Archive for the ‘Alberta Politics’ Category


For some, they assume separatism is a new political action in Alberta. These folks forget the historic, Western Block movement; and in the mid-1990’s the conceptual Cascadia with aspects of BC and Seattle. Right now though, it is achieving enough traction to damage our economy, and is being stoked by the rage-o-thon machine.

What is missed though, is that unlike in Quebec, where the separatist movement could almost be seen as Secular-Socialist, within Alberta we have stuck to our rusted Bible Belt (rusted in my opinion because we truly have missed the mark of the gospels, more the “holy” that avoided love in the story of the Good Samaritan, than the Samaritan). Yet this week in the Star, The Freedom Conservative Party (FCP) has announced it is reaching out to other independent minded provincial political parties for a merger. Some may remember the FCP as the party Derek Fildebrandt founded, and ran in the 2019 election after being booted from the UCP caucus– and they would be wrong.

The FCP has a longer history in Alberta than just this cycle. During a freedom of religion spat (around Mormonism) within the Social Credit Party, saw then leader Randy Thornstein resign and by 1999 the Alberta First Party had premiered to offer a more socially conservative home for Blue Tories (Dark Navy Blue Tories?) in the province. This iteration lasted until 2004, when the noir blue Tories then shifted into separatism, and founded their own Separation Party in 2004 (until 2018 and had basically reinvented the Alberta First Party, until 2013 when they shifted back to name Alberta First Party).

In 2018 they once again re-applied to elections Alberta for a name change, to the Western Freedom Party, and then another re-brand via official Elections Alberta to the Freedom Conservative Party.

Now, they are borrowing from the Wildrose Party Play book. See the Wildrose Party, many forget where this part of the UCP merger came from. We need to go back to 2003, when the Alberta First Party was re-branding, Randy Thornstein was on the move again, and this time it was to craft a provincial party, firmly identified with the entity that had replaced the Federal Reform Party, and had a new leader out of Alberta Cabinet, Stockwell Day-The Canadian Alliance. There’s was the Alberta Alliance Party. Their 2004 inaugural campaign slogan was “I blame Ralph”. By 2005 Thornstein was out as Leader, and Paul Hinnman was in, they had motions in 2006 to merge with the Social Credit party that fell apart, when a renewed vigor in the old SoCreds had them wanting to elect members.

The Wildrose Party of Alberta, disaffected with the ability of the Alberta Alliance Party to beat Ed Stelmach’s Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta, had a founding meeting in June 2007 of just shy of 60 folks in Red Deer, and applied for party status.

In January 2008, the Alberta Alliance Party, merged with the Wildrose Party- to create the Wildrose Alliance Party. In 2009 the Wildrose made some strides. In 2012, Danielle Smith was now leader, and had entered the campaign looking like her party would win– many lake of fire and other corruptions scandals would side line victory. In 2014 the party would start to see defections, first MLA Aglin sat as an independent. Then two other MLA in November 2014 crossed the floor to join the governing PC’s. In December, Smith (Leader) and and 8 other Wildrose MLA’s would cross the floor and join the Prentice led PC’s, reducing the party caucus to 5, and looking as the Wildrose was DOA for the 2015 election.

The 2015 election with Brian Jean as Leader of the Wildrose would see them catapult to Official Opposition, to Notley’s NDP Government, and the governing PC’s reduced to 10 seats. In 2017 the backroom-bully style merger politics seen at the federal level when the Conservative Party of Canada was created came to the province for the Wildrose-PC merger that created the United Conservative Party, that would form the government in 2019. Oh and the SoCreds whose internal strife created the journey of creation for the Wildrose Party, the party of governance of 60 years ago, has now been reduced to a redundant Pro-Life Party of Alberta or some such nonsense, a leader’s vanity project.

Come into December 2019, and see Brian Jones, President of the FCP stating the party would be looking for a merger with other separatist parties in the province- Alberta Advantage Party, Wexit Alberta, and Alberta Independence Party to create a unified separatist political party to appeal to voters. The question on the table if this movement unifies will it create a cycle of Separatist-Federalist party in Alberta that does not matter where it falls on the spectrum ala Quebec up until the last election?

