I am not a supporter of Bernier’s “People’s Party of Canada”. I am not terribly enthusiastic about Andrew Scheer either but having recently endured the horrors of what a conservative vote split can produce in Alberta, I am resigned to supporting what I see as the lesser of the evils at this time.
Bernier has a tough row to hoe.
I have worked within fringe parties for years. It is tough to get them off the ground and into the mainstream.
With a limited number of members, an often hostile media and little funding, it can be difficult to get broad exposure and to get messaging out.
This week with a handful of billboards Bernier’s PPC managed to get national exposure in a way that they never could have purchased outright. Every media outlet in the nation is covering the erecting and removal of a few billboards in the country. Max’s smiling face is in every newspaper today and in every TV news outlet.
What has also happened is that the PPC have made progress in cornering support on an issue that the mainstream parties are too cowardly to approach. It is fast becoming a reality that the social media mob will descend on any politician who dares question immigration levels and accuse them of white supremacy.
It is not unreasonable to question our immigration policies. Perhaps we need more immigrants, perhaps we need fewer, perhaps we need more stringent controls on immigration or perhaps we need less. What we can’t do though is let these conversations become taboo.
The billboards ambiguously called for an end to “mass immigration”. I guess the only thing that can be fully presumed is that they want less. What is debatable is how much less. All the same, it wasn’t that outrageous a statement until the hysteric left took up the cause.
Rational Canadians don’t see such a simple statement as necessarily being so odious. We have seen immigration issues with uncontrolled illegal crossings in Quebec and Ontario causing local issues for years. If you don’t think Bernier’s messaging isn’t gaining support in those border regions you are highly mistaken. He won’t win the election but he can certainly gain enough steam this way to impact it.
The billboards weren’t put up directly by Bernier’s party but by a third party group in support of them. I presume they will get at the least a partial refund as Pattison backed off on their contract.
If this whole chain of events was by design it means that they have some pretty bright strategists within their ranks. Good work!
If this was a fluke, well it paid off in spades for the PPC all the same.
People had best stop underestimating the impact that Bernier and his party may have. He is speaking to a growing group of people who feel that nobody is speaking for them. Again, it won’t win the election but it can sure as hell ensure that Scheer doesn’t win it if this tend continues.
Amanda Soper and her little band of extremists are getting bold and who can blame them? They feel that they are above the law and if the actions of the RCMP over the last year are any indication, they may be right.
Soper and her crazed associates set up an illegal road block near Blue River BC over a year ago and things are escalating fast.
A few weeks ago, an enraged local aboriginal man tried to use the public road and was forcefully turned away by Soper and gang. The man vowed to come back with a rifle as can be seen in the video below.
This is getting extremely dangerous people,
The locals have had enough!!!!! ( sorry for the sideways recording, I’ll try to fix it later )
Soper and friends tell the police to fuck off and call for a “pig roast”.
Like spanked children, the cops move on.
This has to be so humiliating for a police force that was once respected worldwide.
Below we can see Soper and company chasing the police away a few months ago.
Mall security guards apparently have more ability to enforce the law than the RCMP and it seems they command more respect too.
A new video posted to Twitter today. Every day the police go there, and they tell the police to leave…. and the police listens. It’s frustrating to see, however, if you remember last year, there was daily attendance to camp cloud for about a month before their removal as well. So fingers crossed history is repeating itself. ?
There are no two ways about it, the equalization system has been screwing Albertan’s for decades.
The image above demonstrates rather starkly how Canada has essentially acted as a big funnel which takes billions of dollars from producing provinces and pours them into Quebec. Alberta doesn’t even make up 1% on the receiving end despite enduring multiple downturns over the decades. Quebec meanwhile takes a heaping helping of over half of the equalization payments in Canada despite making up only 23% of the population. Quebec doesn’t need equalization but they aren’t stupid. Of course they will say yes to accepting these interprovincial welfare cheques which are being cut to them to try and gain political favor.
Equalization is only the most evident way that Canada screws other provinces in favor of Quebec. Bilingual hiring requirements, massive corporate welfare payments to Quebec companies and all manner of transfer payments help feed Quebec’s insatiable desire for the fruits of neighboring provinces.
Equalization is the most visible and odious of these bribes given traditionally to La Belle Province.
If Equalization is supposed to be some sort of hand up rather than a hand out, it is pretty clear that it has been a catastrophic failure. Quebec is as dependent and entitled as they ever have been despite decades of money being tossed at them by the rest of the nation. It is clear that they will never become self-sustaining through equalization so we may as well dump it. Call it tough love if you like.
