Alberta Politics
Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw (Photo: Government of Alberta).

More than 1,000 Albertans have died from COVID-19, half of them in the past month

Posted on December 29, 2020, 2:23 am
9 mins

Albertans learned yesterday the grim toll from COVID-19 in the province has now passed 1,000 deaths. 

This is a terrible tragedy but it need surprise no one, given humanity’s extensive knowledge of the science of infectious disease and the way the Kenney Government nevertheless dragged its feet each step of the way to avoid taking the sharp measures needed to control this pandemic. 

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

With our government always in a hurry to get back to business, it took 261 days from the arrival of the pandemic in Alberta, almost nine months, for the first 500 people to die, the CBC’s Robson Fletcher pointed out last night in a tweet. It took only 34 days for the next 500 to succumb to the coronavirus, he noted. 

In the past five days, while we received no sobering reports on what was happening with the spread of the infection that might have discouraged risky behaviour over the holiday, 112 Albertans died of coronavirus disease, bringing the provincial death toll to 1,002. 

Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw also emphasized that the number of new cases declined over the holiday season during yesterday’s COVID-19 briefing – at which there was no sign of Premier Jason Kenney. 

There may be cause for optimism in this decline, or not. But as Dr. Hinshaw conceded, the declining numbers are at least partly the result of fewer lab tests being performed over the holiday. Some people have chosen to put celebration first and worry about illness later. 

Significantly, the number of people being treated in hospital for COVID-19 has not declined. So while one certainly hopes that the lower number of reported cases means the trend has turned downward, don’t bet the farm just yet that the decline augers a parallel drop in the actual number of new infections. 

The government should hold off on patting itself on the back about the effectiveness of its recent restrictions, which while tougher than the previous rules are inconsistent and being only reluctantly enforced. Shopping malls remain open. 

Health Minister Tyler Shandro (Photo: Government of Alberta).

After Dr. Hinshaw’s grim news conference. Mr. Kenney issued a short statement on the fatalities. 

“Each one means that there is a family that is grieving, a friend who has lost someone they loved, a child who lost their parent, a partner who lost their true love,” he said in part. “To all those who are grieving, Alberta grieves with you. …”

The instant public reaction on social media was harsh, from all sides of the political spectrum. There seems to be a fury in the land, to borrow a line from an earlier moment in Canadian history. Many reminders of the premier’s “an influenza” remark about COVID-19 appeared on Twitter. Readers can read the ratio that followed Mr. Kenney’s first tweet about his message themselves. 

“Even as we reach this painful milestone, there is reason for hope,” Mr. Kenney’s statement continued, in what is sure to be a key United Conservative Party talking point in the grim days ahead. “The first Albertans have already received the COVID-19 vaccine, and more are getting vaccinated every day. As of today, more than 6,000 Albertans have received their first vaccine doses.”

Dr. Hinshaw noted yesterday that Alberta has received 25,350 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine but has only administered the 6,015 doses referenced by Mr. Kenney. A first shipment of 3,900 doses arrived two weeks ago. 

Remember that Health Minister Tyler Shandro predicted two weeks ago that Alberta would immunize 29,000 health care workers by the end of December. Clinic staff are going to have to work quickly if Alberta expects to administer another 22,985 doses in the next three days!

We might want to start keeping clinics open on holidays, as well. Because it’s not very reassuring that the Alberta and Ontario governments – led by men who used to brag they finished each other’s sentences – shut down vaccination programs on recent statutory holidays, almost as if they thought the virus would take the day off too.

As befits the attitude illustrated by the holiday shutdowns, both provinces are at the bottom of the list of Canadian jurisdictions for the per capita number of residents who have been vaccinated. Ontario is last, at least. 

We can be confident that Conservative provincial governments will do their best to blame the Liberal Government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for any delays in the roll-out of vaccines, ably assisted, no doubt, by such major Conservative media as the Globe and Mail and Postmedia.

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Mr. Kenney promised in his statement on the COVID-19 deaths. 

No one who lived through years of the Vietnam War can hear that phrase without experiencing a chill. 

Did someone’s U.K. holiday just get COVID-complicated? 

