Just down the road from me in Kananaskis the provincial Energy Ministers are wrapping up their three day meeting. A key agenda item was a national energy policy.
With a number of provinces holding elections in the next 12 months, the political posturing for the home audience is a primary concern. Ontario is taking it to the extreme with Dalton McGuinty and Ontario’s Ministry of Energy, Brad Duguid, upsetting the apple cart.
In Kananaskis this week the national energy strategy was thrown a curve ball by Ontario. The province refused to sign on to a communiqué that called for the Alberta oil sands to be deemed; “a responsible and major supplier of energy to the world”.
Duguid got on his high horse and was quoted saying: “We [Ontario] just weren’t comfortable with the wording that the oil sands are sustainable and responsible”. Now, isn’t it bad enough that we have outrageous claims being made by environmental factions from around the world who know nothing about the oilsands? But to have one of our own provinces feed the flames is, in my view, a low ball tactic and completely unacceptable.
Yesterday at the Premiers’ meetings in Vancouver, McGuinty went a step further. He is reported to have objected to what he called the preferential tax treatment for development of oil and gas projects, suggesting that Ontario’s clean energy industries and initiatives should be receiving the same treatment.
Now that is a good way to stir up the traditional east-west animosity in a hurry. Premier Stelmach of Alberta suggested that McGuinty’s comment “is not the leadership our citizens expect” and the leader of the Wildrose Party in Alberta, Danielle Smith, challenged McGuinty on the billion-dollar bailouts the auto industry received recently.
McGuinty is now doing damage control. His green energy policies are under attack from all quarters. By conveniently targeting the oil sands, he aims to deflect criticism by attacking the perceived benefits that Alberta receives. He also suggested that Ontario is doing a better job on the reduction of green-house gases.
Politics, just politics. Dalton should know better and he should exhibit a greater degree of statesmanship.
I have developed a leadership workshop called: “WORKING WITH”. It is an interactive journey for managers with a program dedicated to helping individuals develop their personal leadership skills. After more than thirty-five years managing people, coaching athletes and striving to find solutions to various challenges I have learned that the solution is not to throw rocks or blame others.
Leadership is building on the strengths of each individual or, in this case each province, to find mutually beneficial strategies to move the country forward. Think about it Dalton!
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