Alberta’s hill to die on?

Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault (Photo: Government of Canada).

According to Premier Danielle Smith it’s our God-given right to gas-generated electricity, diesel-powered buses, and gas-heated homes.

You want our forced-air gas furnaces, our diesel buses, Guilbeault? Come and take ’em!

This is Wild Rose Country and no eastern bastard environment minister is gonna stuff a heat-pump down our provincial basement staircase! 

… Does this sound stupid to you, dear readers? It sure sounds stupid to me.

But that appeared to be the key message of Premier Smith’s whiny, ranty news conference yesterday at which she introduced her United Conservative Party Government’s Bill 18, the No More Heat Pumps Act, in the second oxymoronic “embargoed news conference” in as many days. 

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek (Photo: Harry Murphy/Creative Commons).

Well, look, as Ms. Smith says when she’s about to tell a whopper, Bill 18 is actually called the Provincial Priorities Act, but those of you who follow Alberta politics will agree that my version is more in tune with the zeitgeist in official Alberta nowadays. 

Premier Smith and Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver, a veteran municipal and provincial politician who certainly knows better, spent an awful lot of time whining about what a raw deal Alberta supposedly gets from Ottawa.

From time to time, Ms. Smith would start to rant, her voice hoarse, about federal policies she called “ideological” – an accusation that’s pretty rich coming from anyone associated with the UCP.

Not true, the author of the breakup of Alberta Health Services and other expensive ideological schemes insisted: “When we do spending, it doesn’t have an ideological tinge to it.”

The premier seemed particularly incensed by the prospect of Ottawa providing funds for solar projects, safe supply of opioid drugs, and housing that is conditional on green standards like the dreaded heat pumps and less restrictive zoning policies than those beloved by profitable development companies that bankroll the UCP.

Alberta NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

“Alberta taking back control of federal agreements,” said the headline on the government press release published yesterday afternoon in apparent tribute to Donald Trump’s MAGA slogan. 

“Alberta has introduced legislation requiring provincial entities to obtain approval before entering, amending, extending or renewing agreements with the federal government,” the press release continued. “Alberta’s government will ensure federal funding is aligned with provincial priorities, rather than with priorities contrary to the province’s interests.” 

So if you were looking forward to being able to afford your prescription drugs or dental care, the news release also said “the legislation would also work to prevent taxpayer dollars being wasted on duplicative programs like pharmacare and dental care when what the province really needs is envelope funding to expand existing provincial programs in these areas.”

In other words, if the UCP can’t control the money and take the credit for it, or at least get a cut, it proposes to cut off access to federal funds by municipalities, school boards, health authorities, and public universities unless a provincial bureaucrat stamps “approved” on it. And, in the case of pharmaceutical drugs and dentistry, individual Albertans. 

God only knows how long it will take to process the approvals. 

University of Calgary political science professor Lisa Young (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

It’s certainly a strange policy for government that claims to want to eliminate “red tape.” 

But then, as Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek observed yesterday, after long seeing their infrastructure needs ignored by the province, “now that cities actually have the ear of the feds and they’ve created funding streams that will allow us to build more homes, fix broken roadways, and make sure your drinking water is safe, the provincial government — the same one that wants to cut red tape and operate at the speed of business — now wants to slam the brakes and slow things down to the speed of a bloated bureaucracy!”

“I cannot accept that a provincial government with control issues is about to take away what rightfully belongs to Calgarians,” Ms. Gondek added.

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley called the bill “a partisan, petulant temper tantrum on the part of this premier.” 

“Albertans haven’t seen any benefit in their health care, in our school systems, or in their household budget at the end of the day as a result of Smith’s squabbles with the federal government,” Ms. Notley said in a statement. “This bill will be no different. Danielle Smith’s record of achieving nothing speaks for itself.”

As for how deep the UCP proposes to dip into federal funding of universities, their employees, and students, that remains an interesting question. We cannot assume that this government won’t try to control which research projects are approved for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grants and scholarships. 

After all, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation makes it its business to attack young Canadian scholars for their work. Why wouldn’t the UCP try to get in front of that parade? 

But if they do, University of Calgary political scientist Lisa Young warned last night, Alberta universities would likely no longer be permitted to receive such grants. 

That would certainly accelerate the brain drain of young scholars already in progress from Alberta. 

Obviously, there’s more to this than just the UCP’s uncontrollable urge to pick fights with Ottawa. 

