Justin Trudeau finally got some good news this week. Courtesy of Jason Kenney.
The election of the old Harperite and his band of right-wing friends of the oil industry has suddenly made it clearer than ever the divide over the future direction of the country.
It’s clear where Kenney and the majority of Albertans who voted for him stand. Forget climate change and the catastrophe facing the planet. Albertans’ choice is a pipeline in every garden and a couple of pickup trucks in every driveway.
We now know that the NDP’s victory in 2015 was a fluke. Rachel Notley was an able politician but her attempt at a balanced approach to the issue of how a province hooked on carbon could make a reasonable effort at reducing the damage caused by its coal-fired power plants and GHG-producing oil sands was never going to win over voters long-term.
Like Philippe Couillard, who bravely and successfully tackled Quebec’s fiscal deficit and was rewarded for his efforts by being tossed out of office, Rachel Notley learned that voters don’t want politicians to take hard choices. They want to hear nonsense from their leaders, provided it doesn’t cost them a cent.
It’s the same idiocy that got Doug Ford elected. Remember him promising how easy it would be to balance the Ontario budget by simply getting rid of inefficiencies and cutting spending on “pencils and foolscap.”
I know Alberta is going through a tough time but that’s what happens when you live in a commodity-dependent economy. Prices go up and they go down, and you’re particularly vulnerable when prices sink and you’re a high cost producer.
Yet when times are good, Albertans convince themselves they’re rich because they’re so smart. And when boom inevitably turns to bust, they’re suddenly surprised. Who would have thought oil prices couldn’t tank? And of course, Justin Trudeau, not the world market, is responsible for oil prices.
All of this is made worse by Albertans approach to government finances. Alberta has made its own bed, deciding it wasn’t going to be Norway, which forces its citizens to pay their own way through taxes and squirrels away its petroleum windfalls for a rainy day. Instead, Alberta has modelled itself on a Mideastern petro-state. (Continued: iPolitics)