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MLA Grant Hunter, the province’s associate minister of red tape reduction, wrote, “Wernher von Braun said, ‘To conquer the universe you’d have to solve two problems: gravity and red tape.’ We’ve made it clear that we are committed to reducing red tape in Alberta. Lots more to come…”

The quote came from an opinion piece linked by Hunter in his tweet.”

“Lori Williams, a political scientist with Mount Royal University, said in the age of social media, it’s important to be careful about sharing a quote unless you know the source.

“To simply repeat a quotation without naming the source might look a little bit less problematic. But to actually say the name of a Nazi officer and then quote it, highly problematic.”

Williams said the tweeted quote may be viewed against the backdrop of other comments Hunter has made.

“And it would be a little bit different had it not been that he … made comments about the superior stock about the people in his constituency, and actually used the word Aryan, misspelled it,” Williams said, referring to a 2010 letter to the editor Hunter submitted to the Cardston Temple City Star.

“He’s got to be very careful about using language associated with Nazis.”

The Taber-Warner MLA is no stranger to controversy.

In 2016 Hunter was one of eight then-Wildrose MLAs who signed a column comparing the carbon tax to the genocide of millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s. The party later apologized.

In 2018, he apologized after comparing the NDP’s 2015 election victory to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people, the Taber Times reported.

Williams said his accumulated comments could pose a political problem.”

The very best part of this story is that it is going to probably pass away quickly, and this particular politician will remain safely in government.

Thank you again Alberta Voters for gracing our province with the exemplary batch of politicians.

 

 

Rachel Notley being sworn into office.

Rachel Notley being sworn into office.

Lesson one in Alberta politics – Don’t fuck with private oil revenue.

Lesson two in Alberta politics – There is no lesson two, please refer to lesson one for all concerns about governance.

Full marks to Ed Stelmach for attempting to get the public’s meagre spoon into firehouse of wealth that is flowing out of this province.  He had a Royalty Review and everything.  It cost him his job because he violated rule Number 1.

“Now Arb,” says the gentle reader, “Why are you talking about Ed Stelmach and the Royalty Review in a post with Danielle Smith in the title?”.  And I say here, “Eager padawans be patient – to understand the present, one must look to the past.

Alberta politics, like most politics, are insipidly structured to make the average person not want to care about what happens as long as the status quo is maintained.  The status quo in Alberta is structuring the laws and society around the model that makes it easiest for the oil companies to extract wealth from the province. The oil companies make out like Scrooge McDuck taking their heady profits out of province and straight to the offshore bank accounts while leaving the population scratching in the tailings-pond for the pittance we call “royalties” here in Texas North.   This state of affairs is nothing new (see Lesson One) in Alberta.

What amuses me is when Ms.Smith of the oh so populist corporatist Wild Rose Party finds a microphone (usually the Sun chain of media, as they do their best to be fox news north) and goes after the government for its spending.  Ms. Smith says:

“The PC legacy of waste and mismanagement is everywhere. Huge salary hikes, new MLA offices, handing corporations billions of taxpayer dollars, and accepting paychecks for doing  no work are only some instances in the long list of PC waste that has come to define this government as out of touch and only out for themselves.”

So, Ms.Smith is going after the government for handing corporations billions of dollars when it was those same corporations that gave her so much darned money in the first place.  Getting all sanctimonious about the corporate pigs at the trough is rich irony as the Wild Rose Party exists to make said trough wider and deeper as soon as they are “elected”.   The Socialist Bullet puts is succinctly with regards to recent election in Alberta:

“The Globe and Mail editors were reflecting the point of view of big sections of Corporate Alberta. Those who travelled in the rarefied air of that section of Alberta, were very comfortable with a victory by either Wildrose or the Tories. Both parties received corporate donations running to the hundreds of thousands of dollars, in the case of Wildrose almost reaching one million dollars. […]

Individual voters take our vote very seriously. We care which party is elected – which is why, of course, there are election campaigns in the first place. Very few people walk about the streets sporting buttons for two parties. People pick one, and cast their ballot. But corporate Alberta had a sweet situation. A victory by either the Tories or Wildrose would be fine. Under either party, it would be business as usual.”

Business as usual.  That folks is the core of why the Wild Rose Party of Alberta is stuck.  It is because their plan is just more of the same (with double plus exploitation of the public trust and resources), but with Bigotry and Lakes of Fire.  How do you make selling the people of Alberta down the river more palatable to your “populist base”?   You go after government waste and corruption.  Going after Alison Redford’s sister and Ms.Redford’s expense accounts makes for great media attention, and might just distract people from the fact that the Wild Rose Party would fleece the people of Alberta for the benefit of the oil companies at a rate that makes any personal expense oversights of the Redford’s laughable in comparison.

