04.12.2019 06:15 PM

Vote smart, Alberta


  1. Sunny Waze says:

    Based on the stats, gays don’t really believe in gay marriage either. But now that it’s here, can’t we just move on? Live and let live and worry about the economy and corruption. Doug Ford has it right, rules on behaviour like we have with alcohol and gaming need to be removed. Stop trying to regulate behaviour and spend your energy growing the economy.

    And I can’t believe this Nora person is back. And I can’t believe she has so many followers. The Liberals and NDP are pandering to people like this and I hope all centrists vote PC until the Liberal party moves back to the center.

  2. Doug Brown says:

    I disagree:
    1) That article is from around 2005. Kenney’s statement would not have deviated as far from the views of his constituents as it would 14 years later. Kenney was also an Opposition MP. Part of his job was to oppose the government, although he could have done so in a more tasteful manner. Note: I was one of Kenny’s constituents until 2001. While I would not have agreed with his statement in 2001 or 2005, I would have still voted for him

    2)An MP can keep personal views personal without tainting their actions as a legislator. Kenney’s legislative record has not been socially conservative. If an MP were to be up to their eyeballs in personal debt, should that preclude them from legislating economic issues?

    3) Same sex marriage, and abortion and many other allegedly important social issues are under federal jurisdiction. In a provincial election, such topics are distractive

    4) The debate over GSA’s is a red herring. Kenney says he wants to change parental notification rules back to how they were pre-NDP, which would align with other provinces. Was Kathleen Wynne anti-LBGQ in supporting the same policy as Kenney? Regardless, Kenney won’t act. This is nothing more than a get out the vote measure to SoCons. Notley is the one who politicized GSA’s in the first place

    5) The NDP has been a resounding failure. It couldn’t even implement a hiring freeze to contain the deficit. Alberta is on its way to $100B in debt. Some very tough and unpopular decisions need to be made. Kenney may turn out to be a sheep in wolf’s clothing, but Notley absolutely does not have the capability to do what’s necessary

    6) Why does Alberta need to fund public services at by far the highest levels in the country? All it need do is bring per capital spending down to near BC levels to avoid financial ruin. Kenney will be unencumbered by public sector union support in making the obvious choice to reduce spending

    7)Why need a politician be likeable? No correlation exists between likability and effectiveness, except maybe for actors and strippers. Margaret Thatcher was a transformative leader that turned around the “sick man of Europe”. She was not likeable, although I am mesmerized by footage of her sparring with opponents. She could take on several at a time and leave them trembling in the corners

    So if I were still electable to vote in Alberta, it would be for the UCP because economic issues are real while social issues are more symbolic. I don’t care about Kenney’s personality and actually hope he turns out to be as mean and hard nosed as the NDP portrayal as he must make some very unpopular decisions

  3. Is that still HIS position?

    Catholic orthodoxy belongs in the pews.

  4. Nick M. says:

    As downtown a Torontonian now living in Alberta, a former chronic NDP volunteer in Toronto. But now right-of-centre convert after Singh abandoned working families with his anti-pipeline extremist rhetoric, and witnessing indigenous people pull themselves into the middle class because of the free market in Alberta.

    I’m having a hard time. Many of us are having a hard choice.

    I’ve despised Kenney for 17 years, when he came to speak at my campus on the eve of the Gulf War II.

    I’ve despised his knee jerk policy decisions as immigration minister. Like making immigration decisions about “marriage fraud” because the Star printed a news story.

    I could on and on.

    The hope is, that after we strategically vote out the NDP, that the UCP caucus forces Premier Kenney to resign within one year.

    It’s harder choice than you think it is. We are not better off than we were 4 years ago. The status quo is failing us in Alberta. And I now understand what Western Alienation feels like, and it sux.

    • I don’t see why your criticism of Singh is a reason not to vote for the Alberta NDP.

      (Back in Ontario, we are waiting on the Conservatives caucus to vote out Ford. I don’t know how they can stand repeating the childish talking points they are given.)

      • Nick M. says:

        My values are always about making sure everyone has a fair shake at life.

        My Economic politics were shifting when i saw how the free market created opportunities, how a labour shortage with little regulation (besides strict environmental and safety of course) gave people the confidence to start their own business, knowing full well that if their business failed, there was a private sector job still waiting for them. (In my case, my awaiting job was working on a drilling rig.)

