An interesting article in the Calgary Herald today, detailing how the "Re-think Alberta" campaign is making provincial politicians jump. Apparently Angus Reid surveyed 4000 Canadians, Americans and Britons and found that after watching the campaign video clip
(complete with shots of dying oil-soaked ducks) folks were less keen on visiting the province. Shocking.
All of this has sparked a great deal of conversation among the province's political leaders about potential responses. The Liberals want real action like dry tailings ponds and a hard cap on greenhouse gas emissions. The Wildrose Party seems to think the province should be bringing the PR fight to international audiences (knock yourselves out), while the present Tory government has launched a $268,000, taxpayer-funded pro-oilsands marketing campaign that is aimed at Albertans themselves...apparently an effort to circle the wagons and to reassure voters that everything is okay, and that they should be proud of what's happening in their province.
A quote from the article:
"Stelmach noted the government is beginning its communication efforts within provincial borders to better inform citizens and have them stand up and show their pride. He believes Albertans don't fully understand the size of the oilsands and how much is actually mined."
Sounds like an ill-advised effort to persuade citizens of the government's version of the truth - even the Wildrose Party doesn't like it. It also seems like yet another tax-payer funded subsidy to the oil and gas sector (shouldn't they be fitting their own PR bills?), not to mention that it actually multiplies the effect of the original "Re-think" campaign by showing Albertans that their province is under fire.
Citizens can smell greenwashing and government propaganda a mile away.
Keep on rethinking Alberta, it looks good on you!