There’s the stubborn refusal of big city voters in Alberta to elect city councils as far to the right as the UCP. They will be taught a lesson. 

In addition, there’s the UCP’s de facto taxpayer-financed campaign to ensure that federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre becomes Canada’s next prime minister – after which, there is a significant chance this issue will simply evanesce. 

And there is the undeniable outright separatism of many in the Take Back Alberta faction that dominates the UCP and of senior staffers in the Premier’s Office.

How will Ottawa respond? It’s too soon to say. 

They could always write a letter to every provincial recipient of federal funds in Alberta explaining that all payments have been stopped immediately to accommodate the concerns of their provincial government, and that they’ll be happy to schedule a meeting to discuss it whenever the UCP can find the time. 

In the meantime, they might suggest, here’s the number for Premier Smith’s office if you wish to discuss any concerns you may have.

Join the Conversation


  1. I’m not sure if the Premier’s rant about how ideological the Feds are is projection or she truly believes anyone at odds with her agenda must be ideological. In any event, Federal Alberta relations seem about to become even more dysfunctional if that’s possible. Oh for the good old days, where conflict was mainly limited to specific but important issues like energy, but they were often able to work together on many other things like education, health care and housing.

    While she may be able to stop the Feds from giving money to cities or educational institutions, I don’t think the Premier can stop them from giving money to individual Albertans. So maybe that is how it will end up going. Not as efficient, but more direct disbursements may result in more political credit for the Feds. Of course another possibility is they may just give up trying and jusy divy the funds we should have got to programs in less belligerent provinces.

    Lastly, I don’t think it is wise in the long run for the province to be so heavy handed with and antagonize municipal leaders. There are a lot of them throughout the province and many have some influence in their communities. Maybe not coincidentally a fairly popular former one, who once went out of his way to be non partisan, has been so put off by the UCPs antics he is now running to be leader of the opposition. So the UCP may end up reaping more of what they are trying to sew and regretting it.

  2. To paraphrase a certain former U.S. President, that’s some weird crock of crap. That there bill!

  3. Marlaina Kolodnicki and the Useless [EXPLETIVE DELETED, as Rose Many Woods would have said – Ed.] Party are rolling up their sleeves for a litigious final year with Marlaina at the helm. The taking back rhetoric is just that. Pave Darker will find a whim to oust the evil queen so that he can step from behind the curtain to perform the final act of Death to the ucp. Marlaina seemed ok for a bit to regular cons, but Pave Darker? No. Albertans will have had enough. Alas, the disentanglement from the acres of pooled red tape will take years unless we have decisive majority governance that hits the ground running. Who in the ndp has that kind of track record?

  4. Danielle Smith has an astounding ability to tell one lie, right after another. It’s baffling how people fall for the bovine excrement that she produces. Municipalities are in Alberta have been shortchanged by the Conservatives in Alberta for a long time, and it began when Ralph Klein wasn’t collecting the proper oil royalty rates, and corporate tax rates that Peter Lougheed had been getting. The UCP are doing it too. When the munipalities need financial help, it’s going to be more difficult to access. Municipal property taxes will keep on soaring. So much for the UCP reducing red tape. Under the UCP, we have a full fledged dictatorship. Danielle Smith used to be critical of the Alberta PCs, and even had disagreements with Ric McIver, when he was in that party. Now, that he is in the UCP, they seem so chummy. The best interests of Albertans aren’t a priority, under the UCP. With the UCP, it’s all about power, control, and picking fights. Hopefully, the federal government puts the UCP back in their corner, and soon.

    1. Danielle speaks for a majority of sane Canadians who have seen the light and it’s a train coming full speed with Trudeau at the throttle with his SMIRK he loves to give the taxpayers as he and his Cabal are on the decline with Singh’s popularity is falling and his main objective was ‘GOLD PLATED PENSION” along with the rest who’ve been infiltrated by KARL SCHAWB’S agenda of YOU WILL HAVE NITHING AND YOU WILL BE BE HAPPY, well we are on the decline and will soon have nothing but I doubT if we will be happy but most of will be happy when TRUDEAU GETS THE BOOT and Cons will have to clean up the mess that will take years as this battle will be tough to beat with all the votes he bought with our money.

