Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at the wheel of his rented recreational vehicle from the video of his recent Southern Alberta tour (Photo: Screenshot of Facebook video).

“The premier of Alberta rolled into Fort Macleod last week with a message of hope,” the Fort Macleod Gazette reported enthusiastically in its July 8 edition.

What’s more, the Gazette went breathlessly on, “Premier Jason Kenney held court at Stronghold Brewery on June 30 during his tour of southern Alberta in a rented motorhome.”

The premier as he would like his road trip to be remembered (Photo: Facebook).

Cool! There’s even a slick video put out by the premier’s communications gurus showing Mr. Kenney at the wheel of the large “recreational vehicle,” as these road behemoths are known hereabouts, bringing the good news of a brighter petroleum-fuelled future to the people of the land, the common clay of the New West. You know, Conservative voters!

I’m telling you, these four minutes of moving pictures are pure poetry: red ball caps, yellow canola, lots of booze a pourin’, groups of well-fed men (not quite so many women), elbow bumps, factories, a goat, and, of course, lots and lots and lots of steel pipe waiting to be laid. There’s also a nice shot of the premier, wind in his hair, sort of, enjoying life at the wheel of the mighty RV. I tell you, it’s a work of art!

An upbeat soundtrack with a drum machine sets the pace for the premier’s exciting adventures and inspiring perorations, of which there are quite a few.

Alas, skeptics have emerged, reporting on social media that the premier’s Prairie peregrination on the friendly turf of Alberta’s deep south wasn’t all it appeared to be.

Indeed, it would appear Mr. Kenney’s smile-filled RV tour was a species of what has come to be known as “fake news.” Quel dommage!

Leastways, while the friendly but socially distanced events with local supporters were real enough, it would seem there was no way the premier of Alberta was about to sleep in the back of a stinky old camper van.

Indeed, on one day of the tour, Mr. Kenney was reported to have been spotted enjoying a relaxing breakfast on the patio of the Banff Springs Hotel, a pair of comfy looking hotel slippers on his feet. Well, this is the 21st Century, and Little Sister is always watching you, her wonderful iPhone camera in hand, recording everything for posterity. (Siri, who is that familiar looking unshaven man in the house slippers over there?)

Is this Mr. Kenney, captured by a sharp-eyed citizen with a smartphone on the Banff Springs Hotel patio? Sure looks like him (Photo: Twitter).

For that matter, apparently Mr. Kenney wasn’t even about to take on the exhausting job of driving the beast. He was “working in the back during commutes,” Issues Manager Matt grumpily admitted in a tweet. No admission from Mr. Wolf, however, that the premier was spending his nights between the crisp white sheets of a fine hotel.

You ask me, instead of getting crabby with the doubters, Mr. Kenney should turn his summer road trip into an entertaining roman à clef. He could lend himself a politically helpful hipster vibe by calling it, say, On the Road. Or, if he wanted to dip into what Alberta will look like after his United Conservative Party has had its way with us, just The Road.

That’s all I have to say about this. Anyone who hangs out on Twitter or Facebook already knew. I’m just writing this for those oldsters in my age group who always dreamed of having a nice used Class C but could never afford to fuel it up, let alone park it for the winter, and now it’s too much even to think about emptying the honey wagon.

In yesterday’s serious news, Alberta took a couple of steps forward, and a couple more back.

Just like U.S. President Donald Trump, who seems to have had a Road to Damascus moment on COVID-19 yesterday, Mr. Kenney begged us all to mask up to prevent the coronavirus comeback that already seems to be happening in Alberta.

But at yesterday’s COVID-19 briefing and UCP news conference, he also had Education Minister Adriana LaGrange on hand to announce how we’ll be sending three-quarters of a million students back to “near normal” classrooms in September.

What could possibly go wrong?

In addition, Calgary City Council voted 12-3 yesterday for a bylaw that will make masks mandatory at indoor public spaces in the city.

But the bylaw won’t kick in for another 10 days, and councillors plan to have another vote next week on the details, thereby giving council’s anti-maskers another kick at the culture-war can and Cowtown’s COVID questioning more time to scream.

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  1. I suppose Kenney’s handlers could have used Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are Back in Town” as the soundtrack for this road trip video. And the noticeable absence of women in any part of the video kind of reveals what a bubble Kenney lives in. Looking back to those days of the Reform/CA Parties the one thing that struck me was that there was strong evidence of hyper-male tribalism in every aspect of their functions. The ladies would tend to the more social duties, while matters of policy was left to those with the appropriate carry-on luggage. Alberta. Where men are men…and the women are still in the waiting room.

  2. I hope our Dear Leader and his production crew were wearing masks while Kenney was channeling Jack Kerouac. Mr Kenney, being rather short in stature in combination with his quite obvious excessive weight surely must give him a BMI in the obesity category. Covid 19 is not kind to the obese.

  3. You know there will come a time when people are still catching Covid but we go on about our lives anyway. Everybody dies, there will be just a few more. We pray, or knock on wood, or just really, really hope that it’s not us.

    In the meantime … who on god’s green earth, who in their right mind is going to send their kids to school, a regular school, with regular crowded classes and regular sanitation and maintenance … who?

