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Fascinating stuff from the Edmonton Journal:

 

 

“Premier Jason Kenney did not condemn weekend anti-mask rallies on Monday, saying the right to protest is constitutionally protected.

Saturday anti-mask protests in both Edmonton and Calgary drew crowds of hundreds after new provincial rules were introduced last week that ban private indoor social gatherings and limit “private social” outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In question period Monday, Kenney highlighted the legal right to demonstrate.

“We ask Albertans to be responsible in their actions … obviously when it comes to the constitutionally protected right to protest,” said Kenney.”

 

Let’s take a peek at where “ask[ing] Albertans to be responsible in their actions” has gotten us:

Personal responsibility (en masse) isn’t fucking working Mr.Premier.

 

Mr. Kenney did you perhaps wish to stop pouring gasoline on this particular fire?

 

“NDP Leader Rachel Notley said Kenney needs to call out the “irresponsible” behaviour of demonstrators.

“To those people who purposely and knowingly put themselves, their families, their communities at risk, this week you owe an apology for your extreme selfishness to every bleary-eyed exhausted nurse, doctor, and health-care worker in this province who is fighting day and night to fight this pandemic,” she told reporters before question period.

Instead of condemning those who attended, Kenney asked Albertans to be responsible.

“We would ask people not to engage in large-scale protests, and if they do so, please wear masks,” said Kenney, adding enforcement of any measures under the order Hinshaw signed is up to police, not the government.”

I am glad one of our political leaders understands the nature of public health and the ramifications of tacitly condoning behaviour that spreads the virus.  The NDP government of Alberta was far from perfect, but they at least understood that people are the basis of our society and public orders to protect their health are necessary actions during times of crisis.

 

“Kenney has resisted calls to issue a province-wide masking mandate, last Wednesday saying in a Facebook live event that a province-wide mask mandate could be counterproductive.

Kenney cited a rural MLA who told him more people are wearing masks in the local grocery store, but that “a lot of these folks who are doing that now, they’d take it off the moment the government tells them to wear it.”

Yes, because catering to the ‘muh-freedoms’ crowd during a pandemic is going so amazingly well.  I’m not going to let this one go folks – Jason Kenney is catering to his base over the well being of Albertans during a pandemic that is spiralling out of control.  When will we act?  When the hospitals are all bottled-necked?  When the field hospitals are full? When there are dead in the streets?

 

This UCP government is acting irresponsibly and sentencing Albertans to death by COVID-19.  There is no place from them in office, I hope the people of Alberta (especially the rural areas that keep voting conservative) see this.

Here in Alberta I am really enjoying our neoconservative UCP government.  They replaced a government that sough to balance economic investment and diversification with support of the public good.  The UCP essentially tore up that balanced economic plan and went ‘all-in’ on ramping up the Oil & Gas industry and making building pipelines a major campaign promise.

The UCP budget forcast included oil prices to be well north of $50 a barrel.  And here we are speculating that the current oil prices (April/May 2020) may hi the (negative)-40 dollars per barrel figure.

Yep, they were elected on the premise of killing the deficit and now are forecast to run some of the largest deficits in Alberta’s history.  But this is nothing new for Alberta under conservative rule.  Allegiance to the large business sector and Oil & Gas has always been a fixture.  The people of Alberta and the public services they need have always come a distant 10th.

So, the price of Oil has now cratered and is tunneling downward toward the core.  What next dear UCP?

 

“Alberta’s oilpatch history is full of ups and downs, dating back to the province’s first big oil rush more than 100 years ago near Turner Valley. But who would have thought oil would one day be worth less than $0?

On Monday, the price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI), the North American benchmark, fell more than $50 to close at negative $37.63 US.

“It’s certainly not something I ever thought I would witness,” said Matt Murphy, a Calgary-based equity research analyst with Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

“I won’t wager a guess how it may trade [Tuesday]. Could it go worse than negative $40? I don’t know,” he said.

Oil companies in Western Canada and offshore Newfoundland were already drastically reducing costs, slashing payroll and pulling back on oil production in recent weeks with commodity prices hitting multi-year lows. Now, the cuts are being accelerated further with Husky Energy and Crescent Point Energy both on Monday cutting spending more than previously announced.


