Tag Archives: government

Call for Albertan’s to create and achieve (a new slogan…)

Word on the street (re: Twitter and CTV) is that Alberta’s new slogan will be “Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve”. This new string of words will cost taxpayers $25 million over three years to “re-brand Alberta”.

I heard this tasty tidbit a few hours ago and have been pondering since, is this truly fitting for the new Alberta? A vague and much less direct approach in comparison to the previous slogan “Alberta Advantage” which was ditched sometime after the price of oil dropped faster then Diplo’s beats, this new slogan was supposed to be more fitting to the current Alberta and the culture within. “Freedom to Create” begs some interesting interpretations. Is the AB government interested in calling attention to our incredible, although underfunded artist groups? Is Alberta looking to increase our cultural capitol instead of our resource capitol? “Spirit to Achieve” I feel much better about. Albertan’s do indeed have spirit, one watch of Question Period proves that. We are a feisty bunch and even if it takes a bit to rile us up, once were there, it sticks around (re: NEP hate, still going strong).

All in all, the new slogan means nothing to me. Which is a very bad thing. I am not inspired, I am not proud and I am not really sure what it means. I do not disagree that “Alberta Advantage” no longer suits, but if we are going to make a change, lets do it right.

“Freedom to Create. Spirit to Achieve.”

Maybe this is a joke and the slogan is actually just a advertising ploy to “create and achieve” a real slogan. Fingers crossed.

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Tar sands, Alberta Advantage, CCS: just a few of our favourite things…

My new favorite blog:

Alberta: Get Rich or Die Trying. An open critical look at the current Alberta government, their priorities, spending practices and contributions to one of the most serious environmental crimes this world has seen. The tar sands have proved themselves to be no financial savior and as our international reputation continues to be further tarnished by this province’s insistence on the exploitation of unsustainable and completely wasteful energy source, there is a strong and real voice to expose the untruths the media and government alike spin out . Yes this is a harsh evaluation, however the recent announcements by the government pertaining to energy development, specifically CCS (also see MikeSoron’s post on this) and the drop of “Alberta Advantage” has me disappointed (almost as disappointed as when I head Obama utter CCS in a positive manner, politics politics politics…). There was a time I was impressed, heavy tech spending to increase our “knowledge” economy had me hopeful of diversification and looking forward to a steady provincial government that cut the rhetoric and looked out for Albertan’s interests. I no longer feel the same.

Albertan’s need to be aware of what is happening. We are all too willing to bury our heads in the sand and just wait it out. Eventually we will be Ok. This is not the time to do that. Our provincial government has recklessly spent away two oil booms and left us with a measly 15 billion in savings. With the promises made to completely useless technology and infrastructure programs that benefit those who need those benefits least, how quick will that $15 billion go?

We are a province of business people, family farmers and capitalists. We are a province who used to fight when we were wronged. Now, we just look the other way and blame Ottawa. This time, Ottawa did nothing to us. Literally, nothing. For electing a Calgarian we have seen little help and little direction.

Our own provincial government is more willing to give royalty exemptions to non-Canadian oil companies then they are to investigate the syphilis rates among new born babies. They are willing to sink money into a technology never meant to “green” the tar sands and then go on record to say “90’s style spending cuts.”

There is no one solution of any of our, or the worlds problems. There are layers of complexity and heavy government bureaucracy which mar what seems like a fixable problem. Promises made, contracts signed and political agendas all factor in. But it is time to use some foresight and some logical thinking. This government has a huge majority in the house and can feasibly do anything they want. Use some of that for good, maybe it wont be what’s best for the trillion dollar, international oil conglomerates but it will likely be what is best for the people who chose to reside in this beautiful, strong and cultural rich province.

Alberta, Grow up.

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Alberta wants to spend like it’s 1994

Newspapers across the province carried the story that is making cowboy boots shake across the province, the Alberta government is looking at 90’s styled spending cuts. (See Edmonton Journal, Edmonton Sun and the Calgary Herald). As every other province and our federal government looks to increase spending to help its citizens survive the looming recession, Alberta remains the sole government institution to be warning its citizens of spending cuts. The reference to the not-so-long ago 90’s does little to quell fears in Albertans as memories of cuts to education, health care and infrastructure were done ” to help escape deficits and pay off a $23-billion debt.”

