What Canada needs …

The Wall Street Journal, commenting on the Canada-Saudi Arabian war of words (and tweets) says that “Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic rupture with Canada risks complicating the kingdom’s efforts to woo foreign investors as it seeks to overhaul its economy … [and] … The eruption in tensions between allies risks fueling concerns among investors during a tumultuous period of change for the kingdom … [because] … Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a grand reform plan, called Vision 2030, that aims to transform the kingdom from a staunchly conservative petrostate to a more socially liberal country less dependent on oil. But Prince Mohammed has also made it clear he won’t brook outside criticism of key decisions—a stance that analysts say could threaten capital flows that Saudi Arabia needs for its overhaul … [and] … Despite the recent rebound in oil prices, Saudi leaders have struggled to persuade businesses to come to the kingdom. Foreign direct investment into Saudi Arabia plunged to $1.4 billion in 2017 from $7.4 billion the previous year, according to United Nations trade figures released in June. The slide marked a 14-year low.

The article notes that Canada is not alone: “Diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Germany have been strained since November, when Germany’s then-foreign minister criticized the kingdom for having pressured Lebanon’s prime minister to resign. After that, the Saudi government quietly ordered that no new contracts be awarded to German companies, according to people familiar with the matter … [and] … “Expelling an ambassador over criticism of human-rights issues is the worst thing you can do,” a Gulf-based diplomat said. “It confirms prejudices about Saudi Arabia that exist among businessmen in Europe, for instance, while helping investors from countries where business comes first and that aren’t too concerned about human rights issues.”

Saudi Arabia has long relied upon nearly unconditional American and British support which it bought by being a massive (cash) purchaser of American and British military hardware and by being a reliable supplier of crude oil. But the Kingdom was never well governed and now, the Journal says, the government is looking for new taxes and new investments, but its own actions may make the latter more difficult.

Canada doesn’t need allies in its spat with Saudi Arabia ~ we needn’t care what e.g. Donald Trump or the Aga Khan might think. What Canada needs is a pipeline to get Western Canadian oil to refineries in Eastern Canada ~ in Quebec, in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and in Newfoundland and Labrador ~ to replace imported American and Arabian oil. Canadian cars should be burning safe, ethical Canadian gas and Canadian homes should be heated with Canadian, not imported, energy. What Canada needs, in other words, in . a new government ~ led by an adult.

 

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