Whistler vs. Alberta Oil Climate Change Debate Heats Up
Last week the Village of Whistler created an avalanche of controversy by sending letters to Alberta oilsands companies asking for compensation for financial losses due to climate change. Alberta newspapers and social media channels blasted Whistler’s decision, but in BC, many other municipalities took Whistler’s side and wrote similar letters. Yesterday at the Canadian Pacific Energy Conference, representatives from each province debated on the topic, sparring over the most common talking points in their communities.
Representing the needs of British Columbia was Jane Stephenson, a UBC Sociology graduate and social media coordinator for the environmental NGO, Through Thinking. Displaying the needs of Alberta was Blake Ramsmen, the Chief Financial Officer for Calgary based energy company, Quantum Energy.
Doglotion was there to get exclusive coverage of the event that is setting the stage for the upcoming interprovincial climate change debates. Below is a rush transcription of the debate.
Jane Stepheson (BC Jane): Climate change is the most important threat we have facing us today so I’m glad I can be here having this conversation. Unfortunately, Canada has some of the world’s dirtiest oil, being produced in Northern Alberta, causing change in global temperatures, destroying wildlife habitat, increasing fires, decreasing snowfall, and ultimately harming Whistler’s tourism. All Whistler is asking for is compensation for lost revenue from warmer temperatures caused by polluters such as the tar sands.
Blake Ramsmen (Alberta Blake): I too am glad we’re having this conversation, but you shouldn’t blame a province that brings so much revenue into yours. We give you over a billion in tourist dollairs and many millions more when we purchase your hydro. That’s hydroelectric power, not hydroponic. Albertans are the best part of BC – we supply the fuel for your vehicles, buy your waterfront real estate and are the only thing keeping your jet ski industry alive. Are decent paying jobs contributing to climate change? I don’t think so. If you’re financially secure in BC, it’s from Alberta money.
BC Jane: BC doesn’t want dirty money from the oil sands. That’s why so many of us get UBC degrees in Sociology, History, and Linguistics. You’re almost guaranteed a barista job with that schooling. We want Canada to go 100% renewable by…….
Alberta Blake: Sorry, have to cut you off. I’m not allowed to listen to you complain, as our Premier has already called for a ban in BC whines. I just don’t understand why Whistler doesn’t love Alberta. Whistler loves freeskiing and we love tax free skiing. Why can’t we get along?
BC Jane: Yeah, I’m really surprised Alberta and Whistler guys don’t get along. I mean you both are self centered, greedy, and just want to lay pipe everywhere. Aside from that, in BC we’re inclusive and accepting of everything except for stupid stuff. We’ve had same-sex weddings here way before Alberta had them.
Alberta Blake: Well then, if you’re so LGBT friendly, then why do you hate the Trans Mountain Pipeline so much?
BC Jane: You’ll never understand BC, especially Whistler. Whistler is a mountain town who has perfectly blended nature with shoveling as many tourists into it as possible. We don’t need people like you to come here and act like loud-mouthed know-it-alls. That’s what our Australians are for.
Alberta Blake: BC has a lot to lose here. If you keep on asking for financial compensation, we’re going to take a bunch of our stuff back from you, starting with Eric Hjorleifson. Wheat is our biggest agricultural export, which we would take back from you, but it seems like everyone in British Columbia is gluten and logic intolerant. And Alberta is the breadwinner in Canada’s relationship. BC is the stay at home wife who complains about how they have nothing to do but use our money. Alberta money means Canadian prosperity. Your economy doesn’t work without us.
BC Jane: I don’t think you get it. BC wants to create a sustainable economy based around eco-tourism and logging approximately one billion trees per year. Tourists are a renewable resource. They come for our mountains, lakes, and musicians like Nickelback.
Alberta Blake: You mean our musicians Nickelback. They’re originally from the small town of Hanna, just outside of Calgary. And they definitely side with Alberta as far as creating more jobs and provincial revenue, allowing people to live more comfortable lives. Just listen to their lyrics from the song, “Burn It To The Ground.”
“We’re screaming like demons, swinging from the ceiling,
I got a fist full of fifties, the tequila just hit me,
We got no class, no taste, no shirt, and shit faced,
We got it lined up, shot down, firing back straight crown.”
This song is the embodiment of Alberta. And I mean come on. When was the last time someone from BC had a fist full of fifties?
BC Jane: Damn I love that song…. But I think Nickelback better represents BC with such environmentally conscious lyrics as,
“Cause we all just wanna be big rockstars,
And live in hilltop houses, drivin’ fifteen cars,
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap,
We’ll all stay skinny ’cause we just won’t eat.”
Ahhhh, shit you’re right. Nickelback is Albertan.
Alberta Blake: I guess you do love Albertans after all.
BC Jane: Damn, I guess you’re right.
Alberta Blake: Why don’t you jump in my lifted F350 and we’ll go see them play with Theory of a Deadman with me at BC Place tonight?
BC Jane: Are you paying?
Alberta Blake: Like I already told you. Alberta’s always paying.
Blake and Jane were last reported to be having a similar debate over prenuptial agreements and baby names.