Unity, collective good and climate-change mitigation

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Sean in Ottawa
Unity, collective good and climate-change mitigation

I wrote about this in 2015 here. I want to go back to it because this country is in trouble.

I will try to spell this out in more detail because this country is in trouble.

The left is defined by a belief in the public good. This public good includes national unity, efforts to mitigate climate change, jobs for those who want them and national resources. It includes the well-being of people, education, and efforts to reduce inequality. It includes mitigation of loss of human resources to economic downturns. These are collective nationally (and I would argue internationally but that is another matter).

It is a fact that the national resources have profited Alberta and Saskatchewan but they have also profited the rest of the country. Studies have shown that over the whole project an argument can be made that as much or more profit went to the nation as a whole as it did to Alberta in a number of ways. I hope we do not have to argue this point here.

It is a fact that resources including oil and gas are assets even though their exploitation is dangerous to the planet. These fossil fuel assets help all of Canada when exploited certainly but are disproportionately relied on by some provinces including these two provinces but also including Newfoundland.

Reducing reliance, development, sale and consumption of fossil fuels is a nation emergency. The product of the reduction of use of fossil fuels is a national public good (really global) that is far more even in benefit than the asset is to exploit.

Conservatives do not acknowledge a public good. It is a Conservative principle that you are stuck with self-reliance as a guiding principle over the collective need to help each other. Conservatives will not call on Ottawa to bail out provinces struggling with climate change efforts because they do not believe in either a collective approach or dealing with climate change. It is those who do believe in collective good who are calling for emergency mitigation of climate change.

If you look at the Conservative position it is consistent at least: they do not believe in a collective good, do not ask for help and insist on doing whatever they are doing regardless of cost to a collective good they do not recognize or damage to the environment that they do not recognize. The believe in individualism and generally self-reliance. I can find many hypocritical positions in the Conservative view and I cannot accept the base principles but I can accept that their position is what it is.

I cannot accept the position advanced by the centre and left generally as I find it hypocritical. We believe in this collective good. We know that these provinces have an asset that we ask to be left in the ground for the good of us all and yet we offer nothing other than a carbon tax and a suggestion that they suck it up. Too often Liberals and New Democrats argue that their past behaviour in not saving money, living without adequate taxation, not take care of their investments in the future. We accepted the largesse in profit particularly to central Canada even when we knew it was not sustainable. We would not treat an individual to punishment for past decisions that were not only legal but from which we received benefit.

We accepted that we owed justice to Indigenous people who own the ground even if they do not have possession of it through control (been pushed off it) and know they have a moral right to what happens there (regardless of what imperialist-built laws say). We have a responsibility not just to stand on anger and principle but to take practical steps to protect their interest and the assets of Indigenous peoples which is the land - even if indigenous people do not have immediate control of the land (and what is under it) imperialist control is disputed. We have a national, collective and legal responsibility to them to do all we can.

It is unacceptable in these circumstances that the central parts of the country -- as well as other parts that benefit from the fossil fuel assets have not fully accepted to share the cost of climate mitigation in an equitable way.

In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

What should have happened is the Liberal majority government of Trudeau ought to have presented a plan for all of Canada to share in the costs of a transformation away from reliance on fossil fuels rather than forcing fossil fuel producing regions to engage in a national transformation that they did not agree with at almost completely their cost.

Perhaps unity is no longer a collective good.

But if we think it is, then those calling for radical and speedy transformation, such that the science demands, ought to recognize that the cost is significant. The nation ought to share in the mitigation of that cost.

Thankfully, coming from the left we have another core belief that Conservatives do not share: the value of future investment and in government participation in the economy and an understanding that these investments are not costs but the ground of future benefit. Any money invested – we believe – will be returned. And new crown corporations can be built to manage this because we believe that can be done.

The NDP and Liberal majority in the House ought to propose three things at the same time:

1) reject expansion of fossil fuels

2) determine the economic cost to each province for doing this

3) nationalize this cost by mitigating it with national investments proportionately in those provinces - so that those provinces do not lose less than the Canadian average loss to make the collective investment to mitigate climate change

If we do not do this, our efforts to fight climate change will founder. Any claimed unity of the country will founder along with any attempt to heal divisions that will cost us collectively more than what I propose, our responsibility to Indigenous peoples cannot be met, our vision of the country will be defeated by those who do not believe in collective good or any mitigation of climate change.

Canadians who want efforts to mitigate climate change must now learn the lesson that these efforts cannot be demanded from the parts of the country who will pay less for it and then executed by the parts of the country who will pay more.

You want to convert people to our cause - show them that they are part of a collective good -- do not ask them to contribute and make it go away when they need it.

With respect to the fossil fuel producing parts of Canada, let’s cut the hypocrisy and stop acting half like Conservatives while we try to insist that we are acting like progressives.

We need a major nationally paid for economic transformation away from fossil fuels. We are now going to have a harder time negotiating these benefits with Kenney than we would have had with Notley and her party for example. But let us stop pretending Alberta is not hurting because it is and will hurt a great deal more if we get what we want. Offering a hand of help to a one who is hurting is essential. Canada has not - so far - offered this to these regions of the country. It is possible that, even grudgingly, Kenney will accept the massive injection of money into the fossil fuel producing regions because he would be politically in trouble not to. the we will be in a moral position to deliver on our promise and our mandate to the entire country that voted to mitigate climate change but also who voted to accept the principle of a national public good.

Unionist

Someone will need to explain to me why resources buried underneath the ground in Alberta belong to those people who happen to inhabit Alberta at any given moment in time. Who decided that and when? Same with all other resources in all other provinces. "We" certainly don't recognize such ownership on behalf of the Indigenous peoples whom we invaded, displaced, murdered, treated as less-than-human beings.

Anyway, if that's the way the Constitution works, we should just change the Constitution.

In other words, I reject your premise. A federal government should nationalize the levers of the economy and ensure jobs and economic prosperity on an equitable basis throughout the country - irrespective of whose ground contains oil or rivers or gold.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

Someone will need to explain to me why resources buried underneath the ground in Alberta belong to those people who happen to inhabit Alberta at any given moment in time. Who decided that and when? Same with all other resources in all other provinces. "We" certainly don't recognize such ownership on behalf of the Indigenous peoples whom we invaded, displaced, murdered, treated as less-than-human beings.

Anyway, if that's the way the Constitution works, we should just change the Constitution.

In other words, I reject your premise. A federal government should nationalize the levers of the economy and ensure jobs and economic prosperity on an equitable basis throughout the country - irrespective of whose ground contains oil or rivers or gold.

I really do not understand the point you are making here and it does not look like you are engaging with any premise I made.

The reference I made to resource ownership was in reference to Indigenous rights where noted that the morality of Indigenous lack of ownership of what is underground is problematic and disputed.

(Of course we are not just talking about Albertabeing in this position but the principle is the same.)

The law held that it was federal ownership and surface land ownership did not include under soil resources. This held after the Province of Alberta was founded in 1905. However, the Natural Resources Transfer Act of 1930 moved most of it to Alberta. The Alberta Government has since offered these subsurface rights for mineral and fossil fuels extraction for its profit and has also taxed the industry and benefited from the employment and business activity.

The point I made here was that the lands taken from Indigenous people and the federal government is obliged to protect their interests. Still, this is not the premise of the  argument - just an aspect to the situation that presently exists.

My premise was based on the fact that Alberta benefits from this asset and value that it profits in several ways and the Canadian nation collectively wishes to slow and eventually halt the exploitation of that asset for the greater good of Canada and the world. It is both moral and in Canada's interest to share the cost of that national decision rather than leaving the part of the country that will pay the most for the decision on their own.

My argument contains many other points about the fact that this does not need to be a cost as the investments can eventually benefit the entire country. If you re-read my post above you may respond to the central point rather than this aspect of seperation of ownership between above and below ground rights which is only a side point.

It is further confused by your comments about ownership of inhabitents given the seperation I describe here. Still the below ground is government of Alberta and the above ground is the owners which in some cases belong to government and some privately. In any case the rest of Canada does not ahve the same stake as Alberta and that is the central point.

 

KarlL

Unionist wrote:

Someone will need to explain to me why resources buried underneath the ground in Alberta belong to those people who happen to inhabit Alberta at any given moment in time. Who decided that and when? Same with all other resources in all other provinces. "We" certainly don't recognize such ownership on behalf of the Indigenous peoples whom we invaded, displaced, murdered, treated as less-than-human beings.

Anyway, if that's the way the Constitution works, we should just change the Constitution.

In other words, I reject your premise. A federal government should nationalize the levers of the economy and ensure jobs and economic prosperity on an equitable basis throughout the country - irrespective of whose ground contains oil or rivers or gold.

The natural resouce rights were granted to the provinces by the federal government in 1930.  Up until that point, these rights had rested with the federal Crown, which had retained mineral rights as it parcelled out land to settlers.  The resources were not as valuable then as they are now of course, but even then it was foreseeable that this would be an issue of contention.  What the federal government should have done in 1930 was make a partial allocation to the prairie provinces to make up for their lack of revenues from manufacturing/commercial bases (as compared to Central Canada) but retain a partial interest.  

