Wednesday, January 23, 2008

A sign of things to come?

Well it was bound to happen.

For as much as I disagree with my buddy Dave, he's been enjoying a streak of relatively rational arguments for his cause. Sadly, it came to an end today with his rant about a massive funding announcement for the University of Alberta.

I suppose it should have been expected that his left-wing academic zeal would get the best of him.

His post today dismisses the major announcement by the Premier and refuses to highlight some of the expenditures at the U of A. Allow me:

-$33.8 million for the Faculty of Pharmacy.

-$55.4 million for other Health and Science research facilities.

-$16.4 million in upgrades to Hub Mall and the Tory Building.

Now the title and recurrent message in Dave's post is "they didn't have a plan". Close to $90 million for Pharmacy, Health and Science sounds to me like a pretty proactive investment in those who will be taking care of an aging population to me. But I digress...

One of the first questions that popped into my mind was whether or not this was a sign of things to come from the Liberals during the election. Are they planning to run on a theme of "they didn't have a plan"?

If so, it seems awfully foolish.

Kevin Taft and his crew maybe don't realize that they're not running against Ralph Klein this time. They had that shot and got their clocks thoroughly cleaned. Running against Ralph's record might be a winning strategy if he had left office as a spectacularily unpopular Premier, but that's not the case.

And the whole "they didn't have a plan" schtick won't be terribly effective, either, given some of the announcements we're seeing of late.

Even though the never-satisfied campus rebels rail against it, we're seeing action on post-secondary education.

Even though Taft prefers his collection of band-aid half measures to address the problem, we're seeing action on housing and homelessness.

Even though the left are ramping up their campaign of gross misinformation, we're seeing action on greenhouse gases and climate change.

Kevin Taft and the Liberals may choose to spend the campaign whining about how the previous government didn't have a plan or claiming that the current government doesn't. Go ahead, I say.

Because if we get to spend the campaign correcting empty rhetoric and pointing out we're doing on behalf of Albertans, I very much like our chances.


  1. Blake you are so diluted, it's not even funny. Action on GHGs?? If by action, you mean ramping up oilsands production by 300 percent over the next eight years, or blocking the progress of other premiers to move forward on a nationwide standard at Council of the Federation movements, yah, I guess there's been some action...

    At this rate, (and if your beloved Tory party has it's way) in 30 years Alberta's going be a virtual industrial wasteland, plagued by high rates of cancer, Parkinson's and other environmental-health related illnesses. Oh well, at least some people will have made enough money that they can afford to move on and up. It's just too bad for the rest of us who actually care about this province and want to live here.

    Alberta needs leaders that are capable of creative thinking and problem solving, not people that just announce a massive random cash infusion prior to an election.

  2. Diluted? Anonymous, you are so illiterate, it's not even funny.
    Alberta needs people that are capable of independent thinking, not people who swallow the popular issue of the day, hook line and sinker. And a cash infusion before the election is called "Bribing the electorate with their own money". Much as I disagree with it, it works. Get ready to say hello to another Tory majority, though I doubt it will be comparable to some of the Klein victories. I won't deny that the liberals have come up with some good ideas in the past, but you can't govern on a few good whims, backed by countless stupid ones. The people of Alberta have seen liberal and (shudders) NDP governments in the provinces next door. Anybody care to take a stab how well those social experiments worked?
    Blake, you should start the Progressive Conservative Party Of British Columbia.

  3. "diluted." Heh.

    "At this rate, (and if your beloved Tory party has it's way) in 30 years Alberta's going be a virtual industrial wasteland, plagued by high rates of cancer, Parkinson's and other environmental-health related illnesses."

    Good to see the wanna be scientists out. Too bad there is neither the science to support this "diluted" argument, nor is there any evidence that this person has actually read any of the government policies on the environment, water and clean air strategies or green initiatives. The best in Canada I'd say... as good as can be? Maybe not - but its a start in the right direction, and ones that tax payers and voters are prepared to take and support.

    Sometimes I wonder if the granola hippies will only be happy when Albertans no longer use any kind of power at all - trouble is I see them driving to protests all the time... The ones who think they are not the problem usually are the biggest contributors.

    And I can attest - the NDP and Social Credit destroyed BC. It has taken years for them to get back on any kind of economic track, and they are not there yet.

  4. And... Dave's behaviour is so hypocritical (typical Liberal in Alberta). "My school doesn't get enough money, wah wah, give us some...." to "the evil government is just using my school to win an election by giving it the money it needs!"

    Truth is, the money needs to be allocated there, and the government is choosing strategic times to announce that - not buying anything. It's just like Dave's little letter that he recieved on Dec 3rd - yet why did he wait a month, until the Premier was out of the province, to show it to media? Strategic advantage.

  5. Not that the UofA isn't in need of nearly $100 million, but I don't understand why this kind of announcement gets made seemingly out of the blue while so many communities in Alberta have been begging for years to get money to upgrade hospitals.

  6. Nicole, a few reasons.

    1. Post-secondary is a more media friendly issue than rural ridings right now. The Tories can expect to get good coverage out of it.

    2. Rural ridings is a more divisive issue right now. Stelmach giving money to rural ridings would put more fuel under the city vs. rural debate going on.

    3. The rural ridings are already sewn up for the conservatives. Face it, the Tories don't need to give them money and they'll still get the seats. If the folks in the rural ridings ever wised up to the fact that a secure seat is a forgotten one, odds are they'd get a lot more recognition of their concerns.

    This is purely election-pork. You'll note that even these investments come with no plan as to how they're going to take care of the infrastructure over the long term, it's a one-shot cash infusion to give people a rosy feeling about the Tories before Ed has to face the full population of Alberta for the first time.

  7. EXCEPT THAT Calgary got funding the day before??? Or are you only the Edmonton media???