In the past few weeks, we’ve been receiving some excellent feedback about the Town Hall meetings I’ve been hosting across Alberta. Have a look below!
By Stewart Shields (Edmonton, AB)
Last night I attended the town hall meeting for Democratic Renewal at the Glenora Community Hall in Edmonton. I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout on a very nice summer evening! Another pleasant surprise I observed was the number of females and young folks taking the challenge to see change is made to our system in Alberta! What I consider younger folks were the dominate age group by far in the line-up to address the panel when the floor was open for comments!
My thoughts with respect to democratic reform in Alberta always drifts to the thought that we have indeed become a “Petro- Political-Territory”. We have a few political parties vying for the job of providing Janitorial-Services to the Alberta Oil Industry. The Alberta government can function very well on revenues from the petro-industry. This leaves the average voter and tax-payer less important than those in a non-petro- society from a governmental point of view! By taking no ownership for our involvement in the industry, like Newfoundland, and having no large government controlled capital pool like Norway, our system keeps us dependant on industry far more than necessary.
Albertans are at least partially aware of the above, exampled by almost all folks agreeing that Alberta is ruled by “Big-Oil”. Not lost on anyone should be the example of the “Green Parties” success in Central Alberta when Big-Oil hadn’t the chance to “Get-To” the new government, and the new government let things— “get out of hand” with respect to the EUB!!
Make no mistake that Albertans will go for real change to the system if it appears the change is indeed meant to be different!
Opposition or new parties could help their cause by opposing the elements within the system that allows and provides for “Petro Rulership”. Examples, is the treatment of industries main advocate CAPP, having their budget collected effectively by a Government tribunal, the troubled ERCB!! Also moving this tribunal to reside as other government institutions in Edmonton rather than far-off Calgary to come under greater government supervision, badly needed as the spying incident proved! Allowing direct payment of the ERCB budget, from industry to ERCB accounts should have been dealt with years ago! Questioning these types of practices has a two-fold effect, it shows the government that opposition is aware of these actions, and allows the public to see an opposition that truly wants change!! I’m sure I could rattle on forever with ways I see the opposition failing to address and inform the public of industries abuse of the democratic process! Get out to these meeting when they come to your area, and be sure your voice is heard, as the platform offers this chance!!