Cherry Ferguson Award: Melissa Blake
[Editor’s Note: In a scrum with reporters late in his fourth, scandal-plagued term as Premier of Nova Scotia, John Buchanan famously defended one Cherry Ferguson, a favoured civil servant who’d been discovered to be holding down three senior provincial government jobs. His exact words are lost to history, but they ran along these lines: “She doesn’t have three jobs. She’s Deputy Clerk of the House, Chief Electoral Officer, and a lawyer for the Workers’ Compensation Board. That’s not three jobs.” To honour this great moment in political communication, Contrarian from time to time presents the Cherry Ferguson Award to an official who can stare an obvious but unpleasant truth in the face, in broad daylight, where all the world can see it, and declare it not to be there.]
Today’s award goes to Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Wood Buffalo Regional Municipality, who voiced pique at singer Neil Young’s declaration that Fort McMurray is “a wasteland” that “looks like Hiroshima.”
When people say it’s a wasteland, it really and truly isn’t. When it comes to the community of Fort McMurray, you’re overwhelmed, frankly, by the beauty of it. You’ve got an incredible boreal environment that’s all around you. You proceed further north into the oil sands and inevitably, there’s mining operations that will draw your attention because they take up large chunks of land.
Fort Mac is part of Mayor Blake’s Wood Buffalo municipality. Feast yours eyes on the beauty of its surroundings.
And finally, the trailer for Petropolis, a Greenpeace advocacy doc on the Tar Sands: