We’re closed, but we’ll be open again soon (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

AlbertaPolitics.ca is shutting down for a week.

I expect to be without a wifi connection for much of the next seven days, so if there are posts at all on this blog, they will be poorly illustrated and limited in number. There may have to be none at all.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Government of Alberta).

But I don’t like to leave you just hanging, dear readers, especially when some of you make generous donations to help with this blog.

So unless I’m turned back at the B.C. border, which could happen, I’m telling you now I expect to be back in harness on Aug. 27, not long after Finance Minister Travis Toews gives his first-quarter fiscal update.

I don’t think one has to be a psychic to predict that the fiscal update will involve plenty of red ink and even more bad news.

I expect the United Conservative Party government led by Premier Jason Kenney will use the fiscal update to try to redirect political discourse in Alberta away from the global coronavirus pandemic and back to party’s platform of austerity and cuts, cuts, cuts.

If so, this will not be the economic remedy Alberta needs for its economic troubles, but the UCP is a band that only plays one song, so its almost certainly going to be what we get.

A significant element of this will be the application of the shock doctrine — not letting a perfectly good crisis go to waste to enable more privatization, public sector downsizing, tax cuts for billionaires and other market fundamentalist bromides with a record of not working as advertised.

Finance Minister Travis Toews (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

None of this will be particularly helpful for the majority of Albertans, and it will be very painful for many, but perhaps it can be a teaching moment that elections have consequences.

The fiscal update will be followed by the UCP’s minimalist public school reopening — which stands a high probability of being a COVID-19 disaster, although I hope I am wrong about that.

It’s certainly not a reassuring sign to hear our chief medical officer of health now telling us that while we may now have the highest infection rate in Canada, we’re still doing better than lots of places in the States.

This may be true, but it’s hardly a recommendation. Wear your masks, people!

Comments will be posted when opportunities arise.

Hasta luego.

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  1. It seems inevitable that the education minister and her boss will not listen to parents or teachers, and that school will resume as planned (or not planned very well, depending on your perspective). The Alberta Wall of Moms and Dads seems to have gone silent, with nary a Twitter thought of its own in almost a week. So the protest is off, then?

    Yesterday, the UCP caucus tweeted an Edmonton Journal opinion piece by an infectious diseases expert, stating that Covid-19 is almost impossible to catch by being in the same room as someone who has it. As the rest of the world ponders that this disease seems to be aerosolized rather than airborne, the Alberta government is sticking its head firmly in the sand. If they say it isn’t so, it isn’t so. Ideology over research, my friends.

    The teachers’ contract is set to expire at the end of the month, just after you return. It should be an interesting fall, if interesting means disastrous.


  2. Need I mention that Licia Corbella’s column today is the kissing cousin of yesterday’s Edmonton Journal opinion piece on Covid? Propaganda over facts. Head in sand, all systems go.

  3. All I can say is that if the last budgets from the UCP were really harsh, wait until the UCP’s fall budget comes. It will be worse. With the fiscal update coming from the UCP, their will be the usual blame game. I’m sure the UCP will have another panel to look into the situation. I hope you enjoy your break.

  4. I look forward to the economic update, as it will cause the UCP to continue and ramp up their mayhem.

    Recent reports on social media have mentioned Kenney’s telling eating habits. At a local ramen place that Kenney frequents, he prefers to order a bowl of ramen without the noodles and other goodies that make the meal so delightful. Kenney then drinks the broth, tipping the bowl to his mouth and slurps it up.

    This is Kenney’s idea of an austerity diet: eating weak broth without utensils.

  5. What would it take to bring back some balance to the “press” in Alberta? That’s my holiday assignment for you. I worked in the tar/oil sands since the sixties. My whole family is populated by mining engineers and geologists. We, and I do speak for them even though I’m the only one left in our home province, want to know why the companies we worked for since 1967, have benefited while now here in 2020 you are reeling in deficit? Tell the story.

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