The Shotgun Blog
Monday, January 28, 2008
'Alberta's greed is a threat to the world'
A liberal dose of hysterical hyperbole from the left coast's left-wing online magazine.
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Pardon my ignorance, but is "global warming emissions" an actual scientific term?
This article should be re-published in every paper in Alberta. It's time we got a taste of what the rest of Canada really thinks of us.
By the way, what water crisis? I live in Southern Alberta, and the water's fine.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-28 10:54:30 PM
And thank heavens for Harper's good sense. The bleating is getting louder. Canada's golden goose is under attack by the saviors of the planet.
The envy levels are palpable and disgusting. Central Canada will use the 'poison planet' scenario to try to humiliate Alberta into handing over much of the wealth that Alberta, it's investors and workers are creating.
If the climate wimps have their way, we will all be living in tents and eating granola, that is, if there are any farms left to grow the stuff in place of the organic fuel crops that will be more lucrative and oh-so proper.
Even Stelmach has probably had time to review the 'binder' and with that hit of reality is now pretty gung-ho on pushing ahead and giving lip service to the carbon credit freaks.
Consider that there is so much American investment in Alberta with contracts and supply obligations. As uncomfortable as these pointless attacks on prosperity are, we must always keep in mind that "money talks and bullshit walks". That is just another of life's little realities that the Left can't get their heads around.
Posted by: John West | 2008-01-28 11:29:43 PM
John you are right about the envy coming from central Canada. Just remember that this has happened before when the economic centre was moving from there to Alberta. The Liberals in Ottawa were not about to see the power base shift from Ontario to the West, so voilà the NEP.
Posted by: Alain | 2008-01-28 11:36:12 PM
I hope they'll remember these fine words when the Oil Sands are closed down and we have to buy gas for six bucks a litre from such champions of human rights as Venezuela, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. And before you cyclo-freaks open your gaping mouths, remember that all your synthetics, your spandex, your plastics, and practically every politically correct material in your self-righteous existences is derived from petrochemicals.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 12:38:10 AM
The Greenies, the Dippers, enviro-freaks, go ahead, shut down Alberta oil, buy Arab oil, fund the dregs of the world while we freeze in the dark.
At the same time get out the bicycles, dog sleds and mukluks, we won't be affording petro to drive cars and trucks.
The abject stupidity is astounding.
It's right up there with all the deep concern with the Afghan detainees, same kind of Liberal/Leftoid mindset, an ideology without the ability for reasoned thought.
Posted by: Liz J | 2008-01-29 6:08:40 AM
This could be impetus to set in motion events that could one day remove Alberta from the Canadian Dominion. Albertans should realize that such an event will cause many of us former Albertans who have relocated to the US to return. An independent Alberta would also have the means to be the most attractive tax zone in North America and would compete with American jurisdictions for new and expanding businesses.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 6:24:08 AM
As someone mentioned in another post. The west...at least the prairie provinces, should unite and go it's own way. Manitoba is about to become one of the world's largest providers of hydro-electricity, and sask, alta, have the obvious. Along with grains, the ocean at churchill, forestry, mining, beef, manufacturing, ...the list goes on. The west is rising and the east is in a panic. If the lefties get back into power and ruin the west again, there will no doubt be a referendum. The longer this crap goes on, the more I want to seperate. Sad, but true.
Posted by: Boggy | 2008-01-29 7:32:56 AM
My own thoughts are that Alberta should go it alone to start with. The other three provinces are notorious for electing NDP governments from time to time. I think British Columbia would join an Independent Alberta within 10 years; I also think Saskatchewan could be counted upon to join the Alberta/B.C union rather than remain with the other seven. I am less sure about Manitoba but they would be welcome as well.
However, I think the plan is less likely to succeed if the plan is to go with all four at once. Alberta needs to take its rightful place as the leader.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 7:44:04 AM
yes I agree, they do elect NDP sometimes. Especially Sask. and now Manitoba.
But it would only make sense that other political parties still have a say in elections. To have one right wing party all the time wouldn't be to good for democracy. Provincial politics and federal politics are quite different. As federal seats go Manitoba has 9 or 10 of 14 , Sask has 12 of 14, all of alberta, and half of BC in which are Conservative seats. But yes, I do agree that it may be better to go alone in the west one province at a time, leaving the socialist land of "old Canada" lol. But ultimately leaving Manitoba out of the western provinces wouldn't be good for western Canada. Winnipeg is one of North Americas largest distribution points.
