Alberta Premier Jason Kenney responds to Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet’s shot across his bow yesterday (Photo: Screenshot of Government of Alberta video).

As the folk wisdom goes, be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. 

Jason Kenney got his wish yesterday when Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet told him, in effect, to bring it on. 

“Let’s open the constitution,” Mr. Blanchet said with a gallic shrug and a sly momentary smile at a news conference in Montreal. “Gonna have a party.”

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet, an image of Jacques Parizeau peering over his shoulder (Photo: Instagram).

“We have some proposals about that also,” he added, obviously aware he was about to get up the Alberta premier’s nose.

“We proposed green equalization, according to which we outlay the average emissions of a jurisdiction in Canada. Those who are above this calculation, let’s say, Alberta, pays. And those who are under this average level, receive the money, because they perform well in terms of fighting climate change.”

Likely more mockery than a serious proposal, this sounded like a reasonably polite way of telling Premier Kenney to smarten up and start acting like a grownup. 

“I would like to have discussions about that also,” Mr. Blanchet went on, more seriously. “But I still say that the best solution to all of that is for all of us, independentistes or not, investing a significant amount of money in Alberta and Western Canada in order to help them get out of this toxic economic model.”

Not a bad thought if you consider a just transition from a carbon economy to be a worthwhile idea, or even just that transition is inevitable – in other words, nothing Mr. Kenney’s United Conservative Party would react to with anything but denial and furious hostility. 

Speaking of which, asked about Mr. Blanchet’s riposte to the UCP’s constitutionally meaningless and intentionally divisive equalization referendum, which was tied to a low-turnout municipal election and disenfranchised many First Nations voters throughout Alberta, Mr. Kenney’s response was predictable. 

Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Journalist Audrey Neveu of CBC’s French-language service could barely keep herself from giggling at Mr. Kenney’s self-inflicted predicament when she asked him during a news conference yesterday afternoon in Edmonton, ostensibly about COVID-19 measures, “do you feel like you’ve kind of opened a can of worms here?”

Rising to the bait, Mr. Kenney responded petulantly: “I think this is a typical provocation by Mr. Blanchet who, you know, loves Alberta bashing. 

“It would be nice if for once he stood up as the leader of his fringe party and expressed some modicum of gratitude … to Albertans for having generated tens of billions of dollars of wealth that’s been transferred to benefit Quebeckers over the past recent decades.”

“I’m disappointed that some leaders like him seek constantly to divide,” Mr. Kenney rambled on. “You know, the reality is like this, for people like Mr. Blanchet who want further to attack Alberta’s energy industry, they are effectively advocating, whether they understand it or not, for the OPEC dictatorships and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

“Because if this energy is not produced by Canada at the highest human rights, environmental, and labour rights in the world, then the energy will be produced and sold by Putin’s Russia, by the theocracy in Iran, by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and by the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela,” he huffed.

Devin Dreeshen at “work” – can you spot the bottle? (Photo: Davin Dreeshen/Facebook).

This is pretty rich coming from a guy whose entire recent provincial political career has been based on divisiveness, Quebec bashing, climate change denial, and undermining labour rights. 

Well, Mr. Kenney may have missed it, but no one ever said that you could expect to sit down for constitutional negotiations without someone on the other side of the table coming up with some proposals of their own. 

One imagines high-fives all ’round at BQ Headquarters last night. 

Meanwhile, the rest of Mr. Kenney’s presser didn’t go particularly well either. You’d almost think the days are over when Alberta media could be counted on to act as doormats for a Conservative premier.

Inevitably, the topic of that former UCP political staffer now suing the Premier’s Office for wrongful dismissal arose in the form of a question about what Mr. Kenney proposed to do about Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen’s alleged excessive office drinking.

Every time there was a question about Mr. Dreeshen’s alleged drinking, though, Mr. Kenney changed the subject by answering another question he hadn’t been asked. 

Former Wildrose leader and longtime Kenney rival Brian Jean (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Since the questions were pretty direct – “given these allegations of inappropriate behaviour, which he has not denied, why is Mr. Dreeshen still in your cabinet?” – there’s no way Mr. Kenny misunderstood. 

