Jason Kenney is literally just making shit up this time

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Progressive Conservative leadership hopeful Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney went to Twitter to express outrage about the provincial government’s tax plan and how it was ruining the economy because it made taxation high.

The problem with Kenney’s claim? Well, one of those pesky details he can’t be bothered with is that the New Democratic Party have a tax scheme that is still lower for all tax sectors than the Progressive Conservative posterboy Ralph Klein’s.

One wonders how taxes are “ruining” the performance of the Province which still has the lowest taxation rate in the country, even taking into account our new carbon tax.

Oh, and that “ruined economy”? Still the strongest in the country.

Can’t let pesky facts get in the way of our sabre-rattling, though. Governments don’t need details! And neither do pundits! That’s why all the papers say the province will fall apart, any second now!

-Shiv

Jason Kenney wants your kids on a short, short leash

(Background: Alberta, eh?)

Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney, my all time best friend and favourite politician, is back in the news again after having responded to a survey proposed by my other all time best friends and favourite lobbyists, Parents for Choice in Education (PCE). After admitting he was pro-theft–as long as Christians are the ones doing the stealing–Kenney went to PCE to talk about his support for some of the most egregious weaknesses in Alberta’s education system.

Among his answers and accompanying commentary, Mr. Kenney indicated:

  • He supports allowing different approaches to curriculum in publicly funded schools, as well as different approaches to school clubs. He indicated the strongest level of agreement, 1.
  • Parental approval should be required for any instruction related to sex education, sexuality and gender identity, and parents should be allowed to pull their children out. 2.
  • Parental consent should be mandatory for a child’s participation in all extra-curricular activities, including student organizations and clubs. 2.
  • Parental permission should be required for children to attend any event involving an outside facilitator or program. 2.
  • All materials and resources used by students in instruction or extra curricular activities should be made available to parents. 2.
  • Taxpayers should provide “equitable” funding for independent, religious, charter and alternative schools, plus all forms of home schooling. 1.
  • Alberta should reintroduce and strengthen standardized testing for Grades 3, 6 and 9 and continue such tests in Grade 12. 1.

Of course, in this context, references to school clubs mean the gay-straight alliances required under Alberta law passed by the province’s last PC Government under premier Jim Prentice. Pastor Brian Coldwell, chair of the Independent Baptist Christian Education Society that has openly defied the legislation at two schools it runs in the Edmonton area, sits on the board of Parents for Choice.

Yes, it has long been a thorn in my side that our province has allowed bigots to tailor-fit which aspects of reality will be taught to their children. It’s not like we’re the country’s STI capital or anything OH WAIT YES WE ARE.

Despite the fact that the single strongest predictor for anti-queer prejudice is a lack of exposure and education, Alberta’s education system has had an opt-out system for sex ed. So, you know, there’s a slough of parents pulling their kids from fact-based sex ed–which is soon to include mentions of homosexuality–and giving their kids what they want to teach instead.

Sure, I suppose it’s possible some parents are still giving their kids a comprehensive “talk,” but, you know, STI capital. Chances are, most kids being pulled from class are being fed incomplete bullshit or outright lies. But hey, compromising the health and education of our citizens is worth it, as long as we do it in the name of the Bible. Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney for Premier 2019!

-Shiv

 

2016 Canada Primer

I love stats, although certain applications of it are a bit rusty on my end because it’s been a few years since I left university. Nonetheless, my stats say I’ve been steadily gaining regulars from the United States over the past year and received some fair feedback concerning my coverage of Canadian politics–chiefly that it’s a bit hard for outsiders to follow, and secondly that Americans don’t seem incentivized to follow it. Canadians don’t seem to need much incentive to click on these types of articles–y’all already do it.

I figured that as 2016 comes to a close that I would do a small series covering the background of some clowns politicians & lobbyists that even Americans might be interested in watching with me. If nothing else, many of you seem to enjoy my thinly veiled contempt for the reality-denying chucklefucks hanging on to the right-wing of democratic society like a gangrenous limb. Unlike a dingleberry like PBog*, whose inanity is largely painful only to those who are tragically exposed to it, a lot more is at stake if these people win or retain power.

So there are four objectives for the primer that I hope serve my readers:

  1. Introduce the history & context of movements and the consequences their successes have had or are likely to have on Canadians;
  2. Argue for the global relevance thereof (i.e. why non-Canadians might care, other than empathy).
  3. Give information for Canadian voters to cast informed ballots.
  4. Paint targets for proactive, progressive resistance in Canada.

