The Globe and Mail, the Edmonton Journal and CTV New all posted Coronavirus threatens to cripple Alberta budget’s path to balance, says Kenney (March 7, 2020). So interesting! Kenney has found one more outside “force” that will prevent him doing what he promised so fervently to do: get Alberta back on track, increase jobs and prosperity etc.

I am reminded of the quintessential far fetched excuses of neglectful children and youth: “the dog ate my homework”. Of course, this is also frequently used by adults who are struggling with holding true to their commitments and promises. It is a handy excuse for anyone needing someone or something to blame for their own shortcomings.

This to me is Kenney in spades. There are so many people, events and things that just get in the way of Kenney and his UCP governments’ ability to do their job. In his case the dog, or should I say dogs, in question are, for example:

  • Ottawa and the mismanaged federal government structure (that he was a proud player in for 19 years [1997-2016]);
  • Rachel Notley blamed for the downturn in oil in 2014/15, the Fort McMurray Fire and everything else; (I am interested in seeing how Kenney blames Notley for COVID-19)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau for being Justin Trudeau: Jason Kenney stands by saying Trudeau ‘can’t read a briefing note longer than a cocktail napkin’ by Dean Bennett the Canadian Press, Posted May 16, 2018
  • Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet for not supporting Teck Frontier Mine before Teck realized it was a bad idea in the first place
  • The Wet’Suwet’en: Jason Kenney Blames Trudeau And Wet’Suwet’en Protesters For Teck Mine Failure; The Alberta premier said investors pulled out of the project citing a lack of confidence.
  • The blockades in support of the Wet’Suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs for the downturn in Alberta’s economy
  • Now the COVID-19 for Kenney and the boys not being able to stick to their flawed budget.
  • And of course, there are so many more examples and everyday a new one.

The childish use of this excuse “my dog ate my homework” fits perfectly with Kenney’s other schoolyard behaviours like playing hooky, name calling, copycatting, bullying and not doing his homework!

His playing hooky is most evident in his carefully planned trips out of town (drumming up investment in the oilpatch) when significant issues were being hoisted on Albertans in the legislature. And in playing meta-hooky by refusing to answer questions posed to him in the house while he is sitting in the house. His public name-calling and finger pointing are clearly outlined in the examples above. I am dismayed by his lack of decorum and embarrassed by his lack of respect for others. Yet another annoying behaviour is Kenney’s copycatting. He is quick to follow the thinking and policies of other destructive leaders and oligarchs (like Trump, Ford, Putin). Then without analysis of the applicability for the Alberta situation, he awkwardly implements them often lying to make people believe that these decisions make sense. This leads to his other schoolyard behaviour: bullying. Kenney takes the cake on this one. A premier who bullies his citizens, his doctors, his teachers; public servants, our parks and everyone listed above and pretty well everyone except for the big corporations, mostly oil companies. I would have hoped that anyone who was thinking of becoming a leader would have made efforts to go beyond these childish schoolyard behaviours or at least attempt to suppress them. Last but not least of his troubling behaviours is that Kenney doesn’t appear to have done his homework.

What I would like to see from my Premier is a recognition that Alberta functions within a global world in everything we do, not just in our sale of oil. This means we need to be cognizant of the factors that impact this world of ours. This would include consideration of things like the coronavirus for sure (like maybe this is a bad time to get rid of doctors and cut the health care budget) but also the climate crisis that is now recognized by most of the world, the evolving shift to the use of true renewable energy (not “ethical oil” from the tar sands), the shifts in global markets and thus the overwhelming need for Alberta to diversify their economy and not continue to desperately hang on to the fantasy of the return of the boom days of oil. We have a revenue problem in Alberta and giving away money to corporations is not the answer, diversification is. When is Kenney going to do his homework?


a casualty of despotism

Boys who become men and still hang onto and continue to hone their negative schoolyard behaviours,  if given the opportunity to be in a position of power, become despots. Unfortunately, this is where we are at in Alberta, Premier Kenney is a despot, and this is extremely dangerous for Albertans and Alberta.