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Lougheed era leadership, vision needed for Alberta's future

Editor: I have voted conservative, provincially and federally, since I came to Canmore 50 years ago. In 1969, Peter Lougheed was elected premier of Alberta, a visionary who led this province for 12 years.
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Editor: I have voted conservative, provincially and federally, since I came to Canmore 50 years ago.

In 1969, Peter Lougheed was elected premier of Alberta, a visionary who led this province for 12 years. Think of Kananaskis Country and the Heritage Fund.

Lougheed was the best and most principled politician I have ever met, anywhere. The best Prime Minister Canada never had.

However time took it’s toll on the Alberta conservative party. From 2005-15, no refineries were built, no new markets other than the U.S. were developed for our oil, the Heritage Fund was plundered to buy our votes and the cabinet became an “Old Boys club,” rather than a far-sighted governing body.

Federally we are no better off. We have a spineless Prime Minister who allowed the Energy East pipeline, the best choice amongst four proposed pipelines, to be abandoned because of Quebec’s objections.

They don’t want our oil, but are only too happy to receive the billions of dollars flowing from Alberta to Quebec through the “equalisation pipeline.” Trudeau is too frightened of losing his seat in Quebec to ignore their resistance to the pipeline.

Here in Alberta, we have Jason Kenney as premier. He is set to repeal anything done by the NDP government, irrespective of it’s merits. He will get rid of the carbon tax, a small but effective measure to begin, as B.C. has shown us, the fight against climate change. And with no stated policy to replace it. Meanwhile in Ottawa, Trudeau has failed to live up to his early promise and Andrew Scheer is set to replace him. But Scheer too will repeal the carbon tax, and like Kenney offers nothing in it’s place.

So I wonder, if Kenney, Scheer and their supporters, decades in the future when the planet is on the verge of becoming uninhabitable, will be able to look their grandchildren in the eye without turning away in shame.

Gerry Stephenson,

Canmore