When all was said and done, when the paparazzi with their cameras had left after covering the one of the worst public relations gambles ever taken by a premier of Alberta, the James Cameron oil sands tour ended up being more buzz then progress.
And a complete waste of thousands of taxpayer dollars.
The whole mess could have been easily avoided if Ed Stelmach had shown any kind of real leadership. Our oil sands industry has come under increasing scrutiny by the enviroNazi movement, who has chosen Alberta’s energy sector as their latest cause célèbre.
Using misinformation and lies, the radical left has chosen spread falsehoods to play on the emotions and nativity of the masses who have had years of eco-guilt bashed into them.
James Cameron tours the oil sands
Facts never get in the way of a leftwing movement.
So it should have come as no surprise when Cameron blurted out his comments, calling the oil sands a ‘black eye’ for Canada. At least he later admitted his complete ignorance on the subject.
That’s when Stelmach should have either done nothing – Cameron’s confession effectively killed his previous criticism – or at least should have brought the hammer down.
Issuing Cameron an invitation for a tour was a mistake of the highest self-inflicted kind. Either Stelmach was trying to call a bluff (and attempt to show Albertans that, contrary to popular belief, he did in fact have balls), or he really did think that he would be able to change the mind of a Hollywood liberal who has a long pro-environmentalism history.
One can’t help but ponder how Ralph Klein would have handled the situation.
Premier Ed Stelmach
It should have been obvious to Ed Stelmach that there was an agenda at play. The fact that Cameron’s first meeting was with Native leaders who have long complained about alleged water pollution caused by the oil sands is proof enough.
When it was reported soon after that Cameron had pledged to ‘support’ Native lawsuits against the Alberta government, before any kind of tour or meeting with actual environmental experts, his true intent was revealed and confirmed.
Luckily, the entire visit was met with a collective yawn outside our borders.
But here in Alberta, most of us – including scores of traditional Progressive Conservative supporters – are asking what Stelmach could have been thinking.
At a time when the jewel of our economy is under increasing fire, Alberta needs real leadership. It is imperative that we have a government which will use effective, proactive measures to counter the negative spin.
Grabbing your ankles for a self-involved film maker just isn’t good enough.