So the key takeaway, presumably, is that office drinking at the Legislature is OK with the premier, as long as the drinker is one of the bros. 

For his part, on Monday night Mr. Dreeshen published a photo of himself in his Legislature office with what looked like a booze bottle peeking out from a cupboard drawer. One imagines he wouldn’t have done that if he’d feared running afoul of the premier. 

Likewise, Mr. Kenney refused to recognize the premise of a reporter’s question about the way he appeared to throw Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw under the bus in the Legislature Monday. 

“Well, I think that’s a completely ridiculous misconstrual of what I said,” Mr. Kenney sniffed. “This is not about blame. I was simply being transparent about when we received information or advice.”

Dr. Hinshaw gamely backed him up, saying the premier’s remark in the Legislature “accurately reflected what I brought forward,” and vowing, regardless of how much the premier publicly discusses what she says to cabinet, never to violate cabinet confidentiality. 

Meanwhile, in another development unlikely to please Mr. Kenney, former Wildrose Party leader and long-time Kenney rival Brian Jean announced on social media last night he intends to seek the UCP nomination for Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche, where a by-election must be held soon. 

This puts the premier in a difficult position. Either he must sign the nomination papers for a bitter rival who has said he needs to go, or he can refuse to sign and see the independently wealthy Fort Mac resident run as an independent and quite possibly win. 

Mr. Jean plans to portray himself as the only alternative to Mr. Kenney who can “save” Alberta from Rachel Notley and the NDP. 

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35 Comments

  1. Mr. Blanchet actually does something for national unity. Few people irritate and get under the skin of Trudeau, O’Toole and Kenney so successfully. Likewise, no love lost for Kenney from O’Toole, Trudeau or Blanchet.

    It is like those on the opposite ends of politics in this country feed off of and need each other. Kenney should send Blanchet a thank you card for this well timed little distaction that allowed Kenney to speak for at least a little while about something other than his own troubles. As for Dreeshen, yes it is probably safe for him now to continue day drinking as long as he remains loyal to the dear leader and tones down the outbursts a bit. Likewise, Hinshaw’s job is secure for now as long as she doesn’t contradict Kenney. In this administration it seems the ticket to staying around is not competence, but not forgetting who the boss is.

    Yeah, there could be trouble brewing in Fort Mac soon though. However, it is not so much the NDP that Jean has to save his party from. The self sabotage is coming mostly from within the house these days. Perhaps those in charge are too busy with all the partying on the deck to realize it though.

  2. These pretend conservatives and Reformers try and fool Albertans into thinking that Alberta has sent money to Ottawa, or any of the eastern provinces, over the years, when that simply didn’t happen. Ralph Klein perpetuated that myth, the head honcho of the UCP, and Brian Jean do too. The pretend conservatives and Reformers in Alberta did the most priciest of shenanigans for decades, and were losing Alberta hundreds of billions of dollars from changing Peter Lougheed’s oil royalty rates, losing $575 billion, abandoned oil well cleanup costs, pegged at $260 billion, ridiculous tax policies, which lost $150 billion, and so many other pricey gaffes. Peter Lougheed knew that you cannot trust these Reformers. The head honcho of the UCP and the UCP itself have bungled up their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in Alberta, that they are desperate to find anyone else to blame, or call it Alberta bashing. Also, who is allowed to drink on the job, unless they review food and liquor at a restaurant? If anyone did that at their job, they would be fired. Brian Jean is basically flip flopping again. Wasn’t his political days behind him? Yet, here he is looking to run again for the UCP, as an MLA. The head honcho of the UCP, and Brian Jean are rivals. When Brian Jean took over the leadership of the Wildrose Party, from Danielle Smith, he said that the Wildrose would not be merging with the Alberta PCs. He changed his mind. In Fort McMurray – Lac La Biche, if a rock was painted blue and ran as a Conservative, it would be elected. It also might be possible that Danielle Smith may make a return to provincial politics in Alberta. Alberta will be in deep trouble, if we continue on with these pretend conservatives and Reformers.

