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ad populum in alberta.

At this point, you’ve probably heard that the CBC has been banned from embargoed government lockups for a year. The ban comes after a CBC reporter leaked information in an interview before the recent Tory Budget release. Though I don’t have an issue with the government responding to the CBC (as one of their reporters broke the agreed embargo), it becomes even more interesting when you look at the recent relationship between the CBC and the Alberta Tories.

During and since the March 3 provincial election, CBC reporters Kim Trynacity and John Archer have been taking a more critical and investigative tone than the Tories are used to seeing in the mainstream media. At times during the provincial election, Trynacity seemed like more of a thorn in Premier Ed Stelmach’s side than the opposition parties as she didn’t rest in investigating the supposed 300,000 jobs that Stelmach claimed that Kevin Taft’s Liberals‘ environmental plan would cost Alberta (Stelmach later changed his statement).

But the 300,000 jobs incident is only one example of a string of not-so-factual “arguments” that Stelmach has bandied around since becoming Premier in 2007.

In an underreported statement last week, Stelmach lashed out at the United Nations for their insisting that Alberta follow through on Canada’s Kyoto Accord commitments. Stelmach seemed to claim that the United Nations was unfairly targeting Alberta due to Canada’s Alberta’s contribution to the United Nations mission in Afghanistan (it’s actually a NATO-led mission that Canada volunteered to join after September 11). Stelmach suggested that because Canadian soldiers from Alberta have died in Afghanistan, his government shouldn’t have to comply with Kyoto targets.

“Does it bother me a bit? Yes it does,” Stelmach said Thursday. “We´re in Afghanistan and just lost another soldier.

As someone who isn’t the biggest fan of the United Nations, I can think of close to 1,000,000 legitimate criticisms as to how the United Nations and the Kyoto Accord are flawed, but none of them include invoking the memory of a fallen Canadian soldier for pure political reasons.

Latching on to Stelmach’s argument that the United Nations was out to get Alberta was conspiracy enthusiast and Edmonton Sun politics/fish & game columnist Neil Waugh. Waugh’s column highlights the stark difference in the investigative tones of Alberta’s media. Rather than being interested in the accuracy of Stelmach’s statement, Waugh seems more interested in backing up Stelmach’s argument by making fun of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s name – aka: the Great Moon Pie. I think Waugh’s argument may have been non-existent had Ban Ki-Moon’s name been Joe Smith – aka: the Great Smith Pie (?).

And Alberta has an international image problem? I wonder why that could be?

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