Wildrose MLA Drew Barnes recently wrote a Message From The MLA piece in the 40 Mile County Commentator about property rights legislation here in Alberta. Mr. Barnes was critical of both the existing legislation and his perception of the current provincial governments inaction. Mr. Barnes glosses over the fact that the first action new Premier Jim Prentice took was the repealing of one of the acts that Mr. Barnes so adamantly opposes. Instead he aims his anger towards the remaining legislation. He incorrectly reads his biased interpretations into these acts and then condemns them. His interpretations are not supported by any case law on the matter and make no mention of the actual functioning of the legislation to date. Instead Mr. Barnes resorts to his usual the sky is falling fear mongering tactic. Recently Mr. Barnes penned a long message on social media about the role of the Loyal Opposition as one of dignified opposition and of holding the government accountable. Unfortunately, with such articles as the one he wrote for the Commentator, Mr. Barnes does not live up to his own expectations of the role the opposition plays. Instead he incites fear and irresponsibly and incorrectly portrays legislation as dangerous. Instead of doing his job and actually finding factual faults with the legislation, a reality according to the government themselves, he plays cheap political charades and panders to our worse fears. I know the voters of Cypress-Medicine Hat are smarter than that and I’m sure resent such attempts at manipulation by their elected representative for his own political gain.
Finally, the most incredible part of Mr. Barnes article is that he advocates for a motion the Wildrose brought forth in the Legislature to enshrine property rights in the federal Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Thankfully the motion was soundly defeated. I am shocked that Mr. Barnes would want to give up a provincial right that Premier Lougheed and most other provincial premiers fought so hard to preserve, when then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau tried to steal this and other rights away from the provinces during constitutional negotiations. Why Mr. Barnes would want to give our property rights over to the federal government and have decisions about Alberta made by Ottawa rather than here at home is beyond me. Mr. Barnes philosophy on governance is confused as he advocates for decentralization on other issues, but centralization on this one. Mr. Barnes, a self-styled Conservative advocating for and trying to reincarnate the policies of Liberal Pierre Trudeau to the detriment of the people of Alberta is nothing short of an abdication of his responsibilities and an act of betrayal to our province.