The Socialist bullet notes:

It is no exaggeration, then, to say that both parties are parties of big oil. For big oil, the key is continuing the rush to pull oil out of the mud of Northern Alberta, regardless of the environmental consequences. We dodged the bullet on a government of social conservative dinosaurs. But we entrenched in power another majority government enthusiastically committed to Alberta’s boiling mud economy, absolutely focused on a systematic increase in the exploitation of the tar sands.

Remember Lesson Number One. – Just a piece of advice Ms.Redford, because let me assure you Ms.Smith has it tattooed on her Executive Assistant’s forehead.

In the fiefdom known as the province of Alberta, the current right-wing King is stepping down.  Ed Stelmach for glancing once to often toward the center has been ousted by the more radical elements(?) of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative Party.  But really, does it matter?  Certainly the fracture between the PC’s (right) and the Wild Rose Party (further right) will allow some electoral fresh air into the next election.

Doubtful at best.

Thanks to an amazing job of jerrymandering the rural/urban ridings and a political climate laced with near terminal apathy, Alberta is in line for yet another Oil pandering, business friendly (read raping the public-trust friendly) conservative premier.  Full marks to the CBC for attempting to make people care about the upcoming election, going through the motions has never sounded so exciting.

Ted Morton’s appeal to supporters of the Wildrose Alliance could lead to split loyalties for the province’s federal Tories   The province’s former finance minister, who resigned from cabinet in order to seek the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party, said he plans to bring Wildrose Alliance members back into the Progressive Conservative fold.”

Isn’t that cute!  They are arguing who gets to wear the boot that continues to stomp on the face of ordinary Albertans.  I mean there is the serious consideration of who is going to run the province for the benefit of the oil conglomerates and business, plus differing influence peddling price structures are in place to ensure the correct business policy becomes Alberta Government Policy.

There isn’t going to be any chance at all that the Wildrose is simply going to fold into the PC Party,” Smith said in an interview broadcast Saturday on CBC Radio’s The House. “People, myself included, were very hopeful that Ted would be able to lead a movement from within the PC Party to get them back on track. And I think that what we’ve seen is he’s not been effective doing that.

This could spell trouble for federal Tories in the province, some of whom have been quietly supporting Wildrose to the detriment of the provincial PCs. But now that Morton hopes to lead the PC Party, those federal Conservatives may have to pick a side.”

Oh the Drama!  Which brand of proto-fascism will make it into the Great Leaders Chair?   I can only bitterly contemplate this poisonous choice and wonder when if, ever, the population of Alberta will finally have enough of one party rule.

The amount of fraternization between the Alberta Government and the Oil Industry always makes decisions such as these seem questionable.  The idea behind this three million dollar fine is more of a public relations ploy than anything

Making moonscapes here on Earth in the name or resource extraction.

else.  Consider that Government gets to look good for ‘protecting the environment’ and the company also gets to be thoroughly ‘punished’ for its environmental indiscretions.  Everyone wins!  Well except for the wildlife, the Athabasca river, the people dying of cancer because of the emissions from the tar sands the atmosphere… Well, the right people are winning gosh darn it!

“Oilsands giant Syncrude Canada will pay a $3-million penalty for the deaths of 1,600 ducks in one of its toxic tailings ponds in April 2008.

Syncrude lawyers and federal and provincial prosecutors presented the deal Friday morning in provincial court in St. Albert, Alta., and Judge Ken Tjosvold accepted it.”

Woo, the cordial relations between Alberta Government and the oil industry.  See, they can work together!

“Alberta Energy Minister Ron Liepert wouldn’t comment specifically on the court decision but said it sends a message to industry that the province will take action if environmental policies are breached.

“This whole process … shows that if there is a breach of an environmental regulation or legislation, that we are prepared to take action,” he said. “We did and the process unfolded and this is the culmination of it.”

In Vancouver, federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the fine was the largest in Canadian history for an environmental offence.

“I think this shows that we have strong environmental laws in Canada and that we will enforce them,” Prentice said.”

One would think that strong environmental laws would have stopped the creation of huge tailings ponds in the first

The cost of doing business.

place.  Again though, in the acceptable discourse, companies are ‘learning lessons’ and governments are ‘protecting the environment’.

