It’s not unlike the UCP patriarch, Jason Kenney, who is also teetering on the edge of losing political power and/or the death of his future political career. Kenney (played not-so-brilliantly by himself) is also spending his final days in power manipulating and torturing members of his caucus and his party. They are now openly turning against each other in a struggle for control of the UCP.
Albertans feeling so hard done by
Now that Kenney has a “win,” albeit a tarnished one, the premier will have to level up his bombastic language with some new line of attack on Trudeau and the federal government. A constant escalation of the fight is inevitable since this is how childish this game is.
A word or two (ok, maybe 2000) about the election tomorrow
Kenney says he is following Quebec’s lead, but nothing could be further from the truth. This referendum question is nothing like Quebec’s referendum where a clear question was always insisted upon and a clear majority would have been required for the province to leave Canada.
Don’t play along with Kenney’s game, he wants you to say yes
This is not a question about a “fair deal.” It’s a rigged question to be used for unknown political purposes by Kenney.
Counting signs, dodging “pure bloods” and hoping not to get into an accident
And if you think the battle over COVID-19 has been trying, wait until we get into the real war over climate change. Expect to see more of the same characters now appearing at anti-vaccine rallies back in a sequel opposed to actions to address climate change. The stakes will be much higher so the resistance will be that much more vehement.
Returns and exchanges, stones left unturned, and evidence drops – with a thud
Erin O’Toole finally allowed Premier Jason Kenney to return to Alberta and already we want him to take Kenney back.
Kenney’s endless summer vacation, a revealing video, and misleading money
I was waiting for Jason Kenney to come back from vacation. And waiting. And waiting. Finally, I decided just to go ahead since the premier is still on vacation and left no one in charge.
October 18 can be a referendum on Jason Kenney’s leadership
Getting rid of equalization is a ridiculous notion. Equalization is a way of ensuring all Canadians have a reasonably comparable level of public services at a similar level of taxation. Voting no will be an easy choice for the majority of Albertans, but some may not be considering it an opportunity to also state their no is not just a rejection of the question but a rejection of the person who wrote the question – Jason Kenney.
Code red, an about face and caught red-handed
Dr. Hinshaw sounded reserved, concerned and cautious. Minister LaGrange came across as buoyant, worry-free and proceeded to throw caution to the wind. Yes to field trips, club and celebrations! Yes to returning to normal! One was left wondering whether she had heard a word of what Dr. Hinshaw had just said?
Something wicked came our way this week and it wasn’t the virus
This letter is not an explanation of what went wrong with her first messaging. It’s not offering any answers or new information. Dr. Hinshaw does not offer an effective apology by any standard. She certainly does not deliver a clear call-to-action on getting vaccinated either.
That’s a wrap on Stampede, the bad news rolled in with the smoke and…pepper spray? Seriously?
Rumours swirled about fake vaccination papers and bribes at the door to Nashville North, the country music tent on the Stampede grounds. The Calgary Stampede denied everything.
Fanning flames, a big gamble and lots of fireworks
The latest campaign featured guess what? Another new slogan – “Sign up, Show up, Follow up” (to which I’m tempted to add “Shut up” but that would be rude).
The temperature is rising and so are the stakes unless we learn to listen
While Minister Wilson hosted a folksy musical celebration, he once again repeated the mantra of Canada’s “dark history” as if this was a thing of the past. It’s not and his wish for a “Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day” rang hollow.
Grassy Mountain is thrown out and we should do the same with the K-6 curriculum
Our elected representatives are rarely the leaders, everyday Albertans are the ones who often know best. And it’s Albertans who will have to continue to lead them (at every level) to the proper conclusion because they’ve long ago lost their way. Subjected to all manner of lobbying and incentives from industry to do what’s best for corporations, they repeatedly make bad decisions that are not in the best interests of citizens.
A million dollar lottery, a billion dollar giveaway and a complicated transfer of cash no one understands
Almost 70% of Albertans over the age of 12 did not need this incentive, but yeah, let’s waste money that could be used for badly needed services because 30% just haven’t gotten around to getting vaccinated in time for the Stampede. A tiny, tiny percentage will actually be enticed to get the shot by the remote chance at this lottery win.
Special Edition: Above the law
While the rest of Alberta is struggling under COVID-19 restrictions as well as economic woes that started before March of 2020 and will go beyond the pandemic, here are these guys, being served wine and sparkling water from their perch of power. A perch paid for by taxpayers.
