Monday, September 05, 2005

Are the Liberals Making a Play to Nationalize Oil and Gas Again?

This news story from the state-run propaganda machine, the CBC, should scare the hell out of Western Canadians. The CBC is putting out the idea that Canadians want the energy sector taken over by government, and they use the results of a poll to back up their claim. The CBC is infamous for skewing polls to fit their pro-socialist, pro-liberal agenda and this is just the latest example. The Headline reads:

The Canadian Press said Monday a Leger poll suggested 49 per cent of respondents want petroleum resources nationalized while 43 per cent said they would like to see the same fate for gas companies.

The Leger Marketing telephone survey of 1,500 people was conducted between Aug. 24 and Aug. 31, much of it before the major effects of Hurricane Katrina were felt.

The liberal love affair with raiding the pockets of Western Canadians is never ending, especially when it comes to the energy sector. In a bid to address western alienation, liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin visited a few cities western Canada and said things he though the people of western Canada might want to hear. One comment he made was that the success of Alberta’s oil and gas companies were good for all of Canada. Now, the untold story behind that comment is starting to come to light.

It looks as though this CBC poll-a-torial and Paul Martin’s read between the lines comment could mean that we will be reliving the failed liberal policies of the 1980s.

Norman Spectator describes Trudeau’s National Energy Program fiasco this way:

When Ottawa stepped in with the National Energy Program (a "sharing" program) in the 1980s, that led to destroyed businesses, a near-collapse of the energy industry, and lost livelihoods for thousands and thousands of Albertans.

That program was a textbook case of killing the goose that laid the golden egg. When the Alberta energy sector prospers, all of Canada benefits. Alberta's energy industry buys much of its equipment from Ontario's manufacturing sector, for example, sustaining jobs for our Ontarian cousins. Business taxes sent by the sector to Ottawa help fund health care and other programs in every corner of the country. And on and on. When that sector experiences a downturn, the chill is felt in boardrooms, lunchrooms and living rooms across Canada.

Alberta has never said "no" to helping the rest of Canada through improvements to revenue-sharing programs. But it does say "no" to other governments that, seeing a likely-brief spurt of extra revenue in Alberta, target the province as a quick fix for their problems. History has proven that doesn't work, and in the end, the whole country suffers.

The cost to Canadians for the failed liberal policies of the 1980s is still being felt by Canadians today. One year ago this month, Ezra Levant wrote an article for the Calgary SUN. In that article he outlines how that failed socialist experiment of Trudeau’s National Energy Program cost the Canadian taxpayer over $100 billion. In that article he wrote:

Back then, Quebec's hegemony over Canada was being threatened by the rapid growth of Alberta's population and even faster growth of the oil patch. The economic centre of gravity was moving west, and the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal axis of power was being challenged. That could not stand, at least according to Paul Martin's mentors, Pierre Trudeau and Marc Lalonde.

Lalonde himself publicly admitted at the time that staunching the flow of money to the West was a guiding principle of his National Energy Program. In addition to forcing oil companies to sell oil below its market value, usurious taxes and political review of foreign investment, the NEP nationalized a good portion of the industry into the body of Petro-Canada, distorting the marketplace for all private sector competitors.

Petro-Canada wasn't about energy. It was about socialism. Proof of that was that its early president was Maurice Strong, the globo-socialist who went on to chair the Rio Summit against oil, and became chief architect of the Kyoto Protocol. Martin is connected here again. It was Strong who gave him a job in college working for him in this socialist enterprise.

All the pieces of the liberal agenda are here and fitting together like a puzzle. You have the state-run propaganda broadcaster, the CBC, preaching that Canadians and oil companies are to blame for global warming. You have a plan to implement global socialism in the Kyoto protocol, a document drafted by the creator of the biggest liberal boondoggle in the history of Canada. You have Paul Martin implementing Kyoto by shipping off Canadian taxpayer money to Communist China by the billions of dollars to purchase emissions credits in the name of saving the planet. And, at the center of blame are the people of Alberta and the oil and gas companies trying to supply a Canadian economy with supply problem brought on by decades of manipulation by liberals and their punitive government regulations.

Last month’s ploy by Paul Martin to address the problem of western alienation may just be part of his goal to nationalize a bigger part of our lives.


At 1:07 a.m., Blogger Raging Ranter said...

It's funny to here many of the same Canadians who favour Kyoto complaining about the price of fuel. If they don't like the price now, how are they going to like it if Canada actually makes a serious attempt to meet our impossible Kyoto targets? It's Economics 101. If you want people to consume less of something, you have to raise the price. People respond to incentives. In a delicious bit of irony, this latest spike in fuel prices might force Canadians to reduce their emissions more than any hair-brained accord Maurice Strong and his UN buddies could come up with. And, while getting exactly what they want (i.e. reduced emissions)they'll whine and complain every step of the way. Strange country we live in.

