This is the UCP’s plan for Covid-19. It’s a total fucking mess. You can make out a bar, something about an exercise bike, and a skeleton serving Jason Kenney a juicy human lung on a platter.
This piece was likely made by Minister of Health Tyler Shandro in the foggy midst of one of his classic rages. Most recently, everytime Shandro encounters feedback or criticism, his army of overpaid handlers plop him in front of a canvas and some paints. This facilitates a response from our minister that is still hands on, but less assault-y. Tyler then hands the painting off to Dr. Hinshaw, who pats him on the head and says “good job buddy” while he gurgles happily. It is Dr. Hinshaw’s job to interpret Shandro’s childlike smears into as cohesive policy as possible. She must never deviate from the wishes of the elected officials and their donors, they are the experts after all.
The UCP’s plan is to keep Alberta’s economy afloat by lining its rusted-out hull with the precious pink buoyant lungs (for now) of human capital. Forcing people and their sweet lungs to work under such stressful and dangerous circumstance is naturally taxing, but what alternatives are there? All the economists, nurses, teachers, and doctors calling for more stringent measures have to understand that keeping people home from working can have even more dire consequences on public health and the economy. Just ask the 26,000 education staff laid off by the UCP in April, or the 11,000 healthcare workers to be laid off in the coming months.
There’s more to managing a pandemic than “preventable deaths”. (Whatever that means, corporations are legally people and they never die. They’ll even get hooked up to the ventilator of corporate welfare and be trapped in a purgatory of insolvency until the end of days so long as they have an oil derrick replacing at least one of the letters in their logo). Once the virus sees how sexy and strong our economy is, how high the bodies are piled, it will leave the Alberta faster than Encana. it will leave the province faster than the Governor of Michigan rescinded Enbridge’s permission to move oil through the state after Kenney called her brain dead on a fucking podcast. The virus will leave the province faster than its own doctors.
This might seem overly optimistic, but remember who we voted for. Pre-pandemic, the UCP tabled a budget based off a projected oil price of $60/barrel. A straight-faced prediction so firmly on the magical side of magical realism it made Gabriel Garcia Marquez shit his wings in envy. If nothing else, the UCP is the party of deadly fantasy.
The painting is a searing 3ft x 4ft of confusion and terror, acrylic and canvas. It will look great wherever you go to weep.