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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Oberg the Iceberg - You Only See 10%

Grande Prairie Herald Tribune today quotes Lyle "the Prodigal Son" Oberg as advocating a "merging of the energy and agriculture industries to create a biodiesel fuel industry as a means of diversifying the provinces economy." How long do you think the agriculture industry would last in such a "merger?" About as long as the federal Progressive Conservatives did when MacKay signed his NO merger deal with Orchard and immediately proceeded to shamelessly sell out to the Reform/Alliance party.

We need to expand clean alternative energy sources and should support the Alberta forestry and agriculture entrepreneurs and innovators who are taking the risks and leading the way. Lyle says lets turn them over to BIG OIL and see how well they can continue to survive and innovate for energy alternatives. There are plenty of good independent and clever minds in agriculture and forestry who are pioneers of our times. They can help diversify our economy and also aid our environment without the aid of the conventional energy sector. This merger idea is the dumbest policy suggestion since cutting taxes in half for under 30 year olds.

Oberg further plead his case for $1billion of surplus fund to be spent for fixing schools. Great idea. We're talking straight up infrastructure stuff like leaky roofs, or if they don't leak, perhaps Lyle will put some bucks into fixing those schools whose roofs have already caved in. Why would Oberg propose this bold initiative at this time? Because, and I repeat his quote, "I don't think anyone wants their kids to go to school with a leaky roof or the school in a state of disrepair." Spare us Mr. former Infrastructure Minister. This is the very stuff Oberg failed, refused and neglected to do for schools as the Minister. He was told of the scale and urgency of the school maintenance problems by the governments very own MLA review committee. He repeatedly turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to them, the school boards, the parents and the teachers who were crying out to him as the Minister responsible.

The news story closes with another gem from Oberg where he is said he "...hope(s) the upcoming leadership race will be shaped ideas and not as much as with personality." DUH! I guess. Who would want personality - and character - raised as leadership issues after being kicked out of caucus because of reckless and wanton statements about his colleagues and his leader? It's been months and no skeletons have been exhumed. A man of character would be duty bound to expose any wrong doing he alleges. Anything less could only be judged as a character flaw.

Albertans will engage in this selection process for party leader and Premier. They will reflect on character and integrity as key criteria when they make their choice about who is best fit to govern. Character, integrity and capability will count - as will a candidates record. That is as it ought to be.