12/18/2013 04:57 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Alison Redford's 2013 Christmas Video Message And The Uncomfortable Politics Behind The Address

Despite being embroiled in a heated battle with the province's unionized public service, Alberta Premier Alison Redford showered praise on the province's public workers during her Christmas video address.

The public unions, along with opposition parties, have been locked in a fierce battle of words against the government since the Tories passed bills restricting unions' bargaining powers last month, effectively leaving unionized workers without typical labour tools such as strikes or binding arbitration.

"We are blessed to live in the fastest growing province in Canada and to have an outstanding quality of life, supported by world-class public services and public servants," said Redford, whose government's actions don't seem to reflect quite same sentiments.

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The one-minute speech may have been intended as a heart-felt Christmas address from the premier to the electorate but her reference to the public service, in the midst of the current dispute, makes for some uncomfortable Christmas moments.

The address did start well, however, with Redford praising Albertans and the Alberta spirit, which she said shone brightly during this year's flood.

"It's been only a few months since the worst floods in provincial history struck and I'm so proud of how we've persevered," she said.

"The same spirit of giving that makes this season so bright was on display as the water rose. Albertans opened their homes and hearts to those affected and you're still helping each other to heal and rebuild."