Poli-Rants #3: Half-Drunk Ramblings

I wrote these down in the notes app on my iPhone a few days ago after drinking a few beers. Forgive me if they’re stupid.

“- Why not reform treaties with First Nations, similarly to the Yukon? This could ensure First Nations agreement on vital resource projects & pipelines. The Yukon Government’s modernization of treaties has led to prosperity for both the territorial government and Aboriginal groups within the territory.

– Saskatchewan’s surgical initiative has led to the lowest surgical wait times in Canada. Why isn’t Alberta following the lead of our Eastern neighbors? Health Minister Sarah Hoffman says there’s no proof that increased use of private clinical services are beneficial to the healthcare system, but there is concrete evidence next door that there is immense benefit to exactly this practice.

– The Northern Territories are in the same position that Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba found ourselves in 100 years ago. With infinite mining potential in the north, why isn’t Alberta forging stronger relationships with the territories? We can lend them our expertise in mining developments & technology while reaping the potential rewards of a MacKenzie Valley Pipeline project or something similar which would give Albertan resource developers access to the northern arctic coast.

– Why does Rachel Notley insist on following Ontario’s lead on carbon control rather than Saskatchewan’s? Our Eastern neighbor’s carbon capture & storage process has led to decreased carbon emissions without a heavy tax burden or soaring electricity prices. Rachel Notley’s imitation of Kathleen Wynne will lead to the latter, as we’ve already seen out in Ontario.

– I recently finished reading Mary Janigan’s “Let The Eastern Bastards Freeze In The Dark”. What did I learn? The group formerly known as the “Gang of Three” (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan) has grown more fractured than ever. Thankfully, Manitoba is finally coming around to the same realization as Saskatchewan, and is almost certain to have a change in government and a reunion with Saskatchewan under Brian Pallister and the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives. Meanwhile, Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley is dead set on attempting to humiliate Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and driving a wedge between Alberta and our sibling province to the East. Much like the Prairie Provinces of 100 years ago, we face an issue of resource control. This time, it isn’t about owning our own hard natural resources, but rather exporting them and getting them to market along with reform on transfer payments and ensuring that they’re fair, particularly for Alberta and Saskatchewan.

– Speaking of the topics mentioned in Janigan’s book, I can’t help but notice that nothing has really changed for Alberta since our admission into confederation. We’re still being completely screwed out of our revenues by Liberal governments, and the Conservatives didn’t do much better. Any time fair resource control (ie pipelines for export & resource revenues) is approached, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes stir up a fuss about how they should benefit from any potential reform making our government more fair for the west. Stephen Harper, in ten years, did nothing to fix the horrendously unequal “equalization” system, and Trudeau isn’t even willing to mention the subject for fear of alienating his base on the East Coast. The broken Senate isn’t much better. It unfairly favors Quebec and the Maritimes, while screwing over everyone west of Ontario. These other folks are not willing to discuss fair reform because it would take away the system that heavily favors their provinces. Ah, to be the west. 

– Although Alberta’s 44-year Progressive Conservative dynasty, Newfoundland’s provincial PC government and Stephen Harper’s decade-old federal Conservative government were all toppled this year, and the Saskatchewan Party is now the only right leaning Canadian government, we will most likely be seeing a complete flip come 2019. Rachel Notley’s NDP government is sinking faster than Jim Prentice’s approval rating, the Manitoba NDP are nearly certain to be defeated in early 2016, Kathleen Wynne’s corrupt Ontario Liberal government is sagging well below Patrick Brown’s Ontario PC’s, Justin Trudeau’s federal Liberal government is already showing fraying at the seams, and the Nova Scotia Liberals are in the midst of a scandal of their own. There’s a fairly strong chance that we will see PC governments in Manitoba and Ontario with a Wildrose government in Alberta and a slight possibility of a PC government in Nova Scotia come the 2019 federal election. Aside from Brad Wall’s Saskatchewan Party, no governing party should feel overly comfortable in their seat of power.

Anyways…those are my thoughts for tonight. Let me know what you think.”

Trevor Norris