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MAKICHUK: Trudeau shows true colours with transfer slap in the face to Alberta

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

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He mocked us.

He mocked us, he mocked us.

That Jack-in-Office at the PMO threw dirt as good, hard-working, God-fearing Albertans trundled off to the polls to have their say on transfer payments that have soaked us dry of billions of oil patch dollars for decades.

The very man who, in recent years, has spent more time in the ethics office than any other politician in Canada, had the absolute gall to marginalize our province, and our premier, by saying the issue was “incredibly political.”

Regardless of how they voted (Elections Alberta reported 61.7% of voters said “yes,” to ending Equalization, with 38.3% checking “no”), they had a fair, democratic right to choose.

“To eliminate equalization, which is what’s proposed in Jason Kenney’s referendum, is something that cannot be done by the federal government,” Justin Trudeau said with a sardonic smile.

“It needs to be done by the federal government working with seven provinces or territories representing over 50% of the Canadian population.”

Sorry pal, that’s not true and you know it.

If Alberta wants to opt-out, it can opt out … and praise God, someday that will happen. 

That Ottawa-based baboon can’t stop us if we wish to go our own way. Especially if we embark on a balanced journey of provincial autonomy over the next decade. 

To borrow a quote from his father — who had cajones — “Just watch (us)!”

The entire issue was summed up by the increasingly leftist Globe & Mail, with a disgustingly overbearing and insulting headline that read: “Don’t take Alberta’s referendum seriously.”

I won’t offer any further details, the headline was enough. 

Between the Globe and the federal freeloaders in Ottawa, it’s not hard to figure out the West will never, ever be taken seriously or treated fairly and equally with the bully boys: Quebec and Ontario and their media cronies.

The Eastern Laurentian elites will continue to screw us over. It will never stop. 

And you know as well as I do, with the rapidly increasing national debt, it ain’t gonna get better.

Not for you, me, or the generations to come.

Columnist Rex Murphy summed up Alberta’s plight very well, in a 2019 piece in the National Post:

The Suzukis, the Sierra Clubs, the always railing Greenpeacers, the fund-raising behemoths of the eco-industry, and the swarms of petty NGOs, self-appointed activists, and trippy climate celebrities — Bill Nye the Foolish Guy may stand for them all — have feasted on the portrayal of Alberta energy as world-damaging, nature-offending and planet-despoiling.

It was and is a gang-up on a global scale. One fragment, one singular project of an entire world industry in a little corner of Alberta has been painted as the villain of planetary disaster. Under the specious umbrella of “we must save the planet”  and “global warming is an existential crisis” the energy industry of a single province has endured a vicious, unfair and fanatic assault.

A while back, I was having a beer at one of my favourite establishments, the Border Crossing, down on 17 Ave. S.E.

They make an escargot dish with melted cheese and toast that is to die for and a nice deck in the back where a guy can enjoy a nice Cuban cigarillo in peace. 

Anyway, I was chatting with a fellow who did time in the “Big House.”

He seemed a good, hard-working fellow who made a mistake, paid the price and learned from it and then moved on.

I asked him what was it like in there?

‘You don’t wanna go there, man … you don’t,” he said. The serious look on his face added to that sentiment.

“But let me tell you something. If you ever do end up there, the biggest, toughest guy in the joint is going to come up to you and set you straight.

“And you can’t back down, you have to show no fear and stand up to him.”

Terrible images raced through my head.

“But what if he’s way bigger than me and tougher?” I pleaded.

“Doesn’t matter,” he said. “If you don’t stand up to him then, you are done for.”

The reality of that discussion never left me. Knock on wood, I don’t ever end up in the clink!

But this, my friends, is exactly how we must deal with the pin-striped snakes in Ottawa.

We can’t be afraid, we can’t back down … we look them in the eye, and fight back with every peaceful but effective, and hopefully legal means in our toolbox, and with every ounce of strength we can garner.

They are nothing but a bunch of overpaid federal nabobs, led by the trumped-up party boy himself and backed by Mountie strong arm men.

Recently, I was chatting with an esteemed friend of mine on Facebook — a man much more accomplished than I.

He told me that the mere mention of Alberta with Eastern friends conjures up vitriolic hate and derision as if we were the bad guys.

Other friends have told me the same.

Well, that’s just fine, I don’t mind playing the part of Jack Palance in Shane, I don’t give a damn if they hate us. I really don’t.

But damn it all to hell, one day they might just respect us and fear us.

Take our money in transfer payments but block our pipelines and demonize us? 

