The diversity of the Alberta United Conservative Party
With the Alberta election only two weeks away, attack ads and blatant mischaracterizations remain a prevalent part of the NDP’s re-election strategy.
In particular, prior comments made suggesting the United Conservative Party fostered white supremacist tendencies couldn’t be further from the truth.
Below, are a list of three exceptional candidates who espouse values indicative of Albertan conservatism and not far-right collectivism or any form of identity politics.
Jasraj Singh Hallan
As a family man, businessman, and philanthropist, Jasraj Singh Hallan, 34, is a man of good stock. From humble beginnings, Hallan has never let adversity wear him down, nor change him into someone he’s not.
“I grew up in North East Calgary [where] I live, work and worship,” he tells Kenney during his candidate interview. As the United Conservative Candidate for Calgary-McCall, he has seen first-hand how the NDP’s policies have hurt everyday Albertans.
“We would get our tradespeople to work evenings and some weekends,” he says. They’d have anywhere from 10-20 employees, and they’ve had to cut down to 2 or 3. We can’t get work for them past 5 pm, or on the weekends anymore.”
“We’re all hurting right now…with the way the economy is going,” he says. “In a good year, we’d be building 40 homes. Now, more like 10 or less.”
He credits his run for office to getting Calgarians back to work, reviving the Alberta Advantage he and his family experienced years ago as immigrants.
Hallan is part of “this new generation of leadership…[with] practical, real-world skills, and the aspirational spirit of [his] immigrant parents,” according to Kenney.
Indeed, the pioneer spirit of his family lives on to inspire countless within Calgary-McCall. Even the youth have gotten involved in droves out of love for the person he is and the message he stands for.
At the grand opening of his constituency office on March 3rd, he states “enough of the divisive politics,” to a crowd of some few hundred supporters.
He vehemently opposes the use of ‘divide and conquer’ tactics to mobilize support on the grounds of religion and ethnicity.
“We are all Albertans at the end of the day, and that is a message the United Conservatives have proudly demonstrated through their diverse coalition of candidates.”
That is a message that unifies Albertans, and it couldn’t come any sooner. Alberta’s NDP has devoted much of their re-election strategy on airing attack ads and dividing people by socioeconomic class at the expense of taxpayers.
Unfortunately, not all parties involved see it that way. A Twitter troll account has taken it upon themselves to mock Hallan for wanting to better life for the residents of McCall. It’s classless acts like this that divide Albertans needlessly, but Hallan pays no attention to the said negativity.
He prides himself in running a positive campaign that he acknowledges would not be possible without the support of his wife and two daughters.
“My parents came here [seeking] a better future for us. We came to live out the Canadian Dream, and this province and country have given us the opportunity to live that dream. I’m hoping to bring back that Alberta Advantage we grew up in.”
Hailed by Kenney as an “inspiring, strong woman who will make a brilliant MLA for Calgary-Beddington,” Josephine Pon underwent shoulder surgery last week to repair a dislocated shoulder; caused by slipping on ice while out door knocking.
That didn’t keep her down for long as she recovered enough from surgery to attend the grand opening of her campaign office just some 48 hours after the fact.
Pon has experience in the financial industry, and volunteer sector, and is concerned by the damage both have seen under the disastrous NDP policies.
As V.P. of the Taste of Asia restaurant group, Pon has seen firsthand how the increased business taxes have pinched struggling families.
Having spent time in mortgage insurance, international trade and the assisted housing departments of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Pon is a strong proponent of small government, free enterprise, and fiscal responsibility.
She has over 20 years experience in the volunteer sector, most notably serving on the Mayor’s Task Force to Eliminate Poverty and the Chair of Immigrant Services Canada.
“Minister Phillips’ comment is shameful and shows how desperate she and her party is,” United Conservative Party Candidate Madu said.
“Since coming to Alberta from Nigeria, I have dedicated my time and abilities as a lawyer providing legal assistance to other newcomers to Canada. I am running for the United Conservatives because I am proud of our open, welcoming, and diverse party, where people are judged not by the colour of their skin, religion or ethnicity, but on how hard they work.”
“Yet the Minister has painted a party of over 150,000 members which has consistently polled over 50% as racist and white supremacists. This is beyond the pale,” said Madu.
As a staunch defender of free enterprise, fewer taxes, and the protection of fundamental freedoms, Madu has worked intensely to reflect that over his time shaping public policy and working in government issues management.
He is hardly the product of tokenism as some would dare to suggest, he is the culmination of the hard work and patriotic devotion to his country that we see in those who serve the community over the self.
The pioneer spirit lives on in Madu that is undeniable. To suggest otherwise on partisan grounds is inexcusable.
NDP desperate to cling onto a false narrative
Albertans are gearing up for the upcoming election, as they head to the polls and have their voices heard on April 16th. Premier Rachel Notley, Leader of the NDP, has taken numerous jabs at the UCP over its past claims of discrimination and racism. In speaking out against the party’s alleged racism and homophobia, she remained critical of the UCP throughout the past few years. As of late, it’s been more overt.
The labels from the NDP have shown they are no better to lay judgment against the whole United Conservative Party.
Characterizing the entirety of a party over the off-colour comments of a few individuals is not grounded in reality, especially when the party has taken the appropriate courses of action as of late.
Currently, the candidates have been vigorously visiting the doors and been engaging with residents in their ridings and hearing everyone’s concerns.
The bulk of which have taken precedence on the economy, rather than inter-party squabbles on former-now-resigned candidates.
A new motion will soon be introduced to Parliament by the Bloc Quebecois asking the government to call off the Frontier Teck mine that has been proposed in northern Alberta, according to the Western Standard.
The motion will be introduced by Bloc leader Yves-Francois Blanchet. The motion suggests, “That the House call on the government to not authorize the Teck Frontier mine development, as this project can not be reconciled with the Paris Agreement targets.”
Bloc MP Alain Therrien has also supported the motion.
Two more motions will be brought forward by the Bloc, though only one will be chosen to be put up for debate in the House of Commons. The Bloc has not yet specified the motion that will move ahead.
Non-political regulators have already given their approval for the $20.6-billion northern Alberta project. The Liberal natural resources minister noted that their approval of the project may be delayed if Alberta continues to oppose Ottawa’s carbon tax. Many eastern Liberal MPs do not want the project to go through it all.
The federal government has indicated it may be abandoning the project, though Teck claims that it will help the GDP of the province and create approximately 7,000 jobs.
A statement was just released by Teck noting that by 2050 it plans to be a net-zero emitter.
The statement on the company’s website says the project, “will consist of surface mining operations, a processing plant, tailings management facilities, water management facilities, and associated infrastructure and support facilities.”
The project is estimated to generate around 260,000 oil barrels in a single day.
All of the 14 Indigenous communities in the project area have come to agreements with Teck.
According to the federal government, they will not be giving an answer any time before late February.
Federal Environment Minister Johnathan Wilkinson said that environmental impacts would be taken into account before the project is approved.
“With respect to (Frontier), we need to look at all the environmental impacts, we obviously need to look at the economic opportunities, and we need to ensure we’re taking both into account,” said Wilkinson.
“Certainly, one of those issues is how does this project fit with Canada’s commitments to achieving the reductions we are committing to (for) 2030, and the net zero commitment to 2050? I would just say again that it’s important that all provinces are working to help Canada to achieve its targets.”
Wilkinson noted that every province should be expected to help the country achieve those goals.
The industrial emitter plan, TIER (Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction) was revealed by the UCP government in bill 19.
This plan came in place of the NDP’s climate Leadership Plan by revoking carbon tax on residents and some businesses while keeping the tax on the big emitters.
The TIER plan gives facilities a number of options such as reducing emissions or paying $30 per tonne in a TIER fund.
The federal carbon tax challenge was brought forward by the Alberta government in 2019. Arguments went ahead in Alberta’s Court of Appeal on Dec. 16-18.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that the government is going through a process to determine whether the Teck Frontier Mine is in the national interest, according to Global News.
When a reporter asked the prime minister if he knew how devastating the cancelation of this project would be to Alberta’s economy, Trudeau responded, “I understand that it is a project that has a lot of people reflecting on the choice that we’re about to make.”
“We are taking this responsibility seriously,” Trudeau added, “to make a decision that is in the national interest.”
The Teck Frontier Mine is a multi-billion dollar project, located in Alberta’s oilsands, that could employ some 7,000 workers during constuction and 2,500 workers once the project is completed—giving some much needed relief to Alberta’s starved economy.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau is considering an “aid package” to Alberta if the Federal Government decides not to follow through with the Teck Frontier Mine.
“I would never think to characterize this as anything other then creating opportunities,” said Morneau. “Alberta is a province where we have great entrepreneurs who have built a strong economy and I think what we need to do is address the economy as challenged right now and create a path forward that will have hope for this generation and the next generation. I look at it very differently.”
