The residents Fort McMurray and region are reliant on specialized emergency services - and in situations where minutes do matter and where lengthy transportation delays can result in poor medical outcomes, including death. We are a region of remote communities, work camps, isolated roads, industrial sites and thousands and thousands of people for whom these night flights can mean the difference between life and death. It's a pretty stark reality - and it is time for everyone to recognize it and come back to the table.
Stephane Dion, the former Liberal leader, once said that "there is no environmental minister on Earth who can stop the oil from coming out of the sands, because the money is too big." But that was a long time ago and he probably hadn't considered that numerous countries would take action to curb fossil fuel demand.
The truth is that the crime rate in Wood Buffalo, for almost all kinds of crime, is below Alberta averages, and often below Canadian norms as well. The rate of all forms of property crime is below national and provincial averages, and the rate of all forms of violent crime is below Alberta averages.
There is a brewing controversy swirling around longtime CBC commentator Rex Murphy and his relationship with Canada's oil industry. The CBC expects Murphy's commentary to be "rooted in fact" and in turn the public has the same expectation. If it is the case that Murphy is being paid money by the same industry he publicly comments on, then this must be disclosed to the public.