Unionist

KarlL wrote:

The natural resouce rights were granted to the provinces by the federal government in 1930.  Up until that point, these rights had rested with the federal Crown, which had retained mineral rights as it parcelled out land to settlers.  The resources were not as valuable then as they are now of course, but even then it was foreseeable that this would be an issue of contention.  What the federal government should have done in 1930 was make a partial allocation to the prairie provinces to make up for their lack of revenues from manufacturing/commercial bases (as compared to Central Canada) but retain a partial interest.  

Thanks for this, Karl.

It does appear that in 1930, after protracted battles, the federal government reached agreements with Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (and a lesser one with B.C.) on the transfer of rights over certain natural resources found in federally controlled crown lands. This then was confirmed by the U.K. parliament and appears to have amended the British North America Act of 1867. I'm still working my way through it. Do you happen to know whether this got incorporated into the 1982 Constitution? If not, it might be easier to re-negotiate or even revoke portions of these agreements.

I'm just reflecting on ways to keep the people of this country living and working together, without destroying the planet. 

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

R.E.Wood

Sean, I absolutely agree with your opening post and the entire concept of orchestrated regional development as a way to speed the transition from fossil fuels and grow new industry in regions of the country (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland) that are currently reliant on the fossil fuel industry. 

I recall Audrey McLaughlin proposing focused regional industry planning decades ago. She was right then, just as we're right to be talking about it now. 

Yes, if we are to shut down the main industry of certain provinces for the greater environmental good of the entire country (and planet), then what are we going to replace it with? There must be concrete work done to figure out the answers to that question. Which industries would be best to invest in developing in Alberta or Saskatchewan, versus in Newfoundland? Obviously the focus would be on environmental technologies, green tech, green industries, etc... but I'm not an expert, so experts should be convened and consulted.

This is fundamental in a collective federation, particularly one which we hope would one day be governed by a democratic socialist party. 

It is insufficient to have Singh saying on the campaign trail that an NDP government would essentially "be there" for workers in provinces hurt by the phasing-out and shutting-down of their key industry. He (or any leader) must have concrete answers and plans. The NDP must be able to say, "Yes, we will phase out and shut down this industry within X years, and at the same time we will be investing in you and ramping up new green industries XYZ in your province." Specifics are required. And specific projections of future growth and success are required as well. People must know that they're not an afterthought, that their families and their futures have been given extreme thought and care, and that the entire country is united in the success of every region and province.

I believe yesterday I read someone here posted an "F Off" to Alberta and the Prairie provinces, saying "We don't need you and don't want you." Well, that's not a particularly helpful or neighbourly way of treating your fellow citizens, is it? After all, I believe 30% of Alberta and 35% of Saskatchewan voted Liberal or NDP in this election (and that would actually count in a PR system, but that's not the topic of this thread). As has been said elsewhere, we are not all monolithic regions in this country, and we can't all be painted with the same brush. And (if I'm dreaming) even those who are the worst intransigent anti-environmentalists (Kenney, for a start!) might come around to more sensible regional economic development if they saw that there was considered thought, planning, and investment being delivered to make the transition to a green future successful and desireable for all. Well, no - I realize there would be some who would cling to their pollution-belching giant trucks like the NRA clings to their guns ("From my cold, dead hand!") but at some point the dinosaurs like that don't matter and the bulk of the population would see the progress for good being made, and realize that they're not being abandoned by the rest of the country, but helped forward toward a better future.

The NDP should convene a group to discuss the future of green economic & industrial development in regions of the country that will be hurt by the transition from fossil fuels. And not only that, but the green future of the entire country. This process should begin immediately, so that when the next election comes around the NDP will be armed with detailed specific proposals and plans that people can believe in.

KarlL

Unionist wrote:

KarlL wrote:

 

 

The natural resouce rights were granted to the provinces by the federal government in 1930.  Up until that point, these rights had rested with the federal Crown, which had retained mineral rights as it parcelled out land to settlers.  The resources were not as valuable then as they are now of course, but even then it was foreseeable that this would be an issue of contention.  What the federal government should have done in 1930 was make a partial allocation to the prairie provinces to make up for their lack of revenues from manufacturing/commercial bases (as compared to Central Canada) but retain a partial interest.  

Thanks for this, Karl.

It does appear that in 1930, after protracted battles, the federal government reached agreements with Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (and a lesser one with B.C.) on the transfer of rights over certain natural resources found in federally controlled crown lands. This then was confirmed by the U.K. parliament and appears to have amended the British North America Act of 1867. I'm still working my way through it. Do you happen to know whether this got incorporated into the 1982 Constitution? If not, it might be easier to re-negotiate or even revoke portions of these agreements.

I'm just reflecting on ways to keep the people of this country living and working together, without destroying the planet. 

Yes, Section 92A was added to the Constitution in 1982, giving all provinces the right to control and tax non-renewable natural resources, forestry and hydro-electric power.  See particularly 92A.(4)

Taxation of resources

(4) In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the raising of money by any mode or system of taxation in respect of

  • (a) non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the primary production therefrom, and

  • (b) sites and facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy and the production therefrom,

whether or not such production is exported in whole or in part from the province, but such laws may not authorize or provide for taxation that differentiates between production exported to another part of Canada and production not exported from the province.

Historically, the original four provinces (ON, QC, NB, NS) retained the resource rights that they had at the time of Confederation and PEI and BC were accorded the same treatment on accession to the Constitution.  Remember that in the late-19th Century, the Prairies were fledgeling operations, essentially carved out of federal Crown land (indigenous land as well of course but I am staying within the confines of what the political class would have thought at the time), whereas PEI and BC were not just federal creations.

It was foreseeable that minerals, timber (and later on, oil, potash and uranium) would be valuable resources and the federal government would have thought of the new provinces differently - as essentially being administrative divisions carved out of the earlier Northwest Territory and Prince Rupert's Land.  The issue started bubbling through the early 20th Century leading to the change in 1930 but I don't think it was formalized in the Constitution until 1982.

So there's no putting the toothpaste back into the tube constitutionally, and certainly not politically.

Sean in Ottawa

Unionist wrote:

KarlL wrote:

The natural resouce rights were granted to the provinces by the federal government in 1930.  Up until that point, these rights had rested with the federal Crown, which had retained mineral rights as it parcelled out land to settlers.  The resources were not as valuable then as they are now of course, but even then it was foreseeable that this would be an issue of contention.  What the federal government should have done in 1930 was make a partial allocation to the prairie provinces to make up for their lack of revenues from manufacturing/commercial bases (as compared to Central Canada) but retain a partial interest.  

Thanks for this, Karl.

It does appear that in 1930, after protracted battles, the federal government reached agreements with Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba (and a lesser one with B.C.) on the transfer of rights over certain natural resources found in federally controlled crown lands. This then was confirmed by the U.K. parliament and appears to have amended the British North America Act of 1867. I'm still working my way through it. Do you happen to know whether this got incorporated into the 1982 Constitution? If not, it might be easier to re-negotiate or even revoke portions of these agreements.

I'm just reflecting on ways to keep the people of this country living and working together, without destroying the planet. 

I think that the dynamic is very much agaisnt this happening for a few reasons:

1) You need several provinces to agree to give a power for the Federal government to get it and only one federal government to give for provinces to get it. The dynamic has shifted power steadily in one direction.

2) We speak of the spending power of the federal government but should really understand what that fully entails. At this point the most expensive ticket items are in the province's hands: health, welfare including social assistance and education. The feds have increasing pressure on equalization due to this. Assets are not going to be moved to the feds.

3) The federal government is dominated by large provinces and the central region. No way is a majority going to be produced to take resource assets from the regions and deliver it to the federal governmtn. Canada is more united than it often appears but if you really want a part of the country to seperate this path is the road to go down.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

I disagree completely. The Alberta NDP was not in agreement with the rest of Canada but were far from hostile in 2015. Notley was proposing a slower transition than the rest of Canada wanted but still a transition. Notley was looking for support and to convince the rest of Canada of her position which she felt was a middle ground. The NDP became hostile when what they were presented with was not a conversation about what this decision meant to Alberta and how to manage it -- only what was required for Canada.

Now Alberta has a government that is not only at odds with the rest of Canada -- more than Notley was -- but it is also hostile and politically invested in a fight. Notley only became invested in a fight when it became clear nothing else could be forthcoming.

I believe that Notley could have been presuaded to move faster on climate change mitigation if Ottawa had been clear that we were really in it together. This does not mean that we would hav found agreement but the gap woudl heve been reduced and the hostility perhaps avoided even if a disagreement remained. Now we have a hostile government invested in a political context that will only reward hostility. Notley regretted the disagreement and sought to win people to her side; Kenney seeks to profit from the hostility and is uninterested in winning friends in Ottawa -- only making political hay out of the fight.

Sean in Ottawa

R.E.Wood wrote:

Sean, I absolutely agree with your opening post and the entire concept of orchestrated regional development as a way to speed the transition from fossil fuels and grow new industry in regions of the country (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland) that are currently reliant on the fossil fuel industry. 

I recall Audrey McLaughlin proposing focused regional industry planning decades ago. She was right then, just as we're right to be talking about it now. 

Yes, if we are to shut down the main industry of certain provinces for the greater environmental good of the entire country (and planet), then what are we going to replace it with? There must be concrete work done to figure out the answers to that question. Which industries would be best to invest in developing in Alberta or Saskatchewan, versus in Newfoundland? Obviously the focus would be on environmental technologies, green tech, green industries, etc... but I'm not an expert, so experts should be convened and consulted.

