Alberta is a land of opportunity and hope, welcoming families and individuals throughout Canada and the world, who desire to work, contribute, and excel, to seek happiness as they individually see fit.
Alberta’s greater freedom and prosperity are key elements of our unique culture and shared identity. That is our inheritance and our heritage. Alberta is the rainmaker partner in Canada. We are the best.
A fundamental purpose of Government is to protect our freedom and prosperity, our culture and identity. That is a stated purpose of the Alberta Sovereignty Act.
Yet, what is one of the greatest threats to the freedom and prosperity of Alberta? Government.
Governments have spent us into oblivion – Trudeau has smashed through a trillion dollars in debt, accumulating more debt than all of the Prime Ministers before him combined! We will all pay for this vanity and hubris.
Now Trudeau has decided that he is the moral authority on what is right and wrong, decreeing that Alberta’s oil and gas industry, including Red Deer and Central Alberta, needs to be artificially phased out as part of his so called “just transition”.
This justin transition is not based on a principle. It is political and it is capricious. If the oil and gas industry was in Quebec, would we see a justin transition? No.
Perhaps Trudeau is bothered that Alberta is the most free and prosperous jurisdiction in Canada, while rejecting him and his empty, lying words. We excel with values that reject woke, socialist values of mediocrity and virtue signaling, producing nothing.
Yet too many agree with Trudeau and his ilk, sometimes covetous of others, or are uninformed or indifferent to being led by a corrupt and incompetent government.
The justin transition and related policies are another manifestation of a pattern of this hostile Trudeau – NDP Axis to tax and regulate our industry into ultimate oblivion, siphoning billions from Alberta businesses and families to green transition projects principally in Ontario and Quebec.
None of this new. Whether it is equalization, carbon taxes, government grants and investments, the design of this rigged partnership is to disproportionately take from Alberta businesses and families and spend disproportionately in Quebec and other structural welfare recipients.
Whether it’s green transition projects or investments in vaccine infrastructure focused in Ontario and Quebec, the intentional design of this partnership seeks to hold Alberta back, to suppress its freedom and prosperity, to keep us under their thumb. Alberta, and by extension, Albertans, should not be used as a political means to an end.
Do not count on the Alberta NDP to stand up for a “Fair Deal” for Alberta. I have seen them sit in the legislature with blank faces, not comprehending.
Do not count on Quebec to help Alberta – the Premier of Quebec said one of his favorite things about Canada is equalization! Do not count on other politicians to stand up for a “Fair Deal”, if Alberta gets a Fair Deal, then it means less money for them!
While we cannot control the choices of others, we can make positive choices for ourselves.
Our ability to make better choices increase as we inform ourselves more with truth.
Can hope ever found in a lie? No. Hope is found in truth. As the truth always prevails, we can unconditionally trust in it.
Let’s provide Albertans with the unbiased truth and facts surrounding “fiscal federalism”. Who is paying what, and who is getting what, directly or indirectly, from Alberta businesses and workers.
Let’s provide a true picture of how much this is costing Albertans in the hundreds of billions. Albertans are paying for all of this and should be provided with the truth!
Are we getting value for money? Let Albertans decide!
Let’s lead by example, increasing our own accountability and transparency, including AHS directly to Albertans and AHS Central Zone to the citizens of Red Deer.
As Albertans become more aware of the truth, let’s trust them to lead, to know what is best.
The former Premier brought in a Citizen Initiative Act, but with thresholds that are too high, that frustrate the good desires of Albertans to participate more in our political processes.
Let’s reduce these thresholds, so there actually can be referendums, giving Albertans a voice. Let’s strengthen our democracies!
By doing small and simple things, informing ourselves with truth, doing what is right, acting in principled ways, it is surprising how much positive improvement occurs, both in speed and scope. We know this is true.
Alberta is a land of freedom and prosperity. We must be vigilant to keep it that way.
Jason Stephan is the MLA for Red Deer- South.