This week though, I’m going to flip the premise and talk about a few things that happened that may seem irrational on the surface, but when you consider a few additional factors, may not be completely incoherent. Be prepared, this is going to get a little disturbing in three major ways.
We started the week with an announcement on Tuesday that the provincial government was not content to make a mess of things provincially, they’ve also decided to get involved with Calgary’s municipal government.
There is something seriously wrong and dangerous happening in Alberta right now. So, I’m only going to update you this week in on the disastrous COVID-19 response we’ve seen spinning out of control on Jason Kenney’s watch.
I’d suggest there needs to be an urgent intervention with Kenney and he should be hustled off to “racist rehab” to get the sobering facts vs fiction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kenney doesn’t seem to care as much about Alberta or Albertans, as he does about a much deeper and heartfelt mission...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 book is intended for pre-schoolers, but adults who’ve lost their way may also find a few takeaways.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
This is exhausting and the list of irrational decisions just keeps growing.
Let's start with the inaccurate assumption that Jason Kenney and the UCP government are making rational decisions - evidence suggests otherwise.
...there are a few simple things you can do – call it personal due diligence – before posting information on your own channels
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
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?
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
Again, this is a work of complete fiction. NOTE: This may not be as much fiction as originally thought--an article in the Toronto Star on Dec. 24th stated that Danielle Smith mentor and former Reform party strategist, Tom Flanagan, is on record as urging a non-compete agreement between the PCs and the Wildrose, with a … Continue reading A Tale of Two Parties
The following is a parody...just to be totally clear. Calgary - The Stelmach government is on track with its new "Water for the Wife" strategy and the opening of the new CrossIron Mills Mall in Balzac this week marked its launch. The water plan, previously known as the "Water for Life" strategy, was changed partly … Continue reading Stelmach’s new “Water for the Wife” strategy
Okay. I admit that I am an early adopter. I'm one of those people who loves to try out new technology. My family just rolls their eyes every time I tell them about something new on the Internet. "Mom, that'll never catch on," they are fond of saying. Well, I remember when my kids were … Continue reading TV news paved the way for Twitter
Originally appeared on the Alberta Green Party’s website in 2008. Remember the protests that erupted this past summer in Montebello, Quebec, as Prime Minister Harper and President Bush met to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America? When politicians tried to show how the SPP would permit commodities such as jelly beans … Continue reading TILMA trade agreement thumbs its nose at democracy
By Jody MacPherson Originally posted on the Green Party of Alberta website in 2008. The Stelmach government would have us believe they “have a plan” for this province’s energy future. As an Albertan I can only ask, “what plan?” I see no evidence of one, and neither do many Albertans. What I see is a … Continue reading What we need are energy solutions
By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in the Saddle Bag newsletter, official newsletter of the Calgary Stampede, Summer 2005 Preserving the past is one of the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede’s core values and protecting the environment is a part of preserving the past. To help fulfill this goal, the Stampede is partnering with other organizations to … Continue reading A river runs through it: Stampede Park partners for environmental preservation
By Jody MacPherson Originally published in the Saddle Bags Newsletter, Calgary Stampede, Summer, 2005 You won’t see this kind of horsepower on Glenmore Trail every day. In fact, you might not see it ever again! On July 3, 2005 this busy commuter route in south Calgary will funnel about 200 of the Stampede’s bucking horses … Continue reading Taking the show on the road: Centennial trail ride brings the country to the city
By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in the Western Wheel newspaper, August 11, 2004 A five-man team from the Okotoks area endured one of the toughest mountain bike races in North America on one of the hottest weekends of the summer. The team was competing in the annual 24 Hours of Adrenaline held July 17-18 in Canmore. The huge relay … Continue reading Okotoks bike team takes on 24 Hours of Adrenaline
By Jody MacPherson Originally published in C3 Views newsletter, Climate Change Central, November, 2003 1981. It’s the beginning of a new decade and hopes are high. Pierre Elliott Trudeau is at the height of his popularity, having won the first referendum on Quebec sovereignty. Across the nation, Pac-Man is the video game of choice. Canadians … Continue reading Warming up the “empty nest”
By Jody MacPherson Originally published in C3 Views newsletter, November, 2003 Energy. It’s defined as “exertion of power,” or “expression of vigour.” The word brings to mind action and movement. How is it then, that a house, nestled peacefully in a neighbourhood, silent and watchful, is such a voracious consumer of energy? According to the … Continue reading Life as a house: Colouring your blueprints green
By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in C3 Views (Climate Change Central newsletter) in September, 2003 For farmers struggling with severe drought and the recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – or “mad-cow disease” – in Alberta, sinking large sums of money into manure might not sound very appealing. Lynda Skene, a partner in Genesis … Continue reading Thinking Outside the Barn Improves Investment Return
By Jody MacPherson This article appeared originally in C3 Views Newsletter, a publication of Climate Change Central From Heaps to Heat: Manure as a Power Source It’s often the subject of derisive jokes and schoolroom giggles. We’re annoyed when we step in it and offended by its odour. But it may be time to start … Continue reading From Heaps to Heat: Manure as a Power Source
By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in C3 Views (Climate Change Central Newsletter) in September, 2003 It had been “raining cats and dogs” for two days straight, so when April 22, 2000 dawned sunny and clear in Bruce County, Ontario, Dr. David Biesenthal welcomed the break in the weather. He decided to move 70 tons of … Continue reading Deadly bacteria in manure tainted water in Walkerton