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 in response to pressure from Tory MLA Ted Morton, who was concerned that he already has a bad enough image as a right-winger. Insiders say he was afraid that he and the Tory caucus might be confused with an anti-abortion campaign. Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach says the name change has nothing to do with Mr. Morton and he is firmly in control of decisions in his caucus.

“The new name better reflects the actual strategy, which is to ensure that the province’s water is allocated to the areas of highest priority,” says Stelmach. “The new CrossIron Mills Mall is a world class shopping centre and will attract tourists and housewives from far and wide. This government has often been accused of not supporting women’s rights and I think this commitment to divert agricultural water to a shopping mall will silence all of those naysayers. What could be more important to women than shopping?”

The Tory government recently gave the thumbs up to the Western Irrigation District to sell a portion its water license for $15M so that the giant mall could be developed.

“This water situation is a real mess and I’m just too busy to focus on it with a leadership review coming up in a few months. I’ve got to get my priorities straight,” says Stelmach. “But I have convened an advisory panel to look at the water issue. I can’t reveal who is on the panel but I will say this…they will report directly to me, because I’m in charge here.”

The government says it will conduct extensive public consultation on the Water for the Wife initiative next year, after its advisory panel has had a chance to study the problem. The consultation sessions will be held over a three-day period at an undisclosed location in the middle of the day. A new group calling itself “Wives in Favour of Water for Shopping Malls” has set up a blog and a website and is praising the government’s initiative.

Stelmach says he just doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about but that any critics will be tracked down and booted out of the province. “What do they think this is? A democracy or something?”

The Calgary Herald deployed a squad of its best investigative reporters to investigate the mall. They have been reported missing however, and were last seen somewhere in the accessories section of H&M. Police say they don’t suspect foul play. “They appear to have suffered some type of mass hysteria and have been spotted throughout the mall in various locations buying random items and filing reports to the web. We’re using GPS to try and track them down as their families are extremely worried about their mental health.”

If found, the reporters will likely be immediately released back into the community for treatment in a new government program that trains homeless individuals to counsel each other on the street, rather than taking up important bed space in the health care system.

Stelmach says that a little “retail therapy” could probably do a world of good for down-on-their-luck Albertans. He recommended that people follow the government’s lead and give themselves a raise despite the gloomy economic outlook. “Although I would recommend cutting back on spending for things like medicine and school supplies,” advised Stelmach. “These are items that are just too expensive.”

On the day of the mall opening, the 7,000 car parking lot was full to overflowing and traffic was backed up for about three kilometres south of the mall. Environmental groups estimate that the vehicles commuting to the mall will emit about 3,000 tonnes of CO2 per week at this rate. The Tory government has simultaneously announced new “intensity-based” targets for mega-shopping malls in the province to ease fears by mall developers that they would be forced to implement costly emissions reductions targets. The Tories have said the malls will be asked to encourage a reduction of shopper’s emissions on a per vehicle basis rather than reduce overall emissions. In response, the mall announced a parking lot expansion and will reduce the size of its parking stalls to make it more difficult for large vehicles to fit. No word yet on whether this will make a whit of difference in the overall emissions.

In a related incident, a woman was reportedly “bumped” by a vehicle as she tried to stand in a parking spot at the mall and reserve it for her friend who was circling the lot in her Hummer. When asked about this, Stelmach quipped that it was probably his wife, so he’d better not comment until he gets home and chats with her.

Meanwhile, an ad agency has issued an apology for the television ads for the mall, which were reportedly filmed in a wheat field in the U.S. rather than in Alberta. The agency says they were unable to find a decent wheat field in Alberta due to the drought that has devastated the province this summer.

NOTE: This post is a work of pure fiction. Any resemblance to the truth or the facts is completely coincidental (and really unfortunate).

Inspirations:

Alberta poised to expand water market: Showdown looms as province reviews licensing system
http://www.ffwdweekly.com/article/news-views/news/alberta-to-expand-water-market-4018/

Drought, rising costs hurting Alberta farmers
http://www.canada.com/Drought+rising+costs+hurting+Alberta+farmers/1874570/story.html

Job loss fuels rise in bankruptcies
http://www.calgaryherald.com/business/loss+fuels+rise+bankruptcies/1884140/story.html

A new low for Calgary journalism
http://www.ffwdweekly.com/calgary-blogs/klaszus-corner/2009/08/19/a-new-low-for-calgary-journalism-158/

Megamall opening draws thousands, Calgary Herald http://www.calgaryherald.com/entertainment/Megamall+opening+draws+thousands/1911740/story.html

‘We screwed up,’ Alberta admits after using British beach photo in ads
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/04/24/edm-alberta-ad-england-photo-beach.html?ref=rss

More concerns, suspicions about Alberta Hospital cuts

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/08/20/edmonton-alberta-hospital-more-questions.html

CrossIron Mills Social Responsibility statement:
http://www.crossironmills.com/social-responsibility/

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2 thoughts on “Stelmach’s new “Water for the Wife” strategy

  1. Both parody and the hard news on which it’s based are plausible, but parody more so.
    More people need to see the Lipstick Project!

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