The United Conservative party came to power in Alberta with a promise of sound financial management, accountability, openness, social and environmental responsibility, standing up to Ottawa, and of course, they needed to purge the dreaded socialists from power.
What did we get? A party that is suspicious, secretive, paranoid and throws money after everything that looks like it’s sanctioned by the Fraser Institute.
And a government that was the recipient of the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Government Secrecy given by the Canadian Association of Journalists.
Let me give you three examples out of many that I could have used.
The $30 million Canadian Energy Centre operates outside of the Freedom of Information Act and does not have to account for where the money goes.
Its goal is supposedly to counter anti-oil critics, (supposedly foreign environment activists), and promote the oil and gas industry.
It costs the taxpayer roughly $82,000 a day.
The Fair Deal Panel has at least five panel members that are tied to the Wildrose Party and/or the Fraser Institute.
Preston Manning, Drew Barnes, Moin Yaha, Miranda Rosin, the Banff/Kananaskis MLA who favours two tier medicine and the globe trotting Tony Yao, MLA from Ft McMurray who didn’t want to stay home during COVID shutdown.
I quit looking after that.
So much for an unbiased report.
As a third example, I refer to the Steven Allan Inquiry that just picked up another $1 million to supplement the $2.5 million seed money to begin the inquiry.
The purpose of the inquiry is to find out who is funding the environmental movement in the province.
Three contributors to the panel were paid handsomely for their input.
I didn’t know that you could get paid to appear at an inquiry. One could make it an occupation, and it looks like some do.
All of this to produce a couple of useless reports that any student with average computer skills could produce in an afternoon for the price of a can of pop and a couple of caramel doughnuts from Blokes Bakery.
To prove my point; I am a senior who’s first school had a horse barn and a couple of two seater outhouses, so my computer skills are below average, but I do know how to call on Dr. Google to find information when I need it.
I wanted to know where the Fraser Institute gets its funding.
The Fraser Institute is populated with a house full of right leaning politicians and economists.
With a handful of exceptions, the kind of people that would probably be at the top of the list to be tossed from a life boat if you needed to preserve food.
They would be given the opportunity to save themselves if they could prove that they had some useful skills like maybe sewing, or planting seeds or baking bread.
The Institute promotes a right wing philosophy and produces papers on education, environment, aboriginal affairs health, and a half a dozen other areas.
I was particularly interested because a good number of the political power brokers in Alberta are all tied to the Fraser Institute: Preston Manning, Stephen Harper, Tom Flanagan, Ezra Levant, Danielle Smith and Jason Kenny, if not a member, at least by association.
Where do they get their funding?
On roughly 10 million dollars in contributions, some money comes from individuals who get tax deductible donations, but the bulk come from US interests like the Charles Koch Foundation $1,669,000, Aurea Foundation $1,638,000, Searle Foundation Trust $850,000, Charles Templeton Foundation $610,000, Exxon Mobile $120,000, and many more.
This is the same bunch that provides funding to Donald Trump, the failed US President and The Tea Party Movement.
I would really like to know how the Fraser Institute ended up being a charitable organization when I can’t find anything charitable about it.
Now that would be a really useful inquiry. It would save the taxpayer millions.
Is it any wonder that in Alberta we have an Education Minister that wants to gut the public school system and promote charter schools.
We have a Health Minister who is pushing for a two tier system of health care and who tears up a valid contract with the doctors while also planning a four per cent wage cut to provincial employees, including nurses, (during an epidemic yet).
How dumb is that.
Also, an assortment of other ministers that are closing parks and opening up areas in the Rockies to coal mining.
Does this all sound all to familiar? It should.
Look south of the 49th and you will see the same pattern.
So, we are worried about outsiders interfering in our politics. Well, we should be.
How about trying to save some money and put it back into the healthcare and education system instead of running around like a packet of paranoids trying to support a certain political philosophy.
If you are supportive of a solid public education system, if you care about the environment, and if you want to continue with a good public health care system then you need to do some serious thinking.
Continuing to support this feckless crew and its supporting cast of world travellers is like helping the executioner sharpen the guillotine to cut off your own head.
Thank you Doctor Google. There will be no charge to the taxpayer for this information.