Alberta Politics
Jason Kenney during last night’s televised address (Photo: Screenshot).

Jason Kenney lays out the bad news on COVID-19 capably enough, then wanders into the economic weeds

Posted on April 08, 2020, 1:36 am
10 mins

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney actually sounded pretty good on TV last night as he laid out the hard facts about COVID-19, what it’ll probably do, and what might do if too many of us act like jackasses and don’t stay close to home for the next couple of months.

Mr. Kenney certainly sounded yesterday like a politician who has a new and improved speechwriter.

Preston Manning, a source of inspiration to the premier (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

The facts are pretty grim, and to his credit Mr. Kenney didn’t try to put a gloss on them — as many as 800,000 Albertans falling ill by the middle of next month, 400 to 3,100 people dying if we manage to stick with social isolation, and up to 6,600 dead if Albertans refuse to cooperate and continue to self-isolate.

Unsurprisingly, given the shocking nature of those figures, mainstream media focused on that side of the story. Mr. Kenney also promised we would soon see 20,000 COVID-19 tests administered daily in Alberta as part of “an aggressive system of mass testing.” If that can be accomplished, it will be a remarkable feat.

But Mr. Kenney wandered into the weeds as soon he started defending his all-oil-all-the-time economic strategy and firing random shots at Liberals in Ottawa, Russians in the Kremlin, and princes in the House of Saud to ensure we all understand the coming economic apocalypse around here ought not to be blamed on him or his United Conservative Party.

He didn’t actually spell out many of the details of his jobs-for-Montana program, as Progress Alberta’s Jim Storrie cleverly and accurately summarized the premier’s scheme to pay $7 billion to build a pipeline in the United States to pump our nearly worthless $3-a-barrel refined bitumen to the U.S. Gulf Coast, employing a few American citizens all along the way.

This warrants a closer, more critical look over the next few days than it was likely to get on the night of his televised address, with the coronavirus on everyone’s mind.

The late Ernest Manning in 1984 (Photo: Harry Palmer, Creative Commons).

As to his government’s “re-launch strategy,” nobody doubts that will be a big job, although not hopeless thanks to the moves being made by Prime Minister Trudeau’s Government in Ottawa. Mr. Kenney was probably trying to undercut those efforts by his Liberal rival when he suggested the downtown we are about to experience would be “the likes of which we have not seen since the 1930s.”

Remember, the Great Depression lasted a decade, from 1929 to 1939, and only ended with the economic stimulus of the New Deal in the United States and wartime production — although you can still find an economist or two willing to give you an argument about that.

But the premier may have been right when he predicted “the crash in energy prices means that Alberta’s downturn will be deeper and recovery slower than the rest of the world,” or much of it, anyway. Left out of that assessment, of course, was any acknowledgement of why that might be — to wit, our dependence, year after year, warning after warning, on a single source of revenue.

“And now Western Canadian oil has fallen as low, in the past week, as three dollars a barrel,” Mr. Kenney grimly continued. “There is  a very real possibility that as global inventories overflow, our energy will hit negative prices. We’ll be paying people to take away our energy.” (No explanation was forthcoming from the premier why we might bother to do that.)

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1930 (Photo: Vincenzeo Laviosa, Public Domain).

“I cannot overstate how grave the implications of this will be for jobs, our economy and the financial security of Albertans,” he continued, blaming COVID-19 and the Saudi-Russian price war, which he claimed is intended to “permanently to damage North America’s energy industry.”

“That is why we’ve begun discussions with U.S. leaders about a coordinated defence of North American energy to protect us from the reckless action of those regimes,” he said. (Probably not a good strategy, given the recent history of U.S. trade negotiations, as long as Donald Trump occupies the White House, or a likely one once he doesn’t.)

“It’s also why we made an historic investment to start construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline,” Mr. Kenney continued, a remark that must have made a lot of listeners spit their afternoon cocktails all over their TV screens. I mean, if we’re already having to pay to give the stuff away, why would we want to pay $7 billion more?

