Editorial – Perhaps we are doomed

Jeff Burgar

We just had a horrible, horrible nightmare.

To set the scene, we were reading an opinion piece. It appeared originally in the Calgary Herald daily newspaper. Written by Don Braid, the column talked about how Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has an energy plan. As in, to quote Trudeau himself, from a speech in Ontario in January 2017:

“We can’t shut down the oilsands tomorrow. We need to phase them out. We need to manage the transition off our dependence on fossil fuels.

“That is going to take time. And, in the meantime, we have to manage that transition.”

A few days later, as Braid writes, Trudeau was on the hot seat at an appearance in Calgary for his Ontario words. Said Trudeau at the time: “Um, I misspoke … I said something the way I shouldn’t have said it.”

As Braid wrote in his column, “But Trudeau didn’t say he’d been wrong. He just wished, it seemed, that he hadn’t made himself so obvious.”

It was fine in Ontario. Not so fine in Alberta.

You will note the key word in Trudeau’s Ontario remarks was “manage.” As he said, “we have to manage that transition.”

A cynic might say, “managing” is what Liberals have been doing since being elected in 2015.

Braid says, “They’re managing down Alberta’s industry by imposing new regulations, killing pipeline options, withdrawing tax incentives and passing energy-hostile bills such as C-48 and C-69.”

This isn’t the death of an industry by a thousand cuts. It’s death by constant slashes, deep thrusts, and twisting of the blade. Much indeed handled by rules, regulations, and strokes of the pen.

Consider West Virginia’s coal industry. Former U.S. president Barack Obama and his environment friends wanted to kill that industry. How about Alberta’s coal? There was nothing about “Let’s make it work.” No “Let’s throw money at the problem like we do every other problem.” Just kill it off.

What if Premier Rachel Notley’s crew really wants to turn Alberta greener than grass, and don’t care about the human cost? What if Trudeau really, really wants to shut down Alberta oilsands completely? What are all of us going to do? Install “Made In China” solar panels? Farm with ox and scythes? It just makes one giddy with excitement, does it not? Or are these people insane?

These days, so much news is filled with talking heads telling us the sky is falling. Every week, if not every day, there is a new “hair on fire” story. We are expected to fall for the doom stories completely. New revelations about an evil president arrive like a scheduled train. Along with more budget sops, more fantastic immigration allowances, more terrible hate crimes, and another parade of environment rules. That’s only what we hear.

All the while, our province, our country, is taken down a path to a really friendly, but pretty well broke, banana republic. We can’t finance ourselves. We can’t defend ourselves. We can’t pay for the professionals and trades people we need. We probably won’t be able to feed ourselves, heat our homes or drive to work. All good, up to the point we light up the wood stoves because we can’t pay for fuel.

Thus, the nightmare. What if it’s all true?


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