Wildfires and Gordon Lightfoot

“Do the best with what you’ve got.”—Gordon Lightfoot

News of Gordon Lightfoot’s death, while not unexpected, still came as a shock. We didn’t think he’d live forever; truth be told we didn’t think about him very much anymore, then boom! he was gone.  

And I’ve been thinking about him ever since.

I finally figured out why. It’s the wildfires.

The wildfire crisis

On Saturday Danielle Smith declared a province-wide state of emergency to deal with the wildfire crisis—there are over 100 active wildfires, 36 of which are out of control, and over 24,000 Albertans have been displaced.

This state of emergency will give the government extraordinary powers to control movement within the province, access emergency funds and mobilize even more resources to stop the crisis from escalating.  

Smith assures the public that the government has the tools, technology, and resources it needs to deal with the crisis, and the Feds are on standby just in case.  

Bill Blair, the federal public safety minister, also confirmed the Feds are ready to provide federal aid or resources, if required.

NDP leader Rachel Notley offered her assistance (her government handled the 2016 Fort MacMurray fire) and Smith appears willing to get Notley’s input.

So it looks like when Alberta is faced with a crisis Smith’s UCP can set aside their political grievances and cooperate with other parties to find a solution.

All this is great, but why do we have to wait for a crisis before we realize we’re strongest when we work together?

And this is where Gordon Lightfoot comes in.

To be Canadian

Lightfoot was a local boy who achieved international fame…without moving to the US.

He stayed here. He wrote songs about Canada: the railways and shipwrecks, the  rivers and Great Lakes, the provinces (remember Alberta Bound), the cold winter nights, the pussy willows, cattails, and yellow canoes.

He lived in a mansion in Toronto and tooled around town in his Chrysler New Yorker. He canoed our wild rivers and thought Orillia was the most beautiful place on earth.

Most importantly, he was humble.  

Lightfoot told a story about when he was five and he and his friends sang I’m a Little Teapot in a Sunday school concert. After they’d finished, their Sunday school teacher told the class, “They did the best with what they had. And that’s what you’re going to do all your life. Do the best with what you’ve got.”

Do the best with what you’ve got

This is excellent advice.

Luckily, we have a leg up when it comes to doing the best with what we’ve got because what we’ve got is Canada.

Canada is one of the top 5 full democracies in the world. (Incidentally, the US, which ranks at #25, is defined as a flawed democracy so we should think twice before we import American policies into our provincial and federal institutions and systems).  

Our province is so beautiful it makes your heart ache. This natural beauty must be protected and managed, not sold off to the highest bidder to enrich their shareholders.   

Our people are diverse and tolerant (for the most part), they must be supported with strong public health and public education services, not shunted over to the private sector whose primary focus is the bottom line.

Albertans who want to do the best with what they have should reject the UCP’s anti-Canada, pro-separatist (or separatist-in-all-but-name) stance and challenge Smith and her UCP candidates on:

  • the Alberta Sovereignty Act which purports to let her government ignore any federal laws it doesn’t like.
  • the plan to create a made-in-Alberta police force,
  • the plan to create a made-in-Alberta pension plan,
  • the plan to create a made-in-Alberta tax collection agency to work around the equalization,  

because these policies will weaken the Alberta we have now.  

Or to put it even more bluntly, May 29 is just 3 weeks away. Let’s do our best not to mess this up.

This entry was posted in Culture, Danielle Smith, Disasters, Environment, Politics and Government, Rich and/or Famous and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

67 Responses to Wildfires and Gordon Lightfoot

  1. Bruce Turton says:

    At this dangerous point we need never forget that it was the UCP that reduced fire fighting by several millions, laid off several veteran firefighters [quickly snapped up by B.C.] – and now want ‘help’!!! So very sad and stupid.

    • Ingamarie says:

      Our policy committee had a resolution calling for refunding…..at our last NDP convention. So some of us pay attention.

    • Bruce and Ingamarie: I wish someone would point out to the UCP that the $330 million Smith promised Calgary for the arena would be much better spent on firefighting…and healthcare…and education…and, and, and…

  2. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for sharing another great blog. The points about the UCP are well understood by me. I cannot support them. It is sad that we lost a Canadian music icon, Gordon Lightfoot, recently, at age 84. I saw him live in Edmonton, front row center, in 2010. I met him and his band after the show. Gordon Lightfoot was admired by many musicians, from Bob Dylan, to Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, of the Canadian rock band, Rush. I’ll play some fitting music. This is Hi’Way Songs, and is from 1972. Gordon Lightfoot wrote this. It is a nice blend of folk and country music.

