Not satisfied with the interminable waiting lists for driver testing due to having nationalized drivers tests, Rachel Notley wants the government to take over the auto insurance business.
While there certainly are some issues to be dealt with in the insurance industry, rest assured that government would make them much much worse. For those of us old enough to remember, when government ran registries you used to literally have to take an entire day off in order to renew your drivers license or get a new plate, much less get a test.
It’s not as if there isn’t a living breathing example of government run auto insurance nearby. British Columbia’s ICBC is the bane of citizen’s existence out there with some of the highest rates and poorest service in the country.
Thankfully as a former premier, Rachel Notley is pretty much just shouting at clouds on this one. There is no appetite for it in Alberta and she hasn’t the power to do it anyway.
So why is Notley taking this stance?
It all comes down to who her real boss is and that’s Gil McGowan. The NDP is unique in that they literally have it written into their party constitution that the Alberta Federation of Labor and its affiliates are to dominate the governance of their party. Gil McGowan is far more powerful and secure in the NDP than Notley is.
Gil McGowan and the AFL simply have one mandate and that is to create as many union jobs as possible and however possible. That leads to dues which feed executives like Gil very well and allows big labor such as the AUPE to built themselves $49 million palatial office buildings while the rest of the province is in a deep recession.
More nationalized industries means more union members thus Notley is obliged to pursue these crazy notions even if she likely knows better.
As the NDP reside in opposition where they belong, we can expect that veneer of pragmatism that they put on while in government to continue to fade as they go back to their formal role of being a legislative mouthpiece for the AFL.
There are many many problems with authoritarian socialism.
One of the biggest ones is that whenever a government tries to create a worker’s paradise of their own modeling, those damned people of talent, ambition and work ethic all try to get the hell out.
That is why we have never seen people boarding rickety rafts and trying to enter Cuba, Venezuela or the Vietnam of old. Did we ever see people scaling the wall to fight their way into East Berlin? How often do we see people sneaking into North Korea?
While Naheed Nenshi would love to have the authority of the leadership of the aforementioned nations, he has to make due with the powers bestowed upon him as a Mayor. That means he has to be more creative in his means to stop the outflow of capital and people from the city-state that he has been trying to create.
You see, Nenshi’s decade long effort to create a hipsters paradise where the majority of the population lives in the inner city while taking transit or riding bikes to work has been an utter catastrophe. Businesses and residents have fled the overtaxed and bikelane congested city core leading to a 30% downtown vacancy rate while city buses drive empty. Yes, the pandemic creates a handy immediate excuse but this has been happening for years now.
The problem is that Nenshi can’t cork the bottle. New businesses are setting up shop just outside of Calgary city limits while citizens are moving to homes in Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and Strathmore who have all seen growth booms since Nenshi’s city regime came to power.
People won’t sit still and take it! Those unwashed ingrates just don’t know what is good for them!
While Nenshi can’t build a literal wall to keep working Calgarians and businesses within his little fiefdom, he can try to put up invisible ones.
Nenshi has long pushed for a municipal government plan which would give him control over the development of neighboring communities. Thankfully, even Notley knew better than to give Naheed such powers. Now Nenshi is trying a new route.
The city of Calgary can’t even managed their planning year by year. They sure as hell can’t look ahead by 30 years.
What Nenshi really wants to do is annex the land and simply sit on it. The city can then refuse all outward development and try to force the flow of growth back into the core. This effort would of course fail and we would see a growth boom in Red Deer but this reality doesn’t deter Nenshi in trying to see his urban plans realized by any means possible.
There is little love for Naheed Nenshi’s administration within the UCP government and I suspect that they will not be facilitating His Worship’s plans.
All the same, it should be noted just how far Nenshi is willing to go to try and create his own little urban planning utopia against the will of the actual citizens.
As we enter what is clearly going to be a period of austerity, we will need to seriously examine how much we are spending and how we are spending it. The number one spending item in Canada is health care.
The costs are growing along with the waiting times.
We have long been told that Canada has the best health care system on the planet but it is becoming increasingly clear that we do not even by a long shot.
Its time to gore the sacred cow of Canada’s health care system and have a realistic talk about reform.
Its going to be a long winter, especially in this weird year of social and travel restrictions.
It is an ideal time to set up a fun, small stakes online poker league however so we can take a break from things now and then.
The game is set up tourney style at $11 USD entry with one rebuy. Top 20% positions are paid out. It is at a good casual or beginners level of poker. No limit holdem. Games are weekly on Sunday at 2:30pm MST.
I don’t get a nickle from this by the way (unless I get into the top 20% at the end of a tourney like anybody else). Just want to set something fun up for a couple hours a week where people can take a break from things, play some poker and perhaps do some political dogmouthing during the matches.
The league is set up at Pokerstars. It is not available to American players. You would have to sign up and download the app if you are not already on. There are a number of ways to deposit money into your account.
As fast as Alberta can work to expand and diversify its economy, the Trudeau Liberals with the backing of Singh’s NDP is working to stop them.
