Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Premier. Annoying Writers. Hopeful MLAs.

Three things I want to talk about today, team:

First, many sincere congratulations to Saskatchewan's new Premier, Brad Wall! I heard Mr. Wall speak at a Sask Party youth convention 6 years ago and was very impressed by him. His ascention to the leadership of his party came as no surprise, nor did his victory last night. With Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party at the helm, our friends in Saskatchewan can look forward to their province playing an equally important role in the growing western economy.

Now if only we could do something about Manitoba...


Moving right along, i'm considering the notion of never reading a newspaper columnist again. I know you're probably all tired of hearing me bitch and moan about them (certain ones in particular), but it needs saying.

Once again I find myself supremely annoyed after reading Graham Thomson this morning. From his accounts, you'd believe that the entire Tory caucus scurries under their desks or out of the room whenever the great Kevin Taft or a member of his government-in-waiting starts to speak. I realize that I have my own bias, but Graham stretches the truth way out of line... even by his standards.

I'd like to find a Tory MLA who isn't as happy as I am when Energy Minister Mel Knight gets up to answer a question posed by Kevin Taft or Hugh MacDonald. I've said it before and i'll say it again... there is no one inside the Legislature better qualified to run the Department of Energy than Mel Knight, period.

Graham Thomson should consider himself very lucky that only an extraordinarily miniscule percentage of Albertans actually watch the provincial question period... otherwise, his readers might know just how full of crap he is.

Don Braid is also back at it again. In his case, though, its more journalistic cynicism rather than outright opposition spin.

This morning he is waxing on about how Premier Ed Stelmach's government is trying to "fix everything at once". How interesting. The same press gallery who complained for so many years that Ralph Klein had everything on autopilot is now complaining that we have a Premier and a government who want to get things done. You just can't win, folks.

The subject of the column doesn't really surprise or bother me. What is really starting to piss me off, though, is the tone of the column. Its a tone that has been apparent from a number of other big city columnists. Its a tone that scoffs at the fact that the Premier is "just a farmer".

Well excuse me.

I didn't realize that people who are involved in the industry that built this province in the first place aren't qualified to run the province (for the record, I KNOW that most Albertans, rural AND urban, don't feel this way).

I'd like to know just exactly what these "city slickers" think farmers do?

Farmers have to be responsible stewards of their land, often land that has been passed down through multiple generations.

Farmers have to follow very tight timelines for the seeding, tending, and harvest of their crop... AND they often have to carefully manage crop rotations.

Farmers have to ensure that their equipment is always kept in working order.

Farmers have to manage all of this with relatively scarce financial resources.

In addition, farmers are primary contributors to the lives and livelyhoods of their communities.

In my eyes, a farmer is equal parts biologist, historian, engineer, mechanic, accountant, and community activist.

If you ask me, having all these things rolled into one person more than qualifies them for the job. Shame on those who can't see past the coveralls and boots to think otherwise.


Finally, i'd like to tell you about some folks who have won PC Alberta nominations to run in the next provincial election. This is something i'll probably do on a fairly regular basis. Today I want to introduce you to two fine gentlemen running in the Capital Region.

Dave Quest is someone I had the pleasure of working with on the PC Alberta Provincial Executive Committee. He's an energetic, outside-the-box thinker who has always shown great dedication to the people of his community. As the PC candidate in Strathcona (not to be confused with Edmonton-Strathcona) he will be looking to replace the very able Rob Lougheed who is retiring. Rob was a great MLA for the area and leaves big shoes to fill, but i'm quite confident that Dave is the right man for the job.

Challenging Dave from Alberta-liberals?-where?-Liberal Party will be Jon Parsons Friel, a man who wears a sunflower on his lapel and, according to his website, is still seeking the leadership of the party.

To the north and west of Strathcona is St. Albert, where long-time PC volunteer and former city councillor Ken Allred won the nomination. Ken beat out now-former St. Albert Mayor Paul Chalifoux and community activist Frances Badrock in a hotly-contested race. Ken is a hard worker who knows the ins and outs of St. Albert better than anyone. Ken was a staunch supporter of former MLA Mary O'Neill and is well-suited to step into her former role.

Ken will be taking on Geriatric Jack Flaherty from the Liberals. A first-term MLA, Mr. Flaherty is so proud to be an Albertan that his website says that his favourite place to spend time is in another province.

That's all for now, team. Enjoy your Thursday!

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