A couple of months ago I commented on a newspaper column by Gwyn Morgan, a distinguished Canadian business executive, that had some “home truths” for Canada.
Two things caught my eye yesterday:
- Another newspaper column by Mr Morgan, in the Globe and Mail, (the column is behind a “pay wall,”so, in the interests of an open discussion I have quoted from it at some length under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act) about the current government’s folly ~ there’s no other word, I’m afraid ~ as it tries to appease its anti-pipeline base in the Laurentian Elites and also tries to make some gains in the West at the same time. He offers a few more “home truths;” and
- A CBC News report that yet another train carrying crude oil has derailed in Northern Ontario.
The latter item, first: this is, the CBC News report says, “the third CN oil train derailment in northern Ontario in less than a month;” and this is despite the fact that CN confirms that the train cars “had been retrofitted with protective shields to meet a higher safety standard known as the 1232,” which was mandated after the Lac Megantic disaster. That goes beyond “unfortunate,” shipping oil by rail is playing fast and loose with Canadians’ health and safety.
Now, it’s easy to blame these people …
Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Transport Minister Marc Garneau
… but we might just as well, better actually, blame these people …
… they’re the ones, after all, who have given the anti-pipeline, indeed the larger anti-Canadian oil narrative, its current “respectability.” But it’s not really them, either; they, and large parts of the environmental movement, including first nations and groups supporting them, are bought and paid for by these folks …
… who are the ones who really want Canada to remain unable to get its oil, safely and effectively, to Canadian seaports so that it can be sold globally.
Going back to the first item; Gwyn Morgan asks:
“What is the relationship between the following three events?
- Foreign Affairs Minster Stéphane Dion says in February that the government won’t stop the controversial $15-billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia despite what he terms the Kingdom’s “terrible” human rights record because “very surely … the equipment in question would be sold to Saudi Arabia by a country that has fewer scruples, and this would not change one iota the situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia.”
- In 2015, Eastern Canadian refiners import hundreds of thousands of barrels a day of crude oil from Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Angola, countries ranked badly by Human Rights Watch.
- The federal government announces a nine-month extension to the 18-month Energy East regulatory process to study whether the pipeline would increase greenhouse-gas emissions and to allow for additional consultation with aboriginal and other interest groups.“
He also asks: “So why are we microscopically scrutinizing the environmental impact of our own oil production, while giving imported oil a free ride? Should we not also consider these countries’ deplorable treatment of women, persecution of dissidents, repression of journalists and discrimination against minorities in comparison with the freedom and social justice record under which our oil is produced? How do we factor in the human cost of enabling the purchase of arms by the fighting factions in what is a perpetual war zone? Finally, why would Canada choose to be dependent on foreign oil when we don’t have to be?“
“These reasons alone are enough,” Mr Moran explains, “to make the Energy East project a national priority, but,” he adds “even more compelling are the economic implications. Canada produces 3.8 million barrels of oil a day. World prices have fallen by about 70 per cent over the past year. That’s bad enough, but few Canadians know that our oil is sold far below the world price, owing to lack of pipeline access to world markets.
This discount currently amounts to about $10 a barrel, meaning we forfeit $38-million every day Energy East is deferred. That means the $250-million injection from the federal stabilization fund promised by the Prime Minister in his recent visit to Alberta wouldn’t even offset one week of market access losses. It also means the cost of his government’s nine-month regulatory deferral is a staggering $2.7-billion. And since 90 per cent of Canada’s production is exported to the United States, that amounts to a $2.4-billion subsidy to U.S. consumers.
But that still doesn’t reflect the full impact of this unnecessary regulatory delay. In the days following the Energy East deferral, oil and gas companies announced thousands more layoffs and further cutbacks to 2016 capital investment, bringing the total to $15-billion, more than 20 times the $700-million infrastructure funding Mr. Trudeau announced in Alberta. And let’s not forget the substantial tax revenues that $38-million a day and $15-billion annual capital investment could have created. Instead, we have the Prime Minister’s spending promises that taxpayers will have to repay.“
Those are pretty mind boggling numbers and they, along with the all too frequent oil spills from “safe” rail cars, are, really, just self inflicted wounds. Our government, acting at the behest of the politically partisan environmental movement, corrupt first nations, greedy and debt ridden provincial and municipal governments, the whole, all too familiar, NIMBY crowd, and the US administration has decided that pipelines and energy security and tax revenues from the profits from the sale of our resources abroad are less vital than their ongoing re-election campaign. It appears, at least it does to one with a suspicious mind, that our prime minister and his government are also bought and paid for by the factions, in the USA and elsewhere, who want to keep Canada from being able to sell its resources to the world at world prices.
Pipelines are, indeed, a “no brainer,” even for an unfocused government that is still in campaign mode, nearly five months after it won the election. Why, one needs to ask, is the Trudeau regime apparently intent on doing real, measurable damage to Canada while it kowtows to the American climate change lobby?
In another context I asked “cui bono?“ Who benefits from stirring up trouble within Canada? Why do groups as diverse as the American petroleum industry lobby group and the Arab sheiks and a pretty hard left lobby group want our oil confined to the US market? Why does Prime Minister Trudeau support them and not Canadians? Those are all (perhaps unfair) questions, but I’m afraid the answer will be more “home truths,” an unpleasant fact about ourselves, as Canadians, that someone else has to tell us: maybe something like the fact that just last year we elected an inept, irresponsible government.