Friday, July 8, 2016

Stier: Alberta feels like a Twilight Zone episode under the NDP

Livingstone - Macleod MLA Pat Stier

During the early to mid-1960s, I was a fan of the TV series The Twilight Zone. The show was hosted by Rod Serling and introduced North American society to the weird world of science fiction. The Twilight Zone told stories about ordinary men and women suddenly finding themselves in unexpected, bizarre or terrifying situations. I hadn’t thought about the show for ages – that is, until recently when I got to thinking about how Alberta is feeling more and more like an episode of The Twilight Zone these days.

Think about it. It wasn’t so long ago that former Premier Ralph Klein eliminated the provincial debt; the oilsands were strong and proud; and Alberta was a top destination for job-seekers the world over who wanted to build a better life for themselves and their families, and share in the Alberta Advantage.

But then, unexpectedly, the ideological NDP party formed power. Bizarrely, they imposed a litany of risky policies and experiments during a time of economic recession. And terrifyingly, they refused to do any proper economic impact studies or assessments to monitor the consequences of their risky plans.

They’ve imposed a 50 per cent minimum wage hike, harming small businesses and workers; they’ve increased personal and business taxes, and brought in a new carbon tax that they didn’t campaign on – the largest tax increase in Alberta history; they’ve grown the size of the most bloated and expensive government in Canada; now they’re overhauling Alberta’s education curriculum, threatening to impose an ideological NDP worldview in our classrooms.

The consequences have been severe.

In just one year, Alberta has lost 80,000 good jobs. We’ve also experienced four major credit downgrades from all the major credit-rating agencies, meaning we’ll be paying hundreds of millions more to service our record debt and deficit.

While the economy is facing tough economic forces due to low oil prices, the NDP’s policies are making an already bad situation much, much worse for families and businesses.

Perhaps there is no better example of the NDP’s negative impact on our province than a recent news report about energy companies opening drilling rigs in Saskatchewan, Ontario, B.C., and Manitoba, but not Alberta because recent policies changes here are “discouraging investors.”

I never thought I’d see the day when Ontario would be a more attractive investment climate for energy companies than Alberta, but this is the strange new world we live in under the NDP.

Honest, hardworking Alberta families can barely recognize their province anymore.

The Twilight Zone was terrifying at times, but we watched it with the comfort of knowing that, at the end of the day, it was just a TV show, and once it was over, we would go back to our normal lives. 

Unfortunately, this is not a TV show. The effects of the NDP’s ideological policies are far too real for thousands of families, and Albertans are looking forward to changing the channel on this episode of NDP government in 2019.

Pat Stier is the MLA for Livingstone - Macleod and the Wildrose Shadow Municipal Affairs Minister

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11/7/16

    Consider the odd, trance-like statements below: -

    "It wasn’t so long ago that former Premier Ralph Klein eliminated the provincial debt; the oilsands were strong and proud; and Alberta was a top destination for job-seekers the world over who wanted to build a better life for themselves and their families, and share in the Alberta Advantage."

    I remember the Twilight Zone very well and share with the honourable member a fond memory of it and Rod Serling's grave and inimitable presentations. However, the 44 year span of social and political debauchery represented by the rule of the Alberta PCs is surely the aforementioned misty unreality from which we have so recently emerged. Ralph Klein, far from eliminating the provincial debt which he merely transferred to future generations in the form of empty coffers and environmental degradation, presided over a hollow and dispiriting epoch in which increasing debasement of the social contract left us gasping in despair and incredulity. It is facile and witless to say he did any such thing as eliminate the debt.

    The oilsands may have been 'strong and proud' in the narrowest sense, but the writing has long been on the wall that heavy bitumen cannot compete against the oceans of light crude with which the major producers jimmy the market at their pleasure. And to imply that the NDP had one iota of anything to do with the collapse of global oil prices is a preposterous misrepresentation - rather they have been the unfortunate recipients of this poisoned chalice even as they attempt to consolidate a rudderless provincial mandate left to them by the fleeing Tories.

    Alberta was indeed a top destination for job-seekers the world over but once again, with respect dear sir, the fact that they no longer come and in fact are leaving in droves has absolutely nothing to do with the current provincial administration. Workers go where there are jobs - ipso facto. Our continued reliance on a single volatile commodity for employment was riding for a fall, and now it has come - again. It is to the credit of the NDP that they are now, despite the horrible financial realities accrued from past governmental malfeasance, attempting to plant the seeds of economic diversification - something long ignored and deferred by the PCs - and, incidentally, so obviously missing from the Wildrose game plan which imagines a return to some dreamily-imagined, long gone glory days - I think 1957 is their model year for building the New Society.

    If these watery attempts made in this article by our MLA at assigning responsibility for the mess in which we currently find ourselves in this province are representative of Wildrose thought and action, then they certainly deserve to be absorbed by the pudgy dough-headedness currently being put forward by Mr. Kenney in his brave but likely futile attempts to 'unite the right'. For the 'right' has become morally bankrupt and devoid of ideas with which to viably address current urgencies in a rapidly-changing and economically dangerous world. Surely Mr. Stier can do better. If not, better to maybe just go back to TV re-runs and leave the political and economic analyses to others with something formative to actually say.

    - Phil Burpee


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