Acts 3-5, The Seeds Begin to Grow… AND TAKE ROOT!

•April 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

What did Jesus say… scatter the seed. Some falls on rocks. Some on thorny ground. Some lands where the soil is shallow. Some lands on fertile topsoil. The early church was like that wasn’t it? The 2015 church is like that isn’t it? BUT the seeds start to grow AND take root as we move into Acts. Preparing us for what is to come. He could’ve called 10,000 Angels to control the world and set himself free, but he died alone for you and for me AND NOW instead of bringing in the angelic force he goes back to the same formula WOMEN, fishermen, tax collectors…

The revelation of God starts with eons of “knowing God is out there… somewhere”. It moves for 3 short years into God dwelling amongst us in the dusty backwater of Judea, the keys to the Kingdom entrusted to… well probably not the most reliable gang in town, BUT God has a plan. Now he dwells amongst us by the power of His Holy Spirit. Though that same spirit, the impossible becomes possible and the message, the same message 2000 years later TAKES ROOT!

Acts 1 & 2 The Seeds Begin to Grow…

•April 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

As we move away from Easter Sunday and into those early early days when it could have all gone so differently… the seeds begin to grow. Easter Sunday now becomes… EASTER IN ACTION! Without that, these blog posts wouldn’t exist and we would all probably be Jewish or worshipping pagan deities would be my guess…

Luke and Acts aren’t separate. When taken together you can see how cohesive the message is, and how Luke was trying to weave together the guidebook for early Christians. 2000 years later the guidebook is just as relevant.

Palm Sunday… Luke 19-21 A Cross BEFORE a Crown.

•April 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

The Kingdom of God… isn’t about just doing “enough” to get by. Palm Sunday is the joyous reminder of how much and how great a gift we’ve been given. Jesus wants us to look for a return on that investment. Burying our gifts and “talents” and “showing up” aren’t what he asks of us. We seem to have a misguided concept of hundreds of thousands of people carpeting dusty Jerusalem with palm branches and pastel colored robed children running down the streets singing songs… chances are his FOLLOWERS tried to organize a parade. HOPEFULLY to draw as many people to the cause as possible. HOPEFULLY to usher in the KINGDOM, the CROWN! But Jesus’ kingdom wasn’t and isn’t of THIS WORLD or of that day in Jerusalem, he knew a CROSS lay ahead. The FOLLOWERS and the bandwagon Passover visitors and handfuls of people that turned out to welcome him that knew of his teaching and knew of his WORKS, would be faced with life altering decisions a week later. A CROSS HAD TO PRECEDE THE CROWN. Now what would they do? Follow on, despite the cost, and despite the CROSS or turn and flee? Or “just believe” and keep it to themselves. Time would tell and the return on the investment Jesus made into THEIR life would be soon known. The fact I’m even teaching this and blogging it tells you what many truly did with the truth of the kingdom. They went ALL IN on their investment, and here we are. They knew that the CROSS was necessary for the CROWN of the Kingdom of God.

Book of Luke Ch. 22-24 Easter Sunday, Were you there… I was.

•April 5, 2015 • 2 Comments

I have been teaching from the Book of Luke… yes that book of Luke. I am a believer that the author wrote Luke/Acts, as a sort of handbook for the early Christian church and that they need to be regarded as one document. Sort of a 2 volume set designed to do the same thing… bolster faith, at a time when having said faith was not exactly considered the best decision you could make in terms of daily subsistence in a pretty rough place, the 1st and early 2nd Century CE, Judeo-Roman world. My class has asked that I would post my lessons online. I also will include some of my other discussions as well. For some of you this might be a whaaat??? moment. Since when did the crazy oil and gas/politics/arts/centrist guy start ruminating on the Gospels…

I have decided that a bunch of this is stuff that probably is what I should have been writing about, could have been writing about and probably if I was honest wanted to write about.

