Alberta Politics
Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel announcement, left, and the province’s media and politically engaged citizens, right, as seen by United Conservative Party strategists — watch out, there’s a hook! (Photo:

Alert the media! Fair Deal Panel recommendations to be trotted out today

Posted on June 17, 2020, 2:19 am
4 mins

Today we will see the results of the efforts of Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel throughout the first half of 2020.

We know this because the Kenney Government yesterday emailed out one of those media notices beloved of all democratic governments (and some not-so-democratic ones as well) alerting the media to stand by for big news on the morrow.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Cancel your appointments, hold Page One or its virtual equivalent, and break out an extra barrel of black ink, you’re going to need it for the headlines, such statements imply.

Sometimes they are justified. Sometimes not so much.

Since we already have a pretty clear idea of what to expect from the eight remaining members of the tendentiously named Fair Deal Panel thanks to hints Premier Jason Kenney has dropped all over the province, the reasonable expectation is that this will be an example of the latter variety.

In other words, get ready for your first look at Mr. Kenney’s warmed over Twentieth Anniversary commemoration of Stephen Harper’s 2001 Alberta sovereignty-association manifesto, the notorious Firewall Letter. Some version of a provincial police force, a public health care opt-out, a bid to suck up Alberta’s portion of the Canada Pension Plan and other bad ideas are likely to be trotted out.

So why bother signing the tantalizing embargo document proffered by the premier’s spinmeisters when we can all guess the ludicrous details of tomorrow’s big announcement anyway?

Premier Kenney, Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer and Fair Deal Panel Chair Oryssia Lennie will share the podium. The excitement begins at 11:30 a.m.

Count on it, mainstream media will go for this like a hungry bass that spies a Rapala lure a flickering in the water like a wounded minnow. That is, if they haven’t swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker already.

Alberta Fair Deal Panel Chair Oryssia Lennie (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

If everything goes as intended, the predictable foolishness of Firewall 2.0 will suck up all the oxygen in Alberta’s public discourse for weeks.

It will distract journalists and citizens alike from pondering such important stories as public parks for sale or rent, the effort to hijack the judiciary with ideologically approved judges, gross legislative attacks in our Charter rights, public cash for schools run by religious extremists, embarrassments like Mr. Kenney’s $7.5-billion pipeline bet on Donald Trump’s reelection, the pathetically furloughed $30-million Alberta energy war room, the inquiry into the enemies of Alberta’s somewhat ethical oil that asks no questions, continuing efforts by the world’s investors to dump shares in oilsands projects, and whatever fresh hell results from the United Conservative Party’s hurry to declare the COVID-19 pandemic over against the considered collective advice of epidemiologists and other doctors.

With a little luck, Mr. Kenney will even get an opportunity to lob a few gratuitous insults at Justin Trudeau, who as prime minister of Canada still has the job that the premier really wants in the city he would really rather live in.

Until tomorrow then, remember where you heard it first.

5 Comments to: Alert the media! Fair Deal Panel recommendations to be trotted out today

  1. Just Me

    June 17th, 2020

    This is my definitive and irrefutable assessment of the panel’s recommendations…

    Recommendation that the following will be created in Alberta …

    A provincial police department or a major expansion of the Alberta Sheriffs into a province-wide police force to replace the RCMP.

    The creation of a Alberta Pension plan and Alberta Healthcare Act to usurp the federal initiatives.

    The recommendation that Alberta immediately apply the Notwithstanding Clause on any and all federal regulations retroactive to 1961.

    And Canada’s Supreme Court will be official recognized as interference in the provincial domain…which means Notwithstanding Clause forever and forever.

    Of course all this will require taxation, which leads to a referendum styled as omnibus legislation that will assure the creation of all the above, in addition to the required taxation to pay for it all.

    Sounds crazy? Yes, it is because Kenney is just that crazy.

  2. Jim

    June 17th, 2020

    The master of painting himself into a corner and then blaming someone else, how will Kenney spin this? Perhaps tap into the current de-fund the police campaign? Imagine Jason Kenney on the same side of an issue as the violent foreign funded left wing groups he so despises.

  3. !?

    June 17th, 2020

    How is it that Alberta Fair Deal Panel Chair Oryssia Lennie looks like Dolores Umbridge’s evil twin?

  4. Keith McClary

    June 17th, 2020

    “RECOMMENDATION | Support and press for the strictest possible application of the principle of representation by
    population in the House of Commons. ”

    Of course, the Alberta legislature will continue to be gerrymandered to the advantage of Con voting rural areas.

  5. Just Me

    June 17th, 2020

    Note that the Referendum of No Consequence will not be held until 2021. Halfway through the UCP government’s mandate. Will it even be an issue by then?

    And there’s the matter of that referendum on taxes, which will surely accompany this referendum. Then there’s that other referendum on equalization, which is also another referendum to nowhere. That’s a lot of referenda coming down the pipeline.

    What’s Kenny waiting for? An early federal election and a CON government? Of course, Peter McKay will be PM and Kenney hates him; but Kenney maybe banking on someone else in the PMO, like Erin O’Toole or Derek Sloan. Both are long shots, but Kenney is a gambling man.

    Kenney is on a spectacular losing streak, but he must be hoping for a win…so maybe he’s hoping his luck with change. Good luck with that.

    This is the part where Alberta learns about the death of hope.


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