Canceled Trip, Canceled Leadership

Dear Editor,

I was going to drive up east of Innisfail to DNA Gardens today with 8-10 of my neighbours here in Calgary. We had plans to visit the gardens, have a coffee with a slice of pie, buy some local jams and fruit wine, and then drive 20 minutes further to Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park for some hiking and canoeing.

Those plans are cancelled because today’s air quality index is a 9 out of 10. I could smell the smoke in the air when I got out of bed this morning. And I couldn’t see the horizon out my window.

Mind you, I’ve got it easy. I haven’t had to evacuate my home like tens of thousands of Albertans, or the 3000 residents of Yellowknife who have been sheltering in Calgary these past couple of weeks. Nor am I a family member of the four firefighters who have lost their lives in Canada this year.

We, and much of Canada, are having yet another terrible wildfire season because of climate change. Warmer temperatures can suck the moisture out of vegetation, leaving it tinder dry and ready to burn. Yet for some reason, our recently elected UCP Gov’t is incapable of saying the words “climate change”.

Tough issues call for strong leadership, and for speaking uncomfortable truths. We have yet to see that from our Provincial Government.

Roger L. Gagne

Calgary, AB