Coming together for Canada's most divisive city

Two & Out
By James Peters
May 6, 2016 - 9:55am Updated: May 6, 2016 - 5:50pm

KAMLOOPS — There is no more divisive city in Canada than Fort McMurray. 

To some, it is the source of livelihood, the source of wealth, the place that made all of their dreams come true. 

To others, it might as well be the place where they found Osama bin Laden. 

It's the capital of the oil sands, and if you think the oil sands are the horrific force that is the bane of environmentalists and Hollywood stars alike, then you probably have a negative reaction just from hearing those two words: Fort McMurray. 

Hopefully, those people are able to keep enough perspective not to point and laugh when tragedy strikes like it did this week. 

Some, sadly, weren't able to restrain themselves. 

A former Lethbridge NDP candidate was among those who decided they wanted to add insult to injury this week, rubbing sand into the wounds of those thousands of people who have now lost their homes. 

His comment was just one of many haughty insults on social media made by people who have apparently never had their lives put at risk.

It should go without saying that this is the time for compassion and help from the rest of Canada. 

Anything less is subhuman. 

But even the premise of that criticism is completely flawed. 

Fort McMurray may be the place where people go to work in oil sands, but Calgary and Edmonton are home base for the companies that control the oil sands. 

And Toronto and New York are where the oil sands companies go to get their financing. 

And the demand for that product in a supply and demand economy? 

Well that's all of us, isn't it? 

Anyone who has helped drive demand for oil has helped create Fort McMurray. 

All the more reason for everyone, no matter what side of the environmental debate you find yourself on, to look to Fort Mac with compassion this week.

Save the holier-than-thou punditry for another time.