This is an homage to a province I love, where my wife and I were married under the majesty of the Three Sisters in Canmore, where my Best Man makes his home in Calgary, where I got to celebrate the glory of the cattle culture at the Calgary Stampede, where I first got to watch a golden eagle soar underneath me from a peak in Waterton Lakes, heading south without a passport. For all the degradation that the oil industry has foisted on Alberta, remember this is also the province of the Flames and not just the traded away Oilers.
Witness the recent municipal elections where Calgary gets a forward thinking Muslim Mayor, and Toronto goes backward with Boss Hogg and his bother looking in the rear view mirror.
Alison Redford, I love you. Your thank you speech to your supporters, and your speech to Canada that declared uniquivocally, I love you Alberta; I love you Canada, that was perfect. Now THAT is national unity. The wild rose had too many thorns in this election campaign.
Who could live, mythologically and realistically, in a country without our Alberta cowboys, our Quebec Coureurs de Bois, our Maritime fishermen, our Prairie sodbusters, our BC foresters. And before that who could live in a Canada where we forgot that this country was ihhabited ten thousand years ago by our Asian ancestors – Japanese sea otter hunters, Siberian whalers who made small inroads on the west coast islands long before the Bering ice-bridge hunters crossed into the new world. The first Canadians were Asian. Full circle on immigration in British Columbia. And what of the "navies" and the "coolies", thank you, Gordon Lightfoot for reminding us, who t really took the railway coast to coast.
So, Alberta, in choosing diversity and unity over homophobia and racism, you have sent a beacon of hope to the rest of this marvellous country – wake up, Canada! Get your heads out of the potash Saskatchewan; congratulate Alberta, Ontario, and proclaim long and loud the impact of accererated climate change on the Arctic. We are Canadian!
Alison Redford, you have shown us the way whether you wear a Flames or a Canadiens jersey. It is the spirit of a country, coast to coast, with one citizen code that says simply "Speak Right, Act Right." You have won a victory for the inclusive kind of progressive conservatism that blessed the reigns of Peter Lougheed in Alberta and Bill Davis in Ontario. May the Spirit That Loves Life watch over Alberta, and may Canada learn a lesson in how to honour the Centre.
Skid Crease, Caledon