This, like the fact the same government passed an almost completely fictional budget a mere three weeks ago, makes almost no sense at all. Unless, of course, you listen to Mr. Kenney, who declared: “With this, we are taking control of our economic destiny, investing with confidence in the future of Alberta.”

An American Bison, presumably facing into the wind (Photo: Jack Dykinga, U.S. Department of Agriculture).

I don’t know about you, but Mr. Kenney’s Panglossian view of the future of fossil fuels made me thankful he’s not my financial advisor.

He went on: “We’ve appointed an economic recovery council made up of some of our province’s brightest minds” — Stephen Harper, Jack Mintz, et. al. — “to develop a plan to get us through the crisis and to emerge with a stronger, more diversified economy.” (Let me guess: more tax cuts and public employees laid off.)

“Together with the collapse in revenues, this will have an enormous impact on our province’s finances,” he said grimly. “You need to know that. Alberta’s budget deficit this year may triple, from $7 billion to almost $20 billion. We will face a great fiscal reckoning in the future.” (More tax cuts for billionaires, and maybe a sales tax for you.)

Reaching his peroration, Mr. Kenney said he understands many Albertans are fearful, “but to quote a great leader, at a time such as this, the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

For some reason Mr. Kenney didn’t bother to tell his listeners who that great leader was, perhaps because it was U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, author of the New Deal in the 1930s.

A lot of Albertans nowadays may not have a clear picture of who FDR was, but every one of us born in the West since the end of the Second World War have been beneficiaries of his economic policies. And to paraphrase a certain American vice-presidential debate, “Premier, you’re no Franklin Roosevelt!” 

Mr. Kenney ended his economic homily with a story about the Prairie bison, which he attributed to Ernest Manning, Alberta’s Social Credit premier from 1943 to 1968, by way of Preston Manning, the godfather of the Canadian right. “The buffalo … well, they herd closely together, and they face the storm head on, coming out of it strong and united.

“That captures who we are, and how we’re gonna get through this,” Mr. Kenney concluded.

Well, OK. But just don’t forget, fellow Albertans, what happened to the great herds of Prairie bison, or how easy they were to lead over a cliff.

28 Comments to: Jason Kenney lays out the bad news on COVID-19 capably enough, then wanders into the economic weeds

  1. Kim Poirier

    April 8th, 2020

    Honestly, bison, cattle and horses don’t face storms head on, they put their heads together, asses to the wind. I hope that helps Mr Kenney.

    Reply
    • Dave Olecko

      April 8th, 2020

      … And in Jim Croce’s words

      You don’t tug on superman’s cape
      You don’t spit into the wind
      You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger
      And you don’t mess around with Jims cape

      Reply
    • Valerie Jobson

      April 9th, 2020

      No, bison do face into the wind because they have thicker fur on their heads than on their butts. It’s why they can survive blizzards whereas cattle have been known to move away from the wind until they piled up against fences and froze.

      I read a story long ago about a buffalo calf which took a while to figure out it was warmer to face the wind, it might have been by Kerry Wood.

      I think Kenney is like that calf, he’s facing the wrong way and can’t figure out why his ass is freezing.

      Reply
  2. Dave

    April 8th, 2020

    Doom and gloom seems to be our Mr. Kenney’s forte. Perhaps there is a course on it in bible college or maybe it’s something that comes to him naturally like a revival preacher.

    One could almost imagine Kenney as the next Aberhart or Manning or somewhere inbetween, except for one small problem – his timing is a bit offended. You see, the succesful prairie populist, preacher politician comes in after things have hit rock bottom to save the day. Things here may be headed for rock bottom, as Kenney predicts, but they aint there yet. He can say don’t blame him if it gets worse, but people will because he is the Premier now.

    Mr. Kenney might instead be following in the footsteps of past Conservative politicians who arguably had bad timing. Where did RB Bennett, Diefenbaker, Mulrooney and Getty all end up poltically? All were casualties of economic downturns, perhaps exacerbated by their own mishandling of them.

