LETTER: Albertan perspective

Thank you for your balanced and thoughtful editorial of Jan. 2, “Squamish lucky to escape the ire — this time.” 

I am a Canadian, born in Montreal, schooled in the Maritimes and have worked in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, B.C., and the Northwest Territories.  For several decades I have climbed, skied and crossed the Rocky Mountains without any thought of provincial boundaries.  I have paddled in Haida Gwaii and among the Broken Islands. I have ski-traversed across the Coastal Mountains past Mount Waddington.  I have spent more time than I can count in Sechelt, Whistler, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and the Kootenays.  

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But in the past few years, I have begun to feel unwelcome.

For several years in Alberta, we have been under a constant and steady assault from activist organizations, mostly based in B.C., like the West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL) group.  Make no mistake, my reaction to the WCEL letter was not that of “Big Oil.” It was that of a father, a husband, a friend, a work colleague, a Canadian who has witnessed several years of economic carnage on my friends and fellow Albertans. Carnage unique to the Canadian oil and gas industry.  

We were promised by the prime minister and our Alberta premier that there was to be a grand compromise wherein the Alberta energy industry, businesses and citizens would need to accept additional emissions-related costs in exchange for an understanding that the opposition from activists would be assuaged.  Not without some economic pain, we did our part but we feel we have been completely betrayed as we continue to face uncompromising opposition at every turn.  

The WCEL letter is one small part of an unrelenting campaign to shutter the Canadian oil industry. When you hear that Albertans want to revoke our carbon tax, understand the sense of betrayal that has stirred this sentiment.  And when you hear Albertans indignant in their reaction to the WCEL campaign, maybe try to put yourselves in our shoes. 

Ken Young

Foothills, Alberta

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