The Premier’s Office needs to respond to reports on social media that Mr. Kenney’s chief of staff chose the middle of a coronavirus pandemic, when the federal government has strongly discouraged international travel for any reason and the Alberta government should be focused on responding to the pandemic here at home, to travel to England, apparently for a vacation. 

The timing of this trip, if confirmed, is inauspicious to say the least, since the appearance of a new variant of the coronavirus, thought to be more infectious than previous strains, has resulted in many counties, including Canada, closing their borders to flights from the U.K. 

Well, I suppose the premier’s senior staff can always work by Zoom like the rest of us do, but it does suggest the Kenney Government needs to straighten out its priorities at this critical moment in the pandemic. Perhaps an explanation of the reasons for the trip would also be in order. 

Ed Finn, 94

Journalist, trade unionist, Order of Canada recipient Ed Finn (Photo: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives).

Ed Finn, journalist, historian, NDP activist and fierce defender of the right of working people to be represented by a trade union, died Sunday. He was 94. He published his last blog post in October. 

“His knowledge of labour history was unparalleled, his commitment to labour’s cause unshakable,” Erika Shaker of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives wrote of Mr. Finn yesterday. “In spite of his age, Ed was someone for whom his increasing years never suggested mortality but, rather, timelessness and permanence.”

He was appointed a member of the Order of Canada earlier this year. He will be missed. 

Jeanne Lougheed, 92

Jeanne Lougheed, wife of former Conservative Premier Peter Lougheed and an advocate for the arts, died yesterday. She was 92. Flags at the Legislature Building in Edmonton and the MacDougall Centre in Calgary will fly at half-staff this week. 

33 Comments to: More than 1,000 Albertans have died from COVID-19, half of them in the past month

  1. ronmac

    December 29th, 2020

    Correct me if I’m wrong but the latest surge stems from Thanksgiving with families gathered around the table. If this is true then governments are powerless to stop the spread other than issuing stern warnings and pleas. It was Pierre Trudeau who said governments have no place in the bedrooms of the nation. Do they have a place in the dining room?
    In the end governments have to be seen to be doing something. Even if it means arresting somebody playing hockey on an outdoor skating rink.

    The pandemic has induced a mass psychosis. When the lockdowns began last March everyone was urged to stay indoors. The media was filled with public shaming stories of people ignoring lockdown orders and going to the beach, etc. Then in June everything changed on a dime and the masses were urged to go out into the streets join BLM rallies. Pandemic over!

    Reply
    • Abs

      December 29th, 2020

      It’s almost as if nobody at all saw this coming:

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/alberta-tehseen-ladha-heather-smith-jason-kenney-deena-1.5798897

      https://www.una.ca/1174/covid-letter-kenney

      https://www.660citynews.com/2020/12/09/alberta-doctors-calling-for-circuit-breaker-lockdown-following-new-covid-19-restrictions/

      But why would the premier listen?

      “They do the procedure, they shut it down, they turn off the light, they scrub it, they go on a coffee break and they come back,” the UCP leader said of surgeons in the public healthcare system.

      https://pressprogress.ca/shameful-and-disrespectful-experts-call-out-jason-kenneys-false-statements-about-healthcare-workers/

      That hasn’t aged well. This is what we get when a university dropout (twice, according to one source) runs the show. The show is a circus, with clowns. One of the greatest powers of education is to teach us how much we don’t know. That’s tough to swallow for someone who knows everything. No wonder he dropped out. No wonder Alberta is at the back of the pandemic pack in Canada.

      “Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble
      When you’re perfect in every way
      I can’t wait to look in the mirror
      Cause I get better looking each day
      To know me is to love me
      I must be a hell of a man
      Oh Lord It’s hard to be humble,
      But I’m doing the best that I can.”

      — Mac Davis

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        December 30th, 2020

        ABS: Remember when the UCP flat out rejected a motion by the NDP that Dr. Deena Hinshaw be independent? Also, remember when a UCP MLA, Miranda Rosin sent out an MLA newsletter to her constituents stating that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us, in Alberta? That was in November. The layoffs of those in the healthcare system and education system in Alberta didn’t help.

