A tour with Janet

Trip Start May 09, 2009
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Trip End May 23, 2009


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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Thursday, May 21, 2009

So I'm done. My feet are getting pretty angry with me. I left at 11 am today. I stopped at Ogle Noodle, an Asian restaurant which specializes in noodles from across Asia. The food was delicious. Hot and well cooked with lots of vegetables, the Kung Pao chicken with Chow Mein was a healthy alternative to other places on Whyte Ave. I also got Vietnamese vegetable rolls with peanut sauce. I loved eating it because when I was in Saskatoon I got the same order but I had to roll it myself and it was pretty difficult. The meal cost me $14.68. Then I walked over 109th Street down to the Aberta Legislative Buildings. I wanted to take the tour through the building. But you can't just walk into the building obviously. Instead I had to walk to the other end of the courtyard and enter the interpretive centre. There I meet Janet. I told her what I was doing for my article. She was intrigued and proceeded to show me around the Alberta Legislature. The buildings are connected with underground tunnels which we went through as she shared with me the history of the Albertan government. The province came into the Confederation in 1905 and two years later was already building its legistature. The price to build it if put into modern currency would run around 2 billion. The whole interior of the building, more specifically the rotunda is completely made of marble. The hitch is there is no marble anywhere in Alberta. So the government of the day had to get all the marble from Quebec. This import could explain why I have run into so many Quebecois in Alberta, known unofficially as the english capital of Canada. Another quick side note as I was walking to the Legislature there were magpies everywhere. They are a beautiful bird with a black body and a little blue in the tail but as Ric said they are flying rats in the prairies and throughout the west. So back to the Legislature. Walking through I noticed the difference between the Albertan and the Manitoban legislature. There were no animals or statues to animals in the Albertan legislature. There were many reminders of the British monarch but nothing of its natural surroundings. To be fair they do have a monument to Chief Crowfoot, the broker of the Indian treaties a hundred years ago. "He was why we didn't have the indian wars the Americans had," said Janet. She also showed me the photos of the Famous five. The five women who first fought for women to be recognized as a person in 1929 in Alberta. Two of the women then went on to become MLA in the Albertan Legislature. Janet then took me to the magic spot where you can turn on the fountain in the rotunda and hear it overhead on the second floor of the building. Then we went into the Assembly chamber. Wow was that ever funny! There is 82 currently sitting Members of Legislative Assembly. There are 71 Progressive Conservative members. The assembly's desks are movable to accommodate the new session of the assembly. The official opposition is 9 seats filled by Liberal members and then two other members from the NDP. So when you look into the assembly you see a mob of desks facing this little line of desks. It looks very intimidating. Then out to the rotunda again to look up at palm trees. Yes no word of a lie, California palm trees which sit on the top of the Legislature. They will live to be about 200 years old. Now they are 77 years old and they are already setting down roots through the pots they sit in. After trying to figure out why a provincial government would put palm trees above their rotunda I asked about the Government House in Alberta. The Government House is traditionally where the Lieutenant Governor lives. So to see it share a grounds with the Royal Alberta Museum I was a little put off. But apparently the Lieutenant Governor hasn't lived at that building for some time. The Lt. Governor and the current Premier of Alberta of the time in the seventies did not see eye to eye. The Premier tried to get a couple of things through the Albertan legislature like censorship of the press etc. But the Lt. Governor refused to give the bills royal assent so the Premier turned off the electricity and the heat during the dead of winter. The Lt. Governor and his family moved to the Macdonald Hotel and never returned to the Government House. As Janet explained Alberta is unique because it has always had majority governments so anything the government decides passes. Janet is a retired teacher who works as a tour guide to keep busy. After the tour I took a photo of her in front of the Guide Station and then I was off to the Muttart Conservatory which was closed but I wanted to at least take a photo of it. But I never got to the Conservatory. I decided to travel elsewhere.
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