Tuesday, March 05, 2013

I don't get it

An editorial cartoon from the Vegreville, Alberta, Observer. I'm not sure I get all the nuances of this Curatolo cartoon. Being a new resident here I don't know all the ins and outs of provincial rivalry. I've heard that Albertans believe other Canadian provinces are slightly miffed because Alberta has lots of jobs and is making money. Alberta makes its money from oil.

I guess the reader is supposed to take the guy talking as an Albertan working on the oilsands. The punchline being that he cares about "green" because money is green. And then the big switcharoo is that he's in the provence of Ontario, not Alberta.

I don't really get the switches. Alberta digs up the stuff and Ontario refines it? Everyone should be happy and shut up because there are jobs at stake? Albertans aren't hypocrites like people in Ontario?

Whatever the deeper meaning of this cartoon, I do enjoy the Jack Davis-esque drawing style.


Cathy, the Nice Lice Lady. said...

No, the guy is from Ontario and he's putting down those greedy, redneck, oil pumping, damn-the-environment Albertans (as he perceives them). The humour is the hypocrisy of the man for he seems to have no problem living off the industries within his province that result from Alberta's oil boom.

I'm born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. Theses rivalries, these perceptions and sterotypes, exist across Canada. Ontario is percieved as being Toronto-centric snobs who thinking that it's the only world-class, progressive province. British Columbia is seen as a bunch of pot-smoking, tree hugging hippies. Saskatchewan and Manitoba are seen as a boring praire wastelands. Quebec is the alien child because it's a place you can't understand unless you live there - it is a whole different culture and that's why the rest of Canada is a bit afraid of it. The maritime provinces are seen as folksy quirky provinces that are home to beautiful scenery and lots of unemployment. And as for the territories of Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut - these are not usually even on the radar of most Canadians. It's quite sad really.

If I'm from P.E.I., don't ever say that I'm from Newfoundland. If I'm from Edmonton, don't ever make the mistake of saying I'm from Calgary. (In Edmonton, if our hockey team is not in the playoffs, we cheer for ABC teams - "anyone but Calgary".)
Most Canadians would cringe if they were mistaken for Americans.
In our fight to define ourselves, our closest neighbours are perceived as our biggest rivals.

One Canadian classic you should read/watch is "The Sweater" by Roch Carrier. It will introduce you to the intense, deep rooted, long standing hockey culture in Canada but it will also give another example of how we each define our identities by who we are and by who we are not:


David Steinlicht said...

Cathy, Thanks for the insight. In Minnesota -- where I'm from -- Minnesotans look down on people from Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. Guess people are the same everywhere.