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Brent Rathgeber

Independent Candidate For St. Albert - Edmonton


This Recession Is Inconvenient for Harper

The worst kept secret regarding the economy was made official today -- Canada is in a recession. There is nothing technical about it; the definition of a recession is relatively straightforward: two consecutive quarters with negative economic growth. The fact that this definition might not be convenient for a sitting government's, which holds itself out as brilliant economic managers, political fortunes is irrelevant. By any objective standard, the Canadian economy is under-performing.
09/01/2015 05:22 EDT
Government of Canada

The UCCB Isn't About Parents - It's About the Election

Both Treasury Board Guidelines and the Ethics Commission state it is inappropriate for a government official to blur the lines between a government and a partisan announcement. However, Minister Pierre Poilievre felt no apparent shame. He was quick to point out that neither the Liberals nor the New Democrats support the UCCB (a half-truth at best). Accordingly, he was not so subtly attempting to persuade an apparently gullible public that only the Conservatives could be trusted to protect families. It's not new for governments to attempt to play politics with taxpayer money; but vote buying has rarely felt more shameless.
07/22/2015 05:37 EDT

A Morbidly Obese Cabinet With A Singular Focus: The 2015 Election

With the addition of the Honourable Erin O'Toole as the Minister of Veterans' Affairs, the current federal cabinet has ballooned to 40 members, tying the largest cabinet in Canadian history--that of also "conservative" Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney. The necessity of a federal cabinet ballooning to 40 members is unclear to me. The United States, a country with a population almost nine times that of Canada, seems to get by with a trim assemblage of 16 cabinet secretaries. Current cabinets serve only political purposes. At 40 members, it is simply too large and cumbersome to be a deliberative body.
01/07/2015 06:06 EST

Redford's Downfall Reinforces the Need for Chong's Reform Act

It has now been almost two weeks since Premier Alison Redford made her surprise announcement that she would be resigning as the Premier of Alberta. For the third time in less than a decade, a PC Alberta Premier was ousted by a process other than a general election. The entire Alberta episode has me thinking about Michael Chong's "Reform Act."
04/01/2014 06:13 EDT
Elections Canada

Not Much Fairness in the "Fair Elections Act"

On Tuesday, Canada's Minister of Democratic Reform finally tabled the "Fair Elections Act," claiming it is designed to protect the fairness of federal elections. The reforms do little to address the inherent and institutional unfairness in Canadian elections. I am not referring to the electoral distortions perpetuated by the winner take all, First Past the Post System that produces "majority" governments. I am referring to the explicit bias towards political parties in Canada's election financing laws.
02/07/2014 05:33 EST

It's Time for Stephen Harper to Man Up

It is difficult to keep track of the ever-growing list of accusations, insinuations, and conjecture dropping like grenades in the Wright/Duffy Scandal. The Prime Minister has consistently maintained that he was not apprised of the $90,000 cheque. I have consistently believed him. But there comes a point when it no longer matters who knew what or when.
10/29/2013 05:48 EDT

Harper's Cabinet Shuffle Was All Sizzle, No Steak

If I had any lingering doubts regarding my decision to resign from the Conservative Caucus to sit as an Independent in the House of Commons, this week's Cabinet shuffle certainly removed them. The facelift did nothing to restore an appropriate balance between the front and back benches.
07/17/2013 11:05 EDT

Why I Left the Conservatives to Stand Alone

Late last night I notified the Board of Directors of the Edmonton-St. Albert Conservative Association of my difficult decision that I was resigning from the Conservative Caucus to sit as an Independent in the House of Commons. I joined the Reform/conservative movements because I thought we were somehow different, a band of Ottawa outsiders riding into town to clean the place up, promoting open government and accountability. I can only compromise so much before I begin to not recognize myself. I no longer recognize much of the party that I joined and whose principles (at least on paper), I still believe in. Accordingly, since I can no longer stand with them, I must now stand alone.
06/06/2013 11:53 EDT