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LETTER: Provincial government continuing confusing moves

Editor: Danielle, Danielle, Danielle you can’t run the province like a radio talk show. Oh, wait, you are a radio talk show. The blurting and blustering of radio talk show hosts often seem, at times, to have no basis in reality.


Danielle, Danielle, Danielle. You can’t run the province like a radio talk show. Oh, wait, you are a radio talk show.

The blurting and blustering of radio talk show hosts often seem, at times, to have no basis in reality. Premier Danielle Smith’s guffaw was the “latest example of tone-deafness when it comes to Indigenous relations.” Rather than laugh it off, some Indigenous leaders are demanding an apology, calling her comments “hurtful” and should be “condemned.”

At issue is Smith’s scripted video, released while she was in Ottawa earlier this month. In it, she describes how “Indigenous people of this land and those that came from across the world united to tame an unforgiving frontier... with a duty to support one another and build the country together developing a democratic institution... to yield a good, stable governance.”

Danielle, I can’t fix that one but I’d gladly come out of retirement for the more than $250,000 you are paying handpicked Preston Manning to select his panel to investigate the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic within the context of reviewing Alberta statutes that inform and authorize the government so they will be better equipped to make amendments to such legislation. Manning’s staunch opposition to public health restrictions is only rivalled by Smith herself. The opposition NDP is calling for a national, independent, citizen-led inquiry. The NDP says the panel is politically motivated and has nothing to do with improving healthcare.

I can also hardly believe the issue of abandoned wells is still unresolved. Our Alberta government is looking at subsidizing oil and gas companies – calling it a reclamation incentive program – to clean up their abandoned wells, which they already have a legal obligation to do. Basically, our government’s using public monies to give tax breaks to oil and gas companies to do what they should be doing in the first place. These subsidies are not supported by economists, environmentalists, rural municipalities and even analysts within Alberta Energy. Rural landowners appreciate this, however, they face declining property values until this work gets done.

The University of Lethbridge got slammed by the provincial government last week after they cancelled guest lecturer Francis Widdowson. The former Mount Royal University professor was fired because of her questioning the Truth and Reconciliation’s labelling residential schools as an act of genocide.

The university said her views could cause harm to Indigenous students and their families. As well, they replied that it was not just a free speech issue but “were trying to balance the provincial requirements on cultivating and growing its Indigenous student body.”

The government’s minister of advanced education Demetrios Nicolaides says to ensure post-secondary institutions are adequately protecting the academic freedom and free speech of students and faculty, there will now be a mandatory “report card” showing they have met the provincial standards.

The 10 selected CEOs that were to chart the future of Alberta, to steer Alberta back to prosperity and sustainability over the next decade, say “we must accelerate the collaboration between business and post-secondaries.” The need is to have a prepared and skilled workforce, underpinned by a post-secondary education sector that is responsive to changing employer needs and focused on entrepreneurship and innovation. The goal is to produce “knowledgeable, creative and driven business leaders that will emerge.”

However, university students are being hit by increasing tuition fees. The UCP cut the cap on tuition that was put in place by the NDP. It’s a vicious cycle when the government cuts funding to a university, which leads to cuts to programs that lead to increased tuition fees. Where are those bright future leaders? My guess would be B.C.

Marilyn Foxford,