Today, readers from Alberta and across Canada are responding to Jason Kenney and the UPC’s victory in Alberta’s provincial election.
Trudeau sabotaged Notley's re-election by never supporting her pipeline agenda. If you were really worried about right-wing populism in Alberta, the best fight against it was by supporting construction of the TransMountain Pipeline which Notley could have used to hammer Kenney; instead, progressives knee-capped her re-election chances by blocking it allowing Kenney an easy win. Progressives need to look in the mirror with their own ideas allowing right wing populism to grow.
Writing was on the wall for months. Kenney, hate it or love it, effectively channeled the populace's frustration with other provinces and the federal government.
Alberta's experiment with the NDP and social licence and other schemes to somehow appease the federal Liberals, as come to a well deserved end. Going into the federal election, Trudeau now has to face opposition in the west, in the east, and central Canada. The days of the half baked bromides are over, and Canadians across this country have seen the Liberal government and their leader for what they are, a government unable to see beyond a one track environmental vision, regardless of the effects on the economy. Canadians anxious for change gave Trudeau a mandate in 2015. In 2019 they have had four years to assess and live under the Liberal slogan from 2015 "Real Change". People won't make the same mistake twice.
I thought Rachel Notley handled herself pretty well in a tough economic situation but she had Trudeau basically killing Energy East with over the top regulations, to appease Quebec, cancelling Northern Gateway, the tanker ban in northern BC, over paying, with taxpayer money for Trans Mountain pipeline, with no idea what to do with it, and then there was Horgan, stabbing her in the back at every opportunity. She should hold her head high.
With a more collaborative federal counterpart, she might have succeeded in balancing social, environmental and economic files.
Trudeau certainly didn't make things easy for Notley - but at the same time it isn't as if Notley's track record and stance on major policy issues was consistent with the views of most Albertans. Her biggest political struggle was trying to portray a centrist government while maintaining her commitment to core NDP beliefs. The electorate saw through that.
Now Kenney will move from blaming Notley for all of Alberta's woes to blaming Trudeau. And if he's lucky and oil prices happen to recover - maybe to the mid $80's through absolutely no control on the part of Canada or Alberta, he will declare himself a genius. His supporters will believe him. If he's unlucky and oil continues to be weak, eg: maybe ending up averaging mid $50's for the year, he will blame Trudeau and past Notley policies. And his supporters will believe him.
The good thing is Notley is now free to run for the federal NDP leadership
This victory serves to further jeopardize the environmental future of our country and our planet. When will we finally accept that GDP is an outdated measure of the relative "success" of our civilization and that economic growth at all costs is an artefact of the use of fossil fuels? A society built upon growth and its destruction of the Earth’s living systems is an inescapable failure. Change we must, and this is not one in the right direction.
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