  3. Green bottle with a red top and seal, both characteristics are associated with Jameson Irish Whiskey. Dreeshen has recently been promoting a logo – Made in Alberta by Albertans. He did a meal prep presentation with Global News regarding this in which he was seen to rub seasoning onto raw meat and without washing his hands proceed to take a handful of lettuce from a bowl and transferred it to another. Yikes. That was followed by a suggestion that people can support Alberta families by purchasing Alberta craft beer and any types spirits at local liquor stores. It seems that the Minister may posses a preference for expensive imported spirits. Being the son of a rich farmer has its benefits.

  4. “Dr. Hinshaw gamely backed him up, saying the premier’s remark in the Legislature “accurately reflected what I brought forward,”.”

    What did I harp on yesterday? I heard her supplicant words this morning on a newscast. She is an excellent lap dog for the besieged twit of a premier, now once again telling Quebec they should bow down and thank Alberta for equalization paid through federal personal income taxes from all citizens across the entire country. Truth? kenney has no concept of it.

    Either this place called Canada is a damn country, or it is not. Either we pull together in a united fashion or we say to hell with it and dissolve into rotten little “boroughs” like gated communities eager to keep out the supposed riff-raff and preserve unearned privilege. Damned fool regional politicians, ignorant of history but baying on behalf of supposed “public” opinion, have plagued the country since day one. And the most persistent nonsense always comes from richer areas eager to hold on to the temporary windfall “profits” from resources or unfair laws (subsidized one-way freight rates of the past so beloved of Ontario and Quebec manufacturers) that nature and geographic position have provided. It is little different in principle from the rich trying to shield wealth in offshore tax havens, because “my money is mine and belongs to me alone and nobody else” sort of illogical tripe, and wsn’t earned off, no sir! the backs and sweat of employed workers. Or inherited from relatives who did.

    Of course, baffling the common serf with bullshit for decades works well to revise attitudes and understanding of history. It is the way of the super-wealthy to protect their privilege. Repeat BS long enough and gradually the constant background buzz of it becomes received wisdom even among people who otherwise have the brains to apply logic and reject the constant moanings and bleatings of the super-wealthy class. “The free market solves everything” goes the current old saw. Yes, and leads to essentially monopoly companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook. If that’s a free market, I’m blind deaf and dumb.

    Anything that puts kenney on a hot griddle and makes him hop from one foot to the other in anguish and pain while blurting outright lies is fine by me, even if it’s the excecrable Bloc Quebecois that does it. More, please. As more Canadians see kenney for the self-serving mendacious grubby person he is, the less likelihood there is for this charlatan to gain federal power as a Con later on to continue his dissembling horse manure for private ego-boosting. Yes, I do personally believe he’s a sociopath, not just a “politician”.

  5. Someone pointed out that a 61.7 % vote on equalization involving a 33% participation is hardly a mandate.
    I would agree …. I am constrained, however, to point out that a 33% vote with a 61.7% turnout makes you the governing party Canada with the word “mandate” quite freely tossed about. It’s 20.2% either way.

    “Democracy”.

    1. Remind that the two democratic exercises you refer to are quite different from each other and cannot separately or together contribute to a monolithic definition of democracy: Alberta’s equalization referendum was an at-large vote whereas federal and provincial elections are essentially riding contests—the party which wins the most ridings —and a good many ridings are won by outright majorities (anticipating a pro- proportional representation/ anti- single-member-plurality, or anti- “First Past-the-Post” rejoinder)—usually forms government in our Westminster parliamentary system, either by winning a majority or minority supported by one or more other elected parties.

      So, no, it’s not the same thing, “either way.”

      A post script reminder: there are many reasons for low turnout, ranging from apathy, antipathy to democratic politics, protest, and even ‘copaceticism’—the attitude that, all the candidates seeming the same, it really doesn’t matter which wins as long as the jurisdiction is functioning. Not voting is as legitimate for citizens as ballot-spoiling (registerable protest) and so-called “strategic voting” (more correctly, tactical voting). Naturally, parties and candidates have to say it ain’t so, but voters and non-voters know better—or, in fact, know best.

