Friday, August 1, 2014

From bad to worse: CBC may have uncovered ‘ghost MLAs’ in Alberta Legislature, source says

The government benches in the Alberta Legislature.
CBC journalists are conducting an investigation into whether several Alberta Progressive Conservative Members of the Legislative Assembly actually exist or are just “false MLAs” nominated and elected using fictitious names, WTF Alberta has learned.

“Everett McDonald? Genia Leskiw? Sohail Quadri? Do these people even exist?” asked the source deep within the national broadcaster, who could not be identified because it’s the CBC that does the identifying. “We’re checking, but, seriously, has anybody actually ever met any of these people?”

The source said any scheme to run Progressive Conservative candidates with fake names and made-up resumes would have to be much more elaborate that the plot cooked up by former Premier Alison Redford’s office staff to book “false passengers” on government flights, which was also uncovered by the CBC. The “ghost riders’” reservations were cancelled at the last moment so the premier could fly in privacy.

“It was pretty obvious that the names on the flight manifests like D. Duck, K. Marx and W. Gretzky weren’t real people,” said the source. “Whereas, with real sounding names like Ron Casey and Linda Johnson, who can be sure?”

“We’re starting to think we’ve uncovered a scandal of unprecedented proportions in legislative history, anywhere,” the source said, adding, however, that the CBC is still not certain. “We thought Dave Rodney might be another one, but it turns out he’s actually in cabinet and people have seen him.”

“We’re still working on how imaginary MLAs’ votes could be recorded,” the source added. “We have a better theory for how they get elected. Basically, Alberta voters will cast a ballot for anyone with the word ‘Conservative’ beside their name. This explains Murray Smith’s political career.”

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Get lost Oxfam! Canada’s not about to start arguing with God: CRA

Listen up, Canada. Jesus said, the poor will always be with you. They’ll just have to make their own pancakes, according to the CRA.
The Canada Revenue Agency has told a well-known charity that it can no longer try to prevent poverty around the world if it wants to keep its charitable status for tax purposes because ending poverty would violate a law of God.

In a letter to Oxfam Canada, which had hoped to renew its non-profit status, the CRA told the agency: “Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with you.’ That sounds like pretty clear English to us, and if English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for Oxfam Canada!

“You may want to argue with God, but the CRA isn’t about to let that happen,” added the spokesperson, who could not be identified because he is not authorized to quote scripture without an interpreter from the Prime Minister’s Office present. “Not in Canada, anyway.”

“If your goal is to eliminate poverty, then you’re trying to contradict the word of Jesus, and that is obviously a sin,” he explained. “The Harper Government does not encourage sin, at least not sin of that kind.”

The spokesperson added: “On matters like this, Prime Minister Harper thinks you should ask yourself, ‘What would Jesus do?’ I’ll tell you what Jesus would do. He was an unemployed non-union carpenter! He’d be praying for his father to get him a job on the Northern Gateway Pipeline! Or in the mailroom at Imperial Oil if foreign environmentalists had managed to keep the pipeline from being built.”

Asked the story Jesus handed out loaves and fishes, the spokesperson responded with a chuckle: “Who told you he did that? Some Communist from the United Church? I don’t think Jesus would do anything that encouraged taxpayers to become dependent on handouts!”

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Canada to dump ‘Liberal’ maple leaf flag in major ‘re-branding,’ PM says

Canada’s new national flag! God save the Queen!
Canada will drop its distinctive Maple Leaf Flag and resume using the Red Ensign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.

“Renaming the air force the Royal Canadian Air Force and spending a few million dollars on new pips and crowns for the Army and brass loops for the Royal Canadian Navy has been really great for morale,” Harper said in an impromptu news conference in Ottawa.

“It’s a wonderful reminder of our glorious colonial past that strengthens the link between today's service members and the previous generations of heroes who bravely served our country,” Harper told reporters. “So we thought, why shouldn’t all Canadians have a morale boost like that?”