The recent Alberta economic downturn really drove home just how deeply equalization screws us. Years of recession, business closures and record unemployment numbers have now plagued Alberta. Surely this is just the sort of situation where equalization should kick in and help out the province which has so generously helped the rest of the country for generations right?
We get nary a nickel while Quebec continues to engorge on billions.
The tall foreheads and supporters of equalization pooh pooh the unwashed Albertans when we dare speak up on this gross inequity. “You don’t understand how equalization works.”
I contend that most Albertans understand exactly how equalization works but will concede that many if not most don’t fully understand the mechanism of it.
There is no cheque that Alberta cuts and gives to the federal government which we could simply stop writing. The feds simply take taxes from Alberta and give us a disproportionately small return on it when compared to pretty much every province (especially Quebec). So while we aren’t cutting a cheque specifically for equalization, every time we pay a federal tax we are getting screwed on the services that we should see in return for it.
What better way to fix all these misconceptions than to hold a referendum though? A campaign of months where equalization can be truly discussed, debated and dissected for the pubic. If it is such a great deal for us, surely we will vote overwhelmingly to continue with this fine program of wealth redistribution.
Yes, I understand that no matter what we vote in a referendum that it can’t and won’t force the nation to change equalization. It sure would register our discontent in a formal way though. If the vast majority of Albertans voted to shitcan equalization, how long could the federal powers that be ignore this? How long would Albertans wait until asking for a referendum under the Clarity Act which would indeed force national change?
A referendum won’t be too costly when coupled with a municipal election. We are going to the polls anyway. One more ballot isn’t that tough to fill out. Nearly 60% of Calgarians came out to tell Nenshi where to go with his Olympic bid idea. Referendums help engage voters and that is a good thing no?
A referendum on equalization in Alberta won’t fix the system which continually screws us. It will be an important step in the direction of a better deal for Alberta though whether within or outside of the confines of confederation.
Kenney promised it and I am looking forward to the campaign.
At times we either have an excess of balls or a lack of balls.
We are fast becoming an international laughingstock due to our ball imbalance.
Let’s start with the excess balls.
Jonathan (Jessica) Yaniv has an excess of balls which is causing a problem.
Jonathan feels that women should be forced by law to handle his balls upon demand and has taken 16 of them to the BC Human Rights Commission in order to force these women to touch his nuts.
Alas, the BC Human Rights Commission lacks balls. They could have dismissed this request to essentially have state enforced sexual assault but instead have victimized these sixteen women for the better part of a year now as they refuse to render a decision.
Babysitting and balls simply don’t mix if a concerned parent wants to play the odds in the favor of their children’s safety.
Alas, asking about balls is off limits when it comes to choosing who you will leave your children alone with.
Next we come to where Canada is suffering due to a lack of balls in a place where we dearly need them.
I am speaking of between the legs of our Prime Minister.
In the Islamic world, women risk torture, imprisonment and even stoning deaths for daring to do such things as leave their hair uncovered or trying to choose who they may marry. Their feminists have some very difficult and important work to do.
In the Western world, feminists have declared “manspreading” as the biggest threat to their gender well being.
“Manspreading” for those who are not immersed in the bizarro world of social justice enough to have heard of it is the terrible masculine offense of a man daring to sit with his legs apart.
Such gross displays of masculinity are unforgivable to dedicated feminists.
What women don’t understand though is that there is a reason that men sit with their legs apart.
WE HAVE BALLS BETWEEN THEM!
I will spare the specific details but when men sit with their legs squashed together or crossed, we experience some discomfort issues. Not agony but not comfortable.
Unless of course one doesn’t have balls.
In the case of full emasculation, a person no longer feels the need to keep their legs apart.
While a literal lack of balls can be disfiguring, the absence of figurative balls is a terrible problem as well.
It will take a politician with balls to take on the insane human rights commissions in Canada.
It will take a politician with balls to take on the current trade war with China.
It will take a politician with balls to face down extreme environmental protesters in order to get the Trans Mountain pipeline built.
It will take a politician with balls to stand up and tell terrorists like “Jihadi Jack” that we won’t have him in our country.
Pretty much every tough and necessary task that needs to be done by a Prime Minister requires figurative balls.
Sadly the office has had a testicular deficit for nearly four years now and it shows.
Let’s hope that the imbalance of balls within Canada is corrected this October.
