Disgracefully undemocratic by Ryan Bissonnette, September 22, 2007, Calgary Herald
Alberta – Re: “Energy agency’s use of spies went too far,” Sept. 14.
Should it come as a surprise to anyone that a powerful agency of the Alberta government has routinely spied on private citizens? The clear answer is no; sadly, Alberta is a poor example of democracy. Accountability, transparency and good governance have not been demonstrated by the Alberta government in a generation.
Ralph Klein routinely appointed loyal Tories into positions of great power and influence without any debate, scrutiny or proper opposition; this includes not only the civil service but also the judiciary. The sale of the Holy Cross hospital at a fraction of its value to a personal friend of Klein’s is another example of the Alberta democratic deficit.
While residing in the province, I was continually aghast at provincial politicians and government policy. I was constantly told by colleagues and friends that it was simply the way it is done and that Alberta was different. Now that the truth is revealed about the EUB, this misstep by the premier should not go unnoticed. A system of checks and balances, including opposition party participation on the various legislature committees is long overdue. Don’t count on this party making such obvious changes, as the current system has served them well. [Emphasis added]