For the most part, influence from the USA in particular tends to bleed into Canada, rather than the other way around. But if nothing else, appreciate the solidarity of knowing the USA does not have a monopoly on political parties composed entirely of clown cars filled with reprogrammable Randroids masquerading as people. Yay?

There’s also a secondary goal, which is to identify those actors in politics who bear nothing but contempt for democracy. While we can debate until we faint over which specific stripe of Authoritarianism is manifesting in any particular movement, I’d like to equip my readers with a few red flags when Canada comes to visit you. Depending on who is visiting, you may want to pay real close attention to what they’re saying, the way Alberta collectively needed a barf bag when Ann frickin’ Coulter came to town on Trump business. I don’t particularly care which breed of dickhead we call them, only that you recognize the necessity of resisting. Ideally peacefully**.

Posts on the Primer to follow soon.

Remember: You can’t take care of the Resistance if you can’t take care of yourself.

-Shiv


 

*Thanks Bruce.

**Bearing in mind that there is a significant gap between what I consider ideal and what I consider realistic.

Jason Kenney doesn’t have to steal your info (because he already has it)

When last we picked up the stench of the Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney Campaign, we observed some very Nixon-esque debris flying from Alberta’s right-wing movement. Now it seems Kenney has gone on record to deny any involvement by claiming he doesn’t need to steal your data, because he already has it.

“Kenney also suggests he doesn’t need to steal anybody’s list, even if he wanted to, because “when I entered this I already had a database of 60,000 people who have contacted me over 20 years as a Member of Parliament’.”

Former Progressive Conservative Deputy Thomas Lukaszuk notes:

Kenney’s campaign quickly tweeted that when Kenney said he had the names of “60,000 people who have contacted” him over his years as an MP, he was talking about names collected from his personal website

But the fishy thing about that explanation is how that squares with another Kenney controversy from last week.

Conservative supporters had complained that they were receiving letters from Kenney’s PC leadership campaign, despite having never given their personal information to either Kenney or the PCs.

Meanwhile, the Dickweed Wildrose Party is overdue for a bit of flailing over their data breach.

To wit, the Journal reported: “A Wildrose source said caucus members were not briefed separately on the robbery, rather they received the same email sent to supporters.”

The break-in was not a robbery, of course, but a burglary and theft. Just the same, it is not clear yet how the break-in and the purloined party membership lists are related, if they are related at all. It’s quite possible the party lists got into Tory hands the old-fashioned way, via a disloyal member.

Regardless, Opposition Leader Brian Jean apparently just went ahead Sunday afternoon and emailed the now famous letter to Wildrose supporters outlining the startling developments. It remains murky when the break-in happened, when it was reported to the police, whether the police are still investigating, or why Mr. Jean chose the afternoon of the Grey Cup game to issue his startling statement.

Those halcyon days now appear to be over. A couple of weeks ago, the often fractious Derek Fildebrandt – the high-profile Wildrose finance critic Mr. Jean tried and failed to fire last spring for endorsing a homophobic Facebook comment about Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – published what blogger Dave Cournoyer called “a 743-word treatise on his Facebook page decrying ‘hysterical political correctness.’”

At the time Mr. Jean tried to kick him out of caucus – enraging the Wildrose Party’s most rightward fringe – Mr. Fildebrandt promised to behave himself and curb his social media excesses.

But on Nov. 16, citing the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States, Mr. Fildebrandt argued “that smug, condescending, political correctness will spark a backlash” – comments that seemed to be aimed directly at Mr. Jean, and to amount to Mr. Fildebrandt’s personal declaration of independence from his party’s leader.

I wrote about the incident in question back in May. Of course, Fildebrandt’s idea of “political correctness” is that Brian Jean is far too polite to minorities in Alberta, even as the platform promises to shit on us nonetheless. I won’t say I told you so, Albertan conservatives, but I totally fucking told you so. (emphasis added)

You need to soul search, because it’s rapidly starting to look like the fiscal-conservative-socially-progressive types aren’t going to have a party in the next election. Kenney is slated to win the PC leadership and he has been very, very open and forthright about his intention to absorb the Wildrose back into the fold. The problem is that it isn’t the respectables at the helm anymore. It’s the deplorables. The ones who are serious about being socially reactionary. The ones who think death and rape threats are a legitimate vehicle of criticism. The ones Brian Jean has been trying to contain like a beleaguered dog-owner pulling back on the chain of his rabid pup: You know, the ones making targets of the Premier, mocking victims of domestic violence and the assassination of labour-rights politicians, and publicly approving denigrating posts about gay politicians, because there’s apparently not enough policy to criticize?

