Cory what the hell are you doing?

I figured that blog heading best captures the content and tone of many communications that I have gotten through phone and email in this last week or so. I may as well get to the point here.

I have been involved with the Wildrose Party since it’s inception as well as rather strongly involved with the Alberta Alliance Party before it. I have acted in many roles from different positions on the provincial executive to candidate in the 2008 election to moderating the last leadership debates to hosting the party’s headquarters in my office space for a couple years. No by the way, I am not trying to claim that the party owes me something, it does not. I do want to make it clear that I am a dedicated longtime supporter and member of the Wildrose Party. I did not come out of nowhere to raise a stink and I certainly am not a plant from the PCs as one idiot has already implied.

I am not giving up on the Wildrose Party nor am I recommending that anybody else does so. The Wildrose Party is the potentially the best government in waiting in the wings in Alberta and I do hope it forms government down the road.

The above being said, the Wildrose Party has slipped rather badly in it’s grassroots based governance in the last few years as I have been demonstrating in some critical blog postings here, here and here.  I likely will have a few more postings that may make some uncomfortable in the next little while.

I am an unapologetic partisan and have written on that.

I fully understand the need for people to work as a cohesive group for a common cause in politics if anything is going to be done. I understand how loyalty to one’s party obligates one to have to accept some practices, people and actions that may not be what one feels are ideal. Compromise is part of working in a team environment even when the team is made up of stubborn individualists.

Something I have learned though is being loyal to one’s party does not mean that one should stay silent when they see wrongdoing. On the contrary, when things are going in the wrong direction a person should feel obligated to speak up.

The drift has been incremental with the party. I am as responsible as many as I sat silently as we saw one more undercutting of the grassroots after another. Just one more nomination meddled with here and there or just one more principle set aside.

I stayed silent. When speaking up from within (as some are counselling me to do now), I hit the same old rationales from people. “Just let it go, now isn’t the time to deal with that.” or “This is how all the heavyweight parties do it.” or “It’s just the way it is with parties. Learn to look the other way.” or “Just hang on until the election.”

In answering all of those:

If not now, when?

I don’t care how the other parties do things, we are supposed to be different.

The election is past and I can’t think of a better time than now to dig into some of the issues with the party.

As I pointed out in a past posting, only one of the elected 2010 board ran for re-election in 2011 which is more than a little telling of problems. I don’t want to simply walk away. I have put too much into the party these last years to do so and the potential is still all there (I am not going back on the board though).

The vast majority of the members and supporters of the Wildrose Party share the same solid grassroots principles of members being the final authority in party governance. Our party constitution strongly supports this and an active principled provincial executive can address and solve pretty much any issue with the party. They are very empowered constitutionally and have a mandate of being elected by the membership.

As I have posted earlier, some odd business happened with the nominations and elections of the last board in 2011. Very few people applied for the jobs (surprising in such a growing party but unsurprising considering how hidden the process was) and we ended up with a dysfunctional board that only held five meetings in an election year as I posted. As I implied before, I do not feel that this marginalized board was a mistake and do feel that it was purposely set aside to allow others to govern the party unencumbered by executive questions. Even if it was just somehow a sheer fluke of luck that the board happened to be so invisible and unmotivated as opposed to being purposely constructed that way, it is clear that the board needs to be replaced.

As pointed out in earlier postings as well, it has been incredibly difficult finding out even when and where the Wildrose Party AGM was to be held and it took some pressure to get that out. There are many great potential party executive members out there but how will they apply and get elected if the party won’t aid with information as to when where and how to run for those positions? The cutoff for running is 65 days before the event and the cutoff for event notification is 60 days. Since the party won’t put out the call for grassroots executive nominees, I will. As I said, I will not sit back silently any longer.

Despite some blaming the last election loss on policy, the party’s policy will not be on the table at the coming AGM. I would think policy discussion would be something of a priority right now. Perhaps if we had an effective executive such oversights would not happen.

The foundation of the Wildrose Party is excellent. Our leader is exceptional and there are some great members of caucus who I don’t doubt will impress in opposition in these next four years. The Wildrose Party can (and I hope it does) turn itself into the party that Albertans are ready to embrace as their next government. This will only happen if the party stays true to it’s founding principles though and if members and supporters stay silent when things go the wrong way, that will never happen.

So in answering the question at the beginning: I am taking the tough but necessary steps required for the membership to regain control of the Wildrose Party in speaking up about what has been happening. I have pointed out some of the problems and have pointed out the solution. Nothing will be solved if we stay silent and we won’t fix anything in Alberta by turning ourselves into the party that we want to replace in government.