While the Alberta Government may have passed legislation to make it illegal to run a deficit budget, the Alberta Government must also realize, somewhere in that sea of blue, that cutting crucial services, services Albertans have been working hard to maintain and improve in order to preserve our almighty debt free budget isn’t the answer Albertans are looking for today.

Our dependence on one commodity and our government’s insistence to continue to pander to foreign companies and useless green initiatives (such as $2 billion on a carbon capture and storage initiative that has been proven to be ineffectual against tar sands pollutants…) has us in this pickle and the proposed solution to getting us out is no better then dumping the aforementioned pickle into a really hot deep fryer.

The 90’s saw major cut backs to Education which led to many of the problems with high tuition and deferred maintenance that Alberta post-secondary institutions have today. Just take one look at UofC’s crumbling residences or the fact the Alberta still has one of the highest tuition rates in the country. Couple these very real and fiscally difficult situations with the constant complaints (from both the Government and Albertans) of Alberta having to support so called “have not provinces” and how Ontario and Quebec is eating up all our oil money. Well, we thoroughly enjoyed our moment in the sun and now that oil is trading at $40.00 a barrel versus $80.00 a barrel we are once again burying our heads in the proverbial sand.

Instead of cutting spending and harkening to the doom and gloom days of the 90’s, as a province we should be looking to change HOW and WHAT we spend our tax dollars on. Incentives to multi billion dollar buisnesses to expolit our land and poison our rivers and billions of dollars to create technology that is deemed useless in neutralizing our enviromental impact just isn’t going to fly when Albertan’s are going to have to pay out of pocket for basic medical expenses again and Alberta education will see further cuts in efforts to save money.

In the words of well respected University of Lethbridge political scientist Peter McCormick, “He’s completely out in left field. No one else is remotely making these kinds of noises.”

Ed Stelmach, I have only one question for you: Do you really belive that the mistakes of the past will be the saviour of the future?

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A seasonal news release, in verse?

Who says the Alberta government doesn’t have the holiday spirit…

A press release received today, a little poem from the AB government to lift your consumerist spirits this holiday season:

T’was just weeks before Christmas, and all through the land
privacy commissioners were taking a stand.

While shoppers were lined up to purchase their treasures,
The commissioners were urging them to take privacy measures.

Protecting your personal information should be top of mind,
To ensure ID thieves don’t leave you in a bind.

Amidst the crowds and noise and the Christmas clatter,
You are reminded that ID theft and fraud is a very serious matter.

If possible purchase your goods with cash,
and make sure your receipts don’t end up in the trash.

Shred receipts, sales records and other personal information,
And ask plenty of questions when asked to produce identification.

Clear your mailbox every day, carry a minimum amount of ID,
And keep your SIN to yourself, to avoid financial agony.

The Commissioners have tips for retailers as well,
Tips to protect the information of their Clientele.

If you don’t need it, don’t collect it the commissioners advise,
Protecting your customer’s information is prudent and wise.

Shred what you don’t need and protect the rest,
And make sure point of sale terminals are visible to guests.

Keep all information away from prying eyes,
So your customers don’t get a nasty surprise.

From BC, Alberta and Ottawa too,
We hope these tips will keep personal information from bidding adieu.

From all who provide privacy oversight,
One last reminder…make sure your credit card is always in sight.

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Goverment of Alberta creates site to correct media…

The Government of Alberta has created a site dedicated to …well…in their own words:

“All media outlets make mistakes, on occasion. Unfortunately, not all media outlets have a policy or forum to correct their mistakes. This site exists to help in that situation.”

This is a departure from the typical way governments (all sorts) minimize the impact and subsequent damage from bad press. Refusing to comment, issuing press releases to contradict press reports, even going as far as to influence media conglomerates to no longer carrying articles written by certain “radicals” (see Avi Lewis and Canwest’s blockade of journalists critical of Liberal government).

An interesting choice by Alberta’s conservative government who is no stranger to taking direct action against those they disagree with (see Daveberta’s fight with Ed Stelmach over a $14.00 domain name). This site is small and has had little no media coverage about its creation (though, would that only lead to another “media correction”?) and I wonder how effective it will be to help dispel what the Alberta Government believes to be unfair and untruthful rumours.

I also wonder if it means an all out media war right here in our sleepy province. Government v. media…What would such a fight look like?

Blogs erupting with rhetoric and biased perspectives, media conglomerates forcing their EiC’s hands, twitter mania…

Oh wait. We’re already here.

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