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MORGAN: Trudeau’s radical new environment minister prepares to kill the West’s energy sector

“Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change.”

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The world is in the grips of an energy crisis.

Decades of well-meaning but naive energy transition efforts in developed nations have created a fragile world energy grid that is now faltering.

While Germany was once celebrated as a world leader in renewable green energy, coal has returned to the top spot as their source of electricity generation, while electricity prices have risen 500% in Europe. India and China are increasing coal production and are in a bidding war for Russian natural gas. Energy price spikes are feeding a rising cost of living, which in turn is impacting the standard of living for the entire planet.

It’s not even winter yet.

So how is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responding to this looming energy catastrophe? Will he help facilitate the production and export of ethical Canadian energy products in order to ease the burden on our European and Asian customers? Will he ease regulations on Canada’s petrochemical sector in order to mitigate domestic inflationary pressures as energy production increases? Will Trudeau applaud Western Canadian energy production as a means of employing Canadians while paying for COVID-19 measures?

Of course not.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his new cabinet appointments to signal that he is declaring an all-out war upon conventional energy generation in Canada. In appointing radical enviornmentalist Steven Guilbeault to the position of environment minister, Trudeau is making it clear he has no interest in allowing Canada’s petrochemical sector to continue upon its path to net