I hope you find what I have to say helpful or interesting or thought provoking in some way. If not then maybe it will be entertaining for you. Please feel free to comment, discuss, disagree, challenge, share with others. If it in any way helps you or others you can let me know. You know it is like the diner that says “if you like our service tell others, if not keep it to yourself” ;o)

Blessings on you!

Chris Tesarski

It’s 50/50 Season at the Rink… Here’s my 50/50 for Alberta!

•January 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I would hope to be around in 50 years. My youngest son will be 52, my oldest will be 72. It isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, in fact quite opposite for my family. Grandparents and Great Grandparents on both sides of my family have endured life this long and certainly under much more strenuous circumstances than I have yet had to endure and probably never will, should our society continue its march forward with all its dizzying array of technological and scientific advances.

So therefore I thought it fitting that I should begin to lay out my 50 year plan for Alberta so that upon my 95th Birthday I might sit back and feel as if I have been part of something important, something that has left this Province in better shape than on my 45th, and something that my children, grandchildren and perhaps great grandchildren can look on with pride that I didn’t just sit back and talk about change but was part of making it happen.

I will over the next few months flesh this out in far greater detail, but it should be a simple task for you the reader to understand what the concepts are which I am trying to present as what I believe to be the FOUNDATION for a long term strategy to make this Province, Alberta an incredible place of opportunity and personal and corporate growth.

A FIFTY YEAR PLAN FOR ALBERTA AND ALL ALBERTANS THAT:

“FOCUSSES ON our LONG TERM PROVINICAL FINANCIAL STRUCTURE”

“FOCUSSES ON our PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE FOUNDATION”

“FOCUSSES ON our PERSONAL AND COLLECTIVE FAITH IN GOVERNMENT”

What do I mean by these? In my mind they are the cornerstones of WHAT MUST BE THE PLAN for our Province;

First, we need a focus on long term Provincial FINANCIAL STRUCTURE. What is the financial plan for Alberta? If we claim as we do at the Alberta Party that it is our intention to “promote Alberta as a world Energy Leader and create an environment favourable to economic diversification”, this must begin NOW. We are blessed with an abundance of natural resources a constant theme in this province. What are we doing with them NOW and into the future? We must diversify our economy not to make us a manufacturing superpower, or a world widget super producer; we cannot possibly compete with the “human superpowers” of Asia. HOWEVER, WE CAN REVITALIZE THE CREATIVE ENERGY OF ALBERTANS by capitalizing on the wealth of knowledge we have in this Province and channeling that into creating an environment that fosters growth and expansion of the economic bedrock of the Province away from sole reliance on hydrocarbon extraction. In addition, it is absolutely critical that we discuss a new economic model for dealing with Provincial revenues and ensuring the financial infrastructure is sound. We need a new relationship with “Corporate Alberta”. Taxation into the black hole which has become the Provincial coffers is a non-starter. We need a partnership approach to Provincial revenues and spending in this Province; and it has to start with an intelligent discussion with its Corporate Leaders. It is a discussion I wish to have and it is a discussion which needs to happen now. Profits from our energy resources MUST be reinvested back into ensuring Alberta is equipped and able to handle its growth and development not just today but far into the future, through significant reinvestment back into research and development, innovation, post-secondary education with extensive and comprehensive focus on science and technology BUT EQUALLY IMPORTANT on development of highly skilled and qualified tradespeople.

Our personal and collective FOUNDATION is under attack. What do I mean by this; the very things that give us our grounding, our families and communities. This needs to end. While once again I will significantly expand on each of these 3 key areas over the course of the next several months, I will say this that the deterioration of these fundamental needs of all of Albertans is impacting and will continue to impact our “social system” if it is not addressed, and addressed with a view to a long term plan for reversing the damage that has been done and ensuring we don’t walk this road again. In addition, our “foundation” includes those things that are critical to our success and very survival as well, health and education, both of which are impacted by loss of focus on our personal and collective wellbeing. Of course a focus on this cannot be successful without focus on financial structure. We must not continue to preside over the death of any more Alberta communities. The same Alberta innovation, integrity and resolve that built these communities needs to be encouraged and fostered through an unwavering commitment by government to ensure that our communities are built up and supported instead of allowed to deteriorate and completely lose their identity, only to have it replaced by the identity of a “big box store chain”. Strong, vibrant and healthy “families” using a broad brush definition of that and proud, vibrant, growth oriented COMMUNITIES not faceless and characterless sprawl will set Alberta on a positive and healthy course for the next 50 years.