    • Thanks Dwayne. From what I’ve read Lightfoot, unlike many musicians, paid his band even when they weren’t touring. Pretty decent man by all accounts. It must have been such a thrill to meet him in person.

  3. Michael Klein says:

    Exactly Susan.

  4. lindamcfarlane says:

    Thank you 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  5. Dale says:

    As usual this article is good.

    When Smith assures the public that the government has the tools, technology, and resources it needs to deal with the crisis. She is correct. This means the Provincial Government could and should deal with the very real climate crisis we are facing by developing policies that directly work to reduce pollution (CO2 and Methane emissions) that is increasing the likelihood of more devastating fires and drought. Deal with the root cause NOT just the cleanup and emergency situation!

    • Ingamarie says:

      We need to keep repeating this……..the news from the natural world is increasingly dire. We ignore these warnings at our peril….and the peril of the little ones we say we love.

      • Carlos says:

        Ingamarie I so much agree with you. According to the latest research we have already lost on AVERAGE 60% of our natural world and it is accelerating.

        We will wake up when suddenly we lose more than 60% of humans. Good for the future of the planet, but a shock I doubt we could easily escape from. All these current crisis can only be resolved when the number of humans start declining.

    • Dale and Ingamarie: I 100% agree. Some people argue that it is “insensitive” to bring up climate change in the middle of a wildfire crisis. While I understand it would be inappropriate to shove a microphone in someone’s face after their farm and livestock have gone up in flames and say “see, what happens when you ignore climate change”, it’s still necessary to have this conversation. Not at the exact moment someone realizes they’ve lost everything, but soon thereafter in a more general context with all Albertans and Canadians.

      • ingamarie says:

        When isn’t it insensitive to bring up climate change??? Those right wingers who reference ‘the lake of fire’ don’t know how soon they may be in it….and its funny…and not funny that this is so.

  6. Survivor says:

    Excellent commentary and comment, “Our province is so beautiful it makes your heart ache. ” Yes, yes and yes! We lost another Canadian legend in the past year, Ian Tyson, whose song is the background to a beautiful Alberta nightscape video by another Albertan, Alan Dyer. The video is Alberta Skies. Have Kleenex close by.

    • Ingamarie says:

      It took us just over three generations to depopulate these ranges……..we’ve driven through southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and in some cases there are more people in the cemeteries than in what’s left of the little towns….the homesteads are deserted, as in this video. That pristine landscape has been plowed, planted to monoculture…..and vulnerable to the water shortages of the future.
      Water in southern Alberta is already over 100 % allocated, according to Kevin Van Teagum (running for the NDP in the Livingstone area)….and who knows what Saskatchewan will do with what’s left over by the time the two Saskatchewan rivers get to that province. Much of the water off the eastern slopes goes to irrigation…but let’s not imagine we’ve defeated open pit coal mining of some of those slopes, a process that uses vast quantities of water….and denudes the mountain slopes of its ‘overburden’.

      Yes. We live in a sublime landscape. But current research says it was much more intact ‘when the buffalo roamed’….much more vulnerable to desertification, now we colonials have developed it. And I grieve that it is so.

      I grew up where there was still intact fescue grass. All gone now….as are most of my family from the land my grandparents settled at the turn of the last century.
      Climate change will have its way with those ranges. Though the skies may still be gorgeous, going forward….it will be increasingly difficult to live there.

    • Yep, Survivor, this video brought tears to my eyes.
      It brought to mind Corb Lund who has been extremely vocal about the UCP’s plans to allow coal mining in the eastern slopes. It’s good to see people like him defend our right to stop coal mines and protect our waterways.
      It’s amazing that with all we know it’s still a battle.

