05.05.2016 01:02 PM

At the 1:30 mark, this gets actually terrifying

And, after watching it, I say to anyone – from the Left or the Right – who is trying to turn this catastrophe into a political victory for your side: shame on you.


  1. Lorne says:

    Shame on you for trying to ignore its larger implication. Don’t try to confuse the issue by claiming ideological distortions.

  2. Joe says:

    Not a left of right comment but as time goes on here it is becoming more and more evident that the provincial government is utterly incompetent. There were oilsand’s fire fighting assets offered and refused to fight the fire before it destroyed Fort Mac. People were left to fend for themselves even as the government spent hours dousing their building with the only helicopter in the air. Even today when there is talk about getting the people out of the camps north of Fort Mac the government is talking about mobile gas stations to help those who are short of fuel. How noble but there are and have been from the outset people with fuel tanks on their trucks that are stopping to help people who ran out of gas. Finally the government is talking about flying people out with the Armed Forces but the oilsands companies have their own airplanes and their own airports and if the government had set up refugee centers in Edmonton or Calgary the oilsands companies would have flown the people out on Tuesday.

    • Ted H says:

      Gee Joe, I’d definitely say you are politicizing this situation, do you think Conservatives would have done any better responding to an unexpected, uncertain and unpredictable situation?

      • Joe says:

        Well Ted I honestly don’t know who to blame the elected or unelected officials. What I do sense is that in their hour of need their government(s) were not there. While Premier Notely is the person we look to for leadership in a crisis her press briefing after the evacuation began did not inspire confidence. Instead of laying out a game plan she opened with ‘I was just talking to the PM” and it went down hill from there. I suspect she is thoroughly embarrassed and likely ashamed of her actions in the legislature the day before when she accused the Leader of the Opposition of fear mongering when he asked her why she had reduced the fire fighting budget from $500,000,000.00 to $86,000,000.00.

    • Charlie K says:

      “Utterly incompetent”.

      Says the guy sitting behind a computer doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the provincial government’s crisis management.

      Do us a favour Joe, get up and go do something to help rather than criticizing people who couldn’t care less about what you have to say. Your disapproval of the provincial government at this moment of time is utterly irrelevant.

      You’re online bitching is doing nothing to help those families effected by the fire.

      • Joe says:

        So Charlie if there was a raging fire heading toward your home and your neighbour who just so happens to have every bit of fire fighting equipment imaginable and has a bunch of highly trained fire fighting buds who are looking for an excuse to fight a fire and you decline your neighbour’s offer of help should I call you competent? Or if you decided to save the money you usually spend on maintenance for your car, putting the money you regularly spend on oil changes into your pizza budget should we all call you competent when the engine of your car seizes up in the middle of your morning commute?

        • Charlie K says:

          It sounds like you’re implying that the provincial government intentionally declined assistance; or, rejected the possibility of mitigating a disaster knowing full well the extent of the devastation but, nonetheless, they opted to allow the destruction to proceed because of willful indifference(?)

          Either way, I don’t really care. For all I know the provincial government may have completely mishandled the response due to a variety of reasons ranging from unpreparedness to underfunding. My point still stands, the fire is still raging on and people are still barely comprehending the devastation. You preaching on about the competency of the provincial government from behind your keyboard achieves nothing but undermining the efforts to help while pointlessly politicizing the matter.

          You’re fanning flames.

  3. Eric Weiss says:

    Shame indeed. I’m in the south Okanagan and a couple of fruit pickers from Quebec in their 20’s were spouting off about how much Albertans deserve this because of climate change. I was in the middle of getting up to walk over, the kindly older lady who owned the resaurant we were in saw me and got in between me and the kids and calmly explained that with the dry conditions in our area and Kelowna’s past history with forest fires, that there may be a chance the same thing could happen here and that they just may need to rely on the kindness of their fellow Canadians in that case, and that the decent thing to do was to count their blessings and think about the people who lost everything.

    the kids looked ashamed and embarrassed, and apologized. She turned around and gave me a wink and I sat down and finished my breakfast. Not sure what I was going to do when I got to that table, but I was spitting mad. Her compassion made me feel ashamed for getting angry. I’m glad she was there to remind me that good people alway outnumber the assholes. They always have.

  4. Ron says:

    Wow. And so far everyone got out ? It’s a miracle.

  5. liamyoung2323 says:

    Shame, no. Obligation to understand what happened and what or if we should do something in the future: absolutely.
    I appreciate your intent Warren by saying that we shouldn’t point fingers, but there are millions of people across the country who would like to see this prevented in the future. As such, this is political whether we like it or not.

    • billg says:

      I gotta ask, how exactly do you stop forest fires? And I didnt say prevent, we all know how to prevent them.

  6. Pipes says:

    This is so hard to watch especially when you know what comes next. Your entire life savings up-in-smoke and it will be hassle-after-hassle with Insurance Companies and perpetual waits for the Government to do something tangible. Restoration is months away.

    I am praying for all of them and I hope JT will fast track real recovery assistance as well as the Province.

