Thursday, March 01, 2012

Should Ontario Capitulate To The West?

 Alison Redford thinks so; some guy from the Canada West Foundation thinks it isn't necessary.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the clowns on the Op-Ed pages of Canada's various right wing papers, Alberta has become the new Central Canada, and Calgary the new Toronto.   Cheerlead for the tar-sands all you want, folks, McGuinty's remarks are tapping into a simmering populist backlash.


Peter said...

McGuinty's remarks are tapping into a simmering populist backlash.


bigcitylib said...

Lenny said...

Can we stop calling Alberta "The West?"
It's a little confusing, as BC is also being asked to capitulate to Alberta, which is our smaller eastern neighbour.

It's also a neat little trick Albertan conservatives employ to turn the 5% of the country's population they represent into the entire western half.

crf said...

Redford cannot be taken seriously when her government lays back and laughs when Ontario's clean energy intrustry is given no welcome in the province.

Alberta has also been holding the hands of the Federal government as it scotches a rational climate policy (a carbon tax) at home, and stays absolutely silent when Canada does f-all to advance Ontario's interests internationally. I didn't (quite logically) hear Alberta complaining when Harper lobbied the US and Europeans for Keystone and against Dirty Fuel standards. Those courtesies of the Federal government are not extended to Canada's clean energy industries, in particular the nuclear industry and renewables industries in Ontario. During climate change negotiations at Durban, Canada didn't do anything to advance any practical deals that might have been in the offing to advance worldwide sales of clean energy technology. Canada was exclusively concerned with the interests of Redford's home Province, Albeta.

And yes, petro-dollars do matter, even if McGuinty has to "apologize" for stating the obvious. When something Alberta does affects what other provinces can do, then Redford should try to take that thing seriously. Given that the Federal Government has completely aligned its foreign and domestic policies to benefit Alberta province, the victimization performance Alberta and Redford are giving is just nauseating.

crf said...

From the Alberta PC leadership debate as reported by Calgary Herald

Keith Gerein:
On to question 4. Here's another from an Edmonton Journal reader: Are you support of developing nuclear power in Alberta? Why or why not? Ms. Redford can answer first, then the others can provide their responses.

Alison Redford:
No. We do not require nuclear power in Alberta.


What do you think the press would do if we imagine if McGuinty said No, point blank, during an Ontario debate to the question : Do you think we need Alberta oil in Ontario?

The press would make a scandal that's what would happen. Redford does the same thing and the press yawns a bit and scratches its scrotum.

It fucking disgusts me.

Robert G. Harvie said...

Thus the problem with confederation..

We understand the idea of working towards a common benefit, we just don't like the reality of it...

And this isn't a criticism of Ontario or British Columbia from an Albertan - it's a comment on Quebec's effort to derail Newfoundland's efforts at equitable sharing of hydro resources.. it's a comment on Alberta's decades-old complaints over equalization payments.. and Ontario's complaints over a high petro-dollar.. and so on.

Provinces want "autonomy".. but demand the benefits of confederacy.

And they are, occasionally, mutually exclusive.

If you don't want to allegedly pollute the world with Alberta's "dirty oil", well, you'd best turn down any equalization coming from that resource (did you catch that Dalton?)



It's the age-old secret to consolidating power and distracting an electorate from realizing that you're not doing your job.

Now that McGuinty is seeing the writing on the wall - suddenly, Ontario's failure is Alberta's fault.

Now that Alison Redford is, already, being called out for being the charletan she is (a budget premised on oil prices far beyond any rational expectation), she's beginning to "circle the wagons", and you can expect the blame for what promises to be continued financial mis-management in Alberta to be passed to British Columbia and others..

Why not start with a discussion of our commonality, instead of the typical "us/them" meme?

Robert G. Harvie said...


And crf.


I mean.. uh.. are you trying to be obtuse?

To be fair - the comparison would require someone asking Dalton McGuinty, "Do you support the use of natural gas and gasoline in Ontario."

To be followed by the response, "No, we don't require natural gas or gasoline in Ontario."

Alberta doesn't have any need for nuclear energy. Now - that doesn't mean we shouldn't consider it.. but we have massive amounts of coal and natural gas to generate electricity - and some hydo as well.. so, the statement from Redford (whom I have no use for) is simply accurate.


If Ontario were to suggest not only that they don't need Alberta's contribution of tax dollars (bad enough) but that they, in fact, don't need to use gas and natural gas - now THAT would be amusing.

crf said...

Sure it is accurate to say Alberta doesn't need Nuclear, but it is completely at odds with a "National Energy Strategy" she purports to believe in.