Sure, go ahead and embrace token Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s so-called Green restart. 

See where that gets you. See if it pays your mortgage, your car payment, your daycare and your groceries.

One day, mark my words, the West will rise. As forceful and beautiful as the early morning light on the Alberta foothills.

To quote the great Winston Churchill, “Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning.”

Dave Makichuk is a Western Standard contributor
He has worked in the media for decades, including as an editor for the Calgary Herald. He is also the military editor for the Asia Times.
makichukd@gmail.com

Dave Makichuck is a Columnist for the Western Standard. He is a 35-year veteran journalist who has served at both the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Major Tom

    October 28, 2021 at 3:22 am

    Justin wants Albertans’ to eat cake…..without cutlery….without napkins…It goes beyond insult!

  2. The Real Kevin

    October 28, 2021 at 2:40 am

    It is obvious why we always end up with Pallister, Moe, Kenney. Until we are all willing to vote in our own self interest without apology (or hesitation), it does not end.

    There is no person on a white horse riding to your rescue. There are no white supremacists. There is no climate emergency. Virtue signalling will not save you. Party loyalty will not save you.

    Save yourself, it is time. Term limits will not save you; in fact, there already are term limits, you just choose to keep voting for incumbents.

  3. Mars Hill

    October 27, 2021 at 10:53 pm

    Nice shock absorber.

  4. Dennis

    October 27, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    DECLAN CARROLL, you were doing great until the end. Do you even know Paul Hinman? Why would you mention his name with the other two criminals?

  5. Stew James

    October 27, 2021 at 12:00 am

    I wake up everyday hoping to hear someone has stepped up and put a hole thru Justin’s head! Or how about a Guy Fawkes that succeeds on eastern Canadas parliament!
    Oh wishful thinking!
    Pardon my French, but these cocksuckers from Kaybec and the east will one day reap what they sow! I always thought separation could be done like adults…that will never happen as long as children are in power!
    There is not one federal political party that will stand for Alberta and it just sickens me to think my family served in two world wars for this shit hole country of canada!
    After 62 years of this country I’m ashamed, and will never call my self a canadian again!
    Yes Justine and your cronies GO FUCK YOURSELVES!

  6. Ken

    October 26, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    The Wildrose Independence party is the ONLY party that has “Alberta independence” fully stated in their platform
    If we don’t wake up and vote accordingly we are destined to be Ottawa’s slave forever.

  7. Declan Carroll

    October 26, 2021 at 4:55 pm

    The strong take what they want and the weak endure what they must. Until such times as the Alberta electorate decides to elect scrappy politicians with the will to take it all the way regardless of the consequences Alberta will continue to be extorted. Notley, Kenney and Hindman are not those people. Not even close. None of them have any grit, at all, full stop.

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Opinion

BRADLEY: No Central Bank Digital Currency can stack up to Bitcoin

Why Bitcoin will always be the superior digital currency.

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These days, many countries are considering introducing their own Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs).

The Bank of England recently released a research paper discussing the possibility of creating its own digital currency, saying it has “not yet made a decision on whether to introduce CBDC”.

In July 2021, the Bank of Canada issued a discussion paper called “The Positive Case for a CBDC”, citing it “could be an effective competition policy tool for payments” and “could also support the vibrancy of the digital economy.”

But no country is moving faster on this front than China.

The Central Bank of China has already introduced a digital yuan, which is expected to eliminate physical cash and provide a centralized payment-processing network.

As China continues to expand its CBDC implementation beyond its trial run in some cities, more of its citizens will be forced into using the government’s app to identify themselves, store their wealth and make everyday purchases. That means the Chinese government will be able to track purchases and even freeze or close personal accounts, for whatever reason they see fit.

That is a terrifying prospect – and it highlights one of the many reasons bitcoin will always be superior to any currency issued and controlled by any government.

The Bitcoin network uses blockchain technology to track the status of the network, including user balances and transactions. This allows transparency and decentralization by nature. Perhaps most importantly, this means that the system cannot be controlled or influenced by any one person, company or government.

China’s digital yuan – and any CBDC under consideration – have the complete opposite fundamentals. With a CBDC, one central bank has ultimate control and power over the currency, not to mention the ability to track and even reverse everyday purchases.

It’s a particularly worrisome situation in China, where its government has been pushing a social credit system that, at its core, rewards or punishes people for their economic and personal behaviours. As the country implements its digital yuan more broadly, there are fears China could use its CBDC to extend control over even more of its citizens’ rights and freedoms.

