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  • A fed-up Alberta headed to Ottawa this week to send its message directly to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal government.
    The United We Roll convoy - a group of Alberta energy and trades workers whose livelihoods are at risk from Ottawa's continuing opposition to pipeline construction - rolled into Ottawa yesterday to protest the Trudeau Liberals and hammer home how hard hit Alberta's economy has been over the past few years.

    However, for those watching mainstream media coverage of the event (especially from Canada's taxpayer-funded broadcaster, the CBC), you would have thought that the gates of the underworld had opened, unleashing a horde of evil onto the steps of Parliament Hill.
    Most media have focused on the small handful of individuals in attendance who promoted extremist views on issues like immigration rather than the overwhelming majority who were there to talk about pipelines and Alberta energy.
    They've interviewed "experts" who called the convoy participants hate-mongers, villains, and radicals.
    And they've ignored the hate and intolerance the convoy has encountered from the left on its trip eastward.
    Here's the truth: every political party, every movement - every large group of people, really - has a handful of folks in it who espouse views that don't reflect what that party, movement, or group believe.
    It's one of the consequences of an open, democratic society.
    To denigrate or dismiss an entire group because of the views of a tiny minority isn't fair - especially when the media do it on a partisan basis.
    The fact is, groups and parties on the left have the very same problem, but only receive a fraction of the coverage from mainstream media who just don't seem interested in reporting on these facts.
    Extreme leftist groups like Antifa have demonstrated a strong tendency towards violence - including attacking and harassing journalists.
    A so-called leftist women's rights activist kicked a woman because she was a pro-life protestor.
    And at the United We Roll protest on Parliament Hill, a Rebel News reporter was assaulted by Antifa zealots who broke his camera and phone.
    None of these events received anywhere near the media coverage that they would have been they perpetrated by someone on the right.
    It's a double-standard that has led to an erosion of trust on the part of conservative Canadians towards the mainstream media - and the inevitable outcome of having mainstream media put onto the payroll of the Trudeau Liberal government by giving them a bail-out fund of $600 million in taxpayers' money.
    More broadly, Albertans as a group have been portrayed as redneck, right-wing, and backward, despite our traditions of welcoming folks from across Canada and around the world to come and make Alberta their home.
    Meanwhile, we hope that the politicians in Ottawa took note of the passionate pro-pipeline protest that happened on their doorstep, and the received support from small towns and communities the convoy received on its cross-country trip.


    Sincerely,

    Alberta Can't Wait

  • As Canada's pipelines remain stalled in a sea of regulatory red tape, ongoing court actions, and political interference, the United States is pursuing a more determined course to end pipeline construction gridlock.

    According to a recent article on OilPrice.com, US President Donald Trump will be taking on domestic pipeline opponents at the state level with a view to expediting pipeline construction.

    This issue was also raised in a Bloomberg article that noted that the President may use national security concerns as the reason for enhanced federal involvement in pipeline construction.

    Many states in the US' Northeast have used regulatory measures, such as state-level Clean Water laws, to block pipeline construction for US shale gas.

    The President is looking at opportunities to limit the ability of states to stop projects which have been given federal approval, and which would allow US energy resources to reach domestic markets.

    However, the moves being considered by President Trump, including bringing forward an Executive Order, could also be used to facilitate pipeline construction and terminal development for the international export of US energy products, including coal.

    It is thought that the President will highlight these new approaches at his 2019 State of the Union address to be held on February 5, 2019.

    The efforts by President Trump and the White House stand in stark contrast to those of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government, who have all but abandoned pipeline construction, and allowed provinces to run roughshod over an issue which is fully within the federal domain.

    The pending Alberta provincial election offers a glimmer of hope for Alberta's energy sector - certainly, the cancellation of the Alberta carbon tax will be a positive step forward for an energy facing crisis.

    However, strong leadership at the federal level is what is required to actually get pipelines built - putting sound policy ahead of political expediency, and doing what's right instead of doing what will save Liberal seats in British Columbia and Quebec.

    In a new column in the Financial Post, Alberta economist Jack Mintz noted Alberta's oversized contribution to Canada. He found that from 1961 to 2017, Alberta made net transfers to the federal government of $611 billion (in 2017) dollars. This money has been used to fund federal programs, invest in infrastructure across Canada, and maintain Canada's social safety net in every province.

    He notes the danger to Canada if it loses Alberta as a source of wealth and prosperity.

    Continued Liberal inaction on the pipeline file is fracturing national unity and leading to Alberta disillusionment with the Canadian Federation.

