Home Regular Contributors Shane Wenzel The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2023

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of 2023

Shane Wenzel

When I began to contemplate what I would write as a year-end summary I was hopeful it would be easier than last year to make it more uplifting and hopeful that we were turning the corner to easier times. But I find myself looking forward to 2024 and hopeful that powerful people will reassess their actions motivated by some exceptionally low polling numbers. While we are still two years away from Election 2025, there is still time for common sense to prevail by putting Canadians at the front of the agenda. That hope is fading as the blunders continue. Since the popularity polls are not faring well for Prime Minister Trudeau, he has suddenly started to pass out special favours; none are slated for Alberta. In addition to confusing favours, he is making casual ‘drop-by visits’ to small businesses to shake hands where he doesn’t typically shop and holding elite fundraising gatherings.

But we don’t have to look too far from home for some good news.

The Good: Since last year-end, we celebrated Premier Danielle Smith’s victory in Alberta with her promise to stand against Ottawa policies that would harm our economy that continues to be the best in Canada. Premier Smith is doing her job as promised while constantly being challenged by the opposition. As those who seem to be opposed to progress continue to complain, she has kept her promise to immediately begin improvements on our struggling health care system. It can’t be expected to be other than struggling when cities are campaigning for more population without any thought that thousands of new arrivals can only impede more on a health system designed for fewer numbers. She has moved quickly with new criterion for saving lives from a life of addictions, added more provincial police to assist in reducing crime on transit systems and is reorganizing the bureaucracy.

Our economy continues to boom with our oil sands adding over $2.2 billion more than expected to our coffers and a projected $5.5 billion surplus. More changes are under way.

The Bad: Inflation is up largely due to a needless carbon tax, unsustainable deficit spending by the federal government, lost infrastructure dollars, gross overpayment dated back to the ArriveCAN App, a payroll system still incomplete at $3.5 billion dollars and increased interest rates. As a result, Canadians are suffering at the grocery stores, facing rising mortgage rates, rent increases and a shortage of affordable housing which will not be an easy task to facilitate. There is more, but I am running out of allotted space for this article.

The Ugly: The ‘Existential Climate Emergency’ that doesn’t exist is fitting for this category. Threats from Minister Guilbeault to challenge his recent losses in court, his commitment of sending more of our dollars to his cohorts at COP-28, pledging to still demand zero emissions by 2030 and legislate a cap on oil and gas emissions. Fossil fuels represent capital in the bank. We need it and they need it. I was delighted to hear that the oil and gas industry was represented at COP-28 much to the dismay of some, but welcome support for Premier Smith.