This is fundamental in a collective federation, particularly one which we hope would one day be governed by a democratic socialist party. 

It is insufficient to have Singh saying on the campaign trail that an NDP government would essentially "be there" for workers in provinces hurt by the phasing-out and shutting-down of their key industry. He (or any leader) must have concrete answers and plans. The NDP must be able to say, "Yes, we will phase out and shut down this industry within X years, and at the same time we will be investing in you and ramping up new green industries XYZ in your province." Specifics are required. And specific projections of future growth and success are required as well. People must know that they're not an afterthought, that their families and their futures have been given extreme thought and care, and that the entire country is united in the success of every region and province.

I believe yesterday I read someone here posted an "F Off" to Alberta and the Prairie provinces, saying "We don't need you and don't want you." Well, that's not a particularly helpful or neighbourly way of treating your fellow citizens, is it? After all, I believe 30% of Alberta and 35% of Saskatchewan voted Liberal or NDP in this election (and that would actually count in a PR system, but that's not the topic of this thread). As has been said elsewhere, we are not all monolithic regions in this country, and we can't all be painted with the same brush. And (if I'm dreaming) even those who are the worst intransigent anti-environmentalists (Kenney, for a start!) might come around to more sensible regional economic development if they saw that there was considered thought, planning, and investment being delivered to make the transition to a green future successful and desireable for all. Well, no - I realize there would be some who would cling to their pollution-belching giant trucks like the NRA clings to their guns ("From my cold, dead hand!") but at some point the dinosaurs like that don't matter and the bulk of the population would see the progress for good being made, and realize that they're not being abandoned by the rest of the country, but helped forward toward a better future.

The NDP should convene a group to discuss the future of green economic & industrial development in regions of the country that will be hurt by the transition from fossil fuels. And not only that, but the green future of the entire country. This process should begin immediately, so that when the next election comes around the NDP will be armed with detailed specific proposals and plans that people can believe in.

Yes well put and elaborates on some of the things I did not.

We have to decide if we want climate mitigation or if we are just exploiting the problem for our political purpose. If we really want to do it the plan must include building allies rather than whipping up support in politics just to have a fight.

Is Canada a country where we have a collective good or are we each in it for our regions. Alberta is not a colony and we have to consider that social license we demand for pipelines is an integral part of solutions to stop pipelines. We have not spent any significant energy trying to get Alberta to buy in. Lectures coming from outside do not have any hope of success -- if that is what we are really looking for.

This does not mean that we have to give in to a minority region but we have to allow consideration of what the challenges are in the places affected and attempt mitigation of the worst effects. There has been no strong sense of that.

You think Notley was hostile? You have not been paying attention to Kenney.

Pondering

There is no consensus in Canada for shutting down the oil sands and no serious movement in that direction. TMX has a great deal of support, probably majority. While climate change activists and organizations are backing the movement the primary motive is the protection of land and water from oil not climate change. If B.C. and Quebec benefited financially as much as Alberta does from pipelines they would be majority supportive. It's just that the risk/reward calculation works out negative for the other provinces. If resources were 100% national the pipelines would likely get built. That they are not getting built (so far) shows no virtue on the part of provinces rejecting them. 

There is no significant movement in Canada to shut down the oil sands. If there were the separation movement would get serious fast. 

Everyone even a little on the left supports helping Alberta transition but right now Alberta isn't interested in transitioning. The point of the pipelines isn't to continue as is to help the industry to survive. It is to triple production. Being prevented from tripling production is what Alberta considers economic ruin. 

Trudeau is fond of saying no country in the world would find that much oil and leave it in the ground. That may be true but it isn't being left in the ground. It is being sold through existing export methods and has been for decades. Canada isn't deciding to leave it in the ground. Neither BC nor Quebec is saying "leave it in the ground". They are just saying they won't accept the risk of ruining their environments with a massive oil spill. 

Alberta invited this end by allowing the oil companies to get away with shoddy practices. If oil spills were a rarity the pipelines would probably have been build over a decade ago. Oil has a worse reputation than used car sales. All the shiny advertisements about reducing emissions don't matter. Core opponents are not there because of climate change. They are there because there are constant reports of oil spills and explosions due to the industry putting a higher premium on profits than safety. 

The majority of Albertans seem to have the Conservative mindset of individuality. They want pipelines not help transitioning. They will not be happy as recipients of equalization payments either. They don't want handouts they want to be an economic powerhouse. 

As to their contributions to economic prosperity perhaps you mean ruin?  Alberta hasn't put away for a rainy day and neither did Canada. The petro-dollar didn't help Ontario or Quebec. Unemployment on this end of the country was met with "so move" and complaints about the unfairness of equalization not offers of help to transition away from manufacturing. 

Concerning equalization. End it. The point is so that provinces can provide equivalent services to their people. Institute basic income. Increase the percentage of medicare paid for by the federal government in exchange for genuinely nationalized medicare cards that work no matter what province we are in. That would probably do more to equalize services to citizens than payments handed over to provincial governments. 

Sean in Ottawa

Pondering, I had a longer response but the frequent firefox crashes deleted it.

The fact that there is no consensus does not change the need to offer a national solution where we are collectively all invested in a change rather than telling the area most effective that they should suck it up. The idea of helping with transition may indeed be popular but there is no meaningful plan so it is only rhetoric.

The fact that a majority Albertans have an individualistic mindset does not justify such an apporach packaged with a collective environmental vision.

Your idea of ending equalization would depend on a bunch of things that would not happen and more that would be terrible if they did.

Universal programs cannot all be replaced with a minimum income. A minimum income is not buying you a cardiac operation  or full education. You need these programs and as much as you may want to nationalize them they are in provincial jurisdiction. Provinces are not equally equiped for these as they do not have economy of scale at the same level and they do not have equal resources. To make economy of scale equal you would need to magically change the founding legal basis of Canada to give them equal resources you need help from a higher power that I do not believe exists.

As for taking powers from the provinces, as I said elsewhere this is unrealistic and undesireable in a country as big as Canada. It would lead to greater division not less divison. No, the provinces do not trust Ottawa more than they did in the period 1867 to 1949.

Pondering

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
  

Pondering, I had a longer response but the frequent firefox crashes deleted it.

I hate when that happens. I wish I could read the original. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
 

The fact that there is no consensus does not change the need to offer a national solution where we are collectively all invested in a change rather than telling the area most effective that they should suck it up. The idea of helping with transition may indeed be popular but there is no meaningful plan so it is only rhetoric.

 

There is nothing we can offer to make up for not tripling production in the oil sands. I'm not against a national transition plan just don't expect Albertans to embrace it. As far as they are concerned as long as oil is being burned it should be theirs. Politicians in Alberta stoke resentment against Quebec and Ottawa for personal gain just as politicians in Quebec have done the same against the RoC. 

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
​Universal programs cannot all be replaced with a minimum income. A minimum income is not buying you a cardiac operation  or full education. You need these programs and as much as you may want to nationalize them they are in provincial jurisdiction.  

We don't need to nationalize. We used to pay more to the provinces for health care and those dollars still come with strings. They are or can be per capita payments so naturally redistribute wealth to poorer provinces. If the feds offered an increase in health care funding provinces would accept more strings or be punished by their respective populations. Drug costs are provincial but that isn't stopping the federal government from proposing Pharmacare because they know the provinces can't afford to refuse a generous deal. 

The idea of basic income is to replace employment insurance and welfare and even the GIS. Welfare is an expense the provinces would be happy to do without. 

To renegotiate equalization would require opening the can of worms that we call our constitution. It is one thing we do have within our power to give Alberta and Quebec for that matter. It's just that governments can't be trusted with it. 

We would need a Canadian organization like the Council of Canadians to begin a movement to suggest and promote changes that would benefit the people of Canada rather than various levels of government. 

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

I disagree completely. The Alberta NDP was not in agreement with the rest of Canada but were far from hostile in 2015. Notley was proposing a slower transition than the rest of Canada wanted but still a transition. Notley was looking for support and to convince the rest of Canada of her position which she felt was a middle ground. The NDP became hostile when what they were presented with was not a conversation about what this decision meant to Alberta and how to manage it -- only what was required for Canada.

Now Alberta has a government that is not only at odds with the rest of Canada -- more than Notley was -- but it is also hostile and politically invested in a fight. Notley only became invested in a fight when it became clear nothing else could be forthcoming.

I believe that Notley could have been presuaded to move faster on climate change mitigation if Ottawa had been clear that we were really in it together. This does not mean that we would hav found agreement but the gap woudl heve been reduced and the hostility perhaps avoided even if a disagreement remained. Now we have a hostile government invested in a political context that will only reward hostility. Notley regretted the disagreement and sought to win people to her side; Kenney seeks to profit from the hostility and is uninterested in winning friends in Ottawa -- only making political hay out of the fight.

The problem is that when she spoke about things like the carbon tax and other green energy ideas, she did so arguing that this would give "social licence" for more pipelines. That defeats the purpose of those policies in the first place, which is to make your economy less reliant on pipelines. That is unacceptable to both sides. Environmentalists won't stand for it, and nobody who wanted pipelines from Alberta, especially at someone else's expense, was going to vote NDP anyways. And even after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts on green energy, she spit on the party. If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy without leaving its workers behind. She has never made that arguemnt at all. Furthermore, by taking on the pipelines-above-all-else mantra, she has marginalized people within Alberta who understand that things must change and are trying to make that happen.

