“So, what are you going to do about it?” I remember that school yard taunt when there was conflict over just about anything. Today, as Albertans, we are being presented with some very difficult information about a ‘just transition' and the questions we are all facing in terms of its implications. So, what are you going to do about it?
Repeatedly there are governmental systems and processes in place that leave me wondering how could we let this happen? Just one example was Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigning in January 2021 after a scathing review about a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall. In all too familiar words she said, "We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better and be attentive to one another's perceptions." Despite resigning from the post, Payette qualifies for a lifetime pension of nearly $150,000 per year and is allowed to claim expenses related to any work she might do as a former governor general. How do you and I stop these countless assaults on the average taxpayer?
All too often the screams from Albertans claiming we are being treated unfairly are either dismissed as whining or are just repeated in our echo chamber stirring each other up. We elect members of parliament to go to Ottawa and represent our interests, but these seemingly are drowned out by the sheer volume of representatives from more populated areas of the country who vote party lines as opposed to leading our country. I saw a great quote recently, “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!”
In the spirit of seeking first to understand before being understood, I reached out to a colleague and friend in Montreal. I shared an article about the seeming plight of not being heard in Alberta, and asked him what do Anglo and Franco Quebecer think about Alberta’s concern of not being heard?
His reply, “We understand Alberta's concern about not being heard. The Liberal (government) basically abandoned the anglophones in Quebec a while ago. With the (Quebec provincial government’s) new Bill 96 we are forced to have all documentation in French, i.e., you sell your house all the paperwork must be in French, you must pay to have it translated. That's just one example.... carry that forward to all the business you do. The Liberals didn't bat an eyelash and just sat by not wanting to piss off any Quebec voters. Abandoned! Politicians don't care anymore about doing the right thing or what's best for the country, they just care about getting re-elected.”
My friend was not worried about Alberta, as he has his own province’s battle to fight. If democracy is indeed government of, by and for the people, then it is time the people start talking to each other across this great country and stop running our information through the federal filters that divide and conquer. We have more in common than not with our partner provinces in this great confederation. I’m going to try and connect with the people more and listen less to the federal filters, and their partner news agencies. “So, what are you going to do about it?”