The suddenly cash-strapped Province of Alberta has quietly turned to Edmonton-born singer k.d. lang to provide much-needed cash flow, despite the fact that she is unpopular in her home province and is banned on many radio stations.
The unannounced backroom deal reported to be in the area of $30 million comes as the Province faces a possible $4 billion deficit and Premier Alison Redford admits, "We're skint."
lang was frequently booed off Alberta stages in the 1990s after launching an international "Meat Stinks" campaign and coming out as a lesbian. In the beef and cowboy province of Alberta at that time, either of those was bound to be controversial and lead to lang being shunned.
And Albertans did shun and disavow her including having an album-burning jamboree and the passing of a provincial law that birth certificates and drivers' licenses could only be issued for names beginning with capital letters. So it's ironic that the Juno and Grammy Award winning star is now riding to the rescue.
The first hints of the loan surfaced following Twitter posts from the 51-year old "Constant Craving" singer:
"Alta loan's a hoot. Still hate beef. Still lovin' women."
Following reports on CTV and MSNBC, Alberta Finance Minister Doug Horner told reporters the Province wasn't trying to hide the loan. "Ms. lang is an Albertan and, at a time when Alberta is seeking lenders for infrastructure financing, k.d. has stepped forward to help," Horner said from his Llama and Alpaca ranch outside Edmonton. "You don't have to like lean Alberta steak or lean Alberta cowboys to be a proud Albertan."
k.d. lang's representatives refused comment but social media comments seemed intent on stirring up the past.
"k.d. twang should keep her money and her confused vegan twat out of our business," reads one tweet.
"Our necks aren't red any more k.d. Welcome home," reads an opposing comment.
Opposition and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith issued a release commenting on the private-citizen loan controversy that read, "I have never been a same-sexer and I eat beef."
Reporting for The Lapine