I?m posting this because one: I find the article amusing.
Two: the bickering that our Provinces get on with is petty and wondering if its the same between the states?
And three: What are your guy?s opinions on the oil sands if any?
This is the typical Alberta view on our relationship with the ROC (rest of Canada ), excluding B.C. and Saskatchewan of course.
Fascinating article by Lisa Corbella of the Calgary Herald.
Something has to give !!
Quebec and the Fairy Godmother
Today, let's have some fun and play Fairy Godmother to
Quebec . Let's grant the province the wish it articulated in Copenhagen . Wave
the magic wand and poof, wish granted. Shut down Alberta 's oilsands, except,
since it's Quebec making the wish, we have to call it tarsands, even though
it's not tar they use to run their Bombardier planes, trains and Skidoos.
Ah, at last! The blight on Canada 's reputation shut down.
All those dastardly workers from across Canada living in Fort McMurray ,
Calgary and Edmonton out of jobs, including those waitresses, truck drivers,
nurses, teachers, doctors, pilots, engineers etc. They can all go on
Employment insurance like Ontario autoworkers and Quebec parts makers! Closing down Alberta 's oil industry would immediately stop
the production of 1.8 million barrels of oil a day. Supply and demand being
what it is, oil prices will go up and therefore the cost at the pump will go
up, too, increasing the cost of everything else.
But lost jobs in Alberta and across the country along with
higher gas prices are a small price to pay to save the world and not
"embarrass" Quebecers on the world stage. Not to worry though, Saudi Arabia ,
Libya and Nigeria can come to the rescue. You know, the guys who pump money
into al-Qaida and help Osama bin Laden target those Van Doos fighting in
Afghanistan . Bloody oil is so much nicer than dirty tarsands oil.
Shutting down the oilsands will reduce Canada 's greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 38.4 Mt (megatonnes). Hooray! It's so fun to be a
Fairy Godmother! While that sounds like a lot, Canada only produces two per
cent of the world's man-made GHGs and the oilsands only produce five per
cent of Canada 's total emissions or 0.1 per cent of the world's emissions.
GHG emissions, 27 per cent of which comes from coal-fired
The 530-square-kilometre piece of land currently disturbed
by the oilsands (which is smaller than the John F. Kennedy Space Center at
Cape Canaveral , Fla. at 570 square kilometres) must be reclaimed by law and
will return to Alberta 's 381,000 square kilometres of boreal forest, a huge
Quebec , of course, has clean hydro power, but more than
13,000 square kilometres were drowned for the James Bay hydroelectric
project, permanently removing that forest from acting as a carbon sink.
But Fairy Godmother is digressing all over the place. While
the oilsands only produce five per cent of Canada 's GHGs, it contributes
much more to Canada 's economy. After all, oil and gas make up one-quarter of
the value on the TSX alone. Alberta is also the largest net contributor per
capita by far to Confederation and there are only two more -- B.C. and
Quebec hasn't made a net contribution to the rest of Canada
for a very long time. This is not to be critical (after all, Fairy
Godmothers never criticize), it's just a fact. In 2009, Albertans paid
$40.46 billion in income, corporate and other taxes to the federal
government and received back just $19.35 billion in services and goods from
the feds. That means the rest of Canada got $21.1 billion from Albertans or
$5,742 for each and every Alberta man, woman and child. In 2007 (the last
year national figures are available), Alberta sent a net contribution of
$19.49 billion to the ROC or $5,553 per Albertan -- more than three times
what every Ontarian contributes at $1,757. Quebecers, on the other hand,
each received $627 net or a total of $8 billion, money which was designed to
help "equalize" social programs across the country. Except, that's not what
is happening. Quebec has more generous social programs like (nearly) free
university tuition (paid for mostly by Albertans) and cheap provincial day
care (paid for mostly by Albertans).
But in this Fairy Godmother world, poof, those delightful
unequal programs have now disappeared! Quel dommage!
The July 2009 Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI)
report states that between 2008 and 2032, the oilsands will account for
172,000 person-years of employment in Ontario during the construction phase,
plus 640,000 for operations over the 25-year period. For Quebec , the
oilsands will account for 84,000 person-years of employment during the
construction phase, plus 292,000 for operations over the 25-year period.
In total, the oilsands are expected to add $1.7 trillion to
Canada 's GDP over the next 25 years.
Wave wand and Poof, Jobs, gone! So, now that the oil
industry has shut down and left Alberta , Alberta has become a have-not
province and so has every other province. Equality at last! Hugo Chavez will
be so pleased.
Meeting our Copenhagen targets suddenly looks possible, as
most of us can't afford to drive our cars or buy anything but necessities,
so manufacturers have closed their doors and emissions are way down.
The dream of many Quebecers to form their own nation and
separate from Canada has died at last. Alas, in Alberta , separatist
sentiment has risen dramatically, citizens vote to separate and the oil and
gas industry returns.
Albertans start to pocket that almost $6,000 for each person
that used to get sent elsewhere and now their kids get free tuition. Fairy
Godmother's work is done. Wish granted. Quebecers must now sign up for a
foreign worker visas to work in Alberta to send their cheques back home so
junior can start saving up to pay for college.
Licia Corbella is editorial page editor of The Calgary Herald.
Please keeps this message going, forward to as many as possible.