The prime minister added: “Anyway, I just don’t feel as good about the Americans since they threw Conrad Black in jail and put a guy who’s practically a socialist in the White House. Since I’m Canada’s decider, I decided that if the Red Ensign was good enough to be Canada’s flag through two world wars, it was good enough to be our flag now. Plus, it wasn’t designed by a Liberal!”

The Red Ensign will be made Canada’s official flag as soon as Parliament meets again in the fall, while his majority government is still intact, Harper said.

“And if we manage to get another majority after that, we’re thinking of making God Save the Queen the national anthem,” he concluded. “We’re completely re-branding Canada."

All Canadians over the age of 12 will be given a gorget to celebrate the change in flag, the Harper Government said in a news release.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

America’s Canada meddling ‘has to stop’ president warns as Russia ponders crisis

One of the 411,000 heavily armed U.S. troops waiting within kilometres of the Canadian border faces off against a Canadian police officer.
Russia is sending additional troops to its Arctic region as part of its response to U.S. aggression against Canada and President Vladimir Putin says his government is looking at making a bigger long-term defence commitment to the region to guard against U.S. President Barack Obama’s “menace and expansionism.”

Officials in the Kremlin say the United States has amassed more than 411,000 troops in the 15 U.S. states that share a boundary with Canada. Despite repeated claims the United States has no interest in Canada, President Putin said, Russian satellites have observed no indication any of those troops are being moved away from the border.

“Many of their 112 encampments along the border have taken on the appearance of permanent bases,” he observed. “They keep saying they have no interest in Canada, but if that’s so, why do they need 400,00 soldiers, sailors and airmen crowded right up against Canada?”

“There are several large formations that are remaining and they have not reduced their presence in any way. Some portion of the force looks like it intends to remain,” Putin added.

“This meddling has to stop,” Putin told reporters. “We have only 40,000 troops close to the Ukrainian border, one tenth as many, and there’s an actual civil war going on there. As far as we can see, nothing much like that is happening in Canada right now. So why all the soldiers?”

The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who is travelling abroad, was unavailable for comment.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Prentice sets himself apart with offer to save taxpayers money by continuing to collect bank salary

Alberta Tory leadership candidate Jim Prentice with his airplane, which was not supplied by the government, and which he can afford because he’s well paid by the Bank of Commerce, thanks very much!
Clearly setting himself apart from other Alberta Tory leadership candidates, frontrunner Jim Prentice has announced that if he is chosen by party members in September he will continue to collect his Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada salary while he is premier.

That way, Mr. Prentice explained, he will be in a position to charge the people of Alberta only $1 a year for his services and still live in a fashion that is appropriate for a Conservative first minister. “Also, I make a hell of a lot more as a bank vice-president than I will as premier, so this is a win-win for everyone!”

As for the other candidates, Prentice said, “they will cost you tens of thousands of dollars every year just for pay and benefits, and I won’t cost a cent – well, actually 100 cents, but no more.

“And that doesn’t even count the savings I’ll be able to generate through my access to the CIBC's financial experts and advisors, who are among the best in Canada,” he added.

“Really, the synergies between the banking industry and running a large, complex government like Alberta’s are just huge, so the spin-off benefits for the people of Alberta will really be terrific,” Prentice said. He also noted: “What’s more, the NDP will never again get to complain about me taking helicopter rides at taxpayer expense because the bank will be happy to buy me my own helicopter.”

“This is just a great deal for the people of Alberta and, if I may say so myself, a real selling point for my offer to help out by running the province,” Prentice said.

“Also, it means I won't be in a big hurry to get on a corporate board as soon as I leave office, which seems to be the pattern with most other Alberta cabinet members, especially premiers like I’m going to be,” he concluded.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Unions good at improving wages, workplace safety? That’s why have laws against them!

