Alberta’s United Conservative Party Government plans to strike a Blue Ribbon Panel on Blue Ribbon Panels.

With the global coronavirus pandemic and the worldwide collapse of oil prices, the United Conservative Party Government believes it will need even more “expert panels” to justify potentially unpopular policies it intends to enact, sources say.

Former Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper is expected to chair the panel.

Has anyone seen or heard from this man? Commissioner Steve Allan, MIA (Photo: Lieutenant Governor of Alberta).

“We still hope to do a lot of things that Albertans are really going to hate,” explained a party insider who is not authorized to comment publicly. “The longer we’re in power, the harder it gets to blame the NDP for stuff we want to do, and nothing seems to stick to Justin Trudeau ever since he grew that Abraham Lincoln beard, so we’ve found the best thing we can think of is to say that the experts told us we have no alternative.”

This strategy worked well with original Blue Ribbon Panel chaired by former Saskatchewan Finance Minister Janice MacKinnon and it still seems to be working with the Economic Recovery Council chaired by University of Calgary economist Jack Mintz but really chaired Mr. Harper, the exclusive source said.

“But we’re going to need a lot more blue ribbon panels, and there are only so many ideologically sound people in Alberta who also look like they actually might be experts,” the source explained.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, with that darned Abraham Lincoln beard (Photo: PMTrudeau/Flickr).

“Take that safe injection site panel,” the source observed. “That one sort of cratered when folks got a look at the members, not to mention when they heard the stuff they had to say.”

“Or the Fair Deal Panel. That would have been a toughie even if the Liberals down east weren’t footing the bill for the whole COVID thing. But what a gong show! I don’t think old Preston’s that much on the ball any more, even when he shows up. Light’s on upstairs, if you know what I mean, but half the time there’s nobody home! And that Donna Kennedy-Glans! Have you read her blog? Sheesh!

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Blue Ribbon Panels will put in place a systematic approach that ensures future government initiatives are justified by panel members who look and sound like real experts but can be counted on to recommend the policies desired by Premier Kenney and the two or three cabinet ministers whose names he knows. The government will reach outside Alberta, or even Canada, if necessary to find the right experts who will make the right recommendations.

A sub-committee of the panel will be responsible for finding out what happened to the Alberta Inquiry Into Anti-Energy Campaigns by Foreign Funded Urban Greens and checking to see if anyone has heard from Commissioner Steve Allan. “That will be a lot less embarrassing than having to go to the cops to file a missing person report,” the source said.

The size and full membership of the panel will be announced later.

The Blue Ribbon Panel on Blue Ribbon Panels is expected to report in one year, on April 1, 2021.

As you should have surmised if you have read this far, this is an April Fool’s gag, a concept that seems strangely out of sync given the weird times we’re living through. But what the heck! The author is completely uninformed of any UCP plan to create a Blue Ribbon Panel on Blue Ribbon Panels, but you have to admit it’s probably something the UCP would think of, no? DJC

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  1. The real joke is a Blue Ribbon* panel for anything. Aren’t blue ribbons for granny’s jam at the fall fair?

    *Note: also an old-fashioned brand of double-acting baking powder, in high demand at the grocery store right now, higher demand than any Kenney panel ever.

  2. Another Blue Ribbon panel, I almost fell for it! Maybe I was a bit sleepy when I started reading. I knew something was amiss when I started thinking gee that UCP person is sure awfully chatty and candid. Looking at your picture, makes me think maybe Harper can get his good pal Bieber to be on the panel, too. If so, he might be the most popular and the best choice.

    The best April fools news has some basis in credibility. However, if Mr. Kenney does keep on forming expert panels (which is actually likely, as he does like his hand picked, carefully curated panels), they might have to revoke his membership in the very exclusive and not well known Populist Government Association. He could risk losing all the numerous benefits which comes with that. I have read recently this apparently includes access to fine dining and recreational facilities, as well as deeply discounted rates to rent facilities at select places such as the Petroleum Club, the former Manning Centre and apparently very special corporate group rate prices at Tim Hortons and Weight Watchers.

    Will he risk really losing his exclusive PGA membership? Heck, a lot of crazy news could still happen today, after all it is April 1!

  3. Also on April 1, a town councillor with a made-up sounding name, but which is an actual name of an actual councillor in a town in Alberta, has posted on Twitter that schools should close pernanently because it’s time to move to online learning. Here’s hoping that this is satire, but it’s so hard to tell these days. Ever since April 2019, it’s Groundhog Day, er, April Fool’s Day, every day here in Alberta.

    Never mind. I’m Dr. Heref Oru. We’re all Dr. Heref Oru. Right, Tyler?

  4. According to Monty Python, everyday is Christmas in heaven. Kenney and the UCP/Con Clowns make everyday in Alberta All Fools Day.

  5. Not a joke at all.

    I can see them doing it.

    A blue ribbon panel to decide the disposal of Crown Lands? It’s coming.

    A blue ribbon panel to determine how cities are funded and its reform? Wait for it.

    Kenney already has spent almost $8B on a US-based pipeline of questionable value for a private company that couldn’t raise funding for the project because no one would bet their money on it.

    Why stop the stupid now?

  6. You know, in Westminster-style parliamentary government, there is already a “blue-ribbon” panel installed at every Government’s swearing-in: it’s called Cabinet. There is also a second one that persists from one Government to the next: it’s the senior public service — the Deputy Ministers of each of the government departments, taken collectively. And, on top of that, want to hear from the public? What are MLAs for, then?

    Creating all those stand-alone panels is an enormous waste of time, treasure & energy, and makes one wonder: what is Cabinet Government really for?

    1. As usual, Jerry, you make an excellent point. Maybe we need to view the formation of every expert panel as another expression of Jason Kenney’s lack of confidence in his cabinet. If Tyler Shandro is the best the UCP can come up with for a Health Minister, how bad are all the others?

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