Alberta Politics
Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner, most prominent of the Gang of Four MPs who signed the so-called Buffalo Declaration (Photo: Andrew Scheer/Flickr).

The state of the art of Conservative victimhood in Alberta: Cue the violins! Here comes the Buffalo Declaration!

Posted on February 23, 2020, 2:03 am
8 mins

Cue the violins!

No one does victimhood like an Alberta Conservative contemplating the prospect of another term in Opposition overlooking the Ottawa River.

Michelle Rempel Garner, the Blocker Queen of Twitter and Conservative MP for the monochromatic suburban wasteland of Calgary Nose Hill, apparently wants us to think she is the Pierre Vallières of Wild Rose Country with a formula to make us Albertans not only maîtres chez nous, but masters of your house too!

Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner MP Glen Motz (Photo: Twitter).

Best known hitherto for her unrepentant inclination to block any citizen who complains about anything she says on social media, Ms. Rempel Garner has even earned her own hashtag: #BlockedByRempel. Nevertheless, she is the most prominent of the four Conservative Alberta MPs who signed the so-called Buffalo Declaration that’s been getting so much undeserved attention from our credulous local journos.

The other three?

Two you’ve likely never heard of. Glen Motz, an ex-cop and bible college graduate who represents Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner in Alberta’s deep south, may not have said much of note in the House, but he looks like a handy guy to have around if you need to get troublemakers to move along. Speaking of which, Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards, a former real estate sales agent and the Opposition tourism critic, was once kicked out of the House of Commons for “excessive heckling.”

The third, Arnold Viersen, MP for Peace River-Westlock in the province’s northwest, is slightly better known thanks to the question he recently asked Victoria MP Laurel Collins, a New Democrat. To wit, he wondered, had she ever considered sex work as a career? Mr. Viersen, who is obviously not the sharpest knife in the Parliamentary cafeteria, posed this question in the House of Commons as the cameras rolled.

Well, I guess we don’t need to line the Gang of Four up in front of a magic mirror to tell which one is the dimmest of them all!

The Buffalo Declaration — presumably intended to be a more radical successor to Stephen Harper’s pre-prime-ministerial Firewall Manifesto, the independantiste jeremiad sensibly spiked by premier Ralph Klein in 2001 — is a 6,000-word screed of astonishing twaddle.

Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards (Photo: Russlyster, Creative Commons).

Even the journalists busy promoting it in the right-wing echo chamber of Alberta’s media backhandedly acknowledge this with their warnings we may disagree, or even think it’s utterly ridiculous, but we daren’t laugh out loud for fear Confederation will be lost.

The main message of the Buffalo Declaration is poor us!

Never mind that we’re still the richest province in the country, according to the declaration we’re the biggest victims of Confederation, right from the get-go when the “ruling Laurentian power class” wouldn’t even let us control our own resources! (Never mind that they did in 1930, and we’ve grown fat on the plunder pretty well ever since.)

The Buffalo Declaration’s thumbnail history of the region is intentionally misleading, often flatly dishonest. It takes its name from the early 20th Century proposal for a larger province on the Prairies called Buffalo, but glosses over the more nuanced reasons that didn’t come about.

It perpetuates the false narrative about prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s 1980 National Energy Program infant Albertans take in with their mama’s milk — and it has the cheek to demand that the House of Commons acknowledge this partisan fantasy as fact!

It also demands Parliamentary recognition of the highly dubious claims “Alberta is not an equal partner in Confederation” and is “a culturally distinct region within Confederation.”

Peace River-Westlock MP Arnold Viersen (Photo: Twitter).

In other words, with breathtaking is chutzpah, elected members of the party that recently ran the Dominion for a decade and ran Alberta for most of the past half century blame everyone else past and present for a situation largely of their own creation.

The Gang of Four’s core message: Make the rest of Canada be more like Alberta, right now. Or else!

Even Alberta’s representation-by-depopulation formula that lets rural ridings call the shots in Edmonton must be duplicated nationwide, presumably to declaw progressive voters in Vancouver and Toronto.