We don’t face that threat in western countries yet, but that’s not to say we are immune from the possibility. If Meta’s recent announcement that it’s shutting down the face recognition system on Facebook is any indication, our society is definitely not keen on being monitored, controlled, or surveilled in any way.

From 2013 to 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice ran Operation Choke Point to monitor and crack down on payments for what the government deemed “high-risk activities”, ranging from online gambling and payday loans to pornography and surveillance equipment sales. These activities were not illegal but they offended the government’s moral compass – a slippery and scary slope.

Most recently, in October 2021 U.S. President Joe Biden and his government backed down from requiring the IRS to collect data on every bank account with more than $600 in annual transactions. 

Infringements like these on our privacy are unacceptable. But the likelihood of them happening will grow exponentially if, and when, western governments introduce their own CBDCs.

Aside from a potential loss of personal freedom and privacy, CBDCs would introduce another undesirable outcome: even greater inflation than we’re experiencing today. Governments, including our own here in Canada, are printing money faster than ever, which simultaneously drives inflation and devalues personal wealth.

As Saifedean Ammous writes in his fantastic book, The Fiat Standard: The Debt Slavery Alternative to Human Civilization, “CBDCs would allow for the implementation of…inflationist schemes with high efficiency, allowing for increased central planning of market activity. Government spending would proceed unabated by whatever little discipline credit markets currently exert. Real-world prices are likely to rise, which would lead to more control over economic production to mandate prices.”

To sum this up, CBDCs could lead to higher inflation, less personal autonomy, and more government meddling. For those reasons, whenever I’m asked if the introduction of CBDCs will kill bitcoin and its relevance, my answer is a resounding, “No.”

Central bank digital currencies are not the same thing as bitcoin. They aren’t even competitors with bitcoin, nor will they ever replace bitcoin. They are a distraction. In my opinion, CBDCs will only create greater demand for bitcoin and its many advantages.

Bitcoin offers individuals the profound ability to own sound money, protect their wealth from inflation and keep governments from micro-managing their finances. That is certainly not what CBDCs will do, and it’s why we should all be very apprehensive about giving central banks the ability to issue, oversee and control digital currencies.

No CBDC can, or ever will, stack up to bitcoin.

Guest Column from Dave Bradley, Chief Revenue Officer at Bitcoin Well
@bitcoinbrains on Twitter

Sponsored by Bitcoin Well

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Opinion

ROYER: Canada ignores Alberta. Because it can

The only conclusion is that Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces.

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Crickets. That is the sound of Canada’s response to Alberta’s request to consider revisions to the equalization program over a month ago. What does the deafening silence say about Canada?

Trudeau brushed off the referendum saying that he couldn’t unilaterally address the issue, although he clearly can. His government has several bilateral agreements with provinces other than Alberta.  He can agree to change the equalization formula to drain less wealth from Alberta and Saskatchewan in the first place.

The federal Conservative Party’s silence is due to their leader Erin O’Toole’s decision to pander to Ontario and Quebec, taking the West for granted.

The silence has made one thing absolutely clear: Alberta has no voice in Canada. Voting against the Liberals hasn’t worked. Voting in a couple of Liberal MPs hasn’t helped. Relying on protection provincial sovereignty under the constitution has proven to be useless; Trudeau’s government intercedes into those defined powers with impunity.

All that remains is to look at the big picture. Alberta had no democratic input into decisions that dramatically diminished its economy. Wealth continues to be drained from the province and it has no means to stop it. A referendum — the ultimate expression of democratic rights — is ignored. What does this make Canada?

First, it clearly is not a modern democratic nation. Modern democracies give voice to minorities and seek compromise.

We do not have a federal government. There is no structural input from the far reaches of the country in the nation’s decision-making process. It is a central government, serving only the centre.

We are not really a federation either. Rights of the lesser provinces are extinguished at the whim of the central government. Those intrusions are dutifully upheld by the Supreme Court, an institution with a majority of judges from central Canada. The Senate is completely ineffective in protecting the federation. It over-represents Quebec and Atlantic Canada, is appointed at the sole discretion of the prime minister and has very limited powers to disagree with him. Alberta’s attempt to introduce democracy into the selection of Senators has been ignored by the prime minister.

Power is extremely concentrated. Trudeau’s emissions cap on hydrocarbon production is just the most recent example. No discussion with Parliament or the provinces was taken; he just made the decision with his personal staff, and announced it

He has this power because hyper-partisanship, strict party discipline and the overly centralized government concentrates power. We’ve abandoned our historic Westminster Parliamentary system of government and taken on an American style constitutional system with judicial supremacy, but with an all-powerful prime minister that lacks the checks-and-balances placed upon an American president.