  7. Jodi rae says:

    hi Susan – my reaction – I wish every single voter in Alberta would read your posts. good luck with it all. cheers. jodi

  8. jerrymacgp says:

    We’ve been on tenterhooks since Friday afternoon when the first Alberta Emergency Alert went out about the Dunes West fire on the Wapiti River in the County of Grande Prairie No. 1. We live in a County subdivision that abuts the southern boundary of the City of Grande Prairie, only 5.5 km from the Evacuation Order zone west of Highway 40 and about 11 km as the crow flies from the actual fire. We’re not currently under any Evacuation Order or Alert where we live, but it’s too close to comfort and we’ve packed up some essentials and irreplaceables — like family photos, insurance documents, etc. — in case we need to dash. But a number of our co-workers and acquaintances have been evacuated.

    There’s also another bad fire just 45 minutes east of us, on the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, which has had to be evacuated. Highway 43 was closed most of the weekend between Valleyview & Bezanson; one of our sons-in-law was driving back from Edmonton on Saturday and had to detour north along Hwy 49 to Donnelly Corner, then west on Hwy 49 to Rycroft and south on Hwy 2 to get to Grande Prairie. It took him six & a half hours for what is normally a five-hour drive.

    Two Peace Country hospitals and a long-term care centre have had to be evacuated: Fox Creek Healthcare Centre, High Prairie Community Hospital and J B Woods Continuing Care Centre in Nigh Prairie. Many of those patients and residents have been transported to the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital, others down to Whitecourt and Edmonton. Further to the south, hospitals in Edson and Drayton Valley have also had to be evacuated — Edson west to Hinton and Jasper, as Hwy 16 is closed between Edson and Edmonton due to fires.

    Oh, and by the way, today is Day One of National Nurses’ Week. But few of us in Alberta, or in northern interior BC or in Saskatchewan — or in Québec where it’s flooding, not fire, that’s driving people from their homes — will be celebrating — we’ll be too busy managing these disasters.


    • Jerrymacgp your comment is heart wrenching. It’s been a couple of days since you posted it and I really hope the situation in your area has settled down a bit.
      You mentioned Nurses’ Week. That is a timely reminder that you and others in your profession have come through a harrowing time dealing with covid and its impact, and and now you’re facing the stress of uncontrolled wildfires. It must be almost unbearable.
      Take care, my friend.

      • jerrymacgp says:

        Thank you, Susan, for your kind words. So far we’re good but our region is now under a Special Weather Statement for unseasonably hot & dry weather this weekend — 10-15°C above the norm for this time of year (we usually get one final big dump of snow in early May). So no sigh of relief yet.

  9. Jaundiced Eye says:

    Make no mistake, Smith and the UCP will continue to play politics throughout the fires until May 29. Optics dictated that Smith had to accept Rachel Notley’s help for the fires but she will never permit Rachel Notley and the NDP to have too high a profile in any of this. Ottawa has also offered help but let’s remember that Smith and the UCP consider Ottawa nothing more than a whipping post, until there’s a flood, a fire, a drought, farmer’s loans going bad or as a cash machine to clean up the oil industries messes.

    • Jaundiced Eye: I agree with your assessment.
      It’s ironic that in the face of all this anti-Ottawa rhetoric the Feds are more than willing to help out in times of calamity. This is the lesson Albertans should take out of this disaster. We’d be crazy to go it alone and any politician who says otherwise does not deserve our vote.

  10. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my second song pick. This is from Dave Mason, a famous musician, who was from the Midlands in the UK, and was the co-founder of the group Traffic, with Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, and Chris Wood. It is Only You Know & I Know. It is from his debut solo album, released in 1970. Dave Mason moved to America in the late 1960s. He turns 77 on May 10.

  11. ART says:

    I was flying into Edmonton yesterday and overheard a conversation between the passengers seated in front of me. The older man, returning after 6 months in Mexico, was very concerned that the UCP would be defeated and Rachel would let towns burn, because she would prevent non-union firefighters from fighting fires. In Alberta you can make this stuff up and have ready agreement from your fellow travelers.

  12. ingamarie says:

    When we were putting up signs on Saturday a woman who’d ordered one came to the door while my partner was installing the sign and they discussed the orange signs proliferating in Beddington.
    “Maybe we have to see what crazy is in order to wake up” She laughed.

    We didn’t have to wait that long to know real democracy includes all of us….and needs all of us to engage. We continue to learn that the past was not as rosy as it has been presented, western powers haven’t been the ‘do gooders’ they paint themselves as (led by the USA a lot of globalism has been nothing much more than ‘takeitallism”), and too often, the love of money has been the root of much evil.