      1. Another reason for low vote turnout is the narrowness of canada’s acceptable political ideology. We get to choose between Original Recipe Neoliberalism (Cons), Neoliberalism Lite (Libs) and wherever the NDP is sitting on any given day (they used to be social Democrat, which means they want to use democracy to work within the bounds of capitalism to advocate for specific socialistic programs, such as health care, under Singh they seem to be returning to these roots but we shall see). Honestly not sure whether the federal NDP should be considered Liberal or Social Democrat at this point in time.

        Socialists, anarchists (the nuance ones you probably don’t know about unless you’ve studied philosophy, not the bomb throwing yahoos the press elevates) and communists (the ones who want to abolish private ownership of the means of production and use democracy to decide who does which work for how much money, who lives where, etc, not the authoritarian Evil Empire of Stalin and Mao) cannot elect anyone, nor can fascists for that matter.

        At any rate, the only democracy offered to Canadians is the choice between a turd taco and a crap sandwich, and both are served with large sides of gaslighting and down punching. Small wonder most people under 60 believe elections don’t matter. Unfortunately, as we could have learned from Trump, the choice between bad and worse is still an important one.

    2. “People who don’t vote don’t deserve a say.”

      We are only a few election cycles away from having an electorate that does not believe that nasty little bit of down- punching. Can’t wait!

  6. …. i would like the writer to Illuminate to all us simple Alberta fools, where would you get oil and hydrocarbons if not from canada. If your answer is “It doesn’t matter as long as Alberta collapses its own oil industry first” then premier kenny and people who live and actually try to make money in this province have my vote. Just because the product is imperfect doesn’t mean that Albertans are evil for extracting it and funding Canada’s rich national growth. Ps i don like you obviously

    1. MITCHELL MACLEOD: To call what we have Alberta’s oil is inaccurate. In the beginning of the 1990s, the Alberta PCs let foreign companies take Alberta’s oil and the revenue that went with it. Losing Alberta $575 billion in revenue, from basement rate oil royalty rates, and leaving Albertans on the hook for $260 billion to cleanup what the oil companies in Alberta haven’t done, wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Peter Lougheed knew better than to trust Reformers. Those are just two things of many that these pretend conservatives and Reformers did for Alberta. The pretend conservatives and Reformers in the UCP still feed Albertans the lie that Alberta gave money to Quebec, Eastern Canada, and to Ottawa. The ones griping about Canada importing Saudi oil, when it does not, (as refinery companies are responsible for importing oil, not any government), never complained when the CPC sold the Canadian Wheat Board to Saudi Arabia, after 62 percent of Canadian farmers said they wanted to keep it, and the CPC also did a $15 billion military equipment deal with Saudi Arabia.

    2. Dear Mitchell: Alberta sourced oil will continue to be used as long as there is a demand for it. Speaking of energy sources, I have a horse barn on my farm built in 1926. It was designed to accommodate the work horses used to farm the home section. In 1932 the family bought a tractor and that was the last time there was a work horse on the place. I don’t think the transition to renewables will be that quick, but it is better to be prepared and capping production so we don’t end up building what amounts to obsolete horse barns is a prudent idea.

    3. Two problems with your logic here friend.

      1. Oil and gas does not fund Canada’s economic growth. Oil, gas, and mining is less than 10 percent gdp nationally, and 16.7 percent of Albertas gdp. A significant amount and surely why we should be growing other industries, but it’s 16.7 percent. It makes a tiny amount of people very rich. Not the province, not the country. Alberta, for all that wealth is still one of the most unequal places in North America.

      2. Yeah hydrocarbons are valuable, which is why we should be building out our industries that do something other than mine and ship a raw, nearly worthless product that people then LIGHT ON FIRE.

      3. I notice, like nearly all of these folks who demand an explanation for what we are going do without oil jobs, you didn’t mention climate change a single time. I suspect you know this is the reason we have to ratchet down global oil production, but you are feigning ignorance. Do that too long and people may forget you were feigning.

