Don’t blame Canada

Visit beautiful Alberta, Canada.

Visit beautiful Alberta, Canada.

Photo courtesy of David Dodge, The Pembina Institute

I had a funny exchange with a nice lady in Saskatchewan last week.

She had sent us a letter to the editor, complaining of some shabby treatment by the United States.

“My husband and I live in Saskatchewan (Canada) and are dismayed by the current American holier-than-thou attitude towards our neighbours in Alberta.”

The letter from our Northern neighbour went on to say that the couple had been planning a trip to the United States, including Sacramento, but now were thinking they should skip it.

“After all, why should we spend our Canadian dollars in a country where insulting billboards and internet videos urge its citizens to refrain from visiting ours?”

Good question, I thought. So I e-mailed her, saying, “Huh?”

Turns out that billboards have gone up in Seattle; Portland, Ore.; Minneapolis; and Denver, urging American tourists to boycott Alberta, because of a controversial oil-industry practice up there called “oil sands” or “tar sands” extraction.

The group behind the billboards and the videos, Corporate Ethics International, calls the 42,000 oil sands of Alberta “the most environmentally destructive project in the world today.”

Obviously, the oil industry disagrees. As do many Albertans and <s>Saskatchewaneans</s> <s>Saskatchewanese</s> <s>Saskatchewannabes</s> other kinds of Canadians.

I wrote back to say she really should visit Sacramento, anyway and spend lots of her Canadian dollars here. I told here we’re really very nice in Sacramento, and blissfully ignorant of the Canadian oil sands, and Canadian things, generally. Nobody here is boycotting Alberta. “We’re too busy boycotting Arizona,” I explained.

She wrote back that she and her husband will probably come to Sacramento after all, on Amtrak, of course, and did I know how many days they’d need to see Sacramento, Yosemite National Park, Reno and Virginia City, Nev. “You are not boycotting Nevada, I hope?” she wrote.

Nope, not that I’m aware of.

Compiled from Snog.