That was 18 days before any of this came to light.

Notley must be popping the champagne.

-Shiv

Jason Kenney has a Richard Nixon-shaped hole in his campaign

Man, what the fuck is going on in Alberta

In an email to supporters sent late Sunday with the bland subject line, “A Wildrose Update,” Opposition Leader Brian Jean drops a bombshell with the revelation someone broke into the party’s Edmonton office several weeks ago, stole two laptop computers and tried unsuccessfully to walk off with the party’s server.

Mr. Jean starts a section of the email headed “I also want to update you on matters related to our party’s data security” with another startling revelation: “Some of you have been receiving unsolicited calls and letters from another political party.”

Mr. Jean doesn’t say whom in the email, or what the calls were about, but sources have confirmed, unsurprisingly, that the caller was the Progressive Conservative Party and the topic was the leadership campaign of Jason Kenney.

Uhhhhhhhhhhh

A number of weeks ago, our party office in Edmonton was targeted in a break-in,” he said. (The party office is the only one in the building.) “Some laptops were stolen and an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal Wildrose’s computer server.”

Weeks ago? Why the fuck is Jean only making a statement weeks after the breach?

The timing stinks, friends. Of what, I’m not yet sure.

It would be libelous at this point to say with any certainty that this was orchestrated by Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney. There’s not a lot of confirmed info right now, but holy canoly does it set the imagination alight. To, uh, put it lightly.

I’ll be retroactively posting some Kenney shenanigans, some of which was missed because US Election. But, Jesus Christ. It’s obvious Kenney plays dirty but Nixon dirty? If he has anything to do with the Wildrose breach I’ll be screaming his name from a soapbox. We do not need a Nixon.

-Shiv

Jason Kenney thinks not being a dick to queer students is “social engineering”

Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney, my all-time favourite political aspirant and best friend, has gone on record yet again to characterize the NDP’s new fact-based education curriculum as “social engineering:”

“One of the reasons I’m running, one of my primary concerns is to stop the NDP’s radical ideological agenda in the education system,” Kenney told a small gathering in Medicine Hat last month.

“The NDP has announced the most radical changes to the curriculum,” Kenney added. “They do not mean curricular reforms that are focused on improving numeracy or literacy – they mean social engineering.”

“Let’s be clear about that.”

One wonders whether any such agendas exist that do not meet his criteria of “ideological,” or whether the publicly-funded religious schooling qualifies as “social engineering.” I suppose all the austerity budgets and Bible schools are just, what, “common sense”? 

At any rate, Kenney is wrong (as usual). All areas of the curriculum are getting a review, including English, French (literacy) as well as math.

But these are not what Kenney is referring to. No, he instead calls it radical to insist that Queer people exist.

Kenney also told supporters in Medicine Hat he questions the Alberta NDP’s “talk about human rights” and suggested independent schools, charter schools and homeschooling helped make Alberta’s education system “the best education system in the world.”

Very illuminating that the presence of a school which publicly admitted its Queer student policy was to subject them to psychological torture is what Kenney defines as “the best education system in the world.” He certainly has no traction on the concept of human rights, when we already know that he wants to “compromise” when it comes to these schools–meaning he doesn’t see the currently state-sanctioned torture policy as something that ought to be burned to the ground and plowed with salt.

At the 2016 Conservative Convention last May, Kenney claimed millennials are “the first generation to come through a schooling system” that “hard-wired” them with anti-conservative beliefs – he even suggested young children are indoctrinated with “collectivist ideas” as early as primary school.

No, Kenney, it just seems that the few studies attempting to examine Albertan millennials have found that we are, as a generation, less likely to be concerned with party loyalty, and more likely to be concerned with factual accuracy, and less likely to uncritically accept any given news story. That’s bad news for the so-called Progressive Conservatives, who’ve been coasting on hero worship and spin for 44 years.

Also, what collectivist ideas? “Don’t be a dick” is collectivist now? “Taxes are okay if they’re spent on infrastructure?” “Socialized medicine is a good idea?” “You won’t shrivel up and die if you donate to charity?”

And a few years ago at a Catholic conference in Italy, Kenney mused about the possibility “Marxist” academics are working to “propagate a radical approach to multiculturalism” and “suppress completely the Christian patrimony of Canada.”