All the sorrow this week
So how seriously do we take protecting the health and safety of racialized people today? When racists march on the streets with symbols of hate, disobeying health orders and endangering safety, we show a curious reluctance to enforce the law. So, how do we expect marginalized BIPOC communities to feel safe?
Kenney’s racist mob (the press secretaries), chants of “lock her up,” and a mysterious birthday party
With all the backtracking on climate change policies, backstabbing on jurisdictional issues and a complete lack of back-up for a flailing Ford nation, it’s easy to forget what else went wrong this week.
MLAs confused about directions, a mob finds its way to church and there’s a COVID freight train
So, now here we are with a “path forward” plan that is actually going backwards and the MLAs are leading a revolt because they didn’t think critically about this before. Recently, Kenney explained the words to them and they don’t like it.
A big storm, putting out fires and the weather was wild, too
In about one week, the Facebook group opposed to the new curriculum has more than 29,000 members, an original logo (war room take note) and plans for protests next week.
Lies, damn lies and lobbyists
Jason Kenney had the Supreme Court rule against him on the federal carbon tax on Wednesday. In response, he lied about the ruling in his official statement, misrepresented the facts about the industry, and admitted he had no plan for Alberta.
Tragedy in Leduc, job losses, and new rules
Kenney doesn’t seem to care as much about Alberta or Albertans, as he does about a much deeper and heartfelt mission...
Bigfoot, thin blue line and big biking news
But beyond the sheer audacity of claiming a children’s fictional cartoon about an elusive, furry creature of folklore should be more - accurate - this whole episode is extremely disturbing from a censorship perspective. When you have the full force and resources of a government, trying to silence critics, including in the artistic realm, this is never acceptable. It’s an abuse of power. We should be alarmed, not just embarrassed.
Women’s lives and livelihoods are at greater risk but the government is unresponsive
UCP women instead used the opportunity to reinforce the idea that systemic discrimination against women is a myth and that we just need to “work hard” and “earn” our way to the top. This is an incredibly harmful attitude and serves to further oppress and discourage women who are struggling against the odds every day.
Three brothers save the day, modernize this and Tiki torches everywhere
This is not a sporting event, Minister Shandro. The slow vaccine roll-out could lead to actual deaths in Canada, especially among this vulnerable age group. Putting on your Team Alberta jersey and blowing your own horn is unseemly and gross in this instance.
Failing to listen, picking fights and burning bridges
Kenney doesn’t build bridges, he burns them. He has always done so and has never claimed otherwise. He picks fights with everyone and even when forced to back down, refuses to take responsibility or humbly admit he was wrong.
Plowed over snow penguins, steamrolling on coal and spreading COVID-19 variants
This week’s news was a series of breaking stories showing a pattern of the government waiting for catastrophe before taking action – an ongoing strategy revealed by Kenney back in October.
A dank meme, a grim situation and we now own a parole board
The Covid-19 response this week was particularly confusing. On Wednesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said it was important to keep the current restrictions in place a little longer in order to keep healthcare available for everyone. On Thursday, Minister Shandro said it was a grim situation, getting worse. Then, in a late-day news conference on Friday, the government announced things were going so well they were relaxing restrictions on gyms and restaurants.
Kenney on Fox, vaccine supply warnings, coal catastrophe and homophobia, to boot
While most of the world was breathing a collective sigh of relief over the inauguration of Joe Biden as president of the United States, Jason Kenney went on a media tour – including an appearance on Fox News - to criticize the new president.
The problem with lying
The book is intended for pre-schoolers, but adults who’ve lost their way may also find a few takeaways.
The dais of discontent
As images of Trump supporters violently attempting to take control of the government by force started appearing on Twitter, the symbolism of the moment became painfully clear. https://twitter.com/igorbobic/status/1346906369232920576 Soon, other images appeared. A guy carrying the Confederate flag (also a flag used by German neo-Nazis since the swastika is outlawed in that country) into the … Continue reading The dais of discontent
What does “avoid” mean to you?
Once you convince people that everything is open to interpretation, the next step is convincing them that one individual’s interpretation is more true than another’s. In its ultimate implementation, unscrupulous leaders will try to upend an entire community’s interpretation in favour of their own.
We need to talk about Matt
The stakes were raised when Kenney dispatched a team of government employees to stoke anger by engaging in arguments on the ruling party’s behalf. It’s absolutely a partisan and destructive exercise.
