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What was the point other than grandstanding and diverting attention?

Posted on March 9, 2023 by Taber Times

Most eyes were watching the legislature waiting with bated breath as finance minister Travis Toews announced a surplus of $2.4 billion. The government will spend “$66.8 billion, leaving $1.5 billion for its disaster contingency fund.”

Pretty significant considering the way the economy has been. What does this mean in real terms to ordinary people, time will tell. What does this mean in regards to the upcoming election? Ditto.

It was an important budget for Premier Danielle Smith and finance minister Travis Toews as the UCP is battling the NDP as the spring vote approaches.

As the budget is tabled in the legislature, members of the house can acknowledge guests in the public gallery area.

Drew Barnes upstaged the budget presentation by introducing Tamara Lich to the legislature. Just… why?

The night before, Barnes was photographed with Dr. Jordan B Peterson, a popular but extremely polarizing clinical psychologist and author.

There was no value to it other than giving Lich and her lawyer Eva Chipiuk a positive light shined on them within the provincial media (think Simple Minds’ Don, an acknowledgement to all of the Barnes supporters, many of which are also supporters of the Freedom Convoy movement which Lich was a leader).

Was it to stick it Premier Danielle Smith and all of his former UCP colleagues? Barnes announced he wouldn’t run for the UCP but did not indicate whether he would run as an independent again. If he decides to leave, it would be quite the way to leave provincial politics, right before the budget and provincial election.

In his own words, “If we don’t stand up for our freedoms, we’re going to lose them. Freedom of speech is the No. 1 thing protecting all of our freedoms, and Tamara has been a leader standing up for freedom of speech and the freedom to protest.”

Fair enough but why not do it another day? The focus needs to be on the budget, not having a polarizing figure get a shout out and makes one long for the days where we could just have a basic, straightforward budget presentation without political smoke bombs and games.

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