06.04.2012 06:47 AM

Flanagan hoists Mulcair on his own petro-petard

Dippers will bleat about Wildrose in response, but it’s a fair point nonetheless: the federal NDP leader is a hypocrite.


  1. Tiger says:

    Well, if we’re going after the oil-sands, it’s perfectly fair to look at going after those giant hydro projects in Quebec…

  2. bigcitylib says:

    The Que. hydro projects did most of their carbon emitting years ago. Nowadays, if any kind of cap and trade system came in, Que. would win big due to those earlier decisions.

    And, frankly, Flanagan’s line of attack (and Warren’s) just isn’t working if you look at the polls. People are now with respect to Alta. and the West where they were 15 years ago with respect to Que–over them and tired of their incessant whining. Besides, Flanagan can hardly complain about the NEP when Alta. proposes to ram a pipeline through B.C. People in B.C. are already comparing THAT to the NEP.

    • Warren says:

      Elitist central Canadian West-hater, you.

    • JamesHalifax says:


      The analogy you use is inaccurate. Quebec’s winfall is coming at the expense of Newfoundland, which is the rightful owner of much of Quebec’s power generation revenue. Granted, it was Newfoundland’s own fault – through their premier at the time..but the truth remains, Quebec is benefiting from the resources of both Newfoundland AND Alberta. In effect, Quebec (as usual) is basically stealing from the rightful owner again.

      The NEP on the other hand robbed Alberta of oil-revenue, whereas the pipeline through BC would actually provide revenue to BC. Anyone comparing the NEP to the proposed pipeline through BC is simply incapable of clear thought.

  3. Stew says:

    I wonder, if Alberta left Canada, would it nationalize the tarsands?.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      That would only happen if the folks of Alberta voted in a socialist party.

      Folks in Alberta actually understand the connection between hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and basic fairness. Not really conducive to electing the NDP types.

      • Ted H says:

        So just what are NDP types? Ordinary working Canadians I always thought, and the policies of the NDP have always sought to make life better for ordinary working Canadians. Most of whom, even those not living in Alberta understand hard work and fairness.

        Contrast this to Conservative types, either millionaires or suckers and no thought at all about making life better for ordinary Canadians.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          No Ted…an NDP type is someone who believes in Socialism. As you know, socialism is the economic equivalent of taking from those who work the hardest, take the most risk, and otherwise outperform the average person.
          The NDP feel like a party of “Robin Hoods” taking from the rich and giving to the poor, but they fail to understand human nature. If a high-achiever knows that no matter how hard he or she works, they will receive the same as the lazy, or malcontent…why bother?

          Typically, you consider those who are rich as somehow responsible for others’ being poor, as though people can only become rich by screwing someone else over. That’s not really accurate, but it is the prevailing view of the NDP’s of today.

          You may not believe this Ted, but most millionaires today…have actually earned it. They are the ones who build something from nothing and employ people, which in turn allows these employees to feed their families.

          as for your line about most people believing in hard work and fairness…that is true. It is also why the NDP has never been trusted to run the country. As yet, most people DO believe in fairness. They realize that their situation is not a result of someone else’s.

          As for making life better for ordinary Canadians….you are again wrong. High earners, pay higher taxes, which as you may understand support social programs for those who are not doing as well.

          Lastly, if ordinary Canadians want to make life better for themselves….you should start with ordinary Canadians, not the rich ones. Socialism caters to the lowest common denominator…..and giving them power over the economy would not make the poor better off….it would make everyone worse off. I’m sure you won’t understand that basic reality, so I won’t waste any more of your time by explaining it to you.

          • Kelly says:

            So you’d be OK with an inheritance tax and a tax on lottery winnings, then.

          • Cath says:

            In Mulcair’s case he’s got the rewriting the saga of Robin Hood. Instead of robbing the rich and giving to the poor, the Mulcairs of this county think nothing of robbing the rich and putting themselves in the line-up to receive those riches.

            Kinsella and Flanagan have it right.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            No, Kelly….I’m not in favour of taxing lotteries or inheritance.