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Speaking of “no meet” committees…..

With some less than gentle prodding on this blog, it has been finally (almost grudgingly) confirmed that the Wildrose Party will be holding it’s AGM on November 23-24 in Edmonton at the Mayfair Inn. While this information is still not on the Wildrose Party website, a tweet from Danielle Smith has confirmed this.

 A tweet from Wildrose Party VP Policy (Rob Ladouceur) has confirmed that policy and the party constitution will not be on the agenda at this year’s Annual General Meeting. It is unfortunate that getting answers for what should be simple questions is like pulling teeth these days and the best information comes from twitter rather than party releases or even the Wildrose Party website.

The bottom line is that the party is between a rock and a hard place. When it was discovered that an Annual General Meeting was a legal obligation, one was hastily slapped together for late November in Edmonton. The Wildrose Party constitution states that 120 days of notice must be given to members if policy or constitutional changes are to be considered. The deadline is past so it is impossible for policy and constitutional issues of the party to be addressed at the upcoming meeting. This is most unfortunate as so many have been saying that the Wildrose Party needs some robust policy debates soon.

There is one important matter that can and will be addressed at this fall’s AGM and that is the election of the Wildrose Party’s executive committee. Now according to section 5.1.1 of the Wildrose Party constitution: “Authority within the Party resides in it’s members”.  That is a huge and critical principle and it is the foundation of the entire party.

The only real way the members can exercise that authority is through the direct election of the party executive committee. An active party executive ensures that the members concerns are addressed and should communicate between the membership and other elements within the party.

The Wildrose Party’s current executive committee apparently only held five meetings between June 2011 and June 2012!

 The above statement can be verified by any Constituency Association President through viewing the minutes of the executive meetings as per section 7.18 of the Wildrose Party constitution.

What kind of party oversight is being provided when the Executive Committee only meets on average once every 73 days (in an election year no less)? In those few meetings apparently time was usually not set aside for reports from provincial directors so to those candidates and constituency volunteers who felt that their voices were not being heard by the powers that be in the party; you were absolutely right. While some PDs did want to raise issues and concerns to the board, they simply did not have the means or authority to call meetings.

Party President Paul Collins (who was unsurprisingly somehow acclaimed at the last AGM) while enjoying wearing the hat of Party President has been quite derelict in his duties. The responsibility to call board meetings is upon the Party President and it appears that Paul had little interest in going to that trouble. Outside of the board, has anybody really seen much of Paul Collins? I recall past presidents popping in to Constituency Association meetings and helping out greatly on the ground. Our current president has been largely invisible. This is indeed what happens when a party Executive has been stacked and given an unwritten mandate to marginalize itself. This allowed a certain element of staffers and the like to run and operate the party unencumbered by such things as member guidance and oversight.

If the Wildrose Party is going to stay true to it’s grassroots basis, the members must elect active members of their own choosing to the Provincial Executive this fall. It is simply inexcusable that a group of people tasked to such important duties could barely meet every second month. Executive meetings are easy to call and hold. The vast majority of them are through teleconference and last a couple hours. We used to hold them at least monthly.

Some may claim that the board did not need to meet much as committees actually took care of much of the party business. That is simply bunk. The committees of note are formed by the Executive Committee and report to the Executive Committee. How can that be effectively be happening if the Executive Committee barely ever meets?

I know that many members of the Executive Committee have worked very hard volunteering in all sorts of roles within the party. That does not compensate for the lack of meetings where important issues and party direction should be discussed. The board is not there to micromanage the affairs of the party, but it does (or should) provide a critical form of oversight and guidance in party affairs.

The Wildrose Party has a little less than four years to prepare for the next election. One crucial step in becoming the party that a majority of Albertans can trust and embrace will be having the membership of the party resoundingly reclaiming control of the party at this year’s AGM. We need to prepare now and gather the right group of people to take part in the provincial board. If we do not speak up and act, the Wildrose Party will simply get another token “no meet”  executive committee and accountability to the membership will be lost for another year.

One final note, I am not seeking a position on the next provincial board. Been there, done that. I just want to speak up and ensure that we get a proper and functional board at this coming AGM. Nothing else is on the agenda there anyway.

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Walla walla bing bang.

Yes folks our Alberta’s provincial government has moved beyond being simply inept and arrogant into the world of the bizzare.

