PHOTOS: Are the hillbillies above what our conservative politicians want the rest of Canada to think of when they hear the word Alberta? They should just stop! Below: Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel (Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Robert Thivierge), Wildrose Party Leader Brian Jean, and Alberta’s grownup premier, Rachel Notley.

Bad luck for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the province he left out of his Canada Day speech during his now famous oopsie-moment on Saturday was the prickly crybaby of Confederation, Alberta.

In Alberta’s defence, at the official level we’ve been acting more like adults here since Rachel Notley of the NDP became our premier, but there are still plenty of conservative politicians around to stomp their little feet and threaten to hold their breath in response to the PM’s goofy gaffe. He shoulda known!

I guess we ought not to be too hard on Alberta’s various stripes of conservatives for trying to cash in on this. After all, it’s not very often our normally rather politically astute prime minister hands them such an opportunity.

It’s also a reversion to a well-established pattern of childishly resentful political behaviour under several officially Conservative premiers, which was, naturally, picked up by the angry right-wing barking chain on social media.

Still, it would have been better, don’t you think, if they’d reacted with a modicum of humour instead of cringe-worthy self-righteous whining that makes them sound like hapless provincials who’ve just toppled off the turnip truck from Two Hills, Three Hills or Manyberries? (Apologies to the residents of those fine Alberta communities.)

The graceless antisocial media reaction by politicians like Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel of the Conservative Party of Canada and Brian Jean, leader of the Opposition Wildrose Party here in Wild Rose Country, is reminiscent of those insecure local politicians in places like Swift Current or Sarnia (to use a couple of non-Alberta examples) who fly into a full-blown swivet if anyone dares to suggest their hometown ain’t a “world class city,” whatever the heck that’s supposed to mean.

Does anyone think that if Mr. Trudeau accidentally leaves Berlin off the list of cities printed on the back of his Summer 2017 European Tour T-shirts that the Germans will doubt their place in the world? Uh, no …. Because they have reason to be pretty confident of what it is.

Ditto, no one in Paris or London – or for that matter Washington, D.C., even in the age of the pathetically insecure Donald Trump – will feel the need to choke back sobs if anyone omits to mention their city’s undisputed world classiness. It would never occur to them, of course, to doubt where they fit into things.

But we’re having a tantrum because Mr. Trudeau forgot about Alberta in a recitation of Canada’s provinces and territories? Seriously?

We’re in hysterics because he didn’t explicitly recognize that we’re the biggest, bestest, most important part of the Canadian geographic and economic anatomy, and then forgot to plant the anticipated great big smacker right there?

What does this suggest to you? It suggests to me that our conservative politicians out here may not be nearly as confident about our – and, of course, their – place in the great scheme of things as they would like us to believe.

They are, in other words, obviously suffering from insecurity on a world-class scale! They’re acting like a bunch of hayseeds and, in the process, convincing the world that’s what the rest of us Albertans are too.

Thank goodness we have a premier who acts like a grownup and doesn’t embarrass us!

Message to Alberta conservatives: It’s time to put on your big-politician pants and pantsuits and laugh this off like the meaningless misstep it was.

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  1. ….reminiscent of those insecure local politicians in places like Swift Current and Sarnia who fly into a full blown swivet if anyone dares to suggest their hometown ain’t a “world class city”…

    I take umbrage Mr. Fancy Pants Blogger at your reference to Sarnia, a city close to my heart. It has oil refineries owned by multi national corporations, is located on an important Great Lakes connecting waterway, boasts not one but two international bridges linking the town to the American metropolis, Port Huron Michigan and a Junior A hockey team that draws crowds of over 1000 fans per game.

    World class city? You bet.

    1. I once bought a very nice house in Toronto from a couple who were retiring to Sarnia. It seemed weird at the time, but now I understand. I reckon the two bridges to Port Huron were the clincher. DJC

  2. At this point the only option for us in Alberta is to separate, we had a good run being part of Canada but this is the last straw. He doesn’t even remember our name… we’ll show him and stomp our feet really hard maybe get a little red in the face.

  3. “Thank goodness we have a premier who acts like a grownup and doesn’t embarrass us!” Yes sir, we definitely have a Premier that doesn’t try to embarrass us. She abuses us. She ignores us. She belittles us. All while “acting” like a grown up and playing politics like a child. Yet she is an embarrassment but not quite as big of one as this opinion piece written by David Climenhaga.

    1. Well this seems like a pile of slander and lies. Let’s start with the belittling. How, specifically, has Premier Notley belittled you? Proceedings, what specific actions has she taken that you can show to be “playing politics like a child”.

    2. Yeah, Climenhaga in his heart of hearts doesn’t think Sarnia is a world class city. I don’t like his attitude.

    3. Abuse – really?

      Tell that to young families who will get a break on bussing fees this September, and all those exploited minimum wage workers who will see their subsistence wages rise thanks to Rachel Notley.

