While crisscrossing the province for the last few months, I’ve been listening to all kinds of people tell me about their hopes and their ideas and their fears. It’s a leader’s job to solve problems, especially whatever people fear. And sometimes, the reason they’re afraid is shifty people on a shifty payroll that have been feeding them big, fat lies.
And the biggest doozy I’ve heard, repeated to me by people who are genuinely afraid for their jobs and their future, is that the Alberta NDP won’t protect their jobs in the oil and gas sector.
So let’s set the record straight, and wash away these oily lies once and for all.
If you work for a living, we are your party. Not the party of millionaires and billionaires who lay you off and fire you to buy an extra yacht. We’re the party of the people who actually make this province run by the strength of their own hands and work ethic, some of whom are working two jobs just to make the rent. Some of those families are struggling to keep up with the mortgage or pay for their kids’ education but with a dwindling pension to look forward to.
The Alberta NDP is working day and night for good paying jobs, jobs with dignity so that Albertans can feed their families, plan their futures, save for retirement, and take a vacation while they’re healthy enough to enjoy it. We’re the party of real folks with real concerns about why they’re working so hard but still going further into debt. And we’re the party with real plans to make their work and lives better.
The PCs and Wildrosers say they love law and order. But when it comes to law and order for oil & gas, and making those billionaires pay modest royalties for becoming the wealthiest people on the planet, suddenly the PC-Wildrosers become bleeding heart conservatives. They cry and whine for poor billionaires, but they can’t answer the telephone to address your family’s needs. The PC-Wildrosers would have you think that requiring billionaires to stop picking our royalties-pockets will make them cut and run, and abandon all the Albertans whose sweat made them rich right here. But not even billionaires can pack all that oil into a truck and disappear into the night, not even if Jim Prentice and Danielle Smith are taking turns at the wheel. So they’re not going anywhere.
And that’s because unlike the PC-Wildrosers, governments in the rest of the world don’t give oily lip-service to their citizens when it comes to the oil wealth of their birthright. Around the world, some of these same corporations are paying up to 75 cents on the dollar, and they’re still making billions! So how much do PC-Wildrosers think is fair? Nine cents. That’s right. In other places, oil billionaires hand over most of the wealth that actually belongs to the citizens. But PC-Wildrosers want you stuck with candy money. They don’t want you to know about world royalty standards, because they want their mega-rich oil friends and the oily lobbyists who work for them to keep on keeping all your money. Why buy the Alberta cow when you can get the oil for free? Meanwhile they want you, the real people doing the real work of Alberta, living paycheque to paycheque with the highest household debt and anxiety in Canadian history.
But here’s the good news. The Alberta NDP has a plan. Develop Alberta oil sustainably. Keep Albertans’ wealth in Albertans’ pockets, not in billionaires’ bank accounts in the Cayman Islands. Our plan will keep tradespeople working for years and years, and create the post-oil, high-tech economy of the future. The PC-Wildrosers just want to rip it and ship it. They don’t know what leadership is. But they know what servicing billionaires is, because that’s their real job. The Alberta NDP knows we need to make the future today. For all of us. Our plan makes a prosperous Alberta for all blue collar and white collar workers and their families by modernising royalty collection and investing our money back into a renewable resource, 21st century technological future.
So please, the next time lobbyists, special interests, think tanks, and other professional falsifiers working for billionaires try to tell you that the NDP will hurt jobs, tell them that they’re crude liars. They’ve mucked up our oil wealth by handing over the safety deposit box key to billionaires. I’ll help get that key back. Together we’re going to build an economy with dignified jobs and a world-class standard of living for you and your loved ones. The PC-Wildrosers want you to think about everything except who’s paying them to keep quiet about selling out your future. We want you to work with us to build the future into the best it can possibly be.