What would be the fun of owning a Porsche like this if all the poor Albertans got to drive Porsches too? I mean, seriously?
A spokesperson for the Alberta Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour says there’s no way the province will step away from policies that reduce unionization and restrict collective bargaining just because unions play an important role in improving wages and workplace safety and reducing inequality.

“You idiots! That’s why we have those laws,” said the spokesperson, who could not be identified because he was afraid that if it got out he’d been talking to the media without authorization he’d be summarily fired and not even let back into the building to get his stuff.

The study released today by the Parkland Institute at the University of Alberta, called “On the job: Why Unions Matter in Alberta,” shows that unions have a positive impact in such areas as rights for young workers, decreasing income inequality, making workplaces safer, and even improving life for non-union workers.

“Are they insane? Increasing wages costs employers money, and we’re just not going to allow that to happen in Alberta,” said the spokesperson. “Don’t they understand that stuff like safer workplaces costs money too? What are they, a bunch of Commies?”

As for income inequality, the spokesperson said, the Albertans who really matter like it that way. “What’s the fun of racing around in a Porsche if everyone else is racing around in Porsches too? Lots of money and tons of cool stuff only gets you so far if you can’t push around the working poor – and tailgate their Hyundais!”

Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk could not be reached for comment because he was too busy campaigning to lead the Alberta Tory Party and bring in even more restrictions on unions and the rights of working people.

“There’s a sound policy reason Mr. Lukaszuk has made sure we have pretty much the lowest minimum wage in the country,” the spokesperson said. “Prosperity! And he’s obviously hoping those Albertans who get to enjoy prosperity are real happy about it, because he needs $50,000 to run for the leadership, like, right now!”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Plans announced for ‘inner-city neighbourhood mega-school’

Artist’s rendering of the planned “inner-city neighbourhood mega-school” in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Public School Board, Alberta Education and the City of Edmonton are calling on more than a dozen inner-city communities in the capital city to close their schools and relocate classes into a huge “inner-city neighbourhood mega-school” in the former Rexall Place arena.

When the project is finished, Rexall Place will have become “the largest one-room schoolhouse in the world,” boasted a spokesperson for the private sector consortium managing the megaproject.

Lessons will be projected to students from grades K-12 in the bleachers via a special “Pedagogical Jumbotron” now being developed by school board technicians.

PC Education Minister Jeff Johnson hailed the cost savings expected from consolidation of all lessons in one location and the resulting reduction of the number of teachers needed.

“Obviously, this will also make it a lot easier to test and recertify the few teachers we do keep every five years or so, and to find new ones to replace the ones we have to let go for underperformance,” he said. “And we’ve never seen any reason why students can’t learn in large classes.”

“We expect this consolidation to be as big a success as Alberta Health Services,” he said.

Edmonton mayor Don Iveson expressed delight with the plan. “Quite frankly, Rexall Place was going to be a really embarrassing white elephant until this idea came along, what with the new arena we’re building for the Oilers on the other side of the LRT tracks.”

“I’m not saying it’s on the on the wrong side of the tracks, mind you,” Iveson added. “There is no wrong side of the tracks in Edmonton. Just two sides. And City Council is not taking sides.”

The Wildrose Opposition also praised the plan. Said leader Danielle Smith: “As soon as we’re the government, which will be pretty soon, we expect, we’ll give the old schools away to the charter schools we plan to set up. So there’s something in this for everyone!”

A spokesperson for the Alberta Teachers Association refused to comment on the plan. “We’ve been advised by our lawyers that this might be construed as an illegal strike under Bill 45, and we’d be fined a million dollars a day, so, sorry,” he whispered before abruptly hanging up.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Picked Redford in ‘drunken stupor,’ Alberta Tories headed for rehab: Prentice

A group of Alberta Conservatives in rehab thinks about the need for the province to get back in touch with its higher power
Alberta’s embattled Progressive Conservatives will take an immediate break from campaigning for re-election while the entire party goes into rehab, says Premier Designate Jim Prentice.

