Sunday, 10 February 2019

They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives.

They stole our name, but we are the true Conservatives.

I wasn’t going to write about politics, but someone chastised me for not being a Conservative while supposedly I owe a lot to the Conservative party. I have been a Progressive Conservative Albertan since 1968 when I was sold on the Peter Lougheed message. He started the party from nothing and became the Premier in 1971 if my memory serves me right. He set us up so well that his party remained in power for 44 years until it was changed beyond recognition. A true leader, he was, concerned with the people of Alberta and proud of being a Canadian.

Lougheed was born and raised in Alberta, an athletic,  Harvard graduate and above all a privileged guy who shared his good luck with others for the good of all. His educated vision was for Alberta to use the temporary prosperity from oil and build a prosperous clean, attractive province for future generations. Investments in education, health care, and other social ventures are paying off to this day. Oil boomed, but oil corporations knew he was the boss. Hospitals and universities sprung up, Alberta Energy company insured that we prosper and Alberta became a destination for people seeking a good future.

After a brief change over, Peter was replaced by Ralph Klein who was the opposite. A not very athletic, high school dropout, Ralph sold the goose for a few golden eggs. My Conservative party now dismantled the legacy of Lougheed, sold the assets, spent the savings, and allowed us to become a one big company town owned by private corporations.

Move forward to 2019, when the contest is wedged between champions of the two theories. On the right side is Jason Kenney an Ontario born Saskatchewan raised, man who dropped out of a US Jesuit University, was active in the Young Liberals and moved to Alberta to be elected as a Conservative. He and another Albertan Stephen Harper led the Federal government for ten years never completing even one of our pipelines that we have going east which would have guaranteed Canada energy independence. A pipeline east now would have provided a market for the oil which Peter Lougheed invested so much of our tax dollars to develop.

On the left side of the rink, we have a small but smart Alberta woman who grew up seeing the Lougheed advantage and under another banner decided to revive the Alberta Advantage. Just like Lougheed, she believes that investing in the people, infrastructure and diversifying the economy is the answer. The only main difference is, she is doing it while the province is suffering greatly from low world oil prices and from mistakes made before her time. Most of Alberta’s advantage has been sold, and those who bought it are trying to squeeze the last few pennies out, often at the expanse of Albertans.

Not surprisingly the fight between “left” and “right” is most noticeable in countries and provinces where there is oil. The people who own the oil, since it is on their lands, often are pushing “left” since they wish to benefit from their resources. We have all known for years that oil will come to an end since we recorded Lougheed saying it. The question has always been, who will get the money and what will they do with it. Peter wanted to make the future bright for all Albertans, and those who followed him chose to give it to outside companies and friends in exchange for staying in power.

My Alberta which I invested a lifetime of work to make better for my children and their children is not going the way I thought it would. The lady Premier is investing in children, elders, public education, transportation, diversified economy, families and health facilities, just as, Lougheed did. Her efforts are challenged by a New party that stole the name Conservatives doing what I consider damage to those of us who built the place.

A party, supported by some rural Canadians and a lot of new immigrants is threatening to reverse the good work that she is doing. A political force that wants us to work for less, reduce taxes for those who are taking our resources, privatize our health care, charge us to use our roads, reduce money for our schools giving it to private schools and fighting against our efforts to reduce pollution, is gaining in the polls. They do it by spending vast amounts of money on marketing as I see on expensive electronic billboards.

I am truly afraid that The Conservatives of my generation, and probably the parents of most of you, are losing the fight to outside “investors”  who don’t have our province’ best interest in mind. They will skim the cream off the top and leave us to fight the floods and fires on our own. They will not worry about how we will afford to clean up after them and find ways to feed ourselves after the need for oil is gone. All those who came here in the boom times will go, and all of Alberta will be like a coal mining town after coal was no longer needed.

I have the fortune of remembering the last fifty years in Alberta and the ability to assess what I saw and pass it on to younger generations. I will not be affected much by what is taking place, but I care about my children and the future of this province and the world around it. I also care about the investment that a lot of people that are now gone made in this place.

I am a Progressive Conservative, as were most people who worked with me to make this a great place for our future generations. No one with a fake interest in what we were doing is going to say that I am not. This is my opinion anyway.

Here is a link to my blog:  Feel free to check other articles and comment.

The man who invented modern Alberta, and the woman who made it possible.

 7225136[1] From Montreal Gazette Published in the Calgary Herald 2012.

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