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Federal election campaign felt like a “slap in the face” for this Central Alberta Oilfield Company


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Post from Garett Chandler of Red Deer County 

Today is my daughter Sophie’s eighth birthday and it’s caused me to reflect so here goes…

I was raised to never ask someone who they voted for and I’d certainly never tell someone how to vote, but I do think it’s important we tell our story at GT Chandler Contracting as #regularpeople who live and work in the oilfield.

At times it’s been frustrating listening and watching the rhetoric about the oil industry during this campaign. Too often the entire industry has been carelessly batted around, used as a wedge issue designed to elicit emotional responses from voters on both ends of the political spectrum. It saddens me when the industry is characterized as a set of numbers – be it GHGs or the tremendous wealth it’s contributed to our country – instead of its people.

What’s missing are the thousands upon thousands of #regularpeople’s stories who rely on the industry to get by. We’re proud to be a locally-owned and family-run business operating in central Alberta. From pulling slips to running a brake handle, I’m proud to have worked my way up from the bottom of the patch. When I first moved from Manitoba in search of “Alberta riches” almost 20 years ago I honestly wasn’t even sure what that meant.

Today, I know exactly what it means. It’s a roof over my three children’s heads. It’s a business I look forward to going to work in every day with the support of my wife. It’s the men and women who rely on us for a paycheque. It’s dance lessons, hockey practices and holidays. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s the look my daughter gave me in this photo when I told her we wouldn’t be going home until the boiler was completely clean! The oilfield didn’t give me a job, it gave me so much more and I’m grateful for that.

And that’s why it’s been tough to see so many people line up to take shots at the industry. It’s important to remember we produce some of the most socially responsible oil and gas in the world and in my time in the patch I’ve seen systems change and regulations evolve to ensure the environment is protected. We’re blessed to live in a country with tremendous wealth which has allowed us to expand social programs and ensure everyone has the same opportunity to succeed. Oil has played a large role in that as have the #regularpeople who have gone to work, putting in long hours and honest days.

We aren’t delusional either, even if we’re misrepresented that way in the media a lot of the time. We understand that oil won’t be our primary source of fuel forever. We also understand that we aren’t ready to abandon it yet. Canadian oil and Canadian oil workers should continue to responsibly meet global needs for oil. The wealth generated doesn’t just help our country, it also helps our entrepreneurs who will lead the next wave of energy tech.

To see leaders stand on the national stage and tell us they would shut down the oilfield feels like a slap in the face. To have provinces refuse to have oil transported by pipeline through their territory, stopping it from reaching the global market where it would be bought at a fair price doesn’t just seem unfair, it’s unneighbourly.

It’s also no secret that Alberta workers have been hurt by the economic downturn. We’ve seen it firsthand. We’ve seen friends lose their jobs. Companies close their doors. And hardest of all we’ve seen the impact, the emotional toll, it’s had on people. It’s been devastating to say the least. These are #realpeople not numbers to be used to score political points. No matter what happens on Monday, our country is stronger when we come together to find solutions. When we have compassion for our neighbours. And when we focus on #realpeople.

Our company, GT Chandler Contracting, is full of #realpeople and we hope you think of them and the thousands of others who work in the patch when you cast your ballot.

Feel free to share if you agree and let me hear your story about being #realpeople working in the oilfield.

And if you’re fortunate enough to run into sweet Sophie today do wish her the happiest of birthdays!!

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Planet Of The Humans: A Scathing Exposé On The Sacred Renewables Sector

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To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, the Michael Moore-backed environmental documentary Planet of the Humans was released for free on YouTube. 

I’ve been waiting for months to see this film, although I wasn’t overly optimistic that I would get the opportunity because it seemed to have difficulty getting mainstream distribution. A few minutes in and I could understand why – it was damaging to the once-untouchable renewables sector. I’m still in disbelief that the powerful leaders of the climate alarmism movement were not able to stop its release, but that’s the power of the internet. In one day it has over 500,000 views on YouTube.  

Even though Moore and Director Jeff Gibbs have reversed their position on renewable sources of energy and call into question the integrity of the climate change movement, the film is in no way pro-fossil fuels. Quite the opposite. They include footage of a Syncrude oil sands mine and periodically mention the “tar sands” with utter disdain. There’s no love for natural gas either.