      1. Bruno Brown: Another War Room employee of the UCP? Looks like it. Seeing Danielle Smith in interviews, and in media forums, she has a smirk on her face. Buying votes with our money is what the UCP did. The UCP also never collected the proper oil royalty rates, and corporate tax rates, like Peter Lougheed did, losing us billions of dollars in the process. Furthermore, the UCP has done many other very pricey shenanigans, that also cost us billions of dollars. Under the UCP, we are paying the highest power prices in the country, poverty rates are climbing, public education has cuts, the public healthcare system is being neglected, infrastructure is deteriorating, and the environment is being compromised. Pierre Poilievre is another who will do absolutely nothing but destroy jobs, and wreck our public healthcare system. There are people, including me, who are not totally enamored with Justin Trudeau, but these phony Conservatives and Reformers, like Ralph Klein, Mike Harris, Danielle Smith, Scott Moe, Doug Ford, Stephen Harper, and Pierre Poilievre, have shown they are far worse. Where’s the sense in supporting that?

      2. Conservatives have been in power in alberta not only for the last six years, but all but four of them that it has existed. What have they fixed ? All they’ve done is piss away the natural wealth of this province to enrich Americans. Give me a literal break guy, y’all can’t organize a card game, but you’re going to remake society in your image. Ok sure, because the rest of us don’t think you’re all ridiculous right ?

        We do.

  5. You know me, always on the lookout for opportunities, even if it’s appears out of the box and silly at first glance but here goes.

    According to a recent article in the Financial Times, the Chinese are flooding world markets with cheap EV’s and solar panels. Unsold solar panels are piling up in European warehouses and in places like Germany and the Netherlands people are using them to erect fences in their gardens. Meanwhile European ports are turning into car parks as Chinese EV’s sit waiting for paying customers which are not materializing anytime soon. That must get awfully expansive. You can read all about it here:

    The UCP should strike up a deal with the CCP to store their clean tech production overcapacity here. A win-win for both parties. The Chinese can keep their factories humming and store the output at cheaper storage facilities in Alberta. Danielle Smith can score some points with the green crowd. Eventually they’ll have to give away those cars and who knows maybe one day over half of the vehicles on travelling Alberta roads are Chinese electric cars. So the planet wins too.

    1. ronmac: another way to look at this is 20 years ago the Chinese read the science and planned for a carbon constrained future. They started to invest in production facilities for solar panels, electric cars and all the infrastructure to support that energy transition. Meanwhile in fossil Alberta and the US, it was fun, fun, fun, until Daddy took the T-Bird away.

      Now we have a decaying mess in Alberta while the Chinese companies are producing state of the art electric cars and eating the lunch of the big fossil European and American car companies. Oh, pray for the Japanese. They are even further behind.

      Even more alarming for Alberta, Calpine has demolished a 10 year old, 800 MW state of the art gas fired cogen in California and replaced it with a 680 MW/2720 MWh battery. Calpine used to be a major gas producer in Alberta. California was once the principal market for Alberta gas. But hey, the UCP just shut down renewable developments, including grid scale batteries.

    2. Once again You’re either completely misrepresenting or misunderstanding the arguments being made. A useful link explains what you’re missing.

      What’s happening here and what’s compelling the freak out in the western establishment like the friggin financial times, isn’t that China is overproducing, (since when does America care about that all, they literally dump their fast fashion in landfills on the other side of the globe) but that China is OUT producing, in terms of quality and efficiency, the American firms, who functionally stopped making anything and became resellers decades ago.

      China leads the world in automation for example, not only in numbers but quality, and this is in fact the main reason that Chinese manufacturing does laps around most of the rest of the world, not so much because of wages, but because of the extremely advanced level of automation.

      One example I’m sure you saw on naked capitalism because you read it all the time from a couple weeks back; an American expat in China shared via an embedded tweet that in America he had to cut and strip cables by hand (when building for example an MCC) but in China there is a common machine that does it for you, in whatever length, instantly, like a laser printer prints documents. The savings of hours are astronomical, but it also allows an expert worker to concentrate on their expertise, making junctions, rather than the mundacity of the easily automated task, something western capital could do if it weren’t for the initial capital investment, an idea western business leaders find anathema.

      I’m stealing this quote from the article I linked because it’s literally to succinct. Whether you like it or not, climate change is in fact real, fossil fuels will only be burnt for a competitively short time longer to what’s previously been the case, and yah we don’t hunt whales for their oil anymore either. Times change.

      From the horses mouth, and entirely revealing the actual issue at play ;

      “When the global market is flooded with cheap Chinese goods, the viability of AMERICAN FIRMS is put into question.”

      If you can’t read between those lines I dunno what to tell ya man.

      1. Yes most of the American firms these days have put their energies into constructing elaborate financial pyramid schemes which China wants no part of. But I have a theory -see if you agree- we are slowly going back to a world that existed 500 years ago when China was the centre of the world and every two bit kingdom on earth was beating a path to it’s door to trade. In 1492 some crazy Italian convinced the King of Spain the earth wasn’t flat and that you could sail around the world and bump into China.

        Ever notice how climate alarmists have slowly adopted the language of the climate skeptics. A few years ago their buzzword was “global warming.” The earth was heating up, the ice shields were melting and fossil fuels were to blame! Greta was going around touting some scientist’s claims the Arctic ice cap was going to be gone by 2023. Skeptics were like no no no it’s “climate change” dude, it’s been going on since Adam and Eve. Nothing you can do about it so chill out!

        1. You have an idea that several people have written books about, is the thrust of many think tanks research and the thrust of much of the foreign policy of the west since like WWI ? Nah, the OPIUM WARS at least!

          yeah whoever controls the “great island” the Eurasian landmass where most of the people in the world live, and most of the resources are has the predominant global position of power.

          So far the Americans have managed this since WW2 (after largely inheriting the British empire ) with brute force, economic chicanery, drugs, and war and terrorism when they felt it was necessary. As we emerge into a new multi polar era of global politics, they understand this influence is waning.

          See: ukraine

          See: taiwan

          See: BRICS+

          As far your ridiculous nonsense point about climate change; it’s just that, nonsense. As was rightly pointed out by someone other than me CHINA started behaving like climate change was real looooooooong ago, and that’s the real reason (other than central planning) they are so far ahead now.

          The people who tell you climate change isn’t real think you’re an easily manipulated bobble head doll btw; they know it’s real, they’re just counting on you believing them because it’s what you want to hear, the mark of rubes and charlatans, don’t expect the rest of us to go along with you. We have eyes.

        2. Here we go with the “the climate has always changed, it’s just a natural cycle and we can’t control it” version of denialism. Yes the climate has always changed throughout the 4.5 billion ears of Earth’s history — but the last time the planet went through a warming of the magnitude we’re in the midst of was the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), about 56 million years ago, when the globe warmed about 5-6° C in “only” 10,000 years. Now we’re living through a comparable level of warming in just a singe human lifetime.

          Oh, and by the way, during the PETM, there were no human cities on the shoreline that could be flooded by rising sea levels, or human settlements near forests that could burn. This was millions of years before the first ancestor of humanity walked upright.

  6. A terrific column. How lucky are you Albertans to have a rock-ribbed alternative to the National Post and the other ingratiating “news” sources.

  7. Alberta’s TBA premier’s phone number is useless. It’s not like the TBA government operatives care what concerned Albertans think.

    Typing of the defacto leader of Alberta, he has been pretty quiet lately, must mean his cult is up to something nefarious. Or maybe DP is on another bender?

    1. You are not wrong, but Schultz was humorous.

      Is it just me, or do 4-litre no-name vodka jugs come to mind every time some important UCP member angrily and aggressively chugs water at a press conference?

  8. …gee…talk about whiny ranting….
    That aside. People are moving to Alberta in record numbers. Why? Affordability. Jobs. Tax structure. Less wasteful spending. Take personal accountability and responsibity. Not letting federal whiner buy votes with your own tax dollars you sent them. Daniel Smith can take credit.

    1. It’s the jobs and not much else. Those will dry up soon after the price of oil slumps, as it always does. Besides, the favourite activity of Albertans is to move to B.C. as soon as they can afford it.

    2. Surfdeep: Alberta isn’t affordable. Edmonton and Calgary have the greatest rental increases in the entire country. Alberta also has the highest rate of inflation in Canada. Utilities are very costly, and power prices are the most expensive in the nation. There is no jobs that were created from the UCP, other than for their grifter Conservative friends. About $10 billion in corporate tax cuts happened, without any jobs gained. Vote buying is exactly what the UCP has done, and they squandered a lot of money in the process. More wasteful spending. $7.5 billion on a pipeline that hit a dead end, $20 billion given to oil companies that can’t cleanup after themselves, Turkish Tylenot, DynaLife, and multitudes of other wasteful spending. Essential services, such as public healthcare and public education are suffering. The UCP, and Danielle Smith can take credit for this.

