Alberta Politics
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney at yesterday’s vaccine news conference (Photo: Screenshot of Alberta Government video).

Good news about COVID vaccine for kids? Never mind that! Jason Kenney has a rant about David Suzuki

Posted on November 24, 2021, 2:23 am
7 mins

Jason Kenney actually had some good news to impart yesterday – that the rollout of Pfizer’s pediatric COVID-19 vaccine will commence in Alberta on Friday.

Instead, Alberta’s premier spent most of his time at the microphone at an afternoon news conference about the vaccine delivering an unhinged diatribe about environmentalist David Suzuki, whom Mr. Kenney continues to falsely portray as advocating violence against pipelines.

Environmentalist David Suzuki, who obviously has now taken up semi-permanent residence in Premier Kenney’s head (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

He also took an angry swipe at U.S. President Joe Biden for cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline.

You’d think Alberta’s premier would have wanted to emphasize news that will come as a huge relief to vast numbers of the province’s parents, whose kids aged 5 to 11 can be vaccinated now that Health Canada has approved the pediatric vaccine and the federal government and manufacturer Pfizer-BioNTech have cut a deal to accelerate delivery of 2.9 million children’s doses to Canada. 

Parents can start to make appointments for their kids today, the Alberta government’s news release said. Vaccinations will be provided at more than 100 locations across the province. 

Sure, not everyone was happy about the United Conservative Party Government’s timid reluctance to require parents to show vaccine passports for their children under 12. And there was criticism of Mr. Kenney’s mealy-mouthed insistence that “we want parents to take the time they need to assess their situation, review the data, and make the best choice for their kids and their family.” (On Facebook, presumably.)

“And that’s why children, aged 5 to 11 will not be subject to the restrictions exemption program,” he said. 

Still, half a loaf is better than none, and for a politician in trouble in the polls who had just overcome a challenge, easily routed though it may have been, at his party’s annual general meeting last weekend, you’d have thought he would have been ready to take credit for this positive development.

Instead, he left dealing with the topic of the day’s news conference mostly to Health Minister Jason Copping. Because, obviously, Dr. Suzuki has now taken up semi-permanent residence in Mr. Kenney’s head.

U.S. President Joe Biden, Mr. Kenney’s secondary target (Photo: The White House).

The premier had a rant ready in the event a reporter asked about the environmentalist’s warning in Victoria last Saturday that if police and pipeliners continue to steamroll over opposition to their projects on First Nations land in B.C., there is potential for violence. 

Responding to a question from the CBC’s Colleen Underwood, the premier portrayed Dr. Suzuki’s warning as “implicit or winking incitement to violence.”

“I think it creates a context that some people could use to rationalize violence, and that’s why it’s so dangerous,” he said later in response to a similar question by Calgary Sun political columnist Rick Bell.

Spinning controversial 2013 remarks by Dr. Suzuki about Canadian immigration to give them a racist tinge, Mr. Kenney complained that if Don Cherry had said the same thing on Coach’s Corner, “he would have been cancelled by the CBC in a New York minute.”

“And it is sad to see so many of the Laurentian Elites, and others, CBC and others, rush to the defence of this guy, like he’s some kind of a saint,” Mr. Kenney continued his jeremiad. “He’s infallible. He cannot be possibly be criticized, even though he has a track record of saying things that would result in any mere mortal, uh, going down the cancel culture black hole of history!”

Former Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper – does he belong in jail? (Photo: Remy Steinegger, World Economic Forum, Creative Commons).

Apparently triggered by Dr. Suzuki’s 2016 remark about Stephen Harper that “people like the former prime minister of Canada should be thrown in jail for wilful blindness” about climate change, Mr. Kenney could barely contain himself. 

“That’s not how we solve problems in Canada,” he huffed – apparently forgetting his own praise for Russia’s jailing of Greenpeace protesters in 2019. “We resolve our differences peacefully and democratically, not by threatening to throw our opponents in jail!”

He was angry at the Alberta Teachers Association for inviting Dr. Suzuki to speak to a meeting. 

And he denounced the University of Alberta, once again, with particular bitterness for giving Dr. Suzuki an honorary degree in 2018. “I’m seriously ticked off about this. And, I, uh, still, about the fact that the University of Alberta gave this guy an honorary degree! They wouldn’t give anybody else with a track rec – is there anybody else who’s anti-immigration that the U of A would give an honorary degree to?”

