Rachel Notley tours Canada to shill for pipelines

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
At any rate, central control of natural resources in Canada is a dead letter even without considering Alberta because no other province would agree to it, not the least Quebec.

That's kind of what I was getting at.  It's certainly all kinds of fun to point to Norway's legendary fund, which benefits them all, and then chastise ourselves for not doing the same with our own bounty.

But evidently Norway didn't just nobly decide to share the wealth with every citizen, they also didn't indulge some of themselves in a game of "well, that's OUR stuff, and you others can't have any of OUR stuff".  But nobody talks about that.  When the Sovereign Wealth fund is mentioned, our lack of a similar Sovereign Wealth fund is described as a failure of our central government (of the day) to show courage, rather than as a failure of the regional governments of the day to put the pettiness aside and think of Canada as a whole.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

But evidently Norway didn't just nobly decide to share the wealth with every citizen, they also didn't indulge some of themselves in a game of "well, that's OUR stuff, and you others can't have any of OUR stuff".  But nobody talks about that.  When the Sovereign Wealth fund is mentioned, our lack of a similar Sovereign Wealth fund is described as a failure of our central government (of the day) to show courage, rather than as a failure of the regional governments of the day to put the pettiness aside and think of Canada as a whole.

Rather than a failure on the part of any particular actors, this would seem to me to be an inherent problem in a federation which assigns natural resource ownership to the provinces as opposed to a unitary government of the sort that Norway has. The die on this one was cast when the BNA Act of 1867 was passed.

6079_Smith_W

Pondering wrote:

Either is fine with me. I prefer federal but given current division of powers provincial would be easier.

Yup. I and I expect "easier" is not the half of it given the history.

6079_Smith_W

And Michael, cross posted with you. I don't actually think it is a problem. I think it is a relection of a very diverse nation with distinct entities within it. And I think the problem was less 1867 than when Ottawa set one rule for central Canada, and another for what they considered their territories out west.

After all, we already have one equalization system, and if all these utilities and resource companies were federal they would most likely have been sold off by now, and we would not have out phone company here in SK. Provincial control in some things is a good balance, IMO.

Though if everything was federal I suppose it would settle the dispute about Churchill Falls, though not to everyone's satisfaction.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Rather than a failure on the part of any particular actors, this would seem to me to be an inherent problem in a federation which assigns natural resource ownership to the provinces as opposed to a unitary government of the sort that Norway has.

Does assigning ownership to the provinces mean they can't share with the rest of Canada?

Unionist

Federal vs. provincial is a real red herring in the context of this conversation.  Whether "public" means federal, or provincial, or municipal, is irrelevant. That's why we've been mentioning Hydro Québec and Potash Corp and MTS. The issue is monopoly public ownership, control, management, refinement, extraction, distribution, transportation... public.

And I will grudgingly say this: If Notley were advocating pipelines for a nationalized provincial oil sands monopoly corporation - I would have marginally more respect for her position. But donning a hardhat and kneeling before the billionaires? Because Jason would be "worse"? She desperately needs to be condemned, exposed, and opposed - for the sake of the workers, the people, and the planet.

6079_Smith_W

Well no it isn't irrelevant. It is the core of this question, in fact.

Because if it was all federal then there is a far greater chance these pipelines would get pushed through. It is resistance at the provincial, local and FN level that has stopped it.

Not that much different when Manitoba had a provincial government that was pushing to open up logging on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, and the main thing that stopped it was federal jurisdiction over waterways.

It is also why it doesn't really matter how much Rachel Notley lobbies outside of Alberta. She has no power outside her province.

 

 

JKR

Michael Moriarity wrote:

Mr. Magoo wrote:

But evidently Norway didn't just nobly decide to share the wealth with every citizen, they also didn't indulge some of themselves in a game of "well, that's OUR stuff, and you others can't have any of OUR stuff".  But nobody talks about that.  When the Sovereign Wealth fund is mentioned, our lack of a similar Sovereign Wealth fund is described as a failure of our central government (of the day) to show courage, rather than as a failure of the regional governments of the day to put the pettiness aside and think of Canada as a whole.

Rather than a failure on the part of any particular actors, this would seem to me to be an inherent problem in a federation which assigns natural resource ownership to the provinces as opposed to a unitary government of the sort that Norway has. The die on this one was cast when the BNA Act of 1867 was passed.