    3. Dunno “Surfdeep”, whatever the UCP paid you for this laughably bad boot-licking piece of tripe certainly seems like wasteful spending to me. That is, assuming you are a real person. Your near incomprehensible post shows that the line is blurry these days between your average low-IQ UCP supporter and random internet bots!

      1. F.F. This about the worst blog comment I have seen in a long time. Other than a half dozen ad hominems there is nothing of value there – nothing. Can you just wait and think a bit then maybe find something intelligent to say?

        Surely you’re not serious, I don’t agree with all the Surfer said but I understand what s/he is saying. I think you did too but I suppose “incomprehensible” is a five-dollar word that was too good not to throw out there…

        1. I think you’re missing the point here, Mick. Here at AP, as well as comments sections everywhere, we see trolls flooding the works with RWNJ propaganda. Let’s face it, most of these are not simply people with differing opinions, they are paid operatives or bots with the objective of spreading division. And yes, sometimes I take it upon myself to call them out and remind the public of this fact. Take a look at this thread alone and you’ll see drive-by smears that exist only say Trudeau=bad, UCP/CPC good, regardless of the topic at hand. The fact is the right wing is better at operating as a cohesive unit, they don’t attack their own whereas (sadly) the left spend more time bickering with each other, arguing about who is more ideologically pure and calling each other out for not being intelligent enough.

          It’s ironic that you thought my post was so stupid yet you took the time to write a stinging two paragraph retort with all the zeal of a Smith supporter attacking an NDP’er. And that really highlights the problem with the left these days. If you’ve ever read my posts here you’d realize I’m very much anti-UCP/Smith/TBA, anti-CPC/PP, anti-fascist and generally care about the state of my home province of Alberta. When you realize we are on the same side perhaps you’ll come off your high horse, take your own advice and THINK before pressing the post button. In the meantime please enjoy the rest of your Sunday, the forecast is calling for a beautiful day.

    4. If you “surfed a little deeper”, you could find the stats that show record numbers leaving the Province also. Tie in war refugee stats for good measure as well. Marlaina can’t take all the credit, deep surfer.

    5. Their only problem is that their kids aren’t getting an education. My dentists kindergarten child is in a class of 45 and her 7 year old is in a class of 40! How much can any child learn when the teacher is busy trying to ‘herd cats’?

    6. And they all hate the Prime Minister with the same frenetic irrational obsessiveness as you.

      I’m sure this mass migration will sit just fine with the UCPs white rural MAGAT base.

    7. Alberta is trailing the country in job growth, many industries are fleeing the province, including – *checks notes* doctors, and we are LEADING the country in overdose deaths.

      People move to alberta because they’re sold a song and dance about making it rich in the patch and A LOT of those folks end up being the same folks in what are colourfully called encampments.

      What are you even talking about ? That’s a pipe dream.

  9. As said a couple of days ago, the UCP are going for a full blown dictatorship. I suspect the UCP will inflict an unrepairable amount of pain on Albertans before the NDP can come in and fix it. The list of UCP failures grows by the day. I think it is time for a constitutional challenge to the Smith stupidity. The UCP refuse to provide cost effective dental care to seniors and intend on blocking the federal government from providing that. Not to mention the highest electricity rates of any province, to which they are doing nothing, along with broken tax promises, highest car insurance rates and so on. In addition, they refuse to do anything to curb or slow down rising home rental increases, all of which they are doing nothing. This goes along with dismantling health care in favor of private. Almost twenty years ago inter-hospital transfers were done with a private firm that hired entry level ambulance staff. When AHS came about, this was done away with and was done in-house. I see an announcement yesterday that two contracts were awarded to private firms for inter-hospital transfers.
    In my view so far they are batting zero and going downhill fast.

    1. If you “surfed a little deeper”, you could find the stats that show record numbers leaving the Province also. Tie in war refugee stats for good measure as well. Marlaina can’t take all the credit, deep surfer.

      1. Good Alberta needs more like mined individuals and get rid of the leftwing ideological fools ! Let them all move out east or Bc if you like Liberals and Ndpers

        1. Born and raised in the heartland Ron, come and take it from my cold dead fingers. Alberta doesn’t belong to you.

  10. Call it what it is, a dictatorship. This is what that woman has done to Alberta right in front of everybody’s face. But what gets me is that people are just sitting back and letting it happen. Wake up people and for the people of alberta who voted for her. Way to go, look at what you did to our provence…

    1. David, I regret to inform you that you are part of the minority of critical thinkers. Only 4% of people use their brain. Of that 4%, fewer than 25% do so critically. So, no more than 1% are critical thinkers. The UCP use this statistic to their advantage and run roughshod over Albertans. No chance of the severely normal Alberdumbs waking up any time soon!

