Alberta's Deja Vu

In the political world, history is sometimes known to repeat.  Lessons forgotten are destined to be learned again and usually the hard way.

As with the tide of Quebec separation, the issue of West-East animosity tends to rise, crest, and then roll back through the decades.  The infamous Peter Lougheed/Pierre Trudeau battle of the early 1980’s was the story the last time around, fueled by the energy-industry poison National Energy Program.

It was the era of a separatist MLA in Alberta’s Legislature.  It was the time of Ralph Klein’s ‘creeps and bums shot at Eastern Canadians.  It was the time when our parents lost their jobs and families lost their homes. 

As always, time moves on and situations change.  Even through the Stephen Harper years, the landscape was pretty much battle-free when it comes to the traditional grievances.  The separatist movement in Alberta was contained to a few online sites, relegated to C-list conversation.

However, lately that buzz has been slowly but noticeably increasing in volume.  Long-time Albertans who remember the NEP years see storm clouds gathering.  Pierre’s son Justin is now the Prime Minister, and as illogical as it may seem, the potential damage to the West may now be even greater.

Whereas his father was unquestionably intelligent (this is where his danger was), son Justin lacks the experience and staunch ideological commitment his father possessed.  And let’s face it: he isn’t the swiftest fox on the prairie. 

In fact, there is a noticeable split when it comes to PM Mimbo McSelfie.  Canadian and foreign left-wing media swoon, while serious media outlets question his penchant for public photo-ops, his government’s clear lack of work in their first term, and perhaps most dangerous, his snuggling up to the UN and international globalists like George Soros.

Whereas Pierre was strong in conviction even if his policies were disagreeable, Justin is weak and far-too-easily led. 

We have elected an image-obsessed puppet.

Western Canadians should be aware of one of the few promises the Trudeau government has vowed to implement a national carbon tax….er, price.  The ludicrous, ideologically-based tax can already be found in various forms at the provincial level, but that isn’t good enough to appease Trudeau’s green-based voting segment.  The urge to appear 'environmentally friendly' is too strong to ignore. 

Whether or not a federally-mandated carbon tax will become a legacy like the NEP is unknown.  What can be anticipated is the effects on oil-producing provinces.  The two policies may be wrapped in different language with different stated goals, but the end result to the West will be the same.

Spiking unemployment.  Crushing debt.  Broken families.

The fact Alberta currently has a socialist government in Edmonton adds another layer to the situation.  Peter Lougheed’s legacy is partially built on his battle over the NEP.  There is no conceivable way the same can be expected of the progressive Premier Rachel Notley.

It is imperative that Alberta begin building defences against the inevitable attack on our energy industry and, by extension, our families.  It must begin at the provincial level, and must result in the removal of Notley and her band of environuts. 

Alberta must strive to obtain what Saskatchewan currently enjoys with Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan party government:  a leader who refuses to buy into the eco-scare and the feel-good programs which result in nothing but harm to his province. 

Alberta needs true leadership to stand up and defend our province, and we need it quickly.

Those of us who lived through it the first time remember.


Required Viewing: Stanley Kubrick

It is rare to find a filmmaker whose works have a distinct ‘feel’, that quality in which merely watching a few minutes is all it takes to know who was at the controls.  Psycho is pure Hitchcock.  Pulp Fiction is the ultimate Tarantino.

The icon of this pack for the past few decades was Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999). 

With a cinematic style so unique he was almost his own genre, Kubrick was able to take works from various corners and make them his own.  He made them surreal. He made them better. 

The choices are as long as his filmography, but here are four essential Stanley Kubrick flicks:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Built on the foundation of Arthur C. Clark’s The Sentinel (who collaborated on the screenplay), Kubrick presents a film which spans from the dawn of humanity to the possible future of our race.  Layers of ethical and moral questions and stunning visual effects – way ahead of their time – all set to a classical music soundtrack blend to make 2001 the cornerstone of a Stanley Kubrick collection.  And a psychopathic computer steals the last segment of the show. More drama than sci-fi, this film has been the basis of debate for decades. 

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

A collaboration between Kubrick and Peter Sellers was either going to result in complete catastrophe, or create a work of motion picture art.  Thankfully it was the latter.  This truly is a stage for Sellers, who plays three separate characters, all to perfection.  Led by George C. Scott (Patton) alongside a cast which includes Slim Pickens and James Earl Jones, Dr. Strangelove launched Kubrick into the mainstream consciousness.  Quirky and extremely thought-provoking, this stands as one of the best black comedies of all time.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick’s translation of this into film was perhaps his most controversial – so much so, Kubrick himself pulled it from UK distribution for 27 years.  Touching on areas of morality and psychology intertwined in an accurately vicious commentary on government, the story presents the main character in a way that causes internal conflict: you develop a sense of caring for him in spite of how completely unlovable he is.  The film presents violence (ultraviolence?) in as raw and frightening a way as ever presented on screen.  A statement on a distasteful possible society in the near future, Kubrick creates a film that manages to pull you into an extremely unsettling dystopian world.

The Shining (1980)

Word is Stephen King hated this.  Based on King’s 1977 novel, Kubrick transforms a not bad story (sorry Stephen) into THE landmark psycho-horror movie.  Various moments along the way of Jack Torrance’s (Jack Nicholson) descent into madness have become familiar pop-culture sayings and online memes.  Much credit goes to Nicholson (who else could have played Torrance so perfectly?) for resisting the temptation to add a cartoonish element to his character.  Even his ‘funny’ lines are goosebump-inducing.  Kubrick’s film-making eye is so cold you actually feel what the characters feel: panic inside the ‘empty’ hotel.

His Name Was Steven