January 23rd, 2021

Do we still wannabe like Texans?

By Letter to the Editor on February 15, 2020.

We Albertans have wannabe like Texans for a long time. Those famous Texas pioneer cattle drive towns like El Paso, Pecos, Abilene and Laredo we later matched with Raymond, Pincher Creek, Longview and Cochrane; Amarillo with Calgary.

Then we unveiled those memorable scenes from the iconic Texas movie “Giant,” with James Dean, Rock Hudson and Liz Taylor dancing in delight as gushers drenched them in black gold, cowboys whooping off in the distance. Again we wannabe like Texans and miraculously it happened. Leduc gushed in black gold throughout our province. Thousands of Texans poured north into Stampede City Calgary to show us the way. And overnight Edmonton became the City of the Oilers, just like Houston.

No wonder newly crowned King Jason, like King Ralph of yore, headed south to avow at the Texas shrine that we still wannabe like Texans. But for some reason when King Jason returned he didn’t tell us what was going on down there.

Alberta freelance writer Max Fawcett, former editor of the magazine “Alberta Oil,” was also down there poking around in Texas. To his amazement he discovered that Texans have reversed direction and are heading rapidly away from us. The fading oil and gas industry has fallen back to a distant third behind financial services and manufacturing.

Fawcett reports that, in fact, Texans now have the fourth-most diversified economy in the U.S., up there with those eccentric Californians and high-flying New Yorkers. In 2017 the manufacturing sector in Texas generated over $220 billion US in economic activity and over three million jobs. And the sleepy backwater college town of Austin has quickly vaulted over the Dallas cowboys and Houston oilers to become one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. – the bustling host campus to tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google and Oracle.

So if we Albertans still wannabe like Texans, then we better shift course pretty fast. Because our finance minister has written off diversification as a luxury we can’t afford. Our advanced education minister is altering and reducing the post-secondary system to a vocational role. And King Jason has chopped promising technology initiatives like Energy Efficient Alberta and Alberta Innovates right out of his new budget.

As our Texas heroes vanish over the horizon, who do we Albertans wannabe like now?

Owen Holmes


Share this story:

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tris Pargeter

Agreed. It’s beyond embarrassing at this point, reminding me of that cartoon of the big dog with the little dog yapping at his heels.
Is it possible that this entire debacle is being visited upon us because Jason Kenney has “short-man syndrome” and so has much to prove? PM of the country is the ultimate goal, top dog, but meanwhile, there’s Alberta…
This condition is probably also exacerbated by being a closet gay catholic, a situation that is both deeply contradictory and fundamentally dishonest, freighted with even MORE to prove, so he’s also trying to keep up with the Pope when it comes to that good old sin and retribution game/scam? And although his may seem like a long game, current conditions are ripe, in particular the mindless, blanket respect for the entire debacle that is religion in 2020.
More truth:


Scott Schmidt cuts to the core in his op-ed. Les Landry and cyberclark are spot on with their comments.

When will the Lethbridge Herald editorial staff wake up to this reality?

When will the people wake up to the daily escalation of bold-faced lying? When will the people have had enough of the openly authoritarian political posturing?

How much destruction of the very fabric of this province are the people willing to endure?


Indeed, Dr. Holmes. There is absolutely no flexibility in this government’s fixation on a sunset industry.

Adding insult to injury, this government is taking a loss of $1.3 billion on deals to unload contracts.


This may seem flippant, but Apple, Google, Facebook and Oracle don’t produce one thing that enables us to be alive. Only natural resources and utilizing some type of energy does that.

Tris Pargeter

Indeed. “SOME type of energy.”

diplomacy works

Excellent letter, Owen Holmes, thank you.


thanks for taking the time to submit a great letter. too bad it is spot on, for we pay the price for this mentality.
tris, thanks for the link; this is the second editorial from scott schmidt i have been able to link to via this forum. impressive perspective from him, with excellent feedback from readers, and all the more inspiring coming from that hotbed of blind conservatism that is med hat.
i have a few questions: if all alberta were to ban conversion therapy, where do we feel kenney would turn to for his salvation?
given the core of kenney’s support is hardcore religious right/righteous folk, why do they support the dishonesty that has allowed him to become premier, and the further dishonesty in the dentons/allan contract, and the cuts to helping the masses in favour of giving away billions to those that already have more than their fair share? what is christian or loving about that?
further to kenney’s core support: is it ok to have a gay leader- or any identifying as lgbtq – (it should very well be ok in a free/enlightened society) but only so long as one keeps it hidden?
why is it more acceptable to accept lgbtq only if we choose to believe this is not a choice? why would it be wrong for anyone to choose?