      If that’s abuse, then I’d rather be abused NDP-style than cuddled to death by neo-cons.

      Abuse! Give me a break! You don’t know the meaning of the word. Have a conversation with a Syrian refugee then you can chime in.

      No wonder the rest of Canada thinks Albertans are a bunch of whinny snowflakes.

    4. Speaking as someone who lives outside the province, it was actually Ralph Klein that made Alberta look foolish to those in other parts of the country. Particularly his drunken, late-night tirade against the homeless.

  4. This nails it so well… ‘childishly resentful’… it’s become AB’s RW brand.

    excerpt: ‘well-established pattern of childishly resentful political behaviour under several officially Conservative premiers, which was, naturally, picked up by the angry right-wing barking chain on social media.’

  5. Something about the word “Trudeau” which sets these fellas off. Last year during the Fort Mac fire I remember some people were upset Justin didn’t go to there to show his support. As if showing up to do a photop in the middle of a raging inferno was the smart thing to do.

    Every innocent little gaffe like the one that happened during is like throwing a scrap of raw meat into a pit of starving dogs. The plus side is these dogs will get so used to the taste of blood they eventually will turn on each other…hey, you don’t suppose this was deliberate

  6. Wholeheartedly agree… does seem incredible that there is this “faux outrage over a stupid, colonial speech misstep” as opposed to other more pressing social, and other, issues.
    Perhaps instead, and for example, there could be some more pertinent concern for what is happening with the climate, wildfires, our waters, etc. Some southern Alberta dryland crops and grasslands are already turning brown and crispy as a result of ongoing 30+ temperatures along with 50+ kph winds, and no rain, and no rain in sight. It brings back memories of the ‘Granum fires.’ This almost seems to be worse, at this point, than the ’80s’ drought.


    Snowflakes, one and all. If the Con-poli types’ skin were any thinner, it would vanish like their principles did long ago.

  8. I think as an opposition politician you would be remiss if you didn’t point out the obvious faux pas. I also saw another interesting quote from a TV interview Trudeau gave when referring to immigrants,”You chose this country. This is your country more than it is for others because we take it for granted.” So his inference is that immigrants are more Canadian than those born in Canada. He had quite a full Canada day weekend. And today we hear the government is going to pay Omar Khadr 10.5 million dollars compensation. I have to admit I am not sure where I stand on this except to say the amount seems excessive.

    1. For us left wingers, what obvious faux pas is that?

      As for the settlement for Khadr, it is a 1/2 price bargain. The lawsuit was filed for $20 million. At 10.5mil, I’d say that’s a good settlement. Certainly beats paying out $20 mil.

      Does anyone know how many millions Harper wasted on persecuting Khader? Those appeals the Harper regime kept filing must of added up.

      The shame of it is Harper could have saved us that settlement, by doing the right thing. Oh, and in case you right wingers don’t know what the right thing is:

      You don’t allow a Canadian citizen who was a minor to be tortured by Americans without a trial for 10 years.

      1. Much to my amusement Athabascan you need to brush up on your Canadian history. The actual infractions that Omar filed his lawsuit against occurred in 2003 under Chrétien and in 2004 under Paul Martin.

        1. I’m amazed you didn’t dig up the corpse of Pierre Trudeau with this fake news.

          Regardless, it was Harper regime that kept him in Guantanamo prison, and refused to help him.

          It was his regime that cost us the $10.5 mil.

  9. Whoops! … too late!
    Anyone who knows anything at all about governance in Alberta knows Jethro and Granny are alive and well.
    It will take much, much more than a coupla years to remove the skepticism and suspicion most people have for the Alberta body politic.

  10. I doubt this kerfuffle will last too long. Those of us in Edmonton are very used to being somewhat ignored by those in the east, particularly by the Toronto based “national” media, but perhaps it will grate a bit more in some other Alberta cities that are more used to being the center of attention, I don’t know. I am actually kind of surprised he didn’t forget Saskatchewan instead, Brad Wall seems more of a thorn in the PM’s side these days than Alberta.

    However, it seemed like an unintentional slip which the Prime Minister seemed to genuinely regret and for which he tried to make up for right away. I suppose it will be one more thing for those that have a big aversion to either the name Trudeau or the name of his party to add to their long list of grudges either real or imagined, but I don’t think most Albertans will really care that much.

    I suspect the next time he comes to Alberta, the Prime Minister will make a concerted effort to charm us to make up for his little slip. He seems fairly good at charming those you would not think he could charm – just ask Mr. Trump.

