We’re still mired in an old energy vision

by Ken MacDougall

Generally speaking, I enjoy having political discussions, preferably with people having a serious grasp of policy and principles; when you’re part Ukrainian, you’re born with this “need”, it seems. My personal experiences have led me to conclude that a good politician enjoys being challenged, a trait you won’t find in, say, the cultists slavering to the insane mutterings of Donald Trump and sycophants such as Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Mark Levine, Lindsay Graham or Marjorie Greene.

When it comes to Saskatchewan politics, there number of pols expressing their fealty to the Descendants of Devine Party and willing to take on all comers has dropped to incredible lows of late, even to the point of total apathy. It seems as though the three play-boys having way too much money and time on their hands (Tyler Willox, super-donor; Eric Clark, Director of the Saskatchewan Party until he stepped down in 2019, and Derek Robinson, former communications director for Premier Wall) are calling the shots these days. First, there was the WestWatch plot to unseat the highly respected former Liberal MP, Ralph Goodale. Now, however, we have Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe reacting in an almost puppet-like fashion to Regina City Council’s consideration of restricting energy companies from advertising in, or sponsoring, city events.

Moe’s immediate response to Council’s proposed motion was to threaten to direct the $30 million the Queen City annually receives from SaskPower and SaskEnergy for municipal billing to communities that are more “grateful” and “sensitive” towards the province’s economic plight.

Since the ouster of former U.S. President Donald Trump, the world has once again found itself a leader in President Joseph Biden who seems committed to supporting initiative and co-operation in solving global problems, be they climate change, human rights or world food shortages. In the same way, Regina City Council appears to want to change its image to one showing more sensitivity and awareness of global issues such as climate change. More to the point, this stance indicates an increasing concern by the municipality that the Saskatchewan Party may not have the ability to right our economy once the economic stimulus currently being provided by the federal government ends –that we may well be dragged further into a stubborn reliance upon the non-renewable resource sector for monies to fund much-needed future diversification of our economy.

Unfortunately, our post-election analysis indicates that the DoD will continue to receive American PAC-style funding to promote its one-way street solution. The Canada Growth Council, the organization that directed the poisonous rhetoric of WestWatch towards unseating Ralph Goodale, is but part of the cancer that continues to stifle and suppress ideas supporting a renewed and vital Saskatchewan presence in Canada.

The Canada Strong & Free Network, formerly the Manning Institute, claims the CGC “believes in free enterprise, small government, low taxes, trade, wealth creation, and supporting key economic industries in Canada”; however, when one gets down to the nitty-gritty of why it perceives such need in Saskatchewan, its whining tone only rails at myths for economic failure, as opposed to assessing progressive strategies for renewal before condemning them outright.

The three playboys of the CGC refer to themselves as “leaders” in the fight for economic prosperity, yet are only too willing to blame their failures upon “anti-growth propaganda, foreign-funded activist groups, and the absence of strong voices that advocate on behalf of free-enterprise and prosperity in Canada.” The question, however, is why in God’s name would anyone want to listen to their ideas when their entire approach delivers only the one message: hate for those who do not “believe” as they do.

It’s about time for the three CGC creators and their sycophants in the DoD to face harsh reality – neither Justin Trudeau nor Rachel Notley created your economic crises; Stephen Harper’s good friend, Saudi Arabia, was responsible for what happened.

The world itself is moving away from utilizing petroleum for transportation purposes, but that does not mean that the need for its refined derivatives and by-products will disappear any time soon. Having the provincial government focus its business plan upon exploiting these opportunities of the future may not only be a good idea, but may well be the ONLY way of achieving this goal. As for the product itself, our “oil” is extremely dirty, and therefore requires further refining. We knew this to be the case fifty years ago, but instead of using existing royalties coming in from product export to deal with this problem, our governments, both federal and provincial, took the typical Canadian banker approach that maintains you only lend money to those that don’t need it, and waited around for someone else – preferably an American entrepreneur – to step up and do the job for you – in Canada.

We’re still waiting…

Ah, yes; such dreamers – free enterprise and prosperity in Canada – but for whose benefit?

More to the point, what ideas have the CGC brain trust suggested as a viable pathway towards recovery?

We’re STILL waiting…

The problem is that an economic philosophy that can only generate hate as its message has become our nemesis. We may have started down this pathway with a Devine government cynically wanting to kill or suppress the economic ideas brought forward by successive NDP governments, but where is it now taking us? Every supporter of unrestricted and uncontrolled free enterprise has its myths and a political whim that generates divisiveness. Be it our increasing number of fanatics – who still believe that Donald Trump was actually “doing God’s work”. As for the rest, there’s still “Justin” to kick around, right?

Please explain this train of thought; you hate Justin because…???…because his father was Pierre Elliot…??? the guy who told our farmers to sell their own wheat (just like Gerry Ritz) and punctuated that statement with what is now politically correctly referred to as the “Salmon Arm Salute”? Come on, really? At least Justin bought Alberta a pipeline; doesn’t that account for anything at all?

All right then, here’s a history lesson for the CGC sycophants they may have missed. In the early 1980’s, Marc Lalonde, a Minister in Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s government, came out west to offer Albertans and Saskatchewanians an investment opportunity called the National Energy Program. In that plan, pipelines would be built to service eastern Canadian markets, the product could be processed by the refineries of Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick, AND we could have a safe and SECURE source of energy upon which Canadians could rely for the next 200 or more years.

What’s more, the province of Quebec was on board with this initiative, as that province’s “Three Wise Men” – Trudeau, Jean Marchand and Gerard Pelletier were there expressly to deliver that message.

At the time, Canada was busy trying to fight a recession brought about by OPEC and its founders, one being Saudi Arabia. Alberta premier Peter Lougheed may have seen the sanity of that proposal, but not Grant Devine – even though it could eventually create tens of thousands of new jobs across the entire nation.

How did our “Canadian” citizens living in Alberta and Saskatchewan treat this proposal?

Let’s give it the descriptor it so richly deserves: just like the family that hates every other member of the family, save perhaps at Christmas, and is now set to do battle with kith and kin because the senior patriarch just died and didn’t leave a will as to how to disperse his multi-millions in accrued wealth.

“Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark…”

Who’s freezing now, Premier Moe?