Not having Nuclear in Alberta also means not reducing its GHG emissions from oil sands. Not Supporting Ontario's nuclear industry. Not supporting any effort to price CO2 nationwide or internationally. And Damn Ontario if Alberta persues her own Interests exclusively with this "National Energy Strategy".

And no. The hypothetical question I had McGuinty answer is not obtuse. It is the equivalent of the question Redford was asked, in several important ways. Supporting nuclear in Canada is, in fact, a question of Supporting Canada's nuclear industry. Nuclear isn't the same kind of industry as oil and gas: Ontario could have a policy of disdaining developing the oil sands, pointing out that it can import its oil from elsewhere, and is today unreliant upon Alberta oil, so damn the Alberta oil industry! But, in reality, as we have seen, if Ontario makes even small noises about how the Alberta industry affects its competitive position, Alberta and press are in high dudgeon.

So Alberta wanting Ontario's support on the oil sands would be the same as Ontario wanting Alberta's support for its industrial strengths. And the press's ignorance of this quid pro quo, the kind of reciprocity needed to make a functioning nation, is maddening. The hypocrisy!

When Alberta damns nuclear in its own province, while purporting to have some sort of national energy strategic vision, and having the press and federal government play along, this what it is saying to Ontario: "Damn you and what you do".

Lenny said...

"If you don't want to allegedly pollute the world with Alberta's "dirty oil", well, you'd best turn down any equalization coming from that resource (did you catch that Dalton?)"

Does Ontario also get to turn down Alberta's emissions from the atmosphere they share?

And you never told me whether Albertans would be happy to live out their retirements in lovely Lethbridge or Whitecourt rather than burdening BC's healthcare system.

sharonapple88 said...

If you don't want to allegedly pollute the world with Alberta's "dirty oil", well, you'd best turn down any equalization coming from that resource (did you catch that Dalton?)

Ontario doesn't get any money from Alberta. Ontario contributes to equalization, the province is just getting part of the money back. Previously, it got nothing. According to the article -- $5.8 billion to the equalization program in 2011-12 (40% of the money in the program), and the province is going to get $2.2 billion back.

To be fair - the comparison would require someone asking Dalton McGuinty, "Do you support the use of natural gas and gasoline in Ontario."

To be followed by the response, "No, we don't require natural gas or gasoline in Ontario."

Odd thing about this country. Eastern Canada imports its oil from outside the country. (Granted, most of Ontario's natural gas comes from Alberta, but the US has been marketing their product heavily in the province.)

Still, there is something odd about fighting to build pipelines to ship oil outside of the country when we're importing oil.

But yes, we need to start working together. Sometimes the whole discussion sounds like a bad marriage counseling session with each side throwing accusations at the other.

Fred said...

"McGuinty's remarks are tapping into a simmering populist backlash"

Correct. Everyone wants to cut sniggering Ontario idiots off sucking at the Have Not Province Public teat that is paid for by Alberta.

No more economics gifts to Ontario just so Dulton can flush the good money away down his beloved Greenie Gaia toilet or payoff public sector unions.

Freeze in the dark, no more soldiers to shovel the streets of Toronto.

And get a real hockey team for a change.

liberal supporter said...

Silly Fred, what part of "Ontario pays $5.8 billion into equalization and gets $2.2 billion back" did you not grasp? You know, the part about $5.8 billion is more than $2.2 billion? So Ontario puts in more than it gets out.

Are you one of those boneheads who gets a tax refund and thinks it's cash that wasn't already yours to begin with?

crf said...

Whoah. Liberal Supporter:
Fred isn't a bonehead. (Don't just call people names.)

Many of his comments are somewhat constructive. Shouldn't any coherence in an argument, and some willingness to engage in debate be nurtured? It shows he still has respect for the very idea that is reality. That's a precious thing: you'll be finding it pretty much extinguished in our press, in parliament, on CBC, on most Con blogs.

And just look at the US: there is happy land! Conservatives there have chosen to happily occupy a separate, alternative reality, with the few tenuous strands linking it to the real world being systematically cut (just this week we learn that in this alternate world, JFK speeches make one want to retch, and women taking birth control pills are all prostitutes). The same thing is probably going to happen in Canada, and right-oriented people don't need others to push them into this sucking vortex. They are going to need all hands to help keep them out.

Omar said...

Here in Canada's 'Old World' we can't stand most Upper Canadians so you can just imagine how we feel about Alberta and in particular western "boneheads" like Fred. It ain't pretty, lemme tell ya..