Monday, April 27, 2009

Little beach house on the prairie

Who said nothing ever happens in Canada? I did? Well, I take it back. Something happened just the other day, in Alberta.

Cabinet ministers in "the energy province" are saying there is nothing embarrassing or misleading about using a photograph of an English beach in an advertising campaign designed to improve the province's global image.

This gives rise to several interesting questions.

First, where the heck are these English beaches? Would that be Kinosoo Beach over in Cold Lake? Haven't noticed too many folks taking high tea there. Or maybe Moose Lake. That place is full of English toffs wakeboarding and waterskiing and showing off for the young ladies. Hardly a square metre available to set up your beach brolly. No, I'll bet they're thinking about Sir Winston Churchill Provincial Park on Lac La Biche. There you go, nothing more English than old Winnie.

Second, hasn't the cabinet heard from the multiculturalism authorities over at Citizenship and Immigration Canada? Quebec will be pissed! I mean, geez, they're definitely going to need some French beach scenes in the campaign. I'd recommend the topless beaches in Cannes. Definitely some nice counterpoints to the English theme.

Third, are Alberta legislators aware that the Atlantic does not actually splash upon the province's soil and, if not, should geography be reintroduced to the high school curriculum?

Fourth, what is happening on those Alberta beaches that, if seen, would repel tourists? Other than all the Englishmen wakeboarding, and sitting around in black socks eating crumpets and jam, that is. (Sorry, flashed back to an old Carry On Gang movie just then.) We need to know before we book that little ivy-covered cottage at the end of the lane, the one with the thatched roof and the rose trellis.

Finally, what is the "global image" of Alberta, and why does it need improving? Hmmm. Perhaps Whitehall can advise.

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