this blog has moved to a new address: daveberta.ca

Please update your RSS, bookmarks, and links to http://daveberta.ca.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

this mushroom better be on our new licence plates.


Ladies and Gentlemen, MLA Carl Benito, representing the simple people of Edmonton-Mill Woods, introduced Motion 502 on the floor of the Legislative Assembly yesterday:

Be it resolved that the Legislative Assembly urge the government to introduce amendments to the Emblems of Alberta Act to designate Leccinum boreale, also known as northern roughstem or red cap, as the official mushroom of Alberta.

Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. It is my pleasure to rise and introduce Motion 502. I acknowledge that there are pressing economic issues that currently exist; however, this motion is important to my constituents and 2,500 Albertans who have chosen this mushroom to be designated as Alberta’s provincial mushroom emblem.
MLAs rising to speak to the motion included Neil Brown, Rachel Notley, Jonathan Denis, Genia Leskiw, Doug Elniski, Evan Berger, and Bridget Pastoor.

It passed.

21 comments:

Matt Grant said...

Well, thank god for that,

rww said...

So when is Alberta going to designate the tarsands as their "official environmental crime against humanity".

Ike said...

FWIW - Notley rose to mock the motion as a waste of time.

Albertosaurus said...

I can sleep soundly at night now, knowing that my government is looking out for our meaningless symbols and poor mushrooms everywhere.

Jeff J. said...

Actually Ike, Notley took TEN MINUTES to get to her point about how too much time was wasted on these motions. She would have been better served in making her point by taking 10 seconds. Alas, she proves her own hypocrisy.

How sad.

Calgary Rants said...

Oh My...Im sure the good people of Millwoods are pleased that they have such an effective MLA. Perhaps he can urge the government to create a rural industry of Mushroom Farming to offset the job losses caused by the economic slowdown? Nice work...

Anonymous said...

Carl Benito gets a LOT more accomplished in the PC caucus than a bunch of bloggers in pajamas ever will. (In fact, Benito is one of the bright lights of the freshman Tory class.)

You hypocrites.

Denny said...

BC has it's bud. We have mushrooms.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling Albertans consume more Psilocybe Cubensis than they do the mighty redcap.

This IS a waste of the Legislature's time. As someone who lives in Benito's riding, I can safely say this wasn't at the top of our community's legislative wishlist.

Anonymous said...

What a historical moment in Alberta's history.

BTW, Carl who?

Anonymous said...

SHITAKE.

rc said...

... Hey, anyone heard the one where a mushroom walks into a bar?

The Journal's reporting that the debate over this one reached 40 minutes; Great use of the people's time and money. Nice to know our provincial government's hard at work in this time of economic uncertainty, with more and more Albertans facing some pretty daunting challenges.

As the saying goes; Those who can, do. I guess those who can't do, put forward bills to designate a fungi as a provincial symbol of questionable value to anyone, save for mycologists.

Alas, I've read about the ridiculous debate over designating rough fescue our "provincial grass," years ago. So I suppose all this shouldn't really surprise me much.

Oh, and I guess the redcap can be easily confused with the Fly Catcher mushroom, which is poisonous. I do hope Mr. Benito can tell the difference.

Anonymous said...

Jonathan Dennis said this was a waste of time too.

Chandler Kent said...

Let me get this straight. Debating a motion to create an official mushroom is a wate of time, but a motion to make rodeo the official sport of Alberta is really, really important? Come on, Dave! I'll admit both motions were nonsense, if you will... ;-)

Anonymous said...

Those who can, do.

Those who can't, blog.

A said...

Those who really can't post anonymous comments.

Stew said...

What is wrong with taking some time to give official recognition to an important component of our Albertan forests? What is wrong with celebrating our unique environment? Should government be about nothing but the bottom line? If so, maybe we should ban art class from public school. Maybe in elementary science class we should ignore discussion of indigenous species and use a random number generator to decide what animals and plants are to be studied. Screw the things that we actually might have a chance of seeing, or eating in real life. What a waste of time.

btw rc, even if you were blind you could tell the Red Cap from the Fly Agaric. The redcap has no gills.

Stew said...

http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Alberta/2009/02/28/8566636-sun.html

Ok, i followed that link to read what Kerry Diotte wrote about the risk about choosing Leccinum boreale.
She is clearly wrong about the risk. Amanita muscaria has gills and are not deadly posonous, just poisonous (and hallucinogenic). Leccinum have pores instead of gills. They look like Boletus edulis (aka. Porcini), which is also edible and delectable. Other look a likes such as B. piperatus and Suillus spp. are either inedible due to flavor, or undesireable due to texture and aroma. In supporting Coprinus comatus, she forgot to mention that there are poisonous mushrooms in the same genus, for example: the Ink Cap, C. atramentarius. Another thing is that Coprinus comatus is found almost everywhere globally, in grass, and is not in the slightest unique to Alberta. The Red Cap grows best in aspen parkland forest, which we have, and most of the world does not.

rc said...

"What is wrong with taking some time to give official recognition to an important component of our Albertan forests? What is wrong with celebrating our unique environment? Should government be about nothing but the bottom line?"

There's nothing wrong with celebrating our unique environment; my major point was that there is a time and a place for everything.

Given the deteriorating situation of the province's finances - and the very real problems more and more Albertans are facing - it would appear out of touch that the provincial government spends its time discussing a mushroom when there's obviously other things to do.

"Maybe in elementary science class we should ignore discussion of indigenous species and use a random number generator to decide what animals and plants are to be studied. Screw the things that we actually might have a chance of seeing, or eating in real life. What a waste of time."

This is a red herring.

For one, elementary school children do not get paid an indemnity of $52,000 a year, with a $26,000 tax-free allowance.

Nor do they take an oath to, quote, "diligently, faithfully and to the best of my ability execute" an office in the interests of the good people of this province.

Besides, it's called "school" for a reason. Kids are supposed to learn as much as they can about, well, as much as they can, there; social studies, language, literature, writing, mathematics, and the spectrum of sciences - including biology, as you mentioned. To name a few.

Kids aren't in school to do pointless busy-work, or just barely enough to get by. Now, I could only wish that Alberta's standards or expectations for our MLAs were that high. ;)

Stew said...

I see what you are saying about how there are more serious matters that could be dealt with. However, what nobody sees in this situation is that the Mycological Society of Alberta has had this project going for quite some time. I'm not sure about the time frame because I'm not involved with them, but it has been over a year, if not two, since the original nominations of mushrooms, and the subsequent petitions got started. This has been on the sideline for a while.

By the way, I remember a conversation about 6 years ago where one member said that The Great Western Puffball should be our provincial mushroom in honor of Ralph Klein.

Peace.

rc said...

"I see what you are saying about how there are more serious matters that could be dealt with. However, what nobody sees in this situation is that the Mycological Society of Alberta has had this project going for quite some time."

Don't get me wrong, I can respect the work that the Mycological Society has put into it. It's their passion. I get that.

But all the same - the adoption of a mushroom as a provincial symbol seems an awfully cosmetic thing given the current slate of issues needing attention. And the optics of our Legislature debating the merits of this mushroom for 40 minutes during the current financial climate are, well, awful. In a 'fiddling while Rome burns,' sort of way.

There would be nothing wrong with this being put on hold for the immediate period while other pressing issues are sorted out - with our provincial legislators telling those folks that they will address it when their proverbial "plate" isn't so full.

That would also benefit the mycologists' cause, too, as it would be less likely to be met with public derision if presented in the Legislature at a less critical time.