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Compare & Contrast

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Every issue we’ll compare Fort McMurray to another town or city in Canada. The facts will be quirky, off the wall, and quite interesting, just like YMM-ers!

How does YMM stack up against: Cold Lake

One of them has an airfield that serves the best of the best and the other is struggling with unprecedented growth brought on by a surging boom related to the development of the Oil Sands. Er, which one is which again?

According to Stats Canada, Cold Lake has about 1,300 children under four years of age in its total population. That’s about how many children are born in Fort McMurray every year. So we know who’s having more sex.

Also according to Stats Canada, Cold Lake’s latest census shows a population of nearly 14,000. We know that’s wrong because in the same report they show that the region of Wood Buffalo has about 66,000 residents, which is about half the truth.

So, of the 28,000 residents of Cold Lake, less than 5 per cent speak a language that is neither English nor French. There are over a 100 different nationalities represented in Fort McMurray. Conclusion: We’re more welcoming.

What’s in a name? Well, we don’t have a fort, we never did. However, if you’ve ever dipped your toe in Cold Lake… let’s just say people don’t go there to swim.

One of the trails around Cold Lake is called the African Lake trail. In Fort McMurray our trails, like Deer, Bear, Beaver and Fox, are at least named after stuff you might see. Which is why I’ve never walked the Cougar or Lynx pathways.

4 Wing Cold Lake is the busiest fighter base in Canada. Home of fighter pilot training for the Canadian Forces, 4 Wing attracts Top Gun crews from all over the world to the annual air combat exercise, Maple Flag.

Ok, you win this round. On behalf of all of Fort McMurray, we’re just proud of what you flyboys do. Thank you.

Then again, on the official Cold Lake municipal website, there is a tab that is labelled Things to See and Do. It’s blank.

Cold Lake Municipality has a mayor and six councillors. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has a mayor and 10 councillors. Write to us and let us know which councillors you think we can do without.

Cold Lake Regional Airport has announced that not only is the runway lighting now working, but you can also pay for your gas by credit card. Both Westjet and Air Canada are contemplating using it now that their pilots can collect air miles when refuelling.

Fort McMurray has just built an international award-winning airport to take the community well into the 21st century. In the other hand, the map of Cold Lake Regional Airport shows a runway, a taxiway, a fuelling area (complete with credit card machine no doubt), and an ‘isolated area’. This last part is very big. In fact, most of the airport seems isolated. There is no terminal.

But they do have three golf courses compared to our two, which means you are nine times more likely to get a tee off time in Cold Lake.

Cold Lake municipality recently held public consultations about the revamping of Kinosoo Beach. “It’s great to see how the public reacted to this process – the number of people who responded to the survey was outstanding,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. No politician in YMM has ever been able to say the same about the involvement of the people of Fort McMurray, unless their tongue was firmly embedded in their cheek.

Less politicians, more involvement from the people and more golf courses. This has been YMM’s hardest comparison competition yet. In the end Fort McMurray wins by the narrowest of margins, mostly because we’re having more babies, and therefore more sex.