David McGuinty offers career advice to Alberta Conservative MPs


David McGuinty apparently believes that Conservative MPs from Alberta are insufficiently broad in the exercise of perspective.

“They are national legislators with a national responsibility, but they come across as very, very small-p provincial individuals who are jealously guarding one industrial sector, picking the fossil fuel business and the oilsands business specifically, as one that they’re going to fight to the death for,” said David McGuinty.

McGuinty’s frustrations boiled over after a Tuesday meeting of the Commons natural resources committee looking into energy sector innovation, dismissing the Tories as “shills” for the energy sector who lack national vision. “They really should go back to Alberta and run either for municipal council in a city that’s deeply affected by the oilsands business or go run for the Alberta legislature,” he said.

Michelle Rempel is unimpressed.


David McGuinty offers career advice to Alberta Conservative MPs

  1. If he made this complaint about ministers, he’d have a point.

    Complaining about MPs representing their constituencies though?

    He’s pointless.

  2. McGuinty’s point seems to be that Conservative MP’s don’t distinguish between the personal and the political, between the parochial and the progressive, between the provincial and the national. And then Rempel confirms it.

    • That was not his point. That’s your point. And of course it’s dead wrong. You think that Alberta’s local and provincial concerns have no place in the national debate. They’re just a cash cow for you to milk. You think they should not have MPs at all.

  3. He’s quite right, but it’s one of those things that are never said….so naturally now Alberta MPs are going to pretend to be shocked.

    Oh wait, Rempel is already there. Heh

  4. McGuinty is wrong in his criticisms, MPs are meant to represent their constituents not some notional idea of ‘national responsibilities’ – what does that even mean anyways? – but I do agree that Cons are focusing too much on oil industry and China. Elite seem to be obsessed with China but there are plenty of other countries we should already be trading with. Cons are going to gild the lily that is the oilpatch.

    • “not some notional idea of ‘national responsibilities'”

      I might suggest that if they want to run a country, they run a country. If they want to run a province, then run a province. If they want to run the oil industry, that they not co-opt a country to do it.

      • You don’t know how parliamentary democracy works. When the word prorogue appears you suddenly change your tune, I’m sure.

    • “Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.”

      -Edmund Burke

      • Correct….and the complete opposite to what your first post said!

        • Not sure what you’re referring to. The quote above is, to my recollection, my first ever post in a Maclean’s comment section.

          • Yikes, you’re right. My deepest apologies!

            I was thinking of it as being the complete opposite of what Tony Adams said, and he is always posting quotes, so apparently I confused the two of you.

            Again…very sorry!

      • We all love our own little platoons, and each MP brings their own beliefs with them to parliament. Together, all our MPs represent Canada. McGuinty is telling an MP who represents mainstream thought in Alberta to get lost, that they are not welcome. There is no one Canada, everyone has their own ideas what Canada is and should be – McGuinty is blowhard for thinking that his vision is the only acceptable one and trying to bully others.

      • Sorry, but I wholly disagree with Mr. Burke on this one. This is a guy who also said “If, from this conduct, I shall forfeit their suffrages at an ensuing election, it will stand on record an example to future representatives of the Commons of England, that one man at least had dared to resist the desires of his constituents when his judgment assured him they were wrong”

        I really can’t support *any* representative of the people who would go against what the very people he represents are demanding.

        That’s the key for me, at the end of the day, we need to remember we’re electing representatives, not rulers.

        • That’s because you follow the American system, where each Congress person fights for his own district….something that has made quite a mess in the US.

          Here we are supposed to elect good people, and trust them to know the full story and to use their own judgement.

          • Oh. You’ve got the rulebook somewhere, I take it? Care to share a link?

            We call them “representatives” for a reason.

          • But we DON’T call them ‘representatives’….we call them MPs.

            We don’t have ‘direct democracy’ in that all 34M of us are in Ottawa, and vote on everything….but the MP votes according to his own judgement.

            We don’t even have a way…since polls are very expensive….to know how everyone in the riding would want him to vote.. That’s how the US ended up with so many lobbyists….all pushing….and paying….for a congressmans vote. In the US you can buy a military base for your district….or anything else. NOT the way to have a decent economy.

            MPs are supposed to be deciding things at the national level….what’s best for the country as a whole….not bringing home goody bags.

            If you want further reading on this then look up Edmund Burke himself….he was famous for this.

          • Why do we have ridings? Why not just elect a bunch of MPs from downtown Toronto?

          • Why are you asking such an asinine thing?


          • Because you don’t know the answer, Ms. EmilyAsinine. If, as you say, “MPs are supposed to be deciding things at the national level….what’s best for the country as a whole”, then there is no point in having ridings, Ms. EmilyAsinine.

          • Everyone knows why we have ridings.

            Well….except you apparently.

            Canada is the second largest country on the planet, dude.

          • Everyone knows but you, clearly.

          • Get a grip.

          • Don’t know the answer?

          • Enough with the high school crap. If you can’t figure out why a few downtown Torontonians can’t faithfully represent the entirety of the second largest country on the planet, there’s no hope for you.

            Now off you go. Your silliness is just boring. Ciao.

          • What’s the answer? You’ve previously dismissed the whole reason for ridings, so pray tell, what is your reason for their existence? Let’s hear it.