This ball problem is simply getting to costly to endure much longer.
Calgary has not seen such a dysfunctional, inept Mayor and city council in generations.
This collection of vain imbeciles has lurched from scandal to squabble to a fiscal catastrophe as they pursue their myriad of personal vanity projects while city administration muddles along rudderless.
Downtown Calgary has languished under a crippling 30% vacancy rate for years while Calgary Economic Development has focused on idiotic campaigns such as sidewalk chalk drawings in Seattle, the vain pursuit of an Olympic bid and the disbursement of a $100 million corporate welfare fund that hasn’t drawn any significant corporations.
Taxes and fees continue to rise at record rates while citizens watch their dollars pissed away on some of the ugliest, foreign sourced public “art” projects on the planet.
Traffic congestion continues to rise as streets are narrowed for an ever growing but barely utilized network of bike tracks.
The vision of a hipster’s paradise in the “East village” which will draw residents, enterprise and tourists has never materialized despite years of disproportionate focus of tax dollars and attention to eastern downtown.
Satellite communities such as Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks are experiencing a boom as people and businesses continue to flee the overbearing tax and regulation of the city of Calgary driven by a collection of disparate ideologues on council and in city administration.
Don’t just take my word for it. Lets look at the words of some poor souls who have had to cover the antics at Calgary city hall for 30 years.
Rick Bell never pulls punches and speaks rather bluntly to say the least. He couldn’t find a rating lower than “F” to use for them.
Or how about Don Braid? He usually isn’t too colorful and stays on the diplomatic side.
It really takes a piss poor city council to convince a seasoned columnist to call for a move so extreme as having the provincial government to intervene and fire them.
I don’t agree with provincial intervention in this case but in watching the collection of clowns in city hall this last few years I can certainly understand the sentiment.
So what to do?
Well to begin with we need to democratically fire most if not all of city council in the next election. Incumbent advantage coupled with voter apathy led to having every incumbent councilor re-elected in the last election. We need to create the means and environment where we can decisively flush these people from council chambers en masse.
Beyond electoral accountability, we need to work to ensure that the Mayor and council remain accountable between elections as well.
We need to have councilors with strong guidance from electors rather than having them drift along on their ideological or whimsical paths. The personal vanity projects and pursuit of legacies needs to end and a holistic approach to governing needs to take hold.
We need councilors who actually campaign honestly. No more pretending to be conservative only to become shameless spenders upon getting a seat.
We need councilors to work together on projects rather than bickering and cutting deals behind closed doors.
Finally we need policy guidance and the will to follow through with it.
To help achieve all of these goals what we need to do is create a municipal political party. Rest assured, that won’t make things any more partisan, it will simply bring the partisanship into the open where it belongs.
A party system isn’t a panacea of course but then nothing is. The only thing worse than an official party guiding things is having unofficial alliances and parties guiding things and that is what we are witnessing now.
We need to clean city hall out and only with an organized party will we be able to break loose those entrenched council mushrooms such as Ray Jones and Dianne Colley-Urquhart who have built careers spanning decades in city chambers while really accomplishing very little.
Incumbents in city hall hold a tremendous advantage in going into an election. They have name recognition and maintain an organizational system from past elections along with data that they can acquire while in office which helps in their re-election campaigns.
A party will provide candidates who are challenging incumbent councilors (and the Mayor) with the resources required to unseat the entrenched councilors.
To begin with, a party can provide training for their selected candidates before an election. Campaigning is a learned art form and many challengers have never run in or seriously worked on an election campaign before. They may potentially be excellent mayoral or council material but if they don’t know how to campaign they will never win the seat. An integral part of that training is the nomination process. If a person can’t defeat challengers for the right to run, they won’t be able to beat an incumbent city councilor. A party nomination process will weed out the weak and bring the winners to the forefront.
Following nominations, the party can hold training sessions for candidates and volunteers leading up to the election.
In a field overloaded with independent candidates, it is nearly impossible for a candidate to stand out. Incumbents are thrilled when a pile of people run against them in an election. It splits the vote 6 ways and the incumbent can win comfortably even with a minority of voters. Just ask Druh Farrell.
A candidate endorsed by a party will stand out. They will have standardized branding shared by 14 other candidates around the city. The party logo alone will make the candidate unique in their ward race.
