ring roads and waiting for electric cars to replace ICE cars. Incidentally urban sprawl and the suburbs were first made possible by public transit. So ironically, the proximate cause can also be a sort of cure.

  4. Jim

    November 15th, 2019

    More of an opportunity to put a positive spin on leaving a sinking ship than any true concern for the environment. Banks are solely in the business of making money despite what the glossy advertising tells you. If you look through the marketing what they are telling us is they are not convinced the economic policies being put in place make Alberta a good place to park your money. Something that oil majors have been saying for over 10 years through their investment decisions. Kenney isn’t stupid and realizing this seems to want to grab the pension funds of hard working Albertans to prop things up.

    It is a concerning issue for Albertans that Kenney and those he owes a debt to are now openly looting Alberta, and there seems to be no large scale outrage against this. Wasting taxpayer dollars so Kenney can repay those who funded his rise to power.

    The way the automobile industry is going we should collectively be making massive investments in our power grid. A bunch of electric cars being charged by diesel generators kind of defeats the purpose one would think, California is a good example of this.

    • Kang

      November 15th, 2019

      Jim: California now has so much surplus electricity from wind and solar that even their natural gas plants used to stabilize the grid are no longer being replaced and new builds are being cancelled. Grid scale batteries are being used to store electricity and have already put the gas peakers mostly out of business in South Australia too. As more electric cars are connected to the grid, that battery storage potential just gets larger and the need for natural gas just gets a lot less.

      This type of system (distributed generation connected to a smart grid) makes Alberta’s big centralized grid obsolete (thanks Allison Redford and Donna Glandular of Varsity for forcing it through anyway).

      Even in Alberta it now makes no economic sense to connect a new rural building site to the grid. Solar and battery are cost competitive.

      A couple of weeks ago Suncore announced it was moving from coke to natural gas to cook its tar. The waste heat will be used to generate enough electricity to add 8% of Alberta’s total electrical needs to the grid. The world has changed.

  5. Rocky

    November 15th, 2019

    State central banks and commercial banks are not the same thing.

  6. Dave

    November 15th, 2019

    I suppose, Sweden is just another name to add to Mr. Kenney’s seemingly ever expanding list of enemies of the Alberta state. At least Nixon tried to keep his enemies list somewhat private for a while, Mr. Kenney seems to be trying to battle them in public with not much results so far, except to further stir up the seemingly always angry Conservative base here and solidify opposition elsewhere.

    You would think the long and growing list of enemies would be a clue to Albertans that Mr. Kenney is misrepresenting how many people are increasingly concerned about climate change. No, it is not just Mr. Trudeau, a few environmentalists and a few large US foundations that Mr. Kenney’s conspiracy theorist ally has cast aspersions on. Perhaps it might seem to someone living in say Drayton Valley that climate change is not the number one concern in their part of the world. They may have vaguely heard that half a million people marched in a climate change protest in Montreal, but that is far away and sometimes big numbers don’t mean much at a distance. However, it does help explain why both the Quebec government and the BQ want nothing to do with pipelines or the energy industry, despite Mr. Kenney’s repeated attempts to bully them into supporting him.

    I don’t know when some in Alberta are going to wake up from their comfortable delusions, that if only we apply a bit more pressure the rest of Canada will somehow magically give up its concern about climate change and allow unlimited pipelines and energy development. Its not going to happen and in fact the world (not just the rest of Canada) is going in the exact opposite direction and becoming increasingly concerned about climate change as time goes on. What is happening in Sweden now is just one more example of this.

    I think Mr. Kenney is destined to be on the losing side of his latest battle and is a false prophet for his supporters on the issue of climate change and energy as much as he was on same sex marriage and gay rights. Conservatives sometimes can even win elections in Canada Federally, but not if they stubbornly refuse to budge or change on important societal issues.

  7. Dfjo

    November 15th, 2019

    Presently, I am waiting for information about some charter school to have built another slush fund out of the funds that they recieve from the Education ministry(no pun intended). Bless their hearts.
    How soon we forget.

  8. Just Me

    November 16th, 2019

    Just as happened in Kansas, the great Brownback slash & burn austerity experiment not only completely starved that state of public funds for everything the state was supposed to do, it also blew such giant holes into Kansas’ credit record that four downgrades drove the newly elected Republican governor to muse that implementing higher taxes was the rational thing to do.

    Of course, Kenney has decided to take a page from the Infowars handbook and go totally Alex Jones on everyone outside of Alberta. Sweden is a target? Has anyone been inside an IKEA? Those big blue bunkers are obviously psychological programming centres – run people around in a maze long enough and they will believe anything. Don’t forget Norway, with their near one trillion dollar USD sovereign wealth fund subsidizing all those electric cars. Alberta’s own sovereign wealth fund isn’t nearly even close to theirs in value, so obviously those Scandinavian socialist-democratic-commie-fascist-feminist-Islamists must have their hands on the scales of the free market.

    The only explanation for Kenney’s crazy is that the so called Resistance is breaking down. Blaine and Pallister have decided that charging a carbon-tax and keeping the revenues retain their respective provinces is a good idea. And even the alcohol-obsessed Doug Ford is rethinking a provincial carbon-tax. Scott Moe – is he going to keep following Kenney’s crazy much longer? Not is he wants to stay Saskatchewan’s premier.

    Kenney and Alberta stands alone against the tide of Bolshevism. But even the BQ leader is telling Kenney to “mets ta tête dans ton trou du cul”, daring to show Alberta’s favourite angry midget that he really is that irrelevant.

  9. Scotty on Denman

    November 16th, 2019

    The UCP is holding the rest of us ransom: meet all our demands or no more bitumen for you! Never mind how unfair Alberta’s share of the boggy stuff—practically engorged with it, ready to blow like an unmilked udder. But, as the once-mighty Canadian Wheat Board and, not as long ago, Premier Notley observed, make up for the deep discounting of resource production by crimping supply to force unit prices up. But dare crimping demand and risk getting your conspiracy fingered —and maybe get your taps shut off as surely as the Petroleum Specific Antigen test is infallibly accurate.

    One gets so used to things, what was once discretionary eventually becomes essential; “Don’t it always seem to go,” opined a Saskatchewanian chanteuse: I was rather enjoying DJC’s sarcasm—and just when it was getting really good, bam!—“Okay. Enough sarcasm.”

    Dang! You really don’t know what you got ‘til it’s gone…

    Down here to the Wet Coast we’d be hypocritical to deny we love sarcasm. And if it’s from Alberta, we’d pay any price for it—even a premium.

    You can never have too much sarcasm.

  10. Rodger Hamilton

    November 16th, 2019

    Thx for this article Mr Climenhaga; the times they are a changing. The European Investment Bank also announced a move away from fossil fuel lending last week by 2021. Alberta, the land of stranded assets and unfunded liabilities?

    Interesting the Swedes also targeted two Australian states as well; all three jurisdictions have steadfastly supported climate science denying political parties actively promoting fossil expansion. I think the firestorms the Aussies are facing this fall (their spring) are a good reminder; the physical sciences are absolute and unequivocal.


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