    It doesn’t look like that all in bet on oil will pay off any time soon, likely not any time before the next provincial election anyways. In the last election Albertans bet on Kenney’s confident claim to somehow be an economic saviour. I don’t think they will do that again, if he is unable to deliver on that implicit promise soon.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      April 8th, 2020

      I believe the worst of the doom and gloom in last night’s speech were exercises in expectation management and political undermining of the good work done by the Trudeau government. The garden path we are being led down can be portrayed thusly: Things are terrible and will be for a long time > It’s Trudeau’s fault > We are doing things Trudeau won’t: border controls! > Our things are working > Trust us, not him! DJC

      Reply
  3. Abs

    April 8th, 2020

    Well, at least now we know what insired his “penguin” suit. There’s old Ernest in similar haberdashery.

    So, if KXL has added $7.5B to the existing deficit, which of JK’s patrons will get the balance of the $20B on some trumped-up fantasy project?

    How about the tracking of citizens via cellphone using Babylon Health app, and Telus, and Huawei’s 5G network or whatever? I was otherwise occupied when this speech was broadcast, so I didn’t hear it myself. As someone on Twitter said, I was cleaning the toilet. Did Jason Kenney actually say he would collaborate with the Saudis (who own that app) and that phone company, which has gotten a lot of our money, to track us? No doubt faraday cage videos will be very popular on Youtube today. Soon I fully expect to see drones chasing teens down empty Alberta streets, while someone swears at them in Italian. Maybe the lesson here is that if you’re going out for a non-approved walk, leave your phone at home. That should work until he chips us all, using Shady Shandro’s docs in a box. Miss one speech and conspiracy becomes reality.

    You say buffalo, I say bison, but it all has the strong and united odor of horse excrement.

    Reply
  4. JL

    April 8th, 2020

    We should all stop using that $7.5 billion figure – that was in USD. It’s actually closer to $10.7 billion dollars CAD, which is far worse.

    (Also, omg, the bison and other herd animals protect the weak by putting the strong on the outside to take the brunt of whatever threatens them – that is assuredly NOT what the UCP are doing!)

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      April 8th, 2020

      Very good point, JL. DJC

      Reply
    • Abs

      April 8th, 2020

      Yes, the $7.5B USD brings Kenney much closer to his target of a $20B deficit. Maybe that will be a $20B USD deficit. UCP donors, family and friends must be licking their chops at the prospect of sinking their teeth into the juicy bison.

      Reply
  5. Rocky

    April 8th, 2020

    Interesting gesture the sign language guy is making. He must like Kenney about as much as the rest of us do!

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      April 8th, 2020

      I wondered about that myself. DJC

      Reply
    • Lars

      April 8th, 2020

      He’s probably throwing the odd “Don’t you wish you’d voted NDP?” into the mix.

      Reply
  6. Political Ranger

    April 8th, 2020

    I agree, he started off well …

    Again, it’s clear that the problem with modern-day conservatives is their fixation on ideology – even to the extent that they deny science, facts, finance or any other body of knowledge that contradicts or does not support their beliefs.

    Undoubtedly, it will require gov’t spending to bridge today’s economic reality to an economy that can stand on its own. That said, there are couple points well worth understanding.
    First, Alberta’s petro-economy has not stood on it’s own for, charitably, 5 or 10 years. The oil and gas fields are mature and largely depleted and have been so for at least a decade. The tarsands are a very high cost resource and in no way could be considered an alternative source for petroleum end product.
    Second, an additional $14 billion is 2 weeks of the Alberta economy; the amount of spending to get from here, to there, is on the order of a magnitude higher. This pandemic is no going to last just 2 weeks and then were back to normal. This phase is going to go to the end of May, minimum! No one has declared, unequivocally, that there won’t be a phase 2 starting in the fall.
    To get the Alberta economy anywhere near what is thought of as normal, ie circa February 2020, gov’t spending of $100 – $200 billion will be required. Maybe more. Not less.

    Who in their right mind thinks we are going to spend all that money, and human capital, to prop up a dirty, destructive and harmful industry owned by criminals and social psychopaths that was archaic and non-viable ten years ago!?!