As one can see though, splintering and unifying is normal modus operandi on this side of the political spectrum. The challenge for Albertans who are currently struggling in the grief cycle economic change brings upon one’s life and economy is to not allow movements such as this to prey upon us in the anger & denial phases of grief. For this type of ideology does more economic harm, than healing. The challenge is to limit the theatrics, and show the media it is not a story worth covering for we need to re-assert Alberta as a place for citizens, where public education and public health care are great assets for companies to come and invest, where cost of living and quality of life are in harmony, and where we look at full scopes of budgeting which involves looking at not only expenses but incomes (taxes).


Alberta’s public-sector spending ins the lowest in the country in proportion to our economy. We have the lowest number of people working in the public sector as a proportion of our labour force than any other province. So where is the money going and where isn’t it coming from? Alberta is technically out of…

via UCP Lie #2: Government is Spending Beyond Our Means — Reboot Alberta

Sharing the great work from our friends at Reboot Alberta, and the thoughtful Ken Chapman.


Many on the political discourse like to look at other countries. Yes, I can spend my time doing that with what is happening in Hong Kong, Camaroon, Sudan, Ethiopia with the Annuyak, or our neighbours to the South (and yes I realize there is also the EU, and Middle East). But I think we need to address voter apathy here, because voter apathy allows for bad economics and governmental policy. It allows false narratives that governance is like a religion, non-profit or business model…it is neither, but can be all of those things. The current Religious Right ala Social Conservatives in Alberta/Canada that lead the religious charge are a multi-faceted mosaic, mostly good hearted, but are using the Cross or the Crescent (or pick the religious symbol) as a means of stripping away the care of neighbour which underlies most if not all religious belief systems. The ethic of care surrendered in the chasing of political power, and bringing everything down to a debt-credit bank statement style budgeting, and an either-or, us-them analogy that is also perpetuated by the secular-progressive-left.

This is a post I have been struggling to right, because I am religious, I believe in the Holy Trinity, and have shaped my life on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Politically I fall in the Red Tory to Socialist-Communist leanings, yet I am not made to feel there is a political home there due to the hate I take for my religious beliefs. 

Image may contain: one or more people and textWhile the place where a religious is welcomed does not fit with my core values of what government is supposed to do in care of citizens.  It is what has led me to affiliate with a grassroots organization Reboot Alberta, and continue talking to folks that all levels of governance are important to engage in, and at the very least cast a vote in. Get to know the candidate above the party, understand we have more than 2 parties in Canada and Alberta and discover the party that resonates with you the most. Vote for something not out of fear to stop something.

This is where this ecclectica post began, as I begin ruminating on the City of Calgary and Province of Alberta begin their cuts.

City of Calgary-

We have not learned the lessons of history. We use austerity, and front line cuts as a way to show that we are being “fiscally prudent”, but do not address the burgeoning muffin top of city managers, and the exorbent pensions for City Councillors. Instead we attack the least. This started, as I wrote in Soul Ripples, with the way the City dealt with what is now deemed child sex trafficking when I was in high school, and the ripples it created in youth homelessness, youth gangs, rise, fall and re-rise of neo-naziism, and child sex trafficking.

I was reminded of this short sightedness when dealing with the property tax department as they cancelled my TIPP program in complete violation of the contract. The City did not accept responsibility or fix it. In fact they left it to me to fix, and pay a fee to re-up in the program. Not seeing the ripples of the time it takes a person to accomplish this, and that the re-up fee is directly from my family’s grocery budget as an unexpected expense. If I hadn’t solved the issue, or had been away and missed the deadline all together getting into arrears with property taxes can have the ripple of affecting insurance and mortgages, yet City of Calgary does not care. It is CYA all the way and screw the citizen.

Image may contain: 4 people, textLook at the first wave of austerity they have unleashed? 14 new suburbs, yet cuts to Fire, EMS and Police. In Fact, we are in the midst of a rise in youth gang violence (which actually is modus operandi for the council)…so they also cut free programs like the mobile skate parks, and shutter 2 pools. Places that create safe community for our youth are chopped. The ripple effect? As history has shown us, is more lost youth to the darkness, yet City of Calgary doesn’t care. It’s a CYA to protect themselves not govern the citizens.