    Democracy needs citizen engagement….that includes access to real information, but it also includes action. Activism should not be a dirty word….but it is work.
    More of us need to sample that lifestyle in the next few weeks….and help Albertans understand that we not only get what we pay for………..we can sometimes achieve what we work for.

    DOOR KNOCKING IS INTERESTING, SOMETIMES FUN, AND ALWAYS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE…..I’m almost too old for it now, but interacting with my neighbours has never been scary. We need more of it.

    So if you want a better Alberta….join the many Albertans door knocking, putting up signs, distributing literature, and attending forums. We have some real problems (wild fires, floods, affordability, health and education shortfalls) to address.

    We all need to do the best with what we have. And if we ACTIVATE what we have….we’ll discover that we have a lot. Investing in our common future is not only possible, it’s likely the only real way forward.

    We have a beautiful country. Let’s defend her….and make Gordon proud.

  13. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Here is my final song pick. It is from The Spencer Davis R&B Quartette. They are doing a cover of an Arthur “Big Boy Crudup” song, Mean Old Frisco. This was from late 1963, or early 1964. It features a 15 year old Steve Winwood on vocals and (most likely) lead harmonica, Spencer Davis on rhythm harmonica, (age 24), Muff (Mervyn) Winwood, Steve’s older brother on bass guitar (age 20), and Pete York on drums (age 21). This would become The Spencer Davis Group, famous for the hit songs, I’m A Man, and Gimme Some Lovin’. Steve Winwood, is a multi-instrumental talent, a singer, songwriter and producer. He was a professional musician, since age 8, and him and his brother Muff, were part of their dad’s jazz/dance band. He turns 75 on May 12. I’ve seen him twice live, as the opening act for Tom Petty.

    • Dwayne, I can’t get over how young these guys were.
      I listened to an interview with Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo. He idolized Lightfoot and said one of the things that struck him as a young boy was just how cool Lightfoot was. Seems to me all these guys are cool one way or another. Thanks for the clip!

  14. Michael Klein says:

    This has nothing to do with the wildfires but an interesting comment on our current state of affairs in democracies generally. There were two conversations recently wherein the person leading the conversation was complaining about Notley, Trudeau, socialism, communism, Putinism, fascism, socialism. These two people saw that all of these were bad and perhaps Canada will be saved from these things by personalities, namely Smith and Poilievre.

    The person reporting these conversations to me and I wondered about what these otherwise normally rational and intelligent people could be identifying as the single issue.

    The conclusion we came to was this. Communism, socialism as in the USSR, fascism as in Germany in the time of Hitler, current dictators are all examples of authoritarianism. These isms are expressed in political messaging and reporting.

    Then Smith and Poilievre declare themselves to be Freedom ers, against socialism etc. So these two people then followed Smith’s, Poilievre’s and others’ lead and condemned Notley and Trudeau as examples of evil socialists.

    Kind of amazing. This leaves one with a sense of anxiety, what do we do to get society to understand the foundational principles of all these isms? What do we do to help people understand the great perils in this lack of understanding? What do we do to help people understand that perhaps Smith and certainly Poilievre know they are lying when they equate Notley and Trudeau to authoritarian isms?

    • Michael: I have a friend who holds a Ph.D in psychology, her focus is authoritarianism. She says the Smiths and Poilievres of the world pitch their arguments to their followers’ emotions, not their intellect. Once the emotions are engaged, any attempt to reason with them goes right out the window. Add to that the fact that this emotional attachment forms part of their sense of identity. It’s one thing to change your opinion when you realize you’re wrong, it’s quite another to be forced to give up your identity if you admit you’re wrong.
      It’s a thorny problem.
      Thanks for raising it.

      • ingamarie says:

        That same emotional attachment explains part of the rise of white nationalism. When you are emotionally attached to the propaganda model of how we brought civilization to the savages….and opened up the wilderness to productive use……..its darn hard to look squarely at colonial imperialism…or digest the possible truth that your spiritual leaders were complicit.

        What the church run residential schools did to little children is a shock to the belief system of many Christians…..they’d rather resist that grim truth than consider that they may be praying in imperial institutions….that have grown rich off their tax exemptions….and “educational endeavors’.

        I think if you really love children, you’d have trouble sitting in those ‘comfortable pews’….but conservative Christians want to sit there…….so choose paranoia about ‘being replaced.’.