“Recognize rural areas of Western Canada are isolated from the power structures of urban Eastern Canada and face unique challenges,” it demands. “This means creating a formal consultation requirement to ensure their voices have equal import in policy related to economic development, rural crime, and firearms ownership. Repeal any policies with detrimental impacts regarding the same.” (Emphasis added. And who says controlling firearms would have detrimental impacts in rural Alberta?)

Well, this screed is not completely bereft of good ideas. There’s one, anyway: More federal arts funding for Western Canada.

If Alberta and Saskatchewan want more representation in Ottawa, of course, the simplest way to go about it would be to elect a few MPs from a couple of other parties. But we can hardly expect four of the dimmer lights of the party that effortlessly gets the majority of votes on the Prairies to recommend that, now, can we?

As Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi sensibly suggested on Friday, it might be more helpful if the Four Buffaloons used their limited talents to try to drum up some jobs in Calgary instead of driving away potential investment.

Instead, they’ve just helped make the federal Conservative predicament, already bleak in the wake of the disastrous leadership of Andrew Scheer and the party’s predictable loss in the 2019 election, just a little bleaker.

Mr. Scheer has stepped aside, but it seems the dominant Conservative Buffalo Wing won’t accept a leader that can win a federal election, and the party can’t win with a leader the Buffalo Wing will accept. This has already driven the best potential candidates from the field.

Justin Trudeau, his increasingly obvious failings notwithstanding, remains Canada’s Liberal prime minister.

In other words, the Conservative Party is so furious it isn’t running the country that it’s in the grip of a protracted temper tantrum that threatens to destroy its chances of power for a generation.

And all they have to offer is buffalo chips!

23 Comments to: The state of the art of Conservative victimhood in Alberta: Cue the violins! Here comes the Buffalo Declaration!

  1. Andrew Klinzmann

    February 23rd, 2020

    Uhhh, no. Jihadi-Justine Turdeau is NOT “our” prime minister… He LOST the popular vote, and only managed to cling to power via a RIGGED electoral process. He does NOT speak for canadians….

    • Janna

      February 23rd, 2020

      Um, not sure who you are talking about. Our prime minister is Justin Trudeau. He won according to our Canadian political system. He does speak for Canadians. He speaks for me. Do I agree with everything he says and does? No. That’s the thing with a country like Canada, there are so many regional differences, one policy would never be good for absolutely everybody.

      Does Michelle Rempel et al speak for me? Most assuredly not. That Buffaloon nonsense is sheer stupidity.

    • Death and Gravity

      February 23rd, 2020

      Lo, a misogynist, pig-ignorant, conspiracy-minded, homophobic troll. And by that I mean, a supporter of the UCP.

      The Liberals did not lost the popular vote in Canada, dumb-ass, because there is not such a thing. It’s about who can command a majority in Parliament. Yeah, the CPC narrowly had a the greater numerical vote, but more than 60% voted for other, centrist or leftist parties. Your gang of drooling trolls “lost the popular vote” just as soundly, and have
      no claim to form a government.

    • Curious George

      February 24th, 2020

      Sigh… here we go again. In a first past the post system like ours the popular vote is not relevant. What is relevant are the number of ridings won. So try this one again.

      Lastly please provide an example of when a con party supported proportional representation. I support proportional representation and spoiled my ballot to make that point.

      Did you?

    • Athabascan

      February 25th, 2020

      Right… But evidently you speak for Canadians? Why don’t you separate then?

  2. J.E. Molnar

    February 23rd, 2020

    Do these Buffalo wing-nuts come with “hot sauce?”

    Why is it that every generation in Alberta we seem to face an onslaught of right-wing bombastic harangues inflicting us with their polemic hair-on-fire whining? Preston “The-West-Wants-In” Manning and Stephen “Firewall” Harper’s sophomoric rants were enough to last a lifetime. Please stop, Loyal Order of the Buffaloes — chill, before you embarrass the hell out of Alberta any further.