  11. I have to say, I disagree with much of the commentary on the Left for this circumstance. Turning it into a massive, earth-shaking scandal is one thing, but there is cause for insult when the Prime Minister presiding over our 150th national birthday remembers and recites every other far-flung portion of the nation except our own. The elementary-level mishap combined with the importance of the event is at the core of the insult. He can’t even bother to remember the 13 jurisdictions over which he holds sway? If he’s so easily excited and thus given cause to forget things as simple as basic geography, perhaps he isn’t cut out for the job of being Prime Minister. I think it’s as plausible that he was petty enough to attempt to troll Alberta intentionally, in which case my opinion of Trudeau has plummeted even further than I thought possible.

    At any rate, again, it’s not worth wasting time over. Trudeau has committed far worse sins against Canadians than forgetting a province. I just find the Left’s response to this to be as eye-rollingly typical as the Right’s. We all knew what would happen in such a situation, given Alberta’s history of opposition to Ottawa and the Liberals. Pretending that you expected all of that to go away and for Alberta to “grow up” is farcical. If a Conservative PM had done the same to Quebec, the eastern press and politicians would have lost their minds.

    1. “…Far worse sins…” Oh, do tell. What pray tell would those sins be?

      Oh, is it the niquab thing? Oh, oh, I know, maybe Maybe it’s the Omar Kadr thing. How about the sin of marching in Toronto’s Gay Pride parade?

      Next time you write nonsense, follow it up with an example so we can make sense of what you mean.

      1. How about kissing China’s ass on the oil sands and feting their Premier by erecting a wall so he wouldn’t have to see those protesting Chinese policies? His continued indifference regarding FIPA? His dismissal of electoral reform? His attempt to rewrite parliamentary rules so as to make the Opposition toothless? His support for TPP and CETA? His standing by Sajjan after he claimed credit for imaginary military accomplishments? His resumption of the legal case against veterans in which his government asserts it bears no responsibility for the well-being of our soldiers?

        There are plenty of reasons to despise Trudeau that don’t involve believing in Rebel nuttery and racism. Next time you write nonsense, follow it up with a disclaimer that you are a card-carrying member of the Trudeau Fan Club so we can make sense of what you mean.

        1. I’ll make it easy for you Farron. here are all the things I have been accused of, and willingly confessed to:

          1. I am pro minimum wage increases.
          2. I am pro poor people.
          3. I am pro compassion
          4. I am pro female rights and equality.
          5. I am pro immigrant
          6. I am pro Rule of Law and Pro Charter or Rights.

          There are the things I DO NOT support:

          1. Corporate greed
          2. Conservative corruption
          3. Hate and intolerance
          4. War and killing for oil or other religion

          In closing, I’d like to add that Trudeau doesn’t need to do anything to weaken the opposition. The federal conservatives are pretty toothless already with Sheer at the helm. Good luck with that!

          1. I would suggest looking up his strack on Opposition privileges, which was buried after the NDP’s stupid circus act with Elbowgate. It was the unprovoked cruelty with which Trudeau & co. initiated their attempt to rob the Opposition of any power whatsoever which led to the bitter hysteria over Elbowgate, Ashton’s declaration of Trudeau betraying feminism with the act, and so forth. It was a petty and idiotic affair, but it had its origins in something truly vile.

  12. FWIW Another writer’s take on Alberta’s ‘childishly resentful’ brand generated by AB’s RW leaders’ victim/snowflake mentality.


    The Definitive Ranking of the Most Easily Offended Provinces

    excerpt: ‘1. Alberta is constantly mad. At various moments they have been mad about… the metric system and rock music and the French and transgender bathrooms and themselves.’

  13. Eep, and now it’s been announced that Trudeau will not attend Stampede this year?! I think he wants a divorce! Waaah!

    1. Maybe there were just a few other things on his schedule this year – meeting the Queen, trip to Ireland and the G20 summit come to mind. Those G20 summits are hard to reschedule, you know involving 20 world leaders. It’s in Hamburg, Germany this time so unfortunately difficult to be in Calgary on the same day.

    2. Not to worry. I’m sure Harper and Kenney will attend with their goofy cowboy hats. As for Rempel, well, she’ll be at home tweeting and blocking countless Canadians on Twitter – fun for everyone!

      Oh, and by the way Trudeau is Catholic, so no divorce for him – maybe an annulment though.

  14. Are Albertans really that thin skinned. I hope not. This was a simple mistake. Nothing more, nothing less. To take some degree of resentment from it borders on the ridiculous.

    As an Albertan I am in no way offended. Anyone can, and many do, make errors/omissions during public speaking. Even ALberta Conservatives!

    Time to move on to more salient issues….unless of course you are out looking for ways to feel offended, unloved, etc. If so, there are many opportunities from all political parties.

