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Letter: Put your money where your mouth is Mr. Kenney

If Mr. Kenney really believes in direct democracy, how about having “real” referenda/votes on other issues

First of all, I have utter contempt for people who want to “sugar-coat” the issue of residential schools. I hear people commenting that those schools were good for the native children. If that were so, let’s see how many people would send their children or grandchildren to residential schools in China where their English language, their religion, their history, their culture, and their identity would be taken away and destroyed. How would they feel if their children didn’t come home (died or disappeared)? Were raped? 

My next contempt is for Premier Jason Kenney who claims he is going to give Albertans the opportunity to vote directly (Direct Democracy) on three meaningless initiatives/referendums – Equalization Payments; Daylight Savings; Nominations for Senators. 

They don’t have any weight in legislation. It’s public relations, pretend democracy because they are just a publicity stunts to divert attention from the many issues plaguing Kenney and his government. 

Where was Kenny when he and Stephen Harper ran the Canadian government on this issue of equalization payments? Where has he been in sitting down with other premiers to discuss this matter? To me he is just a Canadian version of Donald the Duck (ex-president Donald T) by dividing our country (west vs east). No attempt at compromise. If he were a “statesman” he would have tried to bring Canadians together, but that’s not his way.

“Have not" provinces depend on equalization payments to provide a source of revenue so that will enable them to maintain a level of public services – health, education, social services, police services, fire services, emergency services, etc – similar to the “have" provinces.

We’re blessed to live in a country that does provide economic assistance to provinces that are plagued by economic hard times, unlike our cousins south of the border where some states have conditions similar to third world countries – economically depressed, poor education, poor health care, poor infrastructure (roads, bridges, rail lines, etc). Do we don’t want to see those conditions coming to our country? 

Electing senators to Parliament is wasting our money. Why? Just look at America. For the past 20 years, U.S. senators have ground the operations of the federal government to a near halt with one group of politicians derailing or stalling important pieces of legislation. 

For example, one political party (the GOP/Republicans/conservatives) is preventing the passage of a national voting registration system to replace voter suppression/Jim Crow Laws enacted after Donald the Duck lost the presidential election in Nov. 2020. 

Bottom line: An elected senate sounds good in theory but it does not mean a better political system over our parliamentary system. The “grass may not be greener on the other side of the fence”. 

If Mr. Kenney really believes in direct democracy, how about having “real” referenda/votes on the following issues: Should Albertans support private clinics and private doctors? Remember that America’s private health-care system costs twice as much as our public system per capita, and 60 per cent of all bankruptcies in the States are due to medical costs.

Allow Albertans vote on the matter of creating a separate pension system to replace CPP and OAS. What happens to those pensions that Albertans have contributed to all their working lives? Who is going to manage such a system? The Alberta government can’t even manage its own budget, let alone the Heritage Trust Fund. How come our trust fund doesn’t perform as well as the trusts funds of Alaska or Norway? 

Should we allow Mr. Kenney to create a provincial police force, considering the majority of Albertans and the majority of municipalities have rejected such a notion? Is he trying to create a North Texas? Do we want to replace the RCMP with the “Alberta Rangers”? 

Should Albertans decide how much money goes into the Heritage Trust Fund for emergencies? How much goes into necessary public services – public health, public education, emergency services, police services,  infrastructure such as public buildings, roads, bridges, nursing homes, etc?

Will he allow us to vote on the funding of private private schools ? Will he allow us to vote on mining and forestry operations in the west country, instead of secretly allowing mining companies to operate without public knowledge? Do we need a “war room”? Do we need a “red tape office”? Why spend money on re-inventing the wheel? 

Will he allow us to vote on American-style gun laws, buying and selling of assault weapons? Concealed weapons permits? Do we want a “gun culture” like we see in America?

Will we be allowed to vote on changing the judicial system, making it similar to Texas for example, or do we want to keep our Canadian identity, our culture, our laws, our traditions, etc.? 

Should we allow the provincial government to usurp the pension funds of our public servants such as teachers, nurses, and doctors? 

Will we be allowed to vote on PACs (political action committees)? Look to the States to see how powerful vested interests determine who runs for public office. 

Yes, Mr. Kenney, let’s see Direct Democracy in action in Alberta. As the old saying goes, “Put your money where your mouth is”. 

George Thatcher,