  3. Roger

    February 23rd, 2020

    the “Four Buffaloons” great label! Thanks.

  4. alan

    February 23rd, 2020

    It’s Golden Oldies time with Jason Kenney and the Hurtin’ Albertans and the endless reprise and refrain of all of the old time musical favorites: such as, victim hood, and another evil, scheming, dastardly, fiendish, Trudeau in Ottawa serving as the arch nemesis that is preventing Alberta from becoming paradise on earth, ect., ect. :

    “And you could have it all
    My empire of dirt
    I will let you down
    I will make you hurt” (austerity wise, that is)

    The UCP and their federal counterparts sure know how to keep ’em spinning.

  5. tom in ontario

    February 23rd, 2020

    The Buffaloons could spread their cheer in Alberta’s largest city by performing an evening of comedy and song at the Jack Singer Concert Hall. To warm up the audience, Mr. Viersen offers off colour standup while being excessively heckled by Mr. Richards. Michelle Rempel Garner next gives an exciting primer on how social media works followed by ex-police officer Motz relating heart stopping bible stories while simultaneously scanning the crowd for anyone hiding overripe tomatoes. The gang climaxes the show with a four part harmony rendition of that cabaret favourite, “Send in the Clowns.”
    Knucklehead Smiff would be proud.

  6. Just Me

    February 23rd, 2020

    Being somewhat familiar with these MPs’ respective records, as well as the prose in the document entitled the “Buffalo Declaration”, I believe that I can provide the definitive analysis of each of these MPs’ character and the validity of the content of the Declaration.

    Arnold Viersen is a former automotive technician, pro-life activist, and aspiring white-rapper, which proves conclusively that a CON can go far provided they are members of the right church. Now, sitting as a twice-elected MP, Viersen is a font of wisdom and knowledge thanks to Google Maps, which he used during a House of Commons debate to provide evidence that Haiti’s current deplorable state was the result of socialism. SOCIALISM!!! Former Liberal MP and Grenada-born Celina Caesar-Chavannes called him out and skillfully dismantled Viersen’s bizarro Google Maps inspired claims, declaring that it was successive generations of enslavement of Haitians and despotic regimes that ruined Haiti. Viersen, then, waved his brand new iPad in the air, denounced the socialist ramblings of Caesar-Chavannes, and proclaimed the undeniable power of Google Maps. Yes, they grow them smart in Peace River-Westlock.

    Michelle Rempel Garner has many talents, among them being able to scope out a $35 vending machine sandwich whilst in Davos, Switzerland. When she’s not hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, Rempel Garner can be found, as per a MacLean’s interview, sampling the many finer establishments in the Ottawa area. Being a self-described sommelier, Rempel Garner knows her Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, if nothing else.

    And I’ve never heard of the other two, which is the usual state of any Alberta Tory.

    As for the Buffalo Declaration, it’s a pile of buffalo-bake-ohs. Considering that it was promoted extensively in the Western Standard, should it come as any surprise that it stretches the truth to the point of shredding it? Since it’s very likely that Derek Alexander Gerhard Fildebrandt (He has four names so he must be important) had a hand in its creation, it is even more likely that the Declaration is the Alberta doofus’ view of Canada and the solution to its current East German-like state.

    While the CPC continues its tantrums, the rest of Canada flourishes while Alberta burns. As for these four Alberta Tories, their screaming and yelling will not save them from their destined anonymity, nor will it help anyone in Alberta.

  7. Bruce Turton

    February 23rd, 2020

    “Buffaloons”. I love it. And not to be confused with ‘loonies’ that are actually worth a little bit still!

  8. Expat Albertan

    February 23rd, 2020

    I’ve noticed that all these calls for western separation of Alberta and Saskatchewan rarely include politicians from the latter. Either Alberta assumes too much about its junior partner or Saskatchewan is hedging its bets given that it’s not as reliably conservative as its neighbor is.

