Please, not one more red cent!

Town of High Prairie Councillor Michael Long is adamant council should be attending the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference in Quebec City May 30 to June 2.

Long says it is a perfect opportunity to let Alberta’s voice be heard loud and clear. He says it is time to let eastern politicians know how angry Alberta is over their decision to not allow pipelines to be built to carry Alberta’s product to market.

Council defeated a motion at its Feb. 26 meeting to send one member to the conference. Long, Mayor Brian Panasiuk and Councillor Arlen Quartly were all in favour of packing the suitcases while councillors Donna Deynaka, Brian Gilroy and Judy Stenhouse opposed.

It’s a pretty safe bet this is not over. When Councillor Debbie Rose returns she will surely vote in favour. She has rarely, if ever, voted against attending such taxpayer-funded trips as the FCM conference.

On the surface, Long’s stand is not without merit. Sometimes you do have to stand up and be heard.

But I would argue this is not the case. We have sent the premier to argue the case. Our MPs have argued the case. A convoy recently returned to state our case and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t even meet with them. Still, the east and Quebec does not listen.

Does anyone think sending one councillor from High Prairie really matters?

I think there is a better way.

I ask Long and others to seriously consider what would happen if no one in Alberta attended the conference in protest? It’s called a boycott.

Boycotts can be very effective. They have been used for hundreds of years with success in many cases. Economic boycotts can be a powerful voice.

Here we have Quebec City ready to throw a big party. What would happen if you threw a party and nobody came? Or at least all Albertans and perhaps a few stubble jumpers from Saskatchewan and Manitoba?

Why do Long and others want to shell out more of High Prairian’s hard-earned money to support a city and province that tells us to go to hell every chance it gets? Quebec does not support us, why should we support them? How come Long, Quartly and Panasiuk never think about that?

Do you not think it would get the attention of Quebecers if Alberta staged an all-out boycott? To tell Quebec to screw themselves like they screw us?

And think of the money we could save. Ask yourself, is the estimated $3,321 [administration’s estimated cost] to be spent on this trip worth it?

There is still time. How about High Prairie leading the charge and suggesting to other Alberta municipalities to boycott this conference? Think of the publicity and respect High Prairie would gain amongst Albertans for leading the charge, not to mention executives in the oil industry.

Think how much weight an Alberta-led boycott by High Prairie would receive. If this gained steam, think of the publicity. We would be national news, known as the town that fights for its industry. A community willing to take a tough stand rather than enjoy another taxpayer-funded trip. Lord knows, Trudeau won’t stand up to Quebec. I know we’re better than that!

I strongly suggest a boycott would be far more effective than sending one councillor from a little town in northern Alberta across the country to support an economy that does nothing more than try to destroy the very hand that feeds it hundreds of millions of dollars in transfer payments.

And as for Big Lakes County, why would they send anyone? Quebec is trying to destroy its oil and gas industry, which pays for all the perks they enjoy. Does the county want to support a government that thumbs its nose at them every chance it gets, or is a free holiday more important to them?

It is too easy to ship councillors off on trips with an excuse your voice must be heard. Councillors should realize sometimes staying at home can be the loudest voice of all.

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One thought on “Please, not one more red cent!

  1. Quebec should be avoided at all costs. They do nothing for Alberta but collect Billions of $$ in transfer payments. This is why Quebec has universal $7 a day day care. They leech off us and then try to destroy our oil and gas industry. By the way, every drop of oil used in Quebec comes from Saudi Arabia, not Alberta.
    High Prairie councillors going on a tax payer junket to Quebec is just insulting to the hard working taxpayer funding this.

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