Archive for the ‘Alberta Politics’ Category


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.

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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
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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.


Kevin J. Anderson, Rebecca Moesta, & Igor Kordey (2011) graphic novel, Star Trek Classic Vol 1: Gorn Crisis, is a beautifully painted space story with ethical challenges around grieving in change. It is set during the Dominion War, and the Federation is in search of new allies as they are not doing so well.

The Gorn are a lesser known adversary, from the original Star Trek episode “The Arena” where the Gorn captain faced off against Kirk in a battle. Since that encounter, even though the Gorn view humans as weak, they had set aside their empire building aspiration. Gorn are a species from a desert world, a humanoid reptilian. What brings Picard’s Enterprise-E to seek them out?

Image result for star trek the arena

Star Trek Episode “The Arena

The need for aid in the current war, and a discussion with the political caste about putting aside their mutual distrust to work together for the safety of the Alpha Quadrant.

What is found is a caste revolt where the military is attempting a massacre of the political caste, and have decided to kick start their own empire building.

Meanwhile on an outpost world being rebuilt, Commander Will Riker and  Starfleet Corps of Engineers team are with a Klingon crew. The Klingons are “disgraced” in the honour code due to following the wrong vision, and being seen as cowards. They are out to self-destruct in dishonour, or light the universe on fire in their anger.

What does this have to do with Alberta you say?

It can appear to an outside we are like the Klingons, acting out of anger as the world changes around us. Not understanding the moment we are in, and the changes happening. Where being apart of rebuilding is an act of honour for it is protecting and growing hope.

Or, to some, like the Gorn’s military caste forcefully destroying that which the world has become to reclaim some by gone never was era.

The question is, as Albertans, are either of these static choices where we want to exist?

Or as the story progresses, are we ready to learn, grow, and move through the U of change, being present and willing to step out of the old, and into a time of stereotyping and creating the new. Growing…much like the Gorn and Klingons, former enemies of the Federation stepping into a new world of being comrades:

Image result for U Theory of Change

Which Alberta do you want?

Vote April 16, 2019


If you were to follow the twitter echo chamber or simply get your news from Alt-Right sources, and those deep in the anger portion of grief cycle one may think this is the only option come April 16:

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But there are Superman, Lois Lane and Batman’s out there if you can sift through the b.s. that is simply used to rile up the anger army.

Here is some extrapolation on the buzzwords being used to brew discontent:

GSA’s- Gay-Straight Alliances. One of those ideological governmental traps that the Official Opposition (UCP) declared. What is it? A club of sanctuary to sort out who you are. The controversy for helicoptering “parents” is that the school does not need to get your permission for your child to be apart of.  I know quite a bit has changed in schools since I was in public school, but I talked to my Pops as well on this one. He couldn’t figure out why there was so much time debating a parent giving permission for a club, why? What type of parent must a child have that they don’t let you know what is happening in their life. He cited only getting permission slips if we were leaving property, otherwise we talked at dinner, about life (and yes the no-no topics the helicopters and lawn mowers don’t want discussed openly- politics, religion, sexuality, current events and critical thinking).

Equalization- Many parties to the right have brought up referendum on equalization or withholding equalization from the Federal government. Uhm… it is not money sent by provinces to the government. Equalization is a financial resource sharing from the pool of Federal tax money to the provinces. The current formula was implemented by the Government led by Stephen Harper (in which Jason Kenney was a prominent cabinet minister), and renewed by the Government currently led by Trudeau.

It splits provinces into have and have not to ensure funding on cost shares, and other systems for the citizens. Alberta is a have province (we used to be a have not, but no one likes to talk about when we got Equalization monies). Folks like to decry provinces like Quebec that have so many more social programs but also get equalization. Quebec has a high income tax, provincial sales tax, and other taxes, on top of equalization to ensure care for their citizens.

Alberta refuses a PST (Provincial Sales Tax); wants to dump a carbon tax (so a Federal one will come into play); the conservative movement wants to move back to a flat income tax rate, which will already drop our tax revenues which are the lowest taxes in the nation. Our economy is the fastest growing, with the lowest debt to GDP ration.

A referendum on equalization is a waste of money. Provincially we do not have a leg to stand on as the only way to withhold is to not pay Federal income Tax, ask the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) how that will work out for you. It is a barometer test to skirt the Constitutional Clarity Act to a separation vote.

Separation/independence- No, this is not a new movement in Alberta. We had the Western Block Party in the 1980’s. We had the Cascadia movement in the 1990’s (BC, Alberta and Seattle making their own nation). It has raised its head again this election with an clearly named independence party running a half slate so far of candidates, it is a plank in UCP through equalization, and in the Freedom Conservative Party clearly there. Let’s look at what we have learned in the journey of Quebec separatists and what it means to Alberta.