Hence, a ripple effect of the current Government of Alberta approach, as municipalities are a function of provincial powers, not an autonomous entity. The current government refuses to release a budget until after the Federal Election. They can use any smoke and mirrors they choose, yet it comes down to the fact they have seen the effects the Ford Government has had on the federal party in Ontario and do not want to cause the same effect here.

Yet, it has created the conversations and actions noted above. Let’s look at the beginning roll outs after the smoke and mirrors of the 5% MLA pay cut, or even before when they attack the lowest paid-but hardest working- cutting minimum wage for youth workers from $15/hr to $13/hr, and now exploring cutting servers wages the same if they serve alcohol. The tax cuts to big oil that led to over 14,000 more job losses. Yup, it is for the people (note sarcasm for those who do not have a British background).

The us-them dichotomy is ringing true as they halted work  the new school curriculum. The new curriculum which was started under the PC Government pre-2015, and continued by the NDP government. Stating that the Alberta Teachers Association and partners were not apt to do this. They stated parents… well I was engaged and spoke about things in the previous curriculum consultations. Yet, lets be real…a good reality check. Who is the best equipped to design curriculum and curriculum delivery? Do you go to the doctor with a bursting appendix and be like, yeah I know this can kill me but really can you deal with my ingrown nail? Same effect here. I have seen the majority rules parental ruin of education. Under Klein it led to no fail policies, it has created a culture within education and society where bullying is so allowable we have 9 year olds committing suicide in Calgary. How about we let those trained in lifespan development, educational theory, pedagogy, curriculum development do their work. The goal of education is a well rounded, functioning life long learner. It is designed for those meant to go on to post-secondary to achieve there, for those meant to be in the skilled trades to thrive and achieve there, and for those not in those two streams to still be life long learners and discoverers so they are able to support the next, current and elder generations. See why educational curriculum in an era of post-truth become such a whack-a-mole? If everyone completes grade 12 (which Alberta has an atrocious track record of) as engaged citizens and critical thinkers, it makes ideological populist movements harder to steal power.

The next is the over 3 million cut to the Calgary Homeless Foundation. Now, yes it is bad, and punishes the most vulnerable. Yet, I want to engage in another conversation of question asking. Why do we have organizations like the CHF? Third Party funders that get government funds and distribute to the sectors. They are funded for a full staffing structure including directors, etc (taking money out of the helping pot)- they have created another organization to own real estate that then master leases to non-profits, so the non-profits don’t build their assets to leverage for clients. The questions that should be asked is, what is the full costing going towards the sector? What changes if they third party funder is removed? What increases in funding go to agencies? What happens if we direct fund the clients? So their decisions direct funds to the agencies they choose to use? How does this transform the sector in truly investing in staff health, staff retention, and increase to front-line staff salary for good human services delivery is built on the trust of relationship.

Yet, as the cut happens, it becomes an austerity measure, another us-them battle. But what happens when we engage and ask? What happens when the marginalized do not allow themselves to be herded into a one-size fits all solution. Admitting that each situation has a myriad of reasons to the now, and takes a mosaic to heal and get to home.

This is also the failure of the debate over the Supervised Safe Consumption Sites.  Location is important. It needs to be accessible to those in need. Yet, it also needs to be controllable. What does this mean? It means that the users need to be safe, the staff need to be safe, and the predators need to be kept out. Is the Sheldon Chumir the best location for this? Location wise, yes. For the other two, no, as it is too open and easily targetted. It is akin to when they moved the safe house for child prostitutes in the early 2000’s onto the actual stroll, the kids could get safety, but the pimps and predators were ringing the bell for them the next night. Perpetuates a cycle of harm acceptance. Now however if we critically look, expand, and create safety for harm reduction then it creates space for keeping people alive, having conversations, niggling out what led to…

Which is the other piece. See it is not safe sites OR treatment. False dichotomy for twitter wanks, and sound bytes. It is both and. It is not harm reduction OR abstinence based programs. It is both and. See, human beings are tricky, some who slip into addiction need the stability of harm reduction and may shift towards abstinence, others to simply survive need a sober environment period. To discredit either is to say that person’s life has no value in our society. But if the goal of harm reduction or abstinence is simply survival then it has missed the mark.