    The political abdication of responsibility on the part of the Prime Minister and his lack of resolve towards fixing Alberta's energy crisis speaks not only to flaws in his policy but in his character.

    It is a Prime Minister's first duty to defend the security of the nation. It is their next duty to maintain national unity amongst the Canadian Federation.

    Prime Minister Trudeau likes to point out the differences between himself and President Trump frequently - here's a new one he can add to his list:

    US President Donald Trump is showing national leadership to end US pipeline construction gridlock.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not.

    Sincerely,

     

    Alberta Can't Wait

  • Those cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

    This famous quote from George Santayana is a warning to never forget previous mistakes, lest you make them again.

    The United Conservative Party was founded following the unification of the Alberta PC Party with the Wildrose Party in 2018. It happened after the Alberta PCs lost the 2015 election, resulting in the election of a big-taxing, big-spending NDP government.

    Many people correctly identified that one of the major causes of the defeat was the splitting of the conservative vote between two conservative parties, allowing the NDP to win a majority government with less than 50% support.

    However, the defeat of the PCs was merely the end of a process that began more than a decade earlier - the fracturing of the conservative coalition into two separate parties.

    In the early 2000s, most conservatives were united behind the Alberta PC Party - led by the late former Premier Ralph Klein - who had cut taxes, balanced the budget, reduced government waste, and paid Alberta's debt in full.

    Albertans were rightly proud of their party's unwavering commitment to fiscal responsibility, especially as other provinces continued to rack up debt.

    However, in the mid-2000s, Alberta's solid fiscal reputation began to tarnish. Under Premier Ed Stelmach, spending ballooned and the size of government grew. He also implemented an ill-advised royalty review while Alberta, Canada, and the entire world grappled with a global economic crisis.

    This lack of fiscal discipline and apparent hostility towards Alberta's energy sector forced some PC supporters to reject their party and find a new political home - an upstart party that hadn't gained much traction with voters until it won a Calgary by-election and chose a dynamic and telegenic leader: Wildrose and Danielle Smith.

    From 2008 until 2018, Alberta's conservatives were a house divided - and both parties had their issues.

    Wildrose was seen mainly as a rural party, with some support in Calgary, but with a lingering suspicion that the party was home to extremists and not ready to govern.

    The PCs were seen as arrogant and entitled. They had abandoned fiscal responsibility in favour of big government.

    The 2015 election made it clear that neither party had earned the trust and support of Albertans needed to win the election, and that to leave conservatives divided would mean re-electing the NDP.

    Thousands of Albertans worked incredibly hard in order to unite Alberta conservatives into the new United Conservative Party. For the first time more than a decade, Albertans will have a single conservative choice on the ballot in 2019.

    This is a major achievement for which all those involved should be proud - Alberta Can't Wait was proud to help lead those efforts.

    However, as Alberta is once again on the cusp of restoring responsible, conservative government for our province, it is vital that we recall what led to the conservative division in the past, and to avoid making those same mistakes.

    Our United Conservative Party must be fiscally responsible. It must support smaller government, balanced budgets, lower taxes, and sensible spending. It must not be allowed to abandon the fiscal discipline that originally led to the creation of the Wildrose party.

    Our United Conservative Party must be humble and grassroots. While a lack of fiscal responsibility may have been what once first led to divisions in the conservative movement, it was the perceived arrogance and entitlement of the PC Party that really set Wildrose on the rise. Party decisions cannot be made by a party elite behind closed doors - the leadership of the party belongs in the hands of its everyday members.

    Our United Conservative Party must be inclusive. It must welcome conservatives from every corner of the province and every walk of life. It must be a home for everyone who believes that Alberta can and must do better than it has under the NDP. It cannot discard parts of the conservative coalition or become insular and inward-looking.

    Our United Conservative Party must be principled. It must hold firm to those principles which have made conservatism successful globally. It must not become beholden to special interests, political insiders, or professional lobbyists who are more interested in making money off a new conservative government than they are about helping Albertans.

    Conservative division federally resulted in 13 years of Liberal government. Conservative division provincially led to the first ever Alberta NDP government.

    When conservatives are united we win, and when they are divided we lose.

    However, in order to ensure ongoing conservative unity, we must avoid those things which originally led to conservative division. Learning from our previous mistakes means we won't repeat them in the future.

    And it also means conservative victory in the long-term here in Alberta - a goal which we can all support.

    Sincerely,

     

    Alberta Can't Wait

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