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Timothy Huyer @tim4hire
, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I wanted to emphasize one aspect of @jkenney’s plan that @EmmaLGraney noted: Mr Kenney’s announcement that he will hire people now to draft Orders in Council so that they’re ready if and when he forms government.

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An Order in Council (OiC) is a legal instrument. It is how Cabinet (the executive branch of government) exercises power. OiCs can be relatively mundane (appointments to some positions) or significant (approve TMX).

irwinlaw.com/cold/order-in-…

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Unlike statutes or even regulations, most OiCs are relatively simple to draft and they themselves can actually be written fairly quickly. The (now quashed) OiC that approved TMX was 3 pages long despite being in both official languages.

orders-in-council.canada.ca/attachment.php…

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In virtually all cases, it doesn’t take a long time for a trained person to draft an OiC. A drafter needs to understand how to draft legislation and so should be a lawyer with relevant experience. But it is otherwise generally fairly straightforward.

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OiCs can also be drafted remarkably quickly when necessary. The Fort McMurray fire hit the city the evening of 3 May 2016. An OiC was issued the next day declaring the state of emergency. Additional OiCs (providing funds, etc.) were issued 6 May.

qp.alberta.ca/documents/orde…

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The OiC, of course, is just the visible statement of the Government’s decision. It does not include all of the deliberations that went into the decision-making process, including any alternatives (or adjustments) to the decision that ended up being made.

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The Government is supported by a professional, non-partisan public service. In Canada, an entirely new government can be sworn in and count on the public servants, from deputy ministers all the way down, to continue to serve loyally and ably.

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A good example of the loyalty and professionalism of Canada’s non-partisan public service was how most of the current deputy ministers in Ontario held that title under the previous government (albeit changes in portfolios in many cases).

ontario.ca/page/meet-secr…

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Apparently, @jkenney is not interested in the expertise of Alberta’s public service. He does not care to hear the advice and recommendations of experienced professionals whose role is to provide the Government the benefits of that expertise. He’s made up his mind.

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Note that during elections, public servants look at the campaign positions of the parties so that they have an idea as to what the priorities would be depending on which party forms the next government. After an election, this process is intensified.

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...and there is my inevitable numbering error. I fear that will be my life’s curse. Perhaps twitter should add an auto-numbering function for threads?
This means that, as soon as a government is sworn in, the public service is ready to brief the new ministers on key issues, including any of the priorities that the new government had already identified.

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Mr Kenney is saying he doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter to him that there is a wealth of knowledge and expertise at his disposal. He’s made up his mind and all of this information and analysis—none of which he will see before he becomes premier—won’t change that.

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There are many legitimate reasons to not be happy with the current government in Alberta or to feel that a change would be good. Governments make missteps, even when they have taken the time to consult with the public servants supporting them.

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If, however, you feel that responsible government is a good thing, that a government should act on good information after due consideration, Mr Kenney’s statement should alarm you.

He is scorning the public service that would support him. He is scorning fact and analysis.

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History has shown that governments that act in haste, that do not consider the potential for unintended consequences, make huge mistakes and cause lasting harm to people.

Mr Kenney is promising to repeat those mistakes.

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