Alberta Politics
Drew Barnes back when he was still a United Conservative Party MLA (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

MLA Drew Barnes, creating more mischief to confound Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, proposes new rural conservative party

Posted on October 12, 2021, 1:44 am
7 mins

Rebel conservative Drew Barnes, a former United Conservative exiled from the party’s caucus who nowadays sits as the Independent MLA for Cypress Medicine Hat, has floated the idea of forming a new conservative party that would run candidates only in rural Alberta.

After all, Mr. Barnes told Global News for a story published yesterday, under Premier Jason Kenney, the United Conservative Party “has turned away from the rural values and policies that propelled the UCP to victory in 2019.” 

Mr. Barnes and friends; the sign in the background is illuminating (Photo: Facebook/Drew Barnes).

The notion of a formal rural-urban rift in conservative ranks is bound to please some Alberta NDP supporters on the enticing theory it could split the conservative vote enough to again create the conditions to elect an NDP government, as happened in the days of the Wildrose Party, but this time keep it in power for more than a single term.

That could happen, one supposes, if all the planets lined up just right, but it’s surely not what Mr. Barnes has in mind, nor is it the way such a split would necessarily play out. 

Mr. Barnes proposes running candidates for his new party only in the 41 ridings outside Edmonton, which leans NDP, and Calgary.

In rural Alberta, it is true, it could turn out to be a real threat to Premier Jason Kenney’s increasingly ironically named United Conservative Party. 

Mr. Barnes told Global’s reporter that not running candidates in the province’s major metropolises would ensure the new party would never abandon its rural principles to chase urban voters, as he now accuses Mr. Kenney of doing.

But that’s not the whole story, if it’s even part of it. Mr. Barnes, a successful Medicine Hat realtor before his political career, occupies the sovereignist far right of the UCP, but he’s shrewd enough to know a party advocating his ideas is unlikely to win a majority in Alberta. 

So his dream scenario, surely, is that by not competing for the conservative vote in Calgary, a situation might emerge in which the Rural Rump, or whatever the new party is eventually named, would win a few more seats in Alberta’s 87-seat Legislature than whatever is left of the UCP, but that the two of them between them would have enough to form a coalition to “save” Alberta from the NDP.

Central Peace-Notley MLA Todd Loewen (Photo: Facebook/Todd Loewen).

You can see how that might go, can’t you? Not to mention who would benefit the most from such an outcome. 

Things are unlikely to unfold quite that way, thankfully, but it could happen. And then we would have a real tyranny of the minority thrust upon us in this province. 

Mr. Barnes was first elected as a Wildrose MLA in 2012 and re-elected as a Wildroser in 2015, after which he enthusiastically supported the Wildrose merger with the Progressive Conservative Party. 

In 2019, he was elected as a UCP MLA, but couldn’t keep himself from acting like the proverbial loose cannon on the governing party’s deck. Some said he was bitter at not getting a cabinet post. Others just thought he was inclined that way. Whatever the reason, he and Central Peace-Notley MLA Todd Loewen were turfed out of the UCP Caucus in May for undermining Premier Kenney, freeing him to get up to considerably more mischief. 

“I was ejected from the caucus for just voicing the opinions of what my constituents were saying,” is the way Mr. Barnes spins his banishment. 

He says he’s prepared a discussion paper on his idea, but won’t be releasing it to the media or public until Oct. 20, a couple of days after Mr. Kenney’s constitutionally meaningless anti-equalization referendum on the 18th. 

Progressive Conservative premier Peter Lougheed, who died in 2012 (Photo: Lougheed Family).

Mr. Barnes, a former member of Mr. Kenney’s “Fair Deal” panel, used to float the idea of a referendum, is naturally an enthusiastic supporter of a Yes vote. 

Since there is a spontaneous campaign among the premier’s many opponents to use a No vote as an informal referendum on Mr. Kenney himself, such a vote probably won’t bother Mr. Barnes that much. Either way, he can spin the outcome to bruise Mr. Kenney a little more. 

It must be noted that it was not rural values and policies, as Mr. Barnes claims, that propelled the UCP to power in 2019. 

On the contrary, the principal reasons were Mr. Kenney’s deceptive but clever campaign to blame the economic fallout from low international oil prices on the NDP and the belief by many voters that the UCP, despite its new name, was really a continuation of the Alberta PCs that traced their history back to the election of Peter Lougheed’s government in 1971. 

The UCP turned out to deliver, in fact, something very different indeed from Mr. Lougheed’s progressive conservative rule. 

So there is some truth, at least, to Mr. Barnes’s observation that “the UCP was a great idea on paper that has not worked out in practice.

17 Comments to: MLA Drew Barnes, creating more mischief to confound Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, proposes new rural conservative party

  1. Dave

    October 12th, 2021

    It was bound to happen, there are a lot of MLA’s on the floundering ship UCP looking for some political lifeboat. So, Barnes is trying to cojure one up at perhaps a most opportune time.

    It is not even the first time this idea has been floated. I believe Fildebrandt proposed something a few years ago, but that was when the UCP was still popular and Fildebrandt was already discredited. So perhaps it will have better luck this time.

    I suspect Barnes is anticipating Kenney’s referendum may fail, hence the timing. It sure would force Kenney’s hand, if a few days after losing the referendum, which by the way he will be totally blamed for if it happens, several rural UCP MLA’s come out in support of this idea of a new party. If this all happens, it is possible Kenney would not remain Premier at the end of that week.

    They say revenge is a dish best served cold. However, I do wonder if for Barnes things are still a bit too hot right now.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    October 12th, 2021

    Is this some type of April Fool’s Day joke? These pretend conservatives and Reformers never helped rural Albertans. Look at the CPC and how they foolishly sold the CWB (Canadian Wheat Board) to Saudi Arabia. There was at least two thirds of Canadian farmers who wanted this retained. The CPC acted against their wishes and sold it. The Alberta PCs, under Ralph Klein, and the premiers that followed him, certainly didn’t support rural Albertans. Rural hospitals were closed down, landowners rights weren’t respected, Ralph Klein burdened Albertans with an enormous cost of $260 billion to tackle the orphaned oil well issue in Alberta, and there was the $400 million misappropriation of the BSE relief money that Ralph Klein said would help farmers and ranchers get through that crisis, but never did. Infrastructure was also never looked after in a proper way. Peter Lougheed knew that you could not trust Reformers. He certainly was right. What we were left with from these pretend conservatives and Reformers was a horrific mess. Peter Lougheed knew that, as did his MLAs. These pretend conservatives and Reformers don’t help rural Albertans, let alone urban Albertans, and yet people in Alberta blindly support them. How much more foolish can you get?

    Reply
  3. tom

    October 12th, 2021

    I wonder if Mr. Barnes has considered the possibility that some other party, perhaps the Alberta Party in its eternal quest for an identity, might become the AUP—Alberta Urban Party. The current fantasy debate about equalization payments might then take on a whole new complexion.

    Reply
  4. Scotty on Denman

    October 12th, 2021

    I guess if you realize the UCP is about to disunite, then you might as well get out in front of it. It’s the stock “I-meant-to-do-that” excuse of the Peewee Herman school of politics.

    Reply
  5. Abs

    October 12th, 2021

    If that idea were to happen, I hope that electoral reform would also happen to correct it. Urban constituencies are not fairly weighted in provincial elections. Why should twice as many people in an urban constituency get half as many seats as a rural one? Thank you, drew Barnes, for drawing attention to this very unfair situation.

    Before any rural residents get their knickers in a knot, we could leave the rural constituency boundaries as they are now, adjust urban boundaries to reflect per capita fairness by assigning them more seats, and proceed from there.

    City dwellers need a fair deal from our provincial government! It’s about time they listened.The current formula results in rural residents getting more than their piece of the pie.

    Reply
    • Scahoutec

      October 12th, 2021

      With more perspective than a few elections reveal, the political right has been losing support—one could say, in federal terms, since Wilfred Laurier (the Liberals have been called “Canada’s Natural Governing Party” because of their dominance, post-John A.)

      The better successes conservative parties have gotten at the provincial level is likely to do with provinces’ sovereign control of resources; certainly Alberta illustrates this, most visibly since its production shifted from agriculture, with its progressive, even socialist, workforce of independent, nonunion farmers—to petrolioids : coal, oil, natgas, and bitumen which, like all mining, is relatively capital-intensive, these big private investors influencing public policy by way of conservative governments.

      It’s worth noting that Saskatchewan’s socialist governments, the first in Canada, nationalized the potash mining industry: private interests did not, therefore, impinge upon the partisan preference of the province’s otherwise agrarian industry, farmers—even religious ones—supporting socialist governments. But the development of mining—uranium and petroleum (oil, gas and bitumen)— in Saskatchewan correlates to the eventual dominance of right-wing governments which represent these capital-intensive industries—that is, to protect big investors so they don’t abandon what would become “stranded assets”. The devolution is from vegetable to mineral— with their respective animal components of livestock and roughnecks.