With standardized branding, candidates can also take advantage of economies of scale which helps make the best use of those ever scarce campaign funds. Printers will give much better prices to a party which approaches with an order for hundreds of thousands of literature pieces and thousands of signs versus independents with small orders. Social media and website development can be created where candidates work with templates rather than paying individual web designers. Campaign office spaces can be shared as well.
A party can help provide and build the requisite database management training and be an organizational hub for prospective volunteers.
If we want to remove the bulk of incumbents on city council, a party will bring about the means to finally do so.
Once in office, councilors sharing a partisan bond will have a sense of unity and direction. Unlike the our current batch of councilors, they will be able to agree on general principles and get things done. There should be a degree of independence among the councilors but in the broader issues they will be far better in working together as fellow party members rather than a ramshackle collection of self serving independents.
A leader elected by a party will help in guiding this unity as well. Nenshi as a Mayor has been a complete failure in providing any sort of cohesion in city council. Nenshi is there for Nenshi and it shows. If a Mayor has won a party leadership process, it indicates that they already have an understanding of leadership and how to build coalitions.
Between elections, a party can bring accountability to councilors as well. Party members in a ward can keep their councilor in check and if the councilor deviates too far from their electoral base, they will lose their nomination for the next race. Fake conservatives such as Shane Keating or Ward Sutherland won’t make it past one term. Councilors will have to remain engaged with their wards if they want to keep their jobs.
Policy development can be a painful and drawn out process to say the least. I remember my terms as VP Policy for the Wildrose Party. The process is critical however. A party can provide the study and critique necessary in order to build a comprehensive policy set. While an individual may come with some expertise in a couple of fields, they can never cover everything. With the combined effort of a party, policies can be built to cover most city needs.
In having a party study policies, councilors won’t be as beholden to city administration for policy development. Countless millions are pissed away in the cottage industry of studies and commissions formed by city hall as councilors kick policy questions down the road to city administration rather than try to take them on themselves. A party can do much of this and at no cost to taxpayers. Administration driven policies invariably are modeled to benefit members of the administration rather than the taxpayers footing the bill. Lets take that role out of the hands of bureaucrats.
Calgary is heading down an ugly road with no end in sight right now. If we don’t change how we take on the next election, the outcome of the election will be no different. The incumbents will return and Calgary can look forward to four more years of dysfunctional squabbling and idiotic pet projects from councilors while core needs continue to be neglected. The massive tax and fee increases will continue as well.
A party system isn’t perfect but it beats the hell out of the mess that Calgary is enduring right now. The time to get this party going is yesterday. It will take two years to get this up and running in time for the next election. It won’t be easy to pull off but nothing worthwhile is.
Ethics laws are fine and dandy but they have to have teeth if they are to be of any effect on the behavior of politicians.
At the end of 2017 Justin Trudeau was awarded the dubious honor of being the first sitting Prime Minister in Canadian history to be found in contravention of the Conflict of Interest Act. Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson ruled that in accepting a lavish vacation on a private island along with a private helicopter ride Justin Trudeau had clearly broken the law.
What was the punishment for Trudeau’s arrogant disregard for conflict of interest laws though? A finger wagging.
Today Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion has concluded that Justin Trudeau has broken the Conflict of Interest law yet again when he tried to use his position as Prime Minister to bully Jody Wilson-Raybould.
Mario Dion: ” I find that Mr. Trudeau used his position of authority over Ms. Wilson-Raybould to seek to influence her decision on whether she should overrule the Director of Public Prosecutions’ decision not to invite SNC-Lavalin to enter into negotiations towards a remediation agreement.
Because SNC?Lavalin overwhelmingly stood to benefit from Ms. Wilson-Raybould’s intervention, I have no doubt that the result of Mr. Trudeau’s influence would have furthered SNC-Lavalin’s interests. The actions that sought to further these interests were improper since the actions were contrary to the constitutional principles of prosecutorial independence and the rule of law.
For these reasons, I find that Mr. Trudeau contravened section 9 of the (Conflict of Interest) Act.”
What does this mean though?
Diddly squat unfortunately.
When commoners such as ourselves are found to be breaking laws, we are fined or imprisoned.
When Prime Minister Trudeau is found breaking laws, he gets a scolding.
There is only one way that Trudeau can face consequences for his flagrant disregard of Canadian laws while in office as Prime Minister and that is for the electorate to remove Trudeau from the office of Prime Minister.
Canadians have an opportunity just over two months from now to act as judge, jury and executioner on Justin Trudeau in the general election. They likely will not get such an opportunity for some years to come.
Let’s hope that the electorate lashes out and removes this scofflaw from office this fall.