        Reply
      • Bob Raynard

        December 30th, 2020

        Thanks for providing the links, ABS. Watching the video on the Press Progress article just made me shake my head. Jason Kenney just seems to have no shame saying whatever he feels will sway his audience; truthfulness is irrelevant. I wonder sometimes if he feels disrespect for his audience when he talks that way. It isn’t hard to imagine a thought like, ‘Oh, these rubes from Whitecourt will believe this’ passing through his mind.

        Reply
  2. jerrymacgp

    December 29th, 2020

    37 weeks to get the first 500 deaths, but only five (5) weeks to the second 500. Is this the new UCP slogan: “death at the speed of business”?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      December 30th, 2020

      JERRYMACGP: For some reason, I just don’t fathom things improving with this, as long as the UCP are at the helm. Some gut feeling tells me things will get worse in January. I don’t know what else the UCP will come up with to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta, once it does get worse.

      Reply
  3. Farmer Brian

    December 29th, 2020

    I certainly agree that it is very sad that so many have passed away due to covid 19. I am curious why you single out Alberta and Ontario. In Quebec 8060 people have passed away due to covid 19, in Canada as a whole 15122 have passed away due to covid 19. Quebec has had 53.3% of the deaths with only 22.7% of the population, very sad indeed. Isn’t Justin Trudeau’s riding in Quebec? Does he not believe in science?

    Reply
    • Neil Lore

      December 29th, 2020

      The name of the blog is albertapolitics.ca, so it makes sense the focus would be on Alberta.

      Alberta and Ontario have been closely linked politically throughout the MSM ever since their respective premiers were elected.

      Quebec doesn’t care what English speakers think of them, and most English speakers understand that our opinions will not impact Quebec’s actions, unless we inspire them to do something we don’t want in order to spite us. Health care is under provincial jurisdiction – JT is no more, or less, responsible for COVID rates in “his” riding than he is for COVID rates in any other riding in the country. JT has tried to get involved in health care outcomes in Quebec (and other provinces) and has been publicly told to either give them more money with no strings attached, or butt out of provincial affairs.

      I am not a Liberal or a Trudeau fan, but I’ll come to bat for the blouse-wearing mirror-kissing promise-welcher on this occasion. The only science I’ve noticed JT disregarding is climate change science. That said, I would respectfully point out that Pierre Poilievre has spread COVID conspiracy theories on Twitter and in Parliament and that Derek Sloan has signed a petition calling vaccine safety into question and has claimed mask policies were not based on science. If there are specific actions that JT has taken that show a disregard for science, I am interested in hearing about them.

      I actually looked for non-Conservative politicians (search strings “covid Canadian politician apology”, “liberal covid apology”, “ndp covid apology”, “canadian politician science denial, “ndp science denial”, “Justin Trudeau disregard science”) to include in this list and did not find any. Sorry if this comes across as a partisan slam. That was not my intent.

      Reply
    • Death and Gravity

      December 29th, 2020

      The shamelessness of reactionary propagandists, such as Farmer Brian here, is all-too-well established, but this latest is a dilly of an example. First of all, it’s simply not credible that such a one as he would find the deaths of Québecois “very sad indeed”, as he demonstrates by his very choice of this phrase, dripping with the attempted condescension of a Junior High School bully. Then, too, the pathologically dishonest snake pretends not to know that public health is a Provincial responsibility, and has the brazen effrontery to upbraid the Prime Minister for “not believing” in the science that he himself rejects. In short, Mr. Farmer Brian, your mother should be ashamed of you, as you are clearly incapable of the emotion yourself.

      Reply
      • Farmer Brian

        December 30th, 2020

        D&G I am very curious what science you believe I reject as I am neither an anti vaxxer or an anti masker. While I do have concerns with how fast the vaccines against covid 19 have been developed when it is my turn in line I shall role up my sleeve.
        As for your assertion that I am incapable of emotion, a rather unusual shot considering you don’t know me personally. Really the bully here is you as your post is nothing but a personal attack.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      December 30th, 2020

      FARMER BRIAN: The UCP have handled the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta very poorly, thus making Alberta have the highest per capita rate of people with Covid-19 in Canada. If you were reading this blog for any length of time, you’d see what caused this to happen.

      Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      December 30th, 2020

      Farmer Brian: Why are we focusing on Alberta? Because it has the highest per capita rates in the entire country of active COVID-19 cases.

      COVID-19 Active case rates per 100,000 pop’n., by province (data current as of Dec 24th):
      – Canada-wide: 200.34
      – NL: 4.99
      – PEI: 4.96
      – NS: 3.60
      – NB: 6.05
      – QC: 228.42
      – ON: 133.35
      – MB: 323.26
      – SK: 327.81
      – AB: 407.68
      – BC: 202.69

      Note also the orders of magnitude difference between per capita rates in Atlantic Canada and the rest of the country. The Atlantic provinces imposed strict measures early & stuck to their guns through the summer & into the fall, & it has been paying off. They are able to effectively trace contacts of cases, instead of the overwhelmed contact tracing fiasco out here.

      Reply
      • Farmer Brian

        December 31st, 2020

        Jerry deaths per 100000 in Canada related to covid-19. As of the morning of Dec.28.

        Canada 40.75.
        Quebec 94.79.
        Manitoba 47.76
        Ontario 30.78
        Alberta 23.22.

        Reply
  4. Bill Malcolm

    December 29th, 2020

    It’s notable to me that none of the provinces yet have a chart or even data for the number of people vaccinated so far that I can easily find. The solo effort by:

    https://covid19tracker.ca/vaccinationtracker.html

    is all there really is that I’ve found, and it gets its info from provincial press releases.

    The silly (I mean, really? compared to Moderna) requirements of -70C storage for the Pfizer vaccine means that someone in each provincial health authority has/had to invent a system for getting it about safely to regions. That means at least five special freezers in my province of NS have been installed and I expect the inocculation effort to ramp up quickly from now on.

    So perhaps I would be less harsh in my criticism of provincial inocculation efforts so far than you are — it stretched minds more than they were used to. I regard the provinces generally as amateur-hour outfits as I’ve mentioned many times before; it’s tradition. Trudeau got ’em the vaccine, and they weren’t ready, yet must have known more about the vaccine handling requirements than they’re letting on. Plus, Ontario has multiple (35) regional health authorities all headed by public health docs who do things their way, so to speak – very few of those people give much of a toss about the opinions/wacked out restrictions/lockdowns of a jumped-up somewhat shady former city councillor who blustered his way into being premier. They’ll do it their way, and not necessarily correctly as some were not convinced about testing back in the Spring, if you recall. A shemozzle. However, ex-General Hillyer, who I thought was just responsible for distributing vaccine, seems to have taken the bull by the horns in Ontario and is running the program, and with any luck, things might well be looking up. He seems to be right on the ball, talking now on CBC. Good for him.

    As for Alberta, that self-designated genius kenney runs things out of his ideological earhole, so best of luck to Albertans is all I can say. He got the province into the hell it’s in, and he can damn well get you out. He needs to be really held accountable for being the unctuous pompous ideological ass he is by all citizens of Alberta. He failed to protect his citizens properly, as did all the strong Con premiers, their heads full of privatization dung and “bizness” rather than feelings and action for the public good. Crocodile tears are not recompense for gross incompetence.

    Not for the first time, I thank my lucky stars I live in NS, where I’ve been totally caught by surprise that we didn’t descend into utter mediocrity on battling the virus. People stepped determinedly up to the plate and far outperformed expectations, so I and others can hang on for the vaccine without suffering terminal depression at unforeseen delays. 13 new Covid cases from Xmas Eve through yesterday, all traced, nobody’s died of Covid-19 since the Spring, and nobody’s in hospital. Such a result tends to keep people willing to obey restrictions, because it has worked. Opining by Upper Canadians that it’s all because we’re rural is hogwash — there are two fully open universities, four others semi-active, the East Coast Navy which is twice the size of BC’s, workers from BC and Alberta oil and gas fields coming and going on two week rotations constantly re-infecting us, the Halifax area is 400,000 people, yet with only 20,000 square miles of territory, NS is not as lightly populated per square mile as much of Ontario and the West. We’ve done better than Vancouver Island, which has a population 100,000 less than us — Dr Henry was too hopeful for too long, in my opinion.

    Anyway, let’s hope for a better new year. Best and safe wishes to all.

