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Albertans may love oil, but they hate rats

The province of Alberta has been entirely rat-free for almost 70 years.
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

The province of Alberta has been entirely rat-free for almost 70 years. Although rats, quite obviously, meander into the province, they never stay long enough to breed, according to the National Post.

Rats are not native to North America, migrating on wooden ships to the New World from Europe, along with their fellow European puritanicals and imperialists. Unlike humans, however, it took the species a significant amount of time to move inland—not reaching Alberta until the 1950s.

Rats are hardly optimal immigrants and they certainly wouldn’t pass Kellie Leitch’s values test. Alberta executed a planned eradication of rat-kind in the summer of 1950: creating a sabre-rattling, propaganda division and employing Albertans to kill of the critters, using whatever methods they deemed necessary.

To this day, there are still no rats in the province. If a rat is spotted in the province, it is every Albertan’s duty to call up the exterminators and to alert the officials.

Throughout history, rats have wreaked havoc upon civilized, bipedal society. Take, for instance, the island of Hawaii, where rodents have destroyed the natural eco-system.

In Europe, rats were believed to have spread the bubonic plague, despite the disease actually being spread by the fleas that lived on them.

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