        And that’s a growing thorn hedge as well.

  15. Linda says:

    Fingers crossed that the UCP does not win the election. I’m grateful I have an alternate choice to vote for.

    Regarding the gentleman saying Notley would prevent non-unionized firefighters, well given that many small municipalities rely on volunteer firefighters who are most definitely NOT unionized, all of whom operated during her tenure as Premier I’d say his belief is less than rational. One wonders what medication these folks are on to come up with this stuff. Seriously.

    • Valerie Jobson says:

      It may be a twisted spin on this story from the Fort Mac fire


      They went on strike ovver their inadequate pay and ended up going home again.

      • Valerie, you make an interesting point, that some will twist the facts to suit their ideological purpose. Someone told a young friend of mine that Notley killed babies because babies died in the Fort Mac fire. This is not true.
        All you have to do is google it: there were NO direct deaths, two indirect deaths (people killed in car crashes) and NO non-fatal injuries.
        Facts matter.

    • Linda, it’s not as if the UCP were not told how vital the Rappattack firefighters are. The G&M reports that at least three municipalities (including Fox Creek which was evacuated) pleaded with Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry not to cut their firefighting budget, but to no avail.
      Apparently these guys do a great job dropping into smaller fires and extinguishing them before they turn into large fires. Seems like a good use of manpower, but the UCP got rid of them.
      I hope the Albertans affected by this reckless decision give it some consideration when they mark their ballots on May 29.

  16. Carlos says:

    Danielle Smith does not have what it takes to be premier of Alberta PERIOD.

    She is now apologizing left and right about what she has said in the last few years and which represent her real beliefs but unfortunately they are not what most of us Left or Right want for our future. She just wants the votes.

    Those who vote for this mediocrity and far right ideas will have to assume responsibility for what they choose as simple as that.

    It is out there and so no one has any excuses. She is just trying to tell us she is not what she is because she does not know herself what the heck she wants when se grows up.


    • Carlos: we’ve reached the Trump-saturation point with Danielle Smith. Her excuse was that she was frustrated and tired because of covid.
      Well, what about the healthcare professionals who were working double shifts to treat all the sick and dying people? What about everyone who obeyed the public health restrictions and didn’t see their loved ones for months if not years? What about the essential workers who came in, risking their health, and their lives, so she could have food? All she sees is covid’s impact on her, she has no empathy for anyone else.
      As you said, she is utterly unfit to lead this province.
      I absolutely believe that she’ll be gone by the end of the year. Either she’ll lose the election or if she wins, her win will be razor thin and her party will force her out. Then we’re in for another year of jockeying for power which means nothing will get done in this province.
      Politics in Alberta is a gong show.

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Susan, I think Smith will be turfed even if she “wins,” provided she doesn’t manage to satisfy her boss, David Parker. If (God protect us) the UCP/ Take Alberta Backward Party wins, the best we can hope for is enough internal bickering to prevent them from passing legislation! If they do, it’ll hopefully be so full of contradictions it’ll have to be thrown out. Sheer incompetence might just limit the damage of arrogant stupidity.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Sadly, friends, Smith’s lack of empathy is not isolated. Maybe it’s a precondition of Libertarian delusion syndrome, but it seems people don’t “believe in” big, long-term problems until those problems hurt them personally. Think global heating, plastic pollution, bitumen tailings ponds, PFAS pollution…. None of it’s “real” to some people till it bites them on the butt.

      Covid-19 is a particularly vivid case of the “it didn’t hurt me” mindset. “It’s just the flu” was the big excuse. Yeah, OK buddy, it’s just the flu—till it kills you…or your wife…your mother…your kid…your best friend….

      I know a guy who, in 2021, caught Covid just weeks before he was scheduled to get the vaccine. He survived nine days in ICU, breathing pure oxygen, while the virus tried to destroy his lungs from the inside. They kicked him out when he could breathe on his own again—because they needed the bed for someone even sicker. He was lucky. It took him three more months to fully recover, but he did recover. Was it “just like the flu”? Not to him, or to me.

      The world is finally past the acute crisis of Covid-19. Enough people either got the virus, or got the vaccine, that most of us are mostly protected, most of the time. (All those “mosts” explain why there are still Covid patients in hospitals—and also why the UCP never talks about Covid patients in hospitals.) It’s still a more deadly disease than influenza. But hey, “it’s just the flu.”

