Alberta Politics
Environmentalist David Suzuki (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

What is it about environmentalist and scholar David Suzuki that makes Alberta Conservatives lose their minds?

Posted on November 23, 2021, 2:19 am
8 mins

What is it about David Suzuki that makes Alberta’s Conservatives lose their minds? 

On Saturday, the high-profile Vancouver-based scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster spoke at a protest in Victoria where he warned of the possibility of violence if politicians keep failing to act against climate change.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

During the “funeral for the future,” Dr. Suzuki gave a short interview to a Victoria TV station in which he asserted that “we’re in deep, deep doo-doo. And they’ve been telling us, the leading experts, for over 40 years.”

“This is what we’ve come to, and the next stage after this is, there’re gonna be pipelines blown up if our leaders don’t pay attention to what’s going on.”

Even though the interview has been clearly edited – we don’t hear the question Dr. Suzuki was asked, and there is an obvious edit between the two statements transcribed above – it’s patently clear he was warning of the danger of violence, not advocating it.

Readers can watch the CHEK News clip here for themselves. 

News coverage by the Postmedia newspaper chain, however, spun the environmentalist’s words to give the impression he was advocating violence. 

“‘Pipelines will be blown up,’ says David Suzuki, if leaders don’t act on climate change,” screeched the headline in Postmedia’s National Post, and in identical coverage in the U.S.-owned newspaper chain’s smaller regional Postlets. 

In case readers were too thick to get the false inference Dr. Suzuki was threatening violence, not warning about it, a subhead says, “Critics called the statement ‘dangerous’ and ‘reckless’.” The reporter trowelled the implication on by referring to Dr. Suzuki in his lead as, “the godfather of the Canadian environmental movement.” (Emphasis added.) 

Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Whether it was the tendentious headline or just the fact anyone would dare to oppose a pipeline project, this quickly sent the usual suspects in Alberta politics over the edge. 

“This incitement to violence by David Suzuki is dangerous, and should be condemned universally,” Premier Jason Kenney tweeted, providing a link to the Post story. “In Canada we resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not with threats of terrorism or acts of violence,” he added piously.

As an aside, in Canada we resolve serious and obviously false defamations like this one through the civil courts. Dr. Suzuki would be within his rights to consider a defamation action against the premier for his false and defamatory statement. 

“Environment” Minister Jason Nixon – sorry, but the first word of his title screams for scare quotes – got up on his hind legs in the Legislature and accused Dr. Suzuki of advocating “ecoterrorism.” 

“David Suzuki is so out of touch with the real world that he advocates, Mr. Speaker, for ecoterrorism towards Canadian people and industries,” Mr. Nixon told the House. “This is completely unacceptable and extremely reckless.” 

Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu (Photo: Alberta Newsroom/Flickr).

Of course, Dr. Suzuki cannot pursue a legal case against Mr. Nixon for the falsehood he uttered in the Chamber, where absolute privilege reigns. The minister went on to accuse the NDP of “collaborating” with Dr. Suzuki, although this seems like a more pardonable lie, all part of the game played in the Legislature. But if Mr. Nixon were an honourable man, he would withdraw his calumny against Dr. Suzuki and apologize. 

Not so long ago, when W. Brett Wilson, the well-known oil billionaire and social media nuisance, called for environmentalists to be hanged for “treason” – that is, for advocating against further expansion of the fossil fuel industry – Mr. Kenney had nary a word to say in condemnation. 

It is fair to say that calling environmentalists, as Mr. Wilson tweeted, “Bastards. Slimy bastards. Hang them for treason….” is an actual incitement to violence that should be condemned universally. 

Condemnation from the Kenney Government was swift, however, when an anti-vaxx protester left a noose outside a United Conservative Party minister’s home. “Intimidation and threats of violence are never acceptable,” tweeted Justice Minister Kaycee Madu at the time, as self-righteously as the premier. 

Convicted fossil-fuel-installation bomber Wiebo Ludwig (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Nor was there such a hysterical reaction back in the 1990s when someone was actually bombing natural gas pumping sites in northern Alberta. Politicians here remained calm even when Wiebo Ludwig was identified as a suspect, arrested, tried and sent to jail. 