If you think Trudeau’s arrogance is bad now, just imagine if the electorate gives him a second mandate despite his multiple breaches of the law. He will feel empowered and justified in using his office to pressure anybody for anything that appears to be in his personal interest.
If re-elected, Justin Trudeau will see himself as being above the laws of the land and unfortunately he will be right.
Look, I am not one of those people who whines when a media personality shows bias. Talk radio hosts would be boring as hell if they didn’t lean one way or another as would columnists of course. The engagement between a host and a guest when the host has some defined views and is willing to debate them makes for good, informative listening.
I don’t care which way a bias goes as well. If it is too far out there for me to endure, I simply choose not to listen/watch/read whatever was produced.
Adler of course has the right to hold whatever views he pleases and to bring those views into his radio show and into social media as much as he wants. I would never want it any other way.
What I am going on about is the radical shift in bias and approach that seems to have taken over Adler in this last few months. It has been striking to say the least. Charles Adler is a well established broadcaster who has been working in the field in a number of roles for decades. As a longtime listener, if I were to describe Adler’s leaning I would say center-right. He has never been a strong social conservative but has usually been treading the waters of a fiscal conservative with a moderate social stance.
I had been a guest on his TV show a time or two when he was with the Sun News Network and I think once on his radio show. They were fun interviews. Adler was prone to bouncing about while making jovial yet pressing questions and commentary that keeps you on your toes. I liked that style in listening to him as well.
People’s views evolve and change over time. That is natural. It is not normal for folks to go damn near 180 degrees over the course of a few months though and that somehow has happened to Adler.
Adler’s anti-conservative campaign has been sudden, fervent and almost obsessive. It seems to have begun during last spring’s Alberta election campaign. Adler brought Jason Kenney in on what can only be described as a brutal ambush interview. Adler used every one of the Notley talking points which had been mercilessly (and ineffectively) used to try and paint Kenney and the entire UCP as being backwards bigots. Kenney took the unexpected pummeling well but it was painful to listen to. Probing questions and debate are fine but that interview was a prolonged attack.
After that interview, Adler brought Rachel Notley on not to give her a grilling on her campaign and policies but rather to spend another half hour double teaming Kenney and the UCP to drive home further the notion that this was somehow a party of neanderthals as can be seen in the program description below.
For the remainder of the campaign Adler stuck to throwing rocks at Jason Kenney and puffballs at Rachel Notley. Thankfully it appears to have had utterly no impact on voter intentions.
Adler’s sights are now turned on Andrew Scheer. From having economists on who speak to how well Trudeau has managed the economy to implying that Scheer is a homophobe because he hasn’t done any campaign stops in gay bars Adler is outdoing himself on his crusade.
In just going through Adler’s social media scroll from just these past few days the pattern is rather more than evident.
Adler constantly demonizes both Doug Ford and Jason Kenney. He then works his utmost to try to make the case that Andrew Scheer will be controlled by these conservative monsters!
There is utterly no evidence anywhere that Scheer is somehow a puppet of Jason Kenney. Why and how on earth would he be? This is getting into deep conspiracy theory territory but Adler is shameless in his trying to perpetuate this myth.
If the Kenney controlling Scheer conspiracy isn’t enough, Adler is working to point out that Doug Ford is actually controlling Scheer. Twins? Really?
At least in that tweet Adler came right out and advised folks to vote Liberal this fall.
The tweet above is the one that inspired my rant today.
Where the hell did this question come from? Scheer suddenly has to decry Alberta separatism? Scheer who is a federal leader who isn’t even from Alberta is somehow secretly an Albertan separatist?
Adler is hoping dearly to draw Scheer into a narrative that has utterly nothing to do with him.
The question is why?
There is an election pending. There are countless questions and opinions to explore in coming days and months. Why dive down the rabbit hole of Liberal campaigning in trying to paint conservatives as homophobes/separatists/extremists etc? Adler knows damn well that this is simply shallow, lazy commentary at best which again is what makes his transformation so mystifying.
I am not alone in wondering. Other broadcasters and politicians are starting to speak up on this as well.
The list of folks asking what happened to Charles is growing.
Perhaps we will never know but I suspect that the obsessiveness and overt Liberal campaigning from him is only going to get worse in the next couple months.
How many victims need to shutter their businesses?
How much stress should defendants have to endure with this ridiculous case?
How much more international embarrassment should Canada endure over this?