Alberta is rich in natural resources and the end product is not simply oil. Petrochemicals make up all sorts of end products including hydrogen and yes, plastics.
Plastics are a huge and growing industry with world demand climbing, particularly in these pandemic times when people need single use PPE items. Aside from single use, plastics are in everything from your car to your phone to damn near every household item that you have. It only makes sense as a province rich in petrochemicals to further develop our production of raw plastic materials for export.
The Trudeau government has other plans however. They with the backing of the NDP plan to have plastic declared to be toxic in legislation. This would decimate Alberta’s plans for recycling and producing new plastic products as well as kill potential incoming investment in Alberta.
From the Alaska to Alberta railway to our conventional oilfield to plastics to natural gas, the Trudeau government has moved to block every initiative that Alberta has made to develop its struggling economy. Nobody sane would invest in Alberta when it is clear that the province is suffering under a vindictive, economic embargo from the federal government.
This is what happens when a province is stuck within a system which demands that the government cater only to central Canadian wants and needs.
Unfortunately, Premier Kenney’s long string of strongly worded letters to Ottawa will likely have little impact on their anti-Alberta actions.
The latest virtue signalling legislation will do nothing for the environment as a hungry world market will simply buy their plastic elsewhere. As usual though, Alberta will be left in the cold yet again.
Not content with indebting our children and grandchildren with record government deficits, the Trudeau government is now considering taking their inheritance too.
Inheritance taxes were abolished in Canada in 1971. They are terribly regressive taxes which rob people of their hard earned savings and are second perhaps only to capital gains taxes in stealing away incentive from people to earn more during their working lives.
The Trudeau government is desperate as their pandering to the NDP in order to remain in power has left them with an unimaginable revenue hole. Being ideologically inclined to the politics of envy, some are seeing inheritance taxes as a form of low hanging fruit that they can harvest from the “rich”.
According to Blacklock’s Reporter, Liberal MP Sean Fraser, parliamentary secretary to the finance minister feels that an inheritance tax will address what he sees as a “plague” which the state needs to address.
Fraser is using tough terms and saying “we will not be afraid!” as he spoke during a House of Commons debate on taxes.
The Liberals don’t really need to pretend to talk tough when pursuing a tax grab such as this. Jagmeet Singh will happily back the Trudeau Liberals up on such a move as he sees his dreams of Canadian socialism realized.
Unfortunately, socialist paradises invariably end up like Cuba and Venezuela and Canada is well on its way to that sad status. An inheritance tax would be a great leap towards it and there doesn’t seem to be a way to stop it.
Better start hiding your savings folks if you want to leave anything to your children.
I spent a lot of time at countless meetings and events with Paul Hinman as a party leader while we worked to build the Alberta Alliance which changed to the Wildrose Alliance, then Wildrose Party which later merged into the UCP which is governing Alberta today.
Paul brings a great experience set to the Wildrose Independence Party and they scored quite a coup in getting him on board. He has been down the party formation road before, has won election campaigns and has lost election campaigns.
We assuredly will be hearing a lot more from the Wildrose Independence Party and Paul in years to come. Hinman’s persistence and organizational skills can’t be dismissed.
The West greeted the news that the United States had approved the Alaska to Alberta railway (A2A) with excitement. The project if completed would be a fantastic economic boon to the entire West in every industry.
With new rail access to a deep water port, every industry would be able to broaden their export markets. From potash to lumber to wheat to oil along with a great tourism route, the A2A offered tremendous potential.
Not only could the West increase the export of raw and finished goods, we could import goods. This would lead to a reduced consumer cost of living and with our central location in North America, we could potentially become a distribution hub for imported products throughout the entire continent. Winnipeg is already well placed for such a role.
Unfortunately the Laurentian elite in Ottawa see this as a threat to Central Canadian control and they have moved swiftly to kill this project in its tracks.
Justin Trudeau openly mused that he will be using Bill C-69 (the pipeline killing bill), in order to kill A2A. The threat in is quote is pretty clear: “Whether there is a potential for a project, before the procurement goes too far down the round and invests too much money in it, in something that is unlikely to pass,”
Essentially, Justin Trudeau is telling investors not to put money into the A2A project because it won’t be able to withstand the ridiculous conditions for approval in Bill C-69. The chilling effect alone on investment should be enough to kill this project. Trudeau won’t even need to use C-69.
Who in their right mind would invest billions into a project when the nations Prime Minister is saying it won’t be approved?
Say goodbye to the Alaska to Alberta rail line idea folks. It was nice while it lasted.
The race for Mayor formally began in Calgary with Jeromy Farkas officially entering the race while Jeromy’s maverick counterpart in Edmonton, Mike Nickel fought off efforts of his council colleagues to censor him. We discussed how the municipal governments of both Edmonton and Calgary are both irreparably broken and how the 2021 municipal elections may lead to the sea-change which both of the city councils desperately need to see.
Farkas and Nickel are both daring to go against the grain and it is going to make for a very hard fought election year in Alberta.