Canada in need of leaders to fix unfair equalization formula
Striking a nerve with Albertans, Quebec’s stance on the “social acceptability” of Albertan energy remains a point of contention between the provinces.
According to Quebec Premier Francois Legault, the request for another pipeline in his province bared “no social acceptability,” angering Medicine Hat Mayor Ted Clugston, who recently called for a small gesture that “maybe sends a message” to Mr. Legault.
Former Alberta Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt has garnered unwanted attention for his poor choice of words while addressing Alberta Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda.
According to the rules at the provincial legislature, if one member engaged in a debate, you cannot “refer to another Member by name, but rather by title, position or constituency name.”
So when Marlin Schmidt referred to Prasad Panda as he “member from wherever the hell he’s from, the minister of infrastructure,” audible groans were quick to fill the building, as Panda was born in India and emigrated to Canada at a young age.
Schmidt was heavily criticized by some on social media, who perceived the comment as racist. Schmidt apologized moments later for the slip up.
New Natural Resources Minister Seamus O'Regan overseeing hometown Atlantic boom, faced with western bust
As TMX pipeline fortunes vacillate and energy industry capital and jobs flee Alberta, Newfoundland MP and newly-minted Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan’s empathy for the West was overshadowed by his hometown enthusiasm.
Asked how being the furthest away from a stalled oil patch and the woes that has created for westerners, the Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl said he “understand(s) where their head’s at right now… and all I can say is, you know, I will make my case.”
O’Regan then noted “that outside of the line items that I’ve had to deal with the direct responsibilities of the two ministries I’ve held previously, my number one priority has been oil and gas in Newfoundland and in Labrador.”
And compared to Alberta’s withering fortunes, the moving trucks at EnCana’s Calgary headquarters, bound for Colorado after a Halloween re-brand, Atlantic Canada’s offshore exploration boom has already begun.
In April, then-Environment minister Catherine McKenna’s green-lit Equinor’s Flemish Pass project located about 400 kilometres East of Newfoundland and Labrador. Meanwhile a “public comment” period has expired on a different proposal for the Flemish Passs locale by China National Offshore Oil Corporation.
“Newfoundland and Labrador is actually more dependent on oil and gas royalties than Alberta is … but I understand it is not the same industry,” said O’Regan.
Four offshore wells in the Atlantic – Hibernia, Terra Nova (Suncor), White Rose (Husky) and Hebron (Exxon) – already provide job and royalties for the province.
“I’m reminded every day that in Newfoundland and Labrador we get brand (sic) crude prices which today are still about doubled what Alberta gets for its. And you know that’s a very real concern.”
An estimated 120,000 oil patch jobs and related business has vacated Alberta and Saskatchewan since voters gave Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberals their first majority government mandate in 2015.
The failure to construct tidewater transmission lines for Alberta bitumen has kept its market value at below discount rates. Conversely, offshore drilling plays on the Atlantic coast are in the water, heading to sea or sitting on the regulatory launch pad–five in all proposed by BHP Billiton, BP Canada, and Exxon Mobile.
New Environment minister Jonathan Wilkinson will determine the fate of those projects as McKenna was shuffled to the Infrastructure portfolio.
While neither Saskatchewan or Alberta elected a Liberal MP in #exln43, Trudeau tapped his former Natural Resource Minister Jim Carr–MP for Winnipeg South Centre – as “special representative for the Prairies…(to) ensure that the people of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have a strong voice in Ottawa.”
The Buffalo Project is a group of Canadians who have been unified over their distrust of Ottawa and the Trudeau government. With a sentiment of disenfranchisement and alienation spreading like wildfire in Alberta and Saskatchewan, this group is trying to address the grievances of western Canada while averting growing secession talks.
Speaking to the National Post, the spokesman Derek Robinson of the Buffalo Project said, “There’s a lot of anger right now … how do we have a conversation about fixing Canada? And how do we force the federal government to take action? Because the deal that Western Canada has within Confederation, it’s always been slanted against the West.”
The Buffalo Project is composed of influential businessmen and politicians from western Canada. The most notable of these figures include Dallas Howe, Bill Turnbull, and Tim Hearn, former chairman and CEO of Imperial Oil Limited.
The Buffalo Project was formed in 2018, at a time when Alberta was governed by the NDP. Now, with equalization payments and the carbon tax crippling the province’s economy, with no end in sight, the Buffalo Project now has new purpose to
The Buffalo Project is deeply concerned over western separation and they plan to make it perfectly clear to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that it and the western provinces are not to be dismissed.
Alberta’s NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips has compared Jason Kenney’s politics to the tactics of “strong men” in Syria and Hong Kong. She also compared Kenney’s policies to Joseph Stalin’s tactics in the manufactured famine of Holodomor.
Last week, Kenney move to combine both the Electoral Commissioner’s Office with the province’s Chief Electoral Office. This was a hotly contested decision, however, as the Electoral Commissioner was levying over $200,000 worth of fines towards Kenney’s UCP.
Speaking in Alberta’s Legislative Assembly, Phillips called Jason Kenney’s tactics “a strong man maneuver … we wouldn’t want in a democracy to be apart of a party that was referred to as a strong man maneuver.”
Phillips went on to say that she “knew that many of the members have deplored strong men in other parts of the world. We were at the Holodomor memorial today, and we have deplored some of the actions that we have seen in Hong Kong … we have deplored the invasion of Turkey into northern Syria … I don’t think anyone wants to be associated with that language.”
For some context, Phillips was comparing Kenney’s move to disband the office of the electoral commissioner (a body established by the previous NDP government) with Stalin’s Massacre of the Ukrainians and other modern and deplorable global incidents.
In the past, Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley wore a wristwatch with strongman Che Guevera on it.