What Canadian politicians have forgotten

[It should go without saying that this is an opinion piece: my opinion. It may not be yours. Politically, I’ve been centre most of my life. Today? I genuinely don’t know.]

Alberta has entered another provincial election, our fifth since the beginning of the millennium (that’s every three years, on average). And in Alberta, a province of wealth and entitlement, that means the old guard fending off competitors who dare lay siege to the castle, replete with feces-slinging (we’re well past mere mud), ethically-laden promises, and scare tactics, from all sides.

Canada is also heading down the road to a federal election, which by schedule we will see this fall. We will likely see the same slinging and fearmongering, not only because the same mentalities are at play, but because we’ve been witnessing the preamble for several months, now.

And all of it has shown one thing: that our politicians have forgotten about Canadians.

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A musical evening in Red Deer

I know what you’re thinking: Red Deer? Music? Honestly, what on Earth are you thinking, Geoff? You haven’t exactly had the most … inspiring of times in Red Deer. Okay, I admit, I’ve not got the best stories of this, our third largest city in Alberta, but it’s far from the armpit of Alberta. And I had good reason, y’know!
Back in July, during the Calgary Stampede, the Tragically Hip played the Calgary Roundup, the outdoor concert of the year. I had wanted to go, but I totally messed up where the tickets were sold (stupid me, I thought it was Ticketmaster), and by the time I’d realised it … it was too late. Sold out, and I was out of luck.
This is what brought me to Red Deer.
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The Lake Louise Ice Magic Festival

On Friday, I came across an ad — I think it was through the @VisitCalgary Twitter feed — that there was an Ice Magic Festival at Lake Louise, and the picture I saw featured a castle made of ice. Given that the Monkey is utterly enthralled with princesses and whatnot (oh, how I wish I could take her back to England right now…), and we’re always looking for something interesting to do on weekends, this sounded like a great idea!
I had to convince Alex. It’s a two hour drive, which means potentially ineffective naps and not eating ideally (even if we take all the food with us, it’s selective due to limited space). The weather played well in our favour, but it was still a long way to go. But I apparently made my case well, as we got ourselves up early, got our things together, and headed out the door around 9:30 this morning.
Today was one of those days when you really have to remember that I should never be the one making plans…
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There was an election?

Yep, believe it or not, there was an election in Alberta yesterday. Provincial. New MLAs, new premier (in theory), all that jazz. In most provinces, it’s usually time of actual change — old regimes are voted out, new ones come to power, more scandals (from different angles), and (this is the important part) an opposition party that actually has some teeth.
But this is Alberta. Nothing ever changes in Alberta. The PCs being in an overwhelming majority is like the sun coming up in the morning.
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A bullet train in Calgary?

I just came across a rather … well, odd article on CBC.ca. It’s a blueprint for 2018. Apparently, the Calgary City council thinks that there should be a bullet train from here to Fort McMurray.
Someone’s been sniffing oil fumes too much, methinks.
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Surprise weekend in Edmonton

It’s been a while since our last surprise weekend (see [[Surprise Visit to Drumheller]]), but not for a lack of wanting. We’ve been that busy. Either Alex has had to work (the joys of working in the medical community) or we’ve both been traveling. This weekend was the first one we’d had to get away.
It was a bit of a special one, but for no other reason than we’d barely seen each other in almost three weeks. I was away in San Jose for a conference (see [[Search Engine Strategies Conference 2004 San Jose, Calgary to San Jose]]), followed immediately by the Calgary Dragon Boat Festival (see [[2004 Calgary Dragon Boat Festival]]), and then Alex was off in Ontario for a week and a half. So I had to plan this weekend’s getaway so we’d have some time to ourselves.
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Surprise Visit to Drumheller

This weekend was a bit of a surprise. Not that it suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, but that until something happened, I had no idea what was yet to come.
The weekend started with the one thing I did have control over: a barbecue. Specifically, the first Jerks BBQ of the summer. What is a “Jerks BBQ”, you might ask? The group of people that I work with most around the office are The Jerks. Effectively, we’re mostly web developers. Why “Jerks”? Well, we have a rather odd term of endearment around here: “JERK!”. Hence, we’re Jerks.
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Turning Japanese Again, Returning to Canada

I can’t even call this a “last day”. Yesterday, really, was our last day. Today is the packing/travelling day.
And the day to say goodbye to dear friends. I hate leaving friends behind.
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