A screenshot of a video of a TV screen at precisely the moment Jason Kenney realized folks in the Grey Cup crowd were booing him (Photo: Youtube).

Is the United Conservative Party’s honeymoon over?

God knows, it ought to be. Sadly, though, it’s probably not. Yet.

Not fake news! The author, with the actual Grey Cup (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Just the same, it was mildly encouraging to hear a few boos for Alberta Premier Jason Kenney in a recording of the the opening ceremony of Sunday’s Grey Cup game — in Calgary, of all places.

I suppose those boos could have been because Mr. Kenney was dressed like dweeb in a lame “I-heart-mapleleaf-oil-&-gas” bunnyhug, thereby “politicizing” one of the sacred rituals of Canadian professional sports. You know, the east-versus-west championship contest of our very own underpaid American-style football league, which comes complete with its own esoteric rulebook that still astonishes our cousins south of the 49th Parallel. Twelve players? Three downs? Say what?

Some media tried to pass that off as the explanation. And it is true Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister was a more traditional good sport, showing up looking slightly less goofy in the jersey of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who eventually went on to beat the Hamilton Tiger Cats in a game that I’m sure was entertaining if you like that sort of thing.

Or maybe some of the scattered hoots of derision exited the pie-holes of determined Wexiters, displeased by the fact Mr. Kenney’s hoodie* had a stylized Canadian maple leaf on it, instead of the sacred symbol of a free and independent Alberta. (We’ll get back to you if we ever find out what that is. Suggestions are welcome.)

But most likely the ripple of disdainful hoots was the result of the fact Calgary’s teachers and nurses still make enough money to afford tickets to a championship game, albeit for the continent’s second-string league, on a cold day in late November, in a stadium with no roof.

Well, don’t worry, Mr. Kenney has a plan to fix the problem of teachers and nurses being paid enough to live on — and perhaps a few hundred more names to add to his always-expanding Enemies List.

Some parents of public school students and drivers of insured cars may have joined in too. They will have to be dealt with later.

Canadians are polite by nature, so it’s said here the boos weren’t forceful enough to make much difference. About as many people audibly booed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to his face the last time he turned up in Calgary, although that got better press coverage for some reason. The crowd was bigger Sunday, though.

It’s fun to imagine how Mr. Kenney’s War Room will spin this: Maybe they’ll say anti-Alberta Alouettes fans infiltrated the crowd, frequent Tweeter Edwin Mundt suggested.

Still, we Albertans are going to have to do better than this if we want to get the point across to Mr. Kenney and his minions that we dislike the way they’re dismantling public health and public education as much as New York UFC fans dislike what their former local slumlord Donald Trump’s been getting up to lately.

Maybe we can get better results if we make this a Battle of Alberta thing, just like when the Calgary Stampeders play the Edmonton CFL team, whose name will not be repeated in this space for obvious reasons.

I bet the good people of Edmonton can do a better job of booing Mr. Kenney when he shows up in public than the folks in Calgary did, which in turn may inspire our neighbours in the former Cowtown to do better!

There’s nothing like a good-natured rivalry to buck up folks’ spirits in the middle of a government-inflicted recession.

So what about it, people?

* A term for bunnyhug commonly used in parts of Canada prone to misinformation campaigns of defamation.

Join the Conversation


  1. After firing the man who was investigating him, Kenney feels like he can do whatever he wants.

    He can even embarrass himself in front of millions of Canadians if he wants. I just wish he wasn’t representing Alberta when he does so. He should be ashamed of this childish stunt.

  2. Way to go Jason Kenney instead of being inclusive with all Canadians during a major national event you went all out and alienated many Albertan’s with your oil and gas attire. And then you complain about how Alberta and Saskatchewan are being left out of Canada, what a hypocrite you are. At least Brian Pallister showed class by wearing a Bombers Jersey. You could have at least worn some sort of combination of a Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos jersey. Way to go alienating Southern Alberta from Northern Alberta. No wonder Albertan’s feel alienated, thanks to you and your lack of class during a national event. Jason Kenney you could have done better for Alberta and left your ego at home.

  3. I have to ask, what’s wrong with people that live in Deadmonton? At election time we had no other option than the UCP, Nutley and her gang of misfits had to go. Now get over it!

  4. bunny hug (plural bunny hugs) (chiefly Saskatchewan) A hoodie; a sweatshirt with a hood lacking a zipper. (idiomatic) A style of early 20th-century dance, performed to ragtime music.

  5. Alberta continues to show signs of shell-shock in the wake of the petroleum industry slowdown, the reasons for which being well and widely known (low market price, particularly for Alberta’s main product, bitumen, which is the lowest-value grade of petroleum). Even many, if not most, Albertans know this—but that’s precisely the point. How crazy is it to blame, instead, the country or the PM or BC or Quebec or shadowy foreign conspiracies—or anything else that dares to move?

    Maybe that’s just the gin talking, but what to make of a string of irrational behaviours? Partisan trends in Alberta are famously so durable they might be likened to marriages—the old-fashion, man-woman, till-death-do-them-part, conservative kind, naturally. The last one was particularly long, almost climaxing in conjugal hubris as the wildly popular Ralph Klein completed the demise of the Heritage Fund Don Getty had begun, while hacking into the public weal and services—yet voters just couldn’t contemplate divorcing such fiscal charlatanism, not like one might fire a personal financial manager who’d lost his clients’ savings. It began to get harder to hide growing trouble in the henhouse—even though, as they say, one can’t pick family. Family dysfunction eventually became the neighbours’ business as the long PC marriage noisily broke both up and down at the same time.