          • Well.. you’re at least a bit right. We don’t have a direct democracy. That’s because we have a.. wait for it.. representative democracy.

            Gee, I wonder why it has that name?

            As for the rest, well, here’s what the government of Canada has to say about part of what MP’s do: “They represent their constituents’ views by presenting petitions, making statements and asking questions in the House.” http://www.parl.gc.ca/About/Parliament/GuideToHoC/role-e.htm

            There’s that “represent” word again.. funny how it keeps popping up all over the place. Almost as if it means something.

            As for your bit about the MP knowing how his members want him to vote — again from that same government website:
            “To meet their constituents’ needs, MPs have an office in Ottawa and one or more in their riding. Their offices are often the first stop for people who need help. … They return to their ridings as often as possible. For many Members, the trip home covers several thousand kilometres. But being in the riding lets Members talk to constituents face to face and attend local activities.”

            So it seems the bottom line is that MPs are supposed to be representing their constituents in the parliament.

            Now, if you want to make the argument that the Ministers should be considering the whole of the country and not just their own constituents, I’ll grant you that.

            But individual backbench MPs? They’re really not there to be trained seals, nor are they there to supplant their own personal judgement for that of their constituents.. that’s why we have elections and ridings after all. If they were supposed to be judging what’s best for all of Canada, we wouldn’t need ridings, now would we? Just give everybody 308 votes, 1 for each seat. (And I’ve argued elsewhere that that might actually be a decent way to run the country these days when the connections between people have less and less to do with geography) Hell.. if they aren’t supposed to be our representatives, but rather our rulers, why have regular elections at all? Elect them once, and when they die/retire, get a new one in.

            Yet we do have regular elections, we do have ridings based on regions. Obviously somebody thought when setting up the system that it’d be a good idea to give the people of a region a big stick to threaten the MP with if their wishes aren’t adhered to. If they were supposed to rule us, not represent us, that wouldn’t have been a goal.

          • So now you’re going by what a Con govt says? The ones that want us to be American? LOL

            Sorry Thwim, but this was settled long ago, and you can thank Burke.

  5. In a related story a Conservative MP from B.C. has said that opposition Quebec MP`s from Quebec appear to be too focused on industries and federal jobs and handouts that benefit only Quebecers.

    He then said that these MP`s > really should go back to Quebec and run either for municipal council that`s deeply affected by government handouts or go run for the PQ.<

    Ordinarily these statements would be considered anti-Quebec, but since it appears that McGuinty`s anti-Alberta statement about their MP`s has been received favorably, then it is expected that most progressives will sluff of these comments as well.

    • Source and date please.

      • Sarcastic Fiction !

        • Yes but Que. is filled with separatists that don’t give a damn about Canada. Alberta, on the other hand… Oh wait.

          • Not accurate.

            The biggest stories out of Quebec recently has students marching for free tuition or getting elected as NDP Members of Parliament. There has also been an ongoing Commission on corruption. None of these are good for Canada.

            Alberta on the other hand continues, along with the other Western Provinces to lead Canada by producing non-government jobs and equalization payments, largely funded from the profits from oil. That`s a good thing for Canada.

          • Just to deliberately misunderstand you then, Democracy and an educated citizenry is not good for canada?

          • Free tuition would be good for Canada. Rooting out corruption is good for Canada. Oil field jobs are not

            Ontario provided equalization for years. Now that Alberta gives instead of gets, it’s suddenly bad. Albertans tell us that all the time.

            This is the kind of thing David McGuinty is talking about.

          • Oil field jobs are good for Canada though. Not near as good as the other things you talk about, but I don’t think you can really say that an oil field job is *bad* for Canada.

          • No, I meant they’re just jobs and Canada has lots of jobs available….not just Alberta.

          • There are also an awful lot of Albertans who sound remarkably Pequiste …

  6. Oil be home for Christmas. You can count on me…

  7. They are very boring as well…are racist galore…make fools of themselves abroad…thanks for calling a spade a spade David,

  8. It’s terribly unfair and provincial of Alberta MPs to not care about the things that McGuinty thinks are important.

    • It isn’t if you still think we are one country.

      • And people can’t have different opinions about priorities in this country? Or are they all supposed to subscribe a single set of policies (as defined by Mr McGuinty)?

        • Hmmmm, i think THAT was exactly McGuinty’s point wasn’t it?

  9. So, McGuinty has to fall on his own sword for speaking what at least appears to be the truth. Sure his comments about Albertans are uncalled for. If it was ever true AB was a backwater provincial place, it isn’t true now. And he’s maybe hurt is parties chances in Calagary too. But c’mon he’s saying what just about every none conservative [and some of them too] that Harper’s gang is playing defence for the oil industry in this country. It’s no secret. Hell, Ryan all hat and no cattle Sparrow was just on twitter accusing libs of being all about screw the west and take the rest. Haven’t heard any outraged easterners whining yet. Some ABs spend almost as much time being hard done by as those guys east of the Rideau.

    • Of course the really sad thing is that, when you think about it, it was Ontario that chose to elect the CPC. Alberta voted the same way they always do. Ontarians are the ones who changed their voting habits to put the CPC in control.

  10. McGuinty can go take a walk with his loser brother. Both are complete and utter failures ending their pathetic careers in disgrace. Good riddance.