A satirical comment in the National Post, while southern Alberta deals with the aftermath of a devastating flood, has infuriated many.
While discussing Calgary's commendable strength after the flood, with no major crime or rioting, writer Chris Selley says, Edmonton "would be a smoking hole in the ground at this point, infested with twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages."
The comment touched a lot of nerves, including Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel and James Cumming CEO and President of Edmonton Chamber.
In a letter to the editor, Cumming says the comment "is a vicious slur on the people of Edmonton," and is a double-barrelled insult.
"It unjustly maligns the dedicated and heartfelt efforts of Edmontonians to assist our neighbors, friends, families and colleagues in Calgary during relief efforts. And his statement directly calls into question the ability of Edmonton to cope with crisis," Cumming writes.
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"As a lifelong Edmontonian I find it disgusting that in your haste to produce biting commentary, your editorial team did not pause to consider the impact upon others of the words of the writer printed on the page."
Edmonton mayor Mandel was furious over the comments, saying he doesn't read the National Post and doesn't understand why anyone in Edmonton would and that he would like to see the city pull advertising from the Postmedia News, which includes the Edmonton Journal, iNews880 news reports.
"I don't think I can express how mad I am in language that I can have over any kind of media," said Mandel, adding that "I've never been so insulted in my life by something so rude and so despicable," iNews880 news adds.
Chris Selley responded to Mandel's criticism on Twitter saying, "People. A JOKE. GOOD LORD."
Some responded to Selley saying the joke had not been understood others asked him to apologize already.
The hash tag MacheteSomethingYEG became popular on Twitter, as Albertans took sides or joked about the situation.
The city of Edmonton has continuously offered its support to Calgary, including sending Edmonton police officers and fire and safety personnel.
Read the full comment from the National Post below.
The Calgary Herald‘s editorialists could not be more proud of how those affected by terrible flooding over the weekend in Calgary and other communities conducted themselves. “It all adds up to one giant, collective effort, a well-oiled machine that slipped seamlessly into action with no hitches,” they write. “There was no major crime, there was no rioting. That sort of thing has happened elsewhere because disasters can bring out the worst in people. But that’s not southern Alberta’s way and never has been.” Edmonton, for example, would be a smoking hole in the ground at this point, infested with twitchy-eyed, machete-wielding savages.
The Herald‘s Don Braid thinks Premier Alison Redford’s pledge to pay for all flood relief, “regardless of cost,” constitutes “a surprisingly open-ended promise from a premier who only months ago said: ‘We’re out of money.’” He’s not complaining, by any means; as he says, it must come as a relief for those without insurance in particular. But it will make a significant dent in the province’s bottom line, and the inevitable complaints over slow or botched repairs will now land squarely on Redford’s shoulders. As Braid says, you can’t accuse her of “wimping out in a crisis.”