  1. Freedom of Movement in our charter means provinces do not own the land they are on, Quebec has a strip around Quebec and Montreal that is historically their’s pre-confederation. Alberta was territorial land.
  2. First Nations land stays. Yes you read that right. The Alberta Independence Party writes about what will happen with First Nations at separation, but here’s the kicker– Treaty is not with the Province, it is with the Crown. So even if the Supreme Court deemed the Alberta government having any right to the land, the First Nations Treaties would trump that and well, it is all Treaty land.
  3. The Clarity Act. I love this act. It shows the brilliance of the Prime Minister that could’ve been, but smear politics halted his win, that is Stephane Dion. After many ambiguous questions in Quebec, under Prime Minister Jean Chretien enough was enough, and a very simple but brilliant premise was created. Separation is allowed but it must be a yes-no question from a clear question: We are voting to leave Canada? This act has been used around the world, most prominently in referendums in Scotland, Ireland and Wales in regards to the United Kingdom, and the Brexit with the European Union.

And how well does one think if we were to leave or even start sabre rattling to leave would it play out economically for us…

Pipelines- the clearest issue showing that Albertans are grieving and end to what was, and stuck in the anger phase of accepting the new. We need to diversify our economy. The great plan for our resources implemented by Social Credit Premier Ernest Manning for the people’s oil, and carried through by Progressive Conservative Peter Lougheed continued…that populist Progressive Conservative Premier Ralph Klein dismantled and made for the corporation not the people, that Progressive Conservative Premier Ed Stelmach tried to bring back to Manning’s way and lost his job for it…now First term NDP Premier Rachel Notley is trying to re-start the Manning-Lougheed Legacy and we are getting those fight for Klein’s way.

What does this have to do with pipelines? It is the spark for the anger brush fire. As oil loses ground around the world and people are finding other energy sources, ours is landlocked (I realize the government bought rail cars, but that was photo ops). The outgoing Harper government told the incoming Trudeau government the pipeline to the Pacific Ocean was good to go…to much tinkering led to what wasn’t. Has to go back to consultation with First Nations.

Making this about laying pipe a battleground meme issue of election does not speak to the bigger concern. We are the province that fought the National Energy Program of the late 1970’s and are now bemoaning that our eastern provinces buy oil elsewhere. B.C. is fighting the pipeline as well based around their green initiatives.

The line is approved once consultations are complete. The Federal Government (That great enemy according to the right) bought the pipeline and the Prime Minister has been the most visible Prime Minister ever in Alberta (for 10 years that Harper was in power we barely if ever saw him). Nothing in the conservative platforms speak about how they will get inter-provincial pipelines built unilaterally and against the court orders. It is sabre rattling pure and simple, push for answers, and check feasibilit.

Oh, and if we “separate”  and become a landlocked prairie country with no ports, do you really think the neighbours we have thrown under the oil rail car will want to let us build through their nations?

Accept we are a province grieving. What can be done to support oil, what can be done to heal and transition workers seeking a new path. These are the conversations that need to happen over the resource that we have squandered since 1993 for the betterment of big corporations and the detriments of Albertans.

Stand Your Ground- An American concept that you can use whatever means necessary to protect yourself, family or property. This gauntlet was thrown down yesterday by Jason Kenney when he spoke of re-writing self-defense laws (which if I remember my basic Canadian law are Federal as they deal with crimes that extend beyond ticket-able and 6 months in prison, but why let technicalities stop a good spin) should be different in rural Alberta than Urban. His rationale was that when police are 5 minutes away in the city compared to extended times in farm country.

Self-Defense laws in Canada allow one to use reasonable force to protect yourself or someone else if you believe there is imminent danger (no it does not extend to property, that is why we have insurance). Lethal force is hard to justify in most circumstances, but it does not matter location it is circumstance. It is also hard to swallow any line of safety in crime when you check the Hansard and see how many times the Official Opposition just opposed any bill of government including increasing funds to combat crime like more RCMP in the rural areas.

Anti-vaxxers- They annoy me in their lack of biological scientific understanding. It is now listed as the 3rd greatest risk to public health and life. Let that sink in. And yes it has already hit the Alberta Election with both the Alberta Liberals and Alberta Party bringing up platform points after a measles outbreak in Alberta.  I cannot believe I just typed that sentence in 2019. You follow their social media threads that use terms like re-education (it is language used in cults), and their unwavering holding to beliefs despite scientific evidence and risk of harm or death is shocking.

The two party platforms out there are:

Alberta Party to be a public school student you must be vaccinated (although when this changed I am unclear).

Alberta Liberal Party if you choose not to vaccinate you must attend a public health seminar on vaccines before signing the waiver.

Understand. Educate. Vote HOPE 2019.

Read how those caught in lies, scandals and hate are more illusionist than David Copperfield here.

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Just replace spiritual with political, and VOTE FOR HOPE April 16, 2019


It is time for Albertans to take a long hard look in the mirror and ask if we like the soul that is being reflected back at us during this campaign of hate and power grabs. The stories of vandalized candidate signs covered in misogyny, death threats, white supremacist b.s. and swastikas is but an outward sign of what we have allowed to be moved into the light as acceptable. At the least this is vandalism of property, at the most it is hate crimes and the miscreants need to be found and tried as such.