Doing nothing helpful on jobs, economy or pipelines
The government can’t be blamed for a global shift away from new fossil fuel development. They can and should be held to account for not understanding this shift, as well as the devastating cost to the province resulting from this lack of understanding and planning.
This pandemic is teaching us how a lack of action endangers others
Climate change is like that - we can’t see the body bags piling up right in front of us in most cases, but people are dying nonetheless. When it comes to climate action, don’t be like those anti-maskers promenading perversely on Stephen Avenue in a state of denial. Take action on climate change in any way you can and help save lives.
When will fossil fuel enablers take responsibility?
When it comes to climate action, don’t be like those anti-maskers promenading perversely on Stephen Avenue in a state of denial. Take action on climate change in any way you can and help save lives.
The age of profound disbelief is upon us
If we are asking people to suspend their natural affinity towards disbelief, we should expect that it won’t be easy. Half-hearted attempts aren’t going to work and mixed messaging from leaders, contradictory rules and guidelines are not going to fly with an audience tending towards disbelief.
Leaks, whistleblowers and barber shops
Civil servants were holding their collective breath this week as a CBC investigative team released secret recordings of meetings held between Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and her team at Alberta Health. The bombshell story revealed an exasperated and cynical Dr. Hinshaw talking about her “uphill battle" with the UPC Cabinet and Premier … Continue reading Leaks, whistleblowers and barber shops
COVID’s death rate and the new one per cent
So, the argument here seems to be that we shouldn’t get “alarmist” or “theatrical” and frighten Canadians. A mere exclusion of some real people, the application of mathematical wizardry and voila!, we can all sleep better at night. How neat and tidy this idea is. And how horrifying.
Managing issues brilliantly
The first question is why does Wolf do the things he does? The UCP were not even remotely on the moral high ground on this amendment. Did they not spot the glaring omission of Canada’s Indigenous genocide? They set themselves up for criticism by not doing their own homework, which generally involves…well…thinking about bills they are voting on in committee.
Profanity in Steinbach, Manitoba
Today, about 100 people gathered in Steinbach to protest public health restrictions and shout profanities at provincial conservation and health officers who started issuing fines. The Saturday event received widespread coverage on national television, in between doomsday COVID-19 reports from the US and a mini-MAGA march.
COVID-19 communication in Alberta is not working
Over the last two decades, communication practices during a crisis have evolved and adapted to changing technologies. One thing that has not changed in the last 20 years, however, is the need for simple, succinct messaging. There is a large body of knowledge out there on how to explain risks to people. There is also a highly researched best practice approach and a knowledgeable cohort of professional communicators across the globe who can help with communications in a crisis. There is no excuse for this kind of mixed messaging
The lost art of building trust
As soon as elected, politicians need to put away their partisanship and run the government in a non-partisan way or suffer the consequences at the ballot box. That once was unspoken, but a given. Now, the non-partisan approach has all but been given away.
Just an average guy
The world needs to get beyond leadership based on the "gift of gab," "flattery" and "gladhanding." Those "skills" do not actually translate to true collaboration or even cooperation. They're talking sweetly about his skill at distraction and even deception. Those are actions to make you think things are okay even when they're not.
Keepin’ it irrational: The Sequel
This is exhausting and the list of irrational decisions just keeps growing.
Keepin’ it irrational: The first six months
Let's start with the inaccurate assumption that Jason Kenney and the UCP government are making rational decisions - evidence suggests otherwise.
Do your own fact checking in five steps
...there are a few simple things you can do – call it personal due diligence – before posting information on your own channels
UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform
It’s a cautionary tale for any volunteer-run, non-profit organization. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a respected association of professional communicators that has been around since 1970. Which is why I was shocked to learn that an upcoming professional development conference in Banff on October 27th featured Vivian Krause as the opening day … Continue reading UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform
How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?
In early September, I was going through my email inbox reading and deleting the crazy amount of newsletters I’ve subscribed to (note to self: stop subscribing to so many) when a familiar name popped out from my screen. Vivian Krause, lobbyist, writer and researcher in Canada (and Alberta) is known for her association with … Continue reading How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?
The Day After: Reflections on International Women’s Day
Another International Women’s Day has come and gone and along with it another round of clever hashtags, hopeful social media posts and frankly, hollow pledges of support. We’ve been through it before. Some of us have been through it more times than others and after a while, there’s a certain fuming cynicism that sets in. … Continue reading The Day After: Reflections on International Women’s Day