“Alberta restaurants to stay open, barring ‘catastrophe,’ premier says,” the CBC’s online headline writer summarized yesterday.
Here, as they say on social media, let me fix your headline: “Alberta restaurants to stay open, sparking ‘catastrophe,’ premier says.”
Well, maybe that’s a misrepresentation — I’m accused of that from time to time, especially when my commentary draws blood — but it’s gotta be more accurate than the national broadcaster’s effort.
Mr. Kenney made the comment to the United Conservative Party’s virtually faithful during the final day of the party’s on-line annual general meeting, held this year in cyberspace because of the resurgent global pandemic.
But if COVID-19 could get the UCP off the streets and out of the party suites, Premier Kenney made it clear there’s no damn way it’s going to close down any restaurants or bars, no matter how many infection records we break out here in Wild Rose Country. Not as long as his enthusiastic supporters at Restaurants Canada are watching, anyway.
“I give my absolute commitment to that sector that is struggling, that, barring some absolute catastrophe, which we do not see, there is no likelihood of restrictions on their ability to operate like we had in the spring, and I do not see any data to support that,” the premier told the faithful from a book-lined study where he’s self-isolating after potentially having been exposed to the virus.
For their part, elderly Albertans are advised to stay out of restaurants if they want to survive long enough to make their next regular donation to the UCP.
How to separate oldsters from their cash: Con fund-raising explained
How do we know UCP donors are elderly? Well consider the slide show on fund-raising that had political Alberta abuzz yesterday as everyone nervously awaited the results of the general election on the other side of the Rockies.
According to a slide shown at the virtual AGM yesterday morning, the average UCP donor is over 70 years of age.
That’s not all that surprising, of course. The shocker was the glib and cynical way this was illustrated on the slide — which appears to have been captured in screenshots by several viewers.
Well, with the UCP planning to charge for some drugs that are now covered by medicare and Mr. Kenney’s famous observation that we don’t really need to worry about COVID-19 anyway because the average age of the people it kills is 83, “and I’ll remind the house that the average life expectancy in the province is 82,” they could be risking killing the goose that’s laying the golden egg.
Of course, there’s a slide for that: Send them a letter, another slide advises. “Use simple language and emotion (i.e., fear, anger, greed, guilt).”
You really can’t make this stuff up.
Low-performing energy inquiry gets another delay, this time to 2021
And speaking of stuff you couldn’t make up, Premier Kenney also told his supporters that the $2.5-million “Alberta Inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns,” alternatively and even more tendentiously known as “anti-energy campaigns, will be delayed again, because … well, that part’s not clear.
The effort by Inquiry Commissioner Steve Allan, announced in July 2019 and supposed to be completed by July 2020, sought and got a four-month extension and an additional $1 million cash infusion in June.
In September, Mr. Allan begged for even more time, because, erm, something-something. Plus, he won’t be trying to figure out whether any of the campaigns he’s looking into spread any false information. Which, some of us rather thought, was supposed to be the point of the whole thing. This rather suggests that he’s been unable to find anything, even with the extra time and money.
Anyway, Mr. Kenney revealed, we will now have to wait for 2021 for the results of the inquiry to be announced, probably late on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend. And, if that doesn’t happen, maybe the inquiry will eventually just die of embarrassment.
John Horgan’s Dippers coasting to majority victory in B.C.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Cordillera, British Columbia Premier John Horgan appeared last night to be leading his B.C. New Democratic Party Government to a huge majority. I say appeared, because B.C.’s voting set-up won’t see all the votes counted for several more days, and some ridings are bound to be pretty close.
Still, as this story was being wrapped up last night, Mr. Horgan’s NDP was leading or elected in 55 ridings, the B.C. Liberals in 29, and the Greens in three. B.C. TV networks were declaring the Dippers the winners.
Breaking a long curse, Mr. Horgan will become the first B.C. New Democrat Premier to be elected to two consecutive terms.
This is certainly good news for the Vancouver area’s Denning Health Group, which has been advertising to Alberta physicians feeling beleaguered by the UCP’s War on Doctors to “escape the politics” and “come practice in beautiful B.C.”
As for the B.C. Liberals (who are really conservatives), the inheritors of the mantle of the B.C. Social Credit coalition of old appear to have been using the same PowerPoint pointers as the UCP.
Just yesterday, before the polls closed, they were emailing supporters seeking contributions to help fund a last-ditch Republican-style effort to disqualify non-Liberal ballots in tight races.
Most of the key points of the BC. fund-raising letter were there: Simple language and emotion (check), focus on costs and goals (check), sense of urgency (check), large type (check), and a post-script (check).