Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2002.
At Trickle Creek in northern Alberta, Wiebo Ludwig thought he’d buffered his tiny religious community from civilization, but in 1990 civilization came calling. A Calgary oil company proposed to drill directly in view of the farm’s communal dining room.
Ludwig hadn’t realized his land ownership didn’t include mineral rights. He wrote letters, petitioned, forced public hearings, and discovered the provincial regulator cared little about landowners.
After the oil company accidentally vented raw sour gas, Ludwig’s wife miscarried. Nearby parcels of land were clear-cut. Ludwig’s northern boundary became a highway for semi-trailers loaded with drilling equipment. Seismic crews raced up and down his road. More sour gas wells popped up. People defending their property rights gradually turned into monkeywrenching terrorists. …[more]