    As an aside, the Buffalo crew sort of remind me of the NDP waffle of days gone by…and we all know how that went down.

  9. Ab

    February 23rd, 2020

    I can’t understand why the symbol of Manitoba is being used for four people’s vision of regressive dystopian Alberta. I guess Conservative MPs have the same logo identity confusion as their provincial counterparts.

    I also can’t figure out if squeamish needs a new adjective to describe the perpetrator, as in “squeamy” Arnold Viersen.

    In other news, three bison from the herd that escaped in Hythe just days before this declaration were last seen heading for Valhalla. Seriously. May I suggest that we follow this advice, “Members of the public are cautioned not to approach these animals. ”

    • Death and Gravity

      February 23rd, 2020

      “Members of the public are cautioned not to approach these animals. ”

      Would you consider an offer of marriage?

  10. Dave

    February 23rd, 2020

    I suppose it remains to be seen whether this gang of four (apparently with Buffalo chips on their shoulder) will turn out to be the Canadian version of the Tea Party, a few loose cannons jockeying for more power in the shifting leadership of the Conservative Party or the Alberta version of a certain past Quebec Premier who found “humiliation” in everthing the Federal government did or didn’t do.

    I think the second case is most likely, just another group of politicians who think they can get ahead a bit by playing to the grievances of others. It sometimes works to some extent, let’s call it the Kenney approach.

    The Alberta pity party is now on and everyone with a grudge is invited. Most likely this will advance the profile and position of Ms. Rempel a bit so she can have a shot at the top job, should the easterner likely to win it does not succeed in topling the Liberals. The others? Well it is not much of a photo op with Ms. Rempel all on her own, so they are along for the ride.

    This factionalism could be trouble for the Conservatives and their next leader. The party never really reconciled the more progressive eastern PC side of the party with that of the more right wing western side. Those divisions were papered over by the force of Mr. Harper’s will.

    Of course, the whole separatism argument seems fanciful. I suppose with no signicant differences in language, you have to play up lesser cultural and historical ones. Also, whatever the outcome, importantly Alberta will still remain landlocked.

    Most likely the pity party will end when people can’t stand to be around all the negativity any more and realize the lack of constructive solutions.

  11. Bill Malcolm

    February 23rd, 2020

    The idea that the rest of Canada should be run like Alberta started with Lougheed, the patron saint, who liked to proffer the offer that the East could freeze in the dark. Unless. And the whining and complaining hasn’t ever stopped since. Albertans are super beings, aren’t properly represented in Ottawa because any Albertan is worth twice any other Canuck at least but the “fact” isn’t recognized. And then you get the fuzzy mind of Rempel and the other dopes repeating the accumulated nonsense all over again, 2020 edition. Gee, Super Wow you betcha! Try to get a word in edgewise with Rempel and you discover what hysterical screaming sounds like.

    When Albertans in general wake up and find out how they’ve been conned for decades, spent all the oil royalty loot on bugger all except no PST, now have a right wing goon running the place making war on workers, including now the fusty old docs, well things might change for the better. But I doubt it. Witt with AIMCo helping to “monetize” TC Energy’s Coastal Gas Pipeline with teachers and public service pension funds, the future is not looking great for retirees. Too bad.

    In basic terms, Alberta seems effed. The rest of us politely decline acting the way Rempel and kenney want, because we don’t want to be. Effed that is, by a class of sub moron ideologues running the place who think we should all be like them and are deaf to any notion of disagreement.

    The exclusive dopery of Alberta politicians continues apace. People with a brain and options will likely leave, and nobody new’s going to go and live there if they do any research beforehand.

    BC seems about as bright. Horgan is no more NDP than a reproduction painting in a book is the real thing. Same for Notley. And fracking northeastern BC for natural gas that costs 60% more to bring to market than existing Asia prices for the glut that exists is a sure sign Grade 4 math was too difficult for him. Who is going to buy natural gas at 60% over the odds? Well kenney must think so or he wouldn’t be propping up the Coastal Gas pipeline with AIMCo-managed public sector pension funds. Where do you people out west find these clueless politicians? And why do you vote them into power? Over and over again? I’m pretty sure Ford is for the high jump next time around in Ontario, but would entertain odds that out west, the same idiots will get re-elected by a disengaged public.