Heathcare consistently ranks as a prime issue with Albertans. With waiting lists hitting critical levels despite massive annual increases in government spending, our brilliant Health Minister Fred Horne has taken it upon himself to give naturopaths full status as “medical professionals”.  

For those wisely not familiar with naturopaths, these cranks tend to practice such brilliant therapies as homeopathy and touch therapy among other forms of quackery. They tend towards conspiracy theories and generally are against medical advancements such as, drugs, vaccines and effective treatment of ailments.

I won’t go into too much detail as to why naturopathy is quackery as it has been so thoroughly covered by many others. I will put a couple links below to save some googling.

A Close Look at Naturopathy Stephen Barrett, M.D.

More naturopathic nonsense in Ontario

Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake

Below I will add a link to a bit by my my favorite libertarians (Penn and Teller).

Their shows are laden with expletives but they do such an excellent job of debunking the “alternative” medicine movement that they are well worth watching.

People can go waste whatever money, time and health they like with whatever crackpot treatment they like. It is their money and their bodies.

When we are talking about the sanctioning of practices by our government though, we must stick to EVIDENCE BASED MEDICINE. 

Yes, there has been a process set about to determine what falls under evidence based medicine. Double blind studies, peer review and proven results are the sort of hurdles that treatments are expected to pass before being considered evidence based.

Naturopaths of course reject the concept of evidence based medicine. That is not surprising considering pretty much no naturopathic treatments can withstand proper medical scrutiny.

Don’t listen to crap people spit out about how the treatments have been around for hundreds of years. People used to drill holes in the skulls of patients to let the demons out hundreds of years ago, that does not make it a valid treatment. The average life expectancy a couple hundred years ago was 36 years. Is that something to aspire to?

There are claims that now that naturopathy has a college, they will be able to self-govern. Oh good, quacks governing quacks. That should ensure effective treatment.

Don’t let them snow you pointing out how long naturopathic quacks have gone to school. A person could spend decades in school studying astrology, that person still will not be able to predict the future and will be as well trained to treat ailments as your typical naturopath.

Government sanction of naturopathy adds to the facade of legitimacy for these quacks. You can rest assured that naturopaths will soon be demanding public funding for their pap and considering government is sanctioning them, it very well could happen.

Our healthcare system is under pressure and is crit

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How about a date?

In my last posting I covered how the Wildrose Party needs to earn the trust of Albertans and how the party could make great strides in that regard if they acted more openly and trustworthy with their own affairs.

That posting was inspired by the growing controversy and discussion happening around an interview that Danielle Smith had a little while ago where it appeared that Smith may be taking some liberties in statements on policy positions and policies without prior member input.

Danielle Smith’s musings in that interview led to concerns being expressed from some socially conservative members within the party as well as those who (like myself) are very committed to maintaining a member driven and controlled means of policy formulation. Danielle is indeed most entitled to her views but when speaking for the party she  is indeed obligated to speak for the party, not herself.

Now what most people have agreed upon is that there certainly will be some rousing and important discussion at the Wildrose Party’s next AGM. It has been a pivotal election year and many things have been learned. Now it is time for the Wildrose Party to gather it’s membership and to discuss as a whole how we plan to move forward as a party that is both serving in official opposition and aspiring to form government down the road.

I like to think I am generally pretty tapped into many inside sources with the party and have heard multiple rumors about where the date and the venue of the party’s next AGM ranging from October 2012-April 2013 and at locations from Red Deer to Edmonton to even Canmore for crying out loud.

The Wildrose Party website is devoid of information and nobody is officially speaking up. This should be a simple thing should it not? You schedule a meeting and you hold the damn thing. The word “annual” in the name should ease the stress of wondering how often one should hold these sorts of things.

The date and location of an Annual General Meeting is hardly any sort of proprietary secret and there is no real good reason (on the surface) that such information should be withheld from members. It has been about 14 months since the last AGM as of this posting by the way.

This made me dig yet a little more deeply. According to the constitution of the Wildrose Party, despite being named an AGM, an annual general meeting needs only to be held every two years.  Unfortunately this leads to quite a conundrum as technically the Wildrose Party is a society bound by the rules of the Alberta Societies Act which states that an Annual General Meeting is (wait for it…….) an annual obligation under section 25.  The constitution of the party is trumped by the societies act here.

Now some hair splitting may be done here and the meeting potentially can wait until the 18 month period. That does mean according to the Party Constitution that notice must be given to members 120 days before the date of the AGM if policies and constitutional changes are to be contemplated.  Now I know that I as a member have not gotten this notice nor have I heard of any other members getting it. The clock is ticking rather quickly on this one.