    Reply
  5. Political Ranger

    December 29th, 2020

    A’int numbers fun! I just love them. Let’s try some more.

    There are 37.7 million people in Canada. Herd immunity is about 75-85% of the population so say about 30 million people.
    End of August is about 8 months, 240 days away. To vaccinate each of those 30 million over the next 240 days is about 125,000 people per day. Every day.
    I estimate that a good nurse can welcome, seat, verify and safely jab a needle in someone’s arm every 6 minutes – that’s about 10 people per hour. Let’s say that nurse works a 10 hour shift, no pee breaks, no rest, no smoko’s. That’s about 100 people per shift.
    Alberta has about 1/10th the national population, so about 12,500 vaccinations per day. Let’s say 5,000 each in Edmonton and Calgary.
    5,000 jabs a day means about 50 nurses. For a long term 7 day-a-week schedule you’ll need to double that; 100 nurses. You’ll need support personnel, say about another 25. And of course, back-office personnel and management to record everything accurately and manage logistics; let’s say another 25.
    So, the Edmonton operation will require a 150 person operation, plus Calgary, plus the rest of the Province; let’s say about 375 people. Just to get the vaccine into arms. Once. No transportation, no health care, no HR, no payroll, no facility maintenance – just jabbing arms. Less than 400 people for an 8 month operation; certainly sounds doable.

    I have zero confidence that kkkenney and his mob of slobbering idiots will get this up and running on January 1. I doubt they approach this kind of operation at any time.
    Buckle up for a long, long epidemic.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      December 30th, 2020

      POLITICAL RANGER: It’s unfortunate, because of how the UCP botched this up. Life is for learning, and we learn from the past. There was a first wave of Covid-19 in Alberta. The UCP didn’t learn from that, and the second wave got even worse. The UCP’s half baked measures on Covid-19 will mean we are in for a nasty surprise this month.

      Reply
    • Neil Lore

      December 31st, 2020

      Wish I could say I disagree with your conclusion.

      Reply
  6. Abs

    December 29th, 2020

    Someone should tell JK that the same person who writes Dr. Hinshaw’s scripts is writing his Twitter comments. Oops. Forgot to remind us that the average age of death in Alberta is 82, but the average age of Covid death is 83. Right, Jason? Or has that average age of Covid death crept downward lately?

    It’s a little late in the game to fake empathy. Is this because of the Leger poll that placed him at 30 percent for his handling of this pandemic?

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/poll-kenney-covid-satisfaction-pandemic-prairie-premiers-1.5856430

    Where is Western Waldo, anyways? Is is true that he is MIA again? Maybe he’s Tweeting from a subterranean place that’s eternally toasty?

    The light at the end of the tunnel could be the oncoming train. Oh well, at least there’s lots and lots of hockey: pro, elite, what have you. Yes, it’s happening at outdoor community rinks, although the snow slowed it down for a few days. Light, train, tunnel.

    Reply
  7. Dave

    December 29th, 2020

    I don’t think governments can totally stop COVID, short of draconian lock down measures, which people may not completely follow. However, I do not think they are powerless either. When governments are consistent and clear in their actions and messages, they can do much more than when they are not.

    Unfortunately, the problem in Alberta is the government hasn’t been very consistent or clear for most of the last six months. For instance, we had “voluntary” measures for most of the fall that probably did not not stop many people from getting together for Thanksgiving or otherwise. I suspect the thinking of many who gathered was if the problem was so serious, the measures would not be voluntary. Whether or not the increase in COVID in the fall was due in particular to such thanksgiving or other gatherings of family and friends, this seems to be about the time that things started to get out of control. The Alberta government seemed to react to this worrying increase by delivering sterner and sterner messages, but being very slow to change from voluntary to stricter mandatory measures.

    The numbers seem to be improving somewhat now, which is a good sign, but of course it is too soon to declare victory yet. The strict mandatory limits on private gatherings and gathering in public places such as bars and restaurants, gyms, etc.. seem to be having some effect, just as those who advocated for them earlier had claimed they would. Of course, this doesn’t take the immediate pressure off hospitals, COVID is sort of like a train that once it picks up speed is difficult to stop.

