The report in last week’s edition of the presentation given by our MLA Ron Orr to a group of business leaders was disappointing, to say the least. Rather than being a report on the activities of the Legislature, his talk appeared to be the opening speech of an election campaign, albeit three years too early; made up mostly of complaints and critique of the NDP government’s legislative agenda, with some vague notions of Wildrose ideas thrown in as “fertilizer.”
The gradual increase of the minimum wage to $15 was treated like an upcoming catastrophe, heralding the demise of the business community. It reminded me of the laments that rose when Edmonton proposed a “no smoking” ban in bars and restaurants. The world was about to end! The fact that many countries in the first world have minimum wages of $20 to $35, as in Norway and Sweden, with no appreciable slowing of their economies, seemed to escape Mr. Orr’s knowledge of the world.
Although Mr. Orr was critical of the carbon tax as another ‘economy killer’, he came perilously close to endorsing it as legislation with a “positive intent,” without having the good grace to actually agree with the change.
References to Wildrose policy ideas were mentioned only by pointing to the party’s webpage for any real information. Nowhere in his reported speech did he mention the Fort McMurray fire, and the splendid manner in which the Premier and her ministers managed that catastrophic event from day one.
When it was all said and done, we got a report of a faithful party hack chopping away at the government’s actions, without ever acknowledging the value of the acts, or the positives in the government’s management of a major crisis.
Surely, when an elected representative reports on the activities of the legislature, we should expect something more than a thinly veiled pre-election speech. It’s too early for you to be running for re-election, Mr. Orr. It would be helpful if you stuck to the agenda of the present, and at least told us what you and yours would do as an alternative.