  15. Thank goodness we have a premier who acts like a grownup and doesn’t embarrass us!
    Mr. Climenhaga you can’t admit – she’s plain and simple failed albertan’s hopes for changes.

    1. Look around you. Alberta has changed for the better, whether you want it or not.

      1: Increase in minimum wage, 2) rejection of austerity measures, 3) carbon tax/carbon rebates, 4) introduction of modern labour legislation, 5) absence of political scandals, 6) Educated premier, and on and on.

      Of course the right wing hates all those things and would return us to the dark ages in Alberta instead, where nothing changes for the better.

      1. actually during 2 years reign of NDP the workforce for minimum wages has been steady on increase. 3% or 59 200 in 2015 and 5% or 94 800 as of March 2017 of provincial total workforce. for same time overall in Canada it’s on decrease, from 7.2% (2014) to 6.6%(2017)
        sort of communist doctrine “social justice and equity it’s when everyone is poor” lately has been constantly moved from hypothetical abstraction into real life practice in Alberta.

        b.t.w. what do you expect the rise of minimum wages to $15 would achieve other than at least twofold rise in cost of living for all albertans, independently of their personal income.

        and sure, one must be extremely intelligent to figure out the way to divert provincial electorate from own faults by starting to rise and manipulate by racial topic.
        i guess if Ms. Notley do went such low, there perhaps political climate inside provincial NDP even worst, than general public allowed to know.

        1. Absolute nonsense.

          Raising the minimum wage for a small percentage of Albertans who work at the minimum wage level will NOT raise the cost of living for Albertans.

          That is pure neocon propaganda with no basis in fact, but don’t let that stop you.

          1. i guess you never asked yourself – what makes Alberta to stand out from another provinces in respect of cost of living and how abstract statistical data does influence day by day real life for residents of Alberta.

            i’m wondering, if legislative increase of minimum wages don’t have any flaws and not brings in ill effects, then why government moves so humble?
            if that’s so beneficial for economy and society, go ahead and increase minimum wage to $50 per hour, make voters happy and NDP electable till the end of the times.

      2. Plus appointing so many smart, tough women as Ministers and proving women can govern as well as men and better than some.

        1. very interesting.
          sort of reminds me Lenin’s thesis about the kitchen maid who will rule the state.

  16. Athabascan here are my thoughts:
    1. Minimum wage. Article in Washington post published June 26, 2017. A recent study of the results of minimum wage increases in minimum wage in Seattle have actually reduced low-wage earners income by $125 per month and it hasn’t reached the mandated $15 per hour yet.
    2. Certainly a rejection of controlling the size of the deficit!
    3. Carbon tax. In April of 2015 Angus Reid had carbon tax support nationally at 56%. Nov. 2015 it was at 52%. The latest poll taken in June 2017 puts the support for a carbon tax at 44%. Personally I don’t support Alberta’s carbon tax in it’s present form.
    4. As for labour legislation some steps forward some back.
    5. As for political scandals. Depends how you look at it. I would call the NDP’s handling of the electricity system to this point scandalous. Billions are being spent in compensation and in backing the AESO.
    6. Educated Premier. Premier Notley and our previous Premier Redford are both lawyers. Explain the difference to me please! Jim Prentice was also a lawyer. Need I go on.

    1. 1. The Washington post article references sources that are near to an American version of Fraser Institute and you should keep in mind that a single City enacting wage legislation opens them up for some businesses to move out of the jurisdiction. You should also maybe take a look at Costco’s business model in the US specifically regarding how it pays and treats it’s employees vs say Walmart where employees are subsidized by food stamps and other state funded programs.
      2. I promise to talk about comparisons in fiscal policy when anyone in either of the rodeo clown parties presents one.
      3. Carbon taxes are here to stay and they work. Tweaking them is to be expected, making an issue of it? Petty.
      4. What steps back? Lay out your opinion regarding workers rights.
      5. The scandal was the sale of what we all paid for to private interests amid promises of lower prices due to the magic of imaginary capitalism, followed by Ralph cheques to cover the fact that we were and are royally screwed by utility privatization. Undoing that is expensive (just the way they want it because that’s an economic moat to ward off politicians like the ones we elected here, from doing the right thing).
      6. Actually, you pose an interesting comparison. Who’s the most ethical of the three?

  17. After all is said and one there is, in my opinion, one important thing that sets the Notley Goverment apart from at least the past two Conservative Governments.

    Notley made her policies and her campaign promises very clear during the election. Then she set about ensuring that her Government made good on these. Very unusual indeed.

    Doing what you promise to do in an election is something new for Albertans. At lease during my 18 years in the province. I came to believe that the real motto of the Conservative Party was ‘why ruin a good promise by delivering on it’.

  18. @Val

    As charming as your broken English is, can you not speak to us in a normal voice? It gets old.

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