Being an Albertan is not a lot of fun these days. Many of our own countrymen, from the shores of British Columbia and Nova Scotia, to la belle province, have all but put Alberta out to pasture.
It seems we Albertans are filthy wretches, walking around with tar sands under our fingernails and camping on the shores of the nearest tailings pond. We await 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg’s reprisals when she visits our oil-stained province sometime this week.
Albertans will take her tongue lashing, just as we’ve taken tongue lashings from the premiers of B.C. and Quebec, and from the leaders of the Green Party and the NDP. The tongue lashing from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t been as overt, but if you look for it, it’s there. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer appears to be scared of his own shadow, let alone come out swinging in defence of Alberta’s oil and gas industry. After all, being politically correct is more important.
As we stand on the precipice of a federal election, it is crystal clear to Albertans that Canada is broken. Alberta’s economic interests have, by and large, been mentioned only with reference to a vile, dirty economy that must get with the 21st century. Fossil fuels are passé, our politicians tell us. It doesn’t seem to matter that the oil and gas sector has been the main economic driver of wealth in this country for decades. It doesn’t seem to matter that oil and gas are Canada’s biggest exports.
What has happened to our country? Why are a growing number of our fellow Canadians anti-oil and anti-Alberta? They live in homes that require heat. They drive cars that require gasoline. They wear clothes made from fossil fuels. They take trips on planes. They go on cruises. They do all of this without giving it a second thought, but when Alberta and oil are put in the same sentence, it’s as if the scourge of the earth is upon us.
Alberta has been all but forgotten in what has been perhaps the worst federal election campaign in the modern era. The main party leaders have barely visited Alberta. Trudeau has been here once. Scheer’s been here twice. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh hasn’t stopped by for a visit, Green Leader Elizabeth May has been here once to attend a climate protest in Calgary, and Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party has been here once. It seems Alberta’s problems aren’t in the forefront of their minds.
There’s been a noticeable lack of pragmatism and constructive ideas presented during this campaign. The leaders have traded such notions in for name-calling and finger-pointing. They’ve taken to the oldest and most condescending campaign platform of all time – buying our votes with our own money.
You name it, we’ve been promised it. Why so many voters can’t see the connection between supporting Alberta’s energy industry and paying for those promises is lost on us. You can register your opinion by getting out and voting Oct. 21.