        My politics began to evolve that free markets best achieves my ideals of getting people out of poverty, and social justice.

        My loyalties were always NDP, so I was becoming a Blue NDP.

        When Singh pulled a stunt like he did, and was against a pipeline that would provide work for working families… my politics completely flipped.

        All I could think, how many families have to declare bankruptcy now because of pipelines delays, that Singh champions. How many children now have a broken home, because of the financial stresses that this anti pipeline movement algae brought onto others.

        Hope that answers your question.

        • doconnor says:

          Where you not away that drilling rig jobs where subject both to vagaries of the world oil market and the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

          Currently the unemployment rate is quite low, yet, because of little regulation very few people’s wages are increased more then the rate of inflation.

      • Darwin,

        Expect an unending wait…Canadian caucuses are notorious for being S-P-I-N-E-L-E-S-S. That’s just the nature of our political beast.

  5. Gord Tulk says:

    What was Prime Minister Chretien’s opinion on gay marriage back in the day?

      • Doug Brown says:

        So did you still vote for him because of his positions on other issues?

      • John Groves says:

        But obviously not disqualifying in your eyes.

      • Gord Tulk says:

        It wasn’t wrong at the time. It changed over the years.

        If it had been wrong he would not have been elected. And had he professed publically the opinion he has on the issue now back then he would not have been elected PM (or MP) for that matter.

        Similar things can be seen throughout history: At the Lincoln Douglas debates Lincoln could not have argued that blacks were equal or that all of the US should be proclaimed Slave-free. He would never have been nominated as the candidate for president nor won the presidency. He changed that position within five years.

        And today you can’t argue that Kenney is not the right choice for premier based on a speech he made 15 years ago.

        • Gord,

          Fair point. What Kenney says in the here and now is what’s important. But the recent-enough past should also come under scrutiny for any aspiring or current politician.

          Biden is a test case for that: opinion is divided whether those allegations made are material in 2019. Not for me to decide, each person will have to make their own judgment. I’m not sure which way to bend on those. I await more info.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        I was wrong also. But at least I finally got it before both Martin or Obama.

        • Fred from BC says:

          I guess I’m still wrong, then.

          Back when Canada was only the second or third country in the world to recognize ‘gay marriage’ (one was Belarus, I forget the other) a bunch of European nations had already implemented ‘civil unions’. IOW, all the exact same rights and privileges of marriage but *with a different name*. Seemed like a fine idea to me…why antagonize the minority of religious people with strong objections to using the term “marriage” if you don’t have to (unless you’re spoiling for a fight)? I’m still in favor of that, sorry.

          • Fred,

            None of us are God. None of us are ever right 100% of the time — except Trump, of course. LOL. LOL.

            I don’t practice constitutional law but it’s my impression rights wise, that civil unions would not have the same force of law as marriage. I leave it to those practicing constitutional and family law to correct me, if necessary.

          • Walter says:

            If I recall correctly, the CPC position and the NDP position had some logic. The Liberal one did not.

            CPC: Create the term “Civil Union” and treat those as legally equal. The term “Marriage” was borrowed from Religion and couldn’t change.

            NDP: Gay Marriage is a human right, and MP’s will be whipped.

            Liberal: Gay Marriage is a human right, but we will allow MP’s to vote how they want.

            I would expect that all parties would fully support human rights.

          • Fred from BC says:

            “I don’t practice constitutional law but it’s my impression rights wise, that civil unions would not have the same force of law as marriage.”

            Could be, Ronald, but we’ll never know since our politicians were too cowardly to rule on this and just kicked it over to the courts instead (same as they’ve done, so far, with abortion). I’m dead against allowing judges to make their own law.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            You know me. I’m a grey is better type of guy. To use the American terminology, I’m not a strict-constructionist but nor am I a free-for-all-judge-made-law advocate. I favour two things: laws made by parliamentarians who aren’t lazy as regards crafting legislation and judge-made-law only to fill self-evident gaps or consequential voids.

    • Fred from BC says:

      Same as Barack Obama’s (original) position: he was against it.

