By Letter to the Editor on July 24, 2020.
The Kenney government has just opened up a good swath of the First Range and the foothills to open-pit coal mining and a lot of the mining companies holding options on the coal in them thar hills are Australian.
And that’s worrying.
As these things go, successive Australian governments, state and federal, have fallen into startlingly close relationships with the mining companies.
Not to put too fine a point on it, an awful lot of Aussie politicians are so deep in the mining industries’ back pockets that they provide a regular prostate checkup as a part of the relationship.
What the coal industry Down Under wants É it gets.
It may mean dynamiting a 40,000-year-old sacred aboriginal site but: “Hey, no worries, mate.”
Which brings us to Alberta.
The Alberta government is no stranger to falling over backwards to meet the desires of carpetbaggers looking to haul black minerals out of the ground, but, up until this last week, it’s been the riggers and the wildcatters who set the faded Alberta Rose’s pulse racing when they swaggered through the parlour doors.
And, to give them credit, politicians in these parts have remained touchingly faithful to the rig pigs and the thimbleriggers through the good years and the better years.
But things change.
There’s more money to be had in cashing in the deposit bottles out of the dumpster behind the Petroleum Club these days than there is in a trainload of dilbit, and pols got their old age to think of.
So it’s sadly inevitable that the Kenney gang is out on the stroll, casting come-hither glances at the oil businesses’ older, coarser brother. The one that doesn’t wash.
That they have their eyes on the headwaters of the Oldman River watershed as the site on which to consummate their affair is just one of those things. Sort of like when a red light goes up in the front window of that old boarding house on the edge of town. Nothing personal. It’s just business.