While this story is getting a little old, I still wanted to throw in my two cents. Seems in recent days an airline stewardess on a West Jet flight inbound from Vancouver created a bit of a stir by asking who wanted to land in Fort McMurray...and who didn't. Normally, this would have died a quick death and not garnered the attention it has except for the fact that a municipal councillor and the Mayor were aboard that flight.
An editorial in a local paper suggested a 24-hour boycott of West Jet on Canada Day to protest the stupidity of the remark. I haven't flown very much the past couple years so I'm not sure what sort of effect that would have but I do find it an interesting idea. I'm sure there will be people who will say the Mayor and others on the flight who were upset should just get over a bad joke but I can understand their frustration with the airliner. I'm sure similar jokes have been made about any number of other places. This community (quite unjustly) gets a lot of bad press by the anti-oilsands crowd and other environmentalists, the bulk of whom have never even been here. Name the last time you saw a positive media story about Fort McMurray on the national level. Pretty tough.
As Lisa had mentioned to be the other day, for the people here just to make a quick buck, perhaps this place will never amount to much in their eyes. We try not to let these naysayers get to us because, with luck, they will be on a plane or a car heading down 63 soon enough. There are though plenty of families (and individuals) who care about this community and are intent on making a home for themselves. I just wish that THESE people's voices would be heard more often.