Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wanted: Premier for Ontario, No IQ test required

This week witnessed one of the most classic cases of  "foot in mouth" syndrome to have come along in a while, and lo and behold it came out of Ontario. The last time I can recall such stupidity from an Ontario politician was in January 1999 when Mayor Mel called in the army to perform snow removal in Toronto.  Then there was Bob Rae of course....

Recently Alberta's Premier Alison Redford sent a request to the Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty to show his support on selling the oil sands to the world, support that would be helpful at a time when Alberta energy is being referred to as "dirty oil" in some quarters. This undoubtedly seemed to Premier Redford to be a reasonable request considering the vital role Alberta's energy industry plays in the overall health of the Canadian economy.

Unfortunately Premier McGuinty apparently has a different opinion on Alberta's role in the Canadian economy, and particularly in regards to his own province. In fact rather than show his support for Alberta, he chastised our province and laid the blame for many of Ontario's financial woes right at our feet.

“If I had my preferences as to whether we had a rapidly growing oil and gas sector in the west, or a lower dollar benefiting Ontario, I can tell you where I stand, with a lower dollar,” said the Ontario Premier. Mr. McGuinty then continued by saying that the Canadian dollar, which has soared to over $1 from just 67 cents in 2003, is making goods produced in Ontario more expensive for buyers outside the country. The “petro dollar,” he said, has been driven by global demand for oil and gas from Western Canada.

Needless to say Premier Redford fired back “Choosing between a strong oil sands and a high Canadian dollar, is a false paradigm,” Ms. Redford stated. “We’re going to stay to what I think is the broader and more principled and productive message, which is we can grow a Canadian economy around energy that benefits Canadians across the country. When we talk about oil sands, it’s not about what’s in Alberta’s best interests,” Ms. Redford told reporters Monday. “It is about what’s in Canada’s best interests.”

Saskatchewan's Premier Brad Wall jumped into the fray as well,  “If any of us in this country are pinning our productivity hopes and our hopes for being competitive from a trade standpoint on a cheap dollar,” Mr. Wall told The Globe and Mail, “boy, we’ve got that wrong.”

Even the Feds got into the scrum with  Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver telling reporters, “The oil sands are a valuable asset for the entire country, from coast to coast to coast, including Ontario.”

Now, setting all the rhetoric and political posturing aside lets just take a moment to look at a few facts, ones that apparently Premier McGuinty choose to ignore or worse yet is simply unaware of or too stupid to comprehend..

- A Canadian Energy Research Institute (CERI) study outlines that Ontario will enjoy the lion's share of oil sands benefits outside of Alberta. Over 25 years, Ontario will reap $63 billion in economic spinoffs and 65,000 jobs from the oil sands, with the CERI study indicating B.C. and Quebec enjoying a major fiscal bump from Alberta's boom.

- As a "have-not province" Ontario benefits greatly from Federal equalization payments, to the tune of over $2 Billion annually. Alberta on the other hand is the largest contributor to the equalization program, something that sitting on top of all this black gold allows the province to do. So strictly from a purely selfish perspective Mr McGuinty should be promoting the oil sands for all he is worth, particularly based on his inability to bring in a balanced budget as he needs all the financial assistance he can get.

-More than 350 Ontario-based companies are suppliers to the oil sands, according to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. I have to imagine that the owners and employees of these companies most likely do not share Mr Mcuinty's low opinion of Alberta's value to the Ontario economy (or their paychecks).

- Mr McGuinty gives Alberta far too much credit for the current strength of the Canadian dollar. One of the main factors for the Canadian dollar being strong is that the United States (along with most of Europe) has been going through some severe economic difficulties.It's not so much a case of our dollar soaring as a case of the US greenback and other currencies faltering, making our loonie look that much better. As an Albertan I wish we could take credit for the dollars recent strength, maybe that would be enough to get a little respect out of our masters in Ottawa

- Shouldn't the real concern be why the Ontario manufacturing sector is so uncompetitive on the world market that the only time they can sell their product is when the Canadian dollar is in the "toilet"?

Don't get me wrong, occasionally a pearl of wisdom does come out of the mouth of an Ontario politician. Case in point... Ontario's Progressive Conservative leader called the oil sands a "national treasure," saying McGuinty is seeking someone to blame after his government's spending created a $16-billion deficit. "It's very clear, after Alberta, Ontario gains the most from that natural resource in Alberta, the oil sands," said Tim Hudak, Ontario's official Opposition leader. "I'm a proud Canadian and I think that's a great resource for our country as a whole, and Ontario has a lot to gain from it too."

Maybe Mayor Mel and Premier McGuinty can learn something from Tim, but odds are Tim's simply an anomaly in Ontario. I wonder if he is originally from Alberta?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Here at Dwindling Empire we welcome your comments. Although we ask that you refrain from profanity, sexist, racist, or comments of a sexual nature.

However you can poke fun at Frustrated Joe all you want, but we warn you if your going to disagree with him try to do so with some facts, this will garner you a lot more respect from everyone.
Greatly Appreciated