    No! As long as anyone identifying as conservative, of any stripe, is anywhere near the levers of power in this province we are heading for disaster. The natural and common wealth will be given away or stolen. Smart people and people with means will leave. In a generation it will be grim.

    Or, the smart people and people with means can kick that sorry lot to the curb and, like the legendary buffalo, stand and face what’s coming with intelligence, forethought and courage. We have here in Edmonton and no doubt elsewhere in the province, a strong and vibrant ‘young entrepreneur’ set willing and able to develop a 21rst Century economy. We have plenty of ‘old stock’ Canadians in this province who for generations have endured many, many such storms and have risen time and again to support their communities.

    There is opportunity here; Confucius is right.
    It is ahead of us.
    It’s in front of us, not behind in yesterday’s decrepit and impotent industries.

    Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      April 11th, 2020

      One thing this pandemic is demonstrating, is that a government small enough to drown in a bathtub, is incapable of protecting us. The relatively low death rates we are seeing from this bug — currently, in Alberta, it’s only 0.88 per 100,000 population — can be, in part, attributed to the firm, “heavy-handed” actions of government to shut down the economy and keep non-essential workers at home. This has been a common feature of provincial & territorial governments from coast to coast to coast, regardless of political stripe. There are still some Republican states in the US that haven’t gotten on board with this, and their case counts and death rates — as well as those of their next-door neighbours, since viruses don’t respect borders, especially sub-national ones — are bound to jump in the coming weeks.

      Reply
  7. Just Me

    April 8th, 2020

    Of course, Kenney didn’t even try to blame COVID-19 on evil actors in China, but saw fit to go after the usual list of suspects, like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Russia, the Saudis, George Soros, the Rockefellers… though he didn’t mention them by name, he was dropping those tasty conspiracy nuggets that his base loves.

    And Alberta taking control by dropping billions into a US-based pipeline that going to sell *really* cheap oil into a global market that’s awash in cheap oil. This is controlling one’s destiny in what world? Clearly not this one.

    Maybe Kenney should have made friends with Putin, if Russia is such a bad actor. I mean at least Putin claims to be a Christian, so he and Kenney are at least on the same page. And Putin’s allies seem to be doing really well and Kenney likes shenanigans, too.

    Reply
  8. J.E. Molnar

    April 8th, 2020

    As Jason Kenney and the UCP brain trust continue to lead us to “hell in a hand-basket,” I’m reminded of former US President Richard Nixon and his penchant for inane TV appearances that fooled very few voters.

    Mr. Kenney, sans Nixon’s five o’clock shadow, is trying to convince Albertans that he and his feckless cadre of government MLAs are *not* going to be responsible in any manner, shape or form, for the provinces economic downturn or for any of their failed economic prescriptions designed to remedy Alberta’s financial malaise. How convenient. Anyone who continues to falls for their political claptrap likely believed Richard Nixon when he said: “I’m not a crook.”

