Posts Tagged ‘Alberta’

Canute-like Kenney confronts Canadians.

Monday, April 5th, 2021

In the supposedly moralistic story of King Canute of the North Sea Empire, Canute was demonstrating that even a king could not control the tides. It is somewhat strange that premier Jason Kenney of Alberta never paid attention to this story when in grade school. Instead, Kenney challenges the facts of a pandemic, challenges the rulings of the strongest nation on earth and blames others for the results when he fails.

Kenney is the child who keeps calling ‘wolf.’ He is the child of Canadian politics who keeps blaming prime minister Trudeau for his failures. He loses billions of his taxpayers’ money on failed pipelines. He fails his voters by failing to recognize reality. He fails them in not managing their money. He fails them by not recognizing the seriousness of the pandemic. He is a climate change denier.

Kenney locks Alberta in the arms of the tar sands exploiters. These are mainly foreign investors who want the maximum return for their investments in the tar sands. They care not for the thousands of acres of settling ponds that mar the fertile lands of Alberta. They care not for the thousands of depleted oil wells that still dot the landscape of the province. They care not for the larger amounts of greenhouse gases released by their ersatz tar sands oil.

And they hardly give a damn for the people of Alberta. Premier Jason Kenney is their instrument. They fund him. They direct him. They use him.

And they laugh when he challenges the new president of the republic to the south. Joe Biden has said there will be no Keystone XL pipeline bisecting the United States of America. President Biden has said it is not needed. He is hardly responsible for the economy of Alberta.

What is obvious to all is that Jason Kenney is not doing the job he promised Albertans he would do. He has failed to deliver. He has been deceitful in his handling of the pandemic. He has failed to be responsible about climate change. He has failed to bring a reasonable level of diversification to the Alberta economy. He has failed to adjust the tax base of Alberta to the real needs. Kenney is a failed politician.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Kenney opts for debt over taxes.

Sunday, February 28th, 2021

It seems obvious that premier Jason Kenney of Alberta is a strange sort of conservative. His and previous conservative regimes in Alberta have managed to piss away another fortune in resources royalties because of their fear of balanced taxing of the voters of Alberta.

It is hard to compare the handing of health care and the provincial budget but Jason Kenney’s incompetents have screwed up both. Instead of working with the medical profession to fight the pandemic, Kenney fights with the doctors. Instead of introducing a harmonized sales tax with the federal sales tax, Kenney would rather stick the province with unconscionable levels of debt.

It was not that long ago that the former premier Peter Lougheed in Alberta was warning the citizens about abusing their resource funds but his latter-day conservatives have ignored his warnings. When you compare what the Norwegians have done with their sovereign fund from their off-shore oil, it paints a picture for Alberta of what might have been.

But it is now time for Albertans to get in line with the rest of the provinces. The province can no longer consider the rest of us as suckers to go along with sales taxes. Those who can afford the biggest and latest in SUVs can pay their share of the both the sales tax and the carbon tax at the pumps.

And Kenney can hardly continue to waste taxpayers’ money and his hot air on promoting pipelines. They are not going to happen. The resistance to pipelines is growing. A critical example is the dual line (Enbridge Line 5) that has been pumping gas and oil across the Straits of Mackinac since 1953.

After the experience Michigan had with the 2010 Enbridge spill that was impossible to clean up on the Kalamazoo River, the state realized a similar spill in the critical area of the Straits of Mackinac would be catastrophic. It would not only have a disastrous effect on Michigan’s economy but would seriously harm the main source of fresh water for five other states as well as Ontario and Quebec.

While Enbridge might have the best of intentions, the Michigan authorities are increasingly dubious of Enbridge’s tunneling solution under the straits.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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An apology to Gillian Steward.

Friday, February 12th, 2021

Fair is fair. For years I have thought that Gillian Steward, a freelance journalist in Calgary who frequently writes for the Toronto Star, was an apologist for the oil interests. Her scathing indictment of the Kenney government’s public enquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns the other day helped correct my opinion.