Our personal and collective FAITH and trust in the institution which is government; is deteriorating. We have lost control of the bureaucracy, and accountability in government is at an all-time low. We cannot continue to allow voter apathy and disillusionment with government to cloud our view of what role it should have and should continue to have in ensuring Alberta remains the best place in the world to live, work, raise a family, build a business and enjoy the fruits of those years of labour in a societal structure that ensures long term social infrastructure and care when needed. If we don’t begin to change peoples’ mindsets with regard to this critical part of our makeup collectively and as individuals we cannot hope to affect change in our financial structure in Alberta and ensure that we have reliable and effective development of our foundational structures as well. As I mentioned the business of government, the bureaucracy is taking valuable capital away from these areas of focus; it is in dramatic need of change.

Starting in February I will visit 50 TOWNS IN 50 DAYS TO EXPLAIN AND DISCUSS WITH ALBERTANS, MY 50 YEAR PLAN FOR ALBERTA AND ALL ALBERTANS. It will form the structure and theme of my campaign for the leadership of The Alberta Party. I’ll continue to blog about it and use social media to the greatest extent I can, but it in no way can replace personal face to face interaction with real, grateful, intelligent, innovative, but questioning Albertans who are not entirely hopeful about where they see the Province and certainly would question where it is headed in 50 years under this current administration. Many are hurting and don’t see government as truly committed to their FOUNDATION now or in the future. I look forward to listening to their stories and having those discussions and I’m sure occasional debate in the communities where they are, not just in the community online. It should be an exciting 50 days… imagine then what we can do in 50 YEARS!!

The Inside of the Faceoff Circle is Getting Crowded… Why is everyone suddenly wanting to play “Centre”?

•January 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Orthodox Christmas ended for our family this weekend. I put away our Nativity scene from in front of our house and it was cold, bloody cold. Perhaps it was the cold, I’m not sure but I got quite angry. Angry that I was suddenly ending this “season of goodwill” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” for the first week, FULL WEEK back to the grind, but more importantly the “political grind”. Alberta would make a lousy hockey team, because everyone wants to play CENTRE. Quite frankly, I’m tired of it. So at the risk of a bench clearing brawl, I’m throwing down the gloves and putting up my fists and I’m going to fight for the CENTRE, the rest of you are going to have to take us on.

It is absolute nonsense what I read on Twitter et al about how every political party is out there in “the centre”. Rubbish! I watch endless tweets from the #pcaa and #wap about how “progressive” they are, how they truly are “balanced” parties, I cry STOP. Where are the Right Wingers? Where is the “minorities in the backroom” checking line? Where’s the Old Reform Party? Have they all passed away, God rest their souls? Now the “right” side of the political spectrum has been left with a bunch of young, centrist, progressive ideologues? C’mon let’s have a go! I hear the postings by “outraged Tories” that Uncle Ed and his band of merry men can hardly wait to rob from their rich friends and give it all out to the poor, what a load! Red Tories running the Leg? You do disservice to the age old term “Red Tory”. What absurdity to hear the Wildrose Alliance described as Centrist. It is almost offensive. They would do away with your Public healthcare and Education in a heartbeat, but for soundbites holler into the fray of the Legislature trying to pretend that they are “ashamed” of the government’s approach to management of “our public” healthcare in the Province. They cheer on Raj the Lionhearted with their mock angst ridden twittering, about “ending the debate”, shaming the government. Play your position, Ms. Smith. Play your positions “Honest Ed” et al. The Alberta Liberals led by their highly intelligent strategist Dr. David Swann, have shown a strategy of truly showing that they don’t really believe or stand for anything. Dr. Swann is a Left Winger, play your position. What on earth has happened to the NDP? Where is the Carpenters’ Hall religious fervour for full scale unionization of the Province? Where is the vocal and demanding fight for worker’s rights? Higher pay, higher benefits? Socialized everything? Where’s the Greens demanding that the Province be running completely on french fry grease and Crowsnest Pass wind? Where have they all gone? Apparently everyone is all lining up in the little red dot in the faceoff circle. Get off my dot, and play your positions.

