For an prime example of American Republican Libertarian forms of limited government one needs only look to Alberta.
Last weekend a fire destroyed 94 housing units, the majority were part of a new condo complex, the others were single family dwellings built too close to the complex, with little or no fire protection for their siding and outside walls. The result was mass destruction.And folks left homeless. In a boom economy with rental housing and other ownership options priced beyond most folks means.
The problem is an obsolete building code written in 1960 and based on the notion of preventing fires from spreading from building to building from inside out instead of from the outside in, Wolsey said.
"There has to be a better look at how we deal with building codes as to how we protect our society," he said.
"Is this preventable? I believe it is. With minor amendments to building codes and minimal costs, we can prevent this kind of a devastation from occurring in our communities."
The governments response was little, minor, small, none at all.
The Alberta government's own public safety division recommended changing building codes more than two years ago to prevent fires like Saturday's $20-million inferno in south Edmonton.
But the government chose not to act.
Instead, it forwarded the recommendation to the National Research Council for further study via a provincial committee - although it is under no obligation to wait for an NRC recommendation before making code revisions.
In fact, a year later, the department - then under the leadership of Rob Renner - rejected an official request by the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association to address the insufficient separation between homes, saying there was no evidence to support it.
Government exists to protect citizens, except after the neo-con revolution that defined government as existing above, apart, separate from the people. The earliest forms of self government, have been about building codes and fire prevention. Whether at the municipal, state/provincial or federal level. In Alberta this responsibility has once again been abdicated by the ruling Tories.
Building codes blamed for massive fire
Condo blaze sparks call for tighter fire codes
$25-million fire calls building codes into question
Insurance industry backs tougher building codes
Heed fire's warning: improve building code
Fire chiefs say Alberta should be leader in Canada on building codes
Since the Ralph Revolution of the nineties the neo-con/neo-liberal republican lite agenda of the Fraser Institute and the right wing political business lobby the NCC have dominated conservative politics in Alberta and Canada.
Tougher code carries a price
The Tories created a myth, first they attempted under Lougheed to both expand oilsands development and diversification of the economy. The former succeeded the latter failed. Under Don Getty the diversification expanded, but it ended up a failure because it was simply the government doling out corporate welfare to businesses and lobbyists that had the best selling points, rather than realistic business plans.
Though some plans and businesses were by their nature something the state should have done as public services, such as hazardous waste disposal, due to the costs and long term responsibilities involved, as well as the continuing need for state funded research and development required for technological and industrial advances.
And as usual the left wing moonbats like Neil Waugh of the Edmonton Sun trash our glorious republican government for their obvious contradictions.
More study is needed before deciding whether to update building codes to prevent repeats of a $25-million condo development inferno, Alberta's municipal affairs minister said yesterday.
Although he said he personally favours a "proactive" approach, Municipal Affairs Minister Ray Danyluk also said the numbers aren't all in. He said the province approached the National Research Council 18 months ago and asked it to study the issue. Its next major amendment of national standards, however, isn't until 2010.
Ray's job in Ed Stelmach's Country Club Cabinet is housing and municipal affairs. Both are hot topics after Wolsey warmed up to his usual theme following the MacEwan Fireball. Edmonton houses are fire prone. Thanks to the controversial vinyl siding that's slapped on them without any fire retardant board beneath.
Wolsey talked about a "simple fix." And when asked whether the MacEwan blaze and other similar fires involving Boom-berta houses are preventable, he answered: "I believe it is."
He talked about "minor amendments" to the building code. Which is Ray's responsibility.
And if the houses around the condo blaze had something as simple as exterior grade drywall under the plastic siding "we probably wouldn't have lost any of those homes."
So here's the question I put to Ray in the flower garden.
"Are get-rich-quick developers cutting corners and building shoddy houses that could put Albertans' lives in peril?"
Which, of course, is the Monday-morning-coming-down question for many folks.
No emergency meeting with Battlin' Randy Wolsey, no read-the-riot-act session with the Edmonton Region Homebuilders Association, no task force of surly bureaucrats to prepare a report, make recommendations and get to the bottom of what's going down out on Pleasant Acres Drive and Woodside Wynd.
Instead Danyluk froze up like a rusty Lada at 40 below.
The best he could offer was that the National Research Council is apparently working on something, but it won't be ready for three years.
Once again showing this government has no use for its citizens and is in the pocket of establishment special interests.
Caveat Emptor, citizen beware you have nobody to blame for getting screwed but yourself, the government refuses to protect you or to govern for the public good. Just as they have failed renters in this province now they fail homeowners, in favour of developers.
This then is limited government in a nutshell.
ind blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
Alberta, minimal government, Edmonton, libertarian housing, rental, condominium, apartment, Income Trusts, rent controls, homelessness, housing-costs, housing-boom, Alberta, ED Stelmach,
Premier, Alberta Cabinet,PC, Party of Calgary, politics, leadership, Conservatives