Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan speaks in the Alberta Legislature on Wednesday in this image from his Facebook page.

Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan sounds off on socialism in anti-lockdown speech

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan has applauded his government’s COVID-19 response, saying the decision to “reject an NDP social police state lockdown was the right one.”

“Albertans will rise to the challenge and bend down the COVID curve,” Stephan said in a speech in the legislature Wednesday that he later posted on his Facebook page.

“Socialism is in opposition to liberty. It can only exist through the rough fist of the state.

“Socialism is fixated on fighting over a pie, not growing it, and inevitably shrinking it. When legal plunder displaces work as a ruling principle, a sustainable society is lost,” he continued.

“Socialism is soul destroying, infecting a people with diseases of dependence and idleness. A people that is dependent is not free, and idle people are not happy. We raise a voice of warning and of hope.”

Premier Jason Kenney’s office was asked for a comment on the speech.

“The government’s position is clear: we are using evidence to protect both lives and livelihoods,” said a spokesperson.

Stephan said the country is “marching towards bankruptcy, threatening to take Alberta down with it.”

“Alberta must protect itself from a socialist decarbonization reset, disconnected from economic reality, and bankrupt of a vision of hope. A vision of hope is not one of anger, but it is principled, speaking the truth in love with firmness of mind.

“The right path forward is for Alberta to seek great self-reliance. Socialism fears self-reliance.”

Stephan concluded by saying that adopting the government’s fair deal recommendations will be a good start and “better days are ahead.”

Stephan’s comments follow a similar call to reject lockdowns he made last week, when he described a climate of “risk aversion and fear.”

He suggested that the dangers of COVID, especially for school-age children, are exaggerated, arguing a single high school COVID case should not lead to 118 other students being sent home to isolate.

“Orders, lockdowns and shutdowns are not healthy – imposing long-term physical, mental and social health costs, especially on our children.”

About 40 people had commented on Stephan’s Facebook page by Friday afternoon. While many were supportive of his latest comments against lockdowns, others were critical.

“Lockdown has nothing to do with ‘socialism.’ It’s about science and epidemiology, something you don’t know the first thing about,” wrote one person.

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