The only respectful response to Alberta came from Saskatchewan’s Premier Scott Moe. He called for his province to become a nation within a nation, a status effectively granted Quebec. Neither the federal structure nor the national parliament protect the outlying provinces. They now need to gain near national powers in order to protect themselves from the central government.

The only conclusion is Canada is not a functioning, modern federal democracy. It caters almost exclusively to the needs of the two primary provinces: Ontario and Quebec. The concentration of power and the malleability of federal sovereignties has makes the prime minister effectively an elected dictator. The only check on the prime minister’s power is in an occasional national election, the results of which are determined almost entirely in Ontario and Quebec.

So, what is Canada? It is a country in which the central provinces in conjunction with the central government have dominion over the outlying provinces, and those central provinces elect a prime minister who is given near royal prerogative.

Our country is called (at least officially) the Dominion of Canada, a constitutional monarchy. By the word dominion are we saying that the centre has dominion over the rest of the country? And does constitutional democracy say that the constitution concentrates power into the hands of a single person?

We can do better.

Randy Royer is a Western Standard columnist

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Energy

VENKATACHALAM & KAPLAN: Oil and gas production is essential to BC’s economy

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors.

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Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan of the Canadian Energy Centre

British Columbia has been producing oil and natural gas since 1952. In fact, as of 2018, BC produced 32% of Canada’s natural gas production and 2% of Canada’s conventional daily oil production. British Columbia collects royalties from oil and gas development, supporting the economic prosperity in the province.

Want to know how important the oil and natural gas industry is to the BC economy? Using customized Statistic Canada data from 2017 (the latest year available for this comparison), it turns out oil and gas in BC  generated about $18 billion in outputs, consisting primarily of the value of goods and services produced, as well as a GDP of $9.5 billion.

As for what most of us can relate to — jobs — the BC oil and gas industry was responsible for nearly 26,500 direct jobs and more than 36,100 indirect jobs (62,602 jobs in total) in 2017. Also relevant: The oil and gas sector paid out over $3.1 billion in wages and salaries to BC workers that year.

Here’s another slice of statistical bread to consider: In 2017 the BC oil and gas industry purchased $5.6 billion worth of goods and services from other sectors. That included $600 million from the finance and insurance sector, $770 million in professional services, and $2.8 billion from the manufacturing sector, to name just three examples.

Spending by the oil and gas sector in BC is not the only way to consider the impact of the industry. Given that a large chunk of the oil and gas sector is next door in Alberta, let’s look at what Alberta’s trade relationship with its westerly neighbour does for BC.

BC’s interprovincial trade in total with all provinces in 2017 amounted to $39.4 billion. Alberta was responsible for the largest amount at $15.4 billion, or about 38%, of that trade.

That share of BC’s trade exports is remarkable, given that Alberta’s share of Canada’s population was just 11.5 percent in 2017. Alberta consumers, businesses and governments buy far more from BC in goods and services than its population as a share of Canada would suggest would be the case. Alberta’s capital-intensive, high-wage-paying oil and gas sector is a major reason why.

If Alberta were a country, the province’s $15.4 billion in trade with BC would come in behind only the United States (about $22.3 billion in purchases of goods and services from BC) in 2017. In fact, Alberta’s importance to B.C. exports was ranked far ahead of China ($6.9 billion), Japan ($4.5 billion), and South Korea ($2.9 billion)—the next biggest destinations for BC’s trade exports.

BC has a natural advantage for market access in some respects when compared to the United States. For instance, BC’s coast is near to many Asian-Pacific markets than are U.S. Gulf Coast facilities. The distance between the U.S. Gulf Coast and to the Japanese ports of Himeji and Sodegaura is more than 9,000 nautical miles, compared to less than 4,200 nautical miles between those two Japanese ports and the coast of BC.

The recent demand for natural gas in Asia, especially Japan (the largest importer of LNG) and price increase for natural gas, presents an exciting opportunity for BC oil and gas industry. The IEA predicts that by 2024 , natural gas demand forecast in Asia will be up 7% from 2019’s pre-COVID-19  levels. 

Be it in employment, salaries and wages paid, GDP, or the purchase of goods and services, the impact of oil and natural gas (and Alberta) on BC’s economy and trade flows is significant.

Guest column by Ven Venkatachalam and Lennie Kaplan are with the Canadian Energy Centre

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