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Susan on the Soapbox: Two Pipelines Approved: The Opposition Reacts (badly)

Do you have a headache?

Are you an Alberta conservative wondering how to react to Trudeau approving the Trans Mountain and Line 3 pipelines and, horrors, singling out Notley’s Climate Leadership Plan as being vital to getting to yes?

If so, your conservative leadership team has prepared a carefully considered, cogent response.

Here’s what it . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Two Pipelines Approved: The Opposition Reacts (badly)

Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney Takes a Page from the Donald Trump Playbook

Last night the Progressive Conservatives kicked off their leadership race in earnest.

As expected Jason Kenney urged party members to “unite Alberta” (ie destroy the PCs by merging them with the rebranded Wildrose party) while the other five candidates reassured attendees that the PC party could rise from the ashes.

It was a relief to . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Jason Kenney Takes a Page from the Donald Trump Playbook

Susan on the Soapbox: Sandra Jansen is right, there are Progressive Conservatives in Alberta

Yippee!

Sandra Jansen just confirmed she’s running for the leadership of Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party. This is good news because her campaign will test Jason Kenney’s assertion that there’s no such thing as a progressive conservative.

Kenney is peddling the line that there are only two kinds of people in Alberta—small “c” conservatives who . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Sandra Jansen is right, there are Progressive Conservatives in Alberta

Susan on the Soapbox: “Post-truth” Politics in Alberta

Albertans can learn a lot about the importance of truth in politics from the Trump/Clinton presidential race.

Political lies have moved beyond “misstatements” for which politicians “take full responsibility” and (sort of) apologize, to “truthiness”, a term coined by Stephen Colbert for a lie that appeals to a voter’s feelings, not reason.

A “truthy statement” . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: “Post-truth” Politics in Alberta

Susan on the Soapbox: Another Fine Mess: Thanks Stevie

It turns out the famous Laurel and Hardy phrase “here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten us into” is a misquote.  What Oliver Hardy really said to the hapless Stan Laurel was “here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten us into”. At … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Another Fine Mess: Thanks Stevie

Susan on the Soapbox: Who should govern in times of significant disruption?

Chris Kutarna says this is the best time in history to be alive.  We’re healthier, wealthier and better educated than at any other time in history…so why are we so miserable? Kutarna is a Fellow at the Oxford Martin School … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Who should govern in times of significant disruption?

Susan on the Soapbox: PPAs and the Master Narrative in Alberta

The American Press Institute (API) describes pack journalism,” now known as “the master narrative,” as a story line the press corps en masse is telling or repeating. The API warns that master narratives can become a “trap or rut” and … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: PPAs and the Master Narrative in Alberta

Susan on the Soapbox: The NDP’s Power Play: Myths and Facts

Alberta’s NDP government wants to save Albertans $2 billion and the Wildrose, the Progressive Conservatives and the media are churning up a dust storm of misinformation trying to stop them. Let’s take it from the top, shall we? Klein deregulates … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: The NDP’s Power Play: Myths and Facts

Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Budget: Myths and Facts

The NDP government unveiled its budget on Thursday. The conservatives reacted as if the government dropped a neutron bomb on the people. Wildrose leader Brian Jean worried that parents driving their kids to hockey practice would end up in the … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Budget: Myths and Facts

Susan on the Soapbox: “Kudatah”: It’s not a joke

Ms Soapbox is deeply troubled by last week’s failed Kudatah. The Kudatah (or “coup d’etat” for those who know how to spell) was George Clark’s attempt to overthrow the NDP government. George blames the NDP for the economic downturn. He … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: “Kudatah”: It’s not a joke

Susan on the Soapbox: Trudeau On Pipelines: Maybe

Last week Justin Trudeau walked into the lion’s den—a boardroom filled with the country’s top oilpatch executives—and got it half right. Luckily he had the good sense to take Premier Notley with him. Mr Trudeau, Ms Notley and Big Oil … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Trudeau On Pipelines: Maybe

Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Royalty Review

Rachel Notley is driving Brian Jean and Ric McIver crazy. Every time they think they’ve backed her into a corner on the energy file she comes out with a creative and pragmatic solution which has the industry’s backing. What’s the … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Royalty Review

Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Approach to Trans Mountain (boys, get with the program)

“Projects like pipelines shouldn’t pit one province against another—they should stimulate conversations that recognize the economic needs and positions of all provinces.”—Alberta premier, Rachel Notley It doesn’t matter what Rachel Notley does to support interprovincial pipelines it’s never enough—at … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Notley’s Approach to Trans Mountain (boys, get with the program)

Susan on the Soapbox: The Fly Report: Why TCPL Sued Obama and the US Government

TransCanada Pipelines (TCPL) just announced it is going to sue the US government for $15 billion under NAFTA and while they’re at it sue President Obama for exceeding his power under the US Constitution. Some lawyers say TCPL has a … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: The Fly Report: Why TCPL Sued Obama and the US Government