            Lotteries: Taxes have an effect on everything they touch. Lotteries are meant to raise revenues for Governments (different levels) or specific causes. If people knew they would be taxed, less people would buy lottery tickets. I’m assuming the actuaries calculated that the lost revenue from ticket sales would be greater than the amount recovered in taxes. (at least in Canada)

            Inheritance taxes: These amounts have for the most part have already been taxed when the wealth was accumulated…taxing them again specifically is just unfair. Besides, if anyone has an inheritance coming to them….you’d be surprised how much is taken from you already in other fees and services.

          • Ted H says:

            You may not believe this James, but I have helped many millionaires achieve their riches. I pay taxes that support highways and take only an occasional road trip. Millionaires on the other hand, often have goods delivered via the highway everyday so they are making money from the roads that you and I and millions of ordinary Canadians ( I am assuming you are one) pay for. As the saying goes, it takes a village to raise a millionaire. They didn’t raise something from nothing, they were helped vastly by the infrastructure that everyone pays for. Countries that you probably regard as socialistic have the highest living standards and widely available health care and education. You actually have a quite simplistic and rather than ignorant, let me say un-sophisticated view of socialism, the NDP and economics in general.

          • JamesHalifax says:


            Socialists are always demanding the more wealthy pay a higher share as a matter of fairness…..until these aforementioned socialists themselves reach a stage in their life where they fall into that category themselves.

            Socialist politicians understand, “If you rob Peter (ALBERTA) to pay Paul (Quebec, maritimes, and parts of Ontario) you can always rely on the support of paul.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Ted H….I’m glad you pay taxes. That means you’re working…and not being a drain on the economy.

            Now, these millionaires who use the roads, are paying a disproportionate share of the taxes already, which, I may add…build more roads, employ more people..etc..etc…

            As for your views that Socialism is better….hmmm……I take it you don’t get out much. Other countries with socialist polices (not the Liberal variety as per the skandinavians) include:

            -North Korea (socialism with totalitarianism)


            As you can see Ted….most socialist countries are basket cases because of it.

            If you think Socialism is better than capitalism…try this simple test. Two actually.

            One simple test: How many Americans are lining up at the borders of socialist countries to apply for citizenship? Now..how many people from socialist countries are lining up to get into the USA?

            Test two. How many socialist countries have created inventions that have changed the world for the better? (ie. desktop computers, cell phones, the internet, medical breakthroughs..etc..etc..)

            Ted, an advanced society is not the sum of what makes it the same as everyone else….it is determined by what makes it stand out above the rest.

            In Canada, as in the USA, we stand out because we have a social safety net that allows us to look after the less fortunate. We can do this because we have a system where people can excel in their achievements and benefit from their hard work. The poorest people in Canada are doing far better than most others’ (relativelys speaking) in many other countries.

            That is the measure.

  4. Ted H says:

    So Alison Redford’s “National Energy Strategy” is OK in the West but Trudeau’s ” National Energy Policy” is still anathema and a great source of votes for the Conservatives.

    Was PET simply 40 years ahead of his time? Are western politicians the biggest hypocrites west of the PMO? Does the West claim an exclusive right to come up with any ideas concerning engergy?

    The last time I looked, Alberta, like Quebec, was part of Canada and has a responsibility to share and be responsible to the rest of Canada. Or is the Alberta attitude ” what’s yours is ours and what’s mine is mine”?

    • Michael says:

      Ted, you are forgetting about all the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit it took for Albertans to locate their province over top of one of the world’s largest reserves of natural resources.

      Were it not for that incredible bit of foresight, they would be nothing but Atlantic Canada with their culture of defeat. 😉

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Nice Try mikey…but still wrong.

        If you want to share in Alberta’s bounty….you are free to move there and work. You will benefit from the resources just as other Albertans’ do. Of course, you will have to work once you arrive.

        As for the culture of defeat in Atlantic Canada….that’s not exactly what was said. I believe the quote was closer to, “failed Liberal policies…..have led to a culture of defeat” Still stings…but it was true.

        I knew folks from Newfoundland who would have every male from the family sharing the same job. Dad would work til he qualified for EI, then ask to be laid off. Then older brother would work until he qualified, and then ask to be laid off…and then the next brother, etc.

        Four guys working at the same job for the time required for EI, then pull the old switcheroo. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what the designers of EI were looking for when they created the program.

        The culture of defeat…..it is true in some sense, but I wouldn’t call it defeat. Those who used the system this way were rather proud of themselves and how clever they were. I’d call it more of a culture of entitlement.