Well, times were different then. The Conservatives of the day styled themselves progressive, and were unchallenged by a large and effective Opposition in the House. They were, in fact, for the most part reasonable people. 

That too was before North American conservatives routinely winked at calls for violence against their political enemies. 

Moreover, despite Mr. Ludwig’s opposition to the impact of the fossil fuel industry on the Christian community he led near Hythe, he was not so different in ways such as his religious convictions and complexion from the Conservative base. 

Mr. Ludwig died of cancer a decade ago, and his transgressions are all but forgotten in Alberta politics today. 

But as for Dr. Suzuki, he lives in the heads of the oil evangelists of the UCP.

Who can forget the screeching hysteria in 2018 when the University of Alberta dared to grant him an honorary degree celebrating his distinguished academic career. Mr. Kenney put out a social media video calling him “a multi-millionaire who regurgitates the same message of defamation against what is the most ethical oil industry on earth.”

Despite the abuse the university suffered, it bravely granted the degree – no doubt prompting the Kenney Government’s ongoing vendetta that continues to kill jobs and programs at the respected institution today. 

But Dr. Suzuki – like the Energizer Bunny – is unstoppable. He still generates headlines and lends credibility to his cause, driving Alberta Conservatives around the bend. 

46 Comments to: What is it about environmentalist and scholar David Suzuki that makes Alberta Conservatives lose their minds?

  1. Dave

    November 23rd, 2021

    Jason Kenney’s prayers have been answered – a big distraction to take away the focus from his leadership problems, at least temporarily, and to potentially rally and unite the base.

    They weren’t even his own words, although the UCP did have to do some spinning to change what was said into what they wanted. However, as the saying goes if you have to explain what you said, you are losing and the headline writers and columnists for conservative leaning newspapers will certainly do no favours or be of any help to Suzuki in that regard.

    Of course Suzuki’s main interest is not Alberta politics or the impact of what he said will have on it. Being candid and saying what you think has long been a political minefield for those on the right, but there is no reason it can not also be problematic for others too. What some take as a warning can seem to be a threat to others.

    I am sure Kenney and the UCP will milk this unexpected comment for all it is worth. They tend to do best when they have external enemies to rally Albertans against, even if they have to create much of the story about it themselves.

    Reply
    • Lee Eddy

      November 24th, 2021

      Did anyone notice that Suzuki said4 he has been warning for politicians for 40 years. How many of his climate change deadlines have past and gone without the consequence predicted? Eg. more polar bears now then 40 years ago. They should now be extinct according to Suzuki. Each year that goes by his credibility is reduced.

      Reply
  2. Bill Malcolm

    November 23rd, 2021

    The usual rabble of climate change denying Alberta stunned nutjobs acting on cue to defend the indefensible, along with Old Toole. The ethical oil bit is getting long in the tooth when it’s obvious that large lakes of tailing ponds can be seen from space and need only a big rainstorm to utterly ruin the MacKenzie watershed. But small narrow minds tend to fix on a slogan for ever even when environmental monitoring is reduced — the one I laugh at most is: the free market solves everything. Except what ails you. Suzuki has written off both kenney and Trudeau as being completely worthless anyway.

    BC “Liberal” leadership candidate Ellis Ross on Suzuki: “You can’t tell me he didn’t know exactly what he was inferring,” When will supposedly educated pols learn the English language? Ellis baby, the word you so desperately seek is “implying”, not “inferring”; you made the inference.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    November 23rd, 2021