Clearly, if one wishes to get Premier Kenney wound up, one needs only utter the word Suzuki.

NOTE: The unhinged quality Mr. Kenney’s hyperbolic stream of consciousness is difficult to summarize and portray. I recommend that if readers have time, they watch the second half of the Government of Alberta’s recording of the news conference. I have prepared a transcript of much of Mr. Kenney’s rambling answers about Dr. Suzuki. His response to Mr. Bell, in particular, is evocative. 

37 Comments to: Good news about COVID vaccine for kids? Never mind that! Jason Kenney has a rant about David Suzuki

  1. Dave

    November 24th, 2021

    The answer to this conundrum is simple and obvious, so much so I can state it in just five easy words. Here it is – Jason Kenney is an opportunist.

    So, whether something is true or not doesn’t matter, as long as it might be a convincing story to those that support him or are likely to. So the Suzukithon is a way to show the UCP base Kenney he is still supposedly fighting for them against enemies of Alberta, real or imagined. At this point he would trot out a little dog gifted to his family if he could. Of course to the rest of us he appears a bit barking mad, but he hopes those at whom the message is directed to get it.

    Suzuki is a particularly good target. He is unlikely to run against Kenney or campaign against him. Even if he did he would have the disadvantage of being an outsider. Unlike Trudeau, Suzuki has no power to provide or with hold funds from Kenney. He is almost a perfect foil.

    So, COVID, Kenney would like to just not talk about that ever again, there is no political advantage in that for him. Expect Kenney to keep barking on about Suzuki for as long as Kenney thinks there is some benefit to keep doing so.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    November 24th, 2021

    The head honcho of the UCP now has a distraction on his hands that will conveniently lure people away from his very bad governing. It’s only a temporary thing. He still has to contend with a gift left by Ralph Klein undoing the way Peter Lougheed properly managed the oil industry development. That is the $260 billion Albertans must cough up to pay for the damages left behind by the oil industry in Alberta. There’s no getting around that. Also, the UCP wanted to sabotage Peter Lougheed’s 1976 Coal Policy, without consulting Albertans on the matter. Also, the UCP wanted to sell off park spaces in Alberta to developers. The UCP have zero credibility on environmental matters. These pretend conservatives and Reformers in the UCP are just trying to emulate their hero, Ralph Klein, who didn’t care either. There was a saying by a Cree Native, about not being able to eat money, when the environment is very badly compromised. The pretend conservatives and Reformers in the UCP only see dollar signs for their rich corporate friends, at the expense of everything else. Where’s the sense in that?

    Reply
  3. Bill Malcolm

    November 24th, 2021

    Should I ever have the bad luck to find myself in the physical presence of kenney, I know the trigger word to speak aloud to send him crazy!

    The bad “reporting” on this Suzuki episode is such that even a Dipper blogger featured on ProgBlog has managed to get hold of the wrong end of the stick and has a nasty rant about the old boy, f-words and all. It’s why I come here for info first, because DJC, to his eternal credit from my POV, usually manages to avoid sounding off on things before he has a coherent picture of the situation. And then he mainly lets the guilty parties crucify themselves with their own words, without much need for editorial assistance. The lack of rant and bombast is much appreciated by me. Wish I could be so well measured myself. Kudos, DJC!

    Reply
  4. Just Me

    November 24th, 2021

    I suppose Premier Crying & Screaming Midget owes Dr. Suzuki a vote of gratitude for allowing a ready made distraction. Now that children can receive their COVID vaccinations, Kenney would have to spent time and effort trying to convince his Antivaxx base to get the dose for their kids. That’s about the same amount of effort as it takes to beat your head against a brick wall. But thanks to eco-terrorist leader and convenient weatherman Suzuki, Kenney can go all Capt. Canada and Alberta Uber Alles at the same time.

    Considering that COVID infections and fatalities appear to be very stuck at this time, and with the recent UCPAGM waiting in the wings to grant the super-spreader event of my hopes and dreams, Kenney and the Liquor Cabinet will have to plow even deeper into their mountains of cough syrup for relief.

    This is the season of giving, so Albertans can give the best gift of all by coughing on each other. Give until it feels good.

    Reply
  5. tom

    November 24th, 2021

    Give Jason a break, Dave, for him this is what passes for a good week now.

