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In keeping with the season, Alberta did receive visits from three Canadian politicians from the Trudeau Liberal government - collectively referred to as the Three Unwise Men.
The first Unwise Man brought the gift of hot air, and told us he felt our pain. This one, Prime Minister Trudeau, was greeted by the throngs and multitudes of Calgary who made it plain that they were fed-up with Ottawa's inaction to resolve Alberta's energy crisis.
The crowd cried out, asking what else this Unwise Man had brought to relieve their suffering. But there were no other gifts (unless you're a Canadian media organization, in which case there is a $600 million fund of taxpayer dollars - so long as you don't anger the Unwise Men with your news or commentary).
And then the second Unwise Man came, bringing the gift of taxes. This second one, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, was also greeted by a large crowd of Calgarians, who pointed out to him how much Ottawa benefited from Alberta taxes and equalization payments, and demanding that something be done to help those struggling in these tough economic times.
But this second Unwise Man also turned a deaf ear to the cries of Albertans, saying that he had already given us the gift of the Trans Mountain pipeline by nationalizing it, even though that's not what Albertans either wanted or needed.
The third Unwise Man, an Albertan himself, decided not to come to Calgary in person since the other two had been met with anger and demands of action, and instead brought the gift of an op-ed for Alberta's papers - an op-ed he hoped would win support for the other Unwise Men, since he feared losing his seat in the next election.
This Unwise Man, Liberal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, wrote: "Alberta, this [Trudeau Liberal] government has always had your back, and always will."
And then laughter and scorn erupted across the province, as each and every Albertan knew that this was false, and the opposite of what they knew in their hearts to be true - namely, that our unwise Prime Minister once said that "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work."
Perhaps the Three Unwise Men need to be reminded of their government's supposed back-having for Alberta:
- They canceled the Northern Gateway pipeline, and then passed a bill banning tanker traffic on BC's Northern coast so that no pipeline could ever be built there.
- They changed the National Energy Board's criteria for pipeline approval so that the Energy East couldn't possibly meet the new rules, forcing TransCanada to cancel it.
- They've done nothing - absolutely nothing - after the Federal Court of Appeal went well beyond its mandate and stopped the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.
And so it came to pass that the Three Unwise Men, having brought their dubious gifts to Alberta, did return to the East, to land of not caring and indifference, disappointed that they were not able to foster tidings (and ridings) of comfort and joy in a province still reeling from their government's policies.
Meanwhile, in Alberta, they looked to the coming of a 2019 federal election in which the Three Unwise Men might be sent packing, and a new conservative government elected that would actually stand up for Alberta's energy sector, and bring it the gift of new pipelines.
Pipelines that would indeed bring joy (and Alberta oil) to the world.
Alberta Can't Wait
Yesterday, more than 2,000 Albertans showed up to protest Justin Trudeau's visit to Calgary and his ongoing failure to do anything to help Alberta's struggling energy sector.
It was the largest rally of its kind and showed just how fed-up Albertans are at the failure of the Prime Minister, his Liberal government, and the entire Canadian Federation to provide any help at all for Alberta oil and gas.
However, there was one group of people this week who walked away with $600 million in taxpayer's money: Canada's media companies.
For years, Canadian media have complained that they're unable to survive without government assistance. Newspapers aren't selling enough subscriptions or ad space to recoup costs, and fewer Canadians are watching broadcast news.
Instead of taking this as a sign to perhaps address the very real concerns Canadians have with their media networks, these news companies decided it was far easier to just lobby the government for taxpayer money - and they hit the jackpot.
How on earth do media organizations, including nearly every one of Canada's major newspapers, expect to be seen as credible when reporting the news when they are now basically on the payroll of the Trudeau Liberals?
Concerns regarding media bias against conservatives have just been formalized into law and given a healthy slush fund of taxpayer dollars just eight months out of the next federal election.
And the situation is even worse given that many of the journalists working at these newspapers and media organizations are represented by a union (Unifor) that declared war on the Conservative Party of Canada just last week.
