Yes Alberta, place of the wild rose, is an island, an island of ... . I'd say stupidity but it might offend my relatives, but this is stupid, right?
Tourist officials and the national government in Ottawa were delighted with the promotional clip, part of a £14m attempt to offset controversy over oil extraction in Alberta's beautiful wildlands.
But hours of sleuthing by a puzzled sailing enthusiast, aware that Alberta has no coastline, have revealed that the idyll was filmed 5,000 miles away across the Atlantic. The girl with the flying hair and her friend were romping on the sweep of sand at Beadnell Bay near Bamburgh, Northumberland, where the North Sea rolls in from Lindisfarne.
"We think it's quite funny - a landlocked province in Canada presenting an image of itself as an island," said Sheelagh Caygill of Northumberland Tourism, which is now fondly hoping to piggy-back on the international campaign. News of the gaffe is spreading like wildfire on the internet with tags such as: "Come to Alberta - no, wait, it's Britain."
The curious choice of a seaside beach for a place which has none, was spotted by Peter Bailey, a Canadian looking for places to take his dinghy. He initially thought that the scene might be set on one of Alberta's many lakes, whose sandy shores and unpolluted water are important to the tourism drive.
My favorite excuse for being stupid came, of course, supposedly from stupid HQ,aka PM Stevie, boy, Harper's office buried in the Langevin Block, from a mysterious Tom Olsen who doesn't appear on the official PMO communications org chart.
Olsen responded to questions about picturing Alberta "tar sands" capital of the "free world" that:
"the choice of Northumberland symbolised the fact that "Albertans are a worldly people".
He continued digging mining the hole by indicating that:
""There's no attempt to mislead here. The picture used just fitted the mood and tone of what we were trying to do."