This may seem like a “well, duh” statement but as much as the Alberta Provincial government can complain about transfer payments to other provinces, and saying Justin Trudeau is a hypocrite saying the carbon tax isn’t a tax but an investment into the environment; the provincial government is no different in their hypocritical explanation of the jump in costs to visit the Kananaskis. While it will be free to visit Canmore, there is a steeper cost to visit one of the most picturesque areas of the world. 

Say the Alberta-profanity phrase of “carbon tax” and everyone within the Kenney circle looks like they will have an aneurysm, it is quite okay to charge $15 for a Kananaskis visit or $90 to get a vehicle registered for the year. 

While drivers looked in horror as the prices jumped, yet again, 127.9 cents in Medicine Hat and the Jason Kenney apologists again go see that federal government and their tax grabs?… see?… (mumbling something about Quebec transfer payments, Air Canada and Bombardier), Alberta Environment Minister Jason Nixon made the April 27 announcement of the “conservation pass.” Kinda ironic of one government saying that a government is just trying to siphon money from voters with a bogus tax while they go and use the term “pass” as another fund generator, presumably to pay for things like the environmentally safe strategies like the coal mining plans for the Eastern Slopes; Keystone pipeline investment (oops); and the Alberta Canadian Energy Centre (oops X2).

In one tweet from last week, one of the many UCP’s growing number of vocal critics noted “‘the Alberta ‘War Room’ costs taxpayers $2,500,000/month. April 2021 we paid for: 11-Tweets ($227,272/tweet);  9-Articles ($277,778/article). If we scaled back the “war room” by 50%, Albertans wouldn’t pay $90/yr to access KananaskisPark.’”

Fat chance. That is a great theory but that isn’t how it works. It is all about the packaging and delivery when it comes to making a financial mugging more palatable for the public. It is an art and sometimes big business and government are quite good at it and sometimes they aren’t. The federal government and the Liberal party’s strategists (nameless people who actually run the country) send out J.T. who doesn’t do as many selfies but still has the flow and the smile and seems like a genuinely nice guy…forgetting of course about the long list of controversies… it’s okaaaay Justin. We still like you despite the Blackface controversy, Indigenous drinking water travesty, SNC Lavalin, groping allegations, WE charity scandal, the criticism of Covid vaccine handling; Ontario/Quebec preferential treatment, and the resignations of cabinet ministers Jody Wilson Raybould and Jane Phillpott in a cloud of controversy… to name a few. 

Kenney? Right now the name almost illicits an instant grimace from many. Some sell well, some don’t.

Take for example the announcement of this new conservation pass: the pristine 4,000 square kilometers of mountains and wilderness 100km west of Calgary is the new target of attention for the government with Nixon saying that the Kananaskis needed protection while after public outrage and not too far away, mining equipment was destroying the equally as beautiful Eastern Slopes with its mountains, trees and streams.

The biggest difference? Where they are mining is causing the leeching of toxic levels of selenium into the water which flows across the southern portion of the province’s drinking water system. 

The province says they are doing this for the good of the wilderness area, with Nixon telling reporters last week that the cost increase would go back into Kananaskis. I guess you can give the government the benefit of the doubt and say the extra funding will go to help the area with upkeep of the visitors centres, trails campgrounds etc., search and rescue operations. They estimated $15 million will be generated. 

Now they want to Save Our Parks after critics said they wanted to privatize and delist many. 

A tad hypocritical…no? 

A tax on putting scientific improvements in place to help facilitate the protection of oxygen probably isn’t too far away: the “Protecting and creating fair air” surcharge every time you drive your vehicle or breathe?

Hypocrisy is the cornerstone of Canadian politics and coupled with Covid, this is causing the rise of much frustration and angst amongst voters. 

As famous theorist Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “what you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”

Ryan Dahlman is managing editor of Prairie

Post East and Prairie Post West.

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