The Teck Frontier Mine has created a great deal of contention from within the Liberal caucus, with some Liberal MPs calling for Trudeau to block the project. It has also sparked protests across the country. In Belleville, for example, First Nation protesters blocked train tracks for four straight days, stopping all trains between Ottawa, Toronto, and Montreal.
As well as this, a dozen protesters blocked access to Vancouver’s Delta Port and would not leave until the RCMP left the Wet’suwet’en territory. Hundreds of dock workers could not be paid until the First Nation protesters left.
Whether you like Stephen Harper or not, one thing that we can agree on is that national unity concerns evaporated while he was in office.
For most of his time in office, Harper was popular in the West, divisive in much of Ontario, and unpopular in Quebec.
That was mirrored in the Conservatives electoral results between 2004 and 2015, with their support base always being in the West, combined with wins when they could increase their support in Ontario, and once in a while doing okay in Quebec when things aligned perfectly.
Yet, take note of what didn’t happen.
Even when Harper and the Conservatives were unpopular in Quebec, separatist sentiment didn’t rise.
In fact, support for Quebec separatism collapsed during Harper’s time in office, with the PQ narrowly winning one election, then getting crushed, then being basically superseded by a nationalist but not separatist party.
Quebec separatism was dealt a crippling blow during Harper’s time in office, and the reason it happened is quite simple.
Harper respected provincial jurisdiction and encouraged the growth of key Quebec industries.
Harper generally stayed out of Quebec’s business, didn’t interfere with provincial matters, and pushed for the growth of all sectors of Canada’s economy, including Quebec’s aerospace sector.
Even when Quebeckers didn’t like Harper, they felt he wasn’t actively against them.
As a result, many Quebeckers felt it was possible to succeed within Canada, even under a leader that wasn’t popular in their province.
And that brings us to Justin Trudeau.
Some establishment pundits claim the rise of separatist sentiment in Alberta and the West is simply because Justin Trudeau is unpopular.
But if that was true, separatist sentiment in Quebec would have surged because of Harper’s unpopularity.
And as we know, that didn’t happen.
So it’s not about Trudeau being unpopular.
It’s about the very real perception that Trudeau and his government are actively opposed to Alberta’s key industry.
The Trudeau Liberals are clearly more interested in global virtue-signalling than they are in supporting a key industry in our country. Yet, they continue to express support for industries like the auto sector and aerospace sector that use tons of oil and gas, and just so happen to be in the electoral battlegrounds of Ontario and Quebec.
So, we can see exactly what’s going on:
Alberta and the Western Canadian energy sector are being unfairly singled out by the government, and the resulting rise in anger and separatist sentiment is no surprise.
On Twitter, Anthony Furey summed things up well:
“It’s absurd to filter a decision on #TeckFrontier through emissions targets that we all know are just idealistic posturing. What serious politician does something silly like that to their own country and economy??”
This is why Justin Trudeau is already a failed prime minister.
A leader is supposed to serve their own nation, their own people above all else. In Canada, that means ensuring that each region and province is free and supported in the development of their own core industries.
When that happens, it’s actually very easy to keep Canada together, as Stephen Harper showed.
Yet, instead of serving all Canadians, Justin Trudeau is deliberately dividing our nation, putting international elitist opinion above the unity and prosperity of our country.
Now, because of Justin Trudeau’s failure, Canada’s unity is crumbling, and our nation is at serious risk of irrevocably breaking apart.
The mayors for both Edmonton and Calgary headed to Ottawa recently, calling for the mines to be built. Unfortunately, that decision may come down to the wire, as the mines have become a point of disagreement that has split the Liberals into two camps.
“There will be a big fight inside cabinet over this,” said the source familiar with the difficult situation to Reuters.
Alberta premier Jason Kenney said the mine would create 7,000 jobs, all while having the backing of the indigenous community. Kenney stated that there was no reason to reject the mine, as there had been ten years of reviews to green light the project.
On Thursday, Calgary city mayor Naheed Nenshi urged the Liberals to give the greenlight for the project, and warned them about any potential inherent eastern bias that could overlook the project benefits.
“This has been the concern since the election,” said Nenshi, who was in Ottawa to meet federal officials. “While it was only a net loss of five seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan, it means there is no one around the table who really has experience on the ground.
“If this project is not one that the government can approve, then they should just admit that there’s a moratorium on all energy investment in Canada.”