Unionist

Aristotleded24 wrote:

If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. 

Correct.

The simple sad fact is that not one single Alberta politician of any political stripe whatsoever has the nerve to stand up against TMX or Energy East or oil sands extraction or the oil billionaires. Name me one, and I'll move there and join their team.

Of course, there's another possibility: They're right, and the rest of the world is wrong.

Aristotleded24

Unionist wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. 

Correct.

The simple sad fact is that not one single Alberta politician of any political stripe whatsoever has the nerve to stand up against TMX or Energy East or oil sands extraction or the oil billionaires. Name me one, and I'll move there and join their team.

The Greens in Alberta did, but their leader just stepped down.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

I disagree completely. The Alberta NDP was not in agreement with the rest of Canada but were far from hostile in 2015. Notley was proposing a slower transition than the rest of Canada wanted but still a transition. Notley was looking for support and to convince the rest of Canada of her position which she felt was a middle ground. The NDP became hostile when what they were presented with was not a conversation about what this decision meant to Alberta and how to manage it -- only what was required for Canada.

Now Alberta has a government that is not only at odds with the rest of Canada -- more than Notley was -- but it is also hostile and politically invested in a fight. Notley only became invested in a fight when it became clear nothing else could be forthcoming.

I believe that Notley could have been presuaded to move faster on climate change mitigation if Ottawa had been clear that we were really in it together. This does not mean that we would hav found agreement but the gap woudl heve been reduced and the hostility perhaps avoided even if a disagreement remained. Now we have a hostile government invested in a political context that will only reward hostility. Notley regretted the disagreement and sought to win people to her side; Kenney seeks to profit from the hostility and is uninterested in winning friends in Ottawa -- only making political hay out of the fight.

The problem is that when she spoke about things like the carbon tax and other green energy ideas, she did so arguing that this would give "social licence" for more pipelines. That defeats the purpose of those policies in the first place, which is to make your economy less reliant on pipelines. That is unacceptable to both sides. Environmentalists won't stand for it, and nobody who wanted pipelines from Alberta, especially at someone else's expense, was going to vote NDP anyways. And even after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts on green energy, she spit on the party. If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy without leaving its workers behind. She has never made that arguemnt at all. Furthermore, by taking on the pipelines-above-all-else mantra, she has marginalized people within Alberta who understand that things must change and are trying to make that happen.

Still missing my point here: Notley may have positions you do not like and may have not said things you want BUT

She did not come in hostile or not listening to the rest of Canada even if she did not obey all wants from outside.

What has come in now may have much in common but it is hostile and on the attack and not open to listen to anything.

Some better positions from the rest of Canada could have resulted in a different situation but you never know because that was not tried.

That Alberta did not come to our position when we did not offer a compromise (real and realistic help on mitigation) just is a mirror of our approach from the other side.

We are so lost in our superiority and faith in our correctness that we cannot see that.

As I say: the scale of the defeat was definitely earned by the rest of Canada.

Now we have a party in power federally and provincially that ran and got elected based on hatred for us. Let's see how much better that works.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..while jason kenney's personality is more objectionable than notley's their attacks on indigenous folk are/was equally repugnant and hostile. as is/was their attacks on the salish sea, waterways and the very air we breath. not to mention the threat of lost livelyhoods of those dependent on those waterways and seas. there was/is the subversion of democracy, bald face lies and misdirection. personal attacks. all in the name of alberta workers..the biggest lie of all. last but not least the expansion of the tarsands from hell..hostile to life itself.  

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering,

We need equalization in Canada. Our provinces and regions are not equal in population, resources, and wealth.

Saskatchewan has made the argument that hydro electricity revenue is not weighted the same as oil revenues. Therefore a province which produces hydro-electricity like Manitoba, for instance, reports a lower revenue calculation than provinces who generate oil revenue. The Saskatchewan government argues that both resources should be calculated the same. This discrepancy costs Saskatchewan about $800 million dollars each year.

If Quebec had its hydro revenues calculated the way oil revenues are calculated, Quebec would still receive equalization annually. It just would receive less than it does now. Or, if Saskatchewan has its oil revenue calculated the way hydro-electricity is calculated, Quebec equalization would remain the same and Saskatchewan would save approximately  $800 million a year.

The equalization formula is not as difficult to amend as purported. The problem is that Quebec is a massive producer of hydroelectric power. The equalization formula will not be amended because it is not in the political and economic interest for Quebec to do so.

Misfit Misfit's picture

R.E.Wood wrote:
I believe yesterday I read someone here posted an "F Off" to Alberta and the Prairie provinces, saying "We don't need you and don't want you." Well, that's not a particularly helpful or neighbourly way of treating your fellow citizens, is it? After all, I believe 30% of Alberta and 35% of Saskatchewan voted Liberal or NDP in this election (and that would actually count in a PR system, but that's not the topic of this thread). As has been said elsewhere, we are not all monolithic regions in this country, and we can't all be painted with the same brush.

Thank you for those kind words. Actually what he did say was F*OFF to Alberta and Saskatchewan specifically. He did not include Manitoba.

I actually find the level of negativity and misunderstanding directed at us on this board to be quite alarming. So again, thank you.

Pondering

Changing equalization would require the reopening of the Constitution. Eventually I hope we do that but I don't think it is feasible at the moment. Quebec would have demands and the senate debate would be reopened. The country, the provinces and the media would be focused on the constitution rather than climate change and income inequality. After all that it is still unlikely to be more successful than Charlottetown or Meach Lake. We are stuck with equalization in its current form. 

Concerning helping provinces transition. We need a vision of what Canada could look like in 2030 and 2040. The prairies have blinders on. They want to triple oil production. Their core argument is people are going to burn oil anyway so it might as well be Alberta's. There is no alternate vision that would replace tripling oil production in Alberta. Not even close. If Alberta can replace the current economic activity generated by oil that will be a major success but it won't satisfy Alberta. Alberta wants another oil boom and it will always blame the RoC for preventing it. 

The decline of the oil sands is inevidable but most Albertans are still in denial and so are all Canadians to some extent. Most Canadians support the idea of pipelines. It is only the people in the path of pipelines that object. Every oil producing province is on the side of pushing them through. 

I think it is important to repopularize the notion of public good and collective action to reduce costs. This is an excellent time to address it because Pharmacare is on the table and the government is going against all reports and expert advice by instituting a non-universal plan. 

cco

R.E.Wood wrote:

Yes, if we are to shut down the main industry of certain provinces for the greater environmental good of the entire country (and planet), then what are we going to replace it with? There must be concrete work done to figure out the answers to that question. Which industries would be best to invest in developing in Alberta or Saskatchewan, versus in Newfoundland? Obviously the focus would be on environmental technologies, green tech, green industries, etc... but I'm not an expert, so experts should be convened and consulted.

I certainly can't argue with your humanitarian concern for the victims of economic transition. What bothers me, though, is something more fundamental (and not one I expect the NDP to have the courage to address). I feel like the cracks are showing in our model of society, and almost nobody is ready to address the problems with the mythology it's built upon.

We've been sold a bill of goods with this whole neoliberal capitalism thing, especially since the end of the Cold War, but the rot goes deeper than that. The basic set of assumptions starts with: There's a job for everyone. The sum total of humans making individually selfish decisions will produce a society where everyone prospers. Capitalism's failings are the failings of individuals, not the system – poor people are too lazy, too uneducated, or just trained for the wrong sector.

What the Conservatives, Greens, Liberals, and sadly, the NDP are selling are variants of the same fantasy: "Things are more or less fine the way they are; all we need is to slap some duct tape on." The Tories are selling mythical "green technology" that lets us keep burning fossil fuels. The Greens, Liberals, and NDP are selling mythical "green jobs" that will match up exactly in number, salary, and location to the oil jobs that are going away. We can all keep driving, living in detached houses, having children, and working in the...solar panel fields...of Fort McMurray, with a little helping hand from the government, and then we don't have to worry about Vancouver and Halifax being underwater. Prosperity is on the way, delivered by the invisible hand, so long as it gets a little nudge. Maybe even a big nudge, in the form of a basic income that still lets the market's wisdom decide the future of the species. Fight automation. Fight the collapse of industries. Do everything possible to stick a band-aid on the status quo, because that's a way of life we understand.

I, obviously, lean towards skepticism on this front – which isn't to say I have all the answers. Even a fully planned economy would have to cope with the question of how many people we need to live in places created for unviable industries. I just don't think the idea of letting greed drive us into the future while the state comes along behind it and cleans up the waste is sustainable for too much longer.

Michael Moriarity Michael Moriarity's picture

I agree with all that cco has to say. Capitalism is killing us, and we don't have a lot of time left before it's too late. It may already be too late to salvage anything resembling civilized life, but we go on acting as if we can take care of it next year or next decade.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i don't believe it is out job to save the future. to have the answers. but to lay the ground work for a  model to live under that is based on participatory democracy. to do this so that there is an opportunity for the answers and a decent future to be possible. 

eta:

..all around the world there is an explosion of uprising. driven by young folks. young certainly compared to me. the answer to another model lies in those uprisings.   

Badriya

Pondering wrote:

Changing equalization would require the reopening of the Constitution. Eventually I hope we do that but I don't think it is feasible at the moment. Quebec would have demands and the senate debate would be reopened. The country, the provinces and the media would be focused on the constitution rather than climate change and income inequality. After all that it is still unlikely to be more successful than Charlottetown or Meach Lake. We are stuck with equalization in its current form. 

