By Tim Kalinowski
While attending the Alberta Wide Rally on Saturday in Medicine Hat, I encountered people there who were passionately angry and, more sadly, dangerously depressed about the state of the Alberta economy.
Many who came out to the rally were those marginalized by the system, those who have lost jobs in the oil patch and those who felt like the Alberta they knew was slipping further and further away every day as NDP policies and the bitter bite of the province’s economic woes continue to sink in.
Some who came held up signs, others shouted out their defiance and anger at the government, and yet others stood in mute despair, waving the flag of protest but not putting much heart into it.
It was a rally like I have never encountered before. When the Bill 6 protests were happening last year there was energy, defiance and anger. Pretty normal emotions at most protests or rallies I have been to. With this rally there was an overpowering sense of desperation, hopelessness and surrender. An army already beaten before it could take to the battlefield. Too many casualties of the economic climate already, I got the sense, with no prospect of rising fortunes anywhere.
I think Saturday was the day Alberta hit rock bottom.
Where do we go from here? Well really, there is no place to go but up. If I can take one positive thing from Saturday, that would be it.
To those I spoke with or encountered at the Alberta Wide Rally, the government may not be listening, but I hear you. And many other Albertans hear you. Do not be afraid. Remember this instead: God loves you. Your children love you. Your spouse loves you. Your friends and other family members love you. Things are bad today, I know, but in a few months they will be better.
Me and all your fellow Albertans are pulling for you.