(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)
By: Candice Malcolm
September 3, 2018
I was visiting Alberta last week, and I heard the same thing over and over again.
Albertans from a variety of industries and backgrounds, from energy to education, from real-estate developers to rig mechanics, told me the same thing: Canada is not working.
Not simply that our politics isn’t working, that taxes are too high or that too many Canadians are out of work, although these things are all certainly true.
In Alberta, I heard a message more pessimistic, more fundamental.
There is a constitutional crisis. The country is not functioning as it should. Our national framework is broken.
For many Albertans, the Canadian experiment seems to be failing. For some, the West wants out.
That last point was particularly jarring. They want out? Surely that’s a bit drastic.
But after Thursday’s news that a federal court struck down the National Energy Board’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline — sending back to the drawing board the only remaining viable pipeline to get more Canadian oil to market — I can understand their frustration.
Just days after Kinder Morgan finalized the sale of the fated pipeline to the Trudeau government — for a handsome fee of $4.5 billion — Canadians get delivered the news that we bought a lemon.
Kinder Morgan will no doubt use its newfound cash to build more pipelines south of the border, to further advance America’s flourishing energy industry — at our expense. Meanwhile, Canada’s oil is demonized, Albertans are smeared and their livelihood is attacked.
It’s disheartening. Especially when leftist activists and journalists celebrate the death of another Canadian pipeline with ignorant glee and mean-spirited jeers.
These leftist zealots have unilaterally determined themselves to be morally superior. They focus their ideological fury at Alberta’s oilsands, which they have decided is uniquely evil.
Funny how they never seem to protest OPEC oil; they never try to shut down oil production in Russia, Iran or Qatar.
They don’t seem to mind that these countries use their oil wealth to wage wars, oppress women and persecute gays and other minorities, or that every barrel of Alberta oil “left in the ground” means more oil imported from these tyrannical despots.
And while these leftist activists preach about imaginary alternative energy sources, they fuel their cars and heat their homes using the exact product they claim to despise.
They eat food and wear clothes that have been produced thousands of miles away, shipped to them quickly and cheaply thanks to the modern miracle of energy.
Their beloved kayaks, tents, bicycle tires and helmets are all made of oil.
But pointing out these basic contradictions gets you nowhere. Their feelings override your facts.
For years, Alberta has been the unsung hero of confederation. Every Canadian province has proven oil reserves that could enrich citizens and ensure future generations get to live the good life we enjoy today. Alberta has been uniquely willing to forge ahead with economic development, and has built the gold standard of responsible oil development.
Alberta’s economy is the reason Canada has a top-notch education system, “free” health care, and the richest middle class in the world. It’s the reason millions of Canadians get to collect more from the government than they’ve ever paid in.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to Alberta. Instead, because of cynical politicians, militant protesters and activist judges, Albertans are repeatedly punished for playing by the rules.
Alberta deserves a lot...(READ MORE)