In a bold tweet suggesting “all Alberta-based alumnus should politely but firmly tell (the University of Alberta’s fundraising) to pound sand and get their heads out of dark places”, Calgary-Fish Creek MLA Richard Gotfried inadvertently highlighted the problems Alberta Universities will face if they lose government funding in this October’s budget.
“What an ass,” said a University of Alberta alumni who donates $20 a month. “First they’re shoving free speech principles down our throats and now they’re offering virtual high-fives to people who refuse to donate to their alma mater because of a board decision to give out an honorary degree to someone they don’t like? Screw them.”
A University of Calgary fund development volunteer, who spoke under the promise of anonymity, said they received no pushback from either the government or alumni.
“The University of Calgary gave Suzuki an honorary degree too; like haven’t all universities in Canada done that? The guy has like 20 or more,” she responded via email. “Calgary went mostly UCP though, so, we just don’t have to deal with that sort of scapegoating of our educational institutions.”
According to sources, the University of Alberta was debating on releasing the following statement in response:
“We can only infer that if a UCP MLA is willing to goad Alumni into not giving back to their university, that the U of A will likely be a target by this government for the loss of public funding dollars in the upcoming budget. Well played, UCP, well played.
However, due to the lack of support for investment in Artificial Intelligence and scientific advancement by this current government, we fully expect many of our successful graduates to continue fleeing the province to find jobs. The MLA’s comments will likely only please a small portion of Albertans who didn’t even know a university existed in Edmonton.
We expect previous graduates who work in the oil industry remember their education sufficiently enough to realize that neither environmentalists nor universities influenced the oil industry’s decisions to forego billion dollar investments in Alberta’s oil sands while there was a global oil glut.
But we sincerely hope our esteemed graduates from Alberta’s post-secondary institutes continue helping billion dollar companies make the best decisions for their enduring financial success in this great province.”
This post is satirical; the quote from Richard Gotfried is not.
Deirdre is a political commentator, columnist, reporter, and podcaster in Alberta. She relies on facts, snarky Twitter, and satire to share knowledge and a laugh.
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