Concerning helping provinces transition. We need a vision of what Canada could look like in 2030 and 2040. The prairies have blinders on. They want to triple oil production. Their core argument is people are going to burn oil anyway so it might as well be Alberta's. There is no alternate vision that would replace tripling oil production in Alberta. Not even close. If Alberta can replace the current economic activity generated by oil that will be a major success but it won't satisfy Alberta. Alberta wants another oil boom and it will always blame the RoC for preventing it. 

The decline of the oil sands is inevidable but most Albertans are still in denial and so are all Canadians to some extent. Most Canadians support the idea of pipelines. It is only the people in the path of pipelines that object. Every oil producing province is on the side of pushing them through. 

I think it is important to repopularize the notion of public good and collective action to reduce costs. This is an excellent time to address it because Pharmacare is on the table and the government is going against all reports and expert advice by instituting a non-universal plan. 

Pondering, it is not necessary to re-open the constitution to change equalization.  The equalization formula is examined every five years by the federal government. Substantive modifications were made in 2007 and 2009. The formula was left basically the same in 2014, and again this year. 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..double post

Sean in Ottawa

Badriya wrote:

Pondering wrote:

Changing equalization would require the reopening of the Constitution. Eventually I hope we do that but I don't think it is feasible at the moment. Quebec would have demands and the senate debate would be reopened. The country, the provinces and the media would be focused on the constitution rather than climate change and income inequality. After all that it is still unlikely to be more successful than Charlottetown or Meach Lake. We are stuck with equalization in its current form. 

Concerning helping provinces transition. We need a vision of what Canada could look like in 2030 and 2040. The prairies have blinders on. They want to triple oil production. Their core argument is people are going to burn oil anyway so it might as well be Alberta's. There is no alternate vision that would replace tripling oil production in Alberta. Not even close. If Alberta can replace the current economic activity generated by oil that will be a major success but it won't satisfy Alberta. Alberta wants another oil boom and it will always blame the RoC for preventing it. 

The decline of the oil sands is inevidable but most Albertans are still in denial and so are all Canadians to some extent. Most Canadians support the idea of pipelines. It is only the people in the path of pipelines that object. Every oil producing province is on the side of pushing them through. 

I think it is important to repopularize the notion of public good and collective action to reduce costs. This is an excellent time to address it because Pharmacare is on the table and the government is going against all reports and expert advice by instituting a non-universal plan. 

Pondering, it is not necessary to re-open the constitution to change equalization.  The equalization formula is examined every five years by the federal government. Substantive modifications were made in 2007 and 2009. The formula was left basically the same in 2014, and again this year. 

I was reading chronologically and intended to correct this incorrect statement but I see Badriya already has. I think that people should spend time to understand the basics of the constitution as very few people -- even paid experts on politics in Canada show they are often not familiar. Sad becuase it is not a long document.

cco

Misfit wrote:

Saskatchewan has made the argument that hydro electricity revenue is not weighted the same as oil revenues. Therefore a province which produces hydro-electricity like Manitoba, for instance, reports a lower revenue calculation than provinces who generate oil revenue. The Saskatchewan government argues that both resources should be calculated the same. This discrepancy costs Saskatchewan about $800 million dollars each year.

If Quebec had its hydro revenues calculated the way oil revenues are calculated, Quebec would still receive equalization annually. It just would receive less than it does now. Or, if Saskatchewan has its oil revenue calculated the way hydro-electricity is calculated, Quebec equalization would remain the same and Saskatchewan would save approximately  $800 million a year.

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

Pondering

Badriya wrote:

Pondering, it is not necessary to re-open the constitution to change equalization.  The equalization formula is examined every five years by the federal government. Substantive modifications were made in 2007 and 2009. The formula was left basically the same in 2014, and again this year. 

In that case it should absolutely be changed or as I said eliminated in favor of a form of transfer that would be more direct rather than going into general provincial coffers. 

I find cco's comment much more interesting. 

Pondering

cco wrote:
 

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

I should have said interesting comments in plural. I will add that they also object to our ban on fracking and failure to fully exploit the resources in the north. Therein lies Legault's plans to not be a "have-not" province anymore. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

cco wrote:
Misfit wrote:

Saskatchewan has made the argument that hydro electricity revenue is not weighted the same as oil revenues. Therefore a province which produces hydro-electricity like Manitoba, for instance, reports a lower revenue calculation than provinces who generate oil revenue. The Saskatchewan government argues that both resources should be calculated the same. This discrepancy costs Saskatchewan about $800 million dollars each year.

If Quebec had its hydro revenues calculated the way oil revenues are calculated, Quebec would still receive equalization annually. It just would receive less than it does now. Or, if Saskatchewan has its oil revenue calculated the way hydro-electricity is calculated, Quebec equalization would remain the same and Saskatchewan would save approximately  $800 million a year.

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

No one has made any argument for what you claim.

Yes, Quebec subsidizes it's hydro electricity for it's Quebec residents. And Saskatchewan ALSO subsidizes its oil and natural gas for it's Saskatchewan residents. However, Saskatchewan still has the sales of oil and natural gas for Saskatchewan residents costed at the world price of oil and natural gas and not at the subsidized price like Manitoba and Quebec does.  Quebec and Manitoba has its subsidized cost to residents calculated in the equalization equation and not at the world market price for hydroelectricity.

The western Canadian press reports no urban myth, and I made this all very clear. There is absolutely way but to totally imagine that I wrote that Quebec does not have hydro included in the forumula. All you accomplished was to reinforce exactly the point that I was trying to make.

Oh, and Sask Power and Sask Energy are crown corporations.

Pondering

Misfit wrote:

cco wrote:
Misfit wrote:

Saskatchewan has made the argument that hydro electricity revenue is not weighted the same as oil revenues. Therefore a province which produces hydro-electricity like Manitoba, for instance, reports a lower revenue calculation than provinces who generate oil revenue. The Saskatchewan government argues that both resources should be calculated the same. This discrepancy costs Saskatchewan about $800 million dollars each year.

If Quebec had its hydro revenues calculated the way oil revenues are calculated, Quebec would still receive equalization annually. It just would receive less than it does now. Or, if Saskatchewan has its oil revenue calculated the way hydro-electricity is calculated, Quebec equalization would remain the same and Saskatchewan would save approximately  $800 million a year.

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

No one has made any argument for what you claim.

Yes, Quebec subsidizes it's hydro electricity for it's Quebec residents. And Saskatchewan ALSO subsidizes its oil and natural gas for it's Saskatchewan residents. However, Saskatchewan still has the sales of oil and natural gas for Saskatchewan residents costed at the world price of oil and natural gas and not at the subsidized price like Manitoba and Quebec does.  Quebec and Manitoba has its subsidized cost to residents calculated in the equalization equation and not at the world market price for hydroelectricity.

The western Canadian press reports no urban myth, and I made this all very clear. There is absolutely way but to totally imagine that I wrote that Quebec does not have hydro included in the forumula. All you accomplished was to reinforce exactly the point that I was trying to make.

Oh, and Sask Power and Sask Energy are crown corporations.

Hmmm, I interpret subsidized as below cost not below world prices. 

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering,

I don't understand your remark unless you are just trying to be snide.

If a store puts an item on sale it doesn't matter if it is on at a clearance price below the wholesale cost or not. Sale price could mean 10% off or 80% off.

The only problem is if your store gets to record your sales at the sale price but the store next door has to report their revenues for the exact same merchandise at the manufacturers suggested retail price when their items were sold on sale just like yours were.

Quebec generates more hydroelectric power than what it consumes. That surplus hydroelectricity is sold to other provinces and to the United States. The rate at which it sells its electricity for export is at a rate that is higher than what people in Quebec pay. So yes, there is a world price for electricity.

Saskatchewan buys electricity from Manitoba from time to time. There is a going rate that Manitoba sells electricity to us for. They don't give us subsidized deals and they don't gouge us either. So yes, there is a world market price for electricity. Beyond that, I don't know.

cco

Misfit wrote:

No one has made any argument for what you claim.

Yes, Quebec subsidizes it's hydro electricity for it's Quebec residents. And Saskatchewan ALSO subsidizes its oil and natural gas for it's Saskatchewan residents. However, Saskatchewan still has the sales of oil and natural gas for Saskatchewan residents costed at the world price of oil and natural gas and not at the subsidized price like Manitoba and Quebec does.  Quebec and Manitoba has its subsidized cost to residents calculated in the equalization equation and not at the world market price for hydroelectricity.

The western Canadian press reports no urban myth, and I made this all very clear. There is absolutely way but to totally imagine that I wrote that Quebec does not have hydro included in the forumula. All you accomplished was to reinforce exactly the point that I was trying to make.

Oh, and Sask Power and Sask Energy are crown corporations.

An example of the press coverage I'm talking about can be found here, where the author uses the hypothetical example of providing cheap oil to residents of Saskatchewan as an absurdity, in order to call for Manitoba and Quebec to be penalized for providing cheap electricity. Here's another example of complaining that equalization allows Quebec not to "have to bear the full cost of their decisions to suppress the economic activities of mining or fossil fuel production" – if only there were no equalization, Quebec would have to frack, and that'd wipe the smug look off their faces! Blaine Higgs is peddling the same nonsense.

