For a few weeks, Mr Jason Kenny has been trying to boost his leadership campaign as leader of the United Conservative party of Alberta by using some questionable tactics, such as Quebec bashing. Instead of trying to find a scapegoat, shouldn’t he be proposing an economic plan that is adapted to the 21st century?
A snake oil salesman
For a few weeks, Mr Jason Kenny has been trying to boost his leadership campaign as leader of the United Conservative party of Alberta by using some questionable tactics. On a radio show in Quebec city with host Éric Duhaime, he suggested that, in order to punish Quebecers for opposing the Energy East Pipeline, he would use a referendum to stop equalization payments. (1) This would probably boost his status among the most conservative rednecks of Alberta by a «sock-it-to them» approach. He repeated much the same thing to Michel C. Auger of Radio-Canada. As a would be Premier of Alberta, that sounds a lot like the pitch of a desperate snake oil salesman who wants to blame everybody for his lack of business acumen
I can understand his deception, because Energy East pipeline has been shelved. But did he use the same kind of abusive language when former BC Premier, Christie Clark, First Nations and other citizens opposed the Northern Gateway pipeline to the port of Kitimat because there were too many environmental risks and no financial return? Nor did he howl with indignation when the city council of of Portland (Maine) refused to receive Alberta’s «dilbit» via the trailblazer and line 9B pipelines. Mayor Gregor Robertson of Vancouver is just as protective of his waterways as Mayor Coderre. In the name of fairness, will Mr Kenney also threaten to withdraw equalization payments from the new NDP government which opposes the expansion to the TransMountain pipeline? Since BC has blocked two pipeline projects, Mr Kenney must use the same kind of «piss and vinegar»; otherwise, one can ask him if he is deliberately flirting with unacceptable Quebec bashing?
As a former member of Mr Harper’s cabinet, Mr Kenney cannot ignore the fact that equalization payments are an intrinsic part of the constitution of 1982. Mr Kenney is proposing a political action that is both illegal and unconstitutional! Considering the National unity debate, that is as wise as playing with matches inside a powder keg!
Mr Kenney wants some jobs for his province; so do we. Once construction is completed, Energy East would provide 33 permanent jobs. The grocery store where I do my shopping has a bigger payroll! And as a bonus, that grocery store cannot pollute our waterways, or cause economic mayhem to the rest of the country.
For the past ten years, the economic policy of Canada has relied on the exportation of an unrefined natural resource without any added value; that is the way natural resources were exploited in the 19th century. As long as the market price of a barrel of oil was over $80, it was easy money! This put the Canadian dollar on steroids. A Canadian dollar on par with the U.S greenback made our manufactured products non-competitive to our most important trading partners, especially the United States.
This archaic policy has had a devastating effect on our manufacturing sector, in Quebec as well as in Ontario. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost because of negative effects of the tar sands. Tourism, agriculture and forestry products produced in BC, Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes were also negatively affected when the «looney» was above the 80 cents mark. So much so, that Ontario, the traditional pillar of Canada’s economy, has had to receive equalization payments for the first time in its history. With the fall in the price of oil, the obsolete policy of using a 19th century economic model caused economic havoc from coast to coast.
In the 21st century, the use of fossil fuels is on the way out; shelving Energy East was a logical business decision Instead of trying to diversify Alberta’s economy according to the global markets of the 21st century, Mr Kenny is trying to find a scapegoat; for «dinosaurs» who are unaware that times are changing, Quebec bashing seems to do the trick. May I remind Mr Kenney that we don’t need Alberta’s money… as long as its archaic economic model doesn’t destroy our economy.
La Présentation, Qc.
Friday october 27, 2017