A new Alberta. That’s what Alberta’s new premier, Jim Prentice, promised us when he was elected. So far, he has been true to his word.
Prentice began to make good on his promises soon after assuming office, disbanding the existing cabinet and replacing it with a smaller, easier to manage group of 20. He also caused controversy by including two unelected members in the cabinet, but no one can say that such a move doesn’t demonstrate new perspective when it comes to forming a government.
It didn’t take long for Prentice to follow up his cabinet announcement by announcing that Alberta would be selling its government planes, the source of much frustration among Alberta residents and perhaps the final straw that led to Redford’s resignation.
It would seem that selling Alberta’s government fleet would be a move that everyone agreed with, but of course Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith still criticized it, saying that the sale of the government’s planes is something that should have done long before.
While we agree that there was never any real reason for Alberta’s government to have its own fleet, Redford left Prentice with one heck of a mess to clean up and he should be applauded for his efforts so far.
Yes, it’s the opposition’s job to disagree with the government but there comes a time when the “better late than never” argument is appropriate.
Prentice announced the government will scrap the plans to redesign Alberta’s licence plate. This is a move that does not deserve any kind of criticism.
In scrapping redesign, Prentice has demonstrated he does not plan to play politics and is listening to the people. He has shown that the government’s goals occasionally align with those of opposition parties and it is possible for them to work together in the future.
In politics, something we see far too much of is an ‘us versus them’ mentality. Sometimes it is necessary for political parties to disagree, but it is also necessary for them to work together, something that many would deem impossible by listening to Alberta’s official opposition. By no means has Prentice completely healed the damage caused by his predecessors or restored faith in the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. All of the province will still be watching them like hawks.
But, he has had made good on his promises. Since long before Prentice was elected, loud shouts from Alberta’s opposition parties said that changing the party’s leader, as has been done in the past, would not change anything within the party. That a new face would not make a difference in the way the province is governed.
Prentice is clearly proving them wrong.