You know, sometimes what seems a really good idea, may not be the most appropriate or ill-timed in nature.

In yet, one more attempt to acclimatize people for private health care but making public health into a marketing ploy, just feels as the kids say …icky.

In an attempt to convince those who think vaccination is not a good idea by ploying them with … wait for it… Alberta’s Open for Summer Lottery. And to quote the government website: “Along with three draws for $1 million each, Alberta’s Open for Summer Lottery will now offer an additional 40 travel-related prizes provided by WestJet and Air Canada. This includes week-long stays at all-inclusive luxury resorts and flights across Canada and abroad.”

Clever marketing people those UCPers… “Got vaccinated? Enter once for 3 shots to win!”

Shots: meaning attempts to win playing on the slang for inoculations and vaccinations. Yeah, we saw what you did there (sarcasm off, roll eyes). 

The timing and the look is just wrong. Yes, a lottery is nice with a chance to win one of three million dollar prices and promotes that we are all in this slimey cess pool, bucket of a situation together. Great that it is even free. But, it looks and feel so bad. It is like going to a funeral in hopes of meeting and dating the grieving spouse or family member. Not appropriate. 

Forget about the families who have lost loved ones, nearly 2,300 of Albertans have died because of Covid-19 related deaths, the 231,000 cases which have occurred and have caused an incredible mental anguish on those in the health care field; the many businesses have closed permanently because of health measures and they don’t know where to turn next, or the educators and students whose lives, careers and mental states have all being adversely affected by the pandemic wrecking havoc on status quo.

Nope, just instantly forget all of that… you could win money! A 1-in-a-million-some chance of winning money to make up for the loss of life, career and mental state. “Time to par-taaaay!” WOOOOO!”

Errrr… ewww. 

Alberta is going to party like it’s 1999…well except Edmonton because Klondike Days’ organizers decided it was unsafe, logistics were wrong and that they would wait for 2022, even through the Calgary Stampede will flying out of the chutes two weeks earlier (as per usual) than the traditional Klondike Days start.  

The timing is bad, the look is bad but even the fact that we have been told to stay close to home, don’t travel abroad, let’s promote local businesses, ‘yay’ Alberta tourism etc. So, let’s give away trips to Cancun?! Because Banff apparently sucks and all of those campers filling the Alberta campgrounds wouldn’t want a new RV from an Alberta dealership, a fishing package from one of the many fine resorts in the province. 

Not only that, remember just a few months ago where Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister (you know, the department trying to build Alberta business) Tracy Allard (Hawaii) and Premier Jason Kenney’s chief of staff Jamie Huckaby (United Kingdom) both had to resign after leaving the country on Christmas vacations? Five MLAs who also travelled were demoted. Ironically demoted MLA Pat Rehn and Tany Yao went to, you guessed it, Mexico. Perhaps the government got a good deal on vacations to Cancun, Mexico because of frequent flyer miles from their cabinet ministers. 

At the time Kenney told an early January news conference, “'These individuals demonstrated extremely poor judgment’. How ironic. 

Just remember if you win the government’s Summer Fun Lottery, please double check if you will be allowed back into the country and province due to the pandemic. Regulations change if I recall correctly. 

The other issue is the logic in the lottery in the first place? The whole thing smells of an overwhelmed parent not knowing what else to do with a screaming toddler in a store and then just giving in to by the $80 stuffed teddy bear. 

You have to ask yourself, do the people who have refused to get the vaccine, is it because they didn’t have a financial incentive to get one? 

“Yup, I ain’t getting no vaccination until someone gives me a chance to win money.”

Really?! That was the actual thinking and logic? 

It says a lot about not only the government and where its root of all its thinking comes from (see private health care, privatizing parks, wanting to irreparably destroying one of Alberta’s most picturesque areas which also happens to be a source for water for the opportunity for a few bucks in mining revenues etc.).

All of this is ridiculous, It would be like if a government handed out medical supplies via a fast food drive-through which of course don’t always serve the healthiest meal choices. Oh, right.

While it’s not perfect by any means, Saskatchewan is doing something right, mores than their immediate neighbours to the west and east. Both Manitoba and (sigh) Alberta are both doing the lottery.

“Here is what you win, you get to protect yourself form Covid and those numbers show the vaccines work and work well. You get to protect your family, your friends, your loved ones. if you like to gamble and then I would suggest to you don’t get your shot,  the prize is not what you think it is. …health, peace of mind, safer province, safer communities and the return to things we once knew the, those are pretty great prizes in my mind.”

Sure is, I mean, it’s not Cancun but peace of mind and being safe from a dangerous virus I guess is okay too. 

(Editor's note: On June 21,the government added a total of 625 Calgary Stampede passes and tickets as part of the Alberta's Open for Summer Lottery.

Ryan Dahlman is the managing editor of Prairie Post East and Prairie Post West

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