    Reply
  6. Carlos

    November 24th, 2021

    This is exactly what losers do.

    Reply
  7. Abs

    November 24th, 2021

    That’s funny. As I was reading this, the word “unhinged” came to mind, and there it was in print.

    Reply
  8. Alan K. Spiller

    November 24th, 2021

    Those of us from the world of finance with ties to the oil industry haven’t forgotten how these Reformers have constantly defended their right to pollute the planet and Kenney is no different. Telling the world that you don’t give a damn about global warming when the world does care is as dumb as it gets.
    Oilmen have told me that these Reformers are the worse enemy they have. Harper refused to work with them and implement a carbon tax that they know works.
    Some of us agree with David Suzuki get on board with the rest of the world and try to do something about Global Warming instead of hurling sarcastic comments at anyone who suggests it , we need to try to do something about it. Our children certainly care , it’s their future.

    We haven’t forgotten how Peter Lougheed urged the Klein and Stelmach governments to slow down the growth of the Oilsands , get control of our pollution, collect proper royalties and taxes and Lougheed was ignored in ever case. No one is going to tell a Reformer what to do.

    Reply
    • Neil Lore

      November 24th, 2021

      If there are oilmen who are concerned about climate change, their voices are being drowned out by those of their friends, neighbors, co-workers and employers. Good on you for trying to change that.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      November 24th, 2021

      ALAN K. SPILLER: If you look at any Postmedia newspaper, all you see is people coming to the defense of these pretend conservatives and Reformers. They don’t care about the environment, as we all rightfully should. When it’s too late, no amount of money will fix the problems.

      Reply
  9. A little bird

    November 24th, 2021

    And yet, we are one of the most anti immigrant nations on earth, and Kenney was the immigration minister.

    The most galling thing about the third world brain drain the good doctor was describing is when these folks get here we don’t even let them work in their profession. They stalk shelves, drive cabs, and clean floors. Even worse is the scam we run on international students.

    Pretending the university of Alberta is some kind of Bolshevik factory is about as ridiculous as one could get.

    Reply
  10. Bret Larson

    November 24th, 2021

    Im ticked the UofA gave him a degree also. Not surprised though. Thousands of government workers working good paying union jobs, the bubble air at the UofA must be hard to resist.

    That Suzuki is against the source of the funding for those peoples jobs is the ironic element, but I guess they are finding that out as they have had to withstand some budget tightening.

    As to, popular support for such policies, I dont see it. The focus in Canada is on the Oil and Gas sector while giving a pass to individual decisions which are the source of excess CO2 required for human existence.

    Where is the shuttering of air travel for vacations, diamond mining for wedding rings, entertainment of any kind, cheese shipment across Canada to support Quebec dairy farms?

    As to other sources of motive energy required for human existence being cleaner. I simply dont think there is evidence that is so, especially seeing as the energy systems required to replace hydrocarbons dont exist yet.

    And then you have Biden and his pals, selling their H/C reserve to make it look like his policies arent increasing the cost of fuel at the pump so they can get re-elected. Wasn’t increasing the price of gasoline the whole goal?

    Funny stuff.

    Reply
    • Just Me

      November 24th, 2021

      Question …

      How long can you tread water?

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        November 25th, 2021

        About 60 years so far, how about you?

        Now it your talking about actually trading water, I tend to not get out of my depth as I have my feet firmly planted on the ground.

        Reply
    • Anonymous

      November 25th, 2021

      BRET LARSON: Try eating money, Bitcoin, gold, or silver. Try eating the oil that isn’t used for cooking and baking, and frying. You can’t do it at all. Profits over pollution isn’t a sound decision.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        November 30th, 2021

        Yes, you have hit my points entirely. Good governance is required so people can eat. And more people equals better solutions.

        As to “profits”, well, profits is what pays every bodies salaries. So of course they are a good thing.

        Reply
    • A little bird

      November 26th, 2021

      Please, individual responsibility* is the lie industry has sold folks living in the west that it’s their own laziness and gluttony to blame, not industrial extractive capitalism on a scale never seen in the world before.

      The ONLY way out of this problem is regulating industry.

      Again, if one thinks the UNIVERSITY OF ALBERTA, which in its past has been chaired by a litany of right wing figures, represents some sort of communist incursion into the west, that person could not possibly know less about what they’re talking about.