    2. I’m 100% behind Danielle Smiths fight against these enept corrupt Liberal/Ndpers Canada has been destroyed with left-wing ideological nut bars making bad policy mistakes over and over!Csnada will be much better off when this corrupt Federal government is defeated and the criminals are held accountable!

      1. RON BAILEY: The bad policy mistakes that happened over and over, were when these pseudo Conservatives and Reformers destroyed everything good that Peter Lougheed created for us in Alberta. Ralph Klein was the best example of that. Oil royalty rates were reduced to a very low amount, losing us nearly $600 billion. Add to this an orphan well mess that sits at $260 billion. The bad tax structure set us back $150 billion. So many other pricey boondoogles happened, which flushed even more money away. Our utilities are the most expensive in Canada, there is so much poverty, public education and public healthcare have faced cuts, hospital wait times didn’t decline, doctors are leaving Alberta, infrastructure is deteriorating, and the environment is suffering. Can’t get anymore foolish than that. Danielle Smith and the UCP aren’t doing anything different. Pierre Poilievre is just another pseudo Conservative and Reformer, who will just destroy jobs, and look after his rich friends, just like Danielle Smith and the UCP are doing. Ralph Klein was originally a Liberal, and so was the previous UCP leader.

      2. Much of the economic hardship of Canadians can and will be laid at the feet of those responsible, and the situation we have now began under Mulroney, finalized under Harper. What you’re doing is called projection. It’s also spelled inept, which is how I would characterize your analysis, and basically every single thing this gaggle of losers has done since they took office.

  11. I believe Dr. No looks more like a jowly human potted plant on stage as opposed to a faithful lieutenant standing at attention.

    1. Sandy: And by the way, that is 80 per cent of the funding for the project. DJC

      1. Cool, a journalist who can do arithmetic. But you’re correct of course, and it’s a good point Sandy…

  12. 1) Was she attending the Canada Strong and Free conference in O-town or is that too soft for her liking?

    2) May I recommend a book to fellow readers? I have no interest in its publication but I feel it does touch upon core elements of the TBA and sets a ‘possible’ future for Alberta. It’s called Crack-Up Capitalism and it’s by a Canadian author, Quinn Slobodian. Available at libraries and bookstores.

    1. Lefty: She was at the Canada Strong and Free conference.The rebranded Manning conference presents a mild-mannered face to the world, but it invites an awful lot of out-and-out fascists. DJC

      1. Did you see that Boris Johnston told the conference about the need to have a plan for climate change? First time I’ve felt any respect for him. Then Abbott from Australia objected, of course. I wonder if some are feeling wobbly in thei climate change denial.

  13. Holy eff, David. Just holy eff.

    This left a pit in the bottom of my stomach. It’s time for Albertan’s to pushback. But how? How do I, this one person sitting here right now after reading your blog, start to make some meaningful noise?

  14. Outrageous – robbing Albertans of our rightful advantages of being a Canadian . It is similar to Republican states ( 22) which refuse to take Federal money for school lunch programmes without putting in replacement programmes because it too socialist.

  15. So…Calgary and Edmonton should separate from Alberta? Like Quebec separatists, Alberta separatists are making the same mistake of assuming the province is somehow a natural entity and not just a political unit. It would be ironic if gatekeeping conservative premiers pushed frustrated urban voters to demand a renewed federalism where cities have real autonomy.

    1. I would stronglhy support a new federalism with “city states” and rump “provinces” with drastically reduced powers. Frankly, I’d prefer home rule to what we have now.

  16. Good summary of what this is all really about, David.
    I was wondering how long it would take the UCP to attempt to hobble academic research in Alberta universities, above and beyond their crippling budgetary cuts. And I think that any environmental research, as well as research into renewable energy, will be vetoed if this goes through.
    But more generally, universities and municipalities represent nuclei of power that are not currently under Danielle Smith’s thumb. You can see why that just won’t do.

  17. “They could always write a letter to every provincial recipient of federal funds in Alberta explaining that all payments have been stopped immediately to accommodate the concerns of their provincial government, and that they’ll be happy to schedule a meeting to discuss it whenever the UCP can find the time.”