Posted by: Boggy | 2008-01-29 7:54:33 AM
Agreed. I was being cautious - 5 years is "within 10 years".
We should not think of Albertans as right-wing. In the current political environment, that characterization does have some merit. However, in the larger history of North American civilization and even within Canada's own history, Alberta should more properly be viewed as being centrist that has elected ever so slightly left-leaning governments (Lougheed, Getty, Klein, Stelmach) in the last generation or so.
An independent Alberta free from the strong left-wing pull that exists within the other three western provinces would allow it to establish itself as the leader politically and economically. By politically, I mean the new ideas (which are really older ideas that have stood the test of time) need time to take root. I also mean that Alberta would need to establish itself as a more populous region. The population shifts required to make this happen would occur more quickly from the other nine provinces and from America if Alberta were alone and were able to establish a new country without the distractions of all those who actually believe Canada "works".
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 8:06:28 AM
Population shifts to Alberta? Is that wise? This province is driven by one industry, which has diminishing returns. Not a great foundation for an independant state.
Someone better do a poll. Most Albertans I know wouldn't want BC. Sorry.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 8:14:50 AM
Relax guys. Alberta's oil sands are only a threat to the world in which these nuts live. We're doing just fine - and as obc correctly points out - Alberta keeps Canada going, especially after Ontario has fallen apart.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 8:17:47 AM
I didn't refer to any one province as such. I stated the seats in these provinces federally. I am not the one branding provinces. I believe it was you who branded the others as more socialist. But federally are not.
As far as Alberta establishing itself as the leader, I agree. Alberta can set the direction. And it should be that way. In time it would only make sense for the 4 provinces and yukon to be a whole.
Posted by: Boggy | 2008-01-29 8:19:00 AM
DP wrote: "Someone better do a poll. Most Albertans I know wouldn't want BC. Sorry."
They would prefer to be landlocked, without any access to a port? That's pretty dumb for a province-cum-nation whose economy rests on exports.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 8:23:14 AM
If independence isn't possible, how about statehood?
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 8:26:50 AM
Alberta would have the means to drive both the corporate tax rate and the personal tax rate at the upper brackets low enough to be the most competitive in North America. This is foundational to the strategy.
American and Canadian businesses seeking to escape higher tax jurisdictions would be pleased to relocate to Alberta for tax purposes. If their staff chose to relocate to Alberta, they would also find a more favourable tax jurisdiction. These migrating businesses (non-oil and gas based) would be the means by which Alberta's economy would become more diversified.
I think the main problem facing an independent Alberta would be how to manage the growth; Alberta's economy would not necessarily be fully diversified - it would simply be more diversified than it is now. An independent Alberta would also be able to negotiate trade agreements with its neighbours in the same manner that all countries do with other countries.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 8:38:09 AM
I don't support separation. I haven't given much thought to the details. If it does happen, I'd hate to think that barriers would suddenly spring up between us and all our neighbours.
It's a nice thought, but we're too far from the market.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 8:40:14 AM
Alberta supplies more energy (natural gas plus oil) to the US than does Saudi Arabia. And Alberta is supplying more all the time. If these leftoids start monkeying around, don't think that the US won't have something to say about it. God Bless the USA!
Posted by: epsilon | 2008-01-29 8:41:05 AM
"As far as Alberta establishing itself as the leader, I agree. Alberta can set the direction. And it should be that way. In time it would only make sense for the 4 provinces and yukon to be a whole."
Agreed. It seems our disagreement is upon the method/process and not the goal.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 8:42:25 AM
What if a way could be found to reduce the carbon emissions coming out of the tar sands without ruining their economic importance to Alberta and North America?
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 8:51:42 AM
One of the other benefits of an Independent Alberta is the pressure that it would be able to exert upon the "have not" provinces within Canada. The amount of money that is tranferred out of Canada and into other provinces far exceeds what an international organization such as the International Monetary Fund would allocate to a country such as Canada.
An independent Alberta would be able to decrease taxes as I described above or it would be able to continue the transfer payments at its own discretion. If it chose the latter, it might want to take a page from the IMF methods and demand that certain changes need to take place. An independent Canada would have the privilege of refusing the monetary help (thereby admitting that the transfer payments were never needed in the first place) or it could adjust its public policies to line up with policies of more economically successful jurisdictions.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 8:53:42 AM
Brent, if Alberta leaves, there won't be any "economically successful jurisdictions" left in Canada.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 8:55:35 AM
Why don't we use the same arguments we used on Quebec.