CBC should be commended though as they did find room in their article to mention another point of view.

“A $3-million fine to a multi-billion dollar company equates to a slap on the wrist,” he [Mike Hudema of Greenpeace] said.

“This doesn’t send a very strong message to the industry that Alberta or the federal government is really serious about enforcing our legislation or that crimes like this can’t happen in the future.”

Exactly.  What this amounts to is a non-fine for non-important issue.  The correct notes have been played, the conductor has gesticulated in the appropriate way for the appeasement of the crowd.   The hall goes dark, and it is business as usual here in Alberta.

I look southward and see the swirling Health Care debate in the United Stated and (still) marvel at the public system we have set up here in Canada.  Yet, the Alberta Tories seem to think that Health Care is a bad thing.  I quote from David Eggen’s Op-Ed from the Edmonton Journal:

[…] As it happens, health expenditures in relation to gross domestic product in Alberta have stayed at between five and seven per cent for the last 15 years. We continue to compare favourably to other jurisdictions. The Canadian average is about 10 per cent, France and Switzerland are at about 11 per cent and the United States is at 15 per cent. To me, this sounds pretty sustainable.

This helps to reveal the real agenda behind Liepert’s and Duckett’s draconian actions. It is not about “saving medicare” or responding to the recession. People don’t stop getting sick when the economy is weak.

The Alberta government’s real plan is to destabilize our health-care system so it can implement private, for-profit experiments to “fix” medicare. They are purposefully breaking the health-care system so they can hire private contractors to repair it at inflated prices. […]”

Eggen is right on the money when it comes to the model of first breaking the public system, and then rebuilding it with private contractors reaping the profits.  They tried that in Bolivia; it did not work out so well.

The problem here is the Zombie Electorate which would happily vote a frakking can of beans into office as long as it represented the Progressive Conservatives.

If you would like a non governmental view of what is going on with the Health Care system in Alberta check out the Friends of Medicare Web page.

The Alberta government is lowering royalty rates for the gas and oil industry.  It is a bold initiative, that will bring  jobs, prosperity and pink frakking Unicorns back to our lovely province. Apparently the old royalty review was just too darn hard on the industry.

Douche-Nozzle and Premier of Oilberta

We have just spent the last year and a half recovering from the last bout of fiscal looting and pillaging brought on by the business class so it is right about time to lower government revenue because we need less money, not more, to fund out starving public sector.  Great Scott we need to close a few more schools and hospitals as right now we are falling behind in the race to the bottom.

The paucity of morals and commitment to the people of Alberta is vomit-worthy.  Honestly, could the kowtowing and subservience to the Oil Patch be any more blatant?  This is not even the right question.

The million dollar question is will people actually give a flying flaming hoop about how they are being sold down the river by our government and will they care enough to vote the PC’s out of office?

Oh, by the way the competition review was written by the Gas and Oil Industry.  Certainly a fair shake for all Albertans.  If you read closely you can actually hear the smirk and audacious tone Mr.Collyer uses.

Dave Collyer, head of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers:

“I think it was a significant step forward in restoring investor confidence in Alberta and I think that makes it a good day for not just the industry but for Albertans. This is really about getting investment back into the province, getting Alberta back in the game and that creates activity and that drives jobs and that’s good for the province overall. So I think it was a positive announcement in both tone and substance. So we’re encouraged by it but we’ve got a ways to go yet in terms of getting the industry fully back on its feet.”

Contrast this with what Amy Taylor has to say from the Pembina Institute:

Amy Taylor, senior economist with the Pembina Institute:

“First and foremost, we have concerns with the process that the provincial government embarked upon in which they came to the conclusion that they needed to make adjustments to the royalty scheme applicable to oil and gas in Alberta and more specifically, they made that decision based on conversations and meetings and negotiations that they had over the course of the last several months with industry and industry alone. And we’re talking about a resource that is owned by Albertans. The citizens of this province own the resource and it’s imperative in our opinion that they be consulted when these kind of changes are being considered.”

Transparency and the interests of the people of Alberta have always been low on Ed Stelmach’s list of things to do, but this is just outright pillaging.  And for what?  Because the Wild Rose Fascists are undermining the government from the Right?  You bet it is.   Albertans are getting a dry splintery broomstick in the anus, in regards to resource royalties,  because the quavering lick-spittle progressive conservatives are afraid of  alienating their ‘base’ and will not stand up for the peoples’ interests.

The people of Alberta need to put a stop to these shenanigans, the sooner the better.

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