Premier Ed Stelmach spoke last week at the annual convention of the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties. In the article ‘The new Ed Stelmach’ by Graham Thompson, it quotes Premier Stelmach as saying “If there’s anybody in this room who wants to argue about property rights and what it means to Albertans, you come see me after my speech.” This sounds to me like the age old story of the scared thief that jumps on the last train out of town, and shouts obscenities to the village folks, knowing full well that he took something from them and now they cannot catch him.
Funny thing though, the train only moved a half mile down the tracks, and it looks like Albertans have gathered round. Mr. Stelmach is still the premier, and Albertans want to know what his government did with our ‘landowner rights’.
These are the same Albertans, and there are thousands of them now, who wanted to hear what our premier had to say about Bills 19, 36 and 50 last year when he was invited to speak in Vegreville, opposite NDP leader Brian Mason, Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, and Liberal leader David Swann. Premier Stelmach did not attend that debate, but instead, he hung out at the Vegreville Library, and held a press conference instead. Much the same train we see him jumping on again. Nothing has changed.
Premier Stelmach also said that he watched (from the train I presume) the debate about the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, (Bill 36), dismissing the organizers of opposition to the legislation as merely ‘silk-suited lawyers’. Let me clarify this. First of all, we are a grassroots organization; we are not a political organization. We are just ordinary Albertans who organized meetings and came out in droves to listen to an expert. And the silk- suited lawyer speaks the truth. Albertans stayed back to listen to the ‘silk’. We want all three legislations repealed.
Does it really seem like Premier Stelmach has changed? Not from our perspective. We are still disappointed with the ‘polyester suited’ politicians who dismiss the truth. Yes, we want to argue about property rights and what it means to Albertans. Yes, we want to know why you Mr. Stelmach and your government have ignored the concerns of large industry that will leave this province if you continue with the Bill 50 Transmission lines.
It’s easy to put on a brave front and wave when you’re sitting in the train. Let’s have that argument Premier Stelmach.
Albertans are waiting and there’s still time. The silk suited versus polyester. My guess is the silk suited will win, as polyester is just too stifling, and if you wear it too long, it just starts to stink.
Landowners Against Bills Society of Alberta