Because the prairie provinces are generally uncontroversial, and those few controversies are always hockey-related, the latest media storm in Calgary is due to the Flames jumping the line to receive the swine flu vaccine.
While Alberta suffers an H1N1 vaccine shortage, the Calgary Flames and their relatives got the shots at the request of the team doctor. Now a senior official at Alberta Health Services, the sole clinic that rather Orwellianly controls the entire vaccine supply for the province, has been fired.
Like most Albertans, I am deeply offended that this circumstance has occurred," said a statement signed by Ken Hughes, Alberta Health Services' board chairman, and Stephen Duckett, the authority's CEO.
"AHS board and management have a fundamental commitment to serve all Albertans according to their needs, in medical priority. This circumstance was a clear departure from that principle. We set the expectation that this should not have happened and should not happen again," the statement said.
Now hold on a minute. You're telling me that professional athletes aren't more important than ordinary people? How very socialist of you, Canada.
I'm sure Jarome Iginla's, Miikka Kiprusoff's, and to a much lesser extent Freddy Sjostrom's health matters a great deal more to Alberta's economy and general happiness than 76-year-old Edna Martyn of Red Deer. And while every child is precious, I doubt the average child is going to have a plus-minus rating like Craig Conroy's.