‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!

Freddy Lee Morton, in happier times, with your blogger. Below: Firewaller Tom Flanagan; the entire separatist 2001 Firewall team (grabbed from the National Post).

Freddy Lee “Ted” Morton, the worst premier Alberta never had, was back in the pages of the Calgary Herald the other day, bloviating at length about the need for brutal attack on public service salaries because this province’s frequently fluctuating principal revenue source has gone and fluctuated again.

Alert readers will recall Dr. Morton describing himself as “every liberal’s nightmare, a right-winger with a PhD.” He was also the owner of the mysterious “Frederick Lee” semi-official government email account.

Later, Dr. Morton’s defiance as finance minister effectively brought down premier Ed Stelmach – setting himself up to succeed “Honest Ed” as the leader of the Progressive Conservatives and the premier of Alberta, or so he thought.

Dr. Morton first came to public attention back in the early Zeroes as the neoconservative University of Calgary professor and American-born Alberta independentiste who signed the Firewall Manifesto along with such other well-known Western separatists as Stephen “The Big Kahuna” Harper, Tom “I’m Feeling Manly” Flanagan and Ken “No Notes” Boessenkool.

Well, it’s nice to know that nowadays when Dr. Morton, PhD, is in semi-retirement, he can still pick up a little extra cash cobbling together completely predictable opinion pieces for the Calgary Herald, the newspaper lately known to its non-union employees as The Nightmare on 16th Street SE.

“Do we need another Klein-era five-per-cent wage rollback for the entire public sector?” asked Dr. Morton, rhetorically. “Probably. It would get the job done in a hurry, and it is less hurtful to families than massive layoffs.”

This would be especially true if the families in question were those of well-off, largely superannuated, public service double dippers (the Legislature and the University of Calgary) such as Dr. Morton, who is mostly out of danger of his own economic remedies. Mind you, Dr. Morton is still, according to the Herald, an “executive fellow” at the U of C’s School of Public Policy, where he is listed as teaching a single course, so there’s a small but worthwhile cut that could be made to save a few petro-shekels.

Well, Dr. Morton’s five-per-cent pay cut idea would get the job done in a hurry all right.

It’s a fight Alberta’s public service unions would almost certainly lose, but at least they’d have a chance of taking the double-talking government of Premier Alison Redford down with them, which would get Dr. Flanagan’s Wildrose government off to as easier start in 2016.

As for the health care professionals – specifically mentioned on the list of targets for wage cutting in Dr. Morton’s op/ed piece – they could move by the thousands to British Columbia and the United States, just as they did back when premier Ralph Klein last tried that stunt in the mid-1990s, leaving the Alberta health care system in a shambles from which it is yet to recover.

As a good friend of mine recently remarked, this is a person whose own government wouldn’t pass his anti-gay “religious freedom” Bill 208 in 2006, and whose Firewall Manifesto was chucked into the garbage can by Premier Klein in 2001.

His recent electoral record is similarly (un)impressive:

  • The Progressive Conservatives rejected him as their leader in 2006
  • They rejected him again as leader in 2011
  • The voters of his Foothills-Rocky View riding rejected him as their MLA in 2012

So why would anyone, even the Calgary Herald, be interested in Dr. Morton’s opinion now?

We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks very much. It wasn’t very good the first time.

This post also appears on Rabble.ca.

3 Comments on "‘Freddy Lee’ Morton, the journalistic sequel: We’ve already seen this horror movie, thanks!"

  1. ronmac says:

    “Freddy” looks like he came straight out of everyone’s worst nightmare. You know the one where he’s the mountie who’s stopped you for running a red light. And the first thing he announces is that not only is this his last day before retiring, this is the last five minutes of his last shift ever.

    Just when you think he’s going to get all sentimental on you and let you off with a warning, he’s writing you a $287 ticket. Oh what the heck! Why not tack on another $150 for that broken taillight. And that dirty licence plate. $135! And that long crack in the windshield. Bingo! Boy this is fun!

  2. Pogo says:


    So according to the gargantuan intellects of those zany and madcap yankee doodlers, Tom F and Ted M, the festering swamp of public service must be drained and the land cleansed for the Wildrose before a disaster of biblical proportions occurs. Ok you’re right, they suck so maybe hire the Norwegians to baby sit our province? Eh? Mmm let’s investigate that link I copied…Holy Schmeichenbjorn!! just by being industrious little vikings, the Norway petro state pension fund has exceeded 700 billion euros with an assumed return of 4% on that capital!! Most interestingly though their population is only slightly larger than Alberta’s? Why I’d say they would likely be a better benchmark for per capita revenue/tax and spending metrics (not to mention public policy) than the crappy ones our intrepidly non-partisan Fraser prostitute (or is that institute?) made Danielle pretend were her oh so serious reasons that oh so serious people should conclude that government workers are bad and therefore must become disciplined in their sacrifice. What’s next after the softening up? Oh ya, ATB showed a profit… let’s lay everyone off and sell it!!!
    But I jest. Our citizens are already getting the good old Alberta disadvantage because we tolerated de-regulation of utilities and the wholesaling of our telecomm and utilities. Do the cons really expect rate payers to take some sort of perverse pride in footing the bill for infrastructure so private investors can reap the profits while teachers and janitors in hospitals take a beating because of ooga booga–”the deficit”? Oh well at least their Rosey little ring must be happy that we’re becoming more like Wisconsin every day.
    Seriously though our government would be better able to balance the books with help from a more sensible tax regime and profits from publicly owned and regulated utilities, not to mention taking a leadership stake in forestry, mining and a myriad of opportunities in chemicals, manufacturing and transportation. Build ATB into something and finance diversification by taking on some debt. Let’s finally start doing the right thing. Eh?

  3. Filostrato says:

    Nice pictures.

    Tom “The Wiz” Consquatch could do with a turtleneck or balaclava on the fur suit.

    And DefeaTed Morton actually teaches a class? Good heavens! On what?

    I guess nobody made the Firewall Team a “Picture of Dorian Gray” offer, did they? Even Ken doesn’t look much like his handout picture any more.

    But, as Wilde said, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” Health care, public services, a united, prosperous country are all destroyed in the name of greed. The perps throw the people who did not cause the problem under the bus and then grab the money and run.


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