      Oil and gas production has to come to an end or we will suffocate and drown. Maybe starve first. Thank heavens it’s not up to the conservative rabble.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        November 30th, 2021

        Hydrocarbon technology feeds the world. Doing without it would lead to billions of deaths.

        However, you are free to stop your oil and gas consumption whenever you like.

        Reply
  11. Hana Razga

    November 24th, 2021

    What a convenient distraction for Jason Kenney. What an utterly unhinged rant from Jason Kenney, as per your transcript Dave.
    BTW, thanks for that, I cannot stand to listen to him.

    Reply
  12. Neil Lore

    November 24th, 2021

    The entire right wing media apparatus (ie 90% of mainstream media) seems to be in overdrive trying to portray Mr. Suzuki as some kind of terrorist. Dunno if any of their readers noticed BC burn down then flood and being on the brink of another flood. Nevermind, this isn’t from climate change, it’s from a “perfect storm” of factors. Just like when Fort McMurray burned down, or Calgary flooded, or California burned down, or any of the other facets of the mass extinction event we have created. Good thing climate change is just a conspiracy created by those dastardly Liberals to trick hard-working Albertans out of their money, or I would be concerned for the survival of our species.

    Surely modern Canadians are among the worst ancestors our species has ever produced. “I’m going to work hard so my kid has a better life than me, but I’m going to pillage the world they will live in to give them that life. …Why are you looking at me like that?”

    Very frustrating to me that facts don’t seem to matter anymore. If I was to get on TV and tell everyone that Coke causes diabetes, they could sue the crap out of me for libel. If I got on TV and told everyone that vaccines cause autism, or Suzuki is a terrorist, or that climate change is a scam, or that “foreigners” with “incompatible values” are “flooding” into our country as refugees and “something” has to be done, there would be no repercussions whatsoever.
    Hell, I could go on the talk show circuit and, if I was racist and offensive enough, get the “Kyle Rittenhouse treatment”. The wrong people are in charge of our society. I worry that the potential for peaceful resolution of these, and other, problems plaguing society are diminishing by the day, in no small part as a result of the bad faith falsehoods that billionaires are profiting off of platforming on their propaganda empires. Sorry, did I say “propaganda?” I meant “news”.

    For the record, I do not advocate political violence, although I see an increasing likelihood of political violence in our future. This is very concerning to me. The world’s grown-ups need to grow the hell up on the asap. Nobody is coming to rescue us from the consequences of our actions.

    Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      November 26th, 2021

      Most Canadians don’t understand statistics & probability. You can’t point to any one, single fire or flood event and state, with validity, “climate change caused that”, any more than I can tell a cardiac rehab client of mine, “it was smoking, or high cholesterol, or a positive family history of early-onset cardiovascular disease that cause your heart attack”. It’s about population-level risk, not predictions for individuals.

      But just as we know that, all else being equal, the number of heart attacks in a large group of smokers will be 2-3 times higher than in a similarly-sized group of never-smokers, the number and intensity of severe weather events like floods, fires, and blizzards will be higher with a changing climate than it was before. So, we’re all in deep sh!t …

      Reply
  13. Mickey Rat

    November 24th, 2021

    I suspect that the reason Mr. Kenney chose to rant on this instead of talk about vaccines available for 5-11 year olds is that it looks too much like something the federal govt has organized – which it is. Maybe he thinks that ranting against David Suzuki sells better in Alberta than Covid vaccine for kids. I fear he may be correct.

    I think Dr. Suzuki’s comments talking about pipelines being blown up, although likely edited, were actually not wise. I think a reasonable, objective person should see that. He for sure knows that one has to be very careful with one’s words to the media lest they be taken and manipulated by whomever. But maybe that’s why he said it? Suzuki may have chuckled quietly to himself if he heard JK’s reaction.

