Why Jason Kenney Exploring a Green New Deal Isn’t Crazy

The world is shifting and politics will not stand still, even in Alberta.


Cartoon by Greg Perry.

Back in 1975, the Eastman Kodak Company sold 90 per cent of the film bought in the U.S. and 85 per cent of all cameras. At one time the company employed 145,000 people worldwide.

By 2012, Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection — destroyed by disruptive digital photography technology that was invented by Kodak’s own engineers in 1975. A former vice president described what will go down as one of the great business blunders of all time: “We developed the world’s first consumer digital camera but we could not get approval to launch or sell it because of fear of the effects on the film market.”

History sometimes happens fast and those who presume they have power to restrain unfolding events can be in for an unpleasant awakening.

Which brings us to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. Last week he expressed his outrage that a local reporter would have the temerity to ask in the midst of a global collapse in oil prices and demand whether he had thought about reaching out to politicians advancing a Green New Deal in the U.S. Apparently even exploring a hard transition away from fossil fuels is considered a thought crime by the governing United Conservative Party.

“Listen, our focus is on getting people back to work in Alberta, not pie-in-the-sky ideological schemes,” the Premier fumed. “That kind of question, in the middle of an economic crisis, from a Calgary-based media outlet — really, frankly, throws me for a loop. It sounds like you’re reporting for The Tyee or something.”

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