Yes! I want to suppress the shit out of your archaic, woman-hating, queer-murdering, war-glorifying, infanticidal, genocidal, badly written medieval torture porn.

At least we have one correct statement from Kenney.

-Shiv

There is no “compromise”

I wanted to elaborate on my Best Friend Jason Kenney’s “poor counsel,” in which he advised the Albertan government to reach a “compromise” with the two Baptist schools that refuse to adhere to Bill 10, a law signed in by the previous conservative administration that obligated all schools to form a Gay-Straight Alliance or Queer-Straight Alliance should the students request one.

Shortly after these comments made the news, David Climenhaga of Alberta Politics pointed out that as a human rights issue, there is no reasonable way to compromise between Queer lobby groups who largely wish to enjoy the same privileges as anyone else and religious lobby groups who want to continue bludgeoning us out of existence.

Just to elaborate: the “Gay Agenda” has largely been about accessing the same civil sectors as anyone else, and enjoying the privileges that we are supposedly afforded by virtue of being a Western democracy. But religious reactionaries campaign from legal exemptions to treat Queer folks equitably in the name of their faith, thereby re-ifying the nature of cishetero privileges by making them, well, privileges rather than rights.

So I would like to see Climenhaga’s question repeated until it’s mainstream: “Where, exactly, do you plan to compromise?”

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Jason Kenney’s 38k cheque from grifting taxpayers “bittersweet”

My favourite and best ever of all time friend, Jason Kenney, describes his departure from Parliament as “bittersweet” …after collecting $38,000 from his federal salary to spend the entire summer campaigning for the leadership of a provincial party:

Kenny described his departure as “bittersweet” saying he has fond memories of his time in Ottawa and will miss the issues he’s worked on, and the people he has worked on them with.

Ah, yes, the “issues he’s worked on.” Trying to impose forced-birther policies on the entire country, denying climate change, running charities dedicated to himself, and pushing for “compromise” when it comes to queer rights. At long last, he leaves federal politics and narrows his focus to merely Alberta.

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Jason Kenney scores points by accusing others of scoring points

Jason “I don’t get caught up in the details” Kenney seems to have a rather peculiar idea of how lawmaking works. In what must be the understatement of the decade, Education Minister David Eggen described Kenney’s ideas as “poor counsel” when Kenney suggested the government “compromise” with the Baptist schools defying Bill 10:

With two Edmonton-area religious schools saying they will defy provincial law that gives students the right to form a GSA, Eggen has not ruled out withholding provincial funding to the schools if they don’t comply with the legislation.

Kenney told reporters last week that Eggen was trying to score “political points,” and said the NDP government must balance provincial law against freedom of religion and freedom of association, and should work out a compromise with the Baptist school association that oversees the private schools.

But Eggen said it’s “poor counsel” from Kenney to suggest the government compromise in following the law.

“I find it curious that someone would counsel the government to compromise on what is a very clear law that was created to protect vulnerable children, to create a safe and caring environment for kids in schools,” Eggen told reporters at McDougall Centre, where the NDP cabinet was meeting Tuesday.

Ah yes, Jason Kenney would be the expert on scoring “political points.” Just say something to the effect of “taxes bad” while collecting an MPs salary deposited into your Totally Not a Campaign Fundraiser organization for a provincial party’s leadership election. Throw in some religious feardumb and tadaa! Instant points.

Maybe should run for the Albertan Conservatives. I’ve got their shtick figured out!

-Shiv

My best buddies, Parents for Choice in Education, are “non-partisan”

My best friends and favourite “non-partisan” group of all time ever, Parents for Choice in Education, has some… rather partisan connections.

Parents for Choice in Education also devotes a page on its website to material from Alberta Can’t Wait, the Political Action Committee set up to raise funds for the campaign of social conservative federal MP Jason Kenney to lead the Progressive Conservative Party and merge it with the Opposition Wildrose Party.

The Kenney campaign material distributed by Parents for Choice in Education accuses the NDP Government of “social engineering” – a coded reference to a supposed conspiracy to proselytize young people to take up alternative lifestyles – and attacks Education Minister David Eggen, who has stated repeatedly that the law on GSAs must be obeyed.

While claiming to be non-partisan, Parents for Choice “had a board director recently meet with Jason Kenney and she sensed that his camp has taken the time to educate themselves on the issues and is in support of parent choice,” a commentary accompanying the Alberta Can’t Wait statement approvingly noted.

Oops!

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