Alberta Premier Danielle Smith has faced significant criticism for her “wrecking ball” approach to governance, which has been characterized as a disregard for civility, a dismissive attitude towards science, and a lack of cooperation with the federal government.
Smith’s dismissal of science and anti-vax rhetoric and full-on embrace of far-right divisive daily doses of vitriol is the very definition of wedge politics. She is incapable of keeping her feet out of her mouth long enough to govern without insulting Albertans, the Indigenous community, scientists or anyone within the healthcare field.
Furthermore, Smith’s approach to working with the federal government is combative and, at times, outright insolent. From wanting to rewrite Alberta’s constitution to refusing to cooperate on key issues such as climate change and health care, Smith may arguably be Alberta’s most unqualified person to hold the premier’s office.
Smith’s unconventional governing style has led to confusion and mistrust among the public, and many believe it could hinder Alberta’s ability to respond to the crisis effectively. Not to be outdone by her cacophony of questionable decisions and policies, Smith’s recent hiring of the former leader of the Reform Party, Preston Manning, to the tune of $253,000 to the taxpayers to oversee Alberta’s COVID-19 response review panel.
Smith’s $2,000,000 dollar pet project is an absolute disgrace, especially when many Albertans are struggling to fill their gas tank. What Alberta does not need is more wasteful spending or golden parachutes to wealthy ex-politicians.
Manning is a controversial figure who has a history of making divisive and inflammatory statements. Many feel that Manning’s appointment is a further indication of Smith’s disregard for science and her lack of commitment to working in the best interests of all Albertans.
Smith’s hiring of Manning may just be the final thing that seals her premiership fate come election time. That said, the year is still young, and to believe this is the last dumb thing to come from the premier’s office, would be naive.