  6. Mike Jeffries says:

    Yeah, a blast from the past. Jason’s grown up and so have we all. Don’t think he believes that now. Do you?
    Anyways, it about jobs, pipes, and the empty Calgary towers!
    I like this

  7. Joe says:

    As a now unemployed gay man I’ll vote for Kenney.

    I find Notley’s new found verbal “support” for the oil industry to be just that, verbal only. In my discussions with members of her party, they are all anti-oil and anti-natural gas, and want to shut it down sooner.

    Notley says she will balance the budget by the end of her second term. This assumes royalty revenues of 12 billion a year. They are currently less than 6 billion a year. The budget balance won’t happen. Oh by the way, last campaign in 2015, Notley said she’d balance the budget by 2019. Oops she pulled a Trudeau.

    I consider myself socially very liberal and fiscally responsible. At one point the Liberal party seemed to think that way. But now the Liberals, NDP, and Greens of this country all say they will control spending but none do. They all run, or propose, massive deficits which will eventually cause much hardship in terms of cuts to health care, education, public services, pensions, etc. when we have to make interest payments.

    100 billion debt in Notley’s last budget forecast with lots of new spending announced by Notley during this campaign. No thanks.

    • Mike Jeffries says:

      Your clarity and perspective is refreshing Joe.
      It’s always about the economy and this Trudeau/Notley alliance to impose a tax in the middle of an Alberta recession is plain dumb and will cost Trudeau the next election. Truly, many middle class folks are hurting and the message is they WILL be hurting if Trudeau is elected again because taxes must go up to pay for the increasing interest on Canada’s debt. Moreover, climate change targets are NOT being met with this intro. of a Carbon tax. No, that tax will have to climb to meet those targets. So Canada get ready!
      I think Scheer needs to rebrand himself as a socially liberal fiscally conservative future PM to capture your vote Joe as well :).

      • Mike,

        I don’t where we’re really going but it’s definitely downhill from the Canada-US Acid-Rain Agreement or the spectacular success of the Montreal Protocol on ozone depletion.

        Kyoto was mandatory, a mess and a complete failure. Neither the two biggest GHG emitters, US or China were covered. Copenhagen ended in failure while Paris, although voluntary, is uncertain at best.

        The world has not met its GHG targets and prospects are dim, even with continuing, steady progress.

        And if that wasn’t enough, our precious hydroelectric power here in Quebec leaves a greater carbon-emitter footprint than first thought.

        I’m discouraged — when the fate of humanity depends on all of us getting this right in the end. But when? 2050, 2070…

        • Gord Tulk says:

          I don’t think that Anthropogenic CO2 is a serious risk.

          That noted likely within the decade we will the commercialization of chemical looping that generates power from coal with zero emissions. (Google it and what is being done at the Ohio state and elsewhere). We will then have millennia of cheap zero emissions energy.

          So don’t despair and enjoy what cheap energy gives humanity.

    • I voted for Wildrose last time and I am voting NDP this time around. I became more progressive on many issues on my own these past few years.

      It’s terrible that you have been out of work. I was unemployed and underemployed for many years during this downturn before getting my current job.

      We live in oil country and Alberta’s fortunes will always rely on the price of oil. The current economic situation wouldn’t be all that different regardless of who was in power.

      The NDP platform is not perfect (I agree with most of it, but I would like the carbon tax to go away—it’s a political loser in Alberta) but I don’t trust Kenney.

      But it’s funny how all of the UCP campaign materials de-emphasize any mention of Kenney’s Name while NDP is putting Notley front and center. People who vote UCP are voting for the party in spite of it’s leader.

      NDP has a long shot for certain. The polls put their ceiling at around 40%. But if we take the long of view of things, with changing demographics, I think that progressive parties will be able to win elections here once in a while.

      Regardless of the result, Rachel Notley is a fantastic leader and she should remain at the helm of her party after the election.

  8. Doug Brown says:

    Curious what Warren thinks about Vivian Krause and her latest article alleging that US NGO’s are interfering with the Alberta Election:


  9. Jay says:

    Ford Kotchsucker says what?

  10. the salamander says:

    .. the potential political ‘swing’ in Alberta’s upcoming election is fascinating.. but also disturbing. Its also a great impending lesson to the rest of Canada.

