Allergic to Admitting Error
An alpine slide is an amusement ride with a pretty simple definition. You have a chute on a hill- usually with twists and turns which you ride down on a wheeled cart. Personally I prefer something more nauseating but that's just me.
The government of New Brunswick has this site which advertises Sugarloaf Park in Campbellton where it mentions both winter and summer activities. Note that in the summer activities section (and not in the winter section) you are encouraged to experience Atlantic Canada's only alpine slide. This alpine slide, named (oddly enough) The Alpine Slide is not open during the winter. Are we still clear? Need some time to review?
Enter some other arm of the New Brunswick tourism department. They want to encourage winter tourism so they make some advertisements featuring winter activities at Sugarloaf and among other things, these ads state, "For the ultimate downhill experience try the alpine slide." (I don't know what medium they were using, the story about them was on radio.)
Now one would expect that this is a simple mistake. Someone compiling the list of winter activities saw "The Alpine Slide" and, not knowing what it was, assumed it was tobogganing; sliding down a snowy hill. A natural mistake. The park does have a sliding hill. But this mistake started to have people showing up looking for "The Alpine Slide" which was advertised as a winter attraction and being told that it was closed for the winter. Some of the visitors might have known what an alpine slide is but assumed it was covered or had the snow cleared off it or maybe they did actually think it was regular downhill sliding, only to be told that the "alpine slide" was closed for the winter.
Whatever the deal was, tourists were being needlessly confused and probably angered. So the governing Conservative Party's minister of tourism stepped up to the plate. She informed the province that...(sigh)
There was no mistake. She says that some of the staff at Sugarloaf refer to downhill sliding as "the alpine slide". So the ads are not mistaken. People working near "Atlantic Canada's only alpine slide", named The Alpine Slide happen to be the only people in the English speaking world to call tobogganing "the alpine slide". "Let's go up some hill and do the alpine slide. Eh?" is not a common Canadian phrase.
As of this morning there was no intent to stop or correct the ads. That would require admitting a mistake or even just a fallible choice of words. Governmental infallibility is a pillar of every political party's doctrine.
I suspect someone will give the tourism minister a clue before the end of the day. That is not the point. The point is that when confronted with a simple mistake that can cause a lot of damage, the first instinct of every single politician who has ever lived is to ignore deny and ignore again. And the moral of the alpine slide is that the ultimate downhill experience is watching government's ride their integrity down a chute. The sooner we learn how to take the representatives out of representative democracy, the better off we will be.