Maxed out 

Alberta’s strategy: take the money and run

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“Alberta has proven its leadership in addressing climate change year after year.”

Lewis Carroll didn’t write that sentence. One thing is perfectly clear though; whoever did has made one too many trips down the rabbit hole.

This self-serving bit of puffery was puffed by the province’s Environment(sic) Minister in a recent propaganda treatise called Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy. Assuming you have the stomach to actually read past this lie — rumour has it at least one aide was speared to death when the Minister’s nose Pinocchioed through his heart moments after he proudly recited it to his gathered minions — you are treated to the musings of a seriously deranged man, presumably speaking for an entire province of seriously deranged individuals deep in the throes of denial.

Reading the report, which took both alcohol and drugs to get through without massive mental anguish, several things are abundantly clear. Alberta’s “Screw You” attitude to the rest of the world is very likely to do what clubbing baby harp seals and mowing down B.C.’s old growth forests fell short of accomplishing: Making Canada the pariah of the developed world, at least as far as environmental terrorism goes. It will keep the country from meeting even the anemic greenhouse gas reduction targets set by Little Stevie Hapless’s government. It will unjustly enrich both the oil companies engaged in the rape and pillage of the oil sands and Alberta’s provincial coffers… at the expense of the rest of the country and the rest of the world. And it will, at some date uncertain in the future, leave Alberta a more or less poisoned dystopia and Albertans choking on their air and unable to drink their poisoned water.

Where’s Pierre Trudeau when you need him most?

Chances are pretty good any Albertans reading this far just doubled over as though kicked in the solar plexus, such is the visceral hatred with which the former Prime Minister is reviled in Texas North.

When Marc Lalonde, Trudeau’s Minister of Energy, announced the National Energy Program in October, 1980, the price of gas had skyrocketed to about 40 cents a litre. The heavy-handed NEP had three stated objectives: making Canada self-sufficient in energy production; redistributing energy wealth away from producers and the provincial government towards the federal government and consumers; and fostering greater Canadian ownership of the industry.

It was a miserable failure.

It was a failure because it was a bald-faced money grab. It was a failure because of timing. The ensuing economic meltdown — remember, the Prime Rate was about to soar to 23 per cent — would have devastated Alberta’s capital-intensive extraction economy all by itself, but coupled with the timing of the NEP, it made the program seem even more nefarious, not to mention a convenient scapegoat. And it was a failure because it was implemented with a heavy hand, with no tangible input from Alberta and because it sprung from the mind of a Quebec-born, Liberal, eastern bastard many Albertans would have been happy to see freeze in the dark.


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