The Canadian constitution mitigates the inequality caused by non-renewable resource royalties being a provincial jurisdiction by creating a right to equalization that gives poorer provinces a right to financial equality with the richer provinces. Unfortunately the equalization formula currently favours non-renewable resource rich provinces like Alberta over most of the other provinces. Making the equalization formula fairer would help most Canadians but Alberta would be apoplectic. It could even lead to Alberta leaving Confederation although I think that might be a good thing for Canada if Alberta continues to refuse to support a fairer equalization system. Jason Kenney is even proposing to have a referendum in Alberta to get rid of provincial equalization!

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Well no it isn't irrelevant. It is the core of this question, in fact.

Because if it was all federal then there is a far greater chance these pipelines would get pushed through. It is resistance at the provincial, local and FN level that has stopped it.

Not that much different when Manitoba had a provincial government that was pushing to open up logging on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, and the main thing that stopped it was federal jurisdiction over waterways.

It is also why it doesn't really matter how much Rachel Notley lobbies outside of Alberta. She has no power outside her province.

Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I meant (in the context of the preceding comments) that jurisdiction didn't matter when it came to "public" vs. "private". Resource extraction and processing is generally provincial jurisdiction - cross-border (province or country) transportation is federal. All I meant was that if we're talking about getting the billionaires' hands off our resources and managing them in the interests of humanity, we need to nationalize all aspects - whether it be provincially or federally.

 

Unionist

Premier Notley to be greeted by pipeline protesters in Vancouver

Quote:

"I mean she's not really welcome here in Vancouver, for pushing her Alberta pipeline issue," said A.J. Klein, a member of the Council of Canadians.

"It's unfortunate for Alberta they're not on a coast, and that seems to be their biggest issue. But they're not, and we are," added Klein.

The Council of Canadians and other groups have organized a formal protest against the Trans Mountain pipeline outside the energy forum venue in Vancouver.

Klein is voicing the concerns of many in B.C. who see the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion as potentially inflicting environmental damage on an already fragile coastline. [...]

"So we'll be outside letting them know that they and their agenda aren't welcome," said Klein. "The bottom line is this pipeline is not going to be built."

6079_Smith_W

And Unionist, I agree. But while public ownership is an important issue, it isn't always one one which guarantees environmental awareness. Take B.C. Hyrdo's Site C dam, for instance. And when PetroCan was a crown corporation it was actively involved in tar sands development.

 

 

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And Unionist, I agree. But while public ownership is an important issue, it isn't always one one which guarantees environmental awareness. Take B.C. Hyrdo's Site C dam, for instance. And when PetroCan was a crown corporation it was actively involved in tar sands development.

Correct, public ownership isn't sufficient. But it's necessary. And again, Petro Canada was just a crown - one competitor among many - and like most crowns, had its own "hands-off" business commercial mandate. Society needs monopoly ownership and control, and social policy to accompany it. And political parties when in opposition (like the NDP) need to say: "Go ahead and sell off whatever you want (Potash Corp, MTS, Ontario Hydro, etc.) - but the minute we're back in power, it will be re-nationalized, at a fair price determined by the government." Then watch the rats scurry and decide not to buy. Sadlly, no party has ever made such a commitment to my knowledge.

Unionist

The headline tells the sad story of this oil company shill:

Protesters chant 'Notley go home,' while premier gets warm reception at Vancouver energy forum

Notley was deeply moved by the protests:

Quote:

As for being the target of protesters, Notley shrugged it off saying that after living in British Columbia for 10 years, "a protest of 150 people is kind of small."

 

Martin N.

Days before, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley had called on the federal government to step up its efforts to support the project. On Thursday, she said she was pleased the federal government is supporting the NEB process to resolve permit delays.

However, in response to questions from reporters on Thursday, she also offered no other actions or tools she would like to see the federal government use to ensure the project gets built in a timely manner.

“I hope (the federal government) will continue to embrace their role as a key player in promoting what is, in my view, a national project,” said Notley.

The Alberta premier made an impassioned case to the more than 300 business-friendly participants at the energy forum that the Trans Mountain expansion project is good for Canada’s prosperity and will create welcome jobs, including for British Columbia.

Notley, who received a standing ovation, noted that several years ago, 44,000 British Columbians earned $2 billion in income by working in Alberta.

She also argued the project will not increase oilsands emissions because Alberta has capped emissions and the province is taking a dramatic step of eliminating high-carbon-emission coal-energy plants by 2030.

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/live-alberta-premier-rachel-notl...

Its interesting that no one seems to consider that along with 44,000 BC ers  there are many tens of thousands of eastern Canadians also sending their pay home and paying taxes in their home province. 

This is a huge benefit to eastern Canada but is never acknowledged as such. BC needs to consider this largesse in its calculations of entitlements it is owed. 