    Is it possible that ‘politics’ ie elected Public Service is akin to the weather or climate change? Maybe our vaunted mainstream media can explain.. you know – ‘the mood of the people’. It was easy to see how Doug Ford and his party simply washed in to power on a huge wave of disgust – quite similar to how Justin Trudeau did actually.

    But how to explain the seeming flip flop of ordinary Albertans ? First they tolerate CP for decades leading up to Alison Redford, then in a real shocker, elect the NDP, and now seemingly are charmed by Jason Kenney et al.. ??

    Riddle me this Batman. Rural Albertans will now ‘lock out’ the NDP as will Edmonton and perhaps some part of Calgary will respect the NDP. But it will be a UCP sweep so they say.

    Kenney with all his grubby vote gathering, personal chubby charm and glib dogmatic droning & promises of glory plus his equally dubious riding candidates will overwhelm Notely’s government. She and the NDP were granted four years.. presumably to restore ‘the Alberta advantage’ .. huh ??

    Was Notely supposed to somehow convert Alberta’s tanking toxic petro ‘economy’ into one rivalling Norway’s ? ? With the bottom fallen out of the Harper/Novak hydrocarbon super power wet dream ? Was she supposed to command the weather and climate change ? Help convert those lawless LGTBQ folks foolishly hoping they too deserved to be treated with dignity?

    Again, my question is what information.. from where, from whom.. somehow convinces adult Alberta voters to surrender common sense or cognitive capability.. and rush the voting stations in support of the newly merged new look UCP. Is there some sort of ‘For The People’ or ‘Get Great Again’ or new ‘Alberta Advantage’ Canadians should get stoked about ?

    It makes me wonder if Canadians could so blithely forget about hockey & switch to badminton.. it makes about as much sense. Are Albertan’s that keen on a Saskatchewan loutling via Ottawa who wants into the bedrooms of the province? Wants to seperate from Canada.. does not accept climate change.. and truth be told only used Calgary as a fake ‘principal residence’ to collect 10,000 $ monthly while actually his ‘principal residence’ was an Ottawa, Ontario condo, walking distance from Parliament. All Canadians chipped in on his salary and his gold plated pension plan & his expenses. What was ‘great’ about that ? How did that impress rural Albertans ?? Or middle class hard working Edmontonians.. or drill rig roughnecks, or his ‘home’ riding.. riddle me that ?

    • doconnor says:

      Actually there isn’t much swing. The NDP is only down 2% from the last election and the Wildrose and Conservative got slightly more combined then the United Conservatives are polling now.

    • The Doctor says:

      You seem to ignore this little thingy called vote-splitting. That had one helluva lot to do with Notley getting elected.

    • Doug Brown says:

      I mostly want Alberta to lower its spending closer to that of provinces.

    • Joe says:

      Lots of people would like Alberta to be like Norway with a massive wealth fund (approx $1 trillion). Two points:
      a) Norway has a 25% Value Added Tax. 15% on food.
      b) Albertans contributed 600 billion in equalization payments to the rest of Canada.

      As I am currently unemployed I do not want “a”, and I regret I will not be contributing to equalization payments this year.

  11. The UCP seems to have more scandals then any government in Canada, and it hasn’t even been elected yet.

    • Ronald O'Dowd says:


      Take this for what it’s worth cause I really have no idea. But my spitballing says that the province remains solidly right-of-centre. Translation : Kenney will get in with at least a slim majority government. But I could end up full of shit.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:

        Maybe our host will decide to call it, from his gut, between now and Monday night? His perspective, as an Albertan, will be interesting, at the very least.

  12. Steve T says:

    I’m guessing that a very dated comment, which is now superceded by federal law, is a lot less relevant to Albertans than, you know…. jobs and not going bankrupt.

  13. Gord P. says:

    Warren I found your position on SNC Lavalin and the necessity to support the rule of law very encouraging. However your statement that essentionally Albertans should sacrifice their income, livelihood and the futures of their children and grand children because a comment made a generation ago is extremely discouraging. It’s no wonder that this former Torontonian and 50% of Albertans seriously, and I mean seriously must consider whether there is a future for Alberta within Canada.

