Sometimes you just have to give your head a shake.
Recently it came to light that the federal Government of Canada has created an uneven playing field against Alberta and in favour of foreign oil importation.
Presently, Eastern Canada imports between 600,000 – 750,000 barrels a day from foreign nations, primarily the United States and the dictatorship oil from the Middle East and North Africa.
Prime Minister Trudeau vetoed the Northern Gateway pipeline and killed the Energy East pipeline by changing the approval process to include upstream and downstream emissions. Yet foreign oil is not held to these same standards.
The federal government has created an energy playing field that tilts towards countries that abuse women’s rights or to the United States that sell us their energy products at world price while buying Alberta energy products at the Western Canada discount price, roughly half the price.
This makes even less sense when you consider that the Canadian Energy Research Institute has calculated that if imported oil was replaced with Alberta oil in the east there would be a 6.2 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
While these stringent pipeline regulations are unfairly placed on Alberta’s oil and gas sector Quebec is able to open a cement factory that produces two million metric tonnes of CO2 emission per year, which is more than most of Alberta’s oil sands projects. Furthermore the factory was exempt from an environmental review and is without regulation of its carbon emissions.
That same Quebec cement plant is owned by the head of Bombardier that makes planes, planes that create large amounts of carbon, yet Bombardier does not have to live up to an approval process that considers upstream and downstream emissions.
This farcical, fiasco of unfairness continues to get more ludicrous when we realize that Alberta, even though we have gone through a terrible recession still continues to subsidize Quebec through equalization payments. Meanwhile Quebec is able to find the money to subsidize that same Quebec power plant to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.
Like I said, sometimes you just have to give your head a shake.
Mark Smith is MLA for the Drayton Valley-Devon constituency and writes a regular column for The Pipestone Flyer.