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Protesters say “Enough is Enough” to UCP government Saturday

Rallies took place in towns and cities across the province on Saturday afternoon to send a message to the provincial government.

In Calgary, about 500 people gathered outside city hall to demand transparency and accountability after the UCP government decided to push ahead with several unpopular policies.

“They are not listening to Albertans, so we decided to take to the streets,” said organizer Rebecca Brown. “We’ve had enough of the lies, we’ve had enough of the deception, the gaslighting.”

Moves drawing the ire of protesters include the introduction of political parties at the municipal level, which organizers say is opposed by 80% of Albertans, along with giving the province the ability to supersede local government decisions and fire local politicians.

Brown says 70% of Albertans don’t want coal mining on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, a policy that the UCP is still investigating.

She says her group has submitted a freedom of information and privacy request three times about the province moving toward a provincial pension plan, but have received no information. She says polls show the majority of Albertans don’t want to leave the Canada Pension Plan.

There are also widespread concerns over rights for transgendered youth, the reorganization of Alberta Health Services, and funding for public education.

“There’s no consulting with anybody,” she said. “These are not conservatives anymore, they haven’t been conservatives since Kenny came into town.”

“Very frustrated,” said retired teacher Joanne Adomeit about Premier Danielle Smith. “She came in, dismantled AHS without ever making that a campaign promise, she attacked our CPP, that was not in her campaign, she campaigned as a moderate and came through as a far right-wing person.”

Nate Pike runs a podcast called “The Breakdown” and was also at the rally. He says the decisions people in the UCP are making are not based on evidence, science or expertise.

“It’s all fear and pandering and I think Albertans deserve better,” he said. “It’s a constant firehose of things the UCP government has been doing and I think people can overlook one thing, people can overlook two things, but when it becomes a constant onslaught, I think that that’s when people start to check out and people start to get frustrated and angry.”

The Calgary rally ran for about two hours. Organizers say they plan to have similar rallies in the future.

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