My Response to Rick Bell’s Column

The original article


Ah Rick, one line in your column from Wednesday was right on the money:
“This is propaganda and how many Albertans want dollars going to propaganda?”

Probably very few of us.  And, yes, Dirty Oil is propaganda.  So is the $25 million the government plans to spend promoting the oil sands’ environmental record. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am certainly not an environmental nutbar.  I have voted Conservative in every election I’ve been eligibly for.  But, only a fool would believe the oil sands are NOT an environmental disaster.  We can say it however we want, but it’s a mess.  The key thing is that some of us are willing to pay that price for the oil.  I don’t see a wind-powered car.  Even electric vehicles get that power from some source which is likely dirty.  All too often the environmentally-friendly option simply costs too much.  I’m willing to pay the price to develop the oil sands so I can continue to drive my car to work and take my RV on vacations. 

However, if the government chooses to fund the arts they need to fund all the arts, not just ones that agree with their politics.  Even though I helped vote this party into power, I don’t want to see things that only reflect their vision. 

Being a true conservative means being brave and smart enough to look at both sides of an issue and debate it on its merits.  You don’t debate issues by trying to silence those who bring different views to the table.  The government is mishandling this situation — they should be highlighting how they are funding all arts, even those they disagree with.  It would go a long way to addressing the fears of those who think big oil actually pulls the puppet stings of this government.  Seeing the reaction of the government to this film certainly makes me wonder if we are voting for our leaders or for mere figureheads.

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