She is furious.
She gets off the computer and she is so angry.
“What the hell is any of this for? What is the point of all this?” she says.
“The Liberals keep saying the same thing over and over again but they’re not actually doing anything in reality. It’s like being in a twilight zone. We can all do this dance but nothing is actually changing.”
Shannon Stubbs is an MP from central Alberta and she’s a long way from the Liberals led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
A long way in more ways than one.
In geography, in attitude, in philosophy.
Stubbs once again tries to get answers from the Trudeau Liberals in a question period on computer.
What about the much-ballyhooed help for the oilpatch and we’re not talking about just cleaning up orphan and abandoned wells?
You know, the relief package, the loans to keep companies alive not to bury the oilpatch dead.
Small companies, big companies. Promises are made and programs are announced and then you get headlines like a few days back.
Oilpatch feels deceived.
You hear one deal is so ugly you’d have to be really desperate to take it.
Another wades through the swamp of Ottawa as those who need the money don’t see any of it headed their way.
What day? What day will the help come? These are the questions.
The Liberals tell Stubbs they support the oilpatch and are doing what they can. They are nothing if not shameless. Patronizing, a pat on the head, hot air. Gag.
Stubbs says people in Alberta’s heartland are out of hope. They feel the Trudeau Liberals are full of it. They’re completely fed up and, now more than ever, talking options. All options.
They feel powerless. They feel exploited. They feel all the contributions of Alberta to this country have never mattered.
“And it will never be enough and they’ll never get a fair shake. People have had it.”
The story goes on and on and on. It could have been written when I was in high school, a very long time ago when another Trudeau called the shots.
In fact, back then there was a national bestseller and I quoted it in a history term paper. Shrug: Trudeau in Power.
The West wants in. Don’t let anyone fool you. The West has never really been in.
“I hardly even know what to say anymore,” says Stubbs, summing up the sentiments of many.
Stubbs says some of this tiresome shtick may be out-and-out incompetence. But the bigger part is the Liberals are just not into the oilpatch.
It’s not the world they see when they dream of those rainbows and unicorns in their fantasy future. They don’t think of solid, hard-working places where real flesh-and-blood Canadians live, like Two Hills, Alta.
Couldn’t find it on a map.
“That’s why they’re willing to turn a blind eye to the absolute devastation and destruction of companies and jobs and livelihoods and communities,” says Stubbs, the mince-no-words Conservative MP.
The Liberals throw around all kinds of cash with ease. Some of that cash comes from Alberta oil.
But when it comes to the commitment of loans for oilpatch companies needing some breathing room in tough times and everybody and their uncle just knew there’d be a hang-up.
Every day, Stubbs takes to Twitter.
She counts the days to nowhere.
Day 78. Liberals promised loans. All that’s delivered is a sign-up sheet for updates. Joining an email does nothing.
Last month, Travis Toews, Alberta’s budget boss, told us many times how he was pleased with Ottawa.
Folks like yours truly weren’t even sure whether what the Trudeau government said it would do was what the provincial government wanted.
Was this The Thing, The Big One?
It was all so confusing. The Alberta government wasn’t celebrating.
We got it! We really got it! The whole enchilada! Canada works after all! See, all that kissing of Trudeau’s butt was worth it!
We didn’t hear that. In fact, newshounds had to point-blank ask if the province got what it wanted.
A month back, Toews said he was working with the Trudeau Liberals and the oilpatch on a happy ending.
Guess he’s still working on it.
Stubbs says it is all well and good to be diplomatic, polite and respectful.
But after years of “benign neglect” or “hostile attacks,” you have to wonder if it’s time to change the channel.
“At some point, you have to call a spade a spade.”