Premier Jason Kenney’s war room (the Canadian Energy Centre created to defend the Alberta energy industry) has come under fire recently for taking an issue with the animated Netflix film ‘Bigfoot Family.’
Although the attention this has gotten has surely been an embarrassment to the UCP and reflects poorly on the centre, what is equally embarrassing and tiresome is the constant squabbling between the UCP and the official opposition.
Although Bigfoot Family is legitimately a terrible movie in and of itself, you’d think the province would have bigger fish to fry, such as anti-western sentiments in the east, or the Biden administration’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline.
Bigfoot Family is a cinematic travesty and problematic for several reasons.
The fictional Alaskan oil company is painted as a villain of ludicrous proportions that uses a non-existent method of extracting oil that completely destroys the land above and below the surface. The villain also makes repeated, violent attempts to murder the family, including using evil robotic drones.
The film is violent, uncomfortable to watch, and gives no intelligent dialogue about the energy industry.
Even FernGully, released in 1992, was more sensitive, evolved and artful than Bigfoot Family.
Although all oil and gas industries likely find this extreme portrayal offensive and an affront to the industry, as the villain also appears aggressively, stereotypically Texan and/or southern, Alberta has no particular reason to be ruffled by the film.
While going after a children’s film just makes Alberta Premier Jason Kenney seem, well, childish, the NDP’s response doesn’t seem much better.
The NDP blasted the Conservatives in a release, stating “More than 1,000 energy sector workers in Alberta were pushed into unemployment (March 16) as part of Cenovus’ purchase of Husky, at the same time as Premier Jason Kenney defended his use of taxpayers’ money to complain about children’s cartoons.
“While the pink slips were being distributed in Calgary, Energy Minister Sonya Savage was in Edmonton defending the multi-million-dollar failure of her war room and its recent campaign against a children’s cartoon, Bigfoot Family.”
It seems arbitrary to blame all the job losses on the Alberta government while giving no evidence that provincial policy had any influence on the companies’ decision to merge, and then to compare it to the Bigfoot Family issue. While the timing may be unfortunate, the two are not directly related.
And while the Bigfoot Family fiasco isn’t the best example of funds being used well, the concept of the war room is still needed to change perception of Alberta oil. The NDP’s call to reduce its budget to zero is over the top and characteristically anti-Alberta energy.
As the NDP have already put a call out for MLA candidates even though a provincial election is still two years away, it seems their focus is more on attacking the UCP to better their own chances in the polls, rather than working constructively together for solutions to issues.
The United Conservative Party (UCP) and the NDP are constantly at odds, with the Bigfoot Family debacle just being one on a long list of current criticisms. While a certain amount of criticism is expected from the opposition, it too often dissolves into childish bickering and attack propaganda.
What would really be refreshing, is if elected officials would work together in cooperations for the common good of the province.