Move aside Bigfoot Family, there’s a new cartoon on the block. Meet Billy Briquette!
The Canadian Energy Centre is launching a new cartoon series to educate young Albertans about the virtues of open pit coal mining in the Alberta Rocky Mountains.
“We’re taking our campaign against Sasquatch Family to the next level,” said CEC CEO Tom Olsen, who appeared at a Thursday morning press conference standing beside a life-sized Billy Briquette mascot.
The 100-episode cartoon series will feature Billy Briquette as he joins his friends Nixy the Wild Horse and Bobby Bitumen as they use teamwork to stop villains ranging from local town councils and country music stars to eco-left European bankers and coal dictators. Billy will also be joined in Episode 37 by his Australian cousin, Hector.
“My friends, for a long time oil has been in the crosshairs of the radical-urban-eco-bohemian-marxist-left and now they are targeting our democratic coal,” said Premier Jason Kenney, also standing uncomfortably close to the smiling life-sized piece of coal.
“Let me be clear, Alberta’s ethical mountain top removal of coal needs a champion and that’s why we’re introducing you to Billy today,” Kenney said.
The cartoon series also received praise from senior Alberta cabinet ministers.
“Changes to the Film and Television Tax Credit make productions like Billy Briquette possible,” said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation and director of the Canadian Energy Centre.
“I’m thrilled that productions like Billy Briquette will help drive diversification and provide customers to open pit coal mines across Alberta,” Schweitzer said.
“Alberta – with large coal reserves – is perfectly positioned to continue to offer investment in a stable and ethical democracy,” said Energy Minister Sonya Savage.
“Billy Briquette will showcase this to young Albertans and the investors across the world,” said Savage, who is also serves on the War Room’s board of directors.
Along with a wide variety of branded merchandise, bumper stickers and a theme song performed by Tom Olsen and the Wreckage, the life-sized lump of coal mascot is expected to visit more than 100 Alberta elementary schools in the next year. The cartoon series will be integrated into the new provincial Social Studies curriculum and be mandatory viewing for students in Grades One through Six.
After Netflix declined a proposal to stream the series, it was decided that the $25 million animated production will be viewable exclusively on the Canadian Energy Centre YouTube page.
Author’s note: Readers will note that today is April 1 and, as the Canadian Energy Centre is exempt from FOIP, we are unable to confirm that plans for the Billy Briquette cartoon series and associated merchandise are in the works.