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The Politics of Oil – East versus West


I take it back! On Monday I said that the parties in the Federal election campaign will not venture too deeply into environmental issues.
Yesterday, as part of their election platform, Mr. Ignatieff and the Liberals proposed a new “cap-and-trade” system that, in theory, would limit carbon dioxide emissions across the country while imposing a high cost to companies who exceed the proposed limits by requiring them to purchase “credits”.
Sounds nice, however, there was no financial analysis released showing the impacts on these companies or, as important, on the consumers. Actually the entire initiative was buried on page 46 of the Liberal program. No, I was right, the Liberals want to look green, but they don’t want to really talk about it.
Well, I am living in Alberta, and we Albertan’s are talking about it.
All of the major media outlets reported negatively on the Liberal proposal seeing it as a direct attack on the Alberta oil sands, and a sop to voters in eastern Canada. The Premiers’ offices in both Alberta and Saskatchewan responded negatively. Ignatieff is not off to a good start in the west but I don’t think he cares.
In the last election the Liberal leader Stéphane Dion proposed his Green Shift program. He couldn’t explain it and it was a major contributor to the Liberal decline. Even if you want to be green, Ignatieff’s poorly explained program, coming at a time when the world-wide economy is in a fragile recovery is, in my view, poor politics.
Thought for the day: Winning an election is a chess match; it comes down to maybe 30 seats in various parts of the country. The Liberals have no hope in Alberta so they are using this policy to win favour and appease voters in other parts of Canada. I feel sorry for the Liberal candidates in Alberta.
Good thing the election is before the Calgary Stampede in July, Ignatieff would not be a welcome guest.
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