This is the equalization dispute in a nutshell: the part of the formula that deals with taxation is based on a province's capacity (so a province can't abolish all taxes and have the feds make up for it), whereas the part that deals with natural resource revenue is based on what a province actually brings in, not what the Fraser Institute thinks it should receive if it hikes hydro prices. But the formula applies the same way to Quebec as to Saskatchewan (but not Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, thanks to the Atlantic Accord): if Saskatchewan shuts down oil production, it will receive equalization again, whereas if it cuts its taxes in half, it won't.

And yes, SaskPower and SaskEnergy are crown corporations (SaskEnergy manages gas distribution, but doesn't operate any wells itself). If SaskPower wants to take the electricity generated at its dams (it has them, though they don't represent the overwhelming majority of generating capacity like Hydro-Québec's do) and sell it for cheaper, it can. Its lower revenues would then be counted as lower revenues for the purposes of the equalization calculation. Just like in Quebec.

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

I disagree completely. The Alberta NDP was not in agreement with the rest of Canada but were far from hostile in 2015. Notley was proposing a slower transition than the rest of Canada wanted but still a transition. Notley was looking for support and to convince the rest of Canada of her position which she felt was a middle ground. The NDP became hostile when what they were presented with was not a conversation about what this decision meant to Alberta and how to manage it -- only what was required for Canada.

Now Alberta has a government that is not only at odds with the rest of Canada -- more than Notley was -- but it is also hostile and politically invested in a fight. Notley only became invested in a fight when it became clear nothing else could be forthcoming.

I believe that Notley could have been presuaded to move faster on climate change mitigation if Ottawa had been clear that we were really in it together. This does not mean that we would hav found agreement but the gap woudl heve been reduced and the hostility perhaps avoided even if a disagreement remained. Now we have a hostile government invested in a political context that will only reward hostility. Notley regretted the disagreement and sought to win people to her side; Kenney seeks to profit from the hostility and is uninterested in winning friends in Ottawa -- only making political hay out of the fight.

The problem is that when she spoke about things like the carbon tax and other green energy ideas, she did so arguing that this would give "social licence" for more pipelines. That defeats the purpose of those policies in the first place, which is to make your economy less reliant on pipelines. That is unacceptable to both sides. Environmentalists won't stand for it, and nobody who wanted pipelines from Alberta, especially at someone else's expense, was going to vote NDP anyways. And even after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts on green energy, she spit on the party. If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy without leaving its workers behind. She has never made that arguemnt at all. Furthermore, by taking on the pipelines-above-all-else mantra, she has marginalized people within Alberta who understand that things must change and are trying to make that happen.

Still missing my point here: Notley may have positions you do not like and may have not said things you want BUT

She did not come in hostile or not listening to the rest of Canada even if she did not obey all wants from outside.

What has come in now may have much in common but it is hostile and on the attack and not open to listen to anything.

Some better positions from the rest of Canada could have resulted in a different situation but you never know because that was not tried.

That Alberta did not come to our position when we did not offer a compromise (real and realistic help on mitigation) just is a mirror of our approach from the other side.

We are so lost in our superiority and faith in our correctness that we cannot see that.

As I say: the scale of the defeat was definitely earned by the rest of Canada.

Now we have a party in power federally and provincially that ran and got elected based on hatred for us. Let's see how much better that works.

I don't remember Alberta ever making the argument that they need help to transition to a green economy. The help that both Notley and Kenney asked for was to get pipelines built. If the federal government argued that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy, do you think the UCP would have sat back and agreed? They would have gone into full attack mode and said that this was just another Eastern conspiracy to attack Alberta's oil industry. Furthermore, the reason pipelines are contentious in the first place is that it is a binary question.  You either build a pipeline or you don't. People in Quebec and the west coast of BC have clearly said they don't want pipelines. And as an outsider, I could not tell the difference between the substance of Notley's position and that of Kenney's, only the level of open hostility towards people who disagreed with them. This was after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts to transition to a green economy. Speaking of green energy, she argued for those policies not because they were needed, but for social license to get more pipelines, which these communities do not want in the first place. Can you imagine someone saying to their doctor, "well, I'm going to go on a diet and try to lose weight so that I can have more foods that are high in sugar"? That's exactly the same line of reasoning Notley used.

You mentioned that Kenney is hostile. So? People expect that from right-wing Alberta politicians. How is that different from anything we have heard before, esepcially when the Conservatives are out of power federally? Even he is not taking seriously this nonsense about Western Separatism. So he can yell and scream at the rest of us? He hasn't seemed to grasp just how derided he and his brand of politics is outside of Alberta, so nobody's going to listen to him anyways.

The other issue that I have with this is that I can remember a time when lots of people here either moved to Alberta or talked about it or were close to people who had moved to Alberta to find work. "Go where the jobs are!" "You don't like it here, move!" That is what we were told. Anybody who tried to suggest that Alberta dial back their dependance on oil was attacked. They said it was Alberta's wealth and should not be touched. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and suddenly Alberta is asking for federal help? Why can't unemployed Albertans pick up and move to where the jobs are? I don't know how many people from eastern Ontario were moving west to find work in Alberta, but that was definitely a thing for people in Manitoba to do. To see that blatant hypocrisy on Alberta's part just makes me want to shake my head.

Sean in Ottawa

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Aristotleded24 wrote:

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
In 2015, Alberta had an NDP government that was not hostile to the rest of Canada. Since then New Democrats and Liberals have told them that they were on their own in most respects. We have earned the defeat there.

This is absolutely not true at all. Jack was clear that he wanted to shut down the tarsands, and he always came out of federal elections with more support than he had going in. It is also not that different from the position the Alberta NDP had on oil pre-2015. Notley capitulated to the oil industry first by refusing to raise royalties, and then for adopting the right-wing position on pipelines. I can accept that there is public support among some in the NDP because of the jobs it provides. Notley went even fruther and questioned the right of local communities do disagree with their projects, and took on that exact same entitlement we have come to expect from right-wing Alberta politicians. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition, but I did not once ever hear her make that argument. This has also alienated people within Alberta who want to make the transition. She is actually the one that went against NDP policy, not the rest of the federal party.

I disagree completely. The Alberta NDP was not in agreement with the rest of Canada but were far from hostile in 2015. Notley was proposing a slower transition than the rest of Canada wanted but still a transition. Notley was looking for support and to convince the rest of Canada of her position which she felt was a middle ground. The NDP became hostile when what they were presented with was not a conversation about what this decision meant to Alberta and how to manage it -- only what was required for Canada.

Now Alberta has a government that is not only at odds with the rest of Canada -- more than Notley was -- but it is also hostile and politically invested in a fight. Notley only became invested in a fight when it became clear nothing else could be forthcoming.

I believe that Notley could have been presuaded to move faster on climate change mitigation if Ottawa had been clear that we were really in it together. This does not mean that we would hav found agreement but the gap woudl heve been reduced and the hostility perhaps avoided even if a disagreement remained. Now we have a hostile government invested in a political context that will only reward hostility. Notley regretted the disagreement and sought to win people to her side; Kenney seeks to profit from the hostility and is uninterested in winning friends in Ottawa -- only making political hay out of the fight.

The problem is that when she spoke about things like the carbon tax and other green energy ideas, she did so arguing that this would give "social licence" for more pipelines. That defeats the purpose of those policies in the first place, which is to make your economy less reliant on pipelines. That is unacceptable to both sides. Environmentalists won't stand for it, and nobody who wanted pipelines from Alberta, especially at someone else's expense, was going to vote NDP anyways. And even after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts on green energy, she spit on the party. If you look at the substance of what she said, it is no different than what the UCP said. You're correct that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy without leaving its workers behind. She has never made that arguemnt at all. Furthermore, by taking on the pipelines-above-all-else mantra, she has marginalized people within Alberta who understand that things must change and are trying to make that happen.

Still missing my point here: Notley may have positions you do not like and may have not said things you want BUT

She did not come in hostile or not listening to the rest of Canada even if she did not obey all wants from outside.

What has come in now may have much in common but it is hostile and on the attack and not open to listen to anything.

Some better positions from the rest of Canada could have resulted in a different situation but you never know because that was not tried.

That Alberta did not come to our position when we did not offer a compromise (real and realistic help on mitigation) just is a mirror of our approach from the other side.

We are so lost in our superiority and faith in our correctness that we cannot see that.

As I say: the scale of the defeat was definitely earned by the rest of Canada.

Now we have a party in power federally and provincially that ran and got elected based on hatred for us. Let's see how much better that works.

I don't remember Alberta ever making the argument that they need help to transition to a green economy. The help that both Notley and Kenney asked for was to get pipelines built. If the federal government argued that Alberta needs help to transition to a green economy, do you think the UCP would have sat back and agreed? They would have gone into full attack mode and said that this was just another Eastern conspiracy to attack Alberta's oil industry. Furthermore, the reason pipelines are contentious in the first place is that it is a binary question.  You either build a pipeline or you don't. People in Quebec and the west coast of BC have clearly said they don't want pipelines. And as an outsider, I could not tell the difference between the substance of Notley's position and that of Kenney's, only the level of open hostility towards people who disagreed with them. This was after NDP leadership candidates went out of their way to praise Notley's efforts to transition to a green economy. Speaking of green energy, she argued for those policies not because they were needed, but for social license to get more pipelines, which these communities do not want in the first place. Can you imagine someone saying to their doctor, "well, I'm going to go on a diet and try to lose weight so that I can have more foods that are high in sugar"? That's exactly the same line of reasoning Notley used.

