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Gavin Young | Postmedia | Canva

Danielle Smith Stands Up for What Matters Most To Albertans: Unhindered Access to Disposable Napkins

Premier Smith says single-use bylaws are causing “mutiny on wing night,” and she’ll put a stop to it

Alberta has a representative form of government, which means we elect MLAs to represent us. 

The theory is that there are too many important matters that need attention; more than the average person has time to deal with. 

So we expect representatives to focus on the important stuff, the issues that make a difference in our lives. You know, making sure we all have doctors we we need them, that our kids get a world-class education, that government regulators ensure that companies follow health and safety rules. 

Unfortunately, it seems that our Premier didn’t get the same civics lesson as the rest of us. 

She keeps spending her time on distractions. 

From making sure middle-schoolers don’t use pronouns without a permission slip to ensuring MLAs can receive more expensive Christmas gifts – Danielle Smith has found her latest first-world problem to put a stop to once and for all.

“Mutiny on wing night.” 

You read that right.

In the midst of a climate crisis, where forest fires and drought have been ravaging our province, where hospital staff are burning out, and groceries and electricity are more expensive than ever, Premier Smith has decided that having to be asked if you need some disposable napkins with your meal is the real problem we face.

“I’ve heard that there was a near mutiny on wing night in some restaurants because you have to ask whether or not people want napkins,” Smith said during a recent press event.

Near mutiny. Over napkins. 

What Albertans is she talking to exactly?

Frankly, the jokes write themselves on this one.

Calling Out Calgary?

Calgary is the latest Albertan municipality to implement restrictions on single-use items, such as stores switching from offering plastic bags to reusable ones and restaurants providing plastic cutlery or napkins by request only.

Local governments are tasked with managing waste, and the residents of each municipality determine the methods by which their community’s waste is collected and minimized.

“We have had to step in when we think that municipalities are going a step too far on certain issues. And I’ve asked my Minister, if he thinks that this is one of those areas,” Smith said.

Apparently, Smith does not want to have to ask for napkins with her wings, nor does she want to walk to a separate liquor store to get her booze (Smith is also spending her time trying to get liquor sales in grocery stores)

The phrase “pick your battles” comes to mind.

An Offbeat Idea?

The most curious thing Smith had to say about this ‘affront’ to hardworking Albertans was that only a couple of “offbeat” cities (the two largest cities in the province) had implemented these waste reduction by-laws.

“I can tell you it’s not happening in every municipality. It just seems that it’s happening in Calgary and Edmonton,” she said.

Offbeat cities?

It is an interesting ploy to divide the “offbeat city slickers” from the “rest of us.”

But facts, like asking for napkins, always seem to be inconvenient for Smith.

In fact, more municipalities than just the ‘offbeat’ Edmonton of Calgary have passed single-use reduction bylaws.

Municipalities Moving Forward 

Way back in 2009, Fort McMurray was the first municipality in Alberta to ban single-use plastic and paper shopping bags. 

Spruce Grove recently celebrated the second anniversary of its single-use items reduction bylaw that banned plastic bags, polystyrene serving ware, and plastic straws.

On New Year’s Day, Banff’s single-use reduction bylaw was enacted. The move garnered widespread support and input from the community and was drafted with community input so citizens would be comfortable with the level of impact.

“We’re trying to show the way things can be done — not necessarily the way things are commonly done,” Michael Hay, environment manager for the Town of Banff, told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

In terms of individual business owners, many businesses across the province have taken it upon themselves to implement these measures for years, and many other towns have brought up the single-use reduction in council to be decided by the community – as it should be.

Smith continually complains that Ottawa is meddling in the province’s jurisdiction. 

And yet she, herself, is invading on matters of municipal power. 

It sounds like Smith is less worried about plastics and more concerned about power.

If things go her way, she’ll never have to ‘ask’ for napkins again.

Pass the buffalo wings.

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