Susan on the Soapbox: Five Resolutions for Rachel Notley

Ms Soapbox’s first round of New Year’s resolutions for a politician (Alison Redford) were ignored, but she’s a persistent soul and will try again. This time she’s prepared five resolutions for Premier Rachel Notley. Stay the course on your climate … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Five Resolutions for Rachel Notley

Susan on the Soapbox: Notley Reads the Tea Leaves: The Climate Leadership Plan

Last Sunday hell froze over, or so it seemed to many Albertans. Alberta’s NDP premier, Rachel Notley, unveiled her government’s Climate Leadership Plan. She was surrounded by representatives from NGOs and aboriginal groups as well as the CEOs of Suncor, … Continue reading . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Notley Reads the Tea Leaves: The Climate Leadership Plan

Susan on the Soapbox: POTUS Kills Keystone XL

On Friday Barack Obama refused to issue a presidential permit allowing TCPL’s Keystone XL pipeline to cross the border between Canada and the United States.

POTUS

Obama rejected KXL because it wouldn’t meaningfully contribute to the economy, reduce gas prices or enhance America’s energy security. He described the urgent need to transition to a . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: POTUS Kills Keystone XL

Susan on the Soapbox: While Brad Wall is “Showboating” Rachel Notley Moves On

“Premier Wall says that if standing up for your industry and your province is showboating, take me to the bridge.”—Brad Wall’s response to Rachel Notley’s comment that Wall was “showboating” on the eve of the premiers’ meeting.

Brad Wall is the second provincial premier (Jim Prentice was the first) who tried to take a . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: While Brad Wall is “Showboating” Rachel Notley Moves On

Susan on the Soapbox: Fearmongering or Hopemongering? It’s Your Call Alberta

“I think it has deteriorated into groundless name-calling, and it’s certainly not the strategy that I would take.”—Rachel Notley reflecting on comments made by Jim Prentice and Brian Jean

To hear Jim Prentice and Brian Jean tell it, Rachel Notley’s plan to create a royalty commission and increase corporate taxes to 12% is an anti-free . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Fearmongering or Hopemongering? It’s Your Call Alberta

Susan on the Soapbox: What Happens to the Eloi When the Morlocks Leave Town: A Lesson for Jim Prentice from H.G. Wells

“History is a race between education and catastrophe.” — H G Wells

HG Wells may not have had a time machine, but he was certainly prescient.

In The Time Machine the narrator, known simply as the Traveller, invents a contraption that takes him to 802,701 AD. There he finds a world inhabited by . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: What Happens to the Eloi When the Morlocks Leave Town: A Lesson for Jim Prentice from H.G. Wells

Susan on the Soapbox: When Politicians Lie…er, Misspeak Themselves

“How do you know when a politician is lying? His lips are moving.”—Political joke.

Politicians don’t lie. They misspeak, they overstate, they understate. And the press distorts, takes out of context, twists, exaggerates or does something equally heinous to what they’ve said. Poor dears.

Over the past few months Premier Prentice and ex-Leader . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: When Politicians Lie…er, Misspeak Themselves

Susan on the Soapbox: OPEC Sets Up the Rollercoaster, Albertans Take a Ride (Again)

“You come from capitalist nations. You know what the market does. For any commodity it goes up and down, up and down”—Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi*

Contrary to the expectations of many analysts, OPEC (read Saudi Arabia) decided it would not reduce its 30 million-barrel-a-day production quota in order to prop up oil prices.

. . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: OPEC Sets Up the Rollercoaster, Albertans Take a Ride (Again)

Susan on the Soapbox: Jim Prentice’s First Week in Office–Straight out of the Corporate Playbook

“As of this moment, Alberta is under new management.” — Jim Prentice, 16th Premier of Alberta*

Transition. There’s nothing more unsettling; no, strike that, nerve-wracking, for an organization than a change-out of senior leadership, particularly when the old leader is universally regarded as an abject failure (will I be condemned by association?) and the . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Jim Prentice’s First Week in Office–Straight out of the Corporate Playbook

Susan on the Soapbox: Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy Goes Up in Smoke

Alberta’s Auditor General blew a gasket. He called the government’s performance on climate change strategy “troubling” and “disturbing”. Hey, he’s a mild mannered accountant; this is as in-your-face as he gets.

Our feisty Auditor General

Mr Saher kicked off the July 2014 audit report with a lesson on the role of government. A . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy Goes Up in Smoke

Susan on the Soapbox: A Gift from Chief Justice McLachlin: The Tsilhqot’in Decision on Aboriginal Rights*

On June 26, 2014, in a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin gave the First Nations (and the rest of Canada) a treasure map.

Chief Justice McLachlin

It wasn’t a crumpled piece of paper covered with a cryptic scrawl, but a comprehensive legal analysis that defines the elements . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: A Gift from Chief Justice McLachlin: The Tsilhqot’in Decision on Aboriginal Rights*