Martin N.

Unionist wrote:

Correct, public ownership isn't sufficient. But it's necessary. And again, Petro Canada was just a crown - one competitor among many - and like most crowns, had its own "hands-off" business commercial mandate. Society needs monopoly ownership and control, and social policy to accompany it. And political parties when in opposition (like the NDP) need to say: "Go ahead and sell off whatever you want (Potash Corp, MTS, Ontario Hydro, etc.) - but the minute we're back in power, it will be re-nationalized, at a fair price determined by the government." Then watch the rats scurry and decide not to buy. Sadlly, no party has ever made such a commitment to my knowledge.

No party has ever made such a commitment because, to anyone not steeped in dreary Marxism, it is a fantasy that modern conventions will not allow and simple economics makes mockery thereof. Canada requires capital inflows because our economy is too big to fund internally. North Korea may be a better case for your expropriations at a fair price that the government decides.

cco

Unionist wrote:

And political parties when in opposition (like the NDP) need to say: "Go ahead and sell off whatever you want (Potash Corp, MTS, Ontario Hydro, etc.) - but the minute we're back in power, it will be re-nationalized, at a fair price determined by the government." Then watch the rats scurry and decide not to buy. Sadlly, no party has ever made such a commitment to my knowledge.

Furthermore, said fair price should be declared in advance to be "zero". If you buy auctioned-off public property, you're making a bad investment. After a few renationalizations, governments will find the price they can get for selling the CBC less than appealing.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Governments always pay a premium for nationalized industries, and then when the right wins power afterwards they sell them off for a song. It is always a bad deal for the taxpayer.

Martin N.

It's only a bad deal for the taxpayer because politicians always choose political expediency over long term value. Electing self-interested numpties who's attention span is no longer than the present term does nothing to create value. Putting national champions beyond reach of politicians and into the hands of professional managers is the only answer to value creation for the taxpayer.

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I'd rather see private capital take the risk, and the people through the government reaping the rewards through reasonable but sufficient taxes on profits and income. This way, "national champions" do not need to be "selected" by politicians.

As it is now, we have a professional management class who bleed shareholders (i.e. pensioners) and workers dry. With the ridiculous executive compensation in vogue these days, shareholders and workers are left with a pittance.

While management is allowed to stack boards of directors with their own people, the management and not the shareholders become the bosses. In Germany, there are often workers' representatives on boards of directors, a practice virtually unheard of in North America today. To start, there should be strong voices for occupational health and safety at the highest levels. 

Along with changes in tax policy to disincentivize the use of offshore tax havens, we need stronger rules about corporate governance to level the playing field for all stakeholders.

Martin N.

I agree. My main point is for the public to receive a fair share of public resources via a forward looking mechanism that adds value rather than mouldy old Marxist revanchism that does not. Every time I hear  the expropriation theories trotted out the image of poor old Dobbin heading to the glue factory springs to mind. Changing the elitists from private to public is mere rearranging of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Unionist

Rachel Notley finds herself in pipeline battles at home and away

Quote:

The New Democratic Party Leader finished a cross-country tour this week designed to capture people's affections for Alberta's oil in general, and Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain planned pipeline expansion in particular. She finished her excursion in Vancouver on Thursday, speaking to an audience of mostly pipeline boosters at the board of trade. The hearty standing ovation she received at the conclusion of her speech was no great surprise.

A greater test of her message would have been a chat before the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs. While Ms. Notley was getting easy applause in front of a pro-business crowd, the union's grand chief, Stewart Phillip, was issuing a news release promising more delays on the Trans Mountain project. He vowed a drawn-out and expensive legal battle that would not end well for the pipeline.

I'm still shaking my head after reading this sentence - guess I haven't managed to fully plumb the depths of Ms. Notley's obsessive crusade:

Quote:
It's Ms. Notley's belief that Mr. Kenney and his supporters have been cheerleading for opponents of the pipeline all along, quietly hoping it fails for their own political reasons.

Is this true? Asking those who are closer to the antediluvian politics of Alberta.

6079_Smith_W

Antediluvian.

Well I suppose we are a bit closer, which reminds me that for all the vitriol against Notley, there has been virtually no mention of our premier, who has been on his own pipeline tours, and has been far more vocal, calling the west's continued presence in a federal system "Stockholm Syndrome" .

His full statement is worth reading. He's the guy who made the comparison with Montreal sewage, mentioned upthread:

https://globalnews.ca/news/3787809/brad-wall-federal-government-justin-t...

For that matter, no condemnation of the Neanderthals in Manitoba, and Ontario, which have already built their sections, or New Brunswick, where it would terminate.

