IT’S OCTOBER 2020 and all is not well in Alberta. Canada’s petro-state province has been clobbered with a triple whammy—the pandemic, an oil crisis, and a crippled economy. In a very anxious world, this could be the nadir or an apex moment—or both—for Alberta. And while there’s been a pause or awakening, an opportunity to see … More Imagine this…
WHAT DO CITIZENS in Hong Kong know that we don’t? The city of untold millions is bracing for a fourth wave of the pandemic. And in Alberta, we’re being told to get ready for the second. Unlike the first go round, when our provincial government and public sector unions assured Albertans “we’ve got your back,” there’s a sickening … More There will be blood…
ACCORDING TO THE GREEN SCRIPTURES you might be led to believe Alberta’s wilderness and wild places have been irrevocably trashed. You know the stories: Resource extraction industries have despoiled Mother Nature. And only enlightened ones on the receiving end of The Economy of Attention can right a century of wrong-doing by evil-doers on the land. … More History is not repeating itself
WHAT DO AMERICANS know about the upcoming school year that we don’t? Will Alberta school-aged kids be in classrooms this fall? What happens if they’re not? … More Are We Neglecting Alberta’s Kids?
WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would want to be premier? We don’t want the job. And we’re not looking to be coaxed. Donna served as a Progressive Conservative and for a spell, a provincial cabinet minister in the Redford Administration. It didn’t end well—for her or the party—it’s not an experience one quickly forgets or … More this time it’s really different…
AT THE TIME it seemed like a smart idea.
We enticed the Americans to invest big in beef infrastructure. And they did.
The Cargill Plant in High River single-handedly processes 40% of western Canadian beef. As one American president is fond of saying, it’s huge. Think agribusiness on steroids.
… More Getting slaughtered…
THE NEWS CYCLE makes it self-evident things ain’t looking too good for Alberta’s future. And should the pandemic red alert be lowered anytime soon, don’t expect a return to ‘normal’ for the provincial economy (let alone how we go about our business). We’re going to have make a fresh start, whether we want to or … More Alberta in the 21st Century (PART 2 of many)
The smartest guy in the UCP room still doesn’t get it.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro thinks it’s about him, his wife, his interests outside of public life. He’s wrong. And Alberta’s rural physicians just reminded him who’s the boss in a pandemic. … More Resistance is futile…
REMEMBER WHERE you are today. On this day—20 April 2020—Western Canada Select was valued at less than zero. Our primary resource is now priced like excess trash bags (producers have to pay to have it retrieved and stowed away). The coronavirus has pushed the envelope on just about every thing imaginable, but negative dollars for … More Shut in. Shut down. Shut up.
THIS IS AS GOOD A TIME as any to reflect on the future of the province. … More Alberta in the 21st century: PART 1 (of many)
WHAT A DIFFERENCE four months makes.
And with the Fair Deal report due to land with a thump on Easter weekend, Donna’s work on the panel is done.
There’s a good chance the final report might be set aside given the clear & present danger. Regardless, it’s our view Albertans will have much more to say in the months and years ahead, given the triple whammy of the pandemic, the collapse of oil prices, and a nagging doubt about Alberta’s place in confederation… … More We’re back…
We’re going on vacation.
“Only a winter vacation,” says Don, continuing “unless, of course, some ‘thing’ happens.” And it happened that… … More gone fishin’
THE HEADLINES signalling what’s ahead on CBC’s The National couldn’t have said it better. The radio promo led with the Democrats move to impeach Donald Trump, and the second huge story of the day—the biggest story of paramount national interest: due to inclement weather, there’s to be no hallowe’en in Montreal. Right-o… Meantime, “out west” in … More Alberta’s crisis of identity
ALBERTA’S GOT TALENT. Just this week, I had coffee with one of Alberta’s talented, a woman in her mid-40s who I’ll call ALICE. ALICE (not her real name) is at a cross-road: Not sure if she’ll stick it out in Alberta (a place that’s been her home for the last fifteen years) or return to … More Alberta’s got talent!