    As I recall, Wiebo Ludwig had some serious concerns about industrial activity going on by his farm, which was making him, as well as others in his family, and his livestock sick. He was also framed for blowing up natural gas pumping sites, when he wasn’t responsible for doing so. The police (Mounties) did that, in an attempt to pin it on Wiebo Ludwig. Peter Lougheed, being a true conservative, was not one who would let industrial activity override environmental concerns. In 2005, Peter Lougheed was curious to see how the oilsands was being developed in Fort McMurray. Flying above the city, in a helicopter, he was not too enthralled at what he saw. The ultra rapid pace of the oilsands development agitated him greatly, and he said that if things weren’t curtailed, to one oilsands project at a time, we’d be seeing big problems in the future. We have, thanks to Ralph Klein. Albertans are saddled with a $260 billion cost to fix the damages left by the oil companies in Alberta. This isn’t a good thing at all. Environmental concerns cannot be shoved by the wayside, regardless of what these pretend conservatives and Reformers want to tell people. The UCP also doesn’t care about the environment. Look at what they were doing with Peter Lougheed’s 1976 Coal Policy. Everyone does need to be concerned about the environment. We only have one planet Earth. It’s not going to help us if our air is so polluted, our water is also badly polluted, we have contaminated soil, and we have record levels of drought. All the money in the world won’t solve the problems we will see from this.

    Reply
    • Alan K. Spiller

      November 23rd, 2021

      ANONYMOUS. The site you are referring to is this “ Royalties Down 32% Billions in Federal Revenues Lost” Peter Lougheed was furious with Klein for what he was doing to this Province. Reformers helping their rich friends steal our oil and tax wealth while stupid Albertans let them do it, and nothing has changed.
      At coffee this morning we were talking about what this disaster in b.c. Is going cost us in the form of increased insurance, we know it will. These mindless fools just don’t believe in global warming, yet oil executives do and young people supporting Greta Thunberg do, while we watch fellow seniors bad mouthing her and bashing David Suzuki.

      For years retired lawyers have been telling us, over coffee, to put a stop to these ignorant seniors who are hurling their sarcastic comments at us for not being as stupid as them. There is nothing stopping you from suing them , they told us, when their actions are hurting others and I think supporting Kenney while he ignored our doctors and killed off Albertans would certainly qualify don’t you? I think that the dumping of the orphan well cleanup mess would another one. Seniors wanting to sell their farmland for their retirement can’t because of these wells.

      Retired police officers have pointed out that seniors have a horrible reputation for being easy to fool and con-artists and politicians rely on them for their living. Boy are they right no one has proven it more than stupid Alberta seniors.

      You can’t tell them anything I have tried. University professors tell me you can’t they are what they are and can’t be changed. In other words as my senior friends point out “ You can’t fix stupid”.

      Reply
  4. Just Me

    November 23rd, 2021

    Say one thing that is out of line with Albertans’ SoCON/O & G/Alberta Uber Alles world-view and it’s all terrorism.

    Suzuki was pointing to a credible reality that failure to resolve the Climate Change Crisis will result is extreme action, like blowing up pipelines, carpet bombing the Tarsands into oblivion, and executing everyone who refuses to give up their ICE cars. As much as this is personal aspiration for a path to a better world, it’s clear that action delayed invites disaster in the future. The situation in BC reveals more than ever that action is coming, so Alberta better get on board or be crushed. This is the part where the consultation happens, in case Kenney wasn’t paying attention.

    But the UCP is too involved in binge-drinking and skirt-chasing to notice or care.

    Reply
  5. Patrick Hertel

    November 23rd, 2021

    “What is it about David Suzuki that makes Alberta’s Conservatives lose their minds?”

    ‘Well you know you can’t spend what you ain’t got,
    You can’t lose what you ain’t never had’ – Muddy Waters

    Reply
  6. JS bow valley

    November 23rd, 2021

    Scientists have been warning for about half a century now that if we keep burning fossil fuels that whole towns would disappear due to fires and floods. Critical infrastructure would be destroyed by weather fuelled catastrophes. Fire and drought would make once bread basket agricultural areas no longer feasible for major agricultural purposes. Oh, and global civilization will most likely collapse. Good thing that doesn’t sound like anything we have today.

    Reply
  7. Political Ranger

    November 23rd, 2021

    Only in Albaturda does a fence post like Jason Nixon get an opportunity to have his ridiculous rantings about Dr. David Suzuki recorded and repeated. It’s shameful and embarrassing.