I WANT HEALTHY DEBATE IN ALBERTA. I WANT TO DEMOCRACY IN ACTION. Part of that is strong and rigorous debate about major issues. Continuous shifting so as not to alienate voters, trying to catch “the other guy off guard” might be great strategy in chess, but it is disingenuous to Albertans. STATE WHAT YOU BELIEVE, HONESTLY. Don’t Twitter your day away pandering to voters with a bunch of muddled nonsense that doesn’t reflect for  a moment what your “power base” is donating to you to provide. Go out STATE YOUR CASE AND POSITION WITH CLARITY AND BOLDNESS. Declare to Alberta’s agriculture sector that large multinational food giants are the way of the future, the family farm is dead, what land you might still have if not lucrative for oil and gas royalties is needed for coal powered electrical generation. Get on with it Farmer Jones, sell to us, we are giving money this year to our friends at Cargill, 2010 was a rough year. We are simply “investing” in Alberta’s “long term” agricultural future. Ms. Smith stand up and cheer, you’d do the same thing had you gotten there first. Stand up once mighty socialists and say to same farmer we are converting your land to methanol production, so we can get rid of Non-Union Big Oil. And soy, to make Alberta a world leader in tofu processing all of this occurring on government managed “farming cooperatives”, wages and prices set of course in Edmonton. Don’t laugh Alberta Liberals there are many from those heady days of the “anyone but a PC” movement in certain Calgary Constituencies that would do just that.

Come out swinging. Give us something to work against. Everyone by now knows I am running for the Leadership of the Alberta Party #abparty, and I truly believe as do my fellow Party members that we are representative of the “middle ground”, in many ways the Common Ground that so many Albertans and Canadians share. Our Party is literally representative of all parts of the political spectrum coming together for a common purpose, to introduce a PLAN for Alberta and ALL Albertans which will make Alberta the truly GREAT jurisdiction that it can be. You have heard much talk about the 60% that don’t vote, that is the target . As long as the “mainstream parties” keep up their “muddled middle” message the 60% won’t vote and that will work just fine for the RIGHT and LEFT. Oh a few seats swing here and there, but for the most part, it works if the true voting public, not Party loyalists who will vote anyway, are disenfranchised, disillusioned and dispassionate about coming out to vote. Tell it like it REALLY IS, stand up and fight for what you truly believe in and I actually believe that the voter turnout will increase substantially but not for the mainstream. I truly believe also that the hearts and minds of many loyalists can change as well if they listen to their Party’s TRUE voice and decide whether or not that vision of Alberta is ultimately the one they want. I believe that we MUST incentivize our citizens to exercise their democratic right to vote. I trust we can do that with HONEST message not a mandated process.

Gordon Chaffin, an American moderate says it best in his blog that we moderates, Centrists need some swagger. We must fight for the CENTRE and take issue with the monikers of “wishy washy, indecisive fencesitters”. No, WE ARE THE MAJORITY. We need to fight for that territory by respectfully exposing the “mushy, watered down message” that the “political poles” are espousing”.

So as I draw to a close I think perhaps I’m watching the bench clear on both sides. Great, let’s have the Battle FOR Alberta. When you come out though don’t just dance around, land some real policy punches. I look forward to the debate. Give us your TRUE policies, I will give you ours right back. I believe we can and will change the hearts and minds of Albertans if all of Alberta’s political parties stop vying for the Centre and play our positions. I’m not moving off Centre though.