“We have realized we have a serious problem, and we’re going to do something about it,” said Prentice, now seen by all authorities and experts in Alberta as the answer to both the PCs’ and the province’s problems.

“I wasn’t here when it happened, and thank God for that, but basically the party was in a drunken stupor when it chose Alison Redford as premier,” Mr. Prentice said. “Obviously, we make terrible decisions when we’re under the influence. We’re really sorry but we’re only human. What more can we say?

“We are going to deal with that in rehab to ensure it doesn’t happen again – and I’m here to prove that it won’t – and then we’re going to get back to campaigning for re-election on why it’s essential to Alberta give this party a second chance,” he said.

The unexpected announcement came after the party had already launched a re-election campaign based on the importance of forgiving mistakes and giving second chances to governing parties, as long as they’re not in Manitoba.

Opposition critics complained the move threatens to put Alberta’s business on the back burner while attention focuses once again on the PC Party’s problems. But Prentice said the Tories can’t expect to be forgiven by voters if they don’t deal with their demons in rehab. “We are the Alberta Tories, after all, so we all understand it’s essential for the province for us to be forgiven.

“We’ve had our come-to-Jesus moment,” Prentice added. “Now it’s the voters’ responsibility to come to us.”

Redford was chosen as the Tory leader in October 2011. She was fired by the party’s legislative caucus last month for reasons that have not yet been fully explained.

She was replaced as premier on a temporary basis by former deputy premier Dave Hancock until Mr. Prentice’s appointment as leader can be confirmed by a party ratification vote in September, which was chosen because it’s not October.

Despite recent claims by Hancock that the party is doing better, cabinet ministers have been recorded on several occasions recently behaving and speaking erratically.

However, Prentice’s shocking admission the entire party was in a “drunken stupor” when it chose Redford was a first. Hancock, who was there when it happened, could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Post says Prentice still eyeing PC leadership bid: Doomsday Clock moves back

Serious looking scientists from the Bulletin of Alberta Tory Scientists (BATS) expect the Doomsday Clock to move back to 10 minutes to midnight, as illustrated in this photograph, the minute exalted being Jim Prentice announces he is running for the leadership of the PC Party.
The Doomsday Clock has been moved one minute farther from midnight with the publication of another long and hopeful article in the National Post suggesting Jim Prentice will soon announce his intention to run for the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.

According to the respected Bulletin of Alberta Tory Scientists (BATS) – which created the theoretical device after the election as leader of Ralph Klein in 1992 to illustrate how far the PC Dynasty is from political apocalypse – the clock now sits at six minutes to midnight, or, rather, Six Minutes To Midnight.

The clock has been moving rapidly back and forth between two and four minutes to midnight since former premier Alison Redford resigned last month, BATS said, depending on whom the media thought was about to run for the party’s leadership. Before that, it had been stuck at one minute to midnight for almost two years.

The hands of time are moved in accordance with the analyses of a special board of scientists who ponder local and international threats to Tory rule in Alberta, especially those having to do with the leaders of political parties associated with pink flowers and orange fruits, or, south of the U.S. border, grey donkeys.

“For years, it just sat there at about 45 minutes to midnight, no one is sure why,” BATS said in its latest article, published yesterday.

According to the National Post, if Mr. Prentice really does run, the Clock could be pushed all the way back to 50 minutes to midnight. The banker and former federal Conservative, the newspaper said, “is simply the best person in the world, period. He’s really an exalted being, and you really don’t need to know anything more than that.”

“Alberta Tories can choose Mr. Prentice, or they can be cast into utter darkness for all of eternity,” the Post concluded in its commentary on the change in the Doomsday Clock. “The choice is theirs, and the Clock is ticking!"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

‘Calgary School’ to become centre of world’s newest religion – ‘Econotology’

The “Sacred Arch of The Market” at the world headquarters of the Church of Econotology, formerly known as “The Calgary School.”

