As It Happens

April Fool's! Texas oil VP floats Ted Cruise boat tour on Calgary's Bow River

A Texas oil and gas executive, currently working in Calgary, hopes the Ted Cruise boat tour along the Bow River is a sure-fire way to get Calgary out of its economic slump. And it's a reminder of the Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz's Calgary roots.
Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaking at a rally in Reno, Nevada. A Texas oil executive, who lives in Calgary, has pitched the idea of a boat tour called the Ted Cruise that would travel along Calgary's Bow River. Chad Elliott says it's a commemoration of Cruz's Canadian roots. (JAMES GLOVER/REUTERS/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

[Updated] Happy April Fool's! Thanks to actor Robert Baker for playing the role of Texas oilman Chad Elliott.

Ted Cruz has tried his best to distance himself from Calgary. But a group of investors in the Alberta capital are determined to remind the Republican presidential candidate of his Canadian roots. 

So, they've come up with a plan that will pay homage to Cruz, and could also serve as an economic boon for a city badly affected by the oil slump. The "Ted Cruise" comes in the form of a boat tour along the Bow River. 

"Here's a man who could end up being the next president of the United States, and he's born in Calgary. I think that's a history that Calgarians would be excited to explore,' Chad Elliott tells As It Happens host Carol Off.

The Peace Bridge crossing over the Bow River to downtown Calgary. (Getty Images)

Elliott is vice-president of Lansing Oil and Gas, which has offices in Houston and Calgary. Like Cruz, he's also a Texan. Elliott says in the past few years, he's been trying to think of a creative way to boost Calgary's economy, and the Ted Cruise would be an obvious head-turner.

"We want to bring a real Texas flavour to this cruise. We want a fully-stocked restaurant with a fine selection of Tex-Mex dishes. Gambling would be a wonderful thing to have on this boat -- Texas Hold 'Em, for example."

Elliott has also mentioned celebrating Cruz's Cuban roots by holding a pig roast on board the cruise on Friday, and holding Sunday prayer circles.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi speaking to the media. Nenshi has indicated the Ted Cruise may not be the right fit for Calgary. (JEFF MCINTOSH/CP)

The idea still needs the backing of Calgary city council to go forward. And so far, it's not looking great. Mayor Naheed Nenshi has indicated he's not a huge fan of the idea. Still, Elliott is hopeful.

"I mean, Mayor Nenshi and I have a great relationship. Maybe I can twist his arm a little bit. I mean, there is some red tape we have to get through. But I think, in the spirit of Ted Cruz, we're not going to let red tape get in our way."

Ted Cruz's birth certificate, issued by the province of Alberta in 1970. Cruz was born in Calgary, but it has raised questions recently about his eligibility in the Republican presidential race.

Even if Elliott and other Calgary investors are keen about the idea, it's not clear if Ted Cruz would embrace the Ted Cruise, or even embrace his Calgary heritage. Fellow GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has been attacking Cruz's eligibility for months, on the basis of his Canadian roots.

A lot depends on the Republican National Convention which will be held July 18 to 21 in Cleveland. If the Texas senator gets the nomination, Elliot says his Ted Cruise will set sail soon after.

"August, 2016 we're putting the boat in the Bow River."

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