Maybe we had got into the habit of assuming anything from Alberta was tainted. The east has become weary of the stories that describe bitumen and diluted bitumen, from the tar sands, as ‘oil.’ It is not until it goes through a highly polluting refinery process does bitumen become ersatz crude oil. It can then be further refined into various petroleum products.

Ms. Steward makes it very clear that the Alberta united conservative government is wasting $3.5 million investigating a claim that is nothing more that a conspiracy theory. It is based on the specious claim that the aboriginal and environmentalist groups in British Columbia are funded by American interests. Why Americans would want to fund these groups might be a mystery but it would hardly be worthy of a government-funded enquiry.

The truth today is that, with fracking, the United States does not need our bitumen. And the U.S. refineries can get more bang for their buck from the higher oil content of Venezuelan bitumen.

What really bothers this writer about the enquiry is the millions that have already been spent by Alberta tar sands exploiting companies trying to sell Canadians on their selfish view of what is good for this country.

And if we were into conspiracies today, we would be investigating the relationship of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and their lackies in Alberta’s united conservative party. The silly enquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns must include investigating the ongoing campaign of this commentator to stop piping bitumen out of Alberta. Let’s face facts, they could probably buy my silence for a reasonable share of that $3.5 million.


Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry

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Who’s paying for the bitumen Trudeau ships?

Saturday, December 12th, 2020

It struck me, listening to the news from Ottawa on Friday, this whole plan for $170 a ton for carbon by 2030 is bullshit. Who is going to pay for the disgusting amount of carbon prime minister Trudeau and his friends in Alberta are hoping to ship from Burnaby, British Columbia? And who intends to pay for the many tons of carbon that will be sent into the environment from the millions of barrels of diluted bitumen that could be sent through the Keystone XL pipeline to the Texas Gulf Ports, for shipment overseas?

Canadian bitumen from the Alberta tar sands is the worst polluter in the world of all the tar sands deposits. Just converting it to synthetic crude oil creates tons of carbon slag that will be picked up and blown with the wind. It is then further refined into carbon releasing fuels and many petroleum-based products.

Mr. Trudeau cannot ship the pollution out of Canada and not be responsible for the damage to the environment. The winds know no country boundaries. You are not absolved by shipping the pollution to countries who are not involved in the Paris Accord.

Sure, environmentalists in the United States are counting on president-elect Joe Biden to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Can the Canadian embassy in Washington continue to pester the Americans to not correct the despicable environmental affronteries of the Donald Trump regime? Trump let his billionaire friends level entire mountains in the beautiful Appalachians so that they could sell the coal. Approving the Keystone XL pipeline was just a further finger to the environment from Mr. trump.

The shipment of Alberta tar sands bitumen out of Canada labels Mr. Trudeau and his friends in Alberta the greatest of hypocrites. Trudeau said in his news conference that it is no longer free to pollute in Canada. Obviously, it must be free to pollute if you ship the polluting material out of the country.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Are any conservatives listening?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

It is something of a wonder that Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta, Doug Ford, premier of Ontario, and Erin O’Toole, federal conservative leader, are members of the same political party. The only similarity between the three gentlemen is that they all blame Justin Trudeau for their problems, provincially and across Canada. And that seems like a very heavy load for Canada’s prime minister to carry.

No doubt there are a growing number of Albertans who wish Mr. Kenney spent less of their money on pipelines for diluted bitumen and more on health care. They think he should be paying more attention to the current pandemic than the price of oil—which is obviously not going to suddenly solve all their problems.

At a time when his province is so obviously in need of leadership, Jason Kenney has been reluctant to place any restraints on Albertans. Citizens of Alberta who want to ignore the simple rules that could reduce and prevent the spread of coronavirus are creating the highest incidence of covid-19 in the country.

The news media in Ontario had been giving Doug Ford time to grasp the reins of his job but disillusionment has been growing. Just when you think the guy is doing the job, he reverts to his basic cronyism. Having his majority conservatives approve a bill that includes university status for his friend Charles McVety’s Canada Christian College is a slam at Ontario’s properly run and qualified universities.

Add to that, Ford’s disregard for Ontario’s years of building safeguards for our environment. He is destroying those years of hard work by conservative, liberal and new democratic governments to cater to his developer supporters. It is open season on the environment in Ontario.