    Having said that, if David Suzuki is inside Jason Kenney’s head that is a good thing. As a previous poster observed, at least while JK is thinking about that he isn’t thinking about new ways to screw over Albertans for whatever his agenda is…

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      November 24th, 2021

      Mickey: I have no doubt that Max Fawcett was right when he wrote in the National Observer today that Dr. Suzuki is a “self-aggrandizing and arrogant blowhard” more interested in the sound of his own voice than his message. I also don’t think he gives a fig about whether his message is wise, and was quite pleased that it’s gotten the attention it has. Nevertheless, the UCP reaction is dishonest and kind of pathetic, the kind of thing you’d expect Rebel Media to come up with. Mr. Kenney’s reaction in particular makes it seem obvious that not only is Dr. Suzuki in his head, but he’s sharing the space with a considerable number of snakes. DJC

      Reply
      • Mickey Rat

        November 24th, 2021

        DJC: I agree with you & Max. The last sentence of Max’s article referring to Jason Kenney’s attitude “And if it continues to raise the temperature on this already heated conversation in the name of its own dwindling political prospects, it risks having it blow up on the rest of us” says quite a bit. This could equally apply to David Suzuki’s actions. Funny enough I was going to write earlier that Suzuki doesn’t give a fig about Kenney or the rest of the Alta politicians.

        The more I think about it the more I think that not only might Kenney have DS in his head but he thinks this rant works in Alta. Albertans should think about that.

        BTW, thx for the transcription of JK’s froth…

        Reply
      • Mickey Rat

        November 26th, 2021

        Well evidently Dr. Suzuki agrees with me that his comments were unwise:

        David Suzuki Nov 25, 2021- “Any suggestion that violence is inevitable is wrong and will not lead us to a desperately needed solution to the climate crisis. My words were spoken out of extreme frustration and I apologize.” and “The remarks I made were poorly chosen and I should not have said them,” the statement said.

        The first sentence of this quote is pretty much exactly what Rachel Notley’s point was about the U of A issue in 2018. Yelling at each other is not how to fix this.

        Good on Suzuki to clarify this. It’s unfortunate that Kenney and his clowns don’t have anywhere near that integrity and will continue to yell about it and probably make more stupid inflammatory statements.

        Who comes out of this looking like a wise, responsible leader – Rachel Notley…

        Reply
    • Neil Lore

      November 24th, 2021

      Real good point – Mr. Suzuki has been a professional communicator for many years. It is reasonable that he could have foreseen his comments would be taken this way by some, and that perhaps Mr. Suzuki was well aware what media coverage would result.

      That being said, whether mainstream Alberta wants to acknowledge it or not, there is a growing group of otherwise reasonable adults who are convinced that we are in the process of rendering our biosphere uninhabitable to humans, and the bad-faith bloviations of the Jason Kenneys of the world is not convincing them of anything except that the system will not respond to their concerns. Whether mainstream Alberta wants to acknowledge it or not, a frightening percentage of scientists representing a staggering variety of disciplines shares this belief. “We need more oil money so we can afford to clean up all the pollution caused by all this oil” is not universally accepted as a cogent argument outside of Alberta. In my opinion, Mr. Suzuki was absolutely correct in his warning. The potential for ecoterrorism exists, and is increasing.

      Again, I am not advocating for political violence. I would strongly urge anyone tempted to think that the guillotine will solve our problems to do some research into what happens when actual revolutions happen. They are not pretty. They are not glamourous. They are not heroic. They are not over easy. This is a very serious concern in my opinion, and I would be absolutely delighted to be wrong about this.

      Reply
  14. Scotty on Denman

    November 24th, 2021

    Kenney sounds rather more de-hinged than “unhinged”. As it leaves orbit, his hyperbole sounds more like runt than rant, a pip-gun loaded with squeak.

    Clever use of maudlin blaming might look like hypocrisy to us, but surely it’s clever code for initiates who, it would seem, still thirst for the grape of Kenney’s scapegoating scattershot, or for signs of bitumageddon only their hallucinations, and no one else’s, can grasp—like umbertocological scholastics divining cow patties on the side of the road.

    Agnostics holding their vaccinated noses on the way by crusading Tiki-treason-torches are not, at present, Kenney’s priority concern— but with polls quickening past like a picket fence, they will have to be, soon enough.

    Can it be K-Boy knows exactly when cutting off his conspiracy-theory freaks, cold turkey, will leave them too close to election day to seek alternative Q-anonymity, but with enough time for him to confess temporary delusions of grandeur to, and beg forgiveness from ordinary voters? It’d need deathbed-like precision while staving off any last-minute temperance among True Believers, presumably with increased rations of ginning.

