Last week Rachel Notley took to Facebook with a poll to see who would vote to have Cypress- Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes removed from caucus. Although there have been events that leave Barnes questionable in NDP eyes, it seems that Barnes is actually well liked and the post backfired. The final vote was 31% agreeing to Barnes needing to be removed. However, that number was mowed over by the 69% who stand in support of Barnes maintaining his seat.
Barnes has proven to be a politician who truly listens to the people and allows his voice to be a tool for the public. He has shown that he is one politician who is to be trusted and it seems his work is paying off.
Not only has Barnes been an active advocate in his own jurisdiction surrounding COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, but he has also made other politicians try to invest in our province’s economic crisis. In December of 2020, when the second Alberta lockdown was announced, Barnes took “All Alberta politicians, including Alberta’s 34 members of parliament,” to task by encouraging them to take a 20% pay cut. This in turn would save taxpayers $72 million per year, which truthfully would be a large help to the current havoc playing in the pockets of Alberta citizens.
Barnes has been labeled as a separatist by the NDP. He responded to this comment with TBT earlier this year and said, “The opposition criticize me for putting Alberta first...My constituents tell me we need a fair deal. Many have given up on Canada, due to the Laurentien elite who will never give us the constitutional reforms we need, from equitable representation to a reformed senate… $670 billion has left Alberta since 1960; that money could have gone far to help our families and free enterprise. The media and resources pick up my messages and call me a separatist, but all I’m focused on is Alberta and Alberta Families.”
This MLA has also been stating his opinion openly about sales tax and using his voice to hopefully steer Alberta in the right direction. In a response to Kenney not putting his foot down on PST Barnes took to twitter stating, “To be clear. I am against a sales tax, any other new taxes or tax increases and want Alberta to eliminate the small business 2% tax and eliminate tax bracket inflation creep.”
This post alone is insightful to the heart of Drew Barnes. It is not often the citizens of this province hear a politician actually try to eliminate or reduce taxes just for the benefit of the people. For a politician to look up from their own wallet and see that government spending is not fault of the people yet that is where the burden lies; for him to take the time to draw a line firmly in the sand and come to the side of the lower and middle class families that are struggling, this is the type of politician that 69% will vote for, even if they do follow Notley on Facebook.
In short, Barnes has been as transparent as possible and devotes a lot of his time, whether it be on social media or with his constituents, to remind Alberta of it’s rights, it’s value, and to fight for a fair shake from Ottawa. He takes time to fully hear and understand the needs of this province.
The Buffalo Tribune was able to get a comment from Drew Barnes in regard to the poll, “Thank you to everyone who took the time to engaged and voted on the polling. I want to give a special thanks to Albertans. Thank you for your support of democracy.”