    Yes, they could do that. Then they could send a letter to each of us, explaining that it will be up to individual Canadian citizens to opt into programs like pharmacare and dental care. We can initiate our Canada Pension payments without asking the premier of Alberta for her permission (for now). It’s between us and our federal government. The April Fool of Alberta needs to stay in her lane and stop interfering in every aspect of our lives. Nobody voted for a totalitarian state, Madam.

  18. Your headline photo is perfect! Ric McIver looks like he’s either donating all his spinal fluid for a pay cheque, or trying his best not to fart!

  19. 1. Feud: “A bitter, often prolonged quarrel or state of enmity, especially such a state of hostilities between two families or clans.”

    2. “A man who seeks revenge keeps his own wounds green, which would otherwise heal.”

    3. Like any ‘good’ feud, or long standing tribal conflict, the bitterness, resentment, and desire for revenge is generational, carefully constructed/
    managed/manipulated, and continually intensified from the sidelines:

    “I asked Cooper, who is now 80 years old, how it felt to see a premier take up the blueprint he’s been pushing for the past half-century. “Better late than never,” he said. “These ideas are not news to a lot of Albertans. I learned this stuff from my grandfather.”

    Apparently, it is family/tribal tradition.

    4. Who benefits and in what way from the constant publicity/self promotion and more importantly, who is ultimately accountable and in what way for policy decision failures and their negative spillovers?

  20. As this law is supposed to kick in in early part of 2025, perhaps the municipalities can rush to reach as many agreement with Federal Government as they possibly can before that happens…..?

  21. POGO….I’m taking ” what happens when you give up your spinal fluid “, because if he did a ‘barnyard air freshener’ in that setting, no one would notice, they don’t call it ” au de farm ” for nothing….lol

  22. Is McIver suppressing a burp or a fart?
    I’m surprised LaGrange wasn’t present to add an ingredient of intellectual gravitas to the profound declaration.

    1. CovKid: I’ve known Ric McIver for a long time, and while he’s far too conservative for my taste, I think he’s a decent human being and a reasonable person. He was a city councillor before being an MLA, and he certainly knows that what he’s being called upon to peddle as Municipal Affairs minister is dangerous and destructive horse pucky. I suspect that like a lot of people in his position, he has deluded himself into thinking that the premier will be worse without him around to keep her in check. So I expect that the he wasn’t actually trying to hold in a fart, but to keep himself from running screaming from the room. He should, in my opinion, have given in to that urge. DJC

      1. “…he wasn’t actually trying to hold in a fart, but to keep himself from running screaming from the room.” He could’ve had the best of both, noise off and run screaming from the room, jet propelled!

        1. Tom: The propulsive benefits of farts are overrated, in my opinion. But you have reminded me of one of my top rules for life, especially when running on the track. Always shoulder check before farting. DJC

      2. Who Bleu cheese at the press conference? Off with his/her/its/me/you/they/ heads! It would seem so, according to the mad Queen of clubs!

      3. On the other hand, I remember this.

        “In a report released Wednesday, Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler said comments made by McIver in question period in, in which he voiced opposition to a price cap on electricity rates, could – if adopted by the government – benefit an energy retail company run by his wife.

        Christine McIver is the sole shareholder and director of Brighter Futures Energy Inc. – a competitive retailer in the energy market.“

        When people tell me who they are I try to listen.

  23. Post doctoral fellowships funded by the Fed’s will go to research institutions outside of AB. Research chairs funded by the Fed’s … also going elsewhere.

    Darn and I was looking to install solar panels and a heat pump system. Too bad for the the installers who will now have reduced work. And here I thought conservatives were good for the economy. Guess I am mistaken.

  24. Maybe it’s a good time for Ottawa and PMJT to double-down and say Alberta gets no federal funding for anything now?

    I mean, no more federal funding for infrastructure, programs…anything. Of course, I’m sure other provinces, like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and British Columbia will be more than happy to accept enriched fed funding for their programs. Ontario will be in like a dirty shirt, of course.

    I expect Queen Danielle to ratchet up the rage and say Trudeau broken Federalism by shutting Alberta out, and Alberta can go it alone. Land-locked Alberta can go it alone? Sure. Go ahead. Or, Alberta can take Ottawa to the SC, but what if the Court rules that Ottawa has the right to determine how federal funds are managed? I except Smith’s tantrums to really explode at that point.

    Personally, I love to see Ottawa declare that the federally bought Trans-Mountain pipeline to be handed over to BC as their provincial asset. Now wouldn’t that be hilarious?