    • Kang

      February 25th, 2020

      Bill: you asked “Where do you people out west find these clueless politicians?” We import them from the pool of people who lack a firm sense of their own identity and adopt a false Alberta history as their identity, or from a group that needs a new beginning. Kenney in a cowboy hat being a prime example of both.

      The result is what we have today: a single-party authoritarian state in which the Courts, Legislature, Regulatory system, education system, and media (present company excepted) are all industry captured. To use a quote from Will Rodgers that was a favorite of a Notley from another time to describe Alberta: “where everyone thinks alike, nobody thinks very much at all.”

    • Scotty on Denman

      February 25th, 2020

      Horgan is not clueless—but he is a politician, through and through.

      There’s another calculation besides the forecasted market-price one: the political one.

      Remind: BC NDP MLAs have a minority government supported by two BC Greens and one Independent (former Green leader Andrew Weaver). The NDP didn’t grow its popular vote last time; rather it took several seats from the then-governing BC Liberals in BC’s urban southwest—probably because the constituents in most of these ridings oppose the TMX pipeline—or, more precisely, the prospect of a seven-fold increase in traffic of supertankers full of dilbit plying the inside marine waters they live beside—while the BC Liberal incumbents didn’t oppose it.

      A stark, regional dichotomy resulted: Interior BC supports resource exporting and right-wing MLAs and MPs, while the Coast opposes expanding petroleum export. The Site-C Dam which the NDP and Greens campaigned against is a consequence of this uncomfortable state for the NDP’s electoral prospects: upon winning a confidence vote in the Assembly, Horgan immediately approved Site-C’s completion, plainly as a sop to workers in the BC northeastern Great Plains who’ve suffered downturn in the petroleum market just like their neighbouring Albertans have; the Dam provides thousands of jobs for the time being, and blunts perennial accusations that the NDP is “anti-everything.”

      But it’s not quite that simple or cynical (depending on one’s viewpoint, it might look very cynical): the missing riding on the otherwise NDP-Orange Coast is Skeena which was taken from the NDP last time by a Chief of the Haisla First Nation, Ellis Ross, now energy critic for the BC Liberal Opposition and a very vocal promoter of petroleum export from the riding’s primary city-port of Kitimat. This is the proposed terminus town which was disappointed when Northern Gateway was shit-canned—one of the reasons the riding flipped to the BC Liberals last election. Horgan desperately needs to get this riding back and, with his CGL proposal and approval of MLA Ellis, he might just succeed.

      This is why Horgan is so stubborn about defying the Wet’suwet’en blockade of the CGL pipeline: it’s as much a partisan political calculation as anything else.

  12. Just Me

    February 23rd, 2020

    Now that Teck Mining has backed away from their tarsands project, stability will return to Alberta.

    No it won’t.

    Teck C.E.O. made it very clear weeks ago that the project rested on more than federal approval – market conditions and JV partners were an important factor to consider. Though Kenney swore up and down that the project had substantial FNs support and their financial backing, there was little in the way of committed public support from their camp. Even Andrew Scheer, no doubt breathing his last gasp after last week’s rants, will shriek that this was all a plot c/o George Soros, the Rockefellers, the UN, and the Bilderbergers. I can’t wait for the next H of C session, because the CON goonshow should be hilarious.

    What’s Alberta’s angry midget premier to do? Apart from hitting the cough syrup that much harder, I suspect he will take his rage out on the Alberta public service, urban dwellers, and anyone else on his enemies list. Yes, we are that much closer to seeing the UCP become even further unhinged. What to do? Follow Kenney even further into the childless middle-aged single male abyss? Or, maybe go running to Peter Downing and #Wexit? Judging by his social-media assault on the UCP this evening, and his pointed shots at Kenney in particular, the turmoil in the UCP will be impressive.