    Reply
  8. Dilbit

    November 23rd, 2021

    My facts need checking but, I think it’s important to understand some details of the context regarding TC’s involvement in this Coastal Gas-link pipeline that the mainstream”journalists” have failed to provide regarding the pipeline most likely to be attacked if that’s even acceptable to speculate about. First, TC saw this resistance to their CGL project long ago and viewed it as a business risk, so back in around 2019 they went to their friends in the UCP government for help. Magically AIMCO (Alberta Investment Management Corp.) rode to their rescue (along with KKR) by relieving them of their 65% stake in the pipeline project with an injection of nearly 2 billion dollars much of which was Alberta pension money which enhanced TC’s balance sheet and relieved them of substantial risk. That was prior to, but arguably likely coordinated with the UCP betting over a billion dollars on TC Energy’s Keystone XL boondoggle along with 6 ish billion in loan guarantees. The Kenny Casino where Albertans always lose because our government is too hopelessly incompetent to stay out of private enterprise or pick winners when they do get involved? Ya! Those guys! Next up? Eastern slope open pit coal mines! Yay! Please feel free to improve the accuracy of this because I’m just posting from memory, a suspect source!

    Reply
  9. Bob Raynard

    November 23rd, 2021

    I expect there is a lot of frustration in the lower mainland as the area gets devastated by climate change while Alberta continues to push its fossil fuel industry.

    Reply
    • Lulymay

      November 23rd, 2021

      Don’t worry — the Fraser Valley will still continue to vote for the ReformaCons and, as usual, blame those godless socialists for all their problems.

      Reply
  10. ema

    November 23rd, 2021

    Listening to the reprehensible (Big Jay) Nixon blather on yesterday was so full of irony that it was almost comedic. Anyone that has followed his own troubled past must surely see his outburst as nothing but theatre.

    Reply
  11. Roger

    November 23rd, 2021

    To answer the question posed by the headline: Intelligence, scientific training, compassion and a world vision.

    Reply
  12. Geoffrey Pounder

    November 23rd, 2021

    “Who can forget the screeching hysteria in 2018 when the University of Alberta dared to grant him an honorary degree celebrating his distinguished academic career. Mr. Kenney put out a social media video calling him ‘a multi-millionaire who regurgitates the same message of defamation against what is the most ethical oil industry on earth.'”

    Just what you’d expect from our reactionary right-wing oil-soaked politicians.
    Of course, our progressive saviour Rachel Notley was more or less on the same page:

    “Speaking personally as an alumni (sic), I’m not a big fan of this decision. It struck me as being a bit tone deaf.”
    “If I’d been on the senate, I wouldn’t have personally voted for it.”
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/rachel-notley-suzuki-honorary-degree-university-of-alberta-1.4635006

    Reply
    • DIY

      November 23rd, 2021

      Good point. Is that institutional capture? Still, I’ll take a captured NDP gov’t over a captured UCP gov’t any day. 🙂

      Reply
      • Mickey Rat

        November 23rd, 2021

        No DIY it’s not a good point. Did you read the article? In it Ms. Notley did not say she disagreed with what Dr. Suzuki does, she only questioned whether the U of A awarding him an honorary degree at that time was a good idea. I have great respect for David Suzuki but you have to admit that this was a polarizing, maybe even political, decision by the U of A and one of the biggest problems we have going on right now is extreme polarization. Mr. Pounder exemplifies this.

        In the CBC article GP linked Jason Kenney is quoted directly attacking David Suzuki but GP doesn’t seem to mind that, he just wants to slag Rachel Notley. And as is typical of media, especially the CBC, they posted a disingenuous sub headline (a deliberate lie actually). The sub headline says Ms. Notley “describes David Suzuki’s approach as polarizing” but her quote doesn’t say that – her quote refers to the decision of the U of A. This may seem like language nuance but that’s what DJC’s post today is all about – read the words not the biased interpretation.

        Good on you DIY for seeing that despite their flaws the NDP is a wiser choice than the UCP. That seems too obvious to state but GP doesn’t see it that way.