I am of course speaking about the bizarre and ongoing saga of Jonathan (Jessica) Yaniv and the ludicrous claims brought before the BC Human Rights Tribunal.
The question is: “Should a woman be forced by law to handle a man’s balls upon demand.”
I am not making things up. That is what this entire circus boils down to.
This sham is not harmless and the damage is only amplifying for Yaniv’s victims in this case. Some have settled, others have shut down their businesses and the rest are confused and unimaginably stressed while the clowns at the BC Human Rights Tribunal sit on their hands with this idiocy.
The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the means to dump this sham right now. They have had the means to end this injustice since it began over six months ago.
” Reasons the Tribunal may dismiss the complaint under section 27(1)(c)
The Tribunal is not deciding the complaint or any defence. Instead,
it is deciding whether a hearing is not warranted because there is no
reasonable chance that the complaint will be successful at a hearing.
The Tribunal may dismiss the complaint if it determines that:
there is no reasonable prospect that the complainant will prove one or more of the parts of discrimination at a hearing, or
there is no reasonable prospect of success because a defense would be proved at a hearing.”
The key word here is “reasonable” and it has been used multiple times. The members of the tribunal have a degree of discretion in these cases though they refuse to use it. Nothing about this entire travesty or Yaniv is reasonable.
One can see why Yaniv initially tried to remain anonymous when all this began. Under the light of public scrutiny, Yaniv has been exposed as a very odious person who at best is a simple scam artist and at worst is a child predator. There is some pretty clear evidence of both.
On the scam artist front it is evident that Yaniv is hoping to get compensation from these actions whether from rulings of the tribunal or from settlements from those just wanting to free themselves from this legal limbo. Apparently a couple of Yaniv’s victims have already settled though it is unknown what Jonathan may have gotten from them. This is extortion and Yaniv is using B.C.s gormless human rights commission very effectively in order to do so.
The more disturbing revelation is Yaniv’s predilection towards young girls. Jonathan is setting trans rights back as he does exactly what opponents of trans rights claim will happen if we have trans people using washrooms in their new gender. He is entering the ladies rooms in order to take surreptitious pictures of young girls.
His communications online with young girls and apparent creepy discourse on menstrual issues is distressing and may be indicative of a dangerous, predatory man.
Yaniv’s blatant racism in many of his communications have hardly made him endearing either. Perhaps his motivation in targeting these woman had racial motivations rather than fiscal.
It is not beyond reason to speculate that Yaniv is not actually a transgender person but is purposely identifying as such in order to perpetuate his numerous scams.
As media pays attention to Yaniv, it becomes clear that he is quite unstable and possibly dangerous to others as he brandishes illegal weapons during interviews.
Yaniv travels in a handicapped scooter when in public.
This appears to be part of another of Yaniv’s scams however as he proved himself to be rather agile when he wants to be.
Yaniv sure sprinted quickly upon realizing that his “handicapped” farce was being exposed on camera.
Despite all this, the luminaries at the BC Human Rights Tribunal think it may take them 3 more months to rule on Yaniv’s vexatious claims.
How bad does it have to get before a dismissal is applied?
The BC Rights Tribunal is as complicit as Yaniv himself in the victimization of these innocent, immigrant women who simply didn’t want to handle a man’s genitalia.
The means are there for the tribunal. This punishment of innocent women can be brought to an end tomorrow. There is no excuse to drag this out any longer.
Are the fools running the BC Human Rights Tribunal capable of applying simple reason though? Sadly it looks unlikely and this is an embarrassment to us all.
Alberta has never fared well when a Trudeau holds power in Ottawa. It took over a decade for the energy sector to recover from Pierre’s National Energy Program and it has languished stagnant under Justin’s tenure.
Justin Trudeau has all but killed Alberta’s energy sector through legislation such as Bills C-48 and C-69 which have caused an investment exodus from the province along will killing Energy East and the Northern Gateway pipeline. Trudeau’s inept dithering led to Kinder Morgan bailing on the long planned Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion which led to a hasty and ill planned purchase of the pipeline by the federal government. To date not a gram of dirt has moved in the construction of that line.
While the oil and gas sectors in Texas, Pennsylvania and even Kazakhstan are booming, Alberta’s industries remain in stasis due to lack of pipeline capacity and lack of investment. We are losing millions daily and Trudeau couldn’t care less.
This fall we have another federal election and while we should be looking forward to this as an opportunity for the betterment of Alberta it looks like things may become far worse.