        • Kelly says:

          What about the Ralph Bucks? Free money for everyone to piss away at the mall. And the Wiley Rose party was proposing this, again.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Kelly, Ralph bucks didn’t come out of the pocket of other Canadians….it came from resource revenue. It was a sharing of the wealth of ALBERTA….with albertans.

            As for pissing away money at the mall…..what is wrong with that? That is actually how an economy works….people spend money, pay taxes, etc..etc…..

            I suppose you think a better idea would be to ship it to an ingrate province like Quebec?

        • Michael says:

          The quote is:

          “I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome.”

          No one is disputing the fact that those in Alberta work hard. Just like the men & women on the assembly line in the auto plants in Ontario, just like the men & women on the fishing boats in Atlantic Canada. Alberta does not have a monopoly on hard work.

          But even you James must admit that Alberta owes much to the good fortune of being located on top of a vast quantity of natural resources. Because without the oil, all the hard work in the world is not going to amount to a hill of beans.

          On another but somewhat related note. Is there any other country in the world where the management and taxation of natural resources is not left to the federal government?

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Michael, of Course Alberta was lucky enough to have natural resources. And thank god they do….the rest of the country is receiving a windfall because of it. People all over this country work hard, but not every province has the same degree economic literacy. Quebec has resources, but they refuse to develop them for the most part. If they did, however, they would lose equalization payments to a large degree…and god forbid “la pure laine” give up anything if they already receive free money.

            As for Maritimers working hard…of course I would agree. The problem begins when some of those folks ONLY work hard for a couple months per year….and then decide to take a paid vacation at our expense for the rest of the year. That’s the issue.

            As for the countries that have Government management and control of natural resources……Venezuela comes to mind. And that isn’t working out too well for them.

            As an aside, the NEP was a clear indication of what happens when a country like Canada lets a politician without any expertise manage any file. It quickly goes “balls up” and causes more harm than good.

            by the way….the FEDS receive BILLIONS from Alberta’s riches. Everyone benefits from it.

      • Josh says:

        Micheal, Albertans “invented” tar sands. They have the patent and everyone else is infringing on it!

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Alison Redford has not yet come out with details for what she calls her National Energy Strategy, but I’m sure it doesn’t include artificially lowering the price of oil, or sending revenue to Quebec and ONtario for nothing in return. I suspect she wants to send a pipeline East to supply the provinces found there. I also suspect it is a bit of realpolitic to ease the criticism of the oil-sands and their future expansion. It’s hard to criticize….when your programs are paid for by other provinces.

      Also Ted….why do those in the East only care about ALBERTA being forced to subsidize the other provinces? Where is your demand for Quebec to return the favour?

      Don’t forget….the provinces control their own resources. That silly Constitution thingy says so.

      • Ted H says:

        Well James, I live in Ontario, where despite recent problems in the manufacturing sector, the economy still has way more depth than Alberta. Why, we subsidized Alberta for years when she was just a little farm girl with her hair hanging down and cow shit between her toes. We don’t care about who subsidizes who, it’s you Albertans who are all bent out of shape on that issue. This is one country, a very large community of people who help each other, does that idea penetrate at all?

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Ted H……I live in Ontario now as well. I’ve never lived in Alberta, but I do know it has more than oil and farming going for it. Perhaps you should do a little research before commenting on something you know nothing about.

          As for subsidizing Alberta for years…hmm….considering they haven’t needed any bailouts for quite some time, I’m assuming that YOU had nothing to do with it. Unless you’re approaching 90 years of age that is.

          As for you not caring who is subsidizing who……of course you don’t care. YOU aren’t subsidizing anyone, and probably never have. As for a community of people helping people….I’m all for it. But what I’m not for, is a community of people behaving like parasites off of another community of people…and then complaining that they STILL aren’t getting enought.

          Trust me, TED…I’m all for helping out the less fortunate, what I’m not for is helping out those who don’t want to help themselves.

          Given that I paid more taxes last year than many people make…..I’ve done my part. Just say thank you…and move along.

          • Ted H says:

            James, Alberta was a “have not” province, supported mainly by Ontario and BC up until 1947 and then again from 1957 until 1965. What goes around comes around and provinces help each other. The ones getting equalization payments are not parasites, the ones not getting equalization have nothing to crow about and nothing to say about how other provinces structure their finances.

