Alberta

  Stephen Harper’s ill advised  Alberta attitude

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 Harper’s Alberta attitude Homegrown contempt for opposition bugs rest of Canada. Published January 1, 2009  by Gillian Steward in Viewpoint    As Stephen Harper stoked the opposition parties into a flaming fury in early December, I wondered if he had forgotten that he was in Ottawa, not Alberta. In Alberta, the provincial Conservatives treat elected opposition MLAs with the same kind of contempt. Of course, in Alberta they can get away with it, because they have successfully engineered majority governments for 37 years, and counting. The Tories here don’t need to worry about the Liberals and the NDs banding together and bouncing them back to the opposition benches. After all, the combined opposition holds only 11 out of 83 seats. Most Albertans seem to like the Conservatives, so they keep voting for them. However, Albertans who elect Liberals or NDs are no less committed to the well-being of their fellow citizens. You wouldn’t think the same of Conservative MLAs, given way they treat opposition members or anyone who takes them to task. Like Harper, former premier Ralph Klein was not content to best opposition forces during elections, which he did several times; he wanted to crush them. During the Klein, regime opposition MLAs were often treated as though they had no right to be in the legislature. He banned them from policy committees. He denied them the use of publicly funded government facilities. He freely insulted them, and he frequently forced closure of debate on important issues such as electricity deregulation and privatization of health care. Klein and his henchman Rod Love quickly labelled people “communists” if they gave them grief. They weren’t afraid to verbally slap around mayors, city councils, university presidents, school boards and, of course, the media. In Ralph’s World, power was the name of the game; democratic process was a nuisance. And let’s not forget Ed Stelmach was in cabinet for all of this. You may be wondering; if the situation was so bad, why didn’t the people of Alberta rise up in protest and vote the louts out? Perhaps it’s the Stéphane Dion syndrome: they didn’t much like the goons in power, but they didn’t much like the alternatives either. Let’s take the Liberals. The usual slap against them is that they are Liberals, that they are the same party that foisted former prime minister Pierre Trudeau’s much-hated National Energy Program on Alberta. Liberals are always quick to deny this. During provincial election campaigns, they go to great pains to explain to voters that they are Alberta Liberals, not the dastardly federal Liberals who sucked so much money out of the province. Then as soon as the writ is dropped for a federal election, the same Alberta Liberals turn around and work for federal Liberal candidates. Some of them even stand as federal Liberals candidates. Why do they think they can have it both ways? And why do they think that Albertans don’t notice the hypocrisy? As for the New Democrats, it’s hard to believe that they can ever move beyond their Edmonton fortress and the cozy support provided by public service unions. Most candidates in Calgary are recruited simply so the ND option is on the ballot, and voter support can be totalled up provincewide as evidence of popular support. Even so, the NDs garnered only 8.5 per cent of the popular vote in the last election. As well, stories abound about ND leader Brian Mason’s dictatorial ways. You know the NDs are at the end of the road when the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour publicly calls for a coalition of the NDs, Liberals and Greens, as Gil McGowan did last spring. The Alberta Conservatives have grown arrogant and lazy simply because they have been in power for so long. The opposition parties are becoming more and more irrelevant. Voter turnout in Alberta is embarrassingly low. The time seems ripe for a new party with a leader who can inspire people to work together on all the challenges that confront us. In the meantime, the Conservative government can pretty much do as it wants. It has a solid majority, and there won’t be another election for three years. Who knows, the opposition parties might be in even worse shape than they are now? That’s the way it is in Alberta. However, Harper would do well to remember that other parts of Canada don’t have the same hidebound traditions when it comes to politics. Ontario certainly doesn’t. Voters there hold governments much more accountable. As do voters in Quebec. For that matter, voters in the other western provinces regularly turf out governments if they are seen to be beyond their stale date. Not in Alberta. We prefer to keep the mouldy bread rather than bake a fresh loaf. Perhaps Harper has been enmeshed in politics Alberta-style for too long to realize it doesn’t translate well in the rest of Canada. He actually needs to work with the opposition or his minority government will not survive. That may rankle an Alberta Conservative like Harper, but that’s the way it works in the real world. http://www.ffwdweekly.com/article/news-views/viewpoint/harpers-alberta-attitude-3094/

 

In spite of a growing, deepening Albertan  recession the most recent  growth makes Calgary , 1/3 the size of Montreal, is the third-largest municipality in Canada ?  Now according to the latest statistics   Toronto (2,631,725 people in 2007) and Montreal (1,620,693 in 2006) had more people. Ottawa (898,150 in 2008) and Edmonton (782,439 in 2009) rounded out the top five.  However, if one uses census estimates from 2008 for metropolitan areas — which rightfully do include the immediate  surrounding suburbs — then the Calgary Region falls to fifth, behind Toronto (5,531,263), Montreal (3,750,540), Vancouver (2,271,224) and Ottawa (1,198,668).  Calgary (1,182,446) is unique  for having the vast majority of its population live in the actual municipality, and not in surrounding suburbs. It has no suburbs because it is a mostly new city basically. That is why it is also costly as the roads, sewers, are mostly new too. Calgary only has 60,000 more residents than Edmonton (1,124,163) and it makes a lot of false noise in that fact too cause it wants to attract much needed capital investors for non existing industrial, commercial aspects.. There basically are only 2 large cities in Alberta, Calgary and Alberta, and a handfull of samller towns.. There is not much industrial, Munufacturing business in Alberta due to the shortage of labor and skilled persons, and high operating costs. People in Calgary and Alberta do often dream of becoming rich ,  but it is a far away dream when you consider the high costs of living there and the uncertainty of holding onto a job too.

 

NOW SEE AND READ http://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/07/30/iris-evans-minister/

 

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2 Comments

  1. I am often rightfuly upset by all those cry babies in Albeerta who complain about the other people’s dirty yards in other provinces but they now can’t seem to clean their own yet and firstly too. Hypocrites..
    http://postedat.wordpress.com/2009/11/10/albertan-hate-crimes-awareness-day/

    Reply
  1. Albertan Hate Crimes Awareness Day « Posted at wordpress.com

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