On Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction
Smith: I can’t set up military bases. I can’t go out and negotiate international trade agreements on my own. I can’t sadly even manage passport offices much as my residents here would probably wish I could because they’ve been managed so poorly, but it’s supposed to be a two-way street. That means that the federal government should not be legislating or interfering in our areas of jurisdiction either.
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On what has happened to Alberta’s energy industry
Smith: It’s been devastated since 2014. And some of that is technological change. There was a new type of of development called horizontal multistage fracking, which allowed for us to open up massive oil and gas fields and as a result, the prices ended up collapsing. So that happened just before the federal government got elected. So we were already struggling in this province. But then, as we’ve been trying to find our feet, find new markets, we have been stymied at every single step.
On why Alberta still delivers equalization payments
Smith: We don’t have much control over that because what happens is they over-tax us at the federal level. This is sort of one of the flaws of our constitutional arrangement that we set up is that the federal government can tax us into oblivion, and then they hoard a pot of money and then they sort of dribble it back to us saying “Oh, if you run your programs our way, then we’ll transfer you some of the dollars back.”
Smith: I think we have ceded the ground to the extremists like Extinction Rebellion, and we haven’t elevated the more moderate environmental voices and that to me is going to be my big challenge is that I want people to understand that, yes, we can provide energy security. Yes, we can address issues of affordability. And we can do it in a way that is going to be the most environmentally responsible bar none, looking at all of the other options and all of the other producers around the world. That is going to be I think our big communication challenge.
On the costs of energy
Smith: It creates grave danger for those who are on fixed income going into an environment — especially in our northern climates, January, February, March, April — it’s dangerous not to have reliable power, not to be able to have reliable home heating and we have to be mindful that, as you say, the people most impacted by that are the ones at the lower end of the income scale.
On the energy transition
Smith: We are not going to transition out of oil or natural gas. We’re going to transition away from emissions, are going to produce these products in a way that has lower and lower emissions. And we’ve got great technology to be able to do it…. I think (it is as) ludicrous to talk about phasing out oil and natural gas as it is ludicrous to talk about phasing out concrete or phasing out steel. We are increasingly using our base products for construction materials for plastics and we are always going to need to have those.
On Alberta politics
Smith: We are facing a very tough competitor in the NDP. They have have cemented themselves as the progressive vote and they have been polling strongly ever since they left government last time around. So I don’t want to take it for granted. But I, I think these are the issues that are going to turn the election, that is, as much as the NDP and all of the socialist parties like to act as though they’re looking out for the middle class, they are not. They used to be a party that looked out for the little guy. Now they want to maintain the elite institutions and the elite structures that we have, which only benefit those at the very top and also benefit those who are in decision-making roles in the bureaucracy, and it hurts the little person…. When conservatives, often when we run campaigns, we often talk about how much we’re going to cut and we’re going to reduce taxes and anybody who relies on a government service, whether it’s health care or education or post-secondary or children’s services or social services, they think, “Are you cutting the things that I need to be able to survive?” And so we have to develop a different philosophy of government.
On NDP leader Jagmeet Singh
Smith: There’s a story that the socialists tell themselves, that the last time they were most effective in getting their agenda passed was when there was a minority Liberal government and they, they had the balance of power…. I think that there is, this is probably the most left wing Liberal government we have ever had…. I got accustomed to seeing more moderate Liberals in those positions in the past, like Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, which ran balanced budgets and surpluses and helped to develop the economy. I mean, a Liberal who wants us to do well so they can steal our wealth is a Liberal government I can understand like, let’s scrap over who gets to the benefit of the wealth creation. A Liberal who wants to destroy wealth creation, and then think that you can have phony wealth creation by printing money is somebody who I simply don’t understand…. I think foundationally they just believe in central government planning, central government decision-making, central bureaucrats making all of the decisions printing money, and everything will be fine.
On the challenges facing the New Democrats
Smith: They’ve really cannibalized their own base of support because the NDP used to be the party of the working person. They used to be the party of labour. They used to be the party of the blue collar guys and gals and they’re not that anymore, because every single time a resource project comes up, they end up taking the opposite position.
