#NotAngryAB: Albertans counter negative rhetoric by sharing why they love their province
'I'm not furious. I'm not angry,' says blogger Mike Morrison
Safe communities. The beautiful Rocky Mountains. Quality health-care services. Rights for LGBTQ people. Economic optimism.
Those are a few of the sentiments people are sharing on Twitter with the hashtag #NotAngryAB, highlighting reasons they're happy to call Alberta home.
On Monday, Brian Jean, the former leader of the now-defunct Wildrose Party, shared a note on Facebook calling attention to what he called a "bleak" future for the province unless bold political action is taken — something he said he's unsure any political party is ready to do.
"Canada is broken. … Albertans are furious," he wrote.
But not all Albertans agree. Calgary-based blogger Mike Morrison definitely doesn't.
"I'm not furious. I'm not angry, so I get frustrated when I see someone saying that I feel a certain way and I don't feel that way," he said. So he took to Twitter to share exactly how he does feel, and the hashtag took off.
Conservatives keep saying Albertans are furious. But I'm not. <br><br>It's never been safer for me and my boyfriend to be together.<br>I get same-day doctors appointments.<br>I don't pay a sales tax. <br>My business is successful and I'm hiring.<br>And look at my cat. She's so cute. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NotAngryAB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NotAngryAB</a> <a href="https://t.co/KPRFuVjC1Z">pic.twitter.com/KPRFuVjC1Z</a>—@mikesbloggity
It didn't take long for the message to take off, becoming a trending topic nationwide on the social media site.
I’ve been to all 7 continents over 50 different countries and there is no place I would rather raise my family then AB. It gives me a choice of great schools, diverse population, and young people full of ambition and a belief they can make the world a better place.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NotAngryAB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NotAngryAB</a>—@CPageYYC
I am definitely not angry, I am optimistic for Alberta's future, even if it doesn't happen over night. No political party can pull that off. Albertans make their own luck, not wait for someone to do it for them. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NotAngryAB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NotAngryAB</a>—@Atomicology
Some added cute photos of their pets to add even more positivity to their messages.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/notangryAB?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#notangryAB</a> I may have lost my job, but I love AB: scenery, recreation, history, Archaeology, people, healthcare. I love showing off my city/province! I can always find a job in my field or I have many opportunities to try something new. I'm young and there is lots to offer! <a href="https://t.co/PrwStull8N">pic.twitter.com/PrwStull8N</a>—@scottg53
Morrison said he thinks the message resonated with people because it was "a breath of fresh air" amidst the negative political discourse that usually percolates on social media.
"I think social media can be a bit of a wasteland sometimes," he said.
"I want Albertans to talk about how great Alberta is, how happy they are here. … a lot of people, I think, shy away from using social media for politics or don't like talking about politics. But I think this has been a really great way for someone to take to social media and say, 'You know what? Things are pretty great here in Alberta.'
"And if that starts a dialogue amongst their friends, and their followers and their family, then I think that's gonna be a great outcome."
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With files from Dave Gilson