    Reply
  9. Murphy

    April 8th, 2020

    Strange times. A clue about the validity of Covidmania is the fact that Tailgunner Jay is embracing it. Accoring to the Alberta Government website, the 1000 test-per day threshold was met a month ago, and they have tested anywhere from one to four-and-a-half thousand people every day. The ratio of positive tests has not increased as testing increased, so there is no evidence that the vaunted “exponential increase” in infection has manifested, despite the “jackasses” who haven’t joined in the two-minute hate on viruses. There is clearly what I would characterize as a militant refusal to contextualize the severe illness observed with the annual go-round of respiratory illness that kills half a million people every year.
    The people were stampeded. The day of the first positive test in Alberta, emergency rooms in Calgary were already inundated with the trembling, and yet a month later there has been a grand total of ninety hospitalizations across the province for positive cases, and that includes people who have already gone home.
    Roosevelt’s “New Deal” absolutely did not end the Depression, which was in fact a “deflation” because the capitalist system had reached it’s limits and the internal contradictions in such a system had brought the thing down on itself. As the system had always been rooted in a temporal disadvantage for one group that provided a reciprocal advantage to a tiny minority, the only way it was rejigged was when Germany and the Soviet Union and China and Japan were destroyed. My uncles lived on my grandfather’s porch in the Frasier Delta until they joined the army and went to England, where they actually got paid. My grandfather had bailed out of teaching school on the prairies after he was offered room and board in lieu of any form of actual salary and was clerking in Woodward’s until he got trained as a ship’s carpenter once the Big One kicked off. So although I wholeheartedly accept your contention that we’re heading into the most disrupted phase of economic life in Canada in ninety years, I don’t buy your assertions about Li’l Magus and co. steering us through the maelstrom.
    The US Fed jumped it’s balance up from 3.5 trillion to over five in two weeks this March. But curiously, they had begun adding to their bottom line in the fall. The fracking hucksters have actually begun to expire in Texas, and the empire is now launching air-raids against Iranians on Iraqi military bases to try to manage that end of their failed choke-point strategy to control China.
    The strategy of overthrowing the Great Horned One in Syria via our el-kaydah/Isis pals has failed, thus ending the dream of cutting Russia out of the gas to Europe picture. The freedom-loving Qataris are parking their LNG in boats, praying for their “upline” to help them out as as they failed to establish the dreamed-of route to Europe across Syria.
    The gambit in the Ukraine has failed, despite the best efforts of our paid Nazis in Pravy Sektor, the Azov battallion, and assorted other Sturmgruppen. So that aspect of isolating the European vassals from Russian gas has likewise failed.
    The media and various political stooges continue to cluck about human rights while our good pals and clients in Saudi Arabia immolate plenty o’ folks in Yemen and suck on the Gawar field until their hind-quarters whistle, and stil the wicked devils in Russia won’t knuckle under.
    The system that allowed the economy of North America to be reduced to delivery boys and speculating elites has finally crashed. Deflation is here because huge numbers of Consumers of Last Resort in North America have no real jobs. As they have no real jobs, they cannot pay back their credit cards or take loans, which is how the banks make money.
    So what we have is a holding action by our masters while they get us all used to war-time social controls, likely leading to the implementation, in one form or another, of the Universal Basic Income that elite grifters such as Elon Musk love so much. A permanent underclass, despite the kookoo claims that UBI will help us all become risk-taking capitalists (more food trucks!; artisanal corn-dogs is mine, so don’t even thnk about that one).
    China is going to be broken by strangling consumer capitalism in the West and smashing the Belt-Road with Covid War Measures from Calais to Kowloon Bay.
    There is no vaccine coming for the Great Plague for at least a year, so unless they bring in Warsaw Ghetto control measures, there will be another wipe-out of the elderly and infirm beginning in the fall.
    Apparently over a million people signed up for the Goverment Cheese emergency relief money, on the first day. Instead of paying a few billion to people to stay at home, perhaps a few tens of millions could have been spent on providing facilities and equipment and personnel to prevent the sort of massacres that we are seeing in old folks’ homes across the country. But of course, that sort of action would have reflected a desire to avoid Lockdownland.

    Reply
  10. Scotty on Denman

    April 8th, 2020

    Remarkable. The Alberta bitumen industry once accused the American oil industry of bankrolling protest against the TMX pipeline to BC’s Burrard Inlet so’s to remain the only market for diluted bitumen, thus forcing Alberta to accept, also alleged, a heavy discount for the heaviest, most difficult and costly to refine, second-lowest grade of petroleum (next to asphalt); Now, con- , or perhaps, per-versely, KeKangeroo Kenney says Alberta wants to open discussions with these very same Americans in order to force other oil-producing nations to stop forcing down the world price of oil, while he lumps his own country’s federal government in with these rival, “reckless regimes”—despite the fact that it’s bankrolling TMX specifically for Alberta’s benefit. The K-Boy has amended his dilbit hole-in-the-firewall policy (where once-booming China is supposed to pay a premium price for BC-embarked Alberta dilbit and deprive US refineries of all that discounted dilbit) to build a pipeline for Big American Oil and make Albertans pay for it despite their long-suffering burden of bitumen-patch layoffs—now several years on—and the recent COVID19 pandemic with which most observers compound the existing depression of petroleum markets.