        Reply
    • Mickey Rat

      November 23rd, 2021

      Hey GP, thx for reminding us again that Rachel Notley is as bad or worse than Jason Kenney. I too can see from way out here that she would be so much worse than Jason could ever be. Just imagine what a mess she would make of Alberta. Vote UCP! Re-elect Kenney! Don’t let Notley back in!

      /sarc off…

      Reply
  13. Abs

    November 23rd, 2021

    Q: What is it about David Suzuki that makes Alberta’s Conservatives lose their minds?

    A: It’s the nature of things around here. Bwahahahaha?

    Reply
    • Lars

      November 23rd, 2021

      I think partly it’s because he cheerfully concedes nothing to them, and makes it clear, subtly, that he doesn’t take them seriously.

      Reply
  14. A little bird

    November 23rd, 2021

    Nixon talks about violence like someone whose never had a restraining order filed against them.

    It’s worth repeating Duncan Kinney’s observation that other than Wiebo the only one blowing up oil and gas infrastructure in Alberta has been the RCMP.

    As was revealed later, they blew up most of the ones attributed to Trickle Creek too.

    Reply
    • Abs

      November 23rd, 2021

      Who can forget the mystery letter anonymously penned to a local newspaper, and the ridiculous use of still photos from a postal outlet security camera of people waiting in line to…(shudder)…mail letters? All an elaborate ruse by the RCMP, intended to encourage neighbors to rat each other out. Those were the days.

      Reply
  15. Athabascan

    November 23rd, 2021

    In Alberta, if you love clean water to drink and bath in, and you enjoy fresh air you can breathe, then you are defined as an Eco-terrorist according to the UCP.

    Why don’ they just rename themselves the fossil fuel party of Alberta? They don’t seem to care about anything else.

    Reply
  16. Jimmy

    November 23rd, 2021

    Misrepresentation of and demonization of views other than his own are features of Kenney style authoritarianism. Dr. Suzuki has been a UCP pantomime bad guy since at least the 2019 provincial election victory speech. That evening the loudest crowd jeers and boos were generated by Kenney’s mention of the David Suzuki Foundation. This despite his naming of “OPEC dictatorships – foreign funded special interests – the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation – HSBC – Vladimir Putin’s Russia – Tides Foundation – Ottawa Federal Government – Lead Now” each spawning similar but quieter booing.
    When the promise of tens of thousands of jobs fails to materialize finger pointing becomes the fall back distraction.
    This is yaky dog behavior at its worst trumping thoughtful leadership from both Jasons.

    Reply
  17. Jimmy

    November 23rd, 2021

    Speaking of honorary degrees was it Kenney who suggested that the University of Calgary should award to the verbose climate change denier Rex Murphy.

    Reply
  18. Kang

    November 23rd, 2021

    It is basic economics which is causing the fossil energy types in Alberta to come unhinged even though most of them do not understand it. As heavy industry electrifies everything from steel making to heavy transportation, the long-term value of all the unrefined tar just keeps going down.

    Most of the big players in oil and gas understand this, which is why the current blip in oil and gas prices has yet to produce a boom in jobs or new projects. To give you an idea of how stupid some of these guys are, one tar sands executive is touting small modular nuclear reactors to provide the energy to cook their tar, while BC Hydro is completing a hydro dam just a few hundred kilometers from Ft. Mac which could cook all their tar with greener and cheaper electricity. Don’t get me started on how hydrogen is based on ignorance of the basic laws of thermodynamics most of us learned in elementary school.

    It is over, and the more these guys hire the RCMP to violate civil liberties, lock up journalists, and buy politicians and Judges to murder our childrens’ futures, the less credible and more isolated Alberta will be. The fact is the climate crisis created by burning stuff, especially fossil fuel. This is an existential threat to humans. We are the top predator species on the planet and every time there has been a major climate change, without exception, it is the top predators that get wiped out. Dr. Suzuki is just reminding them of this and the UCP types just don’t like it.

    Reply
    • Kang

      November 23rd, 2021

      Oh dear, I missed a word, it should read:
      “The fact is the climate crisis IS created by burning stuff, especially fossil fuel.”