Then there is Kenney-gate’s Kamikazee candidate taking in such things as fraud, identity theft and the possibility of money laundering. Add to that the candidates going down to being revealed as anti-semites, or alt-righters. A pastor running in Calgary Mountain View, and no it is not his horrible exegesis of the passages on wives that is the issue but his support of the barbarity of conversion therapy, and another stating that wives need to give their husbands sex full stop (wtf which year are we in?)…and don’t get me started on the minimum wage arguments put forward by the party citing those with lower social capital should be paid a lower minimum wage (youth, persons with disabilities) or their virulent hate towards outing students. Or wait…veiled stand your ground laws being brought into Alberta. There are a few folks running for the United Conservative Party I know, but cannot endorse them due to the banner they are running under to them contravening the highway act and changing a safety road sign for truck clearance so it did not read 6.9. For the UCP Platform read here.

Yet there is hope Alberta. There is debate of actual things that help us coming forward. There is the Day Care funding debate, NDP stating $25/day and the Alberta Party with a well costed and thought out (oh and what I have always advocated, tax incentives for families with stay at home caregivers/parents) Read here.

For the rest of the Alberta Party platform read here.  They also have 87/87 candidates nominated and out working for support of constituents. They have strong candidates, Lana Bentley in Calgary Acadia who has been working to make the world better, and Gar Gar in Calgary East who is working to give a future to our youth, and engages them to discover how best to build community and grow hope (just ask my daughter, Justina).

If Rachel Notley has been dubbed the Lougheed Legacy, I would put the Alberta Liberals as the inheritors of the Woodsworth-Douglas legacy for amazing progressive support for citizens back stopped by sound fiscal details: Electoral Reform, Proper support for Universal Health Care; Proper support for Public Education, Gender pay equity; Read Platform here.  Oh and they have strong representation from across Alberta’s communities, including this amazing living the experience advocate Leah McRorie (read here). As well, their Leader David Khan is a man with a servant heart, wisdom and compassion. As I had tweeted earlier, I still remember him at a candidates forum showing up early, answering questions, spending time, helping with the lunch and clean up (yes, Calgary Mountain View, keep your riding Liberal!)

The Green Party of Alberta is a Red Tory-Red Grit party to use old time vernacular for you policy wonks. Following suit from encouragement from the PEI Greens they are expanding the discussion beyond just Environmental platform planks, and are well worth a look for other ideas. They are also the first party out of the gates to raise the idea of Universal Basic Income in Alberta. Read their platform here.

To the far left there is five Community Party of Alberta candidates. Here is there platform (or as they call it Program).

For those who say they staunchly are Conservative (big or small C) and will not support anything from the centre governing party New Democrats (their platform here), here are the other parties in the Provincial election and their platforms (just click on platform for the link if there is one).

Progressive Conservative Party- Still registered, but ran by UCP. No platform.

Wildrose Party-Still registered, but ran by UCP. No platform.

Alberta Advantage Party (Members of Wildrose who did not join UCP) platform

Alberta Independence Party Platform.

Freedom Conservative Party of Alberta (they were renamed from the pre-existing Western Freedom Party on April 23, 2018) Platform.

Pro-Life Political Association (Renamed from the Social Credit Party May 3, 2017). . . No platform.

Reform Party of Alberta Platform.

For all candidates running for all parties, and as independents, as well as for everything you need to know for April 16, 2019 vote day check out Alberta Elections.

It is 2019. Nazism and hate has seen a strong resurgence in our Province. Divisiveness, and mudslinging is what some are attempting to make the new norm. But there is hope. It is not a two horse race, a choice between NDP and UCP as both our governing and opposition party want you to believe. As you can see there is many choices. Many folks running to represent their neighbours in the Legislature in our capital city, Edmonton.

Take time to get to know the parties, figure out which parties resonate or independents. Then get to know the candidates. Go to the forums/debates. For me, if someone doesn’t turn up that says they want to represent me, it sends the strong message of how they will be in government– more of a lackey for the fearless leader, not a voice for the citizens. Even if they were on my list, they are not there, they are struck off.

Get a real feel if they are a person that has convictions in their beliefs, will they take a stand. I may not truck with Derek Fildebrandt’s political beliefs, but during the bubble zone debates while our official opposition was en-masse running out of the Legislature, he stuck around and spoke out for what his thoughts and amendments were. He earned some respect from me that day, for he did the job he was elected to do. Same as when Robyn Luff left the governing party and cited bullying concerns, and the 2 MLAs in her party found guilty of sexual inappropriateness but were never named. It took guts.

It takes guts to run for office, your life becomes an open book.

This election has become too ugly. We need to move out of the gutter, and back to the soap box.

What are the ideas? Why do you think you should represent us? How will you bring Peace, Order and Good Governance for ALL CITIZENS. It is time to pull the power plug on the resurgent hate. It is time to not hold our noses and vote for “the lesser of evils”. No, end that nonsense. It is time to stop accepting management in place of leadership.

It is time to vote HOPE. VOTE vision. Vote Leadership.

Vote for who you believe the best person is for your representative.

Oh and did I mention…Vote on April 16, 2019.

The only split vote, or vote not counted is…

the one not cast.