Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Written With Conviction


With lots of time on his hands to mull things over in jail, Conrad Black seems to have succinctly summed up a few cross-currents of the Canadian energy scene yesterday, in The National Post: " The oil sands must be developed, and a pipeline built either into the U.S. or to the West Coast to transport the oil to market. These projects must be managed with great care for the environment. But Canada’s manifest destiny as an energy exporter cannot be held hostage by eco-terrorists, nor by the economic growth of one Canadian region being stunted by the slovenly dependence of other regions on an artificially depreciated Canadian dollar. Intra-Canadian partisanship and regional rivalries must end at the border and the water’s edge. The antics of McGuinty, who has led Ontario from the commanding heights almost to the low-rent district of the Canadian economy, blaming the prosperity of Alberta for raising the value of the Canadian dollar and inconveniencing Ontario, is an outrage. The new federal NDP leader, Thomas Mulcair, has been uttering something perilously close to the same inexcusable flimflam. Alberta, per capita, has done more than any other province to carry the cost of federalism, including oceanic largesse to Quebec. And all Canadians should rejoice at the prospect of Canada becoming a world energy giant, especially as it entails the prosperity of Newfoundland after centuries of economic struggle, and also the flowering of the hydroelectric wealth and technical sophistication of Quebec. To do otherwise would amount to contemptible regional back-biting, shaming to the higher traditions of the political parties of McGuinty, Charest, and Mulcair, and more reprehensible than churlish crabbing, in English or French, about bilingualism. Unfortunately, Pierre Trudeau, a principal conservator of Canada, is also in some measure, the father of this bad policy seed."  A penetrating glimpse into the obvious for most Albertans, but the fellow does have a way with words.