      Nevertheless, the steady growth of urban centres has by far surpassed that of mainly non-urban mining sites, tilting the popular demand for civic and social services toward cities, with their electoral ridings out-weighing non-urban ones—that is, if all ridings were equal in weight. Even though social services benefit non-urban citizens as well as urban ones, petro-mining interests have persuaded their employees, their families, and ancillary private service sector to protect their own, relatively small investments (homes, trucks, small businesses), as well as Big Petroleum’s huge investment from urban voters’ demand for increased tax and royalty revenues to pay for civic development—itself capital-intensive—and attendant social services (universally shared), not to mention burgeoning bureaucracies to administer them.

      Big Petroleum persuaded both its non-urban employees and a fair proportion of urban voters to vote for petro-friendly conservative for a long time. But urban population growth has gradually tilted the table toward urban demands. To counter this, the partisan proxies for Big Petro have endeavoured to tilt the tables back toward their masters by way of diminishing the popular psephological weight of urban voters through the unequal drawing of riding boundaries— which has the effect you cite.

      Having already gotten right-wing governments to virtually forgo petro-royalties and corporate taxes—and, further, to wring large subsidies from the public treasury, Big Petro (and its cowed human resources employees, their families and private services) increasingly found itself in desperate, bottom-of-the-barrel-straits; the crash in petro-market prices and growing pressure to reduce GHGs has inspired a siege mentality which the big petro-investors and their dependants, which right-wing parties have successfully ginned to a frenzy of existential urgency. In such extremis, desperate measures are, to self-styled victims, justified. Keeping right-wing parties in government by any means is therefore legitimized to the whole petro-families’s hive-mind.

      Unequal riding populations should be assuaged by guidelines which limit the tolerance between any riding and the jurisdictional average. Still, governments (mostly, but not always of the right-wing) have successfully argued that the huge, non-urban, mostly northern ridings that result by strict application of guidelines require an exception to the rule. We have to ask whether, in the age of social media and electronic interconnectedness does, in fact, ameliorate the old argument that an MLA can’t “represent” his or her constituents when they are scattered so far apart. I suspect that every province features this kind of inequity—but is it really necessary anymore?

      The right has deployed even more heinous ways of effectively disenfranchising non-right voters. The whole thing needs a thorough psephological review and, very likely, a good, stiff broom to reform it. Naturally the moribund right, including some very powerful interests, will kick like a mule to prevent being electorally diminished any further—after having enjoyed tilted tables for so long, and now in the throes of petrolioid-addiction withdrawal.

      Reply
    • Phlogiston

      October 12th, 2021

      The urban/rural riding ratios are indeed a sore point with many Albertans, who overwhelming live in urban areas. There is a process for changing riding boundaries as codified by the Boundaries Commission Act. Among other things, the act prescribes “that a commission be appointed during the first session of the legislature, following the second general election after the commission’s last appointment and if at least 8 years has passed since the previous commission.” The last commission was 2016; the next soonest opportunity for a commission will be in 2024.

      The act also states that “the population of a proposed electoral division must not be more than 25% above nor more than 25% below the average of all proposed electoral divisions.” Notwithstanding this, there is an exception for up to 4 ridings where the population can be between 25 to 50% below the average. I note with interest that one of these ridings is Central Peace-Notley, home to Todd Loewen.

      Anyway, I remember being disappointed with the last boundaries commission report, and I am sure to be disappointed again. That said, I don’t believe there is a reason why the population variances need to be so wide – they could for example be set at 12% above or below the average. I don’t think the Supreme Court decision in 1991 gave actual figures for allowed variance, merely that variances were necessary and acceptable if other concerns were addressed.

      For those interested in some bedtime reading, here is the latest Boundaries Commission report from 2017: https://www.elections.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/abebc_2017_rpt_final.pdf. There is a particularly good summary of the legal requirements on page 7 of the report.

      Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      October 12th, 2021

      @ABS: a few points about redistribution — or what our southern cousins call “redistricting”. To increase the number of urban seats without concurrently reducing the number of rural seats, in order to bring all electoral districts closer to the per-district average population or number of voters, would necessitate increasing the size of the legislature … unlikely to be a popular notion in this time of anti-politician sentiment.

      But to make this adjustment without increasing the size of the legislature would, of mathematical necessity, mean making some rural constituencies much larger than they are now. Thus the voters would lose some of that connection with their MLA that is key to the way our parliamentary system is — and always has been — structured.

