Discover more from Women of ABpoli
Pick a side, any side
Not that one, dumbass.
Let’s be honest — “fence-sitting” seems like an uncomfortable way to spend your time. With that being said, I will give Facebook brainiacs all the credit for popularizing the phrase “it’s complicated”.
This Week in AB
UCP celebrates Supreme Court decision that finally benefits them
“If you believe in fairness, common sense, and the sanctity of the Canadian constitution, today is a great day,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith said in her opening statement on the Supreme Court’s decision on a reference question about the constitutionality of Bill C-69.
The court was asked to look into the federal Environmental Impact Assessment Act and found, by a majority decision of 5-2 that the legislation contained overly broad language that had the potential to infringe upon provincial jurisdiction.
The court also noted that if projects were on Crown land, or inter-provincial (such as the long-dead Energy East project), the legislation was perfectly constitutional.
I did a spot on CTV’s The Debate that same day and was entirely jealous that the other guest, Andrew Perez, who is from Toronto, was fairly confident that the issue wouldn’t still be making headlines this week.
How quickly we forget that Harper’s unconstitutional legislation attempts are still being brought up in certain circles to this day.
All in, barrels out
The Alberta oil industry is asking questions — why aren’t the feds throwing more money at them?
Sure, Canada bought TMX for $4.5 billion and it’s now looking like it will cost $30 billion, but that’s so 2018.
Actually, those are 2023 estimates but it’s totes not the same as offering $8 billion in subsidies for electric vehicle battery production over 10 years which is estimated to create jobs and not just pad shareholder returns.
It’s like the auto industry asking the government to subsidize production of combustion engines because EVs are infringing on their market share.
In case my sarcasm goes unnoticed, the auto industry has looked at the demand and decided they will compete for the market share of electric vehicles instead.
The oil industry in Alberta has been a boon for the province and a whole lot of people, including labourers, investors, and business owners. It’s also been running a tab on reclamation and, one day soon, the balance will come due.
We’ve already given them a free pass to just walk away from those pesky reclamation obligations. The feds have already started subsidizing clean-up (which was really just a good old government-funded work program after oil companies stopped hiring that Kenney handed over to the oil companies to disperse).
This isn’t a new thing for the UCP, or Danielle Smith.
When Lougheed’s government first set up the royalty rates, they were contingent on business paying off capital investment; as in, they didn’t start to pay a lot until they no longer had big amounts owing to creditors.
Legitimately every government since has been waiting for this payday that never happened because so long as they kept investing, their royalty rates remained low — until 2014 when they halted new projects.
Jason Kenney got the payday and that’s when industry started lobbying for even more money from government. Industry even hired an ex-radio host to lead the way.
Yes; Danielle Smith.
So, Smith takes some money from them to bide her time between the radio gig and possibly becoming Premier of Alberta and it paid off — but she owes people.
So, it was no surprise when she brought the multi-billion dollar subsidy for oil and gas with her into the premier’s office in the form of R-star.
Corporations won’t stop asking for money and who can blame them? If I had the leverage to ask for billions in subsidies to make myself and my shareholders richer, why would I not do that?
Other than the fact that when I was about 10, after telling my mother that I should totally sell a service to the government and ask them to pay through the nose for it she explained that it would only cost her and other taxpayers more for me to do that.
That totally happened.
In the meantime, the “free market” continues to act like public risk for private profit.
The purpose of credentials
People who didn’t bother with a lot of education certainly dislike the fact that those who did are more knowledgeable about subject matter they spent years learning.
I’m not saying people can’t learn about any subject without education but I am saying that when you’re paid to do the job and not doing it well comes with consequences, it’s different.
Danielle Smith’s little buddy, David Parker, stirred up the Xitter on the weekend by saying “the beauty of the new right is we don’t care about your credentials. We mock them. They are given to you by corrupt little propaganda machines. They mean nothing and we don’t respect them.”
“The new right”, you say? Like, who is that? People who are willing to risk being electrocuted when they turn on a light switch? Or a bunch of folks who think bridges stay up with thoughts and prayers?
Are they people who want to represent themselves in court but remember that time Bob the mechanic made a really good point and want to hire him instead?
Or are they the people who tell Bob how to do his job because they Googled that “krch thud” noise and WebSUV said it was probably something super easy and cheap to fix?
The problem isn’t “credentials”, though I understand it to a point.
I used to tell my kids that “I don’t know” was an unacceptable response when they have an actual computer in their hands but it strikes me now that I should offer them some additional context.
I meant it in terms of answering questions like “what countries share a border with Hungary?” Or “how many pounds in a kilogram?”
We all learned during the pandemic that having letters behind one’s name didn’t necessarily mean they were right. Far too many people with impressive credentials stepped well outside of their areas of expertise and used them as both evidence and a shield for their grossly false opinions. It was discouraging for all of us who were trying to keep up with developments.
As the pandemic was beginning, the scientific community was honest with the public and said exactly what I once told my kids was an unacceptable answer: they said they didn’t know.
The war on expertise isn’t new and there are a lot of bad actors out there who will demand statements and commentary from people who have no reason to weigh in on issues they know nothing about. Danielle Smith as radio host was one such repeat offender.
I will still look to those with letters behind their names for their expertise in a defined subject area and I will sit back while they debate amongst themselves who is “right” because I don’t have the time to catch up on everything they learned to insert myself into the conversation — and I’ll remain wary of those who do.
When weighing human evil, thankfully, we have the Beaverton
After a few hours of writing, editing, and never managing to have more than four paragraphs (during which time I found an exception to almost everything I could say) I realized that there’s bad people on both sides and the death count will only continue to grow.
The situation between Israel and Palestine, Jews, Christians and Muslims, the oppressed and the oppressors, the victorious and vanquished, the Babylonians who ran out the kingdom of Soloman, and those who took over from the Babylonians, but also the people who were first before all of them… and then the U.S. and Britain saying they’ll back the Jewish people in defending Israel…
Three major religions — Jewish, Muslim, and Christian — all claim the Temple Mount as their sacred place.
Where do you even start? Which atrocity are we deciding is the first (or “last”) one that needs to be responded to?
So, here’s a great article by Jeremy Appel) and a fascinating interview with Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef (it’s amusing at points but also in-your-face). Unfortunately, Piers Morgan is also there but there’s nothing I could do about that.