I’m not opposed to renewables under certain circumstances, but my heart hurt when I saw footage of the destruction caused by mining the base materials for solar panels and wind turbines and the deforestation for biomass. It hurt even more when I saw how easily the projects were discarded after gobbling up millions of dollars of government subsidies, vast tracts of land, and precious natural resources. Because few jurisdictions have strong abandonment regulations, the equipment is often left to rust once it reaches end-of-life in a few short years or is replaced by newer technology. 

I learned a lot about the makeup of the renewables sector. I had no idea there were so many biomass power plants in operation in the United States. I also didn’t appreciate what is considered ‘biomass’ or ‘biofuel’. I still can’t clear the image out of my head of the dead animals being pulverized for animal fat-based biofuel. 

What I found most confounding was the lack of energy literacy by many of the interviewees, including representatives of green initiatives and leaders of protest movements. There’s one segment where a representative from GM excitedly showcases the release of a new Chevy Volt electric car. When asked for the source of electricity charging it, the women confidently says, “The building” (that the car is plugged into). Pressed further, she admits she doesn’t know, and it’s clear she hasn’t considered, the source. Spoiler alert: it’s about 95% coal. Perhaps this is why there is so much inconsistency and backpedaling by environmental groups. 

Although this documentary is grim, and it doesn’t offer any solutions, I give Michael Moore credit for standing behind it because he’s sure to face backlash from people who were once his peers. His courage to put his name behind it and expose another side of the issue will help create better dialogue and stronger public policy. 

I encourage everyone to watch it. Seeing the greed of Bill McKibben and the “prophet” Al Gore, it’s time for real environmentalists to lead the environmental movement.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary

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Drive in Christianity!  Coming soon to a church near you!

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On March 20 more than 60 vehicles gathered on the corner of 39th Street and 30th Avenue at 10:15 a.m. for a unique experience.

It was not a family comedy, nor an adventure film that brought folks out, but rather the bold proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Pastor Ben Elliot of Deer Park Church (formerly the Deer Park Alliance Church) via FM transmission (88.5 FM) for those in the parking lot and nearby neighbourhood.

Four rows of cars filled the lot with anywhere from 1 to 4 people per vehicle for an hour.

“This week I had the privilege of being home and was invited to be part of a province wide conference call with Premier Kenney and Minister Dr. Deena Hinshaw,” said Elliott during his sermon on Sunday.  “I was nervous when I suggested what we were planning for our service and we got the thumbs up from everyone.  He also asked us as faith leaders to pray for government and ministry leaders to make good decisions in this difficult time.”

He added that the church was going to ensure that the maximum number of 15 people was observed with only 4 volunteer parking attendants, 3 musicians and 1 pastor.

More than 60 vehicles attended a drive-in church service!

“I know it is tempting to get out of your car and chat with your friend but please don’t, be like our youth and chat with them across a window,” said Elliott who is also head of the Red Deer Ministerial Association.  “We want to honor the restrictions while honouring God by gathering together.”

Elliott spoke on cabin fever, an experience citizens across Canada are well familiar with.

“Robert Service wrote about cabin fever in a poem called Pious Pete and we are well familiar with the phenomena,” he said.  “Even King David, in 1 Sam 25 was not immune to the effects of continual exposure to the same people, except he lived in a cave!”

He noted that the good news is, that even while he was not in the public, David sought God and was corrected by God!  He concluded his message by challenging us to honor God by being agents of peace and his salvation in our families.

Meanwhile, this particular drive-in was one of many services throughout the city and one of many formats.

Churches like Crossroads have live streamed their services for some time to service their growing congregation and others have moved to youtube presentations for viewing anytime.

Unity Baptist Church in north Red Deer has gone to Zoom for their services.

“This morning there was 40 people who logged into the sermon,” said Kent Lindsay, a

Come join our church service!

Unity Baptist congregant.  “It was a great interactive way to experience a service without being there.”

Meanwhile, prayer groups like the Red Deer Catholic Mens Group have moved to Whatapp for communication and alerting members to Zoom sessions with other believers for rosary prayers and other intercessions.

“There are many ways for believers to meet and encourage each other during this time,” said pastor Andrew Rilling of Deer Park Church.  “From live streams to youtube personal phone calls, to our drive in format, Gods people need to encourage each other.  His word is always working and He meets us in our needs.  As a believer and a pastor I am encouraged and know that God is always working among us.”





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june, 2020

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