    Just when Alberta began to look totally schizophrenic, a ray of light appeared over the Wild Rose Province when, despite looking a lot like radically compulsive behaviour, voters dumped their 43 year-old marriage to the PCs (voters were right: the PCs were nothing without them) to run off with the cleverly skinny Dipper Party.

    The new NDP government (call it symptomatic of a mid-life crisis, to be charitable) very gently prescribed better meds while diplomatically providing for bitumen expansion —sort of like how safe-injection sites treat addiction. But the old mate wheedled his way back in to bust up the torrid NDP affair and voters fell head over heels for it —sort of like Stockholm syndrome. Although spiteful, at least this latest divorce hasn’t resorted to revenge porn—at least not yet. One wonders if the thing lasted long enough to consummate anything like that: after all, voters commenced bad-mouthing their recent fling almost the very next morning.

    Having used up all the cool-aid stamping out devastating forest fires, voters seemed to have switched to more potent brew which, naturally, made things screechingly worse. Still, any shrink would have to wonder if picking a fight with the bearer of the very pipeline voters had been demanding for so long was due entirely to drunkenness. Ever the enabler, the new old flame supplied enough gin to convince his new old bride/groom to spice the nuptials up with Kramer vs Kramer-like vitriol against the Eastern suitor (if there was worse they certainly would have used it—almost proving nothing much happened during the NDP honeymoon) and even toy with a little bigamy: a second ill-advised marriage to hubby-dovey’s old caucus mate.

    Anyways, the new marriage(s) are starting to look pretty abusive—even the kitchen money’s been snatched, and the hapless electorate is daily surveilled by hubby-dovey’s House Dick. No wonder there’s already talk of separation.

    Maybe it ain’t so crazy the UCP leader is getting booed—just a little weird, even for Alberta, he still smells of that fateful wedding-night cologne.

    Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

  6. I spent 66 years in this country before I heard the term bunnyhug. Even spell check never heard of it. I think it is a Manitoba thing. My hoodie is fine . I am not going to trade it for a bunnyhug. By the way Kennys hoodie and message are fine.
    The guy wearing it is the problem.

    1. I have spent most of the last fity years in Alberta, and never heard the term “hoodie” until twent years ago. The garment in question was referred to as a “kangaroo”. As to the message on the corpormorph’s top, de gustibus non est disputandum:

  7. Lack of ethics and perceived manipulation of Investigation s and Rule of Law make Canada look like a backwards 3rd world of a broken democracy to be even considered a true democracy. Jason Kenny, Justin Trudeau, Trump, Alison Redford and likely others are part of an unethical group of elitest people, it appears whom can manipulate or find loopholes to avoid rule of Law or an investigation, or hide investigative data from both media and public for self interests. Appears Canada is as bad off or worse at protecting our democracy as the USA,

  8. It is never a very good sign for a politician to get booed at a large public event. I think it is probably a sign that Mr. Kenney’s political honeymoon is coming to an end, or has already come to an end. The fact this occurred in Calgary, his political second home and where Mr. Kenney’s party won a number of hard fought races in the provincial election just seven months ago, is also not a good sign.

    I think Kenney’s corporate tax cuts will end up being his biggest mistake. They don’t seem to have generated any economic activity, the economy continues to languish and the revenue hole created by them means bigger cuts are required to try reduce the deficit. I believe Albertans did give him an ambiguous mandate for spending restraint, based on concerns about the size of the deficit, but I think the UCP has misinterpreted that as a mandate to make bigger cuts of many things they don’t care for and mistakenly think are only supported by those that voted for their political opponents.

    Yes, nurses and teachers are unhappy, they probably were not big UCP supporters before the cuts anyways, but doctors and parents who will have to pay increased school fees or post secondary tuition, may have been. Of course, there is also the firing of the Election Commissioner and the travel expenses of Kenney’s aide which probably upsets those who voted for the UCP as much or maybe even more than those that did not.

    The Conservatives were able to stay in power for a long time in Alberta in part because they were fortunate in the timing of the boom cycles in the energy industry. Klein took power just before natural gas prices started to rise a lot. However, this time I have doubts that Kenney’s prayers for another boom with be answered. The UCP was elected largely because people believed they would somehow improve the economy. If this does not happen soon, the political outcome for them will be more brutal than just the bit of booing heard yesterday.

  9. I suspect that the somewhat of a climb-down that Kenney greeted Chrystia Freeland with maybe an indication that Alberta’s favourite angry midget might be having something of a tempering of his usual tantrums now that PMJT is installed for the next four years. (Tres bien, Le Bloc) The so called Resistance is broken and Kenney is fast becoming isolated. The mayor of Calgary made a personal visit to Ottawa to meet with Trudeau, and I suspect Alberta’s other mayors will soon be making similar pilgrimages to the seat of the real power in the land. Bypassing Kenney is bad enough, but making it a habit could drive the man deeper into the cough syrup. What is he to do now that his tantrums are not getting attention even in his own province? There will be an opening in the CPC leadership soon.

  10. Bunnyhug…does this mean I can call him a jack rabbit, as in, “that jack rabbit is dipping his paws in the pensions of public servants and taking away their jobs — stealing their todays and their tomorrows”? Kindly advise.

  11. Dave, just want to say I love your blog. Keep the laughs coming. Because if they don’t… I might just cry.

    PS: I was booing here in Edmonton…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.