Alberta’s provincial government appears to govern in favour of a minority of supporters, not so much for the overall benefit of Albertans. The current example, the proposed shift from the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) to an Alberta Pension Plan (APP), is a return to trodden ground; recent polls find only 19 per cent think it is a good idea and more than 50 per cent of Albertans are not supporters of the plan.
Indeed, the one-sided focus of the “engagement panel” is shameful. It appears to presume a decision about something that has been poorly explored and poorly explained. Claimed benefits of this endeavour are touted; detriments have not been shared.
Albertans deserve a government that tries to improve how we function on all fronts: including the obvious examples of education, parks and habitat, medical services and systems, social services, environment and water resources, renewable energies and more.
It is disrespectful, redundant and wasteful to keep returning to issues that have been addressed; CPP vs APP, and coal leases on the eastern slopes are two current examples.
Alberta gets a lot of attention from our complaints. However, the puerile “poor Alberta” positioning on many issues is not netting respect for Alberta on any front: from no other provinces and territories, nor from the federal government. I want my provincial government, no matter which party holds the majority, to represent Alberta as part of Canada. I am ashamed that my current government predictably looks for fights and dismayed at the wasted resources — time, money, intellectual that are devoted to our insistent positioning of being unfairly treated.
I wish for my government to behave with genuine respect in dealings with others — Alberta’s own civic jurisdictions, other provinces and territories and the federal government. Disagreement is OK. However, exploring a topic and expressing differences with civility is usually more fruitful than complaining and demanding.
Alberta is populated with creative and well-educated people in all sectors. We are privileged to have others from all over Canada work here; that work boosts the economies of Alberta and the provinces or territories many of those workers call home. We have a lot to offer to the rest of Canada and we can also gain a lot from the rest of Canada.
We are all Canadians.
Alberta is just a couple of years short of our 120th birthday as a province. It is time to grow up, to get past being persistently confrontational. It is hurting Alberta and it is hurting Albertans — all of us.