Hang on, isn’t that the party in power now?
Not even a year after crushing into the legislature, the Alberta NDP Government is presenting itself as the new government.
But it isn’t. They are just as pleased with the idea of pork-barrelling as the PC party was. They are just as pleased with using the government purse to advance their own self-interest as the PC party was.
It would be a different story, I’m sure, had that advertisement for the NDP Caucus been placed in a publication that distributes to one of their ridings.
But it wasn’t. It was printed in High River’s publication. Wayne Anderson, a Wildrose MLA, is our representative here.
This isn’t the first pork-barrelling experience we’ve enjoyed with this new government. It started on day 1. Premier Notley’s swearing-in was coupled with invitations to the non-partisan government-funded event asking for donations to the very partisan NDP. Later in November of 2015, access to Notley was once again sold at a Calgary fundraiser, and again a similar attempt at the Alberta Art Gallery in Edmonton in February of 2016. The NDP were cleared of wrong-doing with regards to a $10,000/ticket Ontario event featuring the Alberta Premier, although they dismissed Ethics Commissioner Marguerite Trussler’s assertion of a “perception that only a chosen few are being invited”.
Sounds awfully close to an “aura of power” assertion that happened a mere 18 months ago.
We haven’t even discussed the partisan appointments the NDP have given their friends. An NDP Government should be expected to hire NDP party faithful to help them implement their policy and ideals. This has happened on numerous occasions, with Brian Topp, Anne McGrath and John Heaney as examples. However, Albertans are right to wonder if these really are the best people for the job, especially when these individuals would top a sunshine list with significant 6-figure salaries and potential severances when they are done. The NDP should not be surprised when the eyebrows of many Albertans rise with the hiring of a Kevin Davediuk, a top union official, to negotiate with the union he is leaving. A pro-union political party making pro-union hiring choices? We should not be shocked.
Except that the NDP said they wouldn’t do that.
The NDP have also had far too much leeway with not understanding parliamentary rules. One such rule is that Caucus funds are government funds from the taxpayer. They are not to be used for partisan purposes. And yet here we see a purely partisan NDP Caucus advertisement in a non-NDP riding.
See the similarity? Advertisements for partisan purposes should rightly annoy Albertans, we just voted the PCs out for the exact same thing. What’s worse, no more are the NDP “fighting for mortgage-paying jobs” than the PCs were building schools as their signs suggested. Over 100,000 jobs are gone, and the only news that Economic Diversification Minister Deron Bilous has produced on the economic file is a bill that, as Alberta Party Leader Greg Clark suggests, does little more than “create committees”.
As a member of the Alberta Party, this pisses me off. Albertans were right to be upset at the PCs. But now a new breed of politician in the NDP is doing the exact same thing. Albertans should not be faulted for thinking “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me”.
What that means, though, is that no politician is trustworthy. And no matter how hard I try to say the Alberta Party is different, because we are, I cannot prove it to you unless you give us a chance.
If Mr. Anderson were to place such an ad, I would not be opposed to it as his form of connecting with his constituents. Although, I would never support Mr. Anderson making such a blanket claim as “fighting for mortgage-paying jobs”. His party’s jobs-creation recommendations were either borrowed from the Alberta Party, or has nebulous goals that can never be reached.
As an example, Wildrose Recommendation 2 is to reduce red tape by 20%. By what metric does one measure red tape? Inches?
If the Wildrose is going to do nothing but parrot the Alberta Party’s plans, they should at least be honest about it and just put up a link to the Alberta Party website.
A jobs plan encourages businesses to create jobs. An Investor Tax Credit will do much more than a jobs-creation tax credit. A small business tax decrease will do much the same, as will investment in post-secondary education and research and development, or as the Wildrose calls it, “Knowledge Infrastructure”. This is how the Alberta Party has been fighting constructively for mortgage-paying jobs.
The false advertisements come at a price. The price is Albertans’ trust in politicians.
Check out the Alberta Party’s events for a chance to meet Alberta Party people near you. In Highwood, the next event is March 21 at 7:30 PM at the 1906 Restaurant in High River.
The Alberta Party is different. Let me prove it to you.