    But the bait could be switched— as deftly as it would have to be— to an alternative like beer, say, for a buck. Might even work as well for Q-anonners as for non-Q-anonners. We’ll probably know sooner than later.

    Anon, Jason K, anon…

    Reply
  15. tom in ontario

    November 24th, 2021

    David Suzuki holds legendary status with a lifetime of achievements. But maybe like Rocky Balboa after six flicks, it’s time to hang ’em up.

    Reply
  16. Just Me

    November 24th, 2021

    Further on the subject of Weibo Ludwig, I recommend Andrew Nikiforuk’s “Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil”. It’s a fascinating account of the history of political influence by Alberta’s O & G industry, their flagrant practices to suppress criticism of their industry, their election rigging, media manipulation, and their very non-public war against Alberta’s farmers and ranchers.

    Cavalier environmental damage is the M.O. and the birthright of the O & G industry. Ludwig’s long-time advocacy for farmers and ranchers in the face of the obvious environmental impacts on their livelihoods broke down into eco-terrorism in the face of industry opposition and political shenanigans by industry-friendly politicians. Ludwig was considered by the author to be the victim of an orchestrated media-smear campaign, that sought to paint Ludwig as violent, insane, hateful…you name it. The nighttime attack on his farm by local youths, which resulted in one death, was a case where Ludwig’s act of self-defense was turned into a media lynch mob, again propagated by industry friendly media outlets and editorialists.

    Definitely worth a read.

    https://quillandquire.com/review/saboteurs-wiebo-ludwig-s-war-against-big-oil/

    Reply
    • A little bird

      November 26th, 2021

      I haven’t read the book but I’ve read some excerpts, I believe he was the one that dug into the RCMP bombings they tried to pin on Weibo ?

      Folks tried to manipulate the community when that (tragedy) happened, but most reasonable people recognized that while a tragedy, it was incredibly stupid, and if those kids weren’t culpable, their parents certainly should have been.

      I feel like the lede has really been buried over time : the RCMP terrorized the peace country for MONTHS with infrastructure bombings, in order to shore up support for the oil and gas industry. (at a time when MANY landowners were fighting with oil and gas companies, not just trickle creek).

      And yes, it was absolutely terrifying for these folks. Canada’s federal police force folks.

      Reply
  17. Scotty on Denman

    November 25th, 2021

    Thnx for the reference.

    Of course Ludwig had to be vilified for blowing up petro-property, but viciously so because he represented a disturbing trend to the status quo, a bland facade of tolerance between the farming community and Big Oil. The former had already matured into conservatism when the younger was born booming into the new, capitalistically intense, wildly profitable extraction of conventional oil. The two industries ostensibly overlapped vertically, happily working their respective fields, above and beneath each other, a portrait of contented conservative voters cooperating politically generation after generation, but otherwise keeping out of each other’s way save for friendly tips of hard and straw hats. Ludwig upset this myth and garnered open concurrence among farmers that Big Oil was rather interfering with their livelihoods.

    I think the real worry was that Ludwig’s complaint was essentially about health, not necessarily the two industries getting in each other’s way operationally or disputing each other’s tenure. Petro-government had hitherto successfully minimized environmentalism, as Ludwig’s protests showed: farmers’ resentment over cavalier exercise of subsurface rights also surprised when it was revealed as much older than most people thought. I remember remarking myself that something new was conspicuously afoot in Wild Rose country when Ludwig carried the can for farmers’ and, not least, their livestock’s health in environmental terms against Alberta’s monolithic petroleum industry.

    He couldn’t very well be vilified in terms quite familiar and accepted in Alberta, things that he and history shared, such as religious anarchism and communal living (generations of Ludwig’s religious family lived together like the spiritual communities of the 1890s which were persuaded to emigrate from Russia to Western Canada in return for a certain level political and religious autonomy); nor could his healthy environmentalism be too much besmirched (Doukhobor immigrants, for example, were themselves vegetarians who practiced simple, healthy living as a matter of faith). Thus, when he publicly protested that sour gas flaring at wellheads dotting the countryside was sickening calves and children like a diabolically poisoned nativity scene, there was little choice but to colour him a stark, raving madman, regardless the sensibility of the matter.

