voters have a choice in the 2019 Alberta provincial elections
E LaMont Gregory MSc Oxon
Notley out of ideas, Kenney a bridge to nowhere, Mandel building concensus & looking forward
We are in it, to win it Jonathan Dai, Edmonton-Whitemud
All the Alberta Party candidates; Haymour, Ly, Meech, Rahall and Timmermans, with the notable exception of the Alberta Party leader, Stephen Mandel, have had their bans imposed by Elections Alberta on running in the 2019 provincial elections, overturned, and without the drama of repeated delays in the court rendering a decision.
The decision on the candidacy of Stephen Mandel, whose case was also before the Court of Queen's Bench, had been delayed, twice; from one Friday to the next, and then from Friday to the following Monday before he was informed that his right to run in the 2019 provincial election had been restored.
Case Law applied to the other Alberta Party candidates, specifically whether they showed good faith in correcting their late filings once they were notified by the elections' watchdogs, and the reasonableness of the penalties applied were shown to be disproportional, and led to their bans being overturned.
If, the Alberta Party was not positioned to either win a majority of seats in the legislative assembly, or to win enough seats to force one of the other two major parties to negotiate with the Alberta Party to form a government, none of the overturned bans on Alberta Party candidates as well as the Alberta Party leader, would have ever happened.
And, one can only surmise that the government of the day, with 12 of its MLAs not standing for reelection, sought to eliminate either outcome for the Alberta Party, by holding an election before the election, as it were.
Thus, reigniting the debate linking members of the Standing Committee of Legislative Affairs to governmental interference vis-à-vis the duties of the chief electoral officer; reference Lome Gibson.
One of the three party leaders i.e., Notley, Mandel or Kenney will be the next premier of Alberta. And, the voters of Alberta will decide from three very different possible futures for the Province.
Notley and the NDP have simply run out of ideas, and have traded vision, policy development and sound governance for showmanship and the promise of bread and circuses, without firm plans to deliver either. And, having fiddled while Fort McMurray burned is not the legacy of someone who promised to 'fight for you'.
In reality, what the current premier needed (needs) to do is to accept that her government's response to the wildfires that destroyed Fort McMurray was sophomoric at best. And, even accepting the pleadings of her apologists concerning Fort McMurray, Notley was not prepared for the wildfires that raced across Alberta last year and is not prepared for the wildfires that will plague Alberta in the summer of 2019. A perfect fit for the colloquial definition of insanity.
Kenney, if he survives the investigation into his orchestrated shenanigans during the UCP leadership contest, will have to consider the wisdom of remarking that he could finish the sentences of the illiberal premier of Ontario. In a province that since its inception has to a high degree shown an ability to leave the evils of the Old World behind them, and embrace the promise of an inclusive democratic society. And therefore, a return to xenophobic animus seems unlikely to form the basis of a winning campaign formula.
And, before suggesting that Alberta Health Services is replete with administrative redundancy and therefore the service needs be the object of administrative budget cutting, Kenney ought to acknowledge that whereas the average administrative cost for provincial health services in Canada is 4.5 percent, Alberta Health Services is replete with administrative costs of 3.3 percent.
Albertans will either rise to the challenge of cultural diversity; Heaven on earth, now, or descend into Kenney's promised thorough review of all things immigration; Dante's inferno.
One can only trust that Albertans will send Kenney a message that is clear and unequivocal: hands off our Alberta Health Services and hands off our people.
Notley and Kenney rant and rave, one against the other, over the future of Alberta's natural resources. And yet, offer little in the way as to how they would convene the grand discussion, as how we as a province should support our workers and our businesses, grow the economy, and at the same time, live up to our collective responsibility as stewards of our natural resources and our environmental legacy.
The entry of Stephen Mandel into the otherwise bifurcated nature of Alberta politics, affords the voter a real choice, and not the usual fare of having to pick the lesser of the evils on offer.
When contacted after the announcement that the ban on Mandel's candidacy had been lifted by the courts, Jonathan Dai, Alberta Party legislative assembly candidate for the riding Edmonton-Whitemud, commented, "We are in it, to win it".
Crucially, according to Dai, whose surname is pronounced like the first syllable of the word dia-mond, the ruling in the case of Diana Ly (Lee) who is seeking to represent Edmonton-Gold Bar, set the stage for the inevitable conclusion reached in the Mandel case.
Having met the challenges of administrative overreach and possible governmental interference in the otherwise fair and objective administration of elections in Alberta, Dai stated:
"We can now concentrate on forming the next government, so that we can meet the very real challenges facing this province: maintaining our excellent health services, stimulating ways to diversify our economy, invigorating our schools and institutes of higher education, improving and expanding our road, rail and public transportation networks, managing our natural resources, and not the least, environmental protection."