      Ask any elected representative, at either the provincial or federal level, what their biggest time suck is. Leaving aside Cabinet Ministers for a moment, and almost universally their reply will be “constituency work” … that sort of über-ombudsman role we have saddled our elected representatives with, to battle bureaucrats and decision-making tribunals and regulators to get this person permanent residence status, or that person a government grant, or someone else access to a public right of way for some project. Never mind that this isn’t really their job — that if the bureaucracy isn’t working we just need better bureaucrats.

      We elect them to govern on our behalf … to pass legislation and a budget, and scrutinize the government’s finances and its performance. Barring some massive re-creation of the Athenian Agora that can hold the more than three million Albertans of voting age, and engage in debate & voting in a massive & unwieldy exercise in direct democracy, the only way for them to represent all of us fairly & equitably is for each constituency to hold the same population, at least to a reasonable degree of accuracy (I think +/- 25% is too wide a margin of variance). But if we did this, people in rural Alberta would be extremely unhappy.

      By the way, this same argument about voters and constituencies is also often advanced in opposition to proportional representations, since MLAs elected from a party list would not have that same one-to-one relationship with their constituencies as FPTP MLAs. My counter-argument is the same: we need quality, fair and equitable representation in the legislature, not advocates to bypass the professional public service.

      Reply
    • Northern Loon

      October 13th, 2021

      ABS =There are only 2 rural constituencies that are significantly smaller than the majority. You want to check your prejudicial thinking.

