Monday, February 27, 2012

Alberta's Interest Is Not Ontario's Interest Or The National Interest

Testify Brother Dalton:

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has rebuffed Alberta Premier Alison Redford’s plea to publicly defend the oil sands, saying the high “petro” Canadian dollar has “knocked the wind” out of exporters in his province.

[...]

“...if I had my preferences as to whether we had a rapidly growing oil and gas sector in the West or a lower dollar, I’ll tell you where I stand: with the lower dollar.”

Compare that with  "...the B.C. coastline belongs to Alberta" rhetoric emanating from British Columbia Premier Christy Clark.

4 comments:

Gene Rayburn said...

Christy Clark has done a far better job convincing me to vote NDP in the next election than the BCNDP have done.

crf said...

Yes.

Dalton, or somebody (and it sure as heck wasn't Iggy, and I criticized him for it at the time), needs to show that Harper has divised a National Energy Plan, and its goal is to emasculate Ontario, and make much of any new industrial growth in that province depend upon oil sands services. And to make sure Ontario elects Conservatives to keep the oil sands bacon on the table.

A Carbon tax would support Ontario's nuclear and renewables industry, without having to beg Alberta for jobs, and lessen the effects of Canada's petro-dollar, which has killed the country's competitiveness in export industries. It is superior, in the oil sands, to Harper's complex regulations-based schemes. And every province can't just "do their own energy thing" because that petro-dollar isn't at sole Alberta's discretion: other provinces have an interest in its value.

A carbon tax wouldn't harm Alberta's oil interests, any more, and likely less, than Harper's promised regulations, which nearly every economist would tell you are less economically efficient than a carbon tax. So Harper's regulations-based (not market based) energy plans harm Ontario and harm Alberta, compared to alternative plans involving a carbon tax.

Lest anyone think Harper is in the pocket of the oil interests: not so, I believe. He works that industry like a pawn as well. The oil industry isn't lying when it publicly supports carbon pricing. It isn't a joke to Alberta's oil industry when plans like Keystone fail due to Harper's intransigence at dealing with the oil sand's carbon footprint in a sensible manner.

It's not in Harper's electoral interest for Ontario to control its own industrial destiny. Harper's national energy policy is yet another example of how he'll harm the country in order to advance his electoral interests. Harper cares about himself first, Canada second, Alberta third and Ontario last.

There has never been a politician in Canada so in it for himself.

Lenny said...

In Christy's defence, while her body is still in the Premier's office, her mind is already in her Senate seat.

Holly Stick said...

See also Antonia's article on Dutch disease:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/02/26-4