Last week wildfire tore through parts of Fort McMurray. It triggered the largest evacuation in Canadian history, displacing nearly 90,000 of Canada’s hardest working people.
The fire claimed about 2,400 structures including the homes of the leader of the official opposition, Wildrose MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin, Brian Jean and unofficial oilsands ambassador, Robbie Picard.
Times like these are when good leadership floats to the top. Brian Jean and fellow Wildrose MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Tany Yao have been helping wherever they can around Fort Mac. Both refused to take beds meant for evacuees even though they are truly just as much “evacuees” as the next person from Fort Mac. Jean and Yao slept in a tent near Anzac, south of Fort Mac until fire forced them to evacuate their camping spot too.
Times like these are also when bad leadership sinks to the bottom.
May 6, on an online Edmonton message board called Connect2Edmonton, a poster named Ian0 wrote:
“The Premier and a good portion of her cabinet were celebrating 1yr last night at Red Star.”
What? Out partying while Canada’s most important city burned? There was no way, right? They can’t be that tone deaf. Can they?
Yes, they can be.
The Red Star bar sent a tweet on May 5, that said:
“Thanks for stopping by Rachel Notley and congrats on your one year anniversary of being elected.”
As Fort Mac burned, as Brian Jean and Tany Yao slept in a tent and gave others the evacuee beds meant for them, as everyday Albertans found ways to help each other in our darkest hours by taking in evacuees and delivering food and fuel to strangers, the Premier was out celebrating.
Notley was celebrating in public in a downtown Edmonton bar. This wasn’t behind closed doors. It wasn’t a private reception with caucus. No. This was right out in the open. Right in our faces. It’s so brazen and so shameless. The Premier and her caucus couldn’t set aside their selfish celebration of their own accidental victory. They felt entitled to it; entitled to their little party.
This is Premier Notley saying “let them eat cake” while Albertans sleep on cots with only the clothes on their back.
PS: The Rebel continues to accept donations and volunteer sign ups at RebuildFortMac.ca.