I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas… My ideas for Alberta’s Economic future

•December 30, 2010 • 1 Comment

Well here it goes, I’m dreaming of a White Christmas just like the ones I used to know.

I “used to know” some incredible winter days as a young liberally conservative academic growing up in Southern Ontario, where we could basically jump off the roof of our house into a huge pile of snow. I used to skate and pretend to be Daryl Sittler on the rink my dad and I would flood, ok mostly my dad (until the wee hours of the morning, thanks Dad) until as long as my mom would let me. I built myself a “ski run” where I used K-Tel plastic skis to go downhill when I wasn’t trying to beat my “Olympic bobsleigh record” on my big wooden toboggan.

I didn’t know any kids that went to Private school. When I was sick we went to the doctor or actually the doctor (as was the case when a wild pony which escaped from the Italian neighbours across the road and came over to our paddock bit my ear after my mom specifically told me not to try and get close to it) came to the house. I knew some kids that had an ATARI, we just had a Pong. We had a B&W TV that was a piece of furniture, I knew some kids that had a colour TV. I’ve told you about my train already. I heard of kids going to Disneyland/World, we travelled in one of our family “arks” all over the US on my dad’s business trips. I got to go to some pretty cool places. I grew up going to Chicago, NYC, Montreal, etc. I didn’t care about “Hawaii” I knew I would go there someday “when we had enough money”. I actually never went until 2003. I always wanted to travel to Europe ON A TRAIN, I did that for the first time in 1987. My point being; is that I grew up as a pretty normal MIDDLE CLASS kid in rural Ontario. We travelled, went to church, hung out with friends, played in the snow, and imagined being a Toronto Maple Leaf on our outdoor rinks. I saw “poor people” when we went downtown for a Leaf’s game or on Yonge Street window shopping and eating roast chestnuts from a street vendor at Christmas when we went skating outside at Nathan Phillips Square, but they weren’t really part of my daily experience. Bill Davis, who I thought seemed like an admirable fellow, Joe Clark, even Pierre Trudeau (who was always a source of division in our family) for the most part seemed; when discussing “politics” in Social Studies and “Current Events” (always a highlight for me because I would devour the Toronto Star looking for news) to have a grasp on what we all needed to run our society. I knew my dad “paid taxes”, I was pretty sure everyone I knew did. I understood even at that age if I was going to have my outdoor rink and see the doctor and travel on the 401 that these things had to get paid for and my dad and all the other dads I knew, and some moms, had to do this. They didn’t necessarily like that, but apart from their mortality, it was inevitable. I never really heard of anyone trying to “cheat the system”. I didn’t ever hear of any of my friends’ dads BUYING A CADILLAC OR MERCEDES OR A HOUSE WITH CASH from their Christmas bonus. I knew some kids that had more than us but not a lot and seems to me that their parents were generous and gave to different things, “causes” as my parents used to call it. Everyone and everything seemed to function with “an order” to it. Kinda white, a nice Christmassy white, colours came from our imagination of things we wanted to do and be and see, not from a technicolour barrage of non-stop media.