And the federal conservative leader is not much help either. He is trying to build a fictitious ‘big tent’ party that more Canadians can support. To do this, he is ignoring the more strident members of his federal caucus such as Pierre Poilievre who thinks we are spending too much helping Canadians through the pandemic and MP Derek Sloan who wants to warn people against vaccines.

It would seem that Canadians would be better off if they had more politicians who put Canadians first and their party second.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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It would never win a ‘QCJO.’

Saturday, October 17th, 2020

Let’s face facts, you rush things and you screw up. Mind you, I also found it funny. It makes you wonder just how many Alberta voters made the same mistake. Did you think it was Alberta’s Jason Kenny(stet) who had become a husband and father? It is unlikely that we would ever be awarded the designation of a “qualified Canadian journalism organization” (QCJO) for that boo-boo.

It all started yesterday when I had absolutely no idea what to write about. For ten years, I have been (in one form or another) writing a   daily posting for We never pretended to be anything other than a commentator on things political. We acquired a sizeable number of readers over the years (more around election times).

But we are fallible. And you would not believe how nasty some NDPers get about some of my comments about their party. I have been known to make the occasional error. And I know better. I am the first one to tell Google noviciates that you triple check anything in Google. It is full of silly errors.

And I did not check. My only excuse was that the apartment above me was undergoing renovations (for the past month) and the guy who was fixing my bathroom showed up to do that job. The noise was, to say the least, distracting. I must admit, I was not checking my sources. I finally found out this morning how I had screwed up. I am totally embarrassed. I forthwith apologize to Alberta premier Jason Kenney. I was wrong to say he had married and reproduced. Far be it from me to question a gentleman’s preferences in lifestyle. I blew it.

But I started out today to write about the liberal government’s intend to give piles of money to qualified Canadian journalism organizations. It has been in the offing for a couple years now. And maybe it is not going to happen at all. My only concern is that if they give money to the liberals who just bought the Toronto Star, will they also have to give money to the Americans who own PostMedia?


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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The Temptation to be Tory.

Friday, October 16th, 2020

It appears that the leopard is still unable to change his spots. At least conservatives such as Ontario’s Doug Ford and Alberta’s Jason Kenney fail to stray long from their expected courses. Mean buggers, both of them. They are conservative to the core.

Take Jason Kenney. Since college in San Francisco, Jason Kenney has been a misogynist and an in-it-for-himself politician. This is the Kenney who has devoted his life to manipulative politics. This is a petty politician who blames the federal government for all the ills of the Alberta economy. This is a politician who blames the federal government for the problems of the Alberta health care system. And yet he fights with the doctors over billings and fires hundreds of nurses and healthcare technicians. It appears that he thinks the covid-19 epidemic is just a federal problem.

This is a petty politician who puts Alberta taxpayers’ money into failing pipelines and pipe-dreams about Alaska railroads. Kenney seems to have no understanding of how a better economic future of Alberta needs to be built.

At least Kenney can cater to the greed of some Alberta voters for a resource economy while Doug Ford, in Ontario has the problem of keeping and building on a once robust industrial-financial-resource based economy. Ford sees his role as putting up a fight against those promoting a carbon-free environment and better land-use planning. It is hard for him to say ‘no’ to developers who want to build on the Oak Ridges Moraine. In the meantime, he is squeezing teachers and healthcare staff who take up so much of the attention of the Ontario government.

There is no question but that Ford and Kenney have very different objectives than the federal government. They are conservatives.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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It’s not about Alberta, Mr. Kenney.

Friday, September 25th, 2020

It is a shame that the voters in Alberta have not told Jason Kenney the hard truth. He has to understand that he took responsibility for Alberta’s economic problems when he became premier. If he is unable to solve those economic problems, then the people of Alberta should find someone who can.

Kenney thinks he can just blame the rest of Canada and the prime minister for all Alberta’s problems. Why?

Kenney called the liberal government’s throne speech “A fantasy plan for a mythical country.” There were many who disliked the speech. They would really like to know what is fantasy about it? Instead of counting the words in the throne speech, Mr. Kenney needs to understand that the federal government has to address the current pandemic on behalf of all Canadians.