Another oddball clause with the Party AGMs covers the nominations for the executive. I will quote the whole thing below:

7.2 Not less than 90 days prior to any annual general meeting of the Party, the Executive Committee shall create the Nominating Committee consisting of three members. It shall be the duty of this committee to nominate candidates for the officer positions to be filled at the Annual General Meeting. Candidates for officer positions and all officers must be members in good standing of the Party. The nominating committee shall report to the Executive Committee prior to the notice of the Annual General Meeting being sent to all members and such report shall be included in the notice of the Annual General Meeting. Nominations may be made by any member up to 65 days prior to the date of the annual general meeting and will be included in the notice of the Annual General Meeting.

That statement is quite a mouthful. Now what is really concerning here is that one can’t be nominated past 65 days before the meeting yet the notice of the Annual General Meeting can be as little as 60 days if there is not to be policy discussion. This sort of makes it difficult for people to know if, how or when people may consider nominations for the board. This complexity is no mistake.

It may be noted that no directions for the pursuit of executive positions are available on the website and I assure you not everybody reads the entire constitution of political parties. It is conceivable that a 60 day notice could be issued and nobody of course aside from those personally chosen or somehow discovered by the committee (no information on how to reach this hypothetical committee) will be able to run for executive spots.

At last year’s AGM, only one person from the prior executive ran for re-election. The rest including myself gave up on the party board and did not run again. That should ring alarm bells to many in itself. Why would none of the executive members want to run for the position again when the party was growing so strongly at the time? That issue in itself is worthy of another likely long blog posting soon as it is part of another problem within the Wildrose Party at the management level. Now this led to a pile of acclaimed and weakly contested positions for top executive positions within the party as nobody even knew how to even find the committee in charge. On top of it all; the few contested executive positions that there were actually had asterisks indicating party endorsement for certain people next to their names!! The party committee actually took sides and made endorsements for the executive positions. This is reprehensible and completely contrary to grassroots principles. Still sadly, we let it slide. Nobody wanted to rock the boat on the way to a potential election.

Now with all of the above issues, what the Wildrose Party gained in the last AGM was an executive board that was handpicked and proved itself to be ineffective and neutered. No longer did the powers that be have to contend with an uppity board as the prior one was which gave up and did not run again. Executive meetings since the last election have been rare and essentially pointless as the party executive has allowed (or been built) to marginalize itself.

We have less than four years here people and if the Wildrose Party is going to get it’s crap together it needs to start now. People have been engaged by the populist appearance and apparent principles of the party. For the most part those principles and goals exist among the membership. The main means of empowerment for the membership is the election of the party executive. This is how the members may participate and retain control of the party and policy direction even if some staffers and the odd MLA feel that the membership is a hindrance.

The constitution empowers the members of the Wildrose Party and for good reason.

In order for the members to participate though, we need a mandate and a date for a general meeting at the least.

Should it be this hard to find out when an AGM is and what will be on the agenda? It has been over a year since the last one and months have passed since the election.

If the members of the Wildrose Party can’t control the direction of the party, then the party is indeed no better than the PCs. The Wildrose will simply be another facade of populism with an autocratic reality.

The Wildrose Party has stridently demanded fixed election dates in Alberta. Pretty sad that the party can’t set even it’s own AGM dates.

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What the Wildrose Party needs to do is build trust.

People can point to all sorts of individual things in the last provincial election and blame them for the Wildrose Party’s failure to convince Albertans to elect them to government. The conscience rights policy made many people uncomfortable and Edmonton candidate Alan Hunsperger’s candid thoughts from an old blog post were outright offensive to most people upon hearing them. Any party that has 87 candidates, tens of thousands of members and hundreds of policies will have some questionable people speaking up now and then and will have some policies that simply stink. If a party has gained the trust of the electorate in general that party can withstand hiccups caused by some individuals within it and from poor policies.

With enough digging, we can rest assured that every major party has some crackpots within it’s ranks and some policies on their books that simply do not do them any favors. The PCs had a Calgary candidate who’s comments on ethnic issues paled in comparison to Leech’s awkward musings. The NDP had a candidate who was one of the main organizers of the Olympic Plaza illegal squatting last fall. The Liberals had to rush to fill candidate vacancies and it is a safe bet that a few of those names they used on ballots were less than rational. The reason that these things did not damage the other parties as they did the Wildrose Party is that Albertans know the other parties and can feel comfortable in writing off the actions of a few individuals and ignoring some outlying policies.

People in Alberta were clearly ready for change in the last election and it showed in the first three weeks of the campaign. Albertan’s can and will embrace grassroots populism as we saw with Reform throughout the 90s. Still though, the Wildrose Party was a relative unknown to the majority of Albertans and this made the popular support from the electorate very fragile. When the oddball people and policies popped up, voters got uncomfortable and retreated back to the devil they knew in the final days of the election. Polls can’t measure floating trust and comfort levels thus they completely dropped the ball in the last election.

Unfortunately the temptation is strong to further centralize actions and decision making within a party when things like this happen. Some people feel that the nominations should be more tightly controlled by the central party and candidates gagged even further. The Wildrose Party shamelessly messed with many nominations prior to the election. That offensive meddling with constituency choice caused great strain between constituency associations and the central party. When there is mistrust between the members themselves and the central party, you can rest assured that this discomfort spreads to the electorate at campaign time.

The Wildrose needs to strengthen it’s constituency associations and empower them further rather than meddle further with their choices of candidates. Will the constituencies make some poor choices in candidates at times? Yes they sure will. We can rest assured though that the central party can pick some dogs too. If they constituencies truly choose their candidates though in an open process, it makes it clear that each candidate is simply one of 87. It is much more difficult to label the entire party based on the actions of individuals when it is clear that the individual only represents one portion. When the central party takes direct part in candidate selection, than the party indeed will wear the actions of those candidates as a whole. In building trust we need people working in communities on the ground, not further centralization.

Party policy is of course another huge issue. Rick Bell with the Calgary Sun  just reported on an interview that Danielle Smith recently did on a lesbian website called “I dig your girlfriend”.

Some quotes and attitudes that came from Danielle in that interview are somewhat disturbing. It is clear as day that the Wildrose needs to revisit and reform some of it’s policies and of course there is nothing wrong with a leader saying that. It is the tone of Smith speaking as if these policy changes are a done deal and she will essentially tell us as members what we will be choosing as a stance or policy in the future with statements like: “Now that the decision has been made I’ll leave it at that,” and then following with “I’ll indicate that to my party as well.” (in regards to the funding of elective procedures such as gender reassignment in the public health system).

Ms. Smith, I do hope that you understand that the party indicates their policy wishes to you and not the other way around. I understand that a leader has to make some tough stances on issues and can’t consult with the membership every time an issue surfaces. The tone and attitude here though suggests that some areas are simply closed to member discussion and her word is final. I do hope that I am mistaken in this.

Year after year we have seen our party AGMs focus more on video and light displays with less attention being paid to policy. At our last AGM the video screens were fantastic but only a scant few hours were dedicated to member policy discussion over the entire weekend. That AGM lost nearly $90,000 as the $250 per ticket cost discouraged grassroots members from attending something that was more akin to a rock concert than a political party deliberating on important issues such as policy. Turnout was embarrassingly dismal for a party that was seen as a growing force. Perhaps has a couple more hours been dedicated to policy discussion, the membership may have taken more time to consider whether conscience rights were a viable policy option. As it was, policy discussions were rushed through with little meditation on the part of the collected membership.

Effort has been made to centralize control within the Wildrose Party in the last few years and this has led to a growing sense of discomfort and distrust within the party membership. I saw that mistrust starkly in the campaign that I worked with as the candidate did not even want to share his polling results with the party for fear that the list would be abused for central fundraising. It is tough to build a sense of unity and optimism among a campaign team in that atmosphere and even tougher for that team to spread that to the electorate in 28 days.

Leading and managing a grassroots party is damn tough. The headaches are endless as CAs go rogue, infighting happens and mixed messages get out. Despite those challenges, the way to earn that precious trust that the party so dearly needs will be by opening up rather than introverting. We need well attended public policy meetings that are open and take time in their deliberations. We need early nominations so candidates can get to know their constituents personally in years leading to an election. We essentially need to stick to our party bylaws which clearly lay all that out anyway and speak out every time somebody wants to try and bypass the will of the members.

