Saturday, September 1, 2018

Trans-Mountain decision and the aspiring emperor's new clothes

Phil Burpee - Remember that kid in school with the part in his hair and his pants pulled up too high who could always be counted on to snitch to the teacher whenever anybody was having too much fun? Yeah – that one. Ever wonder what happened to him when he grew up? Well, wonder no more. Behold Jason Kenney of the UCP, pompous and tin-pot ridiculous, sidling up to the podium to make righteous pronouncements on affairs of the day which might as well be issuing from his nether-regions for all they are of any substance beyond gusts of overly-warmed air. It would actually be laughable were it not for the fact that he craves, or more accurately, lusts after leadership of this great province. Let the aspiring emperor’s new clothes be therefore studied carefully.

The claims and notions this annoying little fellow puts forward are infested with that telltale taint known as the zeal of the powerless. Having no power other than the passing bully pulpit, his only pivot-point is contrariness. It goes like this – whatever Notley proposes, make a bunch of blustery noises and propose the opposite. It’s that same kid again - “The sky is blue”, she says. “No, it isn’t!”, wails the brat. “I’m gonna tell on you!”

The next provincial election has begun and this is serious stuff. Take an opportunity such as the current one to put these two leaders in juxtaposition and take a long, hard look. The recent Federal Court of Appeals decision throwing the whole Trans-Mountain expansion project grinding into reverse is a harsh reality for this province and this premier. The parameters of this decision, however, fall entirely out of the purview of the Alberta government which has comported itself with focus and diligence on this file every step of the way. Rachel Notley has taken a heavy political body blow, yet she comes before the cameras and does exactly what she has done since the day she took office – explain, yet again, her rationale for balancing climate action with economic sustainability, and fighting fiercely for the betterment and wellbeing of the citizens of her province. And this she does with intelligence, clarity, passion and, when possible, humour. Then take a good look at the dopey little pontificator from the UCP beating on his little drum. Cripes – Lady Gaga meets Elmer Fudd. It’s not really a choice at all.

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