OK, what am I missing here? When I think of what has happened in Alberta since Danielle Smith became premier and her disastrous start to the current election by going from weird to ethically challenged in the wink of a Trudeau eyelash, why is it that days before the provincial election on Monday, we’re still talking about her remaining premier come May 30?
Let me see how this went. First, Smith defeats former Harper clone Jason Kenney as leader of the Uninformed and Corrupt Party, then introduces the Alberta Sovereignty Act to demonstrate her Constitutional illiteracy, only to have that action declared “nuts” and will turn the province into a “laughingstock” by Kenney, who subsequently resigned in disgust.
Next, she gets caught in the middle of an all-out breach of ethics by an alert CBC reporter attempting to influence the Justice Department to tread lightly upon Calgary “pastor” Artur Pawloski, who is charged with inciting violence under Alberta’s Critical Infrastructure Defence Act after encouraging American militia members and goon squad supporters of the Carbon Convoy to utilize their skills (and the weaponry they brought to the Coutts border crossing) in helping God’s people expose “anti-Christian persecution and government corruption” in setting forth anti-Covid “mandates” as the starting point within a “communist-controlled Canada” of establishing public health measures [that would inevitably result in] “the mass execution of Christians.”
With wildfires starting near Fort McMurray almost from Day 1 of the campaign, premier Smith and NDP leader Rachel Notley had little choice but to cease their personal campaigning and address provincial concerns about the outbreak. By May 4, the province’s boreal forest and grasslands had reached “cross-over” critical conditions, a scientifically “polite” way of saying temperatures were too high while humidity levels were dangerously low. By May 8, more than 30 fires were already “out of control” and another 70 started, forcing the evacuation of some 30,000 people in Alberta alone, most of whom had been forced to move in similar fashion when the 2019 blazes had turned most of Fort Mac into ashes.
Despite Alberta’s money-printing petroleum wealth having kept the province’s treasury well stocked, it didn’t take long for the people who actually cared about protection of the forestry industry to pick up on the reality that to the UCP, climate change was not a major concern. Firefighters and City Council in Edmonton demanded that cuts to the March budget, some $101 million, be restored. Of that amount, some $500,000 to assist rural Albertans to train volunteer fighters is the part that hurts the most, as this is where the fires are going to be fought, not in downtown Edmonton or Calgary.
However, it was soon back to “business as usual”, with Smith blandly asserting that the province would work its way through the crisis. Since then only one of them – Notley – has brought up the topic again, knowing full well that such a response was depressingly insufficient for a public in dire need of crisis leadership at a time of serious need in Alberta’s UPC-dominated rural regions.
As has been the case for the last 20 years, what fuels Alberta voters supporting the UCP the most is their shameless willingness to tie anything that might go wrong in the province to the presence of Justin Trudeau in the Prime Minister’s office, particularly when it comes to the seemingly endless delays in getting pipelines constructed so as to get bitumen product to market and quickly past the need to expand consultation with Indigenous groups and American eco-terrorists allegedly being funded by environmental groups such as the Sierra Club.
The problem here is that it was the Harper government with its massive omnibus bills and desire to simply muzzle dissent that only further exacerbated the consultative process, turning large segments of Alberta’s population into Wexit, or western alienation trending voters.
Interestingly enough, it was Danielle Smith who recognized the reality of that analysis, and knowing full well that if this movement were to continue, there would be no second term for her party, she simply told Albertans not to worry, and that they could still continue to think of themselves as Canadians because the UCP “had the meat” – in this case, the Sovereignty Act, that would make certain that the feds would face considerable legal challenge to any issue that they opposed in the re-transitioning of Alberta’s economy away from “green” and back into the petroleum industry’s controlling dictates.
Temporarily at least, it appears as though that portion of her leadership thought processes resulted in this strategy becoming a correct call for her. However, that still doesn’t explain her spininess in trying to move health policy and poorly constructed health mandates during the Kenney years into a full frontal assault against mRNA second stage vaccines and taking steps to privatize major portions of health care simply because anti-vaxxers couldn’t understand how Bruce Willis could have died “at such a young age” or even now why Teflon, now deemed to be a ”forever chemical” in our drinking water yielding the SAME types of death anti-vaxxers are trying to link to “getting an mRNA produced jab”.
And what’s with this obsession with polling numbers in and around Calgary, wherein Ipsos-Reid is telling us that the NDP were “Up” 3 points in Calgary-Glenmore 30minutes ago, only to be told with grim finality by “338” or Grenier that it’s all over now, folks, and Danielle Smith’s mediocre 37% polling in Oilville, Canada destines her to be the first (sort of) Conservative leader in Canada to be cannibalized or winning?
And then there are the “endorsements” – former, even current UCP members either publicly saying they can’t vote for Smith or are now supporting Notley, with even Pierre Poilievre now not even bothering to put down the shaving kit to tell us he supports Smith’s “Conservative” values?
Who cares? The only number that’s accurate at the moment is the one that saying 28% of Alberta’s eligible voters have ALREADY voted, and the pollsters have no idea on how to translate that result.
This is starting to sound more like Biden v Trump, isn’t it? I don’t like the unease it’s creating in me, but then were I right ALL of the time, it wouldn’t be any fun writing this stuff in the first place. I’m still taking Notley, though, with less than 0.4% vote differential – and keeping my fingers very well crossed in the process.