      1. Little Bird: “folks who demand an explanation for what we are going do without oil jobs, you didn’t mention climate change a single time …” This is an important question, especially for folks who live at the pointy end of oil & gas exploration & extraction, and depend on that work for employment. Think Fort McMurray, the world’s largest work camp: how many people would continue to live there if it weren’t for the oil sands? Not one family in ten, I’d hazard to guess. What will their homes be worth?

        Fort McMurray is only the most extreme example. Grande Prairie — where I live — is an important hub for conventional oil and especially natural gas, although forestry and agriculture are other important economic drivers here. If fossil fuel production were to stop, the city wouldn’t evaporate like Fort Mac, but it would be a serious economic hit to the region.

        It’s all well and good for climate change activists to call for an end to fossil fuel production by x-date, and in fact it’s probably an objective necessity. But the people who do that work, and the families they support, need to know what their careers will look like after it happens, and will they have to move away to stay employed? Then there are the thousands of other jobs that exist to service those oil patch workers, from direct services to the industry like parts, “hotshot”, surveying, work camp operation, access road construction, equipment & fluid hauling, etc. etc. etc., to more ordinary services like groceries, restaurants, home repair, child care centres, schools, health care, and everything else that supports the ‘patch workforce.

        There has been very little productive discussion in the public sphere of what a post-fossil fuel economy workforce will look like on the ground. How many jobs will be available in alternative and renewable energy? How many people does it take to run a wind farm? Geothermal plant? SMR nuclear power, if we end up going there? Where will those jobs be? Will they have the huge pay packets & buckets of overtime that oilpatch workers have long become accustomed to? If they have to move to new communities to find those jobs, who will buy their houses?

        Does anyone reading this remember Tumbler Ridge, BC, back in 2000, when the coal mine shut down and home prices tanked? Do we want this to happen in Fort McMurray,,Grande Prairie, or any other oil & gas city or town in Alberta? There’s a reason people out here are angry: they see food being snatched from their families’ table.

        Yes, we need to deal with climate change. But not all of the people who will suffer by doing so are rich shareholders in Cenovus or Imperial Oil; many are ordinary working stiffs with families to support, and nothing has been told to them that can reassure them they will continue to be able to do so.

        1. JERRYMACGP: The head honcho of the UCP doesn’t care about employment, as much is he would like us to believe. As a CPC cabinet minister, one of his mistakes was increasing the amount of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada, including Alberta. Automation is also taking over the oil patch, and CEO’s aren’t concerned about that, just their bottom line. With the oil industry, people have to adapt. Oil is something that market forces control. If someone with Grade 12, or less is working on a rig, and loses their job, when the oil prices collapse, they must have a backup plan. I would think that climate change, or climate related issues will supercede anything else. You mentioned farms. Severe drought has impacted many farmers this year. What do we do when there is not much moisture, and crops fail? We can’t feed anyone.

          1. Anon: I absolutely agree with everything you said. My issue is about communications and engagement. Nobody, not the UCP or CPC, not the federal Liberal government or the federal NDP — let alone the hapless spontaneously combusting Green Party — and not the environmental movement, nobody has said anything substantial that speaks to people who have invested their lives in the ‘patch, bought houses in oil & gas cities & towns, that will reassure them that they & their families have a future in a decarbonizing world.

            It’s no wonder that “F*ck Trudeau” is such a popular window sticker on work trucks. Where’s the empathy for the people who were led to believe this was an industry that they could stick with as a career?

            Oh, and as for farmers, they’re suffering the adverse agricultural effects of climate change — that they DENIED AT THE BALLOT BOX by voting Con in such huge numbers. Karma’s a bitch.

  7. Note to Mr. Dreeshan: I caught on to day drinkers in Grade Seven. Here’s what I learned. If you’re going to hide booze in the stationery cabinet, a Mickey is much more discreet than a wine bottle or anything with a long neck. Also, choose a cabinet with a door that closes, and close it. Hide said bottle in a briefcase or bag of some sort. And always pour the contents into a coffee mug filled with coffee. It arouses much less suspicion from the prying eyes of 12-year-olds and others. Also, wine and coffee together should be avoided.