    It is going to be a tough month or so for the health care system and of course now more than 1,000 people have already died from it, which should give us pause to think. If the Alberta government had acted sooner, as many people were begging them to do, I suspect a number of those 1,000 people would still be alive today. I don’t think the family and friends of those that died or have been hospitalized will forget how Kenney has mishandled this situation. A recent poll has his the approval for how he has handled it at the lowest of any Premier in Canada. Hopefully a vaccine will eventually save many, but I doubt it will save Kenney’s reputation.

    Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      December 30th, 2020

      “I don’t think governments can totally stop COVID, short of draconian lock down measures, which people may not completely follow.” Well, maybe. But it’s been done — in New Zealand, in Australia, in Atlantic Canada — where governments have succeeded in controlling the spread of the pathogen to levels that are at least manageable, in terms of contact tracing & other epidemiological measures, & also in terms of limiting the strain on the health care system & reducing deaths and serious illness.

      It’s about political will & engaging the populace in a joint effort.

      Reply
    • Neil Lore

      December 31st, 2020

      Different countries have had different outcomes. In large part, those different outcomes are the result of government actions.

      Reply
  8. Firth of Fifth

    December 29th, 2020

    Reading the Twitter link for Premier Randy was quite disheartening. Among the criticisms directed at him for his role in this disaster were the usual trolls that would follow the Angry Midget (thanks Just Me!) to any dark place he would lead them, spewing their venomous hate and supreme ignorance/denial all while defending their all important “freedoms”. I guess the right to go to the bar (without a mask, of course) and get shitfaced with their buds is more important than the lives of those they deem to have “lived long enough already”…yes, that is the level of intellect being shown in those comments. Those pitiful, poor excuses-for-human beings truly make me ashamed to be an Albertan!

    Reply
  9. Lars

    December 29th, 2020

    David, the Globe and Mail has been quite critical of Kenney.

    Reply
    • Neil Lore

      December 31st, 2020

      The Globe being critical of Kenney is a little like an arsonist being critical of a fire.

      Reply
  10. Alan K Spiller

    December 31st, 2020

    I have never been able to understand why these phoney conservatives have been able to kick rural Albertans around any way they want to and these fools still vote for them.

    One of the first things Kenney did was hire a former NDP finance minister from Saskatchewan whose claim to fame was to shut down 52 rural hospitals and get her government defeated by the Brad Wall conservatives.
    It was obvious that she was hired to do the same thing in Alberta and it was obvious that the game plan was to drive the rural Alberta doctors out so that these boneheads would have the excuse to close down the hospitals because they couldn’t staff them.
    Yet the recent polls still indicate that the majority of Kenney’s support is still coming from these fools in rural Albertans who apparently aren’t smart enough to understand what he was trying to do to them. Retire doctors state that it would certainly cost some rural Albertans their lives.

    I haven’t forgotten the words of a beef producer during the BSE crisis when I told him how Ralph Klein had tricked the producers costing them millions of dollars and some lost their farms.

    He knew more about it than I did and remarked “I can’t believe how stupid many of my friends and relatives are. It doesn’t matter what Klein does to us they still support him. I’ve got fence posts that are smarter than them”.

    While we watch them whine about the orphan well mess these phoney conservatives created for them you would think they would be a lot smarter, but apparently they aren’t.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      January 1st, 2021

      ALAN K SPILLER: You are so right. When you look at Postmedia owned newspapers, like the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Sun, the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, there are people who continually praise the UCP, and think that Ralph Klein did great things for Alberta. The columnists also think the UCP are just wonderful. We will certainly be paying dearly for the mistakes of the UCP. The UCP idolizes Ralph Klein, and like he did, the UCP supports their rich corporate friends, and wants to private things like healthcare in Alberta. Those on A.I.S.H, those that the UCP has laid off, like school support staff, and will be laying off, like hospital support staff, and hundreds of registered nurses, senior citizens, farmers and other rural residents, students, including post secondary students, facing tuition hikes, and teachers, among others, certainly aren’t having an easy time. It’s really puzzling how Albertans put up with this. The excuses they make is that it’s the NDP’s fault, or the Liberals in Ottawa are to blame. The NDP and the Liberals in Ottawa weren’t responsible for Alberta losing $433 billion from collecting abysmal oil royalty rates, leaving Albertans on the hook for $260 billion, for oil industry related messes, billions of dollars lost from an imbalanced tax system, and other extremely costly mistakes that kept on happening time after time, losing so much money. I don’t know what it will take for Albertans to see that the UCP are no good.