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Ted H…..

            you will note that you didn’t write about Quebec helping Alberta out? YOu will also note that Alberta has provided far more TO Canada…than it has received. I was able to do this due to its resources. As you may know, the oil-sands are still in their infancy so to speak. It has not been a viable process until relatively recently (costs to extract the oil exceeded the market value). The question is not so much what Alberta has given already, but what it CAN give in the next 20 to 30 years as the process for extraction and export develop. it will be a huge windfall.

            As for the parasite province….I had one in mind in particular, but I’m sure most Canadians know what province that is. They have $7 day care, and the lowest tuition in Canada….and they still whine and complain. As I wrote…they are like parasites…but with one difference. At least the tick or flea feeding off your pet appreciates it.

  5. Dan says:

    Trudeau was right. Trudeau isn’t just one of the best prime ministers we had. He’s also one of the most winning.

    This article is basically saying Mulcair is the next Trudeau. I’m not sure the comparison fits. But I can see why it would have a Liberal strategist would be worried.

    (Also, hydro-electricity doesn’t do the same economic and environmental damage as oil. A more apt comparison would be the Quebec mining industry. And Mulcair has said the same thing about foreign investment in non-renewable resources across the country. Try attacking Mulcair for wanting to destroy the Quebec mining industry… maybe that dog will hunt.)

  6. JamesHalifax says:

    Dan, winning doesn’t necessarily mean you were right. It means you could win elections. If winning elections is your criteria for being right, then no doubt you approve of Harper. He’s done his fair share of winning.

    As for Mulcair being the next trudeau….hmmmm …..not sure about that. What did Trudeau have that Mulcair didn’t?

    1. Brains
    2. Intellect
    3. Charisma
    4. Actual ideas. (not always good ones, but he believed in them)

    As for hydro being easier on the environment…..I suspect there are a few hundred thousand flooded acres of woodlands and its inhabitants that would disagree with you. The infrastructure for dams leave a large footprint, and messes up natural floodplains, rivers and wetlands, as well as the associated wildlife that once lived there.

    Mulcair is simply using the tried and true “divide and conquer” strategy. He’s pitting East against West, and everyone knows it. That is hardly an original strategy…….

  7. smelter rat says:

    Uh Oh.

    “The Canadian dollar remains elevated, buoyed by high commodity prices. An appreciation of the Canadian dollar could hurt exporters. Manufacturing companies will continue to be challenged by a strong Canadian dollar and moderate external demand.”
    Alberta Budget 2012-13

  8. Kelly says:

    The crash in world oil prices after North Sea and Alaskan Slope oil hit world markets had more to do with damaging Alberta than the NEP. Oil went down to $12 a barrell or about $40 a barrell at todays prices. Bitumen is uneconomic under $80 to $85 a barrell because it produces so little net energy. It’s almost, but not quite, a case of pure arbitrage. Relatively clean but very cheap natural gas going up in flames to extract expensive “oil”. It produces lots of cash but little net energy compared to light sweet crude. The world uses about 87 million barrels of oil a day. Canada is a net exporter of only about 2 million barrels per day thanks to all the oil we import in Central Canada. In terms of net global oil exports we’re relative pipsqueaks with no control over prices and only one major market. Alberta should be finding ways to make oil obsolete so they can control the technology, or at least make money from it, before another jurisdiction does. That’s what a conservative would do. Prepare for the future, save the oil revenues and have appropriate tax levels — you know, like those pesky socialists in Norway, the country of 4 million that coulld pay off Canada’s national debt and still have money left over for coffee and donuts at Tim’s. Instead they subsidize tax rates and over spend. They even handed out Ralph Bucks to piss away at the mall a few years ago, then ran huge deficits after the 2008 crash and subsequent collapse in oil royalties. We need better management in this country, not Conservative incompetence.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Kelly….you are aware that the majority of the time Canada has been in existence…..it has been Governed by the Liberal Party correct?

      If you have concerns about how the country has been run…..look there first.

      • Kelly says:

        I’m talking about Alberta — which is still part of Canada. But as for Canada, we’ve still managed to sink to 41 in the world for infant mortality according to the CIA fact book. A woman’s baby had a better chance of surviving birth in Cuba and Andorra in 2010-11 than in Canada. I’m not making this up. We used to be 7th in the world. This is largely due to inadequate social and health services on Reserves and the far north. That’s Ottawa’s fault. And yes it is related. Tax cuts mean we’re deciding to piss more money away at the mall and spend less of it on health, education, social services and infrastructure. These are the real consequences of short-sighted, “spend it all now” “Conservative” thinking. Tommy Douglas was more of a conservative than Harper’s gang. Tommy ran 17 straight balanced budgets. How many has Harper run?