We understand that Mr. Kenney is not as worried about the pandemic. He just wants the federal government to cover more of Alberta’s health costs. In the meantime, Alberta can continue to have one of the highest per capita incidences of covid-19 and he is not concerned about that?

Is Mr. Kenney just going to accuse the federal government of not taking action on the pandemic? Is this what he claims is fantasy land? Or is he desperate for the federal government to pay for all his health care costs?

It is not as though Mr. Kenney is unaware of the responsibilities of federal and provincial governments in Canada. And it is no surprise that more and more newspaper writers in the province are calling for new thinking about taxes, and the roller coaster ride that Albertans have endured because of the poorly managed energy industry.

The voters in Alberta have to start asking Jason Kenney what he is really doing for them.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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That Tool, O’Toole.

Friday, August 28th, 2020

Hypocrite, thy name is conservative. If you did not know where all that bullshit about equal rights at the new conservative leader’s first news conference came from, you have not been paying attention. Erin O’Toole had all the tricks lined up for him to make him conservative leader and leader of the opposition in parliament.

The Durham, Ontario MP had no sooner declared his intent to run for the federal conservative leadership, than he headed west to check with his mentor, premier Jason Kenney of Alberta. Kenney promised him solid support from the vote-rich conservative party membership across western Canada.

The party organization did its usual careless job on the voting system. They not only found themselves in a six-hour time delay—that brought out the new leader after midnight—but it was a system guaranteed to select the least controversial leader. It was the same weighted-constituency (each riding allocated 100 points). It was the same foolish preferential voting system that gave them Andrew Scheer as leader last time. You would hope that people who think they know everything would learn from their mistakes.

It was concerning, at first, that there were only four people in the race. Former playboy cabinet member, Peter MacKay was the obvious front-runner—if only for bring the best known of the candidates. As long as the two social conservatives stayed in the race, O’Toole had the chance to come through as the compromise. And they did the job required.

If you do not agree with me as to how this leadership was won, you will have to reread what O’Toole told prime minister Trudeau when they talked as leader to leader. O’Toole stressed his concern about western alienation and Jason Kenney’s need for pipelines to get his tar sands gunk to market.

Sorry, I am not impressed with the conservative choice of leader. Maybe he reminds me too much of the Porky Pig character who ended the Looney Tunes cartoons with “That’s all folks!”


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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Never confuse Kenney with Trump.

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

One of my favourite writers wrote in a Toronto Star op-ed the other day that she thought Alberta premier Jason Kenney is the closest thing Canadians have to Donald Trump. As much as I hate to argue the case, Ontario’s premier Doug Ford holds those honours. Neither Ford nor Trump had the background or experience for their job. Neither is competent.

And neither Ford nor Trump can hold a candle to Kenney in terms of political experience and sleaze. Kenney knows what he is doing. From the first day, after leaving Ottawa for Alberta politics, he hit the ground running. He is a textbook demagogue.

Kenney knows how and when to stab his allies in the back. He knows how to build the coalitions of power. Sure, he panders to the one per cent. He is their lap dog. With the rest of us, he bares his teeth and dares us to challenge him.

My greatest disappointment with Linda McQuaig’s op-ed the other day was that what she was saying was old news. Haven’t Albertans known for years that any profit from the tar sands goes to out-of-province investors? Albertans get the few jobs and the crumbs from the table.

The current provincial government and previous ones have made a myth of the supposed oil treasure locked in the tar sands. To continue this false news through the $30 million being spent on Jason Kenney’s Canadian Oil Centre war room is an insult to the intelligence of Albertans and all Canadians. Albertans should be hitting the streets though, objecting to the billions of their money, Kenney and Trudeau are wasting on pipelines to nowhere!

But Kenney is busy. He would rather fight with the province’s doctors than help them fight Covid-19.

He thinks he can get the post-Trump government in Washington to approve the completion of the TC Energy pipeline connection to the Texas Gulf ports. These are but the delusions of a demagogue.

People across Canada share the concern for how repeated Alberta governments have denied the province a balanced, stable economy. The tar sands never were the answer.


Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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