It was a crazy day on the markets.

WTI prices swung wildly as oil traders began to panic as time runs out to get rid of oil contracts for May. The price of oil is determined by investments known as futures contracts, which are agreements to buy and sell a certain amount of oil at a certain time in the future. Typically, the contracts are bought and sold countless times before the oil is actually delivered to the final buyer.

But the May contracts are set to finalize on Tuesday, meaning anyone left holding one will have to physically receive the oil — and storage options are filling up, especially in the U.S. Midwest. No one wants to be stuck with the oil and traders were willing to take heavy losses to ditch the contracts before they come due.”

It galls me the level of disregard for our society being exhibited by our Alberta UCP government. The naked capitulation to business interests over the public well being is infuriating.

I, for one, am not looking forward to the social fabric of our province being torn asunder by the austerity crazed UCP government in 2020.

“Speaking of blaming others for Alberta’s ills, 2020 will see the UCP government maintain its pugilistic approach to issues via its Fight Back Strategy that includes the “war room” — officially, the Canadian Energy Centre — the public inquiry into the government’s foreign-funded conspiracy theory, and the “fair deal” panel that is looking into whether Alberta should have, for example, its own police force and pension plan.

These are all tactics designed to keep Alberta on a war footing and keep Albertans angry, frustrated and easily manipulated by a government that equates legitimate opposition with sedition.

The past year ended with some frustrated public sector workers musing about a general strike. That strike never happened and perhaps it never will. But we might see strikes by individual public sector unions in 2020. They are upset by a government that is pressing workers to take wage cuts. The government has made it clear if the unions win wage hikes, they can expect job cuts.”

Good times ahead folks. :(

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.

 

 

So the UCP just passed Bill 9, better known as the we’re too scared to negotiate so we’re going to legislate new wages for our public sector employees. This, of course, is a clear violation of charter rights to collective bargaining and flies in the very face of good faith bargaining. One union has already stated that they will be challenging this bill in court and I’m sure it will be challenged by everyone it tries to get used upon. This mean that the so called fiscal conservatives will be wasting public money defending their illegal legislation in an effort to crush the working people of Alberta.

In a brazen act of doublethink the UCP is branding this as no big deal, as a simple delay to bargaining. Kenney state, “No one’s taking anybody’s rights away,” while his finance minister goes on record that they need this time to negotiate in good faith, which is right on point with their Orwellian messaging. Delaying contract arbitrations that were scheduled and signed in good faith is the literal definition of taking peoples rights away and negotiating in bad faith. But hey it’s a brave new world. With the new wave of doublethink we can say all sorts of new things like we’ve brought 6465 days of peace to Afghanistan, bringing freedom to its people, and strength to its children.

And this brings us to you, dear UCP voter. You have done this. Each and every one of you. None of this is a surprise. Not one iota. There was every indication that the UCP was going to do this before the election. Thanks to you dear UCP voter we now have a government that doesn’t care about the charter or the rule of law and will waste our tax monies in fighting for their ideological war on working people. So thank you UCP voters. And by thank you I mean fuck you. I hope all the teachers, nurses, and public servants that voted UCP are the ones that will lose their jobs in the coming months.

So the NDP lost the last election and the UCP has formed the new government in Alberta with Jason Kenney at the helm. Old news. So I’ve been pretty demoralized about this because I see a lot of bad shit coming. So I’ve decided to share it with everyone, here, in an ongoing series where I personally thank all the UCP voters for the shitty things the UCP are going to do to the people of Alberta; all the shitty things the UCP voters have done to Alberta. So without further ado, here we go!

  1. UCP cancels gay conversion therapy ban working group. Why? Because bigots love torturing gay kids. That’s it, that’s all. Just pure, unadulterated evil. It also comes as no surprise that Jason Kenney’s brother runs these torture chambers. Now to suggest that this is solely fueled by nepotism would be wrong. Because it isn’t. It’s fueled by nepotism and the party’s deliberate choice to cosy up with bigots (and electing one of them their leader).

So there is my first entry. Don’t expect this list to be exhaustive because I’m exhausted by all this. I will try and update with anything worthy of such a list though.

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