In keeping with the season, Alberta did receive visits from three Canadian politicians from the Trudeau Liberal government - collectively referred to as the Three Unwise Men.
The first Unwise Man brought the gift of hot air, and told us he felt our pain. This one, Prime Minister Trudeau, was greeted by the throngs and multitudes of Calgary who made it plain that they were fed-up with Ottawa's inaction to resolve Alberta's energy crisis.
The crowd cried out, asking what else this Unwise Man had brought to relieve their suffering. But there were no other gifts (unless you're a Canadian media organization, in which case there is a $600 million fund of taxpayer dollars - so long as you don't anger the Unwise Men with your news or commentary).
And then the second Unwise Man came, bringing the gift of taxes. This second one, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, was also greeted by a large crowd of Calgarians, who pointed out to him how much Ottawa benefited from Alberta taxes and equalization payments, and demanding that something be done to help those struggling in these tough economic times.
But this second Unwise Man also turned a deaf ear to the cries of Albertans, saying that he had already given us the gift of the Trans Mountain pipeline by nationalizing it, even though that's not what Albertans either wanted or needed.
The third Unwise Man, an Albertan himself, decided not to come to Calgary in person since the other two had been met with anger and demands of action, and instead brought the gift of an op-ed for Alberta's papers - an op-ed he hoped would win support for the other Unwise Men, since he feared losing his seat in the next election.
This Unwise Man, Liberal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, wrote: "Alberta, this [Trudeau Liberal] government has always had your back, and always will."
And then laughter and scorn erupted across the province, as each and every Albertan knew that this was false, and the opposite of what they knew in their hearts to be true - namely, that our unwise Prime Minister once said that "Canada isn't doing well right now because it's Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda. It doesn't work."
Perhaps the Three Unwise Men need to be reminded of their government's supposed back-having for Alberta:
- They canceled the Northern Gateway pipeline, and then passed a bill banning tanker traffic on BC's Northern coast so that no pipeline could ever be built there.
- They changed the National Energy Board's criteria for pipeline approval so that the Energy East couldn't possibly meet the new rules, forcing TransCanada to cancel it.
- They've done nothing - absolutely nothing - after the Federal Court of Appeal went well beyond its mandate and stopped the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion.
And so it came to pass that the Three Unwise Men, having brought their dubious gifts to Alberta, did return to the East, to land of not caring and indifference, disappointed that they were not able to foster tidings (and ridings) of comfort and joy in a province still reeling from their government's policies.
Meanwhile, in Alberta, they looked to the coming of a 2019 federal election in which the Three Unwise Men might be sent packing, and a new conservative government elected that would actually stand up for Alberta's energy sector, and bring it the gift of new pipelines.
Pipelines that would indeed bring joy (and Alberta oil) to the world.
Alberta Can't Wait