So, let's recap:
- The union for journalists has publicly declared war against the Conservative Party of Canada, and
- The Trudeau Liberals just gave media companies and newspapers - and hence also journalists - $600 million of taxpayer's money a mere eight months out of the next federal election.
And yet some media continue to maintain that there is no bias against conservatives on the part of journalists in this country?
It would be a laughable assertion on the part of media if the situation itself weren't so chilling.
How on earth can media expect to be seen to have any credibility given the above two points? How can they criticize the Conservatives or laud the Liberals without appearing to be beholden to either their union or to the Trudeau Liberal government?
For those journalists who genuinely strive to produce fair and balanced coverage, they'll be tarred with the same accusations of bias since their media and union bosses have just stripped all credibility out of Canada's media.
Canada already had one state-owned media company - the CBC. Now it owns all of them.
Canada's media - bought and paid for by the Trudeau Liberal government.
Meanwhile, Albertans continue to wait for any sign of help from the Trudeau Liberals - maybe we should start media companies instead since that seems to be how to get help from the federal government.
Alberta Can't Wait
NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman stood in the Alberta Legislature in the Spring of 2017 and called Albertans concerned about the NDP's policies "sewer rats."
Her exact quote as recorded by the Legislative Assembly's Hansard service was: “We’re focused on hard hats. They’re spending a lot of time with sewer rats.”
It was an outrageous statement, and even the Ms. Hoffman herself recognized that she had crossed a line equating conservatives with vermin.
She issued an apology for her remarks back then, saying “I spent many years in public education (and) I encouraged students to use their words with caution and choose them wisely, and I failed to do so.”
The issue passed as Albertans found new reasons to be outraged by their NDP government, including their multi-billion dollar carbon tax, their appointment of an anti-oil zealot as co-chair of their Oil Sands Advisory Group, and their relentless attacks on Alberta business.
However, it seems that some folks weren't happy to leave the matter be, and have now attempted some revisionist history about the incident in what can only be described as a case of the media doing damage control and public relations for the NDP.
This week, two CBC reporters raised the incident with United Conservative leader Jason Kenney, and said that Minister's Hoffman's comments were in reference not to conservative Albertans, but in fact to Rebel Media.
Here is a transcript of the exchange:
There's just one problem - not once does Ms. Hoffman mention Rebel Media.
In fact, the assertion by these two CBC reporters is not only false, it is an attempt to mislead the public in such a way as to help rehabilitate the image of the NDP - they've not behaving like reporters, they're being spin doctors.
Perhaps the two CBC reporters are trying to curry favour with the NDP government in the hope of securing government appointment as press secretaries or communications advisors - or perhaps they are just blatantly biased against the UCP and in favour of the NDP.
Neither is an acceptable position for reporters paid for by tax dollars through Canada's state-owned broadcaster.
We all know that Ms. Hoffman was talking about conservative Albertans who support the UCP and oppose NDP policies like the carbon tax, not Rebel Media.
The fact that the Minister apologized in the Legislature for her remarks shows that even she knows that she crossed the line by attacking millions of Albertans.
As a group who believes that Alberta deserves better than this big-spending, high-taxing, union-controlled NDP government, Alberta Can't Wait proudly adopted the sewer rat to show that we were on the side of everyday Albertans. We produced a limited edition Alberta sewer rat button for supporters to wear to send the message that if supporting fiscal responsibility makes you a sewer rat, then we're proud to be sewer rats.
If you haven't seen them before, here's what they looked like!
The buttons proved so popular that we ran out of our original supply quickly.
Now that these two CBC reporters have brought this story back to life, we've gone back to the printers and produced another limited run of Alberta sewer rat buttons - you can ask for your button through our website here!
In the meantime, it doesn't matter what names the NDP and their media allies hurl at us over the next six months - we will not waiver in our commitment to stand up for Albertans and restore the Alberta Advantage by electing a strong, fiscally responsible government in Spring 2019.
Alberta Can't Wait!