Did you hear the news? Celebrity teen activist Greta Thunberg is coming to Alberta! Immediately, many emotional politicians have begun laying out the red carpet and asking her for meetings and offering tours of our wonderful Cities and oil & gas facilities.
What an absolutely embarrassing display by our elected ‘leaders’.
Fortunately, Alberta’s provincial government has said it will not be seeking a meeting with Greta Thunberg. Thank goodness we have one level of Government with sense. The opposition provincial parties naturally have already suggested the government meet and learn from her. There’s a reason why the provincial NDP and Liberals are now completely obsolete.
Edmonton’s Mayor, Don Iveson, invited Greta to meet with him–not to advocate for Alberta’s oil industry–but to talk about how Edmonton is ‘fighting climate change’. He also alluded to Albertans needing to listen to what she has to say, almost as if we are the ones who need to be educated:
I’m sure she’ll have some frank feedback for us, but that’s precisely the level of conversation we need to be having on this important issue
Not sure that’s the type of sentiment any major city in Alberta wants their mayor to espouse.
In Calgary, where rising taxes are crippling small businesses, and downtown vacancy rates are 25 to 35+ percent (depending on measure), City council seems to have nothing better to do than roll out the red carpet for another major opponent of the oil and gas industry and invite her for a tour of our oil facilities.
For 10 years, we have deployed this strategy and it has consistently worked against us. The Mayor of Victoria, Jane Fonda, James Cameron, Tzeporah Berman and many others have been given first-class tours of our world-class industry: all have called for its shutdown after the fact. Their minds were made up and all we did was make it look worse on us. I asked one of our councillors why he thought this time would be different. I very much appreciate his response as many others would simply hide:
The tour with the Mayor of Victoria went fine.— Jeff Davison (@JeffDavisonYYC) October 15, 2019
Look, we have a choice here - either we can get infront of the negative narratives and tell our truth, or we can let others define us. I prefer the first option. #yyccc #ableg #cdnpoli @CanadaAction https://t.co/sQlWNnwuHq
Firstly, Victoria’s Mayor’s visit was a disaster. After her visit, she left and immediately began pushing to phase-out of the oil industry. Secondly, what’s far worse than letting others simply define us, is amplifying their anti-Alberta views. Every-time we welcome someone in and they trash our industry, it hurts us even more. We have to stop seeking approval from radical activists.
Greta Thunburg, and ultimately more anti-oil and gas activists will continue coming to Alberta. And tours and interviews and speaking series will continue–I hope one of these people change his or her mind, but the pursuit of this unicorn is not worth the damage we are inflicting on ourselves.