Who are you following?

4

By Joan Janzen 

A couple of weeks ago we found ourselves driving to a car show. Though we weren’t sure of the precise location of the car show, we were fairly confident we’d get there by following the line up of classic cars, antique cars and hot rods lined up, both in front and behind our vehicle.

We were hemmed in by cars which were obviously waiting to be registered for the show, so there was no escaping our approach to the gate. The person at the gate automatically began asking for our names and we quickly explained we were only there as observers and not car show entrants. Personally, I thought that was self explanatory as we drive a fuel efficient, compact car that is not car show material by any stretch of the imagination.

We did get the fellow to let us go through the gate, but it might have been fun to park our car along side the other hot rods, antiques and classics, open the hood and flaunt the 1.4 liter 4 cylinder turbo engine.

Though it helped us find the location of the car show, following the line up of antique cars didn’t lead us precisely where we wanted to go. This reminded me of other situations where people can be unknowingly misled.

Quite recently, our Alberta neighbors’ premier took the liberty of placing a former Greenpeace International lobbyist as co-chairperson of Alberta’s oil sands advisory committee. This co- chairperson has previously encouraged people to oppose the pipeline, saying it’s the single most destructive pipeline on the earth. She is widely identified as an anti oil extremist, and has described oil as corroding our democracy, our pipelines and our institutions. And yes, she will be in charge of future oil policy in Alberta.

But she won’t be alone, because there are other anti oil extremists on the panel. One was arrested at an anti oil protest, another was registered as an anti oilfield lobbyist, and it was revealed yet another member was taking foreign government money to lobby against the oilfield.

Though we live in a democracy: a government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly, there appears to be a political agenda at work in Alberta that is trying to influence current and future political news.

Why would the Alberta premier hire this group of individuals? Well, it would appear she’s not trying to hide her opposition to the oilfield, and it won’t be her fault when the oil sands advisory committee brings forth its decisions. The premier will simply follow their advice.

Consequently, if you were waiting expectantly for your voice to be heard through means of this panel, you may find the outcome somewhat different than what you had anticipated. But you don’t have to remain stuck in this situation; you can make your voice heard and object to the unfairness of this panel, whether you live in Alberta or not.

If you don’t, you might end up like the guy at a fast food drive-thru. There were no cars in sight so he rolled up to the pay window where he was told they were still serving breakfast, but he would have to order at the speaker. So he obeyed and drove all the way around the building to the speaker box and ordered a breakfast sandwich.

“I’m sorry,” the clerk replied, “You’re too late; we’re now serving lunch.”

So you see, it’s not too late to get in line and voice your objections and prevent a stacked committee from forcing you to swallow whatever they choose to serve you.

Read more by Joan on her page kindersleysocial.ca/joan