The root of the addiction is trauma. The human system attempting to null the unspeakable pain. This is the other sound byte that annoys me speaking with front line staff. Trauma informed care is not a pass for a person to be abusive, it is understanding where behaviours come from and in the courageous safe space to have conversations around healing, and when something goes awry to be in that type of intimate healing relationship to be held to account.

But that word T-R-A-U-M-A. It is healable. It takes time, it takes trained clinicians. It takes healthy community around a person. No, it is not staying in unhealthy family or community, rather it is knowing where health is and re-planting oneself there. It takes expansion of mental health services, normalization, and giving a damn about one another. It takes the removal of labels, and seeing each other as citizens, but beyond that as a PERSON. We are not monetary transactions, we are people. The simple act of being people, is our inherent value.

The question though, is as are we going to allow this current populist belief system to continue, or are we going to critically engage and challenge what needs to happen. To firmly, accurately, and compassionately call out the false narratives and dichotomies regardless of the institution they exist in and we exist in as members?

Are we willing to truly be person first in this life?


We are in an era of politics where apathy and entrenchment has led to an inability to actually talk to one another if they choose one party colour over another. An era where vandalism, threats and bullying have become common place in our body politic and campaigns. Where one can live in a comfort ability of post-truth. It has led to a disengagement and-or apathy (I mean, c’mon 54-60% turn out are historic highs).

I have been politically active my whole life. We had rambunctious conversations at dinners, over the television news, and at family celebration gatherings on topics such as health care, human rights, feminism, political parties and beliefs (I will not bore you with the details of my journey in political party land where I have been everything from Reform Party to Communist Party-both federally and provincially for those fun stories of my life, and Uncle Ed’s attempt to recruit me to the SoCreds, I refer you to my book- Soul Ripples). Suffice it to say I was more about what party policies were doing to aid citizens than partisanship- though I definitely went more to the progressive-pragmatist end.

I reflect on this journey that saw me run in 2006 as I look at the picture with Jack Layton. I ran for the New Democrats federally, but how my elders responded speaks more to how party’s should function within our democracy. They are to be a function- that is something that is influenced by the members, and elected members. Not simply the automatons of a leader. It is with the former how we get Peace, Order and Good Governance. My Great Uncle Red believed I would be a good Member of Parliament, but in conservative Calgary was concerned of my orange ways. He actually took the time to figure out what it would take to get me on the ballot as a Conservative if I so chose.

Community, family, working together on goals. Having the conversations about why and what makes our country (province) a better place for all. What is the core values. How do we use academics, science and scholars in line with the human factor to come up with the best solutions. But it only happens with community and belonging.

It is bumpiest journey, and where we are at currently politically it is hard to see folks across ideology have discussions. Yet it is possible. This what I was able to be a part of with a new movement, not about a new partisan party, but about connecting citizens, education, discussion and community. It is about taking what we learn through our conversations back into our own political realms or just our own circles of influence, to continue conversations.

The simple pieces of ensuring that our constitutional promise in Canada is held. Our current provincial government doesn’t represent that, but we can get it there. We do that, by being engaged and conversing.

The simple steps build bridges across the chasms of ideological trenches. For once you have had a meal, or even a cuppa with a person and a good conversation– it is hard to paint them as other.

rebootalberta.com is a movement of discovery, learning and connecting across partisanship, and post-partisanship. Check it out–they also have a Facebook page.


It is said Canada is a secular state. What does this mean? It probably began during the Quiet Revolution in Quebec in the early to mid-20th Century which was the assertion of the end of Christendom. What is Christendom? The one force of political religion. That is politics being draped in religious language, much like what Marx wrote out against. It brought Christianity from being a movement of those on the margins of society to the throne of the Empire, when Constantine won the throne under the cross. It held through the schism that created Orthodox and Roman Catholicism, and then the Protestant Reformation where monarchs took the power of the church for themselves from the Pope.