  17. GoinFawr says:

    I thought the parties had all agreed to suspend campaigning during the emergency….pretty sure I just saw Miles Berry, a UCP candidate, going door to door.

    And he told me with a straight face that he’s never heard of Artur Pawlowski, or Take Back Alberta, the lying hound. I sarcastically told him he should look into the party he is running for before joining up next time.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      I understood the candidates–both UCP and NDP–who’ve suspended their campaigns are in ridings currently under evacuation orders. The election may be postponed if the fires aren’t brought under control, but only in the affected ridings. Sorry, you’re gonna have to put up with the doorknockers.

      • GoinFawr says:

        Oh, bring ’em on!

        Don’t get me wrong Mike, despite my disgust with what seemed to me to be a UCP candidate stealing an advantage from others’ suffering (go figure), whenever I can I’ll take the opportunity to engage face-to-face with anyone seeking political power. Really I consider it a rare privilege.

        So to be perfectly honest it felt quite excellent to ask questions to which I’m pretty certain we both knew the answers, and test their response. And I confess that, when the person I met chose to lie about it, it was immensely satisfying to give them all the sardonic derision and support that deserves and then send them on their way with a figurative bootprint on their behind. I think it may have stung a bit…

      • Mike J Danysh says:

        Good for you! I’m too disgusted with the whole UCP s–t show to say more than “No way in Hell.” If you can make ’em think, more power to you! (Tell ’em the headache will fade, it’s because they don’t use their brain enough.)

    • GoinFawr: seriously? Berry says he’s never heard of Pawlowski or TBA? Either he’s a lying house (I love that) or pathetically ill-informed. Either way he doesn’t deserve to run.
      My friend told her UCP candidate she wouldn’t vote for his party because she despised Danielle Smith. The candidate told her she should vote for him because he would “moderate” Smith. Really…Toews, Savage, Schweitzer, and others couldn’t moderate Smith and her wingnuts, but this unknown never before elected candidate could. Yeah right.

  18. Carlos says:

    I feel much better now that our Premier called us Nazis. I am in the vaccinated group so I am thrilled about this. The real Nazis trying to get us part of their mafia.

    Grow up Danielle Smith, you are in political puberty.

    I am sure most Albertans are thrilled with this one.

  19. Dave says:

    Perhaps the wildfire situation will help Smith, by taking attention away from the various controversial things she has said or done and allowing her to look leader like in the face of a crisis. Or maybe she will find some way to mess this up, like she does with a lot of other things.

    Of course the wildfires are not happening where the election is closest, so it may take time and attention away from campaigning where Smith would prefer to be. Also, being Premier does mean you have to focus some attention on running things in an emergency situation, rather than running a campaign.

    Lastly Smith should hope that voters don’t start to pay too close attention to fire fighters who have been fairly vocal about previous cuts by her party to their rapid response program, which might have prevented some of this. Heaven help her if this becomes a significant election issue.

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      At least Smith isn’t telling people to ignore fire chiefs and evacuation orders. Maybe her brain really does work, as long as “freedom” isn’t rattling around in there.

      Or maybe it’s simpler than that. After all, you can see (and smell, and even hear) a forest fire. You can’t see a virus. Arguing with a fire is more obviously dangerous than arguing with a virus.

      Or maybe it’s just that viruses and vaccines were unknown to the Old Testament prophets. But they sure knew about fires; and wars, floods and drought. (Also plagues, but aside from, say, locusts, they couldn’t know what causes plagues.)

      We’ll have to see if Sober and Sensible Danielle talking about fires and evacuation order being “not optional” is enough to cloud memories of Wild-Eyed and Crazy Danielle yammering about vaccines being evil, and if you refused the jab, you’re a victim of prejudice.

      • GoinFawr says:

        All conservatives want to get rid of all gov’t completely right up until they are faced with a situation where it would have served them or they need it, then they always want to know why ‘the left’ didn’t put more of it in place when they had the chance, as if they ever gave it to them.

        The utter lack of self-awareness on some folks’ part right now is flat-out appalling.

  20. GoinFawr says:

    Good news for UCP fans!