Leading also means standing up for the party policies when they come under fire. When a leader begins to sound like they will say or do anything for a vote and is willing to throw their founding principles to the wind, trust is lost. The Wildrose lost a great deal of trust that way in the election when the party promoted the vapid and ill-conceived royalty rebate plan. It wasn’t that voters did not like the idea of a few bucks in their pockets, it was that the policy was a clear vote-buy that was in total contradiction of a party that claims fiscal responsibility. It felt disingenous

With 17 great MLAs in opposition and a little less than four years to work on it, the Wildrose Party is very well placed to earn that much needed trust among the electorate before the next election. If the party continues to ignore and sideline the membership however, the Wildrose could turn into a flash in the pan. Alison Redford is already presenting Alberta with a top-down centralized party. Why should that be replicated?

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This looks like a must read book.

Last month I broke down a loopy food policy document that is tied in with Calgary city hall here.

The simple fact that tax dollars are going towards these un-viable, navel-gazing exercises and that our city hall spends time discussing and even implementing the sorts of vapid suggestions that are in that food policy document demonstrates that this “foodie” fad of organics and “local diets” is gaining some steam to a degree. Economic reality will win in the end (it always does), but the question will be how much will be wasted in time and resources on this foolish notions in food provision? How hard will it be to turn back legislation even once it is well proven to be detrimental to us in economics and food safety? Remember people, Calgary has a city hall that feels their task is to literally legally regulate what kind of soup we can legally eat. The capacity of our council of nannies to come up with stupid legislation is infinite.

The book “The Locavore’s Dilemma” appears to look more deeply into the issue of food safety and security while cutting through the simplistic “100 mile” diet proposals and such. The real numbers are presented and as expected the foodie movement is nothing less than a flight of fancy by hipsters and urbanites that would lead to a true food catastrophe if we really did turn the clock back to the methods of farming used 200 years ago.

 Macleans magazine covered the book and the issue itself well here. If you can’t get the book, I do strongly recommend reading the article at least.

If we truly want a safe and secure food supply, we need to look to modern production techniques rather than going backwards. Like the anti-vaccination crowd, the self-styled urban “foodies” would cause nothing less than a catastrophe if they ever got their unreasonable way.

So many people cling to an ideal to the point where they refuse to let themselves see the actual outcome. Milton Friedman said it excellently (as he has with so many things): “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.”.

We can’t underestimate how determined some folks get when it comes to food issues and how they want to implement their preferences upon others. There is the old joke: “How can you tell if somebody is a vegetarian? Don’t worry, they will tell you.” We all have met the militant vegetarian types. These people live for their martyrdom in foregoing meat and they not only want to let the world know that they have personally chosen to ignore their natural diet, they want the rest of the world to do the same. The fervor and zeal of these types is striking (though their energy levels are often low due to lack of protein). There are many vegetarians who keep that to themselves of course but that subculture of the militant ones is annoying and surprisingly effective in their lobbying.

If a person wants to live on backyard grown organic peanuts fertilized by their own feces, I say power to them. The second these people start to try to legislate what we may produce or eat though we must stand up and tell them to jam their lentils in a dark place. Is is sad that so many forget how rampant starvation & food poisoning was when it was all organic and local a couple hundred years ago. I am not too eager to go back to those 35 year life expectancies that were the norm back then either.

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Is a boom really so bad?

Few things get me worked up faster than hearing people whining about the challenges that come with a robust economy. During the last boom, the complaints from the spoiled hit a fever pitch as people yelped about everything from long restaurant lines to the increased cost of living. Many people actually called for the government to intervene and purposely slow Alberta’s economy. The Alberta economy hit the toilet well enough on it’s own in late 2007, can you imagine how bad it would have been had government already worked to slow it down prior to that? Governments make enough of a damn mess when they mess with an economy trying to speed it up, it is nothing short of idiocy to ask a government to slow an economy down.

Things in Alberta are finally getting back to where they should be and the usual suspects are crawling out of the woodwork complaining about the challenges. From higher rents to traffic backups to infrastructure shortcomings, the complaints are ramping up. Despite these being real symptoms of a strong and growing economy, these problems pale in comparison to the challenges that come with a dead or dying economy.

With my cell phone camera I set out in Stuebenville Ohio to try to demonstrate just what a slow economy looks like as it is clear that many of our myopic complainers in Alberta have utterly no idea what they are wishing for.

The demands for increased entitlements, infrastructure, healthcare, art and larger government in general are extremely damned expensive. If the economy is stunted, rest assured we will get no increases to the aforementioned things though that seems lost on the anti-business crowd.

I do apologize for the shaky video and any vertigo experienced in watching the bumpy ride. I did have to do the tour while in the vehicle as it truly is not safe to be walking about filming things in this city. It is my first venture into video ranting and I find typing easier than speaking.

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