        • JamesHalifax says:

          Kelly, though a tragedy, the high infant mortality rate in Northern Canada can be ascribed to other factors other than not taxing people enough, or moving Government money around.

          Since you like to look at studies, see if you can find one that shows the incidence of pregnant aboriginal women who drink, smoke, do drugs while carrying a child. Then see if you can find the study showing the high incidence of abuse on Reserves. I think you can find them right beside the studies showing how many pick-up trucks, ATV’s, and and large flat-screen TV’s were seen in that short video of Attiwapiskat.

          These reserves are not in financial straits because they don’t receive enough Government funding….they’re in financial straits because of what they spend their money on. Attawapiskat…needed a new school. They built a hockey rink instead. The list goes on and on…

          However, before the usual labels are thrown around….couple of points. If you take ANY group of people and stick them out in the middle of nowhere without prospects for a job, advancement, or proper education….you would get what you see up North and in other Reserves. The problem is not Government funding, or the lack therefof, the problem is with the Indian Act and the Reserve system. Jean Chretien tried to correct this as far back as 1968, but the senior aboriginal leadership wanted no part of it….because senior Aboriginal leaders are doing very well thank you very much. In fact, there is a reserve in Nova Scotia with less than 300 members, and the Chief of that tiny reserve….paid himself almost $1 Million bucks.

          Tell me again how taxpayers are failing aborignals?

    • Kelly says:

      I stand corrected. I was too optimistic. By December 1979 the inflation adjusted price of oil (in today’s dollars) hit $110 a barrel. By 1984 it had fallen to under $60 a barrel thanks to a nasty global recession — and that had nothing to do with the NEP. Then it crashed again in 1986 — again, no NEP needed to wreck Alberta’s economy — again. Fast forward to a few years ago…What happened in Alberta after the 2008 global crash and subsequent plunge in oil prices? Yep…Layoffs, stalled projects, plummeting royalty revenues and deficits. You’d think there was another NEP or something.

      The NEP was all about control. Americans didn’t like giving up control of our industry and they fooled Albertans into thinking that Canada was the enemy. Did Alberta make less money that it COULD have, given the high world prices at the time? Yes. But the main impact on the economy was the global recession and overall drop in oil prices and subsequent pull out of investment.

      You probably have figured out that I don’t like our federal system very much. In my opinion the provincial governments are an unnecessary level of government. It’s unfortunate that Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia existed before confederation. We’d be better off with a national government and municipal governments. It’s too late to change anything now, of course, but we have a system that amplifies artificial differences. We also have an electoral system that produces phony regional political outcomes. All parties (other than the Bloc) get lots of votes all over the country — but you’d never know that based on our steam-age electoral system. We have phony results, a phony parliament and a sham democracy. That Harper willfully ignores the will of Parliament, as well as numerous judgments against his government from courts, and various federal agencies merely cements this fact. Yeah, I’m crabby. Sorry for going off topic — but it is actually related, in a way.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        A sound and compelling argument Kelly.

        Boiled down to: “I don’t like it….so it must be wrong”……

        I’m sure you have changed a lot of minds today.

        • Kelly says:

          Actually, it’s the other way around.

          As a conservative you can choose to live in a non-reality-based phantasy world of your own creation but that doesn’t mean anyone else had to listen to you or take you seriously or behave when your thugs in Ottawa tell us to sit down and shut up. The reality is simple: oil prices go up, Alberta makes money, they piss it away on new trucks, the price of oil goes up too high, a recession is triggered and Alberta gets into financial trouble (because, being phony conservatives, they didn’t save.) Then they look for some outside force to scapegoat. It happens every time like clockwork. I grew up next door in Saskatchewan. The boom, bust and bitching in Alberta are as predictable as a Harlequin romance.

        • JamesHalifax says:

          True, Kelly…you don’t have to listen to me or take me seriously, but if you want to know how an economy actually works outside of theory…..it might be a good idea.