 The “Calgary School” at the University of Calgary has been chosen to be headquarters of the new world’s newest religion, whose followers boast they had numerous influential worshippers in major universities and governments throughout the world even before the new faith was formally named.

“Econotology’s” doctrines were given to Humankind by the Supreme Being of the Universe, which is today known as The Market, through a group of religious scholars who practiced their beliefs in remote mountain villages in Europe just southeast of Germany, explained a spokesperson for the new religion.

For this reason, the founders of the faith are known as “the Austrians,” said the spokesperson, who could not be identified because of his senior but nevertheless unidentified role as a campaign advisor to a well-known Alberta political party.

“But really, we’ve been around since the beginning of time, secure in our faith in The Almighty Market,” noted the spokesperson, who said Econotology combines the best aspects of all great religions, with none of the bad stuff expect for when it’s necessary to win elections in countries with a misplaced faith in democracy.

“We’re working on fixing that,” he said. “But it takes time.”

“I can tell you now that the Canadian prime minister and many of his closest advisors are among our most enthusiastic followers, and we are very hopeful Econotology will soon be adopted as Canada’s state religion,” the spokesperson added. “For all intents and purposes, it already has been.”

“Canada will just be one of the first, however,” the spokesperson said. “We are already well on our way to becoming a true world religion.

“We’re fortunate that the ‘Vatican’ of the Church of Econotology will be the beautiful University of Calgary campus,” he added. “And if you like buying cheap electronic goods or selling petroleum, that’s lucky too, because in Alberta every day is the Sabbath.”

Econotology insiders, however, say that while Alberta was chosen early as the best place for the new faith’s spiritual home, there was a fierce fight between universities in Calgary and Edmonton for the right to be headquarters of the new religion.

“Unfortunately for Edmonton,” the spokesperson said, “the University of Alberta’s Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute is still just a twinkle in Indira Samarasekera’s eye. The Calgary School has been there, like, forever!”

Alberta was also a natural to be chosen Econotology’s spiritual headquarters, the spokesperson added, because the Garden of Eden is now known to have been located just west of Calgary, near the community of Bragg Creek.

Despite its historical role in the development of Econotology, the University of Chicago wasn’t considered as the church’s base because another religion already claims the Garden of Eden was located in Missouri, which is right next door, he explained.

Despite the name, he added, Econotology has nothing to do with ecology or the environment: “It’s nice that the name makes it sound all ecological and green and everything, but the only thing green about this religion is U.S. dollars.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This just in: Rob Anders to seek Alberta PC leadership

Calgary West MP Rob Anders with a stout man in a badly cut suit shortly before his announcement he would seek the leadership of the Alberta PC Party.
Calgary West Member of Parliament Rob Anders will seek the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, WTF Alberta has learned.

“The Alberta PCs had a ‘temporary Tory’ as a leader and look where it got them,” an Anders spokesperson said this evening. “The party’s future is with a real tax fighter like Mr. Anders.”

“This will be a fight for the soul of the Progressive Conservative Party, and the first thing we need to do is ensure there’s nothing even remotely progressive about it,” said the spokesperson, who could not be identified because he is not authorized to speak in the province of Alberta until he has received his valid driver’s permit in the mail.

“After 17 years in federal politics, Mr. Anders decided just tonight it was time for a new challenge,” the spokesperson said. “With the Wildrose Party in the hands of squishy tax-and-spend Liberals and come-by-chance New Democrats and AUPE members, getting the provincial Tories back on track seemed like the most useful contribution he could make.”

Mr. Anders was napping and could not be reached for comment.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Redford sighting, alleged Twitter messages spark hope former premier will emerge from hiding

Mystery woman in iconic photo identified at last: It’s Alison Redford. But who is the guy with the guitar?

A possible sighting of Calgary-Elbow MLA Alison Redford and several messages sent from a Twitter account some observers believe Ms. Redford owns have raised the prospect the former premier will soon emerge from hiding.

