Canada feels so betrayed
What constitutes a betrayal of Canada?
To most people it would be the radical things, such as treason, homegrown espionage, etc.
But Alison Redford, the current Premier of Alberta, called NDP leader Thomas Mulcair’s visit to Washington to lobby against the Keystone XL pipeline a “fundamental betrayal of Canada’s long-term economic interests.”
This is a serious accusation, for Mulcair to jeopardize, let alone betray, Canada’s
economic prosperity would be an act betraying Canada itself.
On his trip to Washington, Mulcair outlined his plan to sabotage Canada’s economy, firstly by being concerned about the environment in which we live. That’s a no brainer – the environment must be disregarded, or at least given lip service to keep the hippies at bay, so that the economy continues to grow, as it has in Alberta.
Next, Mulcair said he wanted to produce jobs in Canada by keeping the pipeline here, west to east. This, too, is treasonous, because any consideration other than giving oil over to the United States is a betrayal of Canada and her interests.
Lastly, Mulcair pointed out that exporting raw oil to the States is neither good for producers nor job creation. That, too, is a betrayal of Canada. If the United States demands oil from Canada, Canada must hand it over. It’s the only way. For Canada to do otherwise would be similar to British North America not exporting furs back to the United Kingdom. Colonies have little choice when it comes to the economy.
So, what in the Redfordian sense, is not a betrayal to Canada?
Firstly, according to the National Post, Alberta is finally joining the ranks of its fellow Canadian provinces by running a deficit, borrowing $12.7 billion. Perfect!
This hearkens back to when Mulcair warned of Canadian Dutch Disease, a phenomenon where an increase in the resource exporting sector directly impacts the industry base of the economy because the dollar rises in value, making industry less competitive.
It seems this has, in a sense, heightened since Mulcair first prophesied it, because, again, according to the National Post, “a decline in bitumen prices brought on by decreased pipeline capacity has thrown the province’s finances off the rails.”
So that was it, a very small change has done enough damage to merit deficit financing and a $12.7 billion loan.
Were there no ways this could have been prevented? Is there no way in which the Canadian and Albertan economy could have had capital invested in other sectors? No, because that would be a betrayal of the Canadian way.
Indeed, Redford and her government exemplified the Canadian way by taking out an ad in the New York Times that highlighted the similarities between Alberta and the United States, costing $30,000 to make the comparison.
Fundamentally, none of this is a betrayal to Canada, and Redford only uses this term to smear a potentially powerful opponent merely on the grounds of ideology and party lines, and not on pragmatic policy making for what is truly best for this country. Character assassination of this sort is all too common in Canada, and in politics around the world. This Westminster bickering is what effectively chokes this country, and prevents it from finding the best policy in situations such as this.
Imagine if Mulcair and Redford could sit at the same table and discuss this matter like adults. Unfortunately, this would not be the Canadian way, but probably would be the best way.
Photo by Julia Dima