With the fall sitting of the Alberta Legislature now behind us, Albertans have two distinct version of events at their disposal.
The first comes from Premier Stelmach himself.
The Premier held a news conference outlining the progress made based on the mandate letters issued to the new Ministers when they were sworn in last year. A handy pdf document details items in the mandate letters and the progress made on said files.
The document is everything you'd expect from the Premier, detailed and well-planned.
Meanwhile, the Liberal caucus have released their own version of events this past year and it, naturally, paints a much different picture.
Needless to say, a quick read of this piece proves once again that any sane, reasonably pragmatic person left the Alberta Liberals when Laurence Decore quit. I'm not going to debunk this entire left-wing leaflet, but I will be happy to take on a few items:
In addition to the usual nonsense about making Mel Knight resign, the Liberals take a shot at the government for allowing bitumen to be shipped to the United States for development.
Interesting. Perhaps they have forgotten that the new royalty framework includes a ‘bitumen-in-kind’ principle to encourage more of our resources to be upgraded in Alberta.
We all want to create more value-added industries when it comes to our oil here in Alberta, but do the Liberals think Mel can just snap his fingers and make new upgraders appear?
Interestingly, the Liberals criticize the government for not "looking for opportunities to work with our western neighbours to form an energy partnership"... yet just a few paragraphs later, slam the government for passing the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) through the legislature.
You'd think a party that was once referred to as the political wing of the Alberta Teachers Association would have lots to say on this, right?
Wrong. Their criticism of the department headed by Ron Liepert has a grand total of 14 words about children with special needs.
I wonder why they're so sheepish about education?
Could THIS have something to do with it?
The Liberals point out that several day cares have closed due to lack of staff because wages in this sector are low.
Fair point, maybe that's why Janis Tarchuk gave child care providers a huge shot in the arm this spring.
INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORTATION
The Minister's mandate letter includes a line about expanding the capacity of Alberta's highway system to address growth pressures.
The Liberals say that road capacity and quality don't address growth pressures.
Really? So we should stop the twinning of Highway 63 then? Kill the ring roads in Edmonton and Calgary, perhaps? I'm sure Luke Ouellette will get right on that.
Throughout their end-of-session critique, the Liberals are short on substantial criticism and even shorter on their proposed alternatives (almost nil).
Kevin Taft and the Liberals may have thought this thing was a good communications idea, but a closer read just shows Albertans more compelling evidence that the Liberals aren't even much of an opposition, let alone a government-in-waiting.