Meet the new boss, Alberta

by Paul Wells

Albertans did elect a woman as their premier last night, just not the one some of us gringos were expecting. Fortunately Colby Cosh sat down with Alison Redford five months ago, and the transcript of their conversation is here. As we’ve since had occasion to learn, she’s full of surprises.




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Meet the new boss, Alberta

  1. Indeed i didn’t know much about her past – working on the Apartheid file and again on Afghan isues. Impressive resume.[ don't know what else. Haven't read CC piece, too busy writing my polemic for Alison. Should i send it to her, or would it become a paper party hat in 5?] 

    Now that the outward looking vision of AB has seemingly won out for now can Ms Redford realize she has to pay attention to other voices out west? There is significant opposition to and fear of the consequences of the down side of pushing a pipeline out to the west coast over extremely sensitive and vulnerable terrain, ending in an unrealistically risky proposal to move large amounts of tanker traffic through a UN recognized temperate rainforest now world renowned as the Great Bear Rainforest. No one who has been there can be unaware of how special the place is or how vunerable. It isn’t pristine, logging, canneries and some mining has gone on there for more than a century, but limited technology has limited the damage, up till now.
    Premier Redford needs to further expand the vision that won her a majority. There’s an even bigger picture than economic well being in AB and all the rest of the spin offs to the rest of Canada; that is only one side of the story, only one albeit important element of who we are are…there are other values. Not everyone is looking at the world from the same perspective as AB.
     It seems lots of ABs are bemused at all the fuss over pipelines which have become commonplace manageable risks there, but other places have equally important and legimate things they value, things they may place higher up on the value scale than Alberta and their principle business,oil. That’s the case in parts of BC. If you’ve ever spent any amount of time on the coast it would be apparent how much the place is loved; it’s wild spaces, its salmon, its huge trees. Sure BC has in some respects been even less careful of its national treasures than AB [ fly over VI some time and look at the pillaging that has gone on util recently - some say its back to the bad old days under the BC liberals].
    But Premier Redford this is exponentially larger and potentially more devastating in terms of long term risk management and enviromental hazard. Please do not treat our province cavalierly as a mere extention of AB just because you can; with power comes responsibility, listen to many voices not just a few lobbyists please. Don’t take it as red light because our morally dissolute premier is unable to find the fortitude to carry out her fiduciary duty to defend the interests of all BCers. Think big Ms Redford; think carefully and history may well reward you.  

    * I spent part of the spring break discussing Kitimat with an old hand [ a life long logger - no radical enviro he - a practical man]. He laughed when we disussed VLTV coming into the head of Douglas channel. Told me even the much smaller  freighters who’ve been coming into Alcan for yonks occasionally ran aground – there’s not much sea room and it shallows out quickly in places, probably due to the silt the winter spate rivers put down. He also got a chuckle out of the assertion its an easy trip in and out as asserted by the those old thyme Horners Ezra and Enbridge.
    Hopefully the NEB will listen to common sense but i fear it will make no diff, vested interest are determined to have their way come what may – they just don’t realize yet they are going to lose, come what may.

    Despite your tittle Paul and its ominous undertones, the will and new found power of AB the good will not railroad the interests of BCers. I’m somewhat surpised the folks who are pushing this seem to know all about AB and little or nothing about how stubborn BC can be, specially when a good bit of its back is up. But then they seemed to make the same mistaken assumption about N. Dakota.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2012/04/which-one-is-it-minister-oliver.html

    This kind of incompetent, incoherent messaging doen’t help of course. Nor does gallactically stupid comments by a senator that radical enviro would probably take funds from Al Qaeda if they had to.
    These guys are making this crap up as they go along. There is no long term sustainable plan for Canada; just a thinly disguised, hastily thrown together hail Mary to get an incompetent, ruthless PM reelected in ’15. As outlined by Paul i do believe. Or do you assert this has been a long time in the works? I think not.

    • very thought-provoking article; spoken from the heart (if not also the mind and soul).  I believe in ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’; you should send/share this to/with Redford (and AB natural resources dept) and even the PMO in Ottawa, even though they will likely “file 13″ it (i.e. water off a duck’s back).  On the plus side…be sure to send/share it to/with Mulcair and NDP (Megan Leslie is the NDP enviro critic) so they can better raise the issue in HoC (esp. the comments by the ‘old hand, life-long logger’ as to how iffy the shipping lanes really are).

      • lol never heard the expression file 13 before…like.

        Thx. Actually I’m a card carrying lib.[ for now anyway]
        But that’s ok the ndp’s activist position in this regard is far more in line with my views than those of my fence sitting party…big fan of the area mp Cullen…Megan is great too.
        I’ll take your advise…nothing ventured as you say:)

    • oops…hope that wasn’t a Freudian slip…red lighting Christy Clark. Too late now anyway, sent it to Redford…maybe it’ll give her a chuckle. If it gets beyond the minders.

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