Erin O’Toole finally allowed Premier Jason Kenney to return to Alberta and already we want him to take Kenney back.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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