    Even so, there’s no guarantee that any of these precautions will work. Two of my home room teachers in a row were out of a job before Christmas, but that’s the price you pay for messing with a bunch of smartass kids, or in the current lingo, ” some person on Twitter”.

  8. P.S. What’s in the styrofoam cooler, Devin? Zero points for use as a laptop stand. (Insert eye-roll emoji here.)

    Grade Seven, buddy. You fail.

    1. That was the first thing I thought of. No fridge in the office, no problem, just bring in a $2.49 styrofoam cooler. Scotch without ice is not very nice! Another use for oil.

  9. Jason Kenney must be suffering from a bunker mentality–he’s forted himself up within walls of righteous indignation. He’s down to one tactic, the old trick of accusing your enemy of using your own dirty tricks. (It’s like he resents other people using his playbook.) His rant about Blanchet being “divisive” would be funny, if it wasn’t 1) more-or-less true of the BQ and 2) utterly disgusting coming from Kenney. At least the Quebec separatists are working to “help Quebec,” while Kenney helps only himself.

    The foolish babbling about oil coming from the Evil Empires instead of virtuous us is equally telling. I guess Kenney’s absorbed Ezra Levant’s “Ethical Oil” ravings and combined them with Oilberduh’s creed of “Petroleum Uber Alles” to justify his climate-crisis denialism. Sensible people the world over realize we have to burn less stuff. The biggest problem now, is finding enough feet willing to kick politicians into actually doing something to curb fossil-fuel use. Kenney, acting on orders from owners of small oil companies, is holding us back.

    I must say, Blanchet comes across as much more sensible and responsible than Kenney. Blanchet’s pointed comments about a just transition are exactly correct. Kenney has made one quarter-hearted attempt to set up a training program for laid-off oil workers. Has anyone managed to sign up? Any help for “excess” labour from the oil industry will have to come from the Federal government. Kenney can’t be bothered to spend money on useless mouths.

    Deena Hinshaw’s loyalty to the UCP government is at best regrettable. Her performance during the first wave (looking back, it was just a ripple–largely because Kenney et al were scared enough to LISTEN TO HER) showed her as competent, intelligent and trustworthy. Remember the catch phrase, “What would Deena do?” No longer. Kenney has destroyed her credibility.

    Devin Dreeshen, on the other hand, never really had any credibility. Just another Con make-weight, a Con placeholder, whose only virtue is loyalty to The Leader. Imagine being dumb enough not to close that cabinet! Enough. The less said about Dreeshen, the better.

    Brian Jean? Nah. The constituency association won’t dare accept his nomination papers. They’ll lose ’em in the nearest shredder. Kenney would hammer them all if they didn’t. Still, the inevitable fight would be mildly entertaining to watch. But the UCP supporters in Fort Mac won’t dare stray too far from the party line. Better the devil you know, right? Even if–especially if–he’s stupid, vindictive and petty.

    As for Jean “saving” Alberta from the NDP–who the hell else can save us from the UCP?

    1. MIKE J DANYSH: You summed up things nicely. Also, there seems to be a constant pattern in Alberta provincial politics. Any politician that was in the federal government just doesn’t last very long as an MLA in Alberta. Going from MP to MLA has no endurance. Yves Blanchet said that oil isn’t dead. He merely stated a well known longtime fact that Alberta’s oilsands oil is much more costly to get it out of the ground and prepare it for market.

      1. Thanks Anonymous. I see Dreeshen has admitted he has a drinking problem, and stepped down from Cabinet. Good on him for honesty, it’s more than I’d expect from any of Kenney’s inner circle.

        It does seem Alberta is the place where political careers go to die, doesn’t it? Unless, of course, you couldn’t make it as an Ontario MPP. I could be wrong, but it seems a lot of Ontarians (and a few from Saskatchewan) wind up spouting neocon blather in our Legislature. Maybe it’s something in the air out here….

        Blanchet described Oilberduh’s economy as “a toxic economic model”—too true. But not easy to fix; Don Getty tried, and the result was best described as “epic fail.” It’s unfortunate that Lougheed’s big bet on bitumen extraction became so bloated—I blame Ralph Klein for letting the oil industry run wild. Lots of people expect petroleum to be important for decades; however disruptive change can happen much faster.