Redford disappeared about two weeks ago and had not been seen or heard from until yesterday, when claims surfaced she had been spotted in Calgary on her way to “a private audience” in the southern Alberta city.

A spokesperson for the Calgary Police Service said in a statement investigators are trying to confirm the sighting. “We are being pestered by a group calling itself the Alison Sightings Society (ASS), and we encourage everyone just to calm down until our investigators have an opportunity to check this out,” the spokesperson said.

“We don’t want anyone to be disappointed if this turns out just to be imaginary or someone else who looks a little like Ms. Redford,” he added. “If this is true, it will be the first audience she has given since she was the Leader.”

Also yesterday, a message from a Twitter account believed by social media experts to belong to Ms. Redford expressed happiness at the replacement of American Late Night TV host David Letterman by funnyman Stephen Colbert. “I’m looking forward to watching,” the message said in part.

At the time, social media experts were skeptical the communication had actually been sent by Ms. Redford, who is known to have a giant intellect. “She’s a very brainy person who thinks big thoughts about the law, politics and the future of humankind,” said one expert. “This sounded more like something Tweeted by a teenager.”

Since then, however, several messages equally inconsequential but more serious in tone have led several experts to the conclusion Ms. Redford is actually sending the short statements herself for reasons that have not yet been fully explained. “It’s a mystery, and it may be some kind of code,” said one.

A radical fringe group of the ASS movement apparently agrees. “We’re not sure what she’s trying to tell us, but we hope it means she’ll soon be back among us,” said an unidentified member of the Alison’s Still Premier (ASP) Faction.

“Nothing’s changed in the government’s policies,” the ASP Faction member stated. “So what makes anyone think Alison isn’t still the premier?”

Monday, April 7, 2014

Alberta PCs adopt ‘negative option candidacy’ for leadership race

AUPE President Guy Smith with a familiar-looking woman, thought to be a government official.
All members of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Legislative caucus will be considered applicants for the party leadership unless they sign a declaration stating they do not intend to run, the party executive has decreed.

“The Progressive Conservative Association of Alberta has adopted ‘negative option leadership candidacy,’” the party said in a statement this afternoon. “Unless you say you’re not running, you’re a candidate.”

Under the “presumed consent” rule adopted by the party, the statement said, every caucus member is automatically considered to be a candidate unless they have specifically opted out in writing or have actually died.

“I have to tell you, including death as a reason for opting out was pretty controversial,” a spokesperson said. “There were those who thought we should try to find a way to bring back Ralph Klein, who we’re pretty sure could still beat the Wildrose Party!”

“Of course, we also welcome candidates who are not members of caucus, like Guy Smith,” said the spokesperson, who couldn’t be identified because no one wants to be identified with the Alberta Tories right now.

Smith, president of the 80,000-member Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, said in a statement on the union’s website on April 1 that he planned to join this summer’s PC leadership race. The story was clearly marked “April Fools.”

However, the PC spokesperson said: “April Fools or not, we consider Mr. Smith a candidate, and since he has access to union funds, we figure he can make the $50,000 payment.”

“This is a good thing because we need it pretty bad,” the spokesman said. “I don’t even know if we’d be prepared to let him back out with a notarized statement or something like that at this point!”

Saturday, April 5, 2014

National Gallery buys Stephen Harper portrait by George W. Bush

Artist George W. Bush’s portrait of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which was done in oils or acrylics or something.
The National Gallery of Canada has purchased a portrait of Prime Minister Stephen Harper from a collection of paintings of world leaders by former U.S. President George W. Bush for an undisclosed but “significant” sum.

“Very soon, Canadians will have an opportunity to view this important painting of one of our country’s greatest prime ministers, by George W. Bush, the most important U.S. political leader of our generation,” the National Gallery of Canada said in a news release. “The portrait will be on permanent display near the entrance of the National Gallery in Ottawa.

