Dear Mr. Kenney:
So exactly none of the people who think they're candidates to replace you showed up in Coutts and that, coupled with $95 oil, probably has you thinking your leadership is pretty safe. That's almost certainly right, but also wrong: the candidate for premier most likely to replace you now is Rachel Notley.
The reason is that you didn't show up in Coutts either, and were well behind Scott Moe in countering the public health people and their supporters in the press on masks, lockdowns, and passports. Better late than never of course, but the people who would have cheered for you had you stepped forward early on generally saw what you did as weak, late, grudging, and forced by the protesters - just as much the opposite of leadership as lucking into higher priced oil and gas.
So what can you do to recover?
I have three suggestions, the first of which is a bit of special pleading for my local university here in the Lethbridge West Constituency.
As you must know the University of Lethbridge faculty is currently on strike with both the union and the board of governors blaming you -and they're doing so with such enthusiasm I'm personally convinced that the leadership on both sides wanted the strike specifically to raise a political middle finger against your government.
Notice, however, who's not on the picket line? Shannon Phillips, heiress in waiting to Lady Notley. Know why? I don't; but my guess is that the NDP wants the strike to go on because they're aligned with the provincial bureaucracy and union leaders in Edmonton and Ottawa in support of the University of Alberta's ambitions with respect to a province wide University system - one with themselves at the helm while the upstart University of Lethbridge can be stripped of its assets, reduced to a regional campus, and held hostage against future budget cuts.
You can do something about this almost instantly: providing narrowly focused additional funding for teaching in the sciences, mathematics, medicine, and professions (education, management, nursing, etc) would be an effective and affordable way to torpedo their plans, help students and faculty across the province, and leave the woke studies people sucking wind.
My second suggestion is almost a no brainer: move to cancel the RCMP contract and establish both a provincial police force and a separate provincial highway patrol limited to first response and traffic enforcement.
The media will scream - and politically that's much of the point because you want the NDP/media to go all-in on views the average Albertan rejects - while you point to RCMP behavior in Ottawa and Coutts, remind people about High River, and assert that a properly structured provincial force will be both cheaper and more effective.
My third suggestion is the risky, difficult, and politically explosive one. Pretty much since the Lougheed days various conservative governments have been trying to deregulate consumer markets for electricity and natural gas with every new initiative greeted with horror by the media and, in truth generally making things worse - wrestle that one to the ground and you'll be premier for life.
Today's home energy bills are frighteningly out of alignment with both energy use and the public's view of fairness in energy pricing.
On a personal note, my bill for January was over $600 - less than 30% of it for electricity and natural gas, with over $400 going to taxes, fees, taxes disguised as fees, and taxes on taxes.
The key enabler for the present mess was the separation of generation and delivery charges many years ago, but the key drivers now are Trudeau's carbon tax (14% of my last combined bill) and the need to pay for the turbines, towers, land, and transmission capability required to access wind and solar power.
In reality it's obvious that the lifetime total power delivered to customers from wind turbines and solar farms never reaches the total energy going into their construction, placement, and support (including their pro-rata share of the transmission infrastructure needed). It's true that in the present media climate few are willing to say this out loud, but this emperor's rather obvious nakedness seems likely to attract a lot of attention as people start to question $500+ monthly utility bills while using half or less of the energy dear old dad got for $25/month.
Get ahead of that with a fix and you'll look like a lunatic at first, and then like a leader -and that's the job, isn't it?
How? well, other people will have other ideas: but mine would be to go head on against the greens, describe the present mess as the result of mistakes made, throw government support behind nuclear, clean coal, and hydro while talking up gas exports, repurposing wind and solar infrastructure by taking most of it down, and rabble rousing against Ottawa with respect to oilsands development, pipelines, and carbon taxes.
I know this sounds suicidal, but, in reality, it's pretty much a sure bet that today's green infrastructure will otherwise be derelict in 10-15 years; that about half the cost of the transmission lines and turbines ruining the landscape can be recovered; and that a sane energy policy can be expected to bring consumer energy costs down by about 70% over four years.
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