        Very quickly, Alberta will face a choice. Face reality and start planning to wind down fossil fuel extraction—or keep our fingers jammed in our ears while we drum our heels on the floor. If we continue the second course, the world will, indifferently and without malice, squash us like a bug. Lead, follow, or get trampled. By 2030 we’ll have no other choices.

  10. Kenney: “It would be nice if for once he… expressed some modicum of gratitude to Albertans for having generated tens of billions of dollars of wealth that has been transferred to the benefit of Quebecers.”
    *
    Blanchet should also thank Quebec taxpayers, who contribute even more to Quebec’s equalization payments than Alberta taxpayers do (2019).
    Blanchet should also thank Ontario taxpayers, who contribute more than Quebec and Alberta taxpayers do combined.
    Blanchet should also thank B.C. taxpayers, who contributed more than Alberta taxpayers did in 2019.
    Blanchet should also thank the top 10% of Canadian income tax return filers, who pay just over half of total personal taxes. In 2018 Canada’s top 10% paid $133 B in total personal income taxes to pay for govt services, programs, and infrastructure. Four times what all AB taxpayers (a slightly larger group) paid ($33.6 B = 13.6%) in 2018.
    *
    In 2019-20 AB taxpayers contributed 14% of federal revenues = 14% of funds for equalization. 86% of revenues come from taxpayers elsewhere. Ontario and Quebec taxpayers contribute 60% of federal revenues. BC taxpayers 14%. Erase Albertans’ 14% contribution, and federal coffers retain 86 cents on the dollar.
    Hard to argue that Albertans largely fund transfers including (Quebec’s) equalization payments when 86% of the funds come from taxpayers in other provinces. Trace back equalization dollars to their source. Most of those dollars do not come from Albertans.

  11. I read the news from my old home. It seems as though some wanna be deity has turned it into a cartoon. I’m not happy about that. Alberta is one of the most beautiful constructs of our notional divisions of “our” planet. I work to earn, just like you. I have never worked to destroy. I want something for all of us. I think you do! That’s why I seek to defeat these sand in the gears recidivists! https://youtu.be/Vir6swQpfbY?t=3

  12. The best thing that can be said about Mr. Blanchet is that he is always right. But when he is wrong, only those pointing their fingers and calling him wrong usually wind up looking like the idiots.

    Now, I am left wondering why…oh why…is a premier of a Canadian province getting into a scrap with a leader from one of the opposition parties? Not only does it not make any sense, it just makes that premier look like a bigger idiot than he may already be. In the case of Kenney, when one things he cannot look more stupid, Kenney never fails to impress with how much further he can push that barre even lower. I know the man is really, really short, but come on!

    I suspect Kenney’s posturing may have more to do with trying to impress those Albertans who actually still believe that amending the Constitution begins with voting in a useless referendum. Blanchet knows this, however, it appears that many Albertans do not; and Kenney is perfectly happy to play to the ignorant crowd regardless of how he looks. Which brings us to the expected re-entry of Brian Jean into provincial politics.

    Brian Jean is, for the most part, not a bright guy. He maybe even more corrupt than Kenney, but at least he’ll do it with a smile, as though reminding everyone in Alberta that he is one of you, simple folk. Make no mistake about it: if a Brian Jean led UCP government comes to pass, it will be mayhem times ten times worse than the Kenney led one.

    So, get ready for UCP Leadership Race, Part Deux. Jean with try for the UCP nomination in his home riding in Ft. McMurray, which Kenney will block it by refusing to sign Jean’s nomination papers. Worse, I suspect Kenney will get another kamikaze campaign going, because nobody will see than old trick coming. But if that move fails, Kenney will just tell Jean to go start his own party if he wants to get back into the Leg. If Jean runs as an independent and wins, Kenney will have his hands full with another caucus revolt on his hands. Since Kenney puts down these revolts by awarding more and more goodies to his caucus loyalists, I expect there will be an early Xmas for many.

    All this comedy should give Mr. Blanchet tons and tons of material for his Tweets.

