The Canadian Government is in an incredibly awkward position. After years of railing against the oil and gas industry and showing no interest in promoting pipelines, the Federal Liberal Government now have their electoral lives hanging in the balance based upon the continued operation of a pipeline. How times have changed.
Consider the following comments:
“Line 5 does not just affect one province or one region — it supports our entire country”
Who do you think made this statement? You can be forgiven if you failed to guess that it was none other than our Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan Jr in a recent release from Natural Resources Canada.
This Minister and this Government have consistently ignored the energy security of our country. For O’Regan to acknowledge that our entire country depends on a pipeline that is outside of our jurisdiction and operational control is really an outright admission of guilt.
It didn’t have to be this way. We have industry in the West that has been desperate to find a route East for our oil to end the price differential we suffer in selling it to the Americans. The Energy East project could have been a solution to this problem. Instead it was abandoned by industry after it was clear that the Federal Government was never going to allow the project to proceed in an economical way.
We have a Prime Minister openly talking about phasing out the oilsands with no regard to the economic ramifications for the country. Anti-industry legislation such as Bills C-48 and C-69 are essentially making it impossible to proceed with the development and transport of our own resources. These self-sabotaging moves are the real issue when it comes to decreasing business investment in energy projects in Canada; our Government can’t be trusted to behave in a rational way. This has dramatically impacted our ability to attract foreign investment or business investment of any kind.
This Federal Liberal Government has a way of speaking to their greatness, while accomplishing virtually nothing. Their tag line from the 2015 election was to grow the economy while protecting the environment. I would argue they have failed on both fronts.
According to the New York Times, Canada is the only member of the G7 from the Paris Agreement who had a rise in emissions as of 2019. Canada’s own reporting confirms that our emissions did indeed rise from 2015 to 2019 from the equivalent of 724 Megatonnes to 730.
Economically, the results aren’t any better. The Fraser Institute produced a report in February 2021 on the Liberal Government’s performance before COVID struck. Despite increasing Government spending by a whopping 36.1% in the four years before the pandemic, the Liberals managed a measly 0.6% annualized growth rate in per-person GDP. More alarming, foreign direct investment declined by 0.2% annually during the first four years of Justin Trudeau.
It is no small matter that people in Western Canada feel alienated by the complete lack of concern this Federal Government has shown towards our economic interests. This has had far reaching consequences for the strength of our federation. In 2019, Ipsos conducted a poll commissioned by Global and found that nearly 6 in 10 Canadians believe Canada is more divided than ever. The responsibility for this falls squarely in the lap of the Prime Minister and the Liberal Government.
Make no mistake, the shutdown of line 5 would be catastrophic economically for Canada. It would also mark a quick end to the Liberal Government’s current reign. With roughly two-thirds of Quebec’s and half of Ontario’s oil imports coming from line 5, there would be no coming back politically from this shutdown. Gas price hikes and inevitable shortages would have Quebecers and Ontarians alike reconsidering the promise of the magical Green New Deal that thus far has failed to materialize.
Now we hope for a foreign court to rule in favour of our economic interests when our own government refuses to do the same. It really is a weak argument to make that a Michigan court decision is jeopardizing our future when we have done absolutely nothing to secure our own economic and energy interests. The Liberal strategy of killing our oil industry by attrition may have worked too effectively and for this they will pay the price. They have divided a country, alienated one of our great industries, and put our very economic future into question.
They have so much to say about their own greatness, yet they forget to secure the future for the people they are supposed to be serving.
Shame on them for that