    Most remarkable is the governing UCP leader’s torpedo-damning consistency, the only exception now being the proffered alliance with the American oil industry which was condemned as boggeyman not so long ago, the list of supposed unethical, immoral, and illegal evil-doers—Venezuelan, Muslim, and Russian petro-competitors, British Columbian and First Nations blockaders, and pipeline benefactor Liberal Justin Trudeau—being otherwise the same as ever.

    The UCP’s greenhouse-gas hypocrisy (that is, ostensibly addressing the GHG concern by increasing bitumen production) was consistency-tested when the K-Boy—who once railed at alleged foreign environmentalists’ interference against TMX— hopped over the US border himself to interfere with Michigan’s proposal to interrupt, for environmental reasons, the Great Lake-bottom pipeline moving North Dakota’s dilbit to Eastern refineries. Yep: hypocrisy-consistency checks out, alright.

    How about nonsense-consistency? Well, that should be apparent enough, but just to say it’s been covered: while the K-Boy proffers alliance with the Americans, the same ones whom he so recently accused of trying to undermine Alberta’s dilbit price, so they can together give record-low petroleum prices a boost, The Donald presiduncy has been bragging about the benefits of low oil prices, first as a way to help the COVID19-ravaged economy rebound, second to restock US strategic oil reserves on the cheap and, perhaps third, to inject into COVID19 victims in order to make them immune, if not cured outright (well, that’d be consistent with a rank ignoramus prescribing untested fish-tank sterilizer so Americans can get back to work after amassing in church on Easter).

    But the K-Boy does make sense in a nonsensical kind of way: the Russians are a nuclear superpower and the Saudis are a real oil superpower, so it makes sense to absolve the Americans of blame (except Michigan, of course) in order to sweeten the crudeness: tRump has the nuclear-missile codes and is good buddy to the murderous Saudi prince.

    Makes nonsense, no?

    Reply
    • e.a.f.

      April 10th, 2020

      Nice read. thank you Scotty from Denman . wondered where you’d gone.

      Reply
  11. Jim

    April 8th, 2020

    The bison story was great in illustrating what Kenney is currently doing to this province and governments past and present have done to this country, pushed us off a cliff. Another gem brought to you by the people who thought naming their party the UCP was a good idea.
    A more appropriate quote may be from Shrek, “some of you may die but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make” .

    Reply
  12. Athabascan

    April 8th, 2020

    But David, Kenney is financial advisor to all Albertans. He’s using our money (taxes) and squandering it on everything related to oil &gas at the exclusion of every public good there is. Where do you think those billions of dollars he’s giving away come from?

    He’s our bad financial advisor for the next 3 years, and we have no choice in the matter. Well, I guess we could leave Alberta, but all our houses are worth a lot less than they should be thanks to Kenney.

    It’s not COVID-19 that we should fear, it’s the Kenney virus. It will prove to be a lot worse when this is all over.

    Reply
  13. the salamander

    April 8th, 2020

    Letting any Canadian conflate Alberta Bitumen as Western Canadian ‘oil’ is a huge mistake.. essentially as it ignores & blurs the sobering, even shocking reality that only 4% of Canada’s oil is ‘conventional oil’ – When that is added to the 96% that is actually buried Bitumen.. one gets to questioning the idiocy of reciting ‘Canada’s vast oil reserves’ when actually speaking of Alberta’s Vast Bitumen Reserves.. mebbe not.

    Perhaps if well meaning folks stopped repeating this favorite misleading conflation of Jason Kenney and anyone else who adds to the conflation and confusion or just bought the grift, hook line and sinker.. What is described & quoted daily and is currently near 3$ / barrel.. is ‘Western Canadian Select’ which is dilbit.. 30% refined condensate / diluent and blended with somewhat upgraded Bitumen into a slurry for pipeline transport.

