Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sustainability Through Oil -- Another Conservative Pipe Dream

As widely reported in Canadian media the Harper Government introduced their much-anticipated "Clean Air Act". It was met with a well-deserved chorus of jeers from everyone except the Tories' patrons at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. (See also today's other post in this Blog.) Meanwhile, Harper revealed his true colours as a political clone of G.W. Bush and Dick Cheney in a truly remarkable speech:
"Speaking to a convention of insurance brokers, Mr. Harper explained that the energy sector's contributions to the Canadian economy make it possible for the nation's high quality of life to continue.

'For international investors, the most important sector story I have to tell is energy,' the Prime Minister told a packed convention hall.

'Canada is an emerging energy superpower.'

Alberta's oil sands, he said, are the 'second-largest proven petroleum reserves on the planet.'"

[Emphasis added.]

And in a truly surreal twist,
"He linked the country's economic sustainability to lower taxes, better child care and Canadians' confidence in the future."
News Flash, Mr. PM:
  • You cannot have any long-term "economic sustainability" based on an inherently non-sustainable, non-renewable resource like oil -- that is guaranteed to run out even sooner thanks to your policies!
  • Prosperity for Alberta and other oil-exporting parts of Canada may mean poverty for other parts of the country.
"The Canadian dollar is increasingly viewed as a petrocurrency. As the price of oil rises, oil-related export revenues rise, and thus constitute a larger compononent of Canadian exports. Thus, the movements of the Canadian dollar have become increasingly correlated with price of oil." (Source)
And the more the Canadian Dollar rises, the harder it is to export anything else, like manufactured goods. Manufacturing-heavy Ontario is already on the brink of a recession this year (2006) according to the Royal Bank. They try to spin it by claiming that a relatively strong Canadian Dollar "...will continue to fuel imports of machinery and equipment by Canadian businesses, investment which eventually should bolster Canada's lagging productivity." But John Johnston, chief strategist, The Harbour Group at RBC Dominion Securities said that
"...the best thing for the struggling manufacturing sector in Ontario would be a five cent drop in the Canadian dollar."
  • Endangering the future of our children by doing nothing serious about climate change is not a way of "caring" for them! (Never mind that your Government's actual "Child Care Plan" is also a sad joke -- but that's a topic for a whole other Blog).
  • It is hard to have "confidence in our future" if glaciers continue to melt, oceans rise, freak storms wreak havoc, thousands of species go extinct, and the rest of the world fries -- which is going to be that much more likely thanks to Harper's policies!

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