For anyone who owns a home, farm or business, or depends on one, the Alberta Conservatives’ new Bill 19 is something to be afraid of.
When the Tories rubber-stamp this draconian legislation, the Alberta Conservatives and their government, or one of their favoured corporate donors, will have the authority to take anyone’s home, property or business.
They can hang on to it until they are ready to use it, while the hapless victim has no legal recourse, and cannot peacefully enjoy their property, sell or develop it.
In the 1970s, the Quebec government used similar legislation to steal thousands of acres of farmland for Mirabel Airport.
At that time, I met some of those farmers out here looking for work in Alberta.
As one of them told me, “I can’t even paint the shutters on my house, let alone maintain my dairy barn.”
He was out here seeking work, because he still had to pay his taxes in the hope that someday the government would let him have his farm back.
Of course, that did not happen until the Quebec government was deposed and the Parti Quebecois did their best to repair the lives and livelihoods that were destroyed. Ultimately most of the land was given back, but that was almost 20 years later.
This legislation has been compared to something Stalin or Mussolini would do.
I disagree. Stalin and Mussolini at least had the excuses of war, poverty and depression.
The Ed Stelmach Conservatives are supposed to be democrats living in a modem society. Unfortunately, their record speaks for itself.