UCP leader wants pro­vin­cial elec­tion in March

Calgary Sun - - FRONT PAGE - RICK BELL,

Talk about champ­ing at the bit.

United Con­ser­va­tive leader Ja­son Ken­ney wants Al­berta’s elec­tion day to be in the first week of March 2019.

That is, as soon as the law al­lows.

“This gov­ern­ment, I be­lieve, is liv­ing on bor­rowed time and it should not seek to pro­long the pain.”

Ken­ney says the Not­ley NDP gov­ern­ment has run out of gas, its fi­nan­cial plan is in tat­ters, it has lost the sup­port of Al­ber­tans, it is stum­bling through the most im­por­tant is­sues.

Hell, Not­ley can’t even get any­thing from be­ing pals with Trudeau.

Yes, the Not­ley-Trudeau tag team. Is the duo of­fi­cially Splitsville yet?

Ken­ney loves to tee off on the one-side al­liance.

Why not? It’s like shoot­ing fish in the bar­rel.

Trudeau gets Al­berta rid­ing shot­gun on the car­bon tax and Al­berta tax­pay­ers get …

How many words are there for the square root of squat, nada, bup­kis, zilch?

For­got. The Trans Moun­tain pipe­line ex­pan­sion was ap­proved. How that’s work­ing for ev­ery­body?

North­ern Gate­way, En­ergy East pipe­lines not hap­pen­ing. A Trudeau law mak­ing more pipe­lines near im­pos­si­ble.

There’s a gabfest in Mon­treal be­tween Trudeau and the pre­miers Fri­day and Al­berta has to fight for any air time on the oil cri­sis.

How sad is that?

“She doesn’t speak with the kind of voice Al­berta should have, a voice of strength and clar­ity,” says Ken­ney, of Not­ley.

We live in Cloud Cuck­ooland.

Trudeau comes to Cal­gary, talks about the oil cri­sis, says he feels our pain, leaves town, does noth­ing and, lo and be­hold, he’s old Justin.

The clock ticks from one sec­ond of in­ac­tion to an­other.

On the na­tional scene we hear from On­tario

Premier Doug Ford.

Ford slams the Mon­treal hud­dle with the PM. He looks at the agenda and says he’s not go­ing to sit through lec­tures from Team Trudeau. He threat­ens to walk out or exit early.

Be­fore Not­ley flies off to Trudeau’s shindig, the premier wants to “cut the fluff and change the agenda” and deal with is­sues “in a ma­ture, thought­ful, in­formed way.”

Not­ley hopes to see re­sults but we’re not clear what they would be.

We do know the Not­ley gov­ern­ment is spend­ing around $84,000 for print ads in three Mon­treal news­pa­pers, space on three web­sites and pro­jec­tions on the sides of al­most 20 build­ings in the mid­dle of Mon­treal.

And they’re bilin­gual!

The mes­sage? Trans Moun­tain de­lays cost Canada’s econ­omy $80 mil­lion a day. Take that, Justin!

Can’t for­get about Ot­tawa, the uni­verse unto it­self?

Thurs­day and a group of fed­eral politi­cians meet.

Amar­jeet Sohi, Trudeau’s point man on pipe­lines, is there to pro­vide an­swers.

Al­berta Con­ser­va­tive MP Shan­non Stubbs wants an­swers on the

Trans Moun­tain pipe­line.

Stubbs should have taken up den­tistry and spe­cial­ized in wis­dom teeth ex­trac­tions. It would have been eas­ier.

Well, doesn’t take long be­fore it’s gloves off be­tween Stubbs and Sohi with some Lib­eral dude named James Maloney, the ring­mas­ter of the com­mit­tee, run­ning in­ter­fer­ence for his guy.

The prob­lem is there’s a clock. Stubbs asks sim­ple ques­tions need­ing sim­ple an­swers. But Sohi can just drone on, run­ning out the clock.

You see, Sohi is so good at run­ning the clock he should be killing penal­ties.

Come to think of it, he is. Trudeau’s penal­ties.

Stubbs asks about the law Trudeau said he would bring in, the one mak­ing clear Ot­tawa has au­thor­ity over the pipe­line.

Sohi: Blah, blah, blah. Stubbs knows the clock is run­ning. She in­ter­rupts the ram­bling Sohi.

The Lib­eral ring­mas­ter says Stubbs should let Sohi an­swer but Sohi isn’t an­swer­ing. He’s tap danc­ing.

Stubbs pushes for­ward. The ring­mas­ter threat­ens to stop the pro­ceed­ings.

Stubbs dou­ble dog dares him.

Sohi: Blah, blah, blah. Stubbs asks about how much of Trans Moun­tain is built.

Sohi: Oil is to Al­berta what auto is to On­tario, what aerospace is to Que­bec ...

Stubbs: The an­swer is zero kilo­me­tres.

An­other Con­ser­va­tive com­plains of Sohi run­ning out the clock.

Stubbs goes on to an­other ques­tion.

She wants to know about a time­line for con­sul­ta­tions with Indige­nous peo­ple and whether there will be pipe­line shov­els in the ground in 2019.

A lit­tle more to-and­fro. The clock runs out.

Wait. A lit­tle later, Stubbs gets one more shot.

Will the Trudeau gov­ern­ment at least com­mit to start­ing Trans Moun­tain in 2019? Sohi: Blah, blah, blah. Stubbs: The fact is you’ve picked the long­est and the most in­def­i­nite op­tion.

At one point, the ring­mas­ter tells Stubbs: “We’re not in a court­room here.”

Once again, he wants Stubbs to al­low Sohi to fin­ish his an­swer.

One prob­lem.



UCP Leader Ja­son Ken­ney wants a March elec­tion.

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