          As for oil prices….when the price goes up, so do the taxes to Ottawa. As for the price of oil being too high, well…that’s basic supply and demand. When prices go high, that is a sign of excess demand compared to supply. Solution…..produce more oil. In fact, if you want the price of gas to come down, you should be cheering Alberta whenever it increases production.

          Hell…even the Iranians know this. If they need to make some $ quickly….the threaten to cut off the straits of Hormuz, and the price of oil shoots up. Given Oil is Iran’s main export….that’s good for Iran.

          As for Saskatchewan…you will note they are doing far better these days. Two main reasons: They are developing their resources, and they punted the incompetent socialists.

  9. JamesHalifax says:

    smelter rat, you are aware that oil is just ONE commodity correct? Don’t forget:
    1. Grain, barley, wheat
    2. Produce
    3. Livestock (beef)
    4. pork bellies
    5. Potash
    6. Uranium
    7. Coal
    8 Natural gas
    9. Precious metals

    The list goes on. Oil makes up a very small portion of our exported commodities. Just so you know, it is not the commodities itself that creates a high valued dollar. It is people purchasing Canadian dollars because they see a country that is chugging along very nicely in a competitive world. When investors are looking around the world they are asking themselves, “what country is runnning a tight ship” and where can I invest my funds to ensure my wealth doesn’t erode? Well, be glad they choose Canada. It’s a sign that Harper is doing a very good job managing the economy in a difficult time.

    As for the section you quote:

    “bouyed” by the high commodity prices does not mean, “the only reason the dollar is high”…there are a myriad of reasons, Commodities only make up a small portion of them.

    Manufacturing companies challenged by the high dollar have themselves to blame. If they cannot remain competitive, then they will fold…that’s how it should be. These same companies reporting difficulty now, are the same companies that should have been investing in new equipment and processes when the dollar was low. Productivity is the reason they start to fail, and when combined with the financial hole Obama is digging in the USA…we shouldn’t be surprised. If our number one customer cannot buy our stuff…….our less competitive manufacturers will be the first to feel it. (that’s the external demand citation)

    Don’t buy into Mulcair’s clap-trap. He’s relying on the economically illiterate or just plain ignorant to believe his claim of Dutch Disease. I suspect even the Dutch would be laughing at his theory.

    • Stupidest statement of the day: “The list goes on. Oil makes up a very small portion of our exported commodities.”

      at approximately 2 million bpd of net exports, at a current price of, shall we say $80 per barrel, that works out to just a tad under $60 billion per annum. You are talking through your ass . And you do not have a clue about the mechanism by which market exchange rates are arrived at. They are determined by the marginal trade. Every day another 160 million US is buying canadian dollars to pay for those oil exports. You MUST be a Conservative, or a Dipper because you claim ecomonic competence, but are really making it up as you go along.

  10. G Betts says:

    Sounds to me like Flanagan is trying to fan the flames of Western separatism. Why encourage him? Those are dangerous fires.

  11. JamesHalifax says:

    I would say the dangerous fires are being lit by folks like Mulcair, who is playing the game of “divider” for the sake of his own personal political expediancy. He wants to be the PM, and he doesn’t care who he hurts to get it. If he loses Alberta….he still has Quebec and ONtario.

    Imagine the shock though, when Quebec and the other have nots realize that the rednecks won’t be providing their living any longer? It would almost be worth it just to see the reaction as real life hits them in the face.

  12. Josh says:

    It’s great to hear comments on National unity from someone who drafted a strategy for putting up a firewall around Alberta.

    • JamesHalifax says:

      Josh, what the “firewall” letter was saying is that Alberta should take the same stance as Quebec. That way you keep the meddling Fed’s from Ontario out of your wallet.

      You can thank Trudeau and the NEP for that letter….because that’s where the sentiment originated.

  13. dave says:

    I’ve lived and worked here in the oil patch most of my working life. To me, ‘risk’ is something that happens to forestry people who are out there actually doing the cutting, and people in the mills. Risk also happens people out on the seismic crews and rigs. I have never made much, nor kept much; that is probably why I have a hard time imagining the ‘risk’ experienced by oil industry big shots up on the 23rd floor trying and financial industry to make the tough decisions between their maritini lunches and their squash games. Their remuneration levels, contrasted with that of people on the rigs, is a complete mystery to me.
    When one industry is in windfall situation, that windfall does raise prices, and nation wide, puts upward pressure on the currency. It can cause erosion of other industries not a part of that windfall. That is ‘dutch disease.’ I would like a journalist to ask anyone attacking Mulcair (or Nikiforuk, or any other of the people suggesting we have a look at this) to give his understanding of what ‘dutch disease’ is, and explain how Canada is not experiencing it.

