Wake-up call for the Kenney government?

It was quite interesting and surprising to read in the Edmonton Journal the other day that the governing UCP in Alberta is trailing the NDP in a popularity poll. What’s the world coming to, you might wonder.

One thing it’s coming to is a very low tolerance for whoever is in power. There are probably some unrealistic expectations involved. And a general crankiness, brought on by COVID, the state of the highways and the low price of a barrel of Alberta oil. Probably among various other things.

People who believed the UCP was going to bring back the ‘good old days’ of oil-based economic prosperity might be feeling let down. But it’s hard to imagine many of them turning into NDP supporters. They are more likely to veer even further to the right.

Municipal governments are among the disaffected. Every month or so comes the news of a further downloading of costs. Funding for infrastructure upgrades is being reduced. Nor is the government going to be as generous in helping out areas hit by natural disasters. And yes, we’ll help boost rural crime fighting capability, but you’ll have to pay for some of it.

That’s all tough stuff to swallow, because it will either result in higher property taxes, or municipalities cutting services. Likely a combination of those two things.

Meanwhile, we can debate the details, but this sort of thing is the inevitable result of a government commitment to get out of the red. At least we can give the government some credit for attempting to do that. No matter where they choose to cut spending, it’s going to hurt someone.

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