On conservatives attracting immigrant supporters
Smith: There’s a lot of lip service paid, I think on the progressive side of the spectrum to reaching out whereas … the values that we have in the conservative movement are really reflective of newcomers who come to Canada.
Smith: We know that the best environment for an individual to be able to thrive is when they’re surrounded by a supportive family. So any policies we can do to support families, staying together, thriving, helping each other is going to be something that builds our movement.
On faith and fellowship
Smith: I would say that there’s an open hostility to faith on the other side of the spectrum, whereas we embrace faith communities across the full range because we know that that adds that additional layer of support if something goes wrong. Our faith communities are some of the most generous communities when you look at how they support members who end up in trouble. On top of that, then I would add fellowship because there are some people who are no longer part of the faith community, but they’ll join the Rotary Club or the Elks club or their Lions Club.
On LGBTQ issues
Smith: I think part of the challenge was that we’ve had so much social change over the last 20 years, and the conception of what it meant to have that strong and stable relationship was very binary. It was one man one woman. I think now that we’ve broadened out the understanding that everybody needs a life mate, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s someone of the same gender or the opposite gender, having a life mate is what is important. And now we’ve also broadened out so that those who are married in even same-sex relationships also are developing families as well. And I think that that has made the conservative movement far more inclusive than it might have been historically…. I mean, there is this notion that those who have that sort of characteristic from the LGBTQ+ community are automatically aligned with the progressives and I can tell you that it’s not, that is not the case — we have gay leaders in the conservative movement.
On a conservative vision for governance
Smith: We spend a lot of time creating an excellent business environment to attract investment and grow the amount of revenue, which is fantastic. That’s one of the things that I think people can reliably count on conservatives to do. But then what we do is we take that big pot of money and we hand it to the central planners and say “Go deliver stuff.” We hire the exact same people that the socialists hire when somehow we just think, “Oh, well, we’ll hire better central planners,” without realizing that central planning is the fundamental flaw in how we’re delivering our programs.
On free enterprise and the delivery of public services
Smith: If we were to apply our free enterprise values, then we would say, “It all begins with the individual,” giving individual choice, empowering them with dollars so that they can then go and purchase the things that they need to purchase. You would have competition, you would have not only public-sector providers, but nonprofit providers and charitable providers and for-profit providers all competing with each other to deliver the best service at the lowest costs…. You have to have a different purchaser and a different provider and then somebody else evaluating the performance to see how you’re doing and this is the way that you will apply conservative principles to how you deliver health care, how you deliver seniors care, how you deliver advanced education, how you deliver K to 12 education, and that’s the project that I want to engage and get started on. Conservatives normally shy away from these types of issues. And we normally don’t put forward a vision of how we want to do it differently.
On conservatives and culture
Smith: The conservative movement has pretty well ceded the ground on so many of the culture-shaping institutions that we have. In K to 12 education we don’t have a large number of conservative, libertarian-minded teachers, helping to connect kids with all of the different ideas that are out there…. We’ve also seen at the universities … how difficult it is to get your research funded, if you happen to have something beyond woke views…. On top of that all of our arts organizations, our filmmakers, the messages that come through all of our Hollywood and other popular film is almost uniformly negative to conservative ideals or capitalism or liberty, although, you know, there are some notable exceptions.
On how long this will take
Smith: So I’m talking about the things that I need to do to try to advance the message, but I’m not going to succeed unless we also have the backup that we need to have the advocacy groups and the think tanks and academics in the universities. We need to be hiring teachers and filmmakers who are going to tell our stories. And I think that this is a 20- or 30-year project because it took 20 or 30 years to get to the place we are right now. It’s going to take 20 or 30 years to get us to some sort of balance. But we’ve got to start by recognizing the nature of the problem we created for ourselves and starting to undo it.
Quotes shared from https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/jordan-peterson-podcast-danielle-smith