Whackiness abounds in B.C., Quebec and south of the border
By: Alan Murdock
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 06, 2012 06:00 am
Clearly we are entering a bizarre season for political elections. Unfortunately it is going to last more than a full year.
Take British Columbia. Christy Clark is in a futile quest to stay in power. The B.C. Liberals are attempting to stay in power with the oft-practised gambit of changing leaders and are failing miserably. The Premier of the Province of the Setting Sun now has embarked on a silly campaign of what she considers power politics. She came to Alberta this week having threatened to withhold the 60 environmental permits needed to develop the Northern Gateway Pipeline. She now threatens to withhold the electricity needed to operate the pipelines. She certainly is taking the Joan of Arc stance about her apparition of an oil spill in her province and coastal waters. Of course she would completely rethink the whole issue if we would just give her a share of Alberta oilsands royalties.
Should her type of arrangement succeed in becoming the underpinning of a new National Energy Policy, royalty sharing would naturally flow to all the other provinces where pipelines carry Alberta’s oil and gas. Quebec can be expected to be the first in line to move our oil to Halifax. And what about the North America Free Trade Agreement? Do we give a piece of the action to every state that carries our oil and gas through their pipelines? It is this sort of silliness that makes one wonder how gullible politicians think we all are. Well, maybe we are. And now that Justin Trudeau has agreed to be our next prime minister, maybe he will appoint Ms. Clark as his shadow energy minister after she retires from provincial politics. Lord knows, the federal Liberals need to do something to get people to take their minds off the NDP.
Now about Quebec. This is a province that just received $7.4 billion from the Equalization Payment Program. This amounts to 49 per cent of the total equalization payments given to so-called ‘have not’ provinces by the rest of us. (Ontario was next in line with a payment of $3.2 billion). In appreciation for the assistance we gave La Belle Province, newly elected Premier Pauline Marois is in the process of removing all visual signs of being part of Canada from within her province’s boundaries. And she is intent on backing out of another of the federal programs we share – unemployment insurance. Of course if she mismanages this portfolio she can always get more of our money from the equalization pot. She dreams of being the Empress of her own country but that won’t happen. The Coalition Avenir Quebec has a better plan. This spin-off separatist movement will wait until Quebec works its way off the breadline and is obliged to share some of its wealth with the rest of the Canadian family – then they will vote for separation. We shouldn’t lose sleep over this. Over the half century that the Equalization Payment Program has been in place, Quebec has been a recipient every year. I reckon not even the U.S.A. would want to touch them, despite the attractiveness of acquiring Quebec’s hydroelectric power grid and the Yankee Manifest Destiny dreams for North America.
And what about the good old U.S.A. and this year’s federal elections? Our southern neighbour has a multitrillion-dollar wartime-based economy on the verge of bankruptcy. And what are we watching? A series of PAC-funded entertainment-oriented reality shows featuring unfettered bilateral character assassinations of political candidates and their families. And all of it underwritten by a financially corrupt electoral system that classifies corporations as people. And don’t think that the Conservative Party of Canada isn’t taking detailed notes on how to run our own next federal election campaign.
As for NHL hockey franchises and trips to Seattle …
Alan Murdock is a local pediatrician.