Editorial – Too often ‘Do as I say’

Jeff Burgar

Two weeks ago, you might have said, if the name came up, “Pat who?”

Now? Well, he apologized for his trips out of country and his Christmas photo from Mexico, even while telling his people ‘Save Lives. Stay Home.’ Which in itself begs a question. If staying home saves lives, then does travel kill people? If one took this to an extreme, should Pat Rehn be charged with murder? Not with gross hypocrisy, being inconsiderate, and horribly and completely tone-deaf. Nope. Murder.

Take a read Slave Lake town council’s hit list of grievances about the Lesser Slave Lake MLA. It is indeed a long and serious list. It almost seems a small step to lock the fellow up. And toss the key.

We have no defence for Mr. Rehn. We also have no defence for other completely tone-deaf civil servants, bureaucrats and politicians who think they are somehow above the rules or demands of their very own fellow government leaders. Gosh, there are so many of them!

We know of one local town councillor who moved out of town, set up housekeeping in another community, and continued to collect a councillor paycheck. Excuses that it was all ‘OKed’ by the provincial government are totally and completely hollow.

Then there is the well-known ‘blue wall’ or ‘xxxed line.’ This is the dome of silence that descends when certain law enforcement officers, sometimes politely called bad apples, are red-handed being grossly outrageous in their zeal to protect citizenry. Anybody who watches video of a policeman in Fort MacMurray come flying in and gobsmacking an admittedly annoying citizen has to wonder what the heck happened to justify that.

There is a saying, “When he puts on that uniform, it’s like a gorilla suit.”

For many politicians, maybe not a gorilla suit, but some kind of idiot hat. Or a suit of armour by which all manner of injustice may be perpetrated.

Rehn’s story? It appears he is actually making things worse when he accuses Slave Lake councillors of divisive behaviour. Is that a pot calling?

Other local governments, are deciding whether to support Slave Lake council, or not, or do up their own critique of Rehn, or possibly even defend him. High Prairie decided chastising was good.

By listing their grievances, Slave Lake council is doing exactly what we want our elected folks to do – represent us and look after us.

Do other governments in the region have the same long list as Slave Lake? High Prairie alone must have at least 100 e-mails, letters, notes of meetings, in their files. Right? The vacant Esso lot in High Prairie. Or the demolition of the old High Prairie hospital. Or how AHS keeps getting in the way of more doctors. Or the idiocy of a rule that means closing and cleaning up the East Prairie landfill will cost locals $14 million.

Holding politicians, bureaucrats, law enforcement, and even media, feet to the fire isn’t just the job of that same press. It’s also the job of each level of government. Rehn’s elitism and insensitivity to businesses closing and Albertans dying is not a surprise. The attitudes are everywhere.

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