    These poor folks appeared to be trapped in a fireplace.

  7. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Our thoughts and prayers are with them. Glad I support the Red Cross.

  8. Maps Onburt says:

    A pox on all their houses. I’m amazed that the drivers in that video were as courteous and orderly as they were… The fires were a hundred feet tall and about the same distance away, sparks are landing on the cars and there were no horns, obnoxious drivers and people letting others in. I wish it could honestly say that I’d be that gracious if I was fighting to get my family out knowing I was leaving everything behind. That’s the real story here. The others should be ashamed of themselves.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      if it were me i would be more terrified of traffic going haywire than anything. I bet when it comes most people become super sane drivers.

  9. Neil says:

    I am going to try to turn this into a political victory…..teachers are not respected enough in our society or paid enough….in Alberta over the next couple years, there will be a lot of demand for cutbacks and teachers will be targeted. When that happens let’s remember this.


  10. doconnor says:

    As the NRA always says, you should never talk about gun control when there has just been a mass shooting.

  11. Bill Templeman says:

    Warren, you are right on the money on this one. I have been following Ezra Levant’s Twitter and Facebook feeds since #ymm broke, the putative “Rebel Commander”. Nonsensical, partisan bilge. Competitive fundraising. Daring leftists to donate. This is beyond a left-right issue. Ezra has jumped multiple sharks on this one.

    • Charlie K says:

      I still don’t get why he doesn’t encourage people to donate directly to the RedCross, like every other Canadian is doing.

      Why is he insisting that people donate to his fund so that he can pass it on to the RedCross?

      Its an unnecessary middle-man process that achieves nothing other than exploiting public attention to raise awareness of his own brand. I can’t believe no one is calling him out on this.

      • Bill Templeman says:

        We need more fora in Canada where thinkers of all political stripes can exchange ideas, try to understand each other and work towards solutions to tough issues that cut across party lines. For example, the discussions that Peter Gzowski hosted years ago on CBC radio between Dalton Camp, Eric Kierans and Stephen Lewis were illuminating in that these three guys actually tried to understand each other. They challenged assumptions, insisted on evidence and were focused on outcomes, not scoring political points. But Levant is simply all spin, all the time, evidence be damned. He is just a propaganda mill, not a thinker. He gets credit for being a savvy hustler in a tough business these days (media) and he gets full points for his entrepreneurship. But his messages are utterly vapid, devoid of evidence and mostly just opinions posing as facts. The next Preston Manning he is not. And on the Fort Mac tragedy he is every bit as ideologically off-base as the environmentalists babbling about karmic retribution for the oil workers. This is a time to come together, not to take cheap political shots. Uncle Ezra doesn’t appear to get that….

        • Charlie K says:

          Won’t argue with you there.

          I think its fair to say that “the Rebel” is an echo chamber for group (not so insignificant) on the fringes of the Conservative party. Particularly, the ones that rarely got what they wanted during the Harper era but were gratified by the notion that “their guy” was in.

          The problem is this is an echo chamber that amplifies xenophobic and faux social-conservative opinions. They are very removed from reality, but are constantly reinforced by Levant flaming the “us versus them” rhetoric. Its not dissimilar to the method Glenn Beck uses in the south to rally some very sociopathic characters around a cause he is willing to champion.

          When the Conservative party lost the election, it gave Ezra Levant an opportunity to exploit the strong sentiments of resentment towards Liberals and the AB NDP. He gave these people a place to express their rabid anger with impunity knowing that the anger feeds the attention his website gets. Like Donald Trump and his mimicking of Tea Party frustration, Levant embodies what a small group of vociferous pesudo-libertarians.

          The problem is, instead of being a fringe narrative that is given no attention by mainstream, some Conservative politicians are electing to open a dialogue with Levant knowing that he caters to a specific demographic who are willing audiences to their criticisms. But rather than contributing to a constructing discussion about the direction of government, Levant goes directly for dog-whistle politics. The emotion is extremely high, but the depth of discourse doesn’t exist. The connotations of the sort of rhetoric dispensed by “the Rebel” are extremely nativist. So, when elected politicians engage with Ezra and company it injects oxygen into their objective; it legitimizes the thinly veiled extremism of their perspective. Its exactly whats been going on in American since Obama’s election and it is now widely being blamed as the root cause or groundwork for the relative success of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

          I think Canadian politics generally gravitate towards the centre. Even our Conservatives aren’t anywhere as rightwing as their counterparts down south. However, if we placate groups and people like Levant with extreme views, then we distort the centrism of Canadian politics.

          Which leads me back to my original point, why hasn’t anyone sincerely questioned Ezra Levant on as to why he is insisting people donate through him if the funds are 100% (as he claims) going to Canadian RedCross? Could it be possible that people are afraid of challenging the shameless self promotion on the back of tragedy (or, as some are arguing, for tax purposes) because they don’t want to be accused of politicizing the issue or what ever absurdly wild motives Ezra and his legion of supporters would accuse one of? The matter far surpasses the mundanity of partisanship and edges on pure exploitation of a catastrophe.

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