    In a petro state, a government basically turns over the resource to the private sector, usually foreign, and collects a pittance of what the resource (finite resource) is worth to the people of that state. The state can reduce taxes, but then is not beholden so much to tax payers, the populace, as to the corporations contrilling the nation’s resource. Dutch disease is a part of this, with other economic activities having a real tough time making a go of it. Most goods anyone is able to get for day to day living is from somewhere far far away. Does Alberta experience this? Does Canadian democracy? If so, we probabaly should open it all up and figure that out. If we are on that road, then we should decide collectively jsut how far down that road we want to go.

    Flanagan mentions NEP I from the early 1980’s, then speculates that Mulcair is considering an NEP II. But we already have an NEP II; after NEP I was dropped, we began NEP II: we turned it allover to the private corporations…increasingly foreign corporations.

    JamesHalifax, my own view is that mainstream economic and political theory here in the patch is founded on the fact that the reason there is oil and gas under the ground is that there are ‘entrepreneurs’ walking around on top. It is a good idea to differentiate between enterprising, risk taking people, and carpet baggers.

  14. JamesHalifax says:

    dave, clearly you believe the Government should control and run the oil-sands, because that is the only option if you don’t believe that private companies could do it. There have already been several studies showing that the impact of the oil sands on the manufacturing sector is far less than Mulcair would have you believe. I am not going to go over the studies again, as they are readily available to anyone who wants to look for them.

    Governments do not generally go for investments in large undertakings like the oil sands for a very simple and compelling reason. They cost a fortune to develop, and the skill sets and expertise required are not found in Government. That is the reason why private companies do it. They accept the risk, they make the investments, and they have the know-how to develop the resource safely and properly. Do you really expect a social-worker, now NDP MP to have the knowledge of the oil sector? That’s why Governments generally stay out of it….they don’t know what they’re doing.

    As for foreign corporations owning a large stake in the oil sands….so what? Canadian companies own large stakes in resources in other parts of the world….that’s how the economy works. You buy it, you develop it, and you are taxed by the Government of the country that owns the resources, and you pay royalities. The alternative, is the resource remains undeveloped.

    Frankly dave, instead of providing the “communist manifesto” version of what you think is best….you should just be glad you have a good job in a vibrant sector of the economy. And by the way…..maybe you should see how many retired/soon to be retired people have a stake in these evil oil companies. (RRSP”s, etc.)

    As for carpet baggers……..that sounds like Mulcair to a T.

    • Josh says:

      Who is Canada’s most prominent carpet bagger, the one who left Toronto to go work in Alberta’s oil industry? Hint: our PM.

      Also, social workers are more than competent to interpret the results of studies.

      Also, governments often, more than you would think, undertake significant industrial investments. Just look at the military — far, far more substantial and complex than the oil industry.

      • JamesHalifax says:

        Josh, if a carpet bagger is someone who moves to Alberta, works his way up from mail room worker to PM…that is an interesting definition of carpet bagger.

        As for social workers being competent in anything….sorry, I’ve seen them in action. How many dead kids do we now have because social workers made bad decisions, or choose to ignore the obvious?

        And Josh…the military is not a “for profit” company that needs to earn revenue to be a success, it is a component of our National Defence, and as such is filled with military people who run it. Politicians don’t run the day to day operations of the military, for the same reason they don’t run oil companies. They don’t know how.

        You may wish to offer up another comparison.

        • Kelly says:

          Why is it OK for government to own the military and not an oil company? Why are 90% of global reserves controlled by state oil companies like Norway’s Statoil? Norway has a sovereign wealth fund of $610 billion. How much does Alberta have?

          • JamesHalifax says:

            Kelly, please note that in many oil producing countries, the Government does not only own the oil companies, it also thinks it owns the people. You really don’t want to follow that route.

            As for Alberta…..give it time. Once production is under way on a large scale, and the pipelines are in place…..they’ll save a fair chunk as well. As long as Alison Redford doesn’t piss it all away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.