You mentioned that Kenney is hostile. So? People expect that from right-wing Alberta politicians. How is that different from anything we have heard before, esepcially when the Conservatives are out of power federally? Even he is not taking seriously this nonsense about Western Separatism. So he can yell and scream at the rest of us? He hasn't seemed to grasp just how derided he and his brand of politics is outside of Alberta, so nobody's going to listen to him anyways.

The other issue that I have with this is that I can remember a time when lots of people here either moved to Alberta or talked about it or were close to people who had moved to Alberta to find work. "Go where the jobs are!" "You don't like it here, move!" That is what we were told. Anybody who tried to suggest that Alberta dial back their dependance on oil was attacked. They said it was Alberta's wealth and should not be touched. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and suddenly Alberta is asking for federal help? Why can't unemployed Albertans pick up and move to where the jobs are? I don't know how many people from eastern Ontario were moving west to find work in Alberta, but that was definitely a thing for people in Manitoba to do. To see that blatant hypocrisy on Alberta's part just makes me want to shake my head.

Notley did speak of transition in the beginning and was slammed for it and got no help from Ottawa so she stopped cold. She did say in the meantime these lines should be built as well and she also promoted more refining in AB. No, I do not think it is up to the person not proposing a change to discuss compensation as I think it is the requestor that should.

And no, I do not think it matters if it would be turned down. Having a reasonable position is valuable even if it is at first rejected and not having a reasonable position gives more reason to reject it.

It is not hypocritical to point out the difference between people leaving becuase there is nothing at home and people being asked to leave becuase they are doing soemthing at home that we do not want them to do. I am sorry you cannot see that this difference is more than splitting a hair.

Sean in Ottawa
Pondering

Misfit wrote:

Pondering,

I don't understand your remark unless you are just trying to be snide.

If a store puts an item on sale it doesn't matter if it is on at a clearance price below the wholesale cost or not. Sale price could mean 10% off or 80% off.

The only problem is if your store gets to record your sales at the sale price but the store next door has to report their revenues for the exact same merchandise at the manufacturers suggested retail price when their items were sold on sale just like yours were.

Quebec generates more hydroelectric power than what it consumes. That surplus hydroelectricity is sold to other provinces and to the United States. The rate at which it sells its electricity for export is at a rate that is higher than what people in Quebec pay. So yes, there is a world price for electricity.

Saskatchewan buys electricity from Manitoba from time to time. There is a going rate that Manitoba sells electricity to us for. They don't give us subsidized deals and they don't gouge us either. So yes, there is a world market price for electricity. Beyond that, I don't know.

What I am saying is there is no reason why Quebecers should pay world prices for a comodity we own. Electricity degrades the farther it travels Hydro Quebec belongs to us. Not paying world prices is not a subsidy. I doubt we are even getting our electricity at cost nevermind below cost.

There is no reason to use world price as a benchmark. We don't pay world price for bread. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

People left Love Canal and Chernobyl and other toxic economic failures.  BC has lost most of its forestry industry including almost all its pulp and paper industry in the last 20 years. My brother in-law is near retirement and like most Canadians his house is his main savings. However he lives in a former mill town and his house is not worth anything and they have shut most of the services in town including the grocery store. Where the fuck is the outcry over him and his neighbours. The loggers left in town send raw logs overseas instead of processing them but even they are now locked out by their foreign owners who are demanding concessions.

I worked on the By-Provincial Upgrader project in Llyodminster in the earl '90's and a popular bumper sticker said, "Please Lord Let There Be Another Oil Boom and I Promise Not to Piss it Away This Time." Well guess what, Alberta had another boom and they pissed it away again. Like hell we should be ponying up for the addicts next fix. One of the jokes during the boom years among Fort Mac workers was, "have you bought your piece of BC yet, do it soon they aren't making more and its going fast."

Strange how support for the poor oil workers, something every progressive should support, neatly aligns with the oil oligarchies agenda in getting its toxic junk exported.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

People left Love Canal and Chernobyl and other toxic economic failures.  BC has lost most of its forestry industry including almost all its pulp and paper industry in the last 20 years. My brother in-law is near retirement and like most Canadians his house is his main savings. However he lives in a former mill town and his house is not worth anything and they have shut most of the services in town including the grocery store. Where the fuck is the outcry over him and his neighbours. The loggers left in town send raw logs overseas instead of processing them but even they are now locked out by their foreign owners who are demanding concessions.

I worked on the By-Provincial Upgrader project in Llyodminster in the earl '90's and a popular bumper sticker said, "Please Lord Let There Be Another Oil Boom and I Promise Not to Piss it Away This Time." Well guess what, Alberta had another boom and they pissed it away again. Like hell we should be ponying up for the addicts next fix. One of the jokes during the boom years among Fort Mac workers was, "have you bought your piece of BC yet, do it soon they aren't making more and its going fast."

Strange how support for the poor oil workers, something every progressive should support, neatly aligns with the oil oligarchies agenda in getting its toxic junk exported.

Please recognize the distinction between support for oil workers to continue as oil workers and support for communities full of oil workers to move to other vocations.  I want Alberta to get the latter not the former partly becuase I really want this transition to happen as an emergency rather than a protracted fight about the unfairness of people like me telling people in another province to leave what they see as an asset in the ground despite the fact that they really could make money on it.

If we want to work with people in a country we have to compromise. We need to move past fossil fuel extraction for heating and transportation. To do this we have to turn our backs on a lot of money that can be made polluting our world. Not everyone agrees with us. So, if we at least nationalize the requirement to move away from fossil fuels as a decision, we have a better chance of getting more agreement from the people who have to change and a better chance of getting the change done.

I do not think that one part of the country (whichever part you want to support) telling the other part to get stuffed is going to do anything other than preserve the status quo.

Frankly oil companies if they want to meddle could support people telling Alberta to  suck eggs becuase that would result only in more drill baby drill reactions.

This is not about fairness either. I am sick of that argument. The people who want climate change mitigation know that a fucked planet is not fair. So, do what you need to do and make the compromises you need to make to get people to move beyond fossil fuels. Want to say you are sincere about claimate change? Pay part of the price for it. That is the message people in Eastern Caanda have to start to hear (not so much NL). Otherwise, we can be perfectly Green and pure and win the arguments as we choke to death. So, as I say, I am sick of the poeple who want climate change mitigation to think they are doing much by asking another part of Canada to make a change that they want. Yes, sucks that so many in Alberta do not accept the climate change argument. We will all die if we have to completely win the argument about why they should shoulder costs of the change alone.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..transition doesn't happen in a vacuum. if the powers that be are determined to exploit the tarsands then it's not a matter of negotiation and compomise because there is no space for that to happen. not under kenney nor under notely or trudeau. 

..it's about power and the global energy cartels are calling the shots. it's about free trade and the global elites stripping countries of their resources. it's time sean that you begin addressing that power.   

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:

Misfit wrote:

Pondering,

I don't understand your remark unless you are just trying to be snide.

If a store puts an item on sale it doesn't matter if it is on at a clearance price below the wholesale cost or not. Sale price could mean 10% off or 80% off.

The only problem is if your store gets to record your sales at the sale price but the store next door has to report their revenues for the exact same merchandise at the manufacturers suggested retail price when their items were sold on sale just like yours were.

Quebec generates more hydroelectric power than what it consumes. That surplus hydroelectricity is sold to other provinces and to the United States. The rate at which it sells its electricity for export is at a rate that is higher than what people in Quebec pay. So yes, there is a world price for electricity.

Saskatchewan buys electricity from Manitoba from time to time. There is a going rate that Manitoba sells electricity to us for. They don't give us subsidized deals and they don't gouge us either. So yes, there is a world market price for electricity. Beyond that, I don't know.

What I am saying is there is no reason why Quebecers should pay world prices for a comodity we own. Electricity degrades the farther it travels Hydro Quebec belongs to us. Not paying world prices is not a subsidy. I doubt we are even getting our electricity at cost nevermind below cost.

There is no reason to use world price as a benchmark. We don't pay world price for bread. 

No one has suggested that you need to pay more for electricity. No one cares.

Aristotleded24

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
Notley did speak of transition in the beginning and was slammed for it and got no help from Ottawa so she stopped cold. She did say in the meantime these lines should be built as well and she also promoted more refining in AB. No, I do not think it is up to the person not proposing a change to discuss compensation as I think it is the requestor that should.

She started off good and won on a progressive platform of making a change to Alberta's economy. Oil industry lobbyists got to her and she backed off from that and started singing from their hymn book. That was documented on these threads as it happened. Her government capitulating on the royalty review by leaving royalties untouched set a bad precedent for how she dealt with oil industry pressure. In doing so, she marginalized those people within Alberta who understand that change needs to happen and that they need to survive in a post-carbon world. Who is speaking up for them?

Sean in Ottawa wrote:
It is not hypocritical to point out the difference between people leaving becuase there is nothing at home and people being asked to leave becuase they are doing soemthing at home that we do not want them to do. I am sorry you cannot see that this difference is more than splitting a hair.