Will we have a military? We have several Canadian bases, but they would never allow them to be handed over. Will we have our own currency? Resource based currencies are prone to huge fluctuations. Will we control its world value as China does? What about an immigration policy? Would "Canadians get an automatic option to join? Will we allow a huge wave of muslim immigrants? They seem to be the most willing to move here.
I'm sorry, but I'll be heading south, or east. How do you expect immigrants to have any respect for this nation when we have none?
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 8:56:28 AM
"Will we have a military? We have several Canadian bases, but they would never allow them to be handed over."
Difficult to say. At the very least the Canadian bases will have to be closed down. Ideally, we should have our own, but if not then we'd ask the United States to maintain a presence here. Maybe Albertans could join the US military as well.
Will we have our own currency? Resource based currencies are prone to huge fluctuations. Will we control its world value as China does?
We could, but using the US dollar would be best. That way fluctuations could be handled well. It generally has been best to let currency float in the open market.
What about an immigration policy? Would "Canadians get an automatic option to join?
Naturally there would be an immigration policy. It will be imperative to keep Ontarians out. Those people degrade any society in which they live. We don't need their racial segregation and guns out here.
Westerners and Maritimers would of course be welcome. Quebecers would need to learn English. As for Muslims, well, it would run against human rights laws to deliberately exclude them. Just keep them under surveillance.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 9:04:17 AM
"What if a way could be found to reduce the carbon emissions coming out of the tar sands without ruining their economic importance to Alberta and North America?"
Canada is structured so that Ontario and Quebec run the country. Nobody minds Albertans becoming wealthier as long as Alberta does not challenge the political power of the two provinces. I believe it was Marc Lalonde who stated in his memoirs the rationale for the NEP was so that "Alberta did not become too strong". Therefore the carbon emissions is not the true motive. The problem for Alberta (as Lougheed has pointed out) is that the issue of "carbon emissions" is believable for a majority of Canadians at the present time. For these reasons, Zeb, I see a direct link between your first quote and this one following.
"Brent, if Alberta leaves, there won't be any "economically successful jurisdictions" left in Canada."
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 9:05:54 AM
I think even Toyota is having trouble with manufacturing costs. If our population continues to rise, then maybe manufacturing is a possibility. The problem I see is we expect high wages in this province. Factory workers wages have to stay at fairly modest levels if the company expects to turn a profit. I'm afraid we'd have real trouble attracting much manufacturing.
On the other hand, look at the success Tyson foods has had in Alberta. A Texas company that hires mainly East African workers. They seem to be blending in so well. What a great new addition to our society. Muslim immigrants from some of the worst, war-torn, tribal countries on the planet.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 9:10:55 AM
"... to have any respect for this nation when we have none?"
I think that most Albertans have a great respect for Canada. However, it is a respect for the first 100 years of Canada's history. There are many of us who would actually prefer to see Alberta policies and Alberta thinking across the country rather than see Alberta secede from the nation. I understand that it may be difficult for some to see that based upon my previous posts, but my own ideas of secession are based upon what I consider to be practical realities of the current situation in Canada. It seems to me that Alberta thinking mirrors the first 100 years of Canada's history (minus the devotion to the British crown) more so than any other place in Canada.
It is true that I do not have as much respect for the Canada of the last 40 years as I do for the Canada of its first 100 years. No one has yet used the phrase "unpatriotic". However, if anyone is thinking about using that word, I view the secession of all the residents of a province equally as I view the movement of one resident of a province out of the country. I currently live in the US.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 9:18:24 AM
Fair enough. I wanted to find out if there was a way to avoid the mess of secession and civil war that would inevitably follow from Alberta's departure. I can't see the Easterners giving up their cash cow without a fight. Moreover, Albertans should not delude themselves as to the seriousness of their actions. If they invaded, they could overwhelm us. The Southern states thought that one Southern "gentleman" was worth 10 Yankee "hirelings". It turned out to be a slaughter for both. If conflict can be avoided, then good.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 9:23:20 AM
I admit my respect for Canada is at an all time low. I ask those questions because I'm looking for answers. I've often considered looking elsewhere for my kids' sake.
We haven't formed into a solid shape, because of all the liberal policies of the last few decades. What ever happened to the feelings of hope and excitement I felt in 1967? By the time I entered the workforce in the mid 70's it was already gone. I'm not prepared to go through the trials of starting over, but if the next generation wants it, I wouldn't stand in the way.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 9:29:16 AM
hey Pike...we would win that war hands down. The west will be the only place left in Canada with guns...lol....seriously...there would be no war over this. Not in the military sense.
