Reboot Alberta

Sunday, January 05, 2014

A Visual Poem of Love for the North by Tim Moen

I invite you to view this visual poem of Fort McMurray, Fort Chip, and the Peace Region of northern Alberta.  It is shot by long time McMurray resident, helicopter pilot, videographer, blogger and fireman, Tim Moen.

I met Tim Moen last September when Neil Young came to Fort McMurray to shoot a documentary in the region and to meet with First Nations people in the RMWB.  Tim flew his helicopter for the shots for the video.

I came to McMurray to meet Neil Young and his crew to give some context on the social realities of people working in and around the oilsands.  Lot of good my input did.  Shortly afterwards Mr. Young did his over the top comparison of Fort McMurray to Hiroshima.  Tim's video belies that comparison.

Tim's video shows places in the oil sands region you don't see from the highway but that makes up the majority of the landscapes of the region.  With all the industrial development going on the oil sands region we still have about 97% of the regional biodiversity intact.

The Alberta Biodiveristy Monitoring Institute is a great source for information and context on how this is measured and monitored.  Look it up if you are interested. If you are an Albertan, you are an owner of the oil sands, so you will be interested in learning more I am sure.

The human settlements in the boreal forest make this biodiversity an imperative ecological value we need to protect while we create economic value from the resources in responsible and sustainable ways.

We also have to ensure the human social divesity in places like Fort McMurray are also valued, protected and social inclusion and cohesion are promoted.

Speaking of social divdersity, of the 74,000 or so people living in the urban core of McMurray, they come from 127 differenct countries and speak over 69 languages.  That is a Petri dish to grow a global model for a sustainable, inclusive, vibrant and diverse society, or the largest dysfunctional truck stop on the planet...if we mess it up.

Tim's obvious love for the land and strong sense of place in his home in the RMWB made me think about these things.  He articulates these sentiments so well with these visuals that I call the video a poem.  It is a relaxing 12 minutes so take the time to enjoy and let the mood wash over you.

Here is the link

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


Hello neglected readers.  This was a very popular blog site at one time.  I went into a job based out of Fort McMurray with the oil sands industry that made this kind of blogging difficult.  Anything I said could and would (but not should) be interpreted as speaking on behalf of certain oil sands companies. Not fair to them...or me!  But such is life.

A New Job and a New Blog:
I have a new life now and a new position at Edmonton Economic Development and blogging is mandated there not discouraged.  My mandate is to increase the collaboration between the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Edmonton Capital Region in areas of business, sustainability and community well-being.

Part of the EED mandate is going to be covered in another blog about the Edmonton area involvement in the oil sands using the triple bottom line and sustainability principles.  Edmontonians are owners of the oil sands and need to know more on how we can take care ensure the oil sands are developed in a responsible sustainable and sensible way.

We need to take our citizenship obligations seriously and demand from government and industry that oil sands resource development be more sustainable.  We need to expect optimizing oil sands be for the general well-being of people.  We need to expect our oil sands deliver enhanced environmental stewardship.  We deserve development that is less wasteful and more profitable for the posterity of future Albertans.

I have a new blog to serve that purpose and I hope you visit regularly at

I have a hankering to re-engage in the Edmonton social media scene after an absence of way over 2 years.  I have some catching up to do!

The Refocus of This Blog:
I hope this blog is a link between the communities and people  of Edmonton and Fort McMurray.  I have realized that there is a lot of myth and misinformation about life in McMurray within Edmonton.

I love both communities and want to help enhance the collaborative relationships and expand the appreciation and understanding of what great things the two regions can do together for mutual benefit and the greater good.

This blog is to become a focal point for that end.  Of course I will be opinionated but I will also be informed and hopefully sufficiently authoritative to be worthy of your time and trust.