The Quiet Revolution in Quebec stripped political power from the church. During this time, movements like Social Credit grew out of fundamentalist Christendom, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation was birthed out of progressive fundamentalists and activists…and by the 1960’s with the rise of Trudeaumania, a moderate-Jesuit style Catholicism was back on the scene with Pierre Trudeau as Justice Minister modernizing our laws, then as Prime Minister working towards repatriating the Constitution and moving the Bill of Rights to something governments could play with to enshrining them in the Constitution as a Charter of Rights and Freedoms (he also wanted a Social Charter that the Alberta Government killed in the need for signatories, the social charter would’ve dealt with many of the issues we are facing today). The final authority for the Charter and Constitution was no longer the Monarch, but rather the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Charter was fleshed out in consultations with churches, stake holders, citizens, First Nations and Metis. Trudeau in his philosophical ways, understood there was something intangible that bound us all, and as such this is the opening line:

Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law:

Guarantee of Rights and Freedoms

Our neighbours to the South have an enshrined separation of Church and State. In Canada we have no such thing, our social safety net more often than not begun in a church hall over coffee or tea whether it was suffrage movements, labour rights, government entitlements, public education or public health care (and remember it was a devout Roman Catholic Prime Minister, Paul Martin, who led his government to legalize marriage equality). Yes, there is atrocities within the church that came from the Christendom style movement such atrocities as Conversion Therapy; Residential Schools, by proxy the MMWIG; Lack of Women’s rights (yes, both came from the same source, but different understandings).

Yet, in the death throes of Christendom, we got the Constitution Act, 1982

Recently, the leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition gave a speech listing his values due to the Supremacy of God, and watch the Twitter eruption of how dare he. I have not heard the whole speech, many know my feeling on the corruption within the Conservative Party of Canada that goes back to the anti-members wishes merger under McKay-Harper, but moving on.

What does this mean?

If one has authentic religious beliefs, they drive and shape their life. They cannot compartmentalize them, and nor should they. We have a history in our nation of those across the religious and political spectrum working for the best for the people of Canada. It comes from a community understanding, that our individual rights come with corporate responsibility.  All on the political spectrum are guilty or religious demonetization.

One should understand where one’s values come from. In 2006 when I ran at the Candidate’s debate we were squarely asked about our religious-philosophical beliefs and how it related to the social issues of the time- marriage equality was the big one. To be cleared to be a candidate to run for the NDP I was asked to explain my standing on abortion, and explained why I was pro-choice, and what society’s responsibility was around that. The party did not like the well thought out explanation and had a hard time signing off, yet it was the answer that tied in well with my faith and politics.

Too often discourse publicly or personally of politics and religion are shunned. We want to yell our beliefs in a vacuum. We want pithy answers when asked why. We have lost the ability to debate, to craft healthy arguments and philosophical or legal discourse around issues that arise. We prefer social media yelling matches, and holier than thou stances for and against the way people come to their decisions. We also stand on this idea, that if you default to I believe this because of x,y, or z religious stance then I cannot be challenged. That too is wrong. If you raise it as a point of support, it is debatable, but we need to enter these conversations civilly. We also need to enter these conversations with the understanding the religious are grieving.

What? They are, they are in the anger and denial phase of grieving not willing to let go of the past and understanding that their voice is still valid. It is part of the same choir that has already existed, what has changed is that there is no forced vocabulary because due to social and economic pressure not everyone is in a pew. This is what creates the reactionary anger, and then allows for those to hide within their own echo chambers. Instead of reacting to the language, look what is being spoke of and if the value supported lines up.

Guess what that creates? Collaboration, which then one can say we have this core value as a nation regardless of how you came to the journey to come there. We honour our neighbours completely.

