Thursday, 31 December 2015 05:20

All we need is a little patience and understanding

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2015 was a year of change for Canada.

For example, the cold, arrogance of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice were bounced out of their respective political offices because people wanted something different from their leaders — understanding, empathy and different attitudes towards the operating of a government.
Hopefully, there is more change in 2016 toward understanding, empathy, peace and different attitudes within government’s operations, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.
When the federal Liberals and the Alberta provincial NDP governments swept into power, it was on the premise they were going to be different. Out with the cold, unfeeling arrogance of Harper and the brash, out-of-touch and borderline narcissistic attitude of Prentice. Their political views and lack of attention to social issues were eliminated. Those not fans of the right, breathed a sigh of relief.
So, we are ready to kick 2015 to the curb and yet there is angst. 
The problem right now is there was a lot of pain for a lot of people. Financially, Alberta is hurting for jobs as a lot of people are out of work and while it’s not a big issue yet for people who were laid off in the oil patch in the late fall, early winter, those employment insurance cheques will run out sooner rather than later.Then the province, and even country, is going to have a mess on its hands.
It’s going to require some common sense in dealing with day-to-day issues for most people. For some reason, the governments who are supposed to be more in touch with social issues have the same lack of understanding, empathy and attention to details as the aforementioned preceding conservative governments.
It’s easy to make changes from a judicial and legislation side, but to much change too soon is equally as stressful for many people.
Justin Trudeau is well on his way to making a lot of large scope changes: everything from legalizing marijuana possession (small amounts) to immigration, to making spanking a child illegal. Both topics have proponents and opponents — there’s no middle ground. However, there has been no debate, no discussion and no information put forth. It’s like here you go, deal with it.
While not as harsh in the delivery — Trudeau smiles and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s people garner sympathy — they follow the same approach that, “It’s better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” It’s still non-consultative and doesn’t give anyone time to digest or offer real opportunity to make suggestions which actually matter.
This type of attitude doesn’t work. Just ask the two ousted Conservative parties how that non-consultative approach worked for them.
It is different attitudes socially to the PCs, but the delivery methods and end results wind up being similar.
Changing everything all at once, like ripping a Band-aid off in one unrelenting motion, hurts. Changing too much, from a political point of view, without trying to ensure everyone is on board with those changes will cost them and society as a whole.
Let’s take the Bill 6 situation in Alberta with the change in farm worker legislation.
Bill 6 has been horribly mishandled. While farm organizations should take some responsibility for not making their agricultural brethren understand, there was more than a strong possibility such changes to Workers’ Compensation Board and Occupational Health and safety rules for farm workers was going to happen under an NDPgovernment. The handling of how this legislation was introduced was atrocious.
There was only token consultation, unpreparedness and lack of communication. Quick farmers, explain how Bill 6 affects you as of Jan. 1 and what will change.
NDP officials think because their union “buddies” understand, it is simply changing the law. It’s obvious with all the ... ahem ... consultation meetings, farmers didn’t understand what was happening. Many of them still don’t.
Farming is not just a business, it’s a way of life. Bill 6 will force more selling out of family farms and thus create more corporate agriculture entities which is sad.
No one has ever said farm workers weren’t important or didn’t deserve financial and insurance protection just as other Canadians do. However, one can’t expect an operation to completely change within weeks of a new fiscal year. These changes are going to drastically alter how they do things.
The lack of understanding from all of those ultra pro-left wing people who are mocking anyone agriculture-related and accusing them of finally getting what they deserve or being out-of-touch barbarians is just as ridiculous as those people who think anyone who  immigrates to Canada is a terrorist.
It’s too bad because some sort of protection is needed and this reaction isn’t what Eric Musekamp and Darlene Dunlop, who have worked tirelessly for more than a decade with the Alberta Farmworkers Union, had in mind when wanting to bring forth change for farm workers. They too deserved better than how this legislation unfolded.
It has become a greedy world where everybody has developed the attitude of “getting what’s theirs” instead of working together for the common good.
People wanted change in 2015, as things went bad economically, but more importantly, voters had enough of self-indulgent, self-serving, condescending, out-of-touch and arrogant conservative politicians.
Yet here we are, and the new political parties philosophies are different, but the delivery of policies and lack of empathy and understanding haven’t changed.
There is a lot of hurt. The economy is in the tank, there seems to be more stress in the world and we keep learning of cases of violence and suicide.
Let’s hope 2016 is a time for healing for a lot of people.
Change is inevitable, it’s how well these supposedly socially-aware governments are able to deliver these changes that will determine the health of everyone’s state of mind.
Ryan Dahlman is managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact him with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor