So, it's been all over the news the past couple of days about the US ads attacking Alberta Tourism because of the oil sands projects. I saw it first on Alberta Primetime on wednesday night, and then found it on the front page of several newspapers yesterday morning.
Wow. So,,,, now that the tourism industry is being threatened, it makes front page news? What about when National Geographic Canada did a several page spread a year or so ago stating the same things? What about all the years of environmentalist 'attacks' (oh sorry, I mean they were expressing themselves *rolls eyes*) on the oil and gas industries? Sure, some got mentioned but it didn't seem to rattle cages until now. Why is that?
People I know that have not expressed any concern for the oil industry to me before were saying 'omg have you seen the clips of that ad??? and what those people are saying?? how dare they attack our province!'. They were outraged. I just shrugged. I said 'this has been going on for YEARS people, and you didn't give a flying sh&t until you realized it could affect YOUR life too'. Well guess what? I knew all along that it would affect all of us. I knew, my bf knew, we talked about it a lot, I have posted here about it.... I have posted numerous, countless times about HOW MANY JOBS this could/would effect. I really don't care that NOW people are outraged and worried. They should have cared back when they thought it was 'only' oilfield workers. That shows me how many people cannot or will not 'think outside the box'. The US ads are trying to get us to hate the oil sands so much, our provincial citizens will demand it's closure. But NOW people here are realizing this is our lifeblood and I have yet to personally here anyone around me say to shut it down. They want the environuts to back off and stop threatening the livelihoods of millions of people. But is it too little too late?
We have allowed them to get to this stage. We turned a blind eye to past activities, the general population muttering about corporations and 'who cares about those conglomerates', etc etc. *Yawn* I've heard it many many times. But NOW they are finally seeing that those corporations employ real people. From across Canada and internationally. Those employees in turn shop here, buy homes here, contribute to our provincial and federal tax systems, bring their families and help employ teachers, doctors, etc. Hotels are filled with temporary or long term employees. Catering businesses, cleaning companies, mechanics, safety crews, on--site EMTs and paramedics, etc etc have been raking in the dough from these 'big business' names. Hospitals and school districts have enjoyed large donations from these companies. Youth sports teams have them for sponsorship. Local need groups receive donations and sponsorship.... but few seemed to realize this over the past several years. Why not?
Now that someone made a misleading and shock-tactic ad proclaiming that Alberta is some terrible monster, people are finally angry? My god - what did they think was going to happen if we just kept letting these little groups have their way? We try to follow every rule they come up with, try to prove ourselves, and with every agreement comes more rules, and when we are trying to show the world that we are doing the best we can to get this oil out and return the area to nature, they try to slam us right down into the ground after a bad mistake by one particular company. NOW people get angry? Honestly people, it makes me sick how few seemed to care when 80,000 jobs were lost, largely in or related to the oil industry but now they are starting to get angry when someone on tv tells them how far reaching this will be. All you had to do was stop and THINK about it.
I have had 3 dads at my workplace lose their jobs in the past MONTH. In my 15 years at this center, I have rarely had to hear about a dad losing his long-time position with any company and now suddenly it's 3 in a row? They all have children to feed, one has a child with very severe medical issues that cannot be treated here in Canada and they NEED the money to take her to the united states. Another has a fairly new home and two boys and his wife's field of work was cut last year by the govt. Yet another is barely speaking anymore when he comes in and you can feel the stress and tension around him. His wife lost her job 2 months ago with an oilfield services company and now his own is in the toilet. I have at least 7 more kids there who's parents' jobs are directly related to the oil industry, but as I fan out and think, I realize that many of the rest could be affected too. how much longer are we going to allow this to go on?
When our own Environment Minister stands up in the legislature and says that the science of Climate Change/Global Warming has been PROVEN and a few months later we get smacked with this new series of attacks, how much are we supposed to take of that? And why has it taken so many people so long to figure this out?