    Of course, the War Room/wannabe Infowars has yet to have their say on the whole Teck mine issue. I have no doubt they will cock-it-up royally.

  13. Farmer Dave

    February 24th, 2020

    Ever since the Alberta Social Credit Party, the religious far right party, lost the election to Peter Lougheed’s Progressive Conservative Party (PC) in Alberta they have never stopped fighting for power and Preston Manning and his entourage took over the Canadian PC’s, a respectable party, and basically ruined it and any chance for a second Federal Party besides the Liberals to form government in Canada. The far religious right also took over the Liberal Party in B.C. fooling voters to think they were voting Liberal. This far right movement (Social Credit) has caused the more damage in Canada then one can imagine including stoking the flames for Alberta to separate from Canada. Maybe if Alberta does separate from Canada than Northern Alberta holding the most resources can separate from Southern Alberta.

  14. Shirley Gradley

    February 24th, 2020

    David: Evidently I am one of the “radical leftists” because I live in B.C. After listening to your premier foam at the mouth, and the energy minister vs. Vaselo [CBC person], I sought your column out to find out what was going on. I did try earlier with an exhaustive hour of Question Period which sounded like a boy’s school at spring break, Scheer being biggest and least favourite and being ignored by screaming colleagues as usual. Then on to Alberta bulletin… Kenney is fairly facile, but he seems to have an easily detachable logic button, and a strange mathematical capriciousness: he sounds good until he gets to the part where all Indigenous people north of Redwater,well, Westlock, yearning as they do to send their kids to a whitey-school where they learn skills for the oilfield, or
    an oilfield, somewhere, and all the little science experts — many — come up with zero carbon emissions by next year as a result — well, it was breathtaking. Jason’s flight into looniness made even the prime minister, with that appalling beard, look better in his wistful appearance in the House to-day. Maybe the answer to our national dilemma is to get a couple of the hereditary- elders- chiefs to meet with a couple of the idle and quite old senators — several come to mind — ; tell each other lies for a while on the Belleville section of the VIA rail route, and just leave it at that for a few months until the oil prices drop sufficiently again to make the whole thing academic. Our kids, red, black, and white can then create space ships powered by wind and sun for ready communication between provinces. Cordially, from Vancouver

  15. Athabascan

    February 25th, 2020

    Am I the only Albertan who knows the difference between a bison and a buffalo? Kudatah indeed!

  16. Scotty on Denman

    February 25th, 2020

    Conservatoids of the Canadian Western Prairies imagine “economic and power structures” redoubtably like a space-walk lanyard tethering Buffalloydia to the cruel Laurentienoid stepmother ship. The Buffalunacy Declarification deflects critics by declaring that history cannot be plagiarized, only revised, redacted and recycled like Genesis or Spengler. Still its authors couldn’t resist a touch of facetiousness —even if superficially peevish: Perfection denied, Corruption undenied, Redemption deniable, and Revenge undeniable. The-dog-ate-my-homework feel of their piece suggests no deeper eisegesis of, say, the Flood and the Bow—or perhaps it was censored by a Bible College expert on Genesistic climate to occlude any correlation between holy, redoubtable themes and perennially “unusual weather.”

    Even Colonel Saunders needed a place to recuperate from his own parasitic hegemon, retreating to (formerly-Upper) Canada, with its eleven sovereign herbs and spices. Could the puny Prairie Paladin be auguring the entrails of deep fried batter bits at the bottom of a freshly consumed bucket? KFC: Kenney’s Federal Conservative Buffalo Wings? At least the ambiguity of “Federal” is serviceable for either Independent Buffalloydia or still-confederating and (maybe) deconfederating Canada.

    At very least, they didn’t plagiarize tattered papyri acquired from a travelling antique and patent medicine show. Well done! A pearl of a doctrine and surely a covenant of great price—probably much greater than proselytes can ever imagine.


Leave a Reply

  • (not be published)