Don’t We Expect the Alberta Government to Be More Inclusive?

Do you think of yourself as an inclusive person? Are you able to tolerate and embrace the behaviors or beliefs of a wide array of people?  Are you able to consider people’s thoughts that are not the same as your own? Do you only respect people that agree with or support your opinions?

Are you an inclusive person?  

Many of you likely answered yes, but I don’t believe you.  

When considering most topics, much of society talks instead of listens, shares without reading, or never asks questions like, “why do you feel that way?” 

Apparently Premier Rachel Notley and her government are not being inclusive either.  

The Notley government in Alberta has banned Rebel Media from attending government related events including activities at the legislature, saying that the startup media company (very popular with elements of the right) is not “accredited media”.  

Personally, I believe The Rebel’s Ezra Levant is more entertainment than news, just like the Daily Show or This Hour Has 22 Minutes. News and entertainment have merged. The Rebel should have access just like the Edmonton Sun or Globe and Mail does. When I started RealAgriculture I had trouble getting media passes a couple times, because I was not print, and a blogger or website were not considered media (that was 2009). Ezra and his team at Rebel Media are media.

Whether it has been Bill 6 or oil royalty review, The Rebel has been extremely critical of the Notley government. It doesn’t matter if you think Ezra is right, wrong or three bricks short of a load, inclusion of all ideas and all thoughts are what Notley said the new Alberta was all about.

This is the same Premier that stated once that Alberta was the “embarrassing cousin” for its environmental record.  In terms of media inclusion on issues like Bill 6 she seems to be living her comments. This is embarrassing.

The NDP Alberta Government is not being inclusive.

Be careful with the finger pointing though……

Are you inclusive of all members of your farming community? Why do we jump to judge people based on farm size, production practices or marketing practices?

Think back to the hostility of the Bill 6 debate over what was a family farm. On Twitter and at the rallies, farmers were downright nasty to each other about people with more than 2, 10 or 20 employees not being “real” family farms.

Were you inclusive when we all jumped to conclusions about beef producers that have marketed into A&W’s better beef campaign? Initially people stated that producers marketing into the A&W channel were not supporting the industry. I put a personal ban on my kids eating there. The ban has since been lifted, although my ten year old daughter still refuses to eat there.  Not sure where she gets that stubbornness from.

What about the attitude towards Hutterite colonies? Hutterite bashing can be a common practice which usually relates to clothes, accent and behaviours.

We all need to be more inclusive. I’m sorry to say I jump to conclusions all the time.  I was trying to be inclusive and wrote a post about Albertans needing to give Notley a chance. YIKES!!!  You are not always right when you are trying to be inclusive apparently.  But the process of trying to understand is healthy.  It’s about trying to understand the issues.

I don’t believe that we need to forego our own thoughts, but we would all be better off if we were just willing to be more inclusive, whether you are left, right, big farmer, small farmer everything in between.

I don’t support much of what Ezra says, but he is allowed to speak his opinion the issues no different than the team at RealAgriculture. I think he has steered some of rural right in the wrong direction on Bill 6, but he also made Bill 6 relevant for the urban right wing supporters. If the Notley government wants to promote transparency and be inclusive, they should practice what they preach. That also goes for the rest of us.

 

 

Shaun Haney

Shaun Haney is the founder of RealAgriculture.com. He creates content regularly and hosts RealAg Radio on Rural Radio 147 every weekday at 4:30 PM est. @shaunhaney

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3 Comments

Albert Wagner

We all have our points of view on how things should work. We lobby and work to that effect. However when you are in government, you are no longer a lobbyist, you make the rules. Governments must also sell the new rules to it’s citizens, forcing a politically motivated agenda onto the population is definitely the wrong approach. In the past, governments have made hard choices, but they set out to gain feed back and sell the ideas. Past, successful, governments have tried to determine what the un-intended consequences would be, before actually forcing major changes. What we have seen so far is a politically motivated agenda with no thought to the eventual out come or consideration of the ordinary citizen. Clearly the NDP in Alberta does not understand, to this point, they not only were given the keys, but a responsibility to lead and sucessful leadership means you have followers, in government that means a majority of your citizens.

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Claudette Lacombe

As our definition of media evolves, we will need to build new classifications for who we consider bona fide journalists. We can’t simply say everyone who produces written, photographic or video is a journalist when anyone with a smart phone can deliver something to the internet.
It was simple when we had media outlets and, if you worked for one, you had a job title and identification. Today, anyone can be vocal on the internet. This is part of a much larger phenomenon that includes slacktivism, misleading health information, anti-vaccinationists, anit-GMOers and a world of trouble being framed as truth and/news.
Also, people making up words as they go 🙂
There is supposed to be a difference between news and opinion. We are in an evolution/revolution of media/information and there doesn’t seem to be anything civil about it. It’s time, I think, to acknowledge this revolution and start giving it some structure before it tears us apart.

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Debra Murphy

I think this controversy is good for media in Canada. It’s time to ask ourselves who should be allowed to join press briefings and other intimate meetings. Who should receive embargoed releases? Should every journalist, reporter, blogger be subject to the same rules? Should only non-biased outlets receive news first? If so, who decides which outlets lack bias? And what if a journalist or an organization repeatedly shows disrespect to our appointed MLAs/MPs? Or worse, gives cause for concern over safety?

It will be very interesting to see what becomes of the media policy review. It’s time to set definitions and have concrete rules we all understand.

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