When did the “White Christmases” stop? When did the black and white become replaced with various shades of grey and “in the BLACK” or “in the RED”? 1980 was strange year. We moved from Caledon, Ontario to Calgary that summer. When I saw the Rockies for the first time (my dad stopped the car on the side of the Trans Canada) right around Strathmore I was in awe. When we went to Banff for the first time, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was “out west”, the “frontier”. I went to my first Stampede and I’ve been every year since. I remember my first steak at Caesar’s that summer. I also remember that Ontario CRASHED. Our incredibly beautiful 5 acres with 4800 square foot house, trout stream where I fished, my BUILT IN TRAIN TABLE, horse paddocks, gardens, etc was sold in a “guaranteed sale” I heard my parents say late one night with my mother basically weeping for less than $160,000. It was sold a few months later to a lady that bought it for a “weekend house”, she was a “broker”. I didn’t know anyone who was “a broker”. I knew kids, whose parents owned, and I grew up at my aunt’s cottage in Muskoka, but I had never heard of anyone having a 4800 square foot house as a “weekend place for entertaining” it broke my mother’s heart. I remember her crying. “Rural Calgary” was $100,000 an acre, we couldn’t afford that so we rented the house that to this day stands at the corner of Acadia and Southland and having my favourite bike I brought from Caledon stolen because I left it sitting out in the “back lane” without a lock. I never had a bike lock before. That year the Calgary school Board went on strike, my parents moved us to Okotoks. Everywhere was “booming”. We moved to Woodhaven on “the other side of the tracks”. I remember my mom and dad in tears again as they paid about $20,000 less than what our place went for in Caledon, for a place about a 1/3rd the size and on a “lot”. We hadn’t lived on a “lot” since I was in Grade 1. My school, Okotoks Jr./Sr. High was old. I came face to face with STRATHCONA TWEEDSMUIR, a private school, with really hot RICH girls. Suddenly at our church there was a huge gap between “the rich kids” and me. I didn’t understand this. My dad worked in oil and gas, BUT we didn’t live in Calgary. At that time many of the kids at Okotoks Jr./Sr. came from ranching/farming families. At that time Calgary’s infamous “horse racer” pronounced that the “Bums and scums” from the East needed to go home. Needless to say the kids in Okotoks knew I wasn’t born at the Holy Cross in Calgary, it wasn’t much fun. I remember the night John Lennon died; my sister and I were listening to CKXL 1140. That was shattering to me. It really seemed weird. A few years later “the broker” sold my parent’s place in Caledon for well north of a million and everyone on our street except my parents and a couple of other families lost their homes to foreclosure. Alberta was bust.

Something happened. Something went very wrong. At 45 years old this February, I’m not naïve enough to think that even while I was growing up in the “White Christmas” of my youth that there weren’t issues, but I’m sorry the world seemed like a much different place. We seemed to be much different as a society. White Christmas has been replaced by black and red Christmas, “Black Friday”. Boom, bust, boom, stagflation???; recession, record high TSX/DJIA then record lows on the same exchanges. Balanced budgets, surpluses, followed by record deficits. Really, what happened to those silent, starry, snowy nights of fiscal responsibility, living within your means, “paying cash”, balancing the budget BEFORE the budget is being TABLED! In a previous blog, by my friend @ppilarski he saw me as “looking to the past” the “progressive” Conservatives are the way to the future. So let me state here and now I simply look to the past to move us forward into a much more responsible future. I want white again, no more black or red. No more labelling economics as “Liberal red” or “Conservative blue”. I want a WHITE CHRISTMAS,

I’ve heard from real, live breathing Albertans that we need to start over. We have lost our way. The old “colours of the past” that have defined and divided us aren’t working. So on Christmas Eve/early morning as I was wrapping presents and eating “Santa’s snack” my little daughter left out for “him”, and watching the Classic Film “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney I couldn’t help but think about a “White Christmas” for Alberta. For white is what you get when you start with a clean, fresh new sheet of paper, and even though it isn’t a colour it is what needs to happen in this Province. We need A Plan for Alberta, and All Albertans. When you’ve got a ZERO on a page there’s white in the middle, no black, no red, no streets paved with gold, pure beautiful white. It is time to introduce zero and white to Albertans. Government is not a profit making corporation, and it is not a company. It is the guardian of the hard earned dollars of its citizens, hard earned dollars that it has been entrusted with to manage and provide a standard of living for ALL of those same citizens that is commensurate with its revenues, in other words long before the end of the year the goal should be ZERO balance sheet. Income matches expenses. If there is a massive amount of income at the end of the year; a surplus, and there are people sleeping under bridges, increased wait times in ER rooms, food banks, overcrowded classrooms, massive student loan crisis, the government has mismanaged its finances. If there are all of the above and corporations are paying massive bonuses, making record profits, playing “flavour of the month” pump and dump on the stock exchanges, allowing local Alberta businesses to go under while large multinational, food, energy and retail business prospers, government has failed its citizens. How do I know this? I speak for thousands of Albertans who’ve had enough of the “boom and bust” the “in the black or red” reactive economic policies because we have lived it for too long. We have as a society allowed ourselves to become slaves to debt and deficit, spend, spend, spend; borrow, borrow, borrow when times are bad because that will stimulate the economy, when times are good because it is the “economic engine”. We need to WHITE it out!

