The NDP government and court of public opinion

Looking frankly at the provincial government in Alberta at this moment, at least two characteristics seem prevalent...

Looking frankly at the provincial government in Alberta at this moment, at least two characteristics seem prevalent, especially as the utility company lawsuit saga continues.

One, Alberta’s NDP government doesn’t seem to be looking too far into the future when making important decisions or changes that will affect millions of people.

Two, the NDP government doesn’t make mistakes. All you have to do is pay a little attention to the massive taxpayer-funded public relations campaign going on right now.

The NDP is using tax dollars for said public relations campaign, purchasing advertising space on television, radio, newspapers and Internet sites like MSN.ca and YouTube, plus many other avenues, to get the word out.

Which word is that, you ask? Well, the latest word is “innocent,” in the controversial lawsuit the NDP government has filed against utility companies who seem to want out of unprofitable contracts. In the latest turn of events, the NDP government released more documents claiming it was unaware of escape clauses in provincial contracts with utility companies, thus requiring the Province of Alberta to sue the utility companies in court to ensure citizens are treated fairly.

Some government “leaks” are also popping up suggesting some kind of nefarious plot by the utility companies to make Premier Rachel Notley look bad.

The Wildrose Party noted on Aug. 8 the basis for an NDP lawsuit against utility companies, so-called exit clauses for companies to get out of unprofitable contracts, has been around for a long time, they just haven’t been needed before an NDP government became a reality.

“Decades-old documents show the clause protecting Albertans from a government introducing massive tax or regulatory changes to Alberta’s electricity grid had always been the government’s intention, the Wildrose Official Opposition said (Aug. 8),” stated an Official Opposition press release.

“Alberta government regulation 175/2000 includes documents prepared by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP which led a team of independent regulatory experts in charge of creating the Power Purchase Arrangements (PPAs). These documents confirm that the intention was always ‘to provide an exit provision with no right to or liability for a Termination Payment in the event that a Change of Law rendered a PPA unprofitable or more unprofitable.’”

Wildrose leader Brian Jean on Aug. 8 made a very good point about how this lawsuit against companies and contracts will affect Alberta’s reputation in the business sector. “The NDP must stop misleading Albertans. This email leak shows how desperate the NDP government is to try and fool Albertans into thinking something inappropriate happened. The evidence is clear that independent professionals did their jobs appropriately and published their work in government regulations. This frivolous legal challenge will drive investment out of Alberta and the resulting power bill increases will harm Alberta families and Alberta businesses.”

Wildrose Electricity and Renewables Shadow Minister Don MacIntyre followed that up by saying, “The facts contained in the regulation document clearly expose this government’s absurd attempt to try to mask their own failure on this file. They are losing this case in the court of public opinion and they are trying to divert attention from the consequences of their own ill-considered tax increases. All the evidence shows the independent experts did their jobs and acted in the best interests of Albertans nothing nefarious happened.”

The previous PC government was fair game for NDP MLAs who were in opposition at that time. Former Premier and Prima Donna Alison Redford had an impressive public relations campaign revolving around construction projects that had big signs nearby. The big signs’ purpose was to ensure nobody forgot Alison Redford’s government was to thank for everything. That’s funny when considering the current NDP publicity campaigns because the NDP, when in opposition, weren’t too happy about Redford’s waste of tax dollars on such fluff.

Albertans want to see some leadership in Edmonton and the surest sign of a true leader is the person who can admit they made a mistake rather than blame subordinates or opponents.

If the government messed up the utilities file, and it certainly appears they did, then admit it, do what’s needed to fix it and forget this prima donna stuff.

 

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