While people have tired of Trudeau’s infantile antics and his shallow governance, Andrew Scheer has so far remained incapable of capitalizing on that weakness for the Conservatives. A lot can change politically in a few months but as of this writing things are not looking good.
The Liberal Party under Trudeau appears locked into position to win a minority government this fall and that will be nothing less than an unmitigated disaster for Alberta’s already damaged economy.
In a minority situation, Trudeau will be forced to form a coalition with the NDP and or the Greens in order to remain in power.
BC is providing a live example of a weak leader who is being controlled by a Green Party leader who holds the balance of power in the province. Horgan is Premier in name only while Weaver with only a few seats is calling the shots in that province.
Trudeau is too weak and gormless to maintain control in a coalition situation so we have to look at who will actually govern Canada by proxy should we see a Liberal minority.
Will Elizabeth May gain enough seats to hold the balance of power? Sour Liberals in lower mainland BC and select Eastern ridings may indeed switch to Green and give her those seats.
How would life with Liz holding the levers of power in Alberta look? Not very damn good.
One can hope that she sticks to her more loony pet projects such as banning WiFi but we know in reality that she will set her rheumy sights on Alberta.
May is speaking openly about shutting down Alberta’s entire fossil fuel sector and she will eagerly get to work on doing exactly that if given the chance.
The TransMountain expansion will surely be dead in the water. May would demand that in order to support Trudeau immediately.
Liz just enjoyed a token arrest while protesting that expansion last year. I wonder if she got to sample any prison hooch during her short time in holding?
The other person that Trudeau will wheel and deal with in order to hold power is Jagmeet Singh.
Singh isn’t a lot brighter than Trudeau is but he is an anti-energy ideologue and he will demand a stop to the Trans Mountain expansion as well and will be sure to push for Canada deeper into a socialist leaning mire. Justin will be way too weak to withstand that pressure.
The future looks bleak. One can hope that Scheer finds sudden strength and national appeal in short order but it is a lot to hope for. Polls certainly aren’t always accurate but they have been pretty consistent so far.
Alberta and Saskatchewan can be counted on to vote Conservative but we know quite well that our votes don’t really matter on the federal scene in the end.
Things are bad for Alberta right now but they can always unfortunately get worse.
We will do all we can in leading up to the election but I think that we had best get to work on our post-election contingency plan as well.
I am going to guess that it was about a year and a half ago when Dave Bjorkman called me up at my pub. He explained that he was working to revive the Alberta Independence Party which had essentially been defunct since falling apart under my watch nearly twenty years ago. Dave was asking my permission to use the party name. I have and haven’t had any legal claim to that name since back when I led the party. All the same, I did appreciate his doing me the courtesy of tracking me down and asking. I told him it was his for the taking and wished him luck.
I put it out of my mind after that. I have been sporadically contacted by secessionists over the years who were working to build one separatist party or another. None have really managed to gain much traction.
Well over the coming months I kept hearing from Dave. As a welder he was of modest means and he had little experience in party organization. What I quickly learned though is that Bjorkman is exceedingly tenacious and optimistic. His dogged determination made up for his not having had a large political contact or donor list. Using social media (I dearly wish we had had such tools when I was leading the AIP), Dave gathered a respectable following and built the basis of the Alberta Independence Party.
Dave came out to my pub a few times to chat. He was always in recruitment mode and I appreciate his efforts but I couldn’t be convinced to get involved. I got to see how his stubborn determination managed to get the job pulled off though.
Getting a party registered in Alberta is very difficult to do. One has to either have three sitting MLAs, or get nearly 8000 signatures from registered voters (not online signatures, they must be gathered on paper in person with full address and phone number and in a limited time frame), or have endorsed candidates running in half of the constituencies in Alberta in a general election.
As the election neared last spring, I admit I was pretty skeptical about seeing a registered Alberta Independence Party entering the race.
Well I’ll be damned if they didn’t pull it off and announce 46 candidates on nomination day thus becoming a registered party for the election.
The Alberta Independence Party was in the race.
This was an impressive organizational feat. While the mechanism to attain registration through having candidates in over half of the constituencies has been around for a long time, the Alberta Independence Party was the first party to have ever actually done it that way.
The logistics alone are brutal. While unregistered a party can’t offer tax credits for donors which offers a tough fundraising hurdle. An aspiring party has to round up over 44 people willing to run for them. These people will have to put forth a deposit to run and get the requisite signatures to run in the couple weeks between the writ drop and nomination day. Many people can talk big but when it comes to actually pounding the pavement for signatures and signing a cheque they often don’t follow through. Bjorkman and his party organizers managed to get 46 people to do it. I can only guess how many more they signed up but who didn’t follow through.