      And yes, Dear Bret Larson, people have few alternatives yet to burning stuff. But that has changed (in Alberta 90% coal fired electricity to around 20% now) and will change very quickly in the future, just like the horse barns of the 1900 to 1920 period were replaced by gasoline tractors. My first farm truck was a 66 Ford, 390, 4 barrel carb, three on the tree, about 8 mpg. My latest gets almost 40 mpg, and my next F150 will be electric. Times and technology change.

      Reply
    • Bret Larson

      November 23rd, 2021

      I see economics isnt your strong suit. Just today the woke allies decided to cash in their militaristic stock piles of petrochemical products:
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/biden-oil-gasoline-1.6259266

      Is a new age of peace at hand? Nope. They are trying to shore up their currencies and win elections by duping people.

      Reply
      • Kang

        November 24th, 2021

        Dear Bret Larson: It may be geopolitics is not your first interest. The releasing of strategic oil reserves from the US and several of its allies can be seen as a swipe at Russia’s fossil dependent economy. So, it is an extension of the cold war by economic means. Alberta gets sideswiped in the process in spite of considerable abasement from Edmonton and Ottawa.

        Another way to look at this is from a financial point of view. Think of it as a “short sell.” As technology changes, perhaps now is the time to “get while the getting is good” in recognition of the long-term downward trend in demand and price for fossil fuels.

        This is not to mention that pesky business of the climate catastrophe rooted in human caused changes to the basic geo-chemistry of the earth. Here is an explanation of “net zero by 2050:”
        https://youtu.be/1FqXTCvDLeo

        Reply
          • Kang

            November 25th, 2021

            Oh Bret: You don’t really believe Biden wants to address global warming do you? Nation states with fossil energy always back the oil and gas industry, even Norway and Great Britain. Prime Minister Trudeau baldly stated this when he remarked at the G7, that no country including Canada, would leave billions of barrels of oil undeveloped. Hence the dishonest “net zero by 2050.”

            So, it is a race between technological change and the oil driven geopolitics that will force us to keep burning stuff that will kill us all in the end. Here is an explanation of geochemistry from the BBC and why the future looks dark:
            https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct2kyp
            Here is an explanation of “net zero by 2050:”
            https://youtu.be/1FqXTCvDLeo

    • jerrymacgp

      November 24th, 2021

      @Kang: “the current blip in oil and gas prices has yet to produce a boom in jobs or new projects” … well, actually, it kind of is, although the focus is more about natural gas & conventional oil, not the oil sands. But drilling companies, many of which are small & medium-sized businesses, are finding potential workers a bit gun-shy about the future of the industry. That said, there is still a lot of merit in what you said. I just wanted to point out that the situation on the ground in the ‘patch is not as simple as many would have us believe.

      https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/11/23/oil-well-drilling-set-to-rise-more-than-25-in-2022-industry-group-says.html

      Reply
      • Kang

        November 24th, 2021

        jerrymacgp: fair point about the projected increase in conventional drilling activity by 25% by next year. Keep in mind that percent increase is off a small base, and since it is the small cap companies saying this, they can dry up very quickly once the fast buck speculators leave the room. They may also find it difficult to get the well clean up insurance they need to get past landowners. There is a reason few people want these parasites in their back 40. For most farmers (and ranchers) growing food is less risky and far less trouble.

        Reply
  19. Bret LArson

    November 23rd, 2021

    The hypocrisy behind his stances and the the federal government paying for it might have something to do with it.

    As to pipelines will be blown up. Why are hydrocarbon installations the focus of attacks. They wouldn’t produce it if people didnt pay for it. People use hydrocarbons to survive. Go about their daily tasks and feed others. Seems like a good thing not a bad thing.

    Compared to other bad things like shipping oil and gas by train.

    Which leads to the question, if armed defiance is imminent and Suzuki proselytizing instigated it, will he be jailed as a terrorist?

    Reply
    • Anne Wilson

      November 23rd, 2021

      Of course not. This is free expression.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        November 24th, 2021

        I assume you were supporting Trump in his free expression before the riot in Washington?