The example that this type of approach can be used with is in Alberta where the Alberta Government has stopped land acknowledgments. This comes most probably out of the heretical Doctrine of Discovery from the era of Christendom. Instead of being able to point out this is a Confession. It is pointing out we all share the land, but we know who our first neighbours were and are working towards reconciliation and a common future. The strong words there resonate with a Christian vocabulary- Confession, Reconciliation. These are concepts that are understood. It shows community.

Is Canada a secular state? Why do we need to label it. We are a multi-cultural mosaic. That includes religious beliefs. The beauty of where we are as a nation, is that religious beliefs, like any beliefs, are not static. They evolve and change over time. We help our neighbour through their anger and grief, we can get to healthier future. We answer anger with anger, hate with hate, it is like fighting a house fire with fire. It does not work. First you provide safety for the affected, then begin the suppression of the blaze. That is creating space for healthy discussion on shared values, and what brought each of us to that point.

Honouring that, and moving forward.

It is the roots of the grand tree that is Canada.

We just need to prune out the dead wood.

Yes this came out of a question I responded to on Twitter as to where all the moderate Christians are, and I pointed out tired of being yelled at by secularists and extremists, when interviewed by media not allowed voice because it is not infotainment enough.

 

A Province Grieving

Posted: April 9, 2019 by Ty in Alberta Politics
Tags: , , ,

It is hard to fathom that Alberta is only 107 years old. We have seen a lot of change in that time, and have been the instigators of quite a few. From the Famous Five and the battle for Women’s rights (yes I realize I am short forming, but please forgive as it is a post, feel free to flesh out more in the comments with information) to launching two political movements:

  1. The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation which led to the NDP which brought us amazing things such as Universal Health Care, Pastor Tommy Douglas led the charge from Saskatchewan as he believed no one should suffer because of inability to pay.
  2. The Social Credit Movement which brought about some pilots of things to be solidified later. Yes it did, Rev. William Aberhart laid the planking for that. The concept of Social Credit, that is essentially free money to the populace, was a plan out of Britain if I recall, and it brought the SoCreds from a coffee party discussion and radio broadcast to governance beating out the United Farmers of Alberta. Now pause and think, what are monies from governments to aid one to not be in poverty? Alberta Works, AISH, Child Tax Benefit, Carbon & GST Rebate. Plus his protege and successor, Ernest Manning created the citizens royalty plan for our oil so well used and leveraged for economic’s by PC premiers Lougheed and Getty.

In the 1990’s we say a rise of populism as a party essentially campaigned against themselves. The Klein way hit, and hit hard. Reading back on his movements inner circle they admit they had no plan. They had a slogan and started slashing. They moved our resource (oil) from a citizens commodity to a company right, gutting royalties but it was hardly noticed as the price of oil per barrel was insane. Systems of care were shifted to prove need and that you are not (the great WASP myth) abusing it, and things like disability and AB Works (Welfare) became harder to get and at this juncture were not about living (Redford did bring in an AISH raise, but that was almost a full or half-generation later depending on how you count generations). Seniors lost their supports, and what was given back was a pittance. Universal health care was tinkered with under the auspices of the “The Third Way” and hospitals were closed and imploded, the beds not fully replaced. We knew back then that the Baby Boom was the largest looming generation of retirement yet we were not planning to care for these elders to be, instead we placed money over citizens.  It led to incomplete transitions for folks needing full time medical or mental health supports as large institutions closed but they were not fully transitioned into smaller homes, or group homes, many ended up in Homeless shelters.

Public schools under the auspices of parents choice bled students, funding eroded, and drop out rates increased as big oil advertised good work (and yes we knew it was a crisis as many mentoring non-profits popped up attempting to stop the bleeding of Gen X and elder Millenials).

It was also the 1990’s that showed Alberta’s hate proud. We had a KKK Rally and cross burning that made national news (sadly I cannot remember the exact township). Jim Keegstra our public school teacher and Holocaust denier made the news of being in and out of courts. At some point Keegstra was silenced, and the KKK lost their provincial non-profit/charitable status (can’t remember if the government pulled it, or they forgot to file some taxes and it was quietly closed). It was also in the 1990’s that the Government attempted to exert their censorship muscles by creating banned book lists in public schools (published on the first day of Freedom to Read week, oh the irony) and threatened theatre companies funding for putting on plays such as “Angels in America”.

