Tale of Two Albertas Far From Over
Steadily declining polls, battered relationships with unions, a never-ending travel expense scandal--the Progressive Conservative's tale of two Albertas, one for them one for the rest of us, is starting to read like a tragedy. Now, the government is backtracking, laying the blame on former premier Alison Redford to cover up attacks on public sector pensions and the retirement security of workers who form the backbone of our province. They're saying a new leader will save the PC dynasty; their record says different.
Recently, public pressure has forced the PCs to pull a 180-degree-turn on policies they've spent months defending. We've seen this before: after Stelmach, after the 2012 election, and, now, after Redford. The parade of niceties and false promises are routine for this government and we know that they won't last.
First the Minister of Justice let the debate on workplace safety for correctional officers degrade into a full on strike. The government negotiated a return to work in exchange for the promise not to retaliate against workers. They broke that promise when they attacked all Alberta public-sector workers with Bills 9 and 10. Then Premier Hancock championed Bills 45 and 46. Bill 45 was an unprecedented attack on freedom of speech. Bill 46 short-circuited the arbitration process.
No sooner did the government back down on attacking public-sector workers than Education Minister Jeff Johnson picked a fight with our teachers. Instead of focusing on reducing class sizes and shoring up our crumbling infrastructure, Johnson's Teaching Task Force determined that plummeting math scores are because teachers aren't being held to a high enough standard of excellence.
The PCs' agenda amounts to nothing more than pageantry purposefully created to distract Albertans from their continual attacks on the people who teach our kids, who keep us healthy, and who build our province. A new leader won't fix that. This kind of negative politics is just what Conservatives do.
Alberta New Democrat Party