There are few people more difficult to organize than separatists who are about as independent by nature as it gets.
Over the next couple weeks the party ran a mostly unnoticed campaign with few to no scandals but they made little to no mark on the ballots when voting day came as well.
To be blunt, the 46 candidates were electorally slaughtered.
The Alberta Independence Party garnered 0.7% of the popular vote. Their best showing was 2% and most candidates struggled to get 1%.
There were a number of factors contributing to the electoral obliteration.
The AIP was technically only weeks old as a registered entity. Nearly nobody knew who the hell they were. They had next to no money and virtually no experience. It is clear that they have some dedicated and gifted organizers among them but there are limits. They didn’t have time to build an actual formal campaign or a way to reach out to the general public. They really could only manage to tread water as a party until election day and they did so as well as they could.
Another and even bigger challenge for the party is that while Albertans will respond favorably to polls for independence, when push comes to shove they are reticent about actually voting for it in an election. Albertans are reluctant separatists at best (for now).
Now the Alberta Independence Party will endure its next test. The doldrums between elections for a fringe party can be brutal. I know this from my years on the board with the Alberta Alliance and then the Wildrose Party. This is the time when the funds are tightest, interest is lowest and infighting can be highest.
The AIP has a diverse group of supporters. They are unified by a shared desire to pull Alberta out of confederation. This does not mean however that they all agree on what an independent Alberta should look like. The current policy direction of the party is unfocused and has something of a shotgun approach. There are many potential flash points for supporters to fight about and they will.
When times are slow, parties can be targets for the more extreme sorts to slip in as well. If the party organizers are not careful, they may find their party taken over by folks who really don’t have their best interest in mind. That can kill a party fast to say the least.
What a new party needs to avoid these pitfalls is strong leadership.
A few weeks ago, interim leader Dave Bjorkman resigned. He is tired and took the party as far as he feels he can for now (at least that’s what I gather, I plan to chat with him).
The AIP can’t afford to drift leaderless for long. It takes far less time to tear down a party than it does to build one up and right now they are vulnerable for an internal explosion.
The party needs a leadership race and it needs it soon. That being said, they have to be careful as their choice of a new leader will be critical for the future of the party.
Support for Alberta independence has been steadily growing for years. Just last week a poll indicated that 30% of Albertans feel that Alberta would be better off out of Canada than within it. Bear in mind this does not mean that these 30% would vote to leave, it just means that they feel we are getting a bad deal. With a good ground game and good leadership, a party such as the AIP could change many of those folks from being soft to being dedicated supporters for independence.
I feel a sense of déjà vu as we head into a general election this fall. In 2000 Canada went to the polls in a terribly divisive federal election. Jean Chretien barely even stepped foot in Alberta during the campaign but didn’t hesitate to take shots at Alberta culture for political gain in the East. Stockwell Day led the Canadian Alliance which was already considered a compromise by grumbling Albertan Reformers. Chretien increased his seat count in that election and Albertans felt that their compromise was for nothing, Separatism flared in Alberta and the Albertan Independence Party of 2001 came into being under a dashing young leader.
As we approach this fall’s election, I feel much deeper separatist undercurrents than I did back in 2000. Alberta has been taken for granted and abused by the federal government and we know it. If (and it looks very possible) Trudeau maintains a majority or even worse, forms a minority coalition with Elizabeth May, we will see a resurgence of separatism in Alberta like none seen since Pierre Trudeau dropped the NEP upon us.
Will the Alberta Independence Party be prepared to capitalize on this though? Will they have a leader or a leadership race under way? Will they have a rational approach or will they be dominated by fringe thinkers? Will Jason Kenny take a strong enough stance in order to keep his party support from bleeding to a new separatist competitor?
There are a lot of questions in the air.
Personally, I don’t think a party approach is the best way to pursue Alberta’s independence but it can be a facet of the approach. I didn’t think that they would get registered either so I can certainly be wrong here too.
With the combination of a Liberal victory in the federal election and a good leadership race within the AIP producing a strong leader, I think we may see the AIP suddenly entrenched as a formidable, long term player on the Alberta political stage.
They could of course implode as well. We will have a much better idea in about four months or so. I look forward to seeing who pursues the leadership of the party when they get the race formally going.