I AM NOT ADVOCATING ZERO PROFIT FOR BUSINESS. I AM NOT ADVOCATING CLOSED MARKETS, I AM NOT A PROTECTIONIST. I AM NOT AGAINST CAPITALISM. I AM NOT A COMMUNIST. I am simply stating that when the economy is flourishing that if profits are not being turned into research and innovation, making this Province a WORLD ENERGY LEADER, leading edge healthcare and long term care, WORLD CLASS PUBLICLY FUNDED EDUCATION BOTH POST SECONDARY AND K-12, and massive profits are going offshore and into massive bonuses and stock enrichment schemes, we have a problem. For the next budget we must partner with industry to ensure this is taking place or if we continue to fail to arrest these issues, raise taxes, the choice is simple. We can no longer allow massive profits from this Province to flow south to a massive retailer in Arkansas and have local Alberta businesses struggle and go into bankruptcy therefore putting enormous drain on our social system. We cannot have massive profits from our once thriving agricultural sector be sent to the world headquarters of staggeringly massive factory farmers in St. Louis or Minneapolis while Alberta “family” farmers that have farmed this Province for generations gradually wither away or “sell out” to these entities, again putting massive strain on our social fabric. Gigantic oilfield service companies based in Texas swallowing up family run service companies that can’t afford to keep staff or rigs going when we “piss the next boom away”. And foreign energy companies sending profits far from Grande Prairie while the social underpinning of the Province erodes is not acceptable.

BUT when I talk of fair share, I talk of FAIR share. This isn’t just about oil and gas companies, the other examples above in agriculture, retail and many other sectors that leave Albertans “draining the system” while they are making massive profits are not “paying their fair share” either. Let us not be so disingenuous as to single out one “visible” and easy target, while leaving the “elephant unattended in the room”. Just raising taxes will bring everyone a very black Christmas, and I don’t mean a positive ledger entry. So that is why I am advocating a “blank, white sheet of paper”; a creative partnership between government and industry that fosters infrastructure development. Innovation and research. Strategic development and planning that will lead to a much more creative, dynamic and diversified Alberta that fosters both personal and corporate growth and truly makes the Province a sustainable, diverse economic powerhouse that has a quality based, proactive approach to growth and province wide development. Perhaps tax increases based on certain economic performance may be warranted BUT more critical is long term reinvestment into making Alberta a WORLD economic engine.

Again, if individuals are “taking from the system” we need to assess the long term ramifications of “building bigger personal empires” while the fabric of the Province unravels. Like it or not; we are ALL part of a bigger picture, and when certain segments of our population are left to their own devices while other segments of that same citizenry are able to benefit disproportionately with zero accountability, we have a problem. At some point in time we all may need some or ALL of the services that the government should maintain for its citizens to ensure that such a vast resource base is not squandered on anything less than world class care. One glaring and critical example is a “blank canvas” in terms of our relationship with our aboriginal citizens. If massive corporate and individual profits are taken from this province and the systemic issues which plague so many of our aboriginal communities remain, we have failed, for the downside cost will continue to create a massive strain on the social fabric.

2011 is going to be an exciting year. I am looking forward to the discussion, dialogue and sometimes I am sure, lively and challenging debate with Albertans from all corners of the Province. But I will hold fast to my dream of a “White Christmas”, a chance to begin again to create a partnership between Government and its individual and corporate citizens that encourages and fosters a climate of balance between profits and all Albertans profitting from a healthy, diverse, strategic approach to our economy and social fabric.

 
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