Opinion: I spy another energy hypocrite

Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

The mittens provided to Alberta athletes competing in the 2019 Canada Winter Games boast an oil rig on one of the hands, reportedly raising eyebrows among some delicate ingenues.

Yes, it’s been said before, but how do such innocents, or ignoramuses, imagine they propel the vehicles that carry them to work each day, if indeed they are contributing members of society?

The natural resources that belong to Albertans should be a tremendous source of pride, not something to sniff at.

The image of an oil rig symbolizes wealth and independence from the dodgy regimes elsewhere on the planet that peddle energy.

Red Deer residents are being told that one athlete’s mom says the special winter games mitts feel like propaganda to her daughter.

That’s an unfortunate admission. One can only hope that such naivete doesn’t extend to other walks of life. Presumably she and her family understand that beef comes from animals, cows in this case, which are featured on the matching mitten.

Unicorns and fairy dust are the stuff of fantasies and children’s books, not the economic underpinnings of a prosperous country such as Canada.

What a charmed life people such as the mom and her athlete daughter must enjoy. Apparently nobody has to dirty their hands to produce essential products such as oil and the food that’s put on the table. Such niceties fit under the category of propaganda, we’re to believe.

In 2002, the Royal Canadian Mint paid tribute to the oil industry by producing a $100-gold coin celebrating the Leduc discovery of 1947. The coin routinely sells at five times that value today. Are we to assume that’s propaganda, too?

Instead of supporting Canadian jobs, the mother would apparently rather we ship oil halfway around the world in fume-belching tankers and pad the pockets of dictators who chop off heads and stifle women’s rights. Hopefully, the mother’s daughter is good with that.

Sadly, the woman is part of a growing plague in society — people who don’t acknowledge the value of real work.

My dad was a heavy duty diesel mechanic. He paid the price for his occupation with callused hands and fingernails that were more often purple than opaque because of the heavy tools required for his trade.

If this woman and her ilk are going to denigrate Canada’s No. 1 industry, and by association, the people who toil in service of it, she’s certainly entitled to do so. Unlike the citizens of many of the countries where Canadians prefer to buy their energy from, us Canucks enjoy freedom of speech, even when people blather nonsense.

One just hopes she’s not a hypocrite and that she stands true to her beliefs. That would prohibit the use of fossil fuels, of course, and computers and much of the medical equipment we count on to keep us mobile.

That’s not likely the case, of course. It’s clear where the real propaganda is emanating from.

Alberta athletes can be proud of their playful mittens. The hand warmers are certainly better than ones other provinces might dole out, such as mittens showcasing a struggling taxpayer-subsidized aeronautics manufacturer, an ardent exporter of greenhouse-gas causing coal or a place where Alberta tax dollars go to die.

David Marsden is managing editor of the Red Deer Advocate.

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