    • doconnor says:

      Why should the world sacrifice their income, livelihood and the futures of their children and grand children so a relatively wealthy area can continue to contribute to climate change?

      How important different scandals are seems very coloured by people’s political loyalties.

      • Gord P. says:

        Considering Alberta’s share of global emissions is .005% and Canada’s contribution is 1.6%, it does make perfect sense to sacrifice 4.5 million Albertans so Canada can reduce its percentage to 1.55%. Actually if you get rid of us, you may reach Harper’s 2030 objectives. It’s a win win and I’m surprised more Canadians are not supporting that initiative. We might find a jurisdiction nearby that is participating in economic development.

        • Gord,

          And they all laughed at me when I suggested it was almost inevitable that Alberta would join the States. That’s the EASY way out — unless they actually have the balls to hold an independence referendum/election. Something tells me they don’t.

          At least here in Quebec we had the balls to complain royally but then put it to the test twice. Let them do the same, if they’ve really got the guts. Here’s a hint: Kenney doesn’t.

          • Gord P. says:

            The first stage is to challenge C69, C48 insist that TMX is built promptly and propose revisions to equalization. Canada needs to determine whether it will accept Alberta as a fossil fuel producing province sitting on the worlds 3rd largest reserves which we will develop with or without Canada. It seems inconceivable that we would watch as the world pushes through consuming 100 million barrels per day and leave hundreds of billions in revenue untapped. Alberta will not capitulate this time around. Push back will prompt a referendum on equalization. Of course it won’t produce results. Canada’s negative response will strengthen Albertans resolve for another referendum. Kenny will play a part. Why do you think Harper met with Bolton? In any event, I don’t believe those outside of Alberta understand the level of angst.

          • Ronald O'Dowd says:


            First off, I get pissed at meaningless separatist rhetoric. But I’m not an idiot. I don’t expect Alberta to freeze in the dark in budgetary terms. Their’s is an oil and gas resource based province. That’s reality. And those resources need to be fully developed and exported. But equally important is the Made-In-Alberta Transition Decision And Plan. That’s another striking reality. Transition to clean energy is inevitable, especially in fossil-fuel jurisdictions. Even Saudi Arabia is working on that. In the meanwhile, find a damned way through elections to get a pipeline solution that both Alberta and BC support, or at least can live with. Asian exports are crucial and must happen in the medium term.

        • Joe says:

          If Alberta left Canada then Canada would meet its Paris commitments. 🙂

          • Chris says:

            You just hit the nail on the head. Canada’s current “plan” to reduce carbon emissions is to destroy Alberta’s economy and bankrupt its citizens, while the rest of Canada’s “sacrifice” is a 4-cent-per-litre gas tax.

  14. Doug Brown says:

    The individuals who consume the end product contribute to climate change, not the individual steps in the upstream supply chain.

  15. Patricia Walker says:

    That news article is nothing more than a red herring. The Supreme Court of Canada has settled this issue and NO party (well except Trudeau who has done it 3 times in 4 years) makes a habit of creating unconstitutional legislation.

  16. Lee Hill says:

    Un canadien errant writes…Having just barely survived the 90s and part of the naughties when the Ralph Klein kulturkampf was in full ascendence, like some kind of cancerous blood moon, I have felt nothing but delight in recent years to see Calgary embrace Naheed Nenshi as Mayor and enough progressive Albertans to elect class act, Rachel Notley, as NDP Premier…all this while Toronto was going full-on philistine with Rob Ford and Co. I have a depressing sense that Jason Kenney, a real-life cartoon villain only the creators of South Park could love, will scrape through to slimy victory thanks to the Alberta Uber Alles strain that still courses through significant parts of the province’s bloodstream. However, if the polls are wrong, Mr. Kenney, if that is indeed his name, can always find work as a Commander Waterford understudy in a road company version of The Handmaids Tale – The Musical.

    • Daryl Gordon says:

      Thankfully you only have one vote and others like you are greatly outnumbered by practical and decent citizens throughout the entire province. Albertans emphatically want to get the province back to work and get the economy back to fiscal sanity.

      The situation is so dire that Notley could not campaign on her dismal record, she had to “go low”. Apart from public sector heavy Edmonton, nobody’s buying that this time around.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *