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2019 will be cumulative year for Red Deer, or not?


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2019 will be a cumulative year. The Canada Winter Games will have occurred and the provincial and federal elections will have played out.
Federally will see whether the Liberals in Ottawa get a passing grade and a second term or sent to the opposition side, but locally the Conservatives should retain their seats in Red Deer.
The only uncertainty may be if incumbent Earl Dreeshen, retires after turning 65 on July 9 2018. There are rumours that he may retire and our mayor who is learning French as I write this column may contest the Conservative nomination. There are other local, county and other municipal election waiting for Mr. Dreeshen to retire and contest the Conservative nomination and it looks promising.
Who ever ends up as the Conservative candidate in the 2019 federal election, they are not expected to lose. There is no expectation of a cabinet post, currently, if the Conservatives do beat the Liberals, unless a strong candidate is placed before the electorate.
Most of the attention, locally, will be on the provincial election and whether the NDP will be given a second term. There is a lot of interest in the UCP under new leader, Jason Kenney as seen in the media, with the vacating of the seat in Innisfail/Sylvan Lake.
The city of Red deer has 2 NDP MLAs, neither in cabinet and may lose their party’s nominations in their ridings, if contested.
The party could protect their nomination and prevent them from being contested but I do not see that happening. Our local MLAs along with many others were elected on the coattails of Rachel Notley, but that won’t happen in 2019. Premier Notley needs some star candidates, candidates with proven name recognition like former city councillor; Paul Harris to help the NDP retain power.
Provincially we have interest in the Alberta Party and there are rumours of some names interested in running under their new leader and former Health Minister and former Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mendel.
Unfortunately, if the goal is to keep the NDP in government people will vote NDP, but if the goal is to defeat the NDP then the most viable option is the UCP, under our current first-past-the-post electoral process.
The second point of interest is the urbanization of Alberta. The NDP appeals to the more progressive and higher educated voters which are more often found in the larger urban centres like Calgary and Edmonton. Red Deer has reached their plateau in growth and may be inconsequential in the political arena unless there is a star candidate for the governing party.
Declining population, lack of interest by the various governments in our infrastructure, like expanding our hospital, for example gently signifies our irrelevance unless we were to offer strong candidates, “star” candidates if you will.
So when 2019 comes to an end, will we rejoice with fond memories of the Canada Games? Will we have strong representation in Ottawa and Edmonton? Or will it be just another missed opportunity in politics with 2 busy forgettable weeks of sports? I vote for fond memories and strong representation, how about you?

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Pop Quiz: You Know You’re A Woke Punchline When…

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“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They can be powerful words to live by. Live-and-let-live has underpinned much of the Judeo/Christian tradition. It also informs many of the world’s other religions. For secular people the sentiment works just as well.

If you want to be loved and respected then you must extend love and respect in equal measures to those of whom you’re not all that fond. It is both a brake on hubris and an inspiration to our “better angels”. While that balance has been observed more in the breach than in the commission at times, live-and-let-live nonetheless still provides a path to mutual co-existence.

There was a time when that balance guided society. Or, as they like to say, the Good Old Days. Now, the needle monitoring live-and-let-live swings like a Hillary Clinton polygraph. If you’re with safe-space generation, no micro aggression is too small, no affront to LGBTQ-2 too slight to put off national calamity, no enemy too small to squash.

Woke causes replace empathy in the daily conversation. Why? Journalist Michael Shellenberger says apocalyptic behaviour “provides psychological comfort to secular Western people who have gradually abandoned traditional religions. For over a century, sociologists and psychologists have documented rising rates of depression and anxiety… Is it a coincidence that the people who said Western civilization was unsustainable are making it so?”

Not everyone has succumbed. How can you tell? In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be as redneck if…” here is your guide to discovering if you have become a Woke punchline.

If you’ve forgiven Japan and Germany for the atrocities they inflicted on the world in the 1940s but you can’t get past Sir John A. Macdonald putting the railway through the land of the Sioux, Blackfoot and Lakota… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you are concerned about world over-population but you’re nagging your kids about when they will make you grandparents… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re so sensitive about killing animals for food that you go extreme vegan but then attend a Pro-Choice rally in a T-shirt bragging about how many abortions you’ve had…you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re in favour of Trudeau’s aggressive immigration policy but then your kids say they can’t afford to buy a home in a large Canadian centre… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you try to convince friends at a dinner party that Trudeau’s Carbon Tax really does fight global warming but your monthly hydro bill triples… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Trudeau family friends are the best people to investigate him ignoring CSIS warnings about China but you think Pierre Polievre is a little too cozy with the international forces of Qanon… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you believe Doug Ford is trying to dismantle free healthcare but then act indignant with the boys at beer-league hockey that you can’t get your knee fixed for over two years… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Stephen Colbert is still funny, but think that Bill Maher is now sounding like a January 6 insurrectionist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think banning Muslim and Sikh symbols is racist but Quebec doing the same is their cultural right… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think the B.C. government will cure drug addiction by giving addicts a cozy place to shoot up but you tell people at work that you can’t go downtown anymore for all the junkies blocking the Starbucks entrance… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you firmly believe the prime minister is trying to keep a lid on inflation but you protest that Galen Weston is gouging you on food prices… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you donate to Save The Children but then buy a $350 pair of running shoes made by children in Asian sweatshops… … you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think career criminal George Floyd is a martyr but Egerton Ryerson is a genocidal racist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think today’s academic standards aren’t what they once were but then you go to school to berate the teacher for not communicating the curriculum properly to your indulged child… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you get to the bottom of this column without recognizing yourself in any of these contradictions… you might be a Woke punchline.

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Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via


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Disability Chat with comedian Ken Vaghardson

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