Whistle when you’re low

By Ruth Davenport

When people ask why I moved to Alberta from Ontario I’m never quite sure. After four years of searching, I think I have the answer.

Fearless Calgary-Fort MLA Wayne Cao, in a press release oozing warm ‘n’ fuzzies, recently announced his Private Member’s Resolution to create and legislate the Official Alberta Song in honour of Alberta’s approaching centennial in 2005.

So many chortles, so little time.

Mr. Cao states that "the process of soliciting for the song from the public will certainly generate an exciting time and invoke deep feelings for our province."

Somewhere in my heart of hearts, I knew the day would come when another Canadian province would stand up and follow Newfoundland’s daring lead and legislate recognition of their provincial song. I knew (how could I doubt it) that province would be dashing, debonair and Newfie-loving Alberta. I knew that when it happened, I had to be there.

I’m already all hot and bothered by the prospect of the "exciting time" that the song "solicitation" will "generate." Will this be solicitation of the door-to-door type? Will there be open mike nights in the legislature? Maybe every Albertan should get a Mad Lib sheet sent to them to fill in with their unique combination of deeply-felt words.

And why stop at an official song? Mr. Cao states that the proposed law "will result in the uplifting spirit and happy expression for each and every Albertan." Why not send the happiness of the expression right through the roof and legislate an official dance? Just think of the exciting time that solicitation will generate. My spirits already lift at the thought of a chorus line decked out in cowboy boots, the Alberta Tartan and swinging around the Lodgepole Pine. Oh, it will be a happy day when my voice is artistically expressed by the same people that put Stockwell Day in power.

And it just doesn’t stop! Mr. Cao goes on to point out that although Alberta has a number of official emblems that reflect the "grandeur" of our province such as the Bighorn Sheep and the Petrified Wood Stone, an official song will go deeper and stay in the hearts of Albertans at home and abroad. I can’t argue with this, as Bighorn Sheep are tough to pack and Petrified Wood Stones are bloody difficult to come by. When stranded in hostile territory like Ottawa, Albertans can just whistle a happy tune and bask in the immediate sensation of being loved, taking deregulation up the tailpipe and having a gun that’s not registered.

As Albertans, we all owe Mr. Cao a vote of thanks for having the moxie to stand up and follow Newfoundland’s fearless precedent. Once the song has been recorded–by Ian Tyson, I’m sure–we’ll all have another reason to hail the Alberta Advantage.

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