    If the situation was reversed.. and 96% was conventional oil and 4% was Bitumen, Canada would be an Energy Superpower. That fantasy is what Jason Kenney is claiming to be fact. Sad but True – 96% of Canada’s Vast Petroleum Reserves are Bitumen.. one of the lowest grades of energy on the world market today. High in Sulphur.

    Next time Jason Kenney mentions ‘oil’ could someone ask if if he means Bitumen or dilbit.. and also ask bluntly when he started pretending he did not comprehend any difference..

    Oil is not Bitumen – Bitumen is not Oil – The Price War between Russia and Saudi Arabia is not about Bitumen or dilbit.. nor is it about Canada’s conventional oil in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan or Newfoundland & Labrador.. though the war is destroying the prices of each. Its a vicious beatdown. We are small vulnerable players here in Canada, as far as what I call ‘6 & gas’ .. six being basketball jargon for 96 .. which rings better than Canada’s ‘Bitumen & Gas Industry’ .. just hum ‘six and gas and rock and roll’ like Ian Dury and the Blockheads.. and you’ll never forget it .. and do Canadians a big favour..!

    Reply
  14. alan

    April 8th, 2020

    What happens to a so called ‘fiscal market conservative’ that is confronted with certain glaring, inescapable, and uncomfortable real world economic realities?

    The ‘fiscal market conservative’ is forced to carry Lord Keynes water. For most people that would be a humbling experience.

    Apparently, that is not the case for the enlightened cultish few that are blessed with both having found and therefore know “The Way”. It is both sad and amusing, as there still appear to be a great many blind men still clinging to their unscientific economic elephant(s), even after the Master’s thesis proved to be unworkable in the real world.

    https://www.thestar.com/opinion/2009/03/17/only_conservatism_can_lead_canada_forward.html

    “But neither can conservatives believe today that the marketplace, that what I call “Wall Street,” is the solution to all problems and when billions, maybe trillions of dollars of private capital are sidelined, sitting on the sidelines because of fear, pessimism and panic, the government must step in to restore confidence to protect citizens and to stimulate the economy.”

    “We are, as Conservatives, responding to massive failure in the market, using the public role of government to act.”

    Meditate on that, bit of cognitive dissonance, if you are both willing and are able.

    Reply
  15. e.a.f.

    April 10th, 2020

    the world has shifted and if it ever ‘rights’ itself to its previous axis it will be a long time. In B.C. so many have parked their cars who is going to need a lot of oil. even once the work force returns most families wont be able to afford two cars. now as to that tar we export, the government really can’t afford to build these pipelines. people will continue to need financial assistance. governments will need to pay down debt. there won’t be any money left for vanity projects such as pipelines.

    my expectation is, while the prices are low china will make a long term deal with russia and won’t need or want our tar. the days of tar are over. alberta might want to consider producing such things as medical supplies and medication. we in b.c. are being told we can only purchase a month’s supply of our prescriptions due to shortages. jason is stuck some where back in the fun times of “oil”.

    Reply
  16. Abs

    April 11th, 2020

    Were the projections conflated beyond what any public health official would state in public or on TV? Is this why the premier himself presented it?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-to-send-personal-protective-equipment-to-ontario-quebec-b-c-1.5529989

    Why were Edmonton nurses doing Covid-19 nasal swabs denied access to N95 masks, when hundreds of thousands of excess N95 masks were sitting in a warehouse? Why did the premier say just a few days ago that N95s are not necessary for front-line health workers in hospitals, except under very specific circumstances? Why is an N95 necessary for sandwich serving, but not for hospital work with sick people? Could the wotkers from McKenzie Towne have had access to N95 masks sooner? Would this have prevented deaths?

    Why didn’t anyone from Alberta who knew about this massive stockpile speak up when Donald Trump intervened in N95 exports to Canada?

    And when the public sense they’ve been misled, will they stay home? It is dangerous to play games in a pandemic.

    Reply

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