(Neo)-Nazi the term alt-right is en-vogue pointing out that Nazi’s were about white supremacy, yes and no, and only anti-semitic, yes and no. Nazi’s were filled with hate. The co-opted Norse Mythology for their imagery much like other extremist groups have co-opted Christianity or Islam today. The Holocaust not only involved 6 million Jewish folks. The zyklon B gas chambers was tested for efficacy with German citizens who were Roma, LGBTQ2+, Persons with Disabilities, and mental health concerns (about 7 million we know of). Medical experiments were run on folks of multiple births (twins, etc) as they gave a control subject. The prime drive was an enforced tier system of humanity where some were full people and other’s not (also noted in Stalinism’s brutality and murders, take any spectrum full circle and you get extremists and hate nothing more).

Liqour stores privatized and so did registries. They finally ended the tiered minimum wage for workers under 18 and over 18 years old.

In the 2000’s we were advertising we were open for business, but the jobs available that drew folks could not pay the cost of living. Emergencies were declared in homeless shelters in winters. Oh, and parents now could sign off on their 12 year olds working at places such as fast food restaurants.

Premier Stelmach attempted to create royalties on oil focused on the citizens products, not the companies and well he was not premier very long.

And it was deemed good by the small percentage that turned up to vote in the polls. Eventually any governing party runs out of steam, and after 44 years, and 7 premiers the PC Party lost the 2015 election to the New Democratic Party (going from 4 seats to government). They inherited what had happened a generation ago, the austerity cuts that had left huge infrastructure and capacity gaps (literally crumbling schools). To offset this as well, the usual way the Alberta Government and people were comfortable with solving issues, the price of oil had tanked and was not looking like it was going to return. Jobs were lost. The types of jobs that with oil prices regressing big companies realized were not necessary, and could be handled with new technologies.

Like anything, the cycle of change:

Image result for stages of changeWhere do you see yourself in the emerging Alberta? Your neighbours? Our politicians and media? I believe as a province as a whole we are in the pre-contemplation to contemplation stage of change. Which is why it is so easy to be divisive, to use attack ads, to yell sound bytes, to not have actual debates and conversations of issues. Most importantly, to not realize that local action can create ripples that change outwards for the positive.

Being in the first two pieces of the cycle has us reflect on grieving. It became a pragmatic expertise era of working with students as mentor and guide for almost 2 decades from multiple disciplines:

Image result for kubler ross stages of griefWe are living through a province fluctuating between denial, anger and bargaining. Our leaders, are managers trying to keep their bases appeased and not willing to take a risk to speak into the void of pain. To let the silence do the heavy lifting.

Why?

The cycle of depression, before acceptance is scary, and it is where our province as a whole needs to move. Once into acceptance we can move into the stages of change into preparation, action plan and maintenance. But the first step in actual Peace, Order and Good Governance for the citizens.

For a theory that may be more visual to get, I like the U Theory:

Image result for u theoryWe as a whole province are stuck in the downloading arc. We cannot get past the letting go in a collective understanding of who we are and what our vocation is?

April 16 is a big day for Alberta because it is our time to decide to enter authentically into grief, healing and a new dawn. To do that though we must move beyond the rhetoric, the hate, the attack ads. We must demand better of those who want to represent us.

We must let go, and let come the new Alberta.

VOTE HOPE.

Experience grief, and heal.

 


It’s funny. Today I was thinking of Alberta Votes 2019. It is hard not to as it fills every media space, and it is ugly. There are great lights for folks honestly running for citizens like Leah McRorie, Gar Gar and Dave Khan to name a few (tonight my daughter added Braham Luddu). I originally was planning to tap into a simple spiritual and holistic theme. That being forgiveness, second chances and growth in our life span. This came about watching the attack ad cycle (yes these ad’s bore me, and make me decide to not support that party even more).

Why?