At 1:47 p.m., Anonymous Brian C said...

The results of this survey are certainly concerning to Albertans. This survey indicates that Canadians are willing to have Canada demonstrate the same free enterprise spirit as Saudi Arabia where we would have a Canadian Aramco. Granted, we all are experiencing gas price shock. However, any tax on the oil industry would need to be matched by mandatory fuel effienciency requirements for the auto industry. The Canadian government isn't even spending it's gasoline carbon tax properly on roads. The federal government is incapable of managing any business properly without "redirecting" funds to friends.

At 11:57 p.m., Blogger Rink Rat said...

According to an article on the Canadian Taxpayers Federation website, Let's Talk Taxes - Debunking the Prime Minister’s Gas Tax Spin, Paul Martin tells reporters that "the federal government does not make money from increasing gas prices". His premise is that with higher gas prices, consumers use less off-setting any expected increse in government revenues. The article claims Canadians bought 40 billion litres of gasoline in 2004. So, with gasoline taxes accounting for 30% - 40% of every dollar spent, either the government will be awash in money, or Ontario and Quebec will see a reduction in their number of summer smog alerts. I guess we wait an see, either way...more spin.

At 9:30 p.m., Blogger Ken Breadner said...

Look, the question is, do we accept these sky-high prices or not? If yes, qwityerbitchin; if no, something like the NEP must surely follow: taking the GST off gas (the only other solution I've seen) won't alleviate prices much.
I have no problem paying around a buck a liter for gas. What I object to (strenuously) is the 30-cent-a-liter jump we saw in the wake of Katrina. I don't begrudge Alberta its prosperity, but not at the expense of everyone else in the country.

At 8:58 a.m., Anonymous Brian C. said...

"I don't begrudge Alberta its prosperity, but not at the expense of everyone else in the country."

So most of the Canadian banks are headquartered in the Toronto area. Do we begrudge Toronto it's success because of the sky high bank fees? Your statement indicates that indeed you will not unconditionally accept the free market forces and allow prosperity for a region of the country.

Alberta already does share with the rest of the country in terms of transfer payments. Exactly what more is needed from Alberta? I could take the same stance as yourself. I don't begrudge the ability of the rest of Canada to elect governments which do not responsibly manage money, but I draw the line when it starts to hurt Albertans.

The point is that Alberta needs its oil industry as is to develop more diversification.

At 12:59 p.m., Blogger Ken Breadner said...

"Alberta needs its oil industry as is to develop more diversification".
If you want to diversify, then do so. It's not difficult--you've got the manpower and the mindpower.
I was trying to say that Canadians feel mighty gouged just lately--even in Alberta, where they must be wondering why they're paying so much for their own gas.
Not everybody can ride their oil-heavy stock portfolios all the way to the bank and offset these ridiculous gas prices.

I really see no hope for Confederation, what with Quebec wanting to separate on cultural grounds and Alberta wanting to separate on cultural AND economic grounds.

At 7:10 a.m., Anonymous a. villeneuve said...

Gee I didn't know Alberta was separating on cultural grounds, what would that be? Drunk Premiers and oil execs playing 'screw the consumer'?
No Alberta needn't worry about the rest of Canada fretting about separation, we really don't even know if you are 'Canadian' in the first place. You folks sound more like Yanks anyway the way Alki Ralph treats the poor and the sick. I have always contended that Quebec has been the only thread that keeps us from being second class yankeed*ddlers. As far as nationalising the oil, Absolutely, it's about time we actually get a say on our own resources as a whole rather than be dictated too from some bleary eyed hay seed who couldn't give a good god damn - see "let the eastern bastards freeze". We Easterners have a long memory, too bad we couldn't let the free market rule the wheat supplies instead of Alberta being a 'welfare' case with that marketing board. I'm sure they could compete with third world wheat eh?

At 11:46 a.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our problem is Quebec.

Always has been.

Always will be.

At 2:16 p.m., Anonymous Brian C. said...

Firstly, a lot of Albertans would be ecstatic if the Canadian Wheat Board was eliminated. This is a dictatorial entity that mandates that wheat is sold to the Wheat Board first. Get rid of it, please! In the Canadian constitution, taxation and management of non-renewable resources is a provincial not a federal responsibility.

I'm not interested in bashing other provinces since every province is unique in it's own way. The problem with Canada is NOT Quebec, it is Ottawa.

Mr. Villeneuve, no province has more private clinics than Quebec so petty insults about our health care system aren't warranted. I thought Canadians were worried that Alberta would over fund our health care system so that other provinces couldn't compete. By this logic, Alberta needs MORE money so that we can properly fund our health care system. Good point! :)

If we as Canadians are planning on taxing fuel as an environmental measure, it would be better if it was done as a broad policy that does not target a specific region, e.g. serviously developing a train system, funding mass transit, developing renewable fuel sources, etc, AND taxing gasoline.


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