Posted by: Boggy | 2008-01-29 9:30:33 AM
Good point. My estimation is there would not be armed conflict. Most Albertans do not actually realize the size of the transfer payments that exist within Canada. I think that the lack of awareness within the eastern part of Canada is even greatertahn in Alberta. I do not mean that a majority of Canadians do not know who the "have" and "have not" provinces are; however, I think the *magnitude* is not generally known. Therefore, many do not realize that a cash cow exists. Of those who do, even more are unaware of the economic repurcussions of an Alberta departure. There would surely find out - but it would be after Alberta left.
Keep in mind that it is not in even "Liberal" interests to reveal the size of this program. They can say "make the rich pay" and stuff like that, but the Liberals like to paint an image of Canada as kind, caring, and equal. This program could be spun to the masses on the first two points but not on the third.
If I am wrong in my estimation about the armed conflict, I think a third party would show even more interest. See Epsi's post above.
Finally, I think many in Toronto would actually be glad to see Alberta secede and are prepared to pay the price.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 9:37:59 AM
I'd invite Toyota to build a Lexus plant in Lethbridge for all North American sales of that automobile.
Well OBC, if the scenarios that are being played out here actually come about, it looks like Albertans will be the only ones able to afford them.
Seriously, an area cannot continue to thrive with all their eggs in one basket. Alberta will have to encourage diverse industries to set up shop there.
Posted by: atric | 2008-01-29 9:42:23 AM
Boggy: I'd like to think so, but over the past few years Toronto has become a virtual war zone. Toronto kids have become desensitized to violence. Heck most of them are proficient with NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms, and they don't flinch when shot at. All the Toronto people have to do is send their gangs to Alberta. Even the Mongols would be appalled at the carnage.
How can we best save our families and lives from Eastern greed?
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 9:47:32 AM
Excellent post. I think the thoughts in your last post actually reflects a larger percentage of Albertan thinking than does mine although they are close to each other.
Albertans are, by and large, not foolish about secession. The WCC gained some early interest until Albertans discovered the racial issues within that party. Some of the web sites that I have seen on secession say "separate now and we will decide the details later". I say "no thanks" to such a method.
Reform appealed to aspirations within the hearts of many Albertans. The motto of "the West wants in" had two parts to it: the obvious patriotic message of wanting to be part of Canada, and the obvious implicit declaration that the west is not (fully) part of Canada. The fact that Albertans gave Reform such a try indicates that they are not foolish about secession. As I understand it, the Wildrose Party had not ruled secession out, but they wanted to give Canada one more try - something like Reform policies but with the "or else" clause that Manning always and convincingly resisted. I do not know what Wildrose Alliance policy is on this issue since the recent merger.
Either way (secession or not), Alberta is the impetus for change within Canada. This is a good thing.
Posted by: Brent Weston | 2008-01-29 9:50:21 AM
One thing easterners should face is, if Alberta ever decides to have a separtist party, we will mean it. Unless of course we use reverse Bloc tactics-no more blackmail to Que. No more transfer pymts-elected senators etc or we are gone.
Posted by: MaryT | 2008-01-29 11:42:35 AM
One thing easterners should face is, if Alberta ever decides to have a separtist party, we will mean it. Unless of course we use reverse Bloc tactics-no more blackmail to Que. No more transfer pymts-elected senators etc or we are gone.
Posted by: MaryT | 2008-01-29 11:45:43 AM
Yes, DP, a seceded West would have a military, although it would take a while to organize one. We’d have our own currency as well; printing money is easy. Of course we’d need to bolster its value with sound economic policies, which Alberta had until Stelmach put on a Leninesque worker’s cap and started “sweeping the world.” Hopefully he’s learned his lesson.
As for the immigration issue, I don’t see the problem. We would have free reign to set our own immigration policy. I’m not afraid of Muslim immigrants; most of the ones coming here are trying to get AWAY from the dysfunctionality in their homelands. I think envious easterners are more of a threat to Alberta’s security than Islamic immigrants.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 11:51:59 AM
Zebulon Pike wrote: "If independence isn't possible, how about statehood?"
The U.S. would take Alberta and B.C. for sure. B.C. would give them ownership of the complete west coast from the Beaufort Sea to Baja California. Both B.C. and Alberta have abundant resources, Alberta especially. I doubt they would be interested in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, however.
I admit, I'm open to discussion on this idea, and it's certainly more practical than trying to start up a whole new nation.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 11:59:15 AM
If I could vote in a plebicite, sign a petition, whatever and end up with an instant American citizenship, hand me a pen.