As for Kenney, you could google it. He's been threatening economic war with B.C. for the past month.  Besides, I question whether there is any real interest in what is going on out here.

Unionist

From the unofficial organ of the oil barons:

Notley ups pressure on pipeline, with Ottawa's support

Quote:

If anyone had told Premier Rachel Notley a year ago that she would receive two standing ovations within two weeks — in Calgary and Vancouver, no less — she likely would have enjoyed a good laugh.

But that’s what happened, with the second tribute occurring Thursday following a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Energy Forum where Notley again made the case for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project.

On the historic nature of Notley's reaching out to the rich:

Quote:

It could be said Thursday was a watershed moment for not only Alberta but the country

Name another instance where the federal energy minister and the premier of Alberta — each of a different political stripe — delivered the same message in a province opposed to a project that has received federal approval.

I guess both the federal Liberals and the Alberta socialists are boosting for fossil fuels and pipelines only because they're afraid that stupid Canadians will vote Conservative, and they need to campaign from the right. I think it's a winning strategy. Perhaps a Notley-Trudeau inter-jurisdictional coalition is in the offing?

Hurtin Albertan

Look on the bright side, maybe if she wins re-election she will herd us all into the northern boreal forests in a Pol Pot inspired effort to free us from our dependancy on the oil and gas industry.

Unionist

High praise for Rachel Notley from Stewart Muir, Executive Director of the Resource Works Society:

Quote:

Genuine citizen concerns have been thoroughly canvassed and accommodated in the federally approved TransMountain Pipeline Expansion project. The standing ovation Notley received in Vancouver was before a packed room that included union and First Nations leaders, evidence her audacious vision is resonating with British Columbians.

If the TransMountain project now becomes yet another victim of extremist minority activism, the Notley Doctrine will be dealt a fatal blow. Canada’s aspirations to be a climate leader will be replaced by a trajectory toward diminished long-term prosperity. Notley’s task is to help her BC NDP counterparts on their excruciatingly slow journey toward a principled position in favour of Canadian prosperity.

Premier Notley could be a historic changemaker. Judging by the latest developments, she is making the best moves at the right time.

In case you've forgotten who the "Resource Works Society" is, here's a reminder from when it was founded in 2014:

Quote:
Greg D'Avignon, CEO of the Business Council of B.C., is also listed as a director of the April-launched Resource Works Society, which is run by Stewart Muir, the former Vancouver Sun deputy editor who is married to deputy minister and Clark pal Mentzelopoulos. [...]

Directors include ex-Liberal attorney general Geoff Plant, KPMG partner Philippa Wilshaw, University of B.C. business professor Michael Goldberg and Teck senior vice-president Douglas Horswill. Teck Resources and Teck Cominco donated a combined $1.23 million to the BC Liberals since 2005. Muir, D'Avignon and Horswill met with the Liberal caucus on April 2.

Notley really should stay home. On tour, she awakens and excites the lowest of the low.

Aristotleded24

This is completely cringeworthy on Notley's part. The thing that Albertans need to realize (and it seems as if more are starting to wake up to this reality) is that regardless of who the government is, nobody wants pipelines in their areas. So let's assume that getting the pipelines built is necessary for the NDP to be re-elected. Now suppose none get built under Notley's watch and the UCP gets in. What happens after the first UCP term when no pipelines have been built under their watch? And even if a pipeline does get built, the UCP can credibly make the case that the pipelines were built in spite of, and not because of the Notley government. She is also antagonizing people in other parts of Canada who would otherwise agree with her. Her constant berating of the federal party is really irritating, considering that during the federal leadership race, every one of the leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's approach to green energy and economic diversification.

Meanwhile, without any new pipeline construction, Alberta's economy has apparently had a great year. A smarter approach would have been for Notley to jump in front of that and try and claim credit. She should also be talking about her government's investments in renewable technology and diversification, which are not only helping Alberta's economy but lessening the dependance on oil (and by extension, the need for pipelines) in the first place.

No, I do hope Notley gets re-elected in 2019. There is too much at stake in Alberta and nationally to risk Jason Kenney calling the shots. But if Notley does lose, it will be because she staked her political capital on something over which she has no control, and not because the rest of us decided not to sacrifice our environments for the good of a government in a far away province.

Mobo2000

Ug, this is a great thread but depressing topic.   I had high hopes for Notley.   

Re: the current economy, the Alberta government will be doing a lot of public outreach around the upcoming budget in January, and they will claim credit for the economy and growth in renewables then.  I guess we'll see to what effect.   

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