Editor: The Alberta election was a reality check for Jim Prentice.
In 2010, Prentice left Stephen Harper’s federal government to become a vice-president at a major Canadian bank. When scandal forced Premier Alison Redford to resign, Prentice saw it as a golden opportunity to renew his political career. Prentice strutted onto Alberta’s political stage with the self-righteous swagger of a television evangelist.
Low world oil prices put a tremendous squeeze on provincial revenues. After becoming premier, Prentice co-opted the leader and several members of the Wildrose party, the official opposition. Prentice then introduced a ham-fisted budget and called a premature election, cynically hoping to catch the other parties off balance.
After more than four decades of Progressive Conservative rule, Prentice had the gall to blame the province’s fiscal mess on the people of Alberta. He dismissively told Albertans to look in the mirror to discover the reason the province was ill-prepared for the financial shock.
Barrels of money have been allowed to slip past the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund and go directly into the deep pockets of the government’s oil industry friends, who just happen to be generous contributors to all conservative-leaning political parties. Many Albertans are sick of fear-mongering, manipulative politicians who behave as if they have a divine right to rule.