      Name Created MLA Party Population (2016)
      1 Calgary-Acadia 2012 Tyler Shandro United Conservative 48,966
      2 Calgary-Beddington 2019 Josephine Pon United Conservative 50,220
      3 Calgary-Bow 1971 Demetrios Nicolaides United Conservative 51,358
      4 Calgary-Buffalo 1971 Joe Ceci New Democrat 49,907
      5 Calgary-Cross 1993 Mickey Amery United Conservative 50,634
      6 Calgary-Currie 1971 Nicholas Milliken United Conservative 48,403
      7 Calgary-East 1963* Peter Singh United Conservative 50,838
      8 Calgary-Edgemont 2019 Prasad Panda United Conservative 50,803
      9 Calgary-Elbow 1971 Doug Schweitzer United Conservative 48,618
      10 Calgary-Falconridge 2019 Devinder Toor United Conservative 52,688
      11 Calgary-Fish Creek 1979 Richard Gotfried United Conservative 47,691
      12 Calgary-Foothills 1971 Jason Luan United Conservative 45,715
      13 Calgary-Glenmore 1959 Whitney Issik United Conservative 49,543
      14 Calgary-Hays 2004 Ric McIver United Conservative 50,782
      15 Calgary-Klein 2012 Jeremy Nixon United Conservative 50,338
      16 Calgary-Lougheed 1993 Jason Kenney United Conservative 42,956
      17 Calgary-McCall 1971 Irfan Sabir New Democrat 48,735
      18 Calgary-Mountain View 1971 Kathleen Ganley New Democrat 49,442
      19 Calgary-North 1957* Muhammad Yaseen United Conservative 39,120
      20 Calgary-North East 1959* Rajan Sawhney United Conservative 40,366
      21 Calgary-North West 1979 Sonya Savage United Conservative 48,766
      22 Calgary-Peigan 2019 Tanya Fir United Conservative 45,810
      23 Calgary-Shaw 1986 Rebecca Schulz United Conservative 45,169
      24 Calgary-South East 1959* Matt Jones United Conservative 40,309
      25 Calgary-Varsity 1993 Jason Copping United Conservative 45,742
      26 Calgary-West 1959 Mike Ellis United Conservative 46,266
      27 Edmonton-Beverly-Clareview 1997 Deron Bilous New Democrat 46,496
      28 Edmonton-Castle Downs 1997 Nicole Goehring New Democrat 46,112
      29 Edmonton-City Centre 2019 David Shepherd New Democrat 47,715
      30 Edmonton-Decore 2004 Chris Nielsen New Democrat 48,927
      31 Edmonton-Ellerslie 1993 Rod Loyola New Democrat 48,024
      32 Edmonton-Glenora 1971 Sarah Hoffman New Democrat 45,519
      33 Edmonton-Gold Bar 1971 Marlin Schmidt New Democrat 45,446
      34 Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood 2004 Janis Irwin New Democrat 43,550
      35 Edmonton-Manning 1993 Heather Sweet New Democrat 48,376
      36 Edmonton-McClung 1993 Lorne Dach New Democrat 44,625
      37 Edmonton-Meadows 2019 Jasvir Deol New Democrat 51,776
      38 Edmonton-Mill Woods 1979 Christina Gray New Democrat 50,265
      39 Edmonton-North West 1959* David Eggen New Democrat 45,523
      40 Edmonton-Riverview 1997 Lori Sigurdson New Democrat 45,214
      41 Edmonton-Rutherford 1993 Richard Feehan New Democrat 47,353
      42 Edmonton-South 1917* Thomas Dang New Democrat 45,801
      43 Edmonton-South West 2012 Kaycee Madu United Conservative 45,901
      44 Edmonton-Strathcona 1971 Rachel Notley New Democrat 46,578
      45 Edmonton-West Henday 2019 Jon Carson New Democrat 43,046
      46 Edmonton-Whitemud 1971 Rakhi Pancholi New Democrat 46,833
      47 Airdrie-Cochrane 2019 Peter Guthrie United Conservative 51,170
      48 Airdrie-East 2019 Angela Pitt United Conservative 49,978
      49 Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock 2019 Glenn van Dijken United Conservative 46,920
      50 Banff-Kananaskis 2019 Miranda Rosin United Conservative 46,824
      51 Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul 2019 Dave Hanson United Conservative 53,809
      52 Brooks-Medicine Hat 2019 Michaela Glasgo United Conservative 51,070
      53 Camrose 1921* Jackie Lovely United Conservative 44,082
      54 Cardston-Siksika 2019 Joseph Schow United Conservative 42,655
      55 Central Peace-Notley 2019 Todd Loewen Independent 28,993
      56 Chestermere-Strathmore 2019 Leela Aheer United Conservative 48,203
      57 Cypress-Medicine Hat 1993 Drew Barnes Independent 50,109
      58 Drayton Valley-Devon 2012 Mark Smith United Conservative 46,637
      59 Drumheller-Stettler 2004 Nate Horner United Conservative 41,535
      60 Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche 2019 Laila Goodridge United Conservative 44,166
      61 Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo 2004 Tany Yao United Conservative 41,420
      62 Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville 2004 Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk United Conservative 52,141
      63 Grande Prairie 1930* Tracy Allard United Conservative 46,343
      64 Grande Prairie-Wapiti 1993 Travis Toews United Conservative 48,481
      65 Highwood 1971 RJ Sigurdson United Conservative 48,813
      66 Innisfail-Sylvan Lake 1993 Devin Dreeshen United Conservative 46,717
      67 Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland 2019 Shane Getson United Conservative 46,546
      68 Lacombe-Ponoka 2004 Ron Orr United Conservative 44,898
      69 Leduc-Beaumont 2012 Brad Rutherford United Conservative 48,337
      70 Lesser Slave Lake 1971 Pat Rehn Independent 27,818
      71 Lethbridge-East 1971 Nathan Neudorf United Conservative 46,204
      72 Lethbridge-West 1971 Shannon Phillips New Democrat 46,525
      73 Livingstone-Macleod 1997 Roger Reid United Conservative 48,120
      74 Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin 2019 Rick Wilson United Conservative 43,798
      75 Morinville-St. Albert 2019 Dale Nally United Conservative 50,225
      76 Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills 1997 Nathan Cooper United Conservative 49,418
      77 Peace River 1905 Dan Williams United Conservative 39,974
      78 Red Deer-North 1986 Adriana LaGrange United Conservative 47,672
      79 Red Deer-South 1986 Jason Stephan United Conservative 52,743
      80 Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre 2012 Jason Nixon United Conservative 45,138
      81 Sherwood Park 1986 Jordan Walker United Conservative 45,992
      82 Spruce Grove-Stony Plain 2019 Searle Turton United Conservative 51,267
      83 St. Albert 1905 Marie Renaud New Democrat 47,745
      84 Strathcona-Sherwood Park 2012 Nate Glubish United Conservative 47,853
      85 Taber-Warner 1963* Grant Hunter United Conservative 42,625
      86 Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright 2019 Garth Rowswell United Conservative 46,042
      87 West Yellowhead 1986 Martin Long United Conservative 50,604

      Reply
      • ema

        October 13th, 2021

        So the irony of this is that two current Independent slackers, Loewen and Rehn, have the smallest number of constituents, by a country mile!

        As someone who participated in the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission in early 2017, it was pointed out then that there was a massive disparity of constituent numbers in those areas versus some urban ones.