    Since they are always going on about the russian oh-so-religious lifestyle (almost 4% atttend ~every Sunday, pious or not!!) and (cough) freedom so much, here’s a prime, once in a lifetime opportunity for them to pull themselves up by the bootstraps and pursue their rugged, individualistic pioneering spirits in the very land of their skeevy hearted little dreams!


    Please, please, please UCPers don’t miss out!! Apply early! Be the first family on your block or 1/4section to have a real live (for a short time, anyway) russian relative! Finally get that grandson out of your basement! I’ll help you book your flight(s) today!

    • Mike J Danysh says:

      Wow. Just wow. I don’t know what to make of this. The MSN story originated with “insider.com,” and I have no feeling at all for how reliable this might be. Considering it (allegedly) came from Russia, my optimism is between negligible and zero. And yet….

      Would somebody please tell Elliot Mcdavid about this? In Valerie Jobson’s post below, there are video clips of Mcdavid saying he wants to turn his farm or whatever into a haven for non-woke or some such (I can’t be bothered to listen). If a few of the most rabidly right-wing were to emigrate to Putin’s Russia, we’d all win.

      (Hysterical footnote: whatever happened to the “Evil Empire”? Must have needed quite the makeover to appeal to Republicans.)

      • Valerie Jobson says:

        I remember Reagan’s time and the Canadian jokes that he was the president of the other evil empire.
        That would have worked for Trump too, but I think there is generally less anti-American feeling here than there used to be. It’s more anti-Republican.

  21. Valerie Jobson says:

    Anyone trying to convince a wavering conservative to vote against the UCP might want to show them some of the videos from this thread on Elliott “Moose” McDavid, social influencer, thug, convoyer, rabid anti-vaxxer, and a member of TBA.

    Also at least two of the men charged with mischief for the Coutts blockade are involved with TBA, and Moose’s equally loony brother Reddog; and some or all of them are convinced that all thoe fires were deliberately set and that the people organizing the firefighters cannot be trusted.

    Moose talks about civil war and perhaps he may be stupid enough to commit violence.

    • GoinFawr says:

      I don’t want to be at all glib about this, but it seems to me much more likely that FUBAR’d Dean and Terry blistering about on their quads without spark arrestors on the pipes (for extra hp) and flicking smokes out their windows are far more probable candidates for irresponsible behaviour than environmentalists.

      Frankly, if there is anyone that is actually responsible for any fires I too very much hope that they are found out and held accountable sooner rather than later.

  22. p k says:

    Thank you, Susan, for another intelligent and poignant post. We are so very lucky to live in Canada.

    The picture below (providing it loads properly) is an example of the information being shared by some of the nutty (but dangerous), right-wing, extremist fringe groups percolating in AB. The players are either connected already or actively connecting. The man circulating this poster is part of the Alberta Prosperity Project and has just been promoted to ‘captain’ in Take Back Alberta. I am at a loss for words as to what is happening in my province – but I also live in a region that is full of these kooks. I hope the election shows there are far more sane people and regions than not.

    [image: IMG_2215.jpg]

    • Comment says:

      I see my picture did not load. It was of a poster that had a well-known image of Uncle Sam (yes, I thought we lived in Canada) with the captions “Alberta NEEDS you!” and “Save your guns” and “If Rachel Notley wins this election, your firearm rights will continue to erode” and “Learn more at StayFreeAB.ca”.

      Also forgot to mention, my better half met him many moons ago on the remote Coppermine River in the NWT. Gord and some other fellows had been canoeing up there for a month on their way to the Arctic Ocean and pulled up to shore when they saw people. They talked for awhile and then they paddled away. We saw him twice in concert after that. Magic.

  23. Valerie Jobson says:

    Another good thread by Kurt about TBA and PPA; lots abut Denis Modry’s plans for achieving Alberta separation, whether we want it or not I guess. He’s the guy who arranged the Smith – Pawlowski phone call. I think he’s running for a seat in Edmonton so is unlikely to win.

    • Valerie Jobson says:

      Oops, APP not PPA; and Modry is not running, did not get the nomination I guess.

    • Comment says:

      Valerie: The guy mentioned in that Twitter thread is the guy I was writing about in my comment above. His name is Mitch Sylvestre and he is passing around these ridiculous posters. He also was the contact name to buy tickets for a UCP election fundraiser dinner with Danielle Smith on March 30, Modry, Parker, Sylvestre, etc are actively courting separation. Smith is the bus driver they are using to take them there.

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