        Reply
        • Anne Wilson

          November 24th, 2021

          Course not. Trump was actually telling to the audience to go to the Capitol. I understand there was planning for that attack. Not Suzuki.

          Reply
    • Kang

      November 23rd, 2021

      Hey Bret Larson, the import of the article was that Dr. Suzuki’s quote was taken out of context. Okay, so how about this:
      Bret Larson, writing in Alberta Politics, stated “… pipelines will be blown up….. Seems like a good thing not a bad thing.”
      As you see, quoting people out of context is neither fair or accurate.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        November 24th, 2021

        So Suzuki’s diatribes against oil and gas for the last 20 years have been taken out of context?

        And yet he still feels compelled to benefit from them based on his lifestyle.

        There used to be a time when religious fanatics went into the wilderness and lived in a cave.

        Reply
    • A little bird

      November 23rd, 2021

      People say the same things about cocaine and heroin, “I wouldn’t sell it if they wouldn’t buy it” “if I didn’t someone else would” it’s infantile logic and it makes one sound like a child.

      Reply
  20. Just Me

    November 23rd, 2021

    It should be noted that it’s creeping out that the UCPAGM was far from a kumbiyah moment. A UCP MLA (punted from the caucus but an attendee and member) reported that opposition to Kenney’s leadership was there, but has largely been pushed underground.

    Kenney’s torpedos were everywhere, watching and giving dirty looks to any hint of dissent. It seems that Stalinism has come to Alberta’s conservative heartland.

    Kenney has made a career gaming the system and crushing opposition with brutal force. MPs and MLAs have seen their careers stymied on Kenney’s whims, while others have seen them advance by endlessly fluffing the Dear Leader.

    First Kenney made war in the NDP, then he made war with Ottawa, then he made war on the UCP, and now he makes war on Alberta.

    And he’s still single?

    Reply
  21. Valerie Jobson

    November 23rd, 2021

    Some parallels:

    This past spring and summer everyone with a brain warned Kenney to be cautious and not to relax covid-`19 restrictions too quickly. But Kenney doesn’t understand what a warning is, so he and his horrible employees accused people of fear-mongering and wanting to extend the pandemic. Hundreds of Albertans have died because Kenney would not listen to warnings.

    And how many more have died because of him closing and defunding safe injection sites against the warnings of experts?

    Kenney will not listen to warnings from people who are smarter than him.

    Then think about what happened in 1988: George Erasmus gave a speech:

    “Canada, if you do not deal with this generation of leaders and seek peaceful solutions, then we cannot promise that you are going to like the kind of violent political action that we can just about guarantee the next generation is going to bring to you.”

    Some argued that Erasmus was making threats, not giving a warning. But in 1990, we got the Oka Crisis.

    https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/georges-erasmus

    Politicians like Kenney need to learn to listen to warnings.

    Reply
  22. Mike J Danysh

    November 23rd, 2021

    Why does Dr. Suzuki drive Oilberduh Cons nuts? Uh…because he’s right and they’re wrong? (Wait, was that a trick question?)

    Reply
  23. Laurie Adkin

    November 23rd, 2021

    Full marks for your analysis of the tricks used by Kenney, Nixon, and the National Post (and Postlets) to frame Suzuki’s speech as incitement of violence.

    As for the view that the PCs used to be more prosaic, let’s just say that the Wildrose/UCP crew have a limited range when it comes to tone and pitch. I can recall plenty of extreme characterizations of critics from Klein & Co. And then there is the characterisation of Greenpeace protestors as ecoterrorists by the Stelmach government in 2009. Not to mention Joe Oliver. You are quite right though, David, that Kenney & Co. have gone further than Stelmach in efforts to repress dissent. Critical Infrastructure Act, anyone?

    For old time’s sake, David, here is the text of a letter published in the Edmonton Journal on October 16, 2009, signed by myself and 85 other academics (mostly from Alberta). (The link is inactive, unfortunately.)

