Stephen's Summer of 2005

A personal and experimental blog about my summer travels in 2005

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Location: Yellowknife, NWT, Canada

I live, work and play in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Return to Edmonton

Leaving Cypress Hills on Monday morning, i reflect on the wonderful weekend just pass and all my observer friends from Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Regina and further afield. And the staff at Cypress Hills and the Resort are great... i highly recommend a vacation here.

This is Mackenzie, one of the pleasant servers at the Resort, whose name means "son of Ireland". Mackenzie says that her mother wanted to name her Morgan Rene, but her father felt Morgan was for horses and so he counterproposed calling her Swanaka Louise. They settled on Mackenzie Rae-Don. While she disliked her name as a kid, she has grown fond of its distinctiveness. Mackenzie plans to get her nursing degree, offer service in Africa, and then settle back in small town Saskatchewan as a nurse. Great goals, and good luck to you, Mackenzie!

A few more guests who agree that the Resort food is delicious!

On the way home, i took the Trans-Canada Highway west, and then highway 36 North all the way to Viking (didn't see any dragon boats). As i headed north i noticed a greenish tint in the overcast clouds. Driving towards the source of the green discharge i discovered that it came from the Sheerness Generating Station, a coal-fired thermal generating station. Against a blue sky the stack emits a fairly colourless vapour, having seen it before, but against the clouds it is quite noticeable. A local sign advises that the emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide(?) are regulated under license! That is not very comforting considering that in 2002 the Sheerness plant released 43,680,040 kilograms of chemicals considered toxic under the Canada Environmental Protection Act. Sheerness made #14 on the Top 25 list of such pollutors in Canada.

You may not be able to notice the green tint above the highway 36 North sign, but it's there.

The Offender, Sheerness Generating Station

What really irritates me is the obscene attempt to portray this polluter as green-friendly, in the model of Prairie Oasis Park, the Frankenstein offspring of TransAlta Utilities Inc. and Atco Power. Everything is made to seem so wonderful, so green, so in harmony with nature -- so simple-minded. The companies even have the temerity to say, to the effect, that the people of Sheerness work hard to produce electricity for Albertans. Yeah, sure , they're the ones behind it all!!!

Enough of my rant... i spent the next day in Edmonton sleeping, doing laundry, cleaning the car and getting ready for my continuing trip.