Whether it’s a Conservative or Liberal minority (or whatever shakes out of today’s federal election), you can be assured the result is a forecast for the end of Canada as it’s presently configured… … More Dead in the water…
THE FEDERAL ELECTION is already shaping up to be a virtue signalling, bafflegab of BS (no matter the political flavour), peppered with digital bytes and social media jabber, clouds of mushrooming vape, whereby, the Liberal’s ‘climate emergency’ has been rebranded as ‘the environment’ thing to be alarmed about and Green in New Brunswick is not so … More Nice doesn’t cut it…
ARE THERE PLACES IN YOUR FAMILY WHERE NOBODY DARES TO LOOK? One of our summer joys is embarking on a “Chautauqua”, a short trip with dear friends. This July we took our third, this time a journey into the more remote pockets of east-central Alberta. (Find Chautauqua #1 and Chautauqua #2 here). We drove the … More From the Shadows
NATIONAL UNITY is not under threat in Alberta proclaims Justin Trudeau. Nothing to see here but loyal Canucks, the Prime Minister surmised during his recent stopover in Calgary and the Stampede. The Prime Minister wants you to believe talk of Alberta cessation (a ‘thing’ in the province these days according to pollsters) is nothing but … More NOT a Time to be Flippant about National Unity
ELON MUSK is a ‘thing’. He’s also one of ours. Yes, a Canadian, well… half-Canadian (by his own admission). And now that we’ve got your attention it’s time Canada gives more than lip service to what the game-changers are doing. Clean-tech pioneer Elon Musk wants to dig the dirt. He says Tesla must beef up its supply … More PART 2: Digging the dirt (sort of)
CANADA IS PLAYING a child’s game. When it comes to China and international business, the rule of law, and the Asian giant’s internal politics, Canada likes to throw down its trump cards: quality canola & pork, for instance, food Chinese families rely on; affordable access for Chinese students at our best post-secondary institutes; respect for rule … More Part 1: Chinese checkers and GO
WE ARE WORRIED, very worried. And you should be too.
An image in mind that best explains what lies ahead politically is to imagine a spooked herd of bison galloping toward a cliff. … More Head-Smashed-In Politics
MOVIE-MAKERS ADORE LONGVIEW’S ranching country nestled in the foothills of southern Alberta. And rightly so, it’s one of the most gorgeous places on Earth. Clint Eastwood fell in love with Alberta. Unforgiven, his Academy award-winning blockbuster which revived the Western genre of motion pictures, was shot in the province. As was Brokeback Mountain, another Academy top … More There’s No Business like Show Business–in Alberta
“The real people of the West are infrequently cowboys and never myths…and they confront the real problems of real life in a real region…they live in a land of little rain and big consequences.” (Wallace Stegner, The Sound of Mountain Water, 1969) We don’t need the Conference Board of Canada to tell us our province’s economy is … More Land of LITTLE Rain & BIG Consequences
POLARIZED POLITICS drives a wedge between people. Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of disappointment & anger of friends who feel rejected or judged because you’re not joining their team. Finding a pathway through the prickliness can seem impossible. One of my best guides in clearing new pathways has been my mother, Eleanor. Diagnosed … More a mother of invention…
IT WAS CENTENNIAL YEAR when Jacques Parizeau had an epiphany.
Travelling by transcontinental train from Montreal to Banff in 1967, the future Quebec premier and leader of the Parti Quebecois realized the country was unworkable. … More Seven reasons why Canada is doomed…
THE SMARTEST GUY in the room just left the Prime Minister’s Office leaving Justin Trudeau to act on his own. This is tragic. And it won’t end well. … More Seven reasons why Justin Trudeau must resign
I don’t know Jody Wilson-Raybould personally, and don’t pretend to speak for her. But I certainly have a sense for how she might feel at the moment, especially since she’s been castigated by some wonks as not a team player. What are her options? … More Fire me again…I dare you!
Today, there is a women’s movement that’s quick to rise, march in the streets, yell & holler to achieve social change (admittedly long overdue). But we — as women — have forgotten something important in the #metoo era. … More Eleanor’s Secret Army
Canadians are conditioned to look south. We must look north! Sea ice in the Arctic is heating up, and Alberta is a northern gateway. The clear & present danger of climate change is how Canadian sovereignty will survive in the new North. … More …beware the Polar Vortex [part 3]
It doesn’t make sense, they reason, to ship oil by rail when pipelines are safer. It also isn’t smart to give up market share to American competitors who frack as they damn well please. And the engineers are correct — it doesn’t make much sense — logically.
LOGIC CAN BE A BLINDSPOT.
Logic isn’t going to solve the present challenges facing western Canada. … More A logic bomb… [part 2]