Monday, December 15, 2008

Respond to our demands or else...

...you will lose another seat next election.

EDMONTON — Alberta is demanding economic action from the federal government that would include reducing red tape for business and cutting some consumer costs.

Premier Ed Stelmach sent a strongly worded letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday that also said Alberta wants to have a seat at the table for any North American climate change talks.

[...]

Alberta's wish list in advance of next month's first ministers meeting also included a reduction in national park fees for Canadian residents, lower airport fees to reduce consumer travel costs, limiting credit and debit card processing fees and tighter rules for pension plans to ensure payments to retiring workers.



Aha! Lower debit card fees! I always knew Stelmach was a closet Jack Layton supporter!

In fairness to Ed, he goes on to ask for a trade and labour mobility agreement between the provinces, which would be a very positive development.

10 Comments:

  • A seat at the table for any North American climate change talks? Why not put a murder on the jury for every trial of murder -- who better to judge than one of his/her 'peers (nudge-nudge)'?
    That'd be like appointing Sean Avery as your Sensitivity Training program leader, or George W Bush as a panel member of the Nobel Peace Prize committee.
    Perhaps they could make Stelmach an honourary member of the Chinese government, because I'm certain they share his concerns about environmental damage. It's bad, but what are you gonna do?

    By Blogger burlivespipe, at 11:25 PM  

  • In a way Alberta is there - Linda Duncan is representing the NDP as their environment critic. And this was at Prentice's request (also an Alberta MP). So there's 2 Alberta seats there. Really he's just sounding whiny now.

    By Blogger Ian, at 11:36 PM  

  • I totally agree with Ian.

    As for the other comment ... ehh ... I'll take Blind Prejudice for $1000, Alex.

    By Blogger Robert Vollman, at 12:07 AM  

  • I've always wondered when, if ever, enough Albertans will realize that hell-or-high-water support of one party means that no one has any incentive to do anything for them. Harper can safely screw them over because they'll vote for him anyway, and Liberals have no reason to help them when in government, since they won't vote for them.

    By a wide margin, Alberta voters receive the least for their votes and that's never going to change until they're willing to change who they support. Even when they abandoned the PCs for Reform they did the same bone-headed move they always do - just transferring slavish devotion to one party to another.

    By Blogger Reality Bites, at 10:22 AM  

  • "By a wide margin, Alberta voters receive the least for their votes and that's never going to change until they're willing to change who they support."

    Is it any surprise, then, that Alberta's turnout in federal elections is consistently among the lowest of all the Provinces?

    Only Newfoundland & Labrador were lower, last time - and not by a whole screamin' lot.

    By Anonymous rc, at 10:31 AM  

  • Is it juts me, or is that list of demands not very... conservative?

    By Anonymous John D, at 10:44 AM  

  • ATM fees? just use your own ATM!

    By Blogger art, at 10:45 AM  

  • "Is it juts me, or is that list of demands not very... conservative?"

    Truth be told, and despite the assertions of some, Alberta isn't terribly conservative -- populism is actually the prevailing current in our politics.

    Well, that and apathy.... ;)

    But that often means that our "conservative" politicians come up with some awfully "un-conservative" things;

    Don Getty, after losing his seat in Edmonton-Whitemud, promised the moon (well, hospitals) to the good people of Stettler and won... then followed through with his promise;
    Peter Lougheed's government built a whack of public hospitals and schools and miles of highways during his tenure, not to mention purchasing an airline (Pacific Western) and starting a government-run oil company (Alberta Energy Company - which merged to form EnCana);
    Ernest Manning, in the 1950s, started giving Albertans an "Oil Royalty Dividend" of about $20 a year (about $150, now).... but he was criticized for doing so, and instead put that money into public works and social programs;
    And even Bill Aberhart first got elected in the 1930s mostly on the promise of giving every Albertan the equivalent of a mortgage or car payment - about $300 in today's money - every month.

    Alberta's "conservatism" is a funny creature.

    By Anonymous rc, at 11:17 AM  

  • RB:

    I've always wondered when, if ever, enough Albertans will realize that hell-or-high-water support of one party means that no one has any incentive to do anything for them. Harper can safely screw them over because they'll vote for him anyway, and Liberals have no reason to help them when in government, since they won't vote for them.

    .... Ask the pre-merger federal PC's how that strategy worked out, in the long run. And in fact, if memory serves the Liberals won 4(?) seats in AB in '93 - they just couldn't expand on that beach-head, and eventually lost it altogether.

    I'm NOT saying that the situation is at that level, or should be viewed as being at that level, by *anyone*. But to say that Albertans can't change course - with dramatic results - is a bit off.

    By Blogger Jason Hickman, at 6:49 PM  

  • Even when they abandoned the PCs for Reform they did the same bone-headed move they always do - just transferring slavish devotion to one party to another.

    In addition to Jason Hickman's point above, it's worth noting that since 1993, Toronto has been more "slavishly devoted" to the Liberals than Alberta has been to Reform/Alliance/Conservative. Both areas have roughly the same number of seats, but Alberta has elected more non-R/A/C than Toronto has non-Liberals.

    By Anonymous The Invisible Hand, at 10:28 AM  

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