Editorial – When the world ends

Jeff Burgar

Who is holding our country together after bombs, disease or gas attacks?

Naturally, the offices of the leadership will not be down the street from Slave Lake Town Hall. Or McLennan. Or Nampa. The way we do things in today’s world is, the offices and the bunkers will be right smack in the middle of Toronto, Vancouver or Ottawa. Ground Zero, so to speak.

So of course, it makes perfectly good sense to have the most important research facility, say, for infectious diseases, close by one of the busiest airports in the world. That would be at Atlanta, Georgia, home of the Center for Disease Control. You know, so we can send our best and brightest in a big hurry to where the bugs are. Which also means, the bugs can get to the thinkers really fast.

Did somebody think long and hard if it was a good idea to have the sharpest military minds of the strongest armed forces in the world all right beside the political leadership? Of course! So that’s why the Pentagon is right beside the White House and Congress. There just aren’t enough beds under solid rock in Cheyenne Mountain you know.

Maybe a whole bunch of such Very Important Things are scattered all around the free world. It’s just all a Really Big Secret. Nobody should ever have this knowledge until they have the need to know.

Bascially, it means that strange building in Grimshaw, or is it Girouxville, or Loon River, does not shelter the best hopes of protecting us from Covid-19, the coronavirus. Nope. Very unlikely. It just makes too much sense. Putting all eggs in one basket is, as usual, just too easy.

And gosh, there are two things politicians hate. One is doing anything that might take hard work. Like travelling. Fighting for a budget. Today. Tomorrow. Or every day next year. The other is planning for disaster. That all sounds too scary “Terminator” for them.

Consider government decentralizing. There are a million good reasons to get people out of Edmonton or Ottawa or any big place too many civil servants push paper or pound on keyboards. Does Toronto need jobs? Of course not! Especially jobs that cost big money in expensive neighbourhoods.

Look what happened in Vegreville, Alta. That town, the size of Peace River, became a federal government immigration processing centre. Worked fine, but some workers revolted. Many had to travel an hour from Edmonton, since they refused to move. Wannabe upwardly mobile managers thought they were out of the loop, stuck in a small town.

And of course, no Starbucks! Oh, tsk!

Ever bigger centres are indeed a trend. Kids move. Businesses moves. At the same time, too many local governments say they want to attract business. Then they find reasons to ignore their local entrepreneurs, More often, don’t even think about them to start with.

Thinking about this, maybe it is indeed better we don’t have a disease centre or bomb magnet around these parts. It could be very, very bad. It’s a wee silver lining in the cloud, right?

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