Three things the UCP did that may not be incoherent but are still not okay


This week though, I’m going to flip the premise and talk about a few things that happened that may seem irrational on the surface, but when you consider a few additional factors, may not be completely incoherent. Be prepared, this is going to get a little disturbing in three major ways.

Bigfoot, thin blue line and big biking news


But beyond the sheer audacity of claiming a children’s fictional cartoon about an elusive, furry creature of folklore should be more - accurate - this whole episode is extremely disturbing from a censorship perspective. When you have the full force and resources of a government, trying to silence critics, including in the artistic realm, this is never acceptable. It’s an abuse of power. We should be alarmed, not just embarrassed.

Women’s lives and livelihoods are at greater risk but the government is unresponsive


UCP women instead used the opportunity to reinforce the idea that systemic discrimination against women is a myth and that we just need to “work hard” and “earn” our way to the top. This is an incredibly harmful attitude and serves to further oppress and discourage women who are struggling against the odds every day.

A dank meme, a grim situation and we now own a parole board


The Covid-19 response this week was particularly confusing. On Wednesday, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said it was important to keep the current restrictions in place a little longer in order to keep healthcare available for everyone. On Thursday, Minister Shandro said it was a grim situation, getting worse. Then, in a late-day news conference on Friday, the government announced things were going so well they were relaxing restrictions on gyms and restaurants.

Sign saying, "Do not enter if you have symptoms of Covid-19, racism, sexism, homophobia"

The dais of discontent


As images of Trump supporters violently attempting to take control of the government by force started appearing on Twitter, the symbolism of the moment became painfully clear. https://twitter.com/igorbobic/status/1346906369232920576 Soon, other images appeared. A guy carrying the Confederate flag (also a flag used by German neo-Nazis since the swastika is outlawed in that country) into the … Continue reading The dais of discontent

This pandemic is teaching us how a lack of action endangers others


Climate change is like that - we can’t see the body bags piling up right in front of us in most cases, but people are dying nonetheless. When it comes to climate action, don’t be like those anti-maskers promenading perversely on Stephen Avenue in a state of denial. Take action on climate change in any way you can and help save lives.

Leaks, whistleblowers and barber shops


Civil servants were holding their collective breath this week as a CBC investigative team released secret recordings of meetings held between Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and her team at Alberta Health. The bombshell story revealed an exasperated and cynical Dr. Hinshaw talking about her “uphill battle" with the UPC Cabinet and Premier … Continue reading Leaks, whistleblowers and barber shops

Managing issues brilliantly


The first question is why does Wolf do the things he does? The UCP were not even remotely on the moral high ground on this amendment. Did they not spot the glaring omission of Canada’s Indigenous genocide? They set themselves up for criticism by not doing their own homework, which generally involves…well…thinking about bills they are voting on in committee.

COVID-19 communication in Alberta is not working


Over the last two decades, communication practices during a crisis have evolved and adapted to changing technologies. One thing that has not changed in the last 20 years, however, is the need for simple, succinct messaging. There is a large body of knowledge out there on how to explain risks to people. There is also a highly researched best practice approach and a knowledgeable cohort of professional communicators across the globe who can help with communications in a crisis. There is no excuse for this kind of mixed messaging

UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform


It’s a cautionary tale for any volunteer-run, non-profit organization. The International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) is a respected association of professional communicators that has been around since 1970. Which is why I was shocked to learn that an upcoming professional development conference in Banff on October 27th featured Vivian Krause as the opening day … Continue reading UPDATE: We ALMOST gave a conspiracy theorist a platform

How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?


In early September, I was going through my email inbox reading and deleting the crazy amount of newsletters I’ve subscribed to (note to self: stop subscribing to so many) when a familiar name popped out from my screen.   Vivian Krause, lobbyist, writer and researcher in Canada (and Alberta) is known for her association with … Continue reading How about we not give conspiracy theorists a platform?