There's no use trying to start a new independant state that would end up as some sort of American Protectorate. I make my living off American money anyway.
I've often thought my ancestor fought on the wrong side in '76. Thats 1776. The little piece of land he got for it in Nova Scotia could have been a nice plot in Connecticut or Virginia. Then I wouldn't have had to leave home and work my ass off in the oilpatch for 30 years.
Posted by: dp | 2008-01-29 1:15:07 PM
At the very worst, becoming states would be no better or worse than being provinces of Canada.
Posted by: Zebulon Pike | 2008-01-29 3:31:33 PM
It would most likely be better, because as a state we could write our own criminal code. States enjoy far more autonomy than provinces, because residual powers belong to the states in America, whereas they belong to the Feds up here. America's model of governance is far less top-heavy.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 3:34:12 PM
So, we are holding Canadians hostage with the oil sands? These guys need to find a real job. Imagine Canada without Alberta? Actually, it sounds like a good idea! Our immigration could be restricted to mostly North America, as well as other English speaking countries. We may even have to build a border fence. :)
Posted by: Markalta | 2008-01-29 3:42:37 PM
Shane, I don't think that the US would say no to any land, anywhere in Canada. you wrote "I doubt they would be interested in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, however."
I don't think you realize just how vast the natural resources are in either of those provinces. Saskatchewan has just as much oil as Alberta. It also has uranium, and pot-ash, and diamonds minds, forestry.
Manitoba already supplies many states with hydro, not to mention the mines there, foresty, commercial fishing, and the endless amounts of water. All things the US is running shy on, Shane. Those two little provinces have come along way and they will be power houses. Water will be more precious than oil in no time. That all being said, I would still want the west as an independent nation, not a state.
Posted by: Boggy | 2008-01-29 4:21:43 PM
Your points about Saskatchewan and Manitoba are well taken, Boggy; I was basing that assessment on past economic performance. However, statehood would be more achievable and would save the long, hard slog of welding a nation from scratch. I am not afraid of the Americans, nor do I despise them, as so many Canadians seem to do. We'll be able to do what Torontonians can only dream of--vote for the U.S. President!
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-01-29 4:31:33 PM
I agree whole heartedly with the seperatist sentiments being expressed in this thread, in regard to Alberta and the other western provinces, but please don't underestimate the amount of dissatisfaction that exsists with the Trudeauvian nightmare that has been rammed down our throats here in British Columbia. If a seperatist party were to gain any significant ground in Alberta, I beleive a kind of domino theory would take place and British Columbia would be one of the first provinces to join in on that sentiment. Remember how many Reformers we sent to Ottawa. I don't beleive that this would be easy, but I do know the level of dissatisfaction that exsists with both the eastern Libranos and the stunted, corrupt provincial partys that leave us powerless and estranged from our institutions. Don't count us out.
Posted by: Sean | 2008-01-29 7:13:33 PM
OBC- I applaud your idea about diversifying the Alberta economy. Any large product (an automobile) must be built close to ocean transport if it is to take advantage of the cheapest form of transportation. If you have ever seen a car carrying ship you will know what I mean.
I am surprised McLeod has been silent on this issue. It is obvious that Macdonald's national policy was designed to benefit Ontario and Quebec and to bleed the Maritimes and the West. There are many Maritimers who regret their ancestors decision to become part of Canada. They have not benefitted from their dependence on Ottawa's rape of the have provinces.
Finally, what I have been reading lately would lead me to believe that US dependence on fossil fuels for road transport will decrease dramatically as technology progresses over the next ten years or so. The nano technology of the U of A will play a significant part. I can also see geothermal heat pumps playing a huge part in household heating. The list goes on and that is another reason to diversify.
Posted by: DML | 2008-01-29 11:13:37 PM
Sean - excellent points. I believe that separation is the only hope left, but I disagree with those who slam BC. It is true and extremely frustrating that our two large urban centres (Vancouver and Victoria) have so many suffering from the mental disorder of liberalism/leftism, but I would argue that rural BC is every bit as conservative as any place in Alberta. Furthermore Alberta has shifted even more to the Left with its recent ban on smoking inside trucks, and of course Calgary has banned trans fats. I suspect there are more similarities than differences between the two populations with the large urban centres being prone to vote for leftist/socialist policies.
Posted by: Alain | 2008-01-29 11:30:20 PM
you capitalist greedy neocons are all sick
yeah, keep destroying for money
Posted by: Guevara | 2008-02-18 12:17:56 AM
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