“We are very pleased to have acquired this historic portrait of a great Canadian painted by such an influential American,” the news release continued. “Clearly Mr. Bush is as good a painter as he was a president.”

In addition, the National Gallery said, it is in negotiations to exhibit the entire display of Bush’s portraiture – “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy” – when the current exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas, Tex., ends in early June.

Known for his contributions to U.S. political life, foreign affairs and business, the artist (who was born in 1946) is best known for his controversial self-portrait reclining in a bathtub.

Bush started painting in 2012 after reading a book about Sir Winston Churchill, a British politician who painted for relaxation in the 1940s.

“I wanted to present an authoritarian image of the people I admired when I was the Decider,” Bush said in notes to the exhibition. “You did a heckuva job, Harpy!”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Are ice and snow slippery? Edmonton study to find out

Cars and people navigate Edmonton’s snowy streets yesterday? Is this stuff slippery? We may soon know!

The City of Edmonton will commission a major study of the impact of ice and snow on driving conditions, says Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson.

“Specifically, we’re hoping to determine once and for all if ice and snow are slippery,” Mayor Iveson said today, as snow fell throughout the region.

“If it turns out they are, we’re for sure going to pass that information on to Edmonton’s drivers,” the mayor said. “There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that there might be something to this.”

Iveson said that if Edmonton drivers are made aware ice and snow are slippery, it may reduce the number of fall, winter and spring traffic accidents in Edmonton, and possibly even throughout the rest of Alberta and during the rest of the year.

“We might even eventually see lower insurance rates as a result,” he added.

Experts, however, are not so sure Edmonton drivers would change their habits even if they were given convincing evidence such conditions are slippery.

“It’s one thing to give people evidence, it’s quite another to get them to actually believe it,” said one expert, who cannot be identified because it’s too cold outside.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Canada, Alberta, oil industry to erect huge ‘Mother Oil’ statue near Fort McMurray

An artist’s rendering of the planned “Mother Oil” statue near Fort McMurray. The statue will be built in an oilsands sludge pond by a consortium of the Alberta government, the federal government and several energy companies.

The governments of Canada and Alberta, along with a consortium of energy companies, say they will erect a huge 40-metre statue to “Mother Oil” in an oil sands sludge pond near Fort McMurray.

“It was a rare moment of agreement for our two governments,” said a spokesperson for the Alberta Ministry of Petroleum Development and Environmental Considerations, who could not be identified because the entire provincial cabinet was in a secret meeting trying to figure out what to do about Premier Alison Redford.

“Even the premier was on board before she was put on the ‘work plan’ last week, and what she thinks now isn’t really that important,” said the Alberta spokesperson. “Anyway, Danielle Smith, the Opposition leader, is on board too, so we can be confident the project will move forward.”

A spokesperson for the federal government, who could not be identified because spokespeople for the federal government may not be identified, said: “Prime Minister Stephen Harper, leader of the Harper Government, was particularly pleased that this 50-metre statue will be even larger than the Mother Canada statue planned for Cape Breton.”

Mother Canada is big, but Mother Oil is even bigger, because it’s even more important that Canadians never forget just how important petroleum products are to our national economy. “As a matter of fact,” the gender-nonspecific spokesperson said, “hydrocarbons are about the only thing we have left. We don’t do manufacturing in Canada any more.

“Mother Oil is going to be so big we think she’ll be visible from the Space Shuttle, a user of Canadian hydrocarbon resources,” one of the spokespeople said.

Insiders in both governments indicated the inspiration for the giant 60-metre statue actually came from Rex Murphy.

“Wow! CAPP needs to hire Rex Murphy as a spokesperson for our energy industry: telling the crowd we should be proud of what we do,” Smith said in a Tweet. “Thank you, Rex,” she said in another.

The 70-metre-tall statue will hold a torch fuelled by natural gas, a waste product of petroleum extraction that is normally just burned off in Alberta. The statue is meant to humble spectators.