News that Gerald Butts will be sitting on a task force struck by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to lead a “resilient” recovery in the wake of the COVID19 lockdown which has hammered the Canadian economy will fill Albertans and all right thinking Canadians with dread.
It’s bad enough that the task force itself is filled with so-called “green” thinkers, but the inclusion of Butts is a clear signal that the Trudeau government plans on doubling down on its shift to renewables and phasing out of the oilsands.
When Trudeau was first elected in 2015, he appointed Butts as his principal secretary and key adviser.
Butts, who was head of the anti-fossil fuel World Wildlife Fund, began of his reign of terror on Alberta within days.
The Trudeau government canceled the previously approved Northern Gateway Pipeline which was to to feed the port city of Prince Rupert in British Columbia and provide the oilsands another outlet to meet the growing Asian demand for oil.
In 2017, Trudeau then visited Alberta and advocated for the phasing out of the oilsands.
That was followed by the government’s decision to kill the Energy East Pipeline to Moncton, New Brunswick.
The phase-out was proceeding apace. The demise of the two pipelines meant that Alberta’s oil was effectively locked in and could only serve the American market. That artificially suppressed the price of oil produced here in Alberta. That cost producers here $2 billion a month in lost revenue.
Then the perfect storm hit. The Russians and the Saudis went to war over oil production, pushing prices down. Along came the COVID19 pandemic and demand for oil plummeted.
The end result was an industry teetering on the brink of financial ruin.
Ottawa’s response was insignificant. Some money was made available for old well cleanup and a few million dollars was offered up as loans to small and medium sized businesses.
The Trudeau government’s aid was nothing in comparison to Ottawa’s program to save the auto industry back in 2009.
Back then, then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an Albertan, poured in $20 billion to keep the auto industry afloat and save 22,000 jobs.
At stake today are 500,000 jobs and the Trudeau government has a task force that will be looking at repainting the post-pandemic economy green.
It boggles the mind.
The oil and gas industry has contributed more than $100 billion to the nation’s GDP since 2014 and employs a half a million people in well paying jobs that pay lots of federal taxes.
So much so, according to the Fraser Institute, the province’s net contribution to the country has been $94 billion. That’s $36 billion more than Ontario despite Alberta’s much smaller population.
With the appointment of the green, resilient task force, Canada is about to commit economic suicide.
Canada is an exporting country. We are a resource rich country. Our wealth and prosperity has been built on developing our resources. The vast majority of our exports are natural resources. Resource development has attracted billions of dollars in investment.
The only way Canada is recovering from this shutdown of our economy is by getting back to basics. We need to concentrate on the things that made us wealthy. We need to be building pipelines to get our oil and natural gas to world markets and we need to build pipelines to the east so we can phase out import of foreign oil.
That is going to give us resiliency.
If you enjoy my work, drop me a tip. It’s greatly appreciated. My Tip Jar is here and there is a handy pay button below.