Sharon Maclise

Questions from Leduc Rep:

• Introduce yourself to the voting public.

My name is Sharon Maclise. I ran for the Wildrose Party in Leduc Beaumont Devon in 2008. I had been working with the Wildrose Party for the last ten years, until the unfortunate takeover of Wildrose by the PC Party and its friends in the CPC in the summer of 2017. I have extensive professional, business and behind the scenes political experience. I was a teacher after graduating from University in the 70s. I left that career for one in the real estate industry, progressing from agent, to broker and owner of a Re/Max franchise (the fourth in the country) in 1982, then into commercial real estate brokerage, and finally into management of my own real estate holdings. I have always been active in the community and in provincial and civic politics. I was a longtime member on the Board of my community and Volunteer of the Year in 2004 and ran for Edmonton City councilor in 2013.

• What do you think are the top issues facing Albertan's today?

The top issue is our economy and how it has been driven into a downward spiral by a combination of the poor management of ‘tax and spend’ by the provincial NDP and bad policies aimed directly at our province by the federal government. The Trudeau gov’ts decision to impose hundreds of needless regulations on our resource industry and do everything possible to shut it down was a total punch in the gut, a brutal eye-opener. The intention by Ottawa was to drive investment out of our province so our industry collapses completely with no hope of recovery. They have succeeded in spades – and sadly, with the help of an accidental provincial gov’t out of touch with Albertans. Little wonder it was never elected before and, hopefully will never be elected again.

And of course an issue that has been painful for Alberta for 60 years – Equalization. In this we cannot blame the NDP alone – although they are the Party of Redistribution they have also never held enough federal power to do anything about the decades long drain on the Alberta treasury by Ottawa in favor of the rest of Canada. It has not just been a provincial gov’t out of touch with Alberta values, but ten years of a federal Conservative Party gov’t that did nothing to relieve the ever-growing burden on Albertans to pay for the cost of social programs across Canada, often far more generous than our own. Despite that Alberta gave close to every federal Parliamentary seat to that Party the MPs left our province and never looked back. The gov’t that Mr. Kenney was a top leader in did absolutely nothing to insulate us from this all-out assault by the Trudeau Liberals that we are experiencing now. Without an ounce of foresight they refused to even attempt to fight for reductions, at least, in the out-flow of tax dollars to the ROC. In fact, the CPC gov’t had two opportunities to do so, in 2008 and again 2013. When our neighbors in Saskatchewan tried to address the issue of Equalization, Mr. Harper told Mr. Wall to withdraw his complaints, that it was a great program and we were just not smart enough to understand it. In fact the Equalization program has many problems for all of Canada but it is both economically and morally debilitating for Alberta and must end now.

So, although there are several issues facing Alberta they are all small in comparison to these. And easily managed if we were in control of our own province without the interference of a dogmatic federal gov’t and hostile provincial neighbors governing our lives.

• If elected, what will your top priorities be?

My top priorities will be to make sure, to the extent that I am able, that Alberta interests in all matters take priority over the interests of any other jurisdiction in Canada. I will continue to work to build support for Alberta Independence and to prevent the further erosion of democratic principles that we see happening all the time. Alberta must institute greater direct democracy into our legislation that allows for referendum and recall. This will also be at the top of my agenda.

• Why should people vote for you on election day?

The politics of Party control is past. Electing me, an Independent candidate, will insure that I will answer to no one but my constituents – not a Party, not a leader, not a Party whip – just the people of the riding I represent. People no longer accept that elected people they send to represent them in the Legislature can simply impose legislation upon them that is foreign to their values and needs. I find it very odd that people are so concerned about the personal views of their elected representatives. Knowing their views is important but only to the extent that this forms their personal biases. I will happily share my views on every subject but ultimately they won’t matter. It is not the job of an elected MLA to vote his or her views; it is her job to vote the views of her constituents.

From day one, I will work out a fair system whereby Leduc Beaumont citizens are able to give me feedback on every piece of legislation that I will be asked to vote on, if they choose to do so. It is not enough anymore to get elected and immediately forget who you represent. Representation means just that – that it is the duty and commitment of an elected member of government to represent the views and decisions of the people who elected her and all of the people of that constituency. I am committed to total transparency and accountability. You’ve heard that before but in this case you know exactly where the buck stops and who is responsible if I do not perform on that promise.

It seems that the Independence movement is full of working class people and very few professional or Big business people. Do you have an opinion as to why that is so?