    Perhaps those hard-ass, oh-so self righteous conservatives who are always going on about how those biblical rules and 100 year old economic policies are so good for everybody? But them. We have all seen over the past few years that these people are cowards. Or just plain stupid.

    I despair. This is a serious and real crisis. But we have these goofballs playing politics.

    1. Who would send their children into a pox infected school? The answer lies in the southern US where snake-handling cults are common. Down there children die from snake-bite while taking part in ecstatic religious ceremonies. The usual reaction, often from the parents and almost always from the congregation is: “That child was not right with the Lord.” In Alberta the social pressure to conform to the oily feel-good message from The Party will overcome the common sense of most parents. For those (hopefully few) children who die as a result, the secular version of “not right with The Lord” will be “underlying condition” or perhaps “co-morbidity” for the polysyllabic crowd.

    2. On the COVID front, we now have new numbers out from Stats Can on “excess deaths” in Canada …. meaning deaths higher than normal for each of the preceding five years pre-pandemic. Most of these excess deaths were not directly caused by the novel coronavirus, but by other conditions whose outcomes may have been influenced by pandemic conditions, such as delays seeking care.

  4. Let them eat cake-ism at its finest! There’s Marie Antoinette in her backwards baseball cap, sloppy T-shirt and shorts, and free hotel house slippers in public. You get to keep them, you know. I suppose it should be “Murray Antoinette” for the 21st century. This must be what the federal pandemic relief is paying for: Travel Alberta, get to know it by heart — the really expensive stuff, anyways. Stay-cation!

    All you suckers expecting help from that federal pandemic relief money, see this. Your premier appreciated the federal cash injection very much, and fancy breakfasts and luxury hotel stays cost more than hailstorm relief or hand sanitizer for schools, if you indulge in enough of them. Vitamin C showers? No, cake, I tell you!!! Cake!!!

  5. After poking around Fort Macleod, your premier could have hauled the stinky old camper van over to Waterton Lakes to catch a snapshot of himself plunked down in a Red Chair at Birder’s Point chugging a Stronghold. The deep southerners would have loved it.

  6. From the guys who brought us the Used Car Party … we are on the road again with Premier Kenney. Perhaps in a month or two we will also soon see a mysterious on line ad somewhere for a used RV for sale – barely used. I suppose this is just evolution from the big blue truck. It would even be less plausible that our genteel premier would have slept in that and these days the optics of traveling around and staying in various hotels may be politically questionable. Therefore, I suspect some sharp eyed political assistant (or maybe big blue himself) came up with a bright idea – get an RV! I wonder what budget this came out of, but the UCP does still seem to be fairly free spending for things that further its cause or benefit its members, just not in things that may benefit the more general populace, like health care and education.

    I suppose this stealthy tour might also explain why the UCP has dropped the ball recently on COVID-19 and our Health Minister has been running even more amok than usual. You know, when the boss is away … everything falls apart. If this is the case, perhaps we should hope the Premier doesn’t take too many more summer excursions, whether it be secretly to the Banff Springs Hotel again or wherever.

  7. Perhaps Tailgunner Jay decided to finally reconnnoiter this unfamiliar outpost known as Alberta. There are mosquitoes who have spent more time in the province. Mandatory masks were the only thing that brought Covid to heel last time, and with the portion of positive tests approaching a quarter of what they were in April, it looks like the tried and true method, that has seen us through so many other epidemics of respiratory illness, will see us weather the current marauding pestilence. Just to be extra protective, though, I know I’ll be carrying a few phials of Peter Popoff’s Miracle Water.

    “So why weren’t face masks recommended at the start of the pandemic? At that time, experts didn’t know the extent to which people with COVID-19 could spread the virus before symptoms appeared. Nor was it known that some people have COVID-19 but don’t have any symptoms. Both groups can unknowingly spread the virus to others.”

    “During the pilot project, 3,304 people were admitted through the ERs at the three hospitals and screened for symptoms.

    Of the 1,814 patients deemed asymptomatic, no cases of COVID-19 were found.

    “Actually, we were a little surprised,” said Dr. Braden Manns, the co-chair of the scientific advisory group for Alberta Health Services, a professor at the University of Calgary and and one of the authors of the review.”

    Hang onto your relics, things are about to get sciencey!

  8. Our illustrious Premier is a real class act. Baseball cap on backwards,unshaven,frumpy t-shirt and shorts and slippers…in public at the Banff Springs Hotel no less. Reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where George Costanza is playing “The Bad Boy”.
    What I find real unnerving though is his manner of addressing the good citizens of Alberta. He adopts this meek,condescending,patronizing tone in his voice that just shouts insincerity.
    Also the hard hit citizens of Calgary’s hail storm are not getting any help from Jason Kenney and their UCP MLA’s. In fact the UCP won’t even return their calls. How’s that for a class act.

  9. I keep having images of Spy in the Wild on PBS, being sent to covertly photograph the premier of Alberta in his natural setting: a luxury tourist hotel. The question is, which robotic animal with a hidden eye cam did they use? A buffalo (aka MP from Oklahoma)? An American oil executive?

  10. i just can’t believe so many Albertans are sucked in with this fake Albertan doing his Albertan schtick , , ,

    unbuhlievable !!

    well bless is heart as they say in the southern states

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