The Day After: Reflections on International Women’s Day


Another International Women’s Day has come and gone and along with it another round of clever hashtags, hopeful social media posts and frankly, hollow pledges of support. We’ve been through it before. Some of us have been through it more times than others and after a while, there’s a certain fuming cynicism that sets in. … Continue reading The Day After: Reflections on International Women’s Day

Stelmach’s new “Water for the Wife” strategy


The following is a parody...just to be totally clear. Calgary - The Stelmach government is on track with its new "Water for the Wife" strategy and the opening of the new CrossIron Mills Mall in Balzac this week marked its launch. The water plan, previously known as the "Water for Life" strategy, was changed partly … Continue reading Stelmach’s new “Water for the Wife” strategy

TILMA trade agreement thumbs its nose at democracy


Originally appeared on the Alberta Green Party’s website in 2008. Remember the protests that erupted this past summer in Montebello, Quebec, as Prime Minister Harper and President Bush met to discuss the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) of North America? When politicians tried to show how the SPP would permit commodities such as jelly beans … Continue reading TILMA trade agreement thumbs its nose at democracy

A river runs through it: Stampede Park partners for environmental preservation


By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in the Saddle Bag newsletter, official newsletter of the Calgary Stampede, Summer 2005 Preserving the past is one of the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede’s core values and protecting the environment is a part of preserving the past. To help fulfill this goal, the Stampede is partnering with other organizations to … Continue reading A river runs through it: Stampede Park partners for environmental preservation

Taking the show on the road: Centennial trail ride brings the country to the city


By Jody MacPherson Originally published in the Saddle Bags Newsletter, Calgary Stampede, Summer, 2005 You won’t see this kind of horsepower on Glenmore Trail every day. In fact, you might not see it ever again! On July 3, 2005 this busy commuter route in south Calgary will funnel about 200 of the Stampede’s bucking horses … Continue reading Taking the show on the road: Centennial trail ride brings the country to the city

Okotoks bike team takes on 24 Hours of Adrenaline


By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in the Western Wheel newspaper, August 11, 2004 A five-man team from the Okotoks area endured one of the toughest mountain bike races in North America on one of the hottest weekends of the summer. The team was competing in the annual 24 Hours of Adrenaline held July 17-18 in Canmore. The huge relay … Continue reading Okotoks bike team takes on 24 Hours of Adrenaline

Warming up the “empty nest”


By Jody MacPherson Originally published in C3 Views newsletter, Climate Change Central, November, 2003 1981. It’s the beginning of a new decade and hopes are high. Pierre Elliott Trudeau is at the height of his popularity, having won the first referendum on Quebec sovereignty. Across the nation, Pac-Man is the video game of choice. Canadians … Continue reading Warming up the “empty nest”

Life as a house: Colouring your blueprints green


By Jody MacPherson Originally published in C3 Views newsletter, November, 2003 Energy. It’s defined as “exertion of power,” or “expression of vigour.” The word brings to mind action and movement. How is it then, that a house, nestled peacefully in a neighbourhood, silent and watchful, is such a voracious consumer of energy? According to the … Continue reading Life as a house: Colouring your blueprints green

Thinking Outside the Barn Improves Investment Return


By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in C3 Views (Climate Change Central newsletter) in September, 2003 For farmers struggling with severe drought and the recent case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) – or  “mad-cow disease” – in Alberta, sinking large sums of money into manure might not sound very appealing. Lynda Skene, a partner in Genesis … Continue reading Thinking Outside the Barn Improves Investment Return

From Heaps to Heat: Manure as a Power Source


By Jody MacPherson This article appeared originally in C3 Views Newsletter, a publication of Climate Change Central From Heaps to Heat: Manure as a Power Source It’s often the subject of derisive jokes and schoolroom giggles. We’re annoyed when we step in it and offended by its odour. But it may be time to start … Continue reading From Heaps to Heat: Manure as a Power Source

Deadly bacteria in manure tainted water in Walkerton


By Jody MacPherson Originally appeared in C3 Views (Climate Change Central Newsletter) in September, 2003 It had been “raining cats and dogs” for two days straight, so when April 22, 2000 dawned sunny and clear in Bruce County, Ontario, Dr. David Biesenthal welcomed the break in the weather. He decided to move 70 tons of … Continue reading Deadly bacteria in manure tainted water in Walkerton