Simple, they take usually past statements and/or actions, and present them as current reality. This is done under the guise of past behaviours are great future predictors. Yes, I can agree with that, yet it removes a simple learning curve. People can and do change. It happens, it is looking at patterns over a lifetime, and recency. These are key pieces. This style of attack is not a smear. This happened or that was said. It can be accountability. What the media needs to do is dig and discuss and see what has changed?

So yes, I believe in second chances and forgiveness.

The hard part is this got scuttled tonight as we looked at learning more about our local candidates and attended the local forum. The opening question for introduction was for the candidates to share personally why they wanted to be our MLA. The 3 other candidates from Alberta Liberals, Alberta Party, and NDP answered honestly and shared their story. The UCP Candidate (who had already distributed blue shirts and signs, so I was prepared for the faux standing O’s to come with his answers) went and just started reciting party policy. He was called out on this (heckled, as happens in politics, and any other forum you are before the public-been there done that).

Which set off the wave of blue. I got mad as they triggered my son into hysterics, as I made my statement they chanted go home to us, and three blue shirts postured and threatened to want to meet me in the parking lot for a fight. The moderator front and centre for it, did not clear the blue shirt bullies, he would tweet and apology stating he “did not hear or see” and that he was saddened to be associated with an event that went off the rails like that.

As I would be in the lobby helping my son re-regulate, Sprawl-Jeremy Klaszus would come out to check in, so would Calgary-East Liberal Candidate and 12 CSL member, Michelle Robinson, and another lovely volunteer whose name I did not get. I would speak with the Sprawl openly about how this is not my Alberta.

Video from the Calgary-Cross forum tonight. After Amery (UCP) is heckled, UCPers chant Mickey’s name, upsetting ‘s 13-yr-old son. Ragan: “Good job guys, you scared the kid with cerebral palsy. That’s your inclusive party right there.” UCPer: “Go home, go home.”

-Check out Sprawl for the video

I have lived in this area my whole life. We are the most socio-economically, religious and culturally diverse communities in all of Alberta. We came seeking a candidate that would break party lines and ensure proper representation and support for citizens. I do not stand for hate or exclusion. I do stand for full universal health care, and full public education. I do know that the infrastructure and wait times we are experiencing are not due exclusively to NDP governance, but the royalty cuts that supported business not citizens under PC governance of Klein and his barbarous cuts.

I do know we have a resurgence of hate and bullying in our province, and that was ignited by the bullying rise by the mergers of the Wildrose and PC to create UCP and the leadership bullying style that brought that about. We bore witness tonight to that, unable to stay, as I got my son able to return, I found my daughter in tears and the blue shirts pointing and grinning at having accomplished this feat. We left, and City TV stopped me in the parking lot to discuss the gutter politics on display, the rise of hate, and the bullying.

I know I have my bias, and have never been a conservative, this election though I have tried to share the good from each party, or at the very least the link to their policies so that readers (and Albertan voters could find them easily) to be able to make an informed decision. I was part of the stand against hate in the `90’s (and was hoping we had evolved enough for it to be done); I have been involved in anti-bullying campaigns, and quite politically, religiously and community involved my whole life. I enjoy sharing my passions with my children, and getting them engaged to be able to critically think, fact check and find the candidates they would vote for.

Tonight was not the Alberta I believe in, or want to be apart of. Four of the five candidates in my area showed up, that was four choices (sorry Communist Party, your guy didn’t show he’s off the list). The NDP and UCP already had an uphill battle, after tonight the UCP is off and very off. That leaves both the Alberta Liberals and Alberta Party left to decide with.

But I do ask citizens to think of the demonstration we are putting on for our children. For the demonstration of fear of sharing personally why we want to SERVE our citizens (yes that is what political office is a vocation of service, not power); and that choices we make do not only affect us in the next four years, but 7 generations from now (as the Elders have taught)…we are still dealing with the repercussions of the last short sighted-money over citizens-populist government 1 generation on…

Can we afford another one?

On April 16, 2019 Albertans VOTE HOPE. VOTE FOR A GOVERNMENT FOR ALL.

And let’s put hate and bullying back in the dumpster where it belongs.