Albertans have finally had enough and they are pushing back. We are no longer passively sitting back and taking it while politicians on all levels throughout the nation use our prime industry as a convenient whipping boy for political virtue signalling. Due to years of lobbying by foreign funded activists followed by utter inaction on the part of the federal government, Alberta has found itself under a virtual pipeline embargo. Our economy is crippled while Trudeau actually increased equalization payments to Quebec. Meanwhile the Premier of Quebec boldly states that he will not allow any new pipelines through Quebec & Trudeau sits back and lets Quebec have this veto.
We can’t change the constitution right now. We can’t force BC to stop hindering our energy projects much less Quebec. We can’t make Trudeau understand or care about the gravity of our situation. One thing we can do that we have not been doing before though is to speak up and speak up in numbers.
Rallies in support of Alberta’s energy industry have been held in different cities throughout the province for months now. Over a thousand people gathered outside of the hotel where Trudeau was speaking when he last visited. While it may not have changed his mind on anything, there is no doubt that he could see that we are here, we are active and we are coming out in defence of our province.
Yesterday in Grande Prairie over 1500 people came out on a Sunday afternoon to express support for the energy industry while hundreds of trucks led a convoy through the city. It was an impressive display of unity and concern in a Northern community usually prone to quietly going about their business.
In pushing back, Albertan’s have had a measurable impact even if the victories are small at times. The Mayor of Whistler BC signed a letter addressed to CNRL which could almost be considered outright extortion. He demanded that CNRL give his town money to pay for the perceived impacts of climate change. It was a ridiculous demand but it was one of hundreds of such initiatives spearheaded by environmental groups over the years who are trying to kill Alberta’s industries in a death by a thousand cuts.
A rare demonstration of unity emerged from Calgary’s traditionally dysfunctional city council as they all expressed support for Alberta’s beleaguered energy sector. A number of councilors were scheduled to speak to the crowd along with Mayor Nenshi. Then things went poorly.
After a couple somewhat short, benign speeches were given by councilors, Peter Demong took the podium and gave a short and catastrophic address which infuriated the crowd.
While spirits had been high with such a great turnout, people are hurting and are sensitive. Clearly Demong didn’t have a clue as he began to lecture the crowd on gender equality and telling us to ensure to go out of our way to support Quebec’s dairy industry by buying their cheese. The exact quote is below as it is almost too obtuse to be believed.
Demong: “We need to be spreading the word about how this industry is a world leader in gender equality. We should be talking about how to support Quebec’s dairy industry by buying Canadian cheese. ”
The crowd of course went wild with shouts, jeers and booing. These people are in economic distress because of Canada’s ridiculous regulatory process which is being remodelled to include among other things, gender equity. These are people who just watched Quebec’s leadership callously dismiss Alberta’s needs while greedily accepting billions in equalization from us. Demong really thought that they wanted to buy Quebec’s damned cheese and accept the loaded gender terms that Trudeau mindlessly blathers at us?
Before being pulled from the microphone, Demong petulantly spat to the crowd: “Wow. Really? And you guys call yourselves Canadians? Wow,”
Yes you jerk!
Most of the people in that crowd call themselves Canadians. It is in calling themselves Canadians that they passively let hundreds of billions of tax dollars leave Alberta to be poured into Quebec for decades. It is in calling themselves Canadians that they are trying desperately to make the needed changes to our nation’s practices in order to preserve their economic well being within Alberta and to maintain national unity. Albertans are clearly the most patient and giving Canadians in the country and they certainly don’t deserve to have their status as Canadians questioned by a myopic twit like you Mr. Demong!
Nenshi quickly took the stage and only managed to make tensions even worse. He spoke shortly before beginning to speak in French. As the crowd erupted into boos again, Nenshi condescendingly chided the crowd on both the rationale for speaking French and on climate change concerns. He made few friends today.
Such a great rally was organized only to be ruined by the truly tone deaf ruminations of the Mayor and one of his councilors. How could they have possibly thought that their speeches would be well received by this crowd? It was made abundantly clear that they had no understanding of the gathered people or of their concerns. They showed no interest in learning as they hustled back into city hall at the first possible opportunity.
The Mayor and his councilors could quite easily have gone and mingled with the group as it gathered before the event. They could have chatted with people and gained some clearly much needed insight into the minds of these gathered Albertans. Alas, in their arrogance they assumed they knew it all before taking the podium and demonstrating in spades that they didn’t know much at all.
The rallies will continue. The events and pushing back against eco-groups and the politicos that support them will continue. I suspect however that we will not be seeing more invitations expended to the ivory tower elites of Calgary city hall in the future as their cloistered and comfortable world within the world of municipal government has made them incapable of understanding what is making thousands of Albertans come out to these rallies much less speaking to them.
Albertans will take the reins and take us where we need to go with true populism. After the display we saw today from Calgary’s municipal leadership, we should be thankful that this movement remains grassroots in nature. Reaching out to existing political leadership hasn’t proven fruitful.