  25. Apparently, there is a leadership review for Danielle Smith, later on this year. She has to appeal to her rabid and delusional fan base, by acting tough. Regardless of how undemocratic, illogical, and even illegal her policies are, she has to say and do anything to keep them happy. It’s also a good distraction from her own failures as premier of Alberta, so Danielle Smith has to attack the federal Liberal government. In rural Alberta, the UCP has walked all over them, and hasn’t properly addressed their needs, including with proper infrastructure funding, with healthcare issues, and with other matters, and now Danielle Smith is making it even harder for them. They will continue to cheer the UCP on, regardless of the adverse consequences they have to deal with, caused by the provincial government they supported. The federal Liberals are the ones who are made to look like the boogeyman. It’s like they are trying to climb a ladder with broken rungs.

  26. If Smith is setting up things so the federal government can not provide funding for things in Alberta, can the other provinces apply for a cut of the money? Just asking. The federal government could then run ads advising Albertans, “we’re sorry we could not build………..because your Premier won’t permit it.” The money has now been awarded to Nova Scotia which is now using the money for affordable seniors housing.
    Its awhile until the federal election. People may get tired of a year of unpleasantness from PP and decide to stick with Trudeau or whomever replaces him.

  27. This is oldish, but the documentation to update the sale of our private healthcare information in Netcare is being prepared right now. Bill 46 stripped patient privacy measures in place in the name of reducing red tape, giving access to Albertans’ health care records to out-of-province and out-of-country health care providers.
    Red tape straitjacket good for those sneaky, greeny federal bâtards? Gotta free Albertans though from the constraints of pesky privacy measures.

    1. YYC Lefty: That may change. The more the UCP peeves people off, the more support the NDP will have. People will definitely be opening up their wallets, and purses, to donate to the UCP. The UCP aren’t improving things.

  28. Oh my Lord and heaven forfend! I have lied! Blatantly! To your dear readers. In the service of the false god of humour! Ric Mciver did not blame his fart on Dani! No! He took responsibility and has been, removed from cabinet as if a jin were released from a bottle!

  29. What really bugs me as a die hard Albertan is those federal types telling us what the weather is forecast to be — Environment Canada and all that! I demand that before they push their climate agenda at us via the daily weather report, that report must first be cleared by the Premier’s Office! So there!

  30. So Marlaina doesn’t want the feds interfering in “her ” jurisdiction, but she can interfere with municipalities: oh! of course, that’s what the legislation was for. And since she says Skippy must respect her wishes as far as housing , it seems to me that, that goes contrary to his plans about giving cities/municipalities either bonuses or demerits/ withholdings for not following “his ” plans.
    From his X** earlier today, he was asked about financing for colleges and he said ,” even though I went to university, he’s going to be giving the money to colleges, so they can produce more trades people ”
    who do the work yada yada etc. etc.
    So again, it seems to me that he is going to be butting heads with DS….

    **PP-X –6:13 am
    “More boots, less suits.

    Tradesworkers who build our country will bring home paycheques for our people when I’m PM.”…..
    (does this statement make any sense to anyone? Either his wknd staff are of the English as a second language group or his AI genie wasn’t properly programmed. Mr Joseph would have given him a C-/D at best. But then I suppose, he thinks he knows who his target audience is and like d’rump, he has no qualms about insulting his supporters, right to their faces–Common sense for the common people-)-

    More ironically, he was introduced as the next Prime Minister of Canada……
    so = PPP ?? I’m thinking his little star dusting has really gone to his head– chickens and eggs Skippy…..

    Or as my friend pointed out when asked if PP was going to become the next PM –Depends …..

  31. It’s interesting to note that, while there are no votes for PMJT in Alberta, there is the potential for a wealth of votes in the other provinces. If the Sask. Party loses its reelection bid, then what for Smith? Manitoba is gone, and the Calgary Cabal wasn’t able to keep Saskatchewan in their grip. As for Doug Ford, Ford will do what’s good for Ford — The Resistance be damned. Queen Danielle may find her circle is getting smaller very soon.

    I’m even noticing that Skippy Pollivere’s “Common Sense” platform doesn’t include anything more than platitudes and the same ‘clean up your room’ nonsense that Jordan Peterson yaks out daily. Of course, he refuses to even mention the initiatives that the LPC has brought in over the last several months, because he’s not about to kill his campaign over school food programs, etc. If anything, he may just imply that he supports these programs, while letting the crazy hate train roll on.

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