I’ve spent a lot of time on the Alberta Labour Relations Board website this past week and as a result I was reminded of this clever satire sent to me by my friend “Art Sifton,” the social media gadfly found at @ArtSifton, as a guest post a few weeks ago. Inside baseball? Weird Latin puns? Sure. But who cares? It’s my blog and I can run what I like. DJC

Ottawa designates Alberta Labour Relations Board website for preservation as national historic site

By Art Sifton

Recognizing a remarkable level of preservation and historical significance, the Alberta Labour Relations Board web page has been designated a national historic site.

Noting that initial carbon dating of the site indicates that it dates to the year 1996, and that it shows few signs of being significantly updated in the intervening decades, Canadian History Minister Ignoratio Elenchi made the announcement at a press conference near Edmonton on Thursday.

“Much like the famed Burgess Shale, this website is a window into an ecosystem unlike anything seen today,” Elenchi said at the press conference. “This webpage is from a time in which Primitive Radio Gods still roamed the Earth, and when code was tested for compatibility with browsers such as Netscape and Voyager. By visiting this historic site, Canadians can see what it was like for their ancient ancestors to make those tentative first steps out into the vast and untamed wilds of the early Internet.”

Archaeological evidence indicates that early visitors to the site eked out a bare 33 kb/s, surfing on dial-up modems that would disconnect the moment that someone accidentally picked up the handset of what was called a ‘rotary-dial telephone.’

“Thanks to a grant from the Federal Government, we will be able to set up an interpretive centre, so people can understand the primitive communications on display here,” Alberta Historical Society webmaster Mitchell Smith said. “Seeing the rough-hewn type of web content they consumed really makes you appreciate how hardy our ancestors were.”

National historic designations illustrate many defining moments in Canada’s history and the diverse and complex stories that we all share. There are more than 600 official Canadian historic sites including the Rideau Canal, Banff Springs Hotel, and the birthplace of jazz legend Mart Kenney. Designations are made by the Minister of History on the advice of Canada’s Historic Sites and Monuments Board, whose report on the ALRB site noted the complete lack of search features, navigability, or even images.

“Usually to find this sort of artifact, you have to dig deep through sedimentary layers of code or dig through the Wayback Machine. To see such perfectly preserved pre-Adobe-Flash site design in the wild is practically unheard of,” University of Mantario archaeology professor Dr. Martin Padway explained. “In terms of Internet history, this is literally from the dawn of time. It’s almost as outdated as the Alberta employment laws overseen by the Labour Board itself.”

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  1. I think this shows the UCP’s priorities over recent years.

    First, fighting with health care workers and trying to cut health care spending, although they seem to have temporarily paused that for the upcoming election.

    Second, on the technology side, setting up an elaborate system for people to apply for the temporary $100 a month, until the upcoming election. It would have been easier to just send this to everyone, but unlike other provinces they decided to target it based on “need”. So if you are a person who makes $179,000 a year and have a child, or are 65 or over, you get it. If you make under $60,000 and are 64 or less and have no children under 18, tough luck – supposedly you are not as needy as the first person.

    You would think it would be hard to get reelected, after the UCP screwed up so many things so badly over the last several years, but they seem to be working very hard on it. Based on all the paid radio ads they are running for the temporary $100/mo. (paid for with our tax dollars) that is obviously their only priority right now.

  2. Yeah, pretty funny, if seen only as a comment on a single instance. Unfortunately, this is how the Gov’t of Albaturda operates.
    In the forestry biz they are still using the ‘Ground Rules’, a short, sophomoric first draft from 1972. Conservatives are notorious for being unable to produce anything positive that would help, except of course, theft for their corporate masters.

  3. Another historic site to add to the list. In 1997 while Preston Manning was living in Stornoway an apple fell on his head and gravity was discovered.

  4. This web page, circa 1996, is from the days when “those that came from across the world United (Conservative) (with the Indigenous people) to tame an unforgiving frontier, ensuring prosperity for countless future generations.”

    Let’s not forget that a random professor from the land before time forgot Alberta has already called it out. This is because no actual professor from actual Alberta is brave enough to speak up, for fear of another drastic cut to university funding by the unelected overlord, not to mention the burden of having to invite an opposing viewpoint into every conversation, by order of the PSE minister.

    “What a load of crap,” said Professor Bumblebot of a random Laurentian elite school in Ontario. “Alberta peoples are denied a role in democratic institutions. So why do they need the Alberta Labour Relations Board at all? Off with its head!”

  5. Next to learn more about are party lines [snooping lines!] in cities and older crank phones in rural areas that had different rings for each home on the common line – had to pick up receiver very carefully, and cover voice sending unit with hand! All great fun!!!

  6. DJC: the website that PP forgot..
    CBC – Aug 29-2018 …BC government sues opioid makers for negligence and corruption…..
    Vancouver Sun- July 29-2022…
    BC led class action lawsuit results in $150 million….

    CTV NEWS Windsor- yesterday..
    Pierre said he will sue pharmacuitecal companies that flooded streets, ” if he is elected ”

    David Eby, and the rest of us here are either having a good laugh, or shaking our heads or both.
    And his time capsule is used every day— Canada is broken, I will free you, 8 yrs of JT …..yada yada yada.

  7. Just a little history. It was not stared in 1996 but in the mid 80’s, the first administrative tribunal to provide information on the web. Getting government money and approval to update a site is very difficult. It would be fairer to judge it by its content than its sex appeal which clearly could be improved.

    1. Andy: I’m having lunch with “Art” this week. I’ll have a word with him. With luck, perhaps this will free up a modest sum from the government to improve the site. Then again, given this government’s spending priorities, perhaps not. DJC

  8. Heads exploded over on the Edmonton Journal today about reporting about “to tame an unforgiving frontier, ensuring prosperity for countless future generations.”

    I grew up in Alberta back in the pleistocene, and I suppose that people then could be somewhat forgiven for being ignorant (although not really). They can’t anymore. And now, they are proud of it.

    I don’t know what to make about the upcoming election. It is horrifying to think, but the UCP just might get in again, and DS’s political instincts will have been proven correct. What does that say about the electorate?

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