    Mr. Roy Cook, Editor
    Letters to the Editor
    Edmonton Journal
    http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/letters/story.html?id=494dbd32-7576-49a7-a305-cb4aee22b831

    October 16, 2009

    Dear Editor,

    Recent statements by Alberta Government officials suggesting that they are considering using “anti-terrorism” law or “counter-terrorism provisions” to stop Greenpeace actions in the province constitute a grave encroachment upon democratic freedoms. The association of political protest with terrorism is not innocent and should alarm all citizens. Let us be clear: terrorism refers to deliberate acts of violence against civilian targets by states or individuals. Even when they involve “trespass” or non-compliance with court injunctions, political protest and civil disobedience that are non-violent, that make no threats of harm against individuals, and that respect human dignity are practices of democratic citizenship.

    It is obvious that this government wishes to persuade the public that the current exploitation of the tar sands is critical to the province’s prosperity and does not inflict irreparable harms to the environment or to First Nations living downstream. The young people putting themselves on the line to protest tar sand operations represent the opposite view – one shared by many residents of this province. In doing so, they are contributing to a legitimate public debate about an urgent issue.

    Practitioners of civil disobedience are not naïve; they are fully aware that they risk legal sanctions for taking their stands; 37 Greenpeace activists have been charged since mid-September. Even if one disagrees with their stance or with their tactics, their right to democratic protest must be defended, rather than being conflated with terrorism.
    A government that cannot make this distinction threatens democracy.

    Reply
  24. alkyl

    November 25th, 2021

    “‘Pipelines will be blown up,’ says David Suzuki, if leaders don’t act on climate change,” screeched the headline in Postmedia’s National Post, and in identical coverage in the U.S.-owned newspaper chain’s smaller regional Postlets. ”

    And? It is another over hyped story about nothing, as it is a simple and trivial statement about potential future occurrences, designed to antagonize gullible lowest common denominator dullards and certain political gasbags.

    Compare and contrast the reaction to the following similar statements and assessments, “The document also cautioned the energy sector that it was “vulnerable to explosives” and even identified a list of possible targets for sabotage. The official in the document listed a number of “terrorist attacks” since 2014 in Canada and abroad, noting that even large-scale sabotages are “technically simple”.”

    “Energy firms at risk from cyber-attacks, pipeline sabotage: CSIS”

    https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/ca/news/cyber/energy-firms-at-risk-from-cyberattacks-pipeline-sabotage-csis-47935.aspx

    The opportunity for employing the usual political tactics against the usual scapegoats (Who seem to enjoy playing the same style of PR game.), such as exaggerating dangers to artificially inflame fears and lying for emotional effect, is low grade political theater designed for a specific audience by a wooden puppet corporate demagogue “. . . . skilled in oratory, flattery and invective; evasive in discussing vital issues; promising everything to everybody; appealing to the passions rather than the reason of the public; a man whose lust for power without recourse to principle leads him to seek to become a master of the masses.” The fact remains that, Jason Kenney, is little more than a fart in a hurricane. Historical perspective demonstrates the truthfulness of that observation.

    As far as, “Nor was there such a hysterical reaction back in the 1990s when someone was actually bombing natural gas pumping sites in northern Alberta. Politicians here remained calm even when Wiebo Ludwig was identified as a suspect, arrested, tried and sent to jail.”

    The lack of a “hysterical reaction” was due to the “wrong type of facts” and reality that emerged,

    “The Mounties bombed an oil installation as part of a dirty tricks campaign in their investigation into sabotage in the Alberta’s oil patch. Their lawyer produced evidence that the RCMP bombed a wellsite and that they did it with the full support of the energy company that owned it. The Crown admits the allegations are true. The police have been under pressure from the industry and the government to put an end to two years of attacks which have caused millions of dollars in damage.”

    “RCMP bombed oil site in ‘dirty tricks’ campaign”

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/rcmp-bombed-oil-site-in-dirty-tricks-campaign-1.188599

    Like icebergs, 90% of what is actually occurring is “below the waterline” and outside of public consciousness and perception because it is not actively investigated and reported on, because the case remains that, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” That is, it is often the case that it is better to keep quiet and remain gainfully employed. Or so it seems.

    Reply

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