      Reply
    • Farmer Brian

      January 1st, 2021

      So Alan does it make you feel better to call other people stupid just because they don’t vote the way you think they should? Personally my hope is that in Alberta a viable alternative to the UCP and NDP comes along that is somewhere in the middle but I am not holding my breath.

      Reply
      • Alan K Spiller

        January 1st, 2021

        Maybe Farmer Brian feels guilty by what I said and can’t handle the truth. As a lawyer I knew would say to you “if you don’t want to be called stupid stop acting that way”.
        Another lawyer told me that there was a good reason why Ralph Klein had helped the packing plants screw the beef producers out of millions of dollars, they had it on good authority that he had shares in those packing plants. Can you prove he didn’t? They couldn’t either , in court ,because they were in street form and not registered to anyone.

        Can you explain why these beef producers would turn around and give Klein another majority in 2004 after he had helped screw them out of their money?

        Can you tell us why it doesn’t matter what these phoney conservatives do to rural Albertans they just automatically support them ? I have been asking that question to several of my rural relatives for years and none have been able provide an intelligent answer. One lost his farm because of the BSE crisis, yet still called Klein a hero.

        I was involved in the orphan well mess prior to Klein changing the rules to benefit his rich oilmen friends and now farmers and ranchers are in a horrible mess and as much as I feel really sorry for them more and more city folk are saying that have got what they deserved for keeping these fools in power for so long. I don’t feel that way yet that’s what they did.

        When I was desperately trying to stop what Ralph Klein was doing to us I got called all sorts of names . Ralph’s father
        Phil and daughter Angie were trying to help us vote him out also , so why didn’t rural Albertans help us?

        Reply
        • Alan K Spiller

          January 1st, 2021

          To Farmer Brian This is my story. I think you would feel the same way I do.
          My late parents and two sisters spent countless hours volunteering for the Lougheed and Getty governments. A brother in law voluntarily flew the government plane for them ,in his spare time ,and never got paid a dime. Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother in law of one of my uncles. We were proud to support these conservatives.

          Then Klein with his health care cuts almost cost my father his life after he had donated around $30,000. to their party. The same Ralph Klein we had known since the early 1960s and knew what a jerk he was. There was no way we were going to support him and his mother Flo understood why. She told my mother that she didn’t think he was capable of running this province properly and she was right.
          Don Getty told me in 2003 that inviting Liberal Klein into the Conservative party was the dumbest thing he had ever done and I certainly agreed.
          This guy should never have been given a second chance after all the damage he did in the first term, and rural Albertans can be blamed for contributing to it.

          We know that Notley was on the right track of increasing corporate taxes and going to start increasing oil royalties back up to the Lougheed levels so we will have at least more money to help the farmers and ranchers with this horrible mess these phoney conservatives created for them. It’s the only hope they have. My concern is that rural Albertans aren’t smart enough to understand it and will continue to keep these fools in power like they did with Klein.

          Reply
          • Farmer Brian

            January 2nd, 2021

            Alan Ralph Klein won 4 elections.

            1993- 51 of 83 seats. 45% of popular vote.
            1997- 63 of 83 seats. 51% of popular vote.
            2001- 74 of 83 seats. 62% of popular vote.
            2004- 62 of 83 seats. 47% of popular vote.

            Rachel Notley in 2015 won 54 of 87 seats with 40.6% of the popular vote. Looking at Ralph Klein’s election results it was more than stupid farmers that voted for him! What are farmers 2 maybe 3 percent of the population?! Maybe you should lay your blame elsewhere Alan.

  11. Alan K Spiller

    January 2nd, 2021

    All you have done is proved how stupid Albertans have been. It isn’t surprising why the American oilmen working in Alberta that I was involved with called Albertans the dumbest people on the plant for allowing Klein to give away our oil royalties the way he was.
    Why don’t you get you head out of the sand and look at the facts. He helped his rich friends screw Albertans out of billions of dollars and the beef producers millions more and you aren’t smart enough to understand it, why?