I would assume that many people have already left Alberta because of the oil industry layoffs and because there wasn't anything to do. I don't know if people moving from Ottawa to find work in Alberta was a big thing, but it was definitely the thing to do out West. Krop is absolutley right that  other communities have suffered out West but there is not the same sympathy. When people like his brother-in-law complained about the lack of job opportunities, during the boom times, they were met with a dismissive, "you don't like it, move to Alberta where there's work in the oil fields." You may not have experienced this smug attitude first hand, but it was very prevalent throughout the West during the boom days. That's why people such as krop and myself have a hard time sympathizing with Alberta right now.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Sean what you are missing in my argument is that I want local programs right across the country. I am pissed at the focus on the oil industry and its workers rather than on all Canadian workers, the vast majority of whom do not want to move to a toxic wasteland to support their families.

We have been shedding good jobs in communities in many provinces its time to address the problems everywhere. The Calgary oil oligarchy has interfered in my provinces elections and is a blight on the Canadian body politic and it is the purveyor of the pity the poor oil workers mantra.

Sean in Ottawa

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Sean what you are missing in my argument is that I want local programs right across the country. I am pissed at the focus on the oil industry and its workers rather than on all Canadian workers, the vast majority of whom do not want to move to a toxic wasteland to support their families.

We have been shedding good jobs in communities in many provinces its time to address the problems everywhere. The Calgary oil oligarchy has interfered in my provinces elections and is a blight on the Canadian body politic and it is the purveyor of the pity the poor oil workers mantra.

I do not disagree with your point.

However, if we want to make change offering a position of compromise towards the regions that already have jobs that we want to wind down over time.

If we do not approach this differently we will still be arguing when there is no time for arguing left.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..again transition can not happen in a vacuum. 

..via the courts all opposition to tmx has been eliminated..except for the indigenous case which consists of four indigenous nations — tsleil-waututh, secwepemc, squamish and coldwater. 

..not the bc province nor the environmentalists can stop, can prevent that pipeline legally. in other words they have no leverage. nor are they comprised of a united force. nor do they have any authority to negotiate on anyones behalf.  

..what is left is the need for a direct nation to nation discussion which the powers that be want no part of. those powers prefer working in the backrooms, sowing division and applying brutal pressure. 

..there is another case coming forward in alberta. that of the beaver lake cree nation suit which challenges the tarsands themselves. 

..these indigenous positions need to be addressed. when someone speaks about negotiation and compromise it must include these positions at the center of the discussion. i see no other reality.  

Sean in Ottawa

epaulo13 wrote:

..again transition can not happen in a vacuum. 

..via the courts all opposition to tmx has been eliminated..except for the indigenous case which consists of four indigenous nations — tsleil-waututh, secwepemc, squamish and coldwater. 

..not the bc province nor the environmentalists can stop, can prevent that pipeline legally. in other words they have no leverage. nor are they comprised of a united force. nor do they have any authority to negotiate on anyones behalf.  

..what is left is the need for a direct nation to nation discussion which the powers that be want no part of. those powers prefer working in the backrooms, sowing division and applying brutal pressure. 

..there is another case coming forward in alberta. that of the beaver lake cree nation suit which challenges the tarsands themselves. 

..these indigenous positions need to be addressed. when someone speaks about negotiation and compromise it must include these positions at the center of the discussion. i see no other reality.  

I do not follow. If the position is that there is not to be a pipeline and the negotiation that follows is with those who lose economically then that would include all who lose. I do not see a negotiation and compromise where a pipeline is the result.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

I do not follow. If the position is that there is not to be a pipeline and the negotiation that follows is with those who lose economically then that would include all who lose. I do not see a negotiation and compromise where a pipeline is the result.

..i don't either sean. i also don't see the issue as alberta workers losing because of the need to transition. by the need to reduce production. alta workers are suffering because of the mismanagement of the tarsands project. the oil patch has been shedding it's workers for years because of the glut created by flooding the market. and by providing an inferior product. oil companies have also been automating for years..then blaming the loss of jobs on environmentalists and on indigenous folk. there has never been asian markets for the oil..another lie told. 

..i'm still trying to figure out what you mean by negotiation and compromise. negotiation between whom? compromise on what? you haven't mentioned indigenous folk in the position you put forward yet they are central to the issue. so i raised it.    

Pondering

Some activists may be telling Alberta they have to leave the oil in the ground but the grand majority of Canadians are not saying that and no political party is saying that. Refusing to have a pipeline put through a province is not saying "leave it in the ground". Without another pipeline Alberta still has other options. They can invest in upgraders which means the oil wouldn't have to be so diluted therefore wouldn't take up as much space in the pipelines. Alberta would still want more pipelines because even Alberta is estimating they only have another 30 years to sell as much of their oil as possible. 30 years is very little time. The point of TMX is to triple output not just maintain current levels of production. The oil industry is a massive pyramid scheme and they want taxpayers left holding the bag for clean-up after they go bankrupt. What I want to see is the oil industry forced to put enough money aside to take pipelines out of the ground at end of life which we know will not happen. 

Misfit wrote:

No one has suggested that you need to pay more for electricity. No one cares.

cco wrote:
 

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

Misfit wrote:

​I don't understand your remark unless you are just trying to be snide.

If a store puts an item on sale it doesn't matter if it is on at a clearance price below the wholesale cost or not. Sale price could mean 10% off or 80% off.

The only problem is if your store gets to record your sales at the sale price but the store next door has to report their revenues for the exact same merchandise at the manufacturers suggested retail price when their items were sold on sale just like yours were.

Quebec generates more hydroelectric power than what it consumes. That surplus hydroelectricity is sold to other provinces and to the United States. The rate at which it sells its electricity for export is at a rate that is higher than what people in Quebec pay. So yes, there is a world price for electricity.

Saskatchewan buys electricity from Manitoba from time to time. There is a going rate that Manitoba sells electricity to us for. They don't give us subsidized deals and they don't gouge us either. So yes, there is a world market price for electricity. Beyond that, I don't know.

Paying less than export price is not a subsidy. We add to our export price because we can not because it reflects production cost. If we were paying below cost that would be a subsidy. The government is not paying part of our electricity bills. We own Hydro Quebec so even if we didn't pay for electricity it still wouldn't be a subsidy because we paid for the existence of Hydro Quebec. It is a huge benefit to Quebecers that we have lots of electricity.

To me saying it is a subsidy unless we pay export prices is free market ideology. In my view paying much more than cost including labor is gouging. 

I guess it is the difference between setting the value of a product at "what the market will bear" versus setting the value of a product at "cost including labour and transport etc.".

Misfit Misfit's picture

Pondering wrote:

Some activists may be telling Alberta they have to leave the oil in the ground but the grand majority of Canadians are not saying that and no political party is saying that. Refusing to have a pipeline put through a province is not saying "leave it in the ground". Without another pipeline Alberta still has other options. They can invest in upgraders which means the oil wouldn't have to be so diluted therefore wouldn't take up as much space in the pipelines. Alberta would still want more pipelines because even Alberta is estimating they only have another 30 years to sell as much of their oil as possible. 30 years is very little time. The point of TMX is to triple output not just maintain current levels of production. The oil industry is a massive pyramid scheme and they want taxpayers left holding the bag for clean-up after they go bankrupt. What I want to see is the oil industry forced to put enough money aside to take pipelines out of the ground at end of life which we know will not happen. 

Misfit wrote:

No one has suggested that you need to pay more for electricity. No one cares.

cco wrote:
 

I missed this yesterday, but as I said in another thread, this is an urban myth being pushed by the Western press. The issue isn't that the equalization formula doesn't include hydro revenues (it does), but that Quebec's revenues are less than the National Post thinks they should be, because Hydro-Québec provides cheap power to Quebecers. So if Saskatchewan wants to benefit from the same arrangement, the answer isn't to force Quebec to hike hydro rates, but for Saskatchewan to nationalize its oil and then provide it to residents so cheaply that its revenues fall.

Misfit wrote:

​I don't understand your remark unless you are just trying to be snide.

If a store puts an item on sale it doesn't matter if it is on at a clearance price below the wholesale cost or not. Sale price could mean 10% off or 80% off.

The only problem is if your store gets to record your sales at the sale price but the store next door has to report their revenues for the exact same merchandise at the manufacturers suggested retail price when their items were sold on sale just like yours were.

Quebec generates more hydroelectric power than what it consumes. That surplus hydroelectricity is sold to other provinces and to the United States. The rate at which it sells its electricity for export is at a rate that is higher than what people in Quebec pay. So yes, there is a world price for electricity.

Saskatchewan buys electricity from Manitoba from time to time. There is a going rate that Manitoba sells electricity to us for. They don't give us subsidized deals and they don't gouge us either. So yes, there is a world market price for electricity. Beyond that, I don't know.

Paying less than export price is not a subsidy. We add to our export price because we can not because it reflects production cost. If we were paying below cost that would be a subsidy. The government is not paying part of our electricity bills. We own Hydro Quebec so even if we didn't pay for electricity it still wouldn't be a subsidy because we paid for the existence of Hydro Quebec. It is a huge benefit to Quebecers that we have lots of electricity.

To me saying it is a subsidy unless we pay export prices is free market ideology. In my view paying much more than cost including labor is gouging. 

I guess it is the difference between setting the value of a product at "what the market will bear" versus setting the value of a product at "cost including labour and transport etc.".

Nobody cares. It is all irrelevant to the discussion.

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