    The environmental cat was finally out of the bag in Alberta—if somewhat later than elsewhere. This turning point hinted at, among other things, shocking discord among the famously enduring conservative brand, now openly blasphemed. A cascade of challenging revelations for the petro-industry has since become all too familiar —air and soil pollution, two-headed tumour trout and elevated cancers downstream at Fort Chip, frack-contaminated groundwater, apparent conspiracies to subvert justice, abandoned wellheads, climate change, &c.

    But it was the tragic shooting death of a teenage girl while night joy-riding in the Ludwig’s farm yard which reminded me that she and her young friends were probably encouraged to harass their renegade neighbour by the vilifying rhetoric they likely heard at home from their parents who were just as likely ginned by mainstream news media which, as we know, are at the beck and call of petro-government and industry.

    What has happened in Alberta (and is still happening—which is why I come to this most informative site every day) since Wiebo Ludwig’s ‘direct action’ is truly astounding: (in addition to the above) the phenomenal growth of Fort Mac, the collapse of bitumen market-price, demise of the long-governing ProgCon party, the shocking NDP upset, the shit-canning of Northern Gateway, Energy East, and Keystone pipelines, the nationalization of TM/TMX pipelines, increasingly extreme weather, KeKangaroo Kenney’s Albertan sojourn and, of course, climate change due to petro-pollution—it’s really. a lot to take in.

    Thnx again for the link. I remember that poor young girl who was killed at the Ludwig’s farm. As far as I recall, nobody was found culpable for the shooting, but there’s no doubt in my mind it came down from the public demonization of a frustrated rural citizen who resorted to the the kind of action David Suzuki warned about just the other day, all these years later.

    May she Rest In Peace.

    Reply
    • David Climenhaga

      November 25th, 2021

      Whoever shot at the car on the Ludwig far has never been identified. Had they been, I think the defence would have had a good case to claim self defence. DJC

      Reply
      • jerrymacgp

        November 28th, 2021

        As a resident of the region in which all of this happened, and where for many long-time residents the Karman Willis case is still very much in people’s minds, I feel I need to chime in.

        The fact no one has ever been charged in that shooting still rankles. Whoever the shooter was, it is extremely likely that someone living in that insular community knows something about it but refuses to come forward. A lot of folks up here feel charges of obstruction of justice would have been warranted, since the only person with the right not to speak is the shooter themselves.

        As for self-defence, under Canadian law use of deadly force is only permitted in cases of threat of death or serious injury, not property offences like trespassing or vandalism. Since nobody has even gone to court over the shooting, we can not know if there were any circumstances that night where a claim of self-defence would be legitimate under Canadian law, but based on what the community at large knows about those events, it is highly unlikely. Then there is the more recent but somewhat similar case of Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie in Saskatchewan (2016-18), in which a farmer was acquitted of murder after shooting an Indigenous trespasser. Had Mr Ludwig, Richard Boonstra, or any other resident or occupant of Trickle Creek been tried, would they have been convicted? Of course, the Stanley-Boushie case occurred many years after Karman Willis died, but you do have to think about the parallels.

        (My perspective on this is also coloured by the fact that when the other person shot that night came out of the OR in Grande Prairie, I was the nurse who looked after him in post-anesthesia recovery).

        Here is the Canadian Encyclopedia’s entry on this affair:
        https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/ludwig-farm-shooting

        Reply
      • TENET

        November 28th, 2021

        I managed a private security firm providing 24/7 surveillance of Mr. Ludwig: many RCMP literally quit the RCMP in the aftermath. Not a job I was proud of either and walked away.

        Reply
  18. Mike J Danysh

    November 25th, 2021

    For the record, friends, here’s a link to a Guardian opinion piece by the guy who really is advocating blowing up fossil-fuel infrastructure:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/nov/18/moral-case-destroying-fossil-fuel-infrastructure

    Now, if Suzuki’s interview was obviously edited and possibly slanted, could he sue? If his words were twisted by the REMOVAL of context–do we know what the interviewer asked?–could Suzuki sue for damages caused? And could he name Kenney in yet ANOTHER defamation lawsuit? Interesting times ahead….

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      November 26th, 2021

      MIKE J DANYSH: How do we know David Suzuki really said what he said? Is there proof he said it, as in some type of recoding, or other actual message? These are valid questions.

      Reply
  19. TENET

    November 28th, 2021

    delivering an unhinged diatribe (Perfect)
    From the guy with the worst report of thievery and looting in Alberta history from the Auditor General.

    Reply

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