I do in fact. First of all, I will add this ~ small and medium-sized business people are also more motivated to join this movement, too. It is because working class people (and by that I mean people who are employed by private businesses or people employed in low to medium-income jobs in the public sector) and these small businesses are the ones most effected by bad gov’t policy. Their jobs/businesses are very vulnerable to shake-ups in the economy because when things go bad they are the first to be down-sized out of a job, or have hours slashed. Many men, people who are always worried about their jobs, are always unhappy when they are forced to work long hours away from their family and the enjoyment of time with friends just so that people in other parts of the country can sit around for months on end drawing “pogey”, as they call it, or when half of their pay cheque goes to pay taxes sent to support the programs and perks of others across the country.

Right now it is these men, especially those from low-skilled, dirt-under-the-nails jobs, that have been most impacted. When or if they can get new jobs they are forced to take deep wage cuts, no longer the lucrative jobs they enjoyed in the resource industry. They know that the big reason this is all happening to them is because some kid in Ottawa who has never needed a pay cheque, never worked a day in his life because he needed to, who is just a trust fund dilettante, is carelessly playing a popular ideological anti-oil game and could care less how much anxiety and upheaval he is wreaking in their life. Unemployed and angry they have the time now to think about what is causing this misery for them. Recognizing that they have been exploited by their own country, they no longer feel any loyalty to it. People 2-3000 kms away who are pulling the strings, are foreign to them, share none of their values, yet take their money and they can do nothing about it. This breeds real anger and real pain, and they free it acutely. In the end, it translates into a desire to start fresh among people they trust and understand.

Why not professionals and corporate Alberta? Because these people often have secure, well-paid public sector or white collar jobs in the private sector or a financial cushion from years of sitting in executive offices with big paydays. Many have big public sector union contracts to protect them or large investment portfolios to fall back on and ultimately, the system works for them. They may hurt for a while but they cling to the status quo because the status quo served them well in the past and they have faith that it will do the same in the future. They are happy to see so many people complaining and talking about Alberta Independence because they know that will shake up the system, maybe enough to help get it back to where it served them best. But in the end, they do not want to see things change as radically as Alberta Separation ~ that may interfere with the short term trade and commerce their wealth depends upon. In fact, many of the Big Corporations in the Oil and Gas industry invited killing carbon taxes into our resource industry. They colluded with Rachel Notley to impose these taxes, knowing they could just pass the cost down to the consumer.

There are very few successful business people out there who care at all about the people who live from paycheque to paycheque. But these struggling working class and just-making-it middle class are the foundation of our society. If the system doesn’t work for them it doesn’t work for any of us in the long run. An Independent Alberta will give these people say over their future because their vote will actually count. When Alberta is on its own at least the votes of white collar bankers in Toronto or “we don’t want your dirty oil” Quebec university students paying a quarter the tuition our kids pay will be dictating the job prospects of Alberta oil workers.

Duncan: I really enjoyed your refreshing comments last night at the Leduc Forum. I am opposed to separation, but unless it's on the table, how will Alberta and the Prairies ever be taken seriously as a legitimate partner in Confederation?

Thank you Duncan. I appreciate your comments.

I wish, though, that people would move from moral support to real action. As I said last night in my closing, Just think what a sound would reverberate in Ottawa if even one, two, five, eight Separatists were elected in Alberta. The shock wave that would happen across this country would be music to my ears.

Canadians have heard our complaints before; they have no absence of evidence that Alberta is not happy being raped for our taxes and receiving nothing in return, and now having to fight an uphill battle just so we can remain in a position to feed their voracious appetite for our Alberta money. They've heard it too often followed by zero real action - and they are counting on that happening again. And when it does they will shrug and go back to their couches knowing that Albertans will keep packing off our resources to feed them and taking their abuse.

Bad enough that we have little choice but to elect federalists to Ottawa but when we elect those same cookie-cutter federalists to our provincial Legislatures we cannot expect to be taken seriously. We must stand up for themselves if we ever expect the ROC to take us seriously.

Thank you for coming to our Forum last night Duncan and thank you for your support. A vote though would make all the difference – and make a real statement that you cannot make by voting for any other candidate.

Important Quotes:

Brad Wall, Senior Advisor at Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt

LL and former Saskatchewan Premier, presented at the

2018 POGA conference in Saskatoon.

Wall continues, “Industry is unable to respond to these serious issues, and some governments have actually helped to make things worse. In 2015, the Premier of Alberta, supported by five large oil companies (three of which have now left Canada to do business in other countries), implemented a carbon tax. This sent a message to Canada and industry detractors that, ‘they were right all along and maybe we should pay an indulgence for our “dirty” oil.’ The notion of social license seems to be just that.”

For full article go to: https://poga.ca/images/pdf/oatscoop/2019-03-26-March-Oat-Scoop.pdf


© 2019 Sharon Maclise. All Rights Reserved