        Unfortunately the Commission was hamstrung by the limitation that disallowed them from changing the total number of provincial constituencies. Overall though I feel they did a commendable job in changing some boundaries, which ended up with adding a few seats in Edmonton and Calgary.

        Perhaps it’s time to have yet another look at the AB boundaries, though it’s probably unlikely for a number of years.

        Reply
  6. Just Me

    October 12th, 2021

    Barnes’ approach is no different than that done by the GOP in the US.

    Isolate CONs away from the liberals and the RINOs and consolidate the idealogical rift created by the Culture Wars.

    SoCONs will love this because it will assure they have the most reliable voters always in their corner. It will also assure that they own the truly unhinged in society.

    How this will play out in Alberta remains to be seen, but I see it as a harbinger of the deeper discord to come.

    Reply
  7. Phlogiston

    October 12th, 2021

    As inexorably as freeze-thaw cycles and the presence of water will cause the hardest stone to fracture and crumble, the tensions within the UCP will cause the party to break up. In both cases, it is difficult to tell, at first, where those fracture lines will appear and how damaging they will prove to be. Drew Barnes’ trial balloon is a case in point. It might have a profound effect or not.

    Drew Barnes and others no doubt look longingly at how the Republicans in the US have managed to distort and subvert the democratic process in the US such that a tyranny of the minority is not just a dream, but quickly becoming realized. He and others are likely trying to figure out how to implement the Alberta version of this disturbing authoritarian trend.

    At the very least, Drew Barnes’ trial balloon seems designed to keep Kenney acutely aware that the UCP cannot survive in its present form without the consent of the rural factions.

    Reply
  8. Bret Larson

    October 12th, 2021

    “deceptive but clever campaign to blame the economic fallout from low international oil prices on the NDP”

    That made my day. Still trying to spin this angle huh?

    The actuality is that the election was called because of the down turn in commodity prices. And Notleys NDP won because they promised to spend like there was no such down turn.

    And to pay for it all they said they would tax companies more.

    Course when they got in and tried to “tax companies more” they found they could not and just made the perfect storm to strip Alberta of any growth in oil and gas jobs. Which of course made alot of NDP interest groups very happy. This included the financial sector as the NDP had to ramp up borrowing, which makes them alot of money.

    Government workers and bankers in a coalition… Why does that sound familiar?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      October 13th, 2021

      BRET LARSON: The Alberta PCs were in the wrong when they abandoned Peter Lougheed’s sound principles. Pretend conservatives and Reformers didn’t help Alberta. $575 billion was lost when the Alberta PCs changed Peter Lougheed’s royalty rate regime. Albertans were also saddled with a hefty fee of $260 billion to rectify the extensive damage done by oil companies in Alberta. $150 billion more was lost when the Alberta PCs bad tax policies were implemented. Also, billions of dollars more were thrown away from so many very pricey shenanigans that the Alberta PCs were involved with, over the decades. Rachel Notley and the NDP also had to contend with matters such as infrastructure, that the Alberta PCs did not bother to look after. This was happening when oil prices were very low, and they got that way, prior to the NDP attaining power. The UCP is also doing the most priciest shenanigans. Throwing away $7.5 billion on an assumption as to who will be the next American president was foolish. There are so many more than this, including the UCP’s flawed accounting practices, which lost $1.6 billion. The UCP’s corporate tax cuts also weren’t met with any measure of success. $10 billion is gone from Alberta’s coffers. The promise of jobs from these corporate tax cuts amounted to bupkiss. Zero jobs resulted. Corporations didn’t stay in the province. When you support pretend conservatives and Reformers, this is what you get.

      Reply
  9. Former Albertan

    October 12th, 2021

    Well heck, Conservative governments have loved to do the gerrymandering jig since time immemorial. Something about rural areas not having access to modern communications. Hm, whose fault might that be? Anyway Albertans still use Caxton presses and gas lights I do here. I understand Jason Kenney is a professional gaslighter my oh my.

    Reply
  10. Former Albertan

    October 12th, 2021

    Well heck, Conservative governments have loved to do the gerrymandering jig since time immemorial. Something about rural areas not having access to modern communications. Hm, whose fault might that be? Anyway Albertans still use Caxton presses and gas lights I do hear. I understand Jason Kenney is a professional gas lighter, my oh my.

    Reply
  11. Mike J Danysh

    October 12th, 2021

    Has anyone considered that Mr. Barnes might simply enjoy being a s**t-disturber?

    Reply

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