    While those of us who were smart enough to understand what he was doing to us fools like you just kept re electing him and we couldn’t stop him you out numbered us. Even his father Phil and daughter Angie were trying to help us. Can you prove they weren’t?

    So how much are you going to be willing to shell out to pay for the orphan well clean up mess Klein created or don’t you give a damn about your fellow farmers he screwed? When I was involved with it there were regulations in place that forced the oil corporations to pay for their clean up and Klein eliminated it to benefit his rich friends. Can you prove he didn’t?
    Maybe you had better get yourself educated by reading some of the following:

    “Royalties down 32% Billions in Federal Revenues Lost” make certain you read what Lougheed said.
    “Misplaced Generosity Alberta government set to forgo $55 billion over next three years”
    “Ralph Klein’s daughter urges Albertans to vote for NDP”

    Reply
    • Farmer Brian

      January 2nd, 2021

      Ok Alan after the NDP was elected they did a review of royalties being payed by energy companies, what did they find? If Ralph Klein was screwing Alberta so badly why didn’t the NDP raise royalties? The fact of the matter is due to Alberta’s distance from markets and the cost of transportation to port what Alberta was receiving for royalties was deemed to be fair. As for the lack of sound regulation in regards to reclamation of non producing and or orphan wells I agree with you 100%, I now look at oil wells on my land as future liabilities instead of future assets. And by the way I looked it up farmers make up roughly just over 1.5% of Alberta’s population, really can’t be responsible for electing anyone. And why I have always voted for center and center right parties is that as a farmer there has never been anything in the NDP platform that I found appealing and if that in your mind makes me stupid so be it!

      Reply
  12. Alan K. Spiller

    January 3rd, 2021

    Don’t forget that it was Peter Lougheed who urged the Klein and Stelmach governments to slow down the growth of the oilsands, get control of our pollution, collect proper royalties. and taxes and refine our oil in Canada and these fools wouldn’t listen. Instead they slashed royalties and taxes and invited the world to come and get our next to free oil but weren’t smart enough to make certain there was a proper system in place to get our oil to foreign markets leaving us in this mess we are in today of not being able to get the huge surplus to market.

    Notley did study the oil royalty system and concluded that Lougheed’s system was fair to all but these phony conservatives hadn’t been following it and because we were in an oil crash she made an agreement to begin increasing royalties in 2021. the oil executives however were willing to let her gradually increase corporate taxes back up to the Lougheed levels and she did increase them by 2% . This along with the Carbon Tax the oil executives wanted implement would have given Albertans a good base to start improving their revenues they desperately needed. But Kenney destroyed it.
    Notley offered to buy rail road cars, which Kenney trashed. He also trashed her increase in taxes and the Carbon Tax . Trudeau even bought the pipeline to try to help us and was soundly bashed by these Reformers. They don’t want anyone helping Albertans.

    With this added Carbon Tax and increase in corporate taxes the oil executives wanted implemented Albertans would have been better off and the oil industry could show the world that they were in fact trying to do something about our pollution problem and open up new foreign markets for their oil. In addition it would get the celebrities off their backs who were bashing them for not doing something.

    Never once have I accused Rural Albertans of being the only fools who were dumb enough to get us into this mess because I lived and worked in rural Alberta for 20 years, however it’s been proven over and over again that a large portion of them are blinding supporting the conservative name.

    The recent polls showed that Edmonton supports Notley , Calgary is a mixed bag of both, but rural Albertans still show a strong support for Kenney, and after what he has tried to do to you I would think the results would be different and you wouldn’t be supporting any of these phony conservatives at all.

    Add the orphan well mess to the bashing of your doctors, trying to drive them out so they can close your hospitals and the fact that Kenney wants you to foot the bill for the extra police officers you have needed for years and wants you to absorb the taxes for his oil rich friends and doesn’t care that they haven’t been paying their land leases and you have had to start suing them.

    I’m sorry I just thought rural Albertans would be a lot smarter, they seemed to be when I was working with them, but apparently they aren’t.

    Reply

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