  13. I am mystified by my former neighbours! How in any way, could you people condone a government that acts like they are the recently fired former member of White Snake who has been wronged by the advent of scrutiny on a Friday night? Oh. So they do represent your values? My apologies! I’m sure the drunk Jesus of the bottle in your back pocket will accept them as well! Hey your honour! Devin the “alleged” “asshole” Dresson has passed his entitlement to you! Does Jesus bless his behavior? Just asking for my sister!

  14. Heh, heh, Yves-Francois, absolutely precious! Touché!

    Not that K-Boy would understand, but a federation like Canada is effectively a family, Quebec being the equivalent of our eldest sister: a bit bitchy sometimes, but light years more sophisticated than her younger siblings, and usually dismissive of petulant crybabies like Alberta’s french-baiting political right. But a deft backhander reminds that she loves all her siblings, even if a bit tough.

    Of course Alberta is a distinct society, too, but unlike Quebec, can only make that claim by virtue of petro-resource luck—for a time, anyway—and distinctly unimaginative partisan politics: with a single, four-year exception, Albertans have distinguished themselves from all other Canadian voters by electing right-wing parties for eight, straight decades —that is, for almost four generations! (At least Quebec voters mixed-and-matched their federal and provincial parties). Perhaps the unfortunate, if not entirely unlucky, environmental consciousness and its accumulating acculturation worldwide aimed at restraining Alberta’s tar sands will break the mould and discourage hitherto consistent, tired mono-partisanship—and become—gasp!— more politically diverse. In fact, it has already begun: the alleged rural/urban divide is simply the right’s divisive device, its decoy deployed.

    Heaven forbid! —prays the UCP high priesthood. That would make Alberta like its ostensible rival, Quebec (about which Mr Blanchet could not resist making fun—and you can’t very well blame him). But, as the Bloc Québécois leader well knows, Quebec voters play their politicians instead of the other way around (like in most of the RoC) and can sharply turn against even the ostensible vessels of francophone nationalism as they have with both the provincial PQ and federal BQ (not to mention all other provincial and federal parties). To the UCPP, that seems so foreign as to be a “proven” anti-Alberta conspiracy campaign.

    But partisan diversity wouldn’t much impress the Wild Rose premier: his objective is to return to the not-so-distant past when Alberta effectively had a one-party system its former Socred regime styled a “no-party system” in order to disassociate governance from government, a view subsequently acculturated to negative effect during times when rapid response to rapid change is needed—like right now, everywhere on God’s once-green earth. It was once-speculated—but not much anymore—that Kenney aimed to implement the same policy at the federal level (which, naturally, would have to either cow our eldest sister province into eternal spinsterhood or have prime minister K-Boy sending her on her way with aspersions of shame tied like tarred-and-feathered tin cans to the stiletto heels of the iconic “disgraced woman”).

    What is in Dr Deena’s mind? Will pandemic policy be any better if the political bubble upon which the K-Boy sits suddenly bursts? I suspect she’s deployed the ‘better-the-devil-you-know’ tactic. Politics will play out, naturally; all is contingency in Alberta right now. Would a, say, NDP government replace her?

    I did spot minister Devin Dreeshan’s bottle (low-life skill, I admit)—but not before marvelling at his ergoxnometricly correct beer cooler—I mean, “iPad stand”. One wonders if daytime liquoring accelerates loonie and toonie accumulation in the good ole office swear-jar, what with the UCP lagging in political donations behind the government-in-waiting—oops! I mean, former Premier Rachel Notley’s Loyal Opposition NDP. (I bet there ain’t many female fingerprints in that UCP swear-jar.)

    Before closing with my usual well wishes that everyone stays safe during this second Covid winter —aka “Fourth Wave”—I want to thank everyone for availing a moment of levity —even if at K-Boy’s expense: a rest is as good as a change (or something like that in my dislexious wolrd). Heh, heh, heh—I’m loving it!

    Now: be safe, my Alberta friends. Long winter ahead, but spring will surely follow. Meanwhile, you have front row seats right here to one of the most fascinating political pot boilers anywhere.

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