Commentary – Honeymoon gets reality check

Jeff Burgar

Our bright and shiny new Alberta government is hard at work.

Mostly it seems, figuring out exactly what those nasty New Democrats were up to the past four years.

Premier Jason Kenney and his UCP were able to move with “The Flash” speed dumping carbon taxes, investigating crude by rail, and freezing contracts everywhere.

Yet, for some reason, so many tiny issues are lost in limbo land. They were dragging under the NDP. For all the alacrity shown in some issues, now under the UCP, others drag. And drag. And drag.

One example that hit the news last week was flood remediation help for the people of Marten Beach. Marten Beach is a small hamlet north of Slave Lake. It was flooded last week. In case this entire item gets lost in the shuffling and two-stepping going on in Edmonton, as these things so often do, this is help for last year’s flooding.

That is correct. There was a flood last year.

This year, it’s a new mess all over again.

It happened a couple weekends ago, and is still being cleaned up.

So help for this new flooding? Good luck getting an answer soon. If you do, pick up a couple of Lotto tickets. You are guaranteed to be a winner!

Over the years, it’s always been sort of the idea that if you don’t like what your government is up to, you vote them out of office.

So, as just one example, it got to the point the Princess Allison Redford Palace, and countless other irritations and general boondogglery, led to Rachel Notley’s NDP election.

She generally did a good job but her government wasn’t without its own bloopers. Maybe some of those bloops were pushed along by party members who wanted to get their agenda on the books.

Or maybe just because her new government didn’t really know what it was doing, and relied perhaps too much on old time bureaucrats. You know the ones. Work expands to fill the time and money allocated to it. Then a little bit more. If a job should take a month, and you can stretch it to two years, well heck, what’s the big deal?

This is government we’re talking about here. No end of money. No end of time.

And definitely, never any consequences.

If and when heads finally do roll, they usually roll uphill. This past week alone, we were treated to the bizarre American case of Ed Gallagher, who was charged with war crimes. The prosecution in this case, Navy government folks, bungled the case and pretty well locked up an innocent man. Then they got awards and medals!

Sound familiar? You can probably name many similar instances up and down the ranks of all governments. In between the good eggs, there are usually a few bad apples. And yes, they do indeed ruin it for everybody else. With rare consequences.

So, we’re hoping our brand new provincial government can “pitter patter let’s get at ‘er” with ability and determination to do the right thing.

Not just for the folks of Marten Beach, but everybody in Alberta.

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