Report on Business

You are here

Christmas Miracle in Wild Rose country

John Bell

December 24, 2023

With all the glooming and dooming going around in the world it is great to be able to report some happy news. And the glad tidings come from the oddest of places: Alberta’s United Conservative Party HQ, lair of Premier Danielle Smith.

The gift-giving spirit has found her and at least a select group of her friends.

But let’s back up this semi for a moment.

Far from us to suggest that a government minister or functionary would ever accept a gift from a lobbyist, or maybe real estate developer. You know, like a bribe, kickback, sop, graft, inducement, hush money, on the take - oh so many synonyms.

Most governments, fed, provincial and local have conflict of interest rules and ethics watchdogs to keep the lid on.

Civil servants are allowed to accept key chains, novelty pens, badges and the occasional diamond-and-sapphire necklace and matching earrings like that given to Prime Minister Stephen Harper's wife, Laureen, by Saudi King Abdullah back in 2010. Such things are handy as stocking stuffers at this time of year.

So popular was Harper with his fellow energy super-power bros that he and the family piled up quite a bit of swag. 

Much as it pains me to say, Harper may not have had the itchiest palm -  relinquishing most, if not all, to government vaults and collections. While he did retire rich, he was always more motivated by paranoia and power than by mere dough.

Some of his peers (Chretien, Mulroney and our current Ontario premier Doug Ford) can’t make the same boast. Stuff their pockets, deny, deny, deny. Ride out the storm and live to become a crusty retired celebrity. Of course the book on Ford is anything but closed, but getting crustier by the day.

But Danielle Smith has chosen a more novel route. Just let her staffers and MLAs grab all the gift graft they want. Well, not quite, there are some sort of rules. The amount of allowable bribe has been doubled - $500 a go for staffers and a kinda limit for UCP pols of $1000. Just in time for the Christmas kick-back season. But if gifts to ministers exceed that, well it’ll just up to the premiers’ office whether that’s OK. 

Word has it that a small army of Fraser Institute interns is feverishly working to transform the story into a Hallmark movie in time for Christmas Day. Hearts will be warmed.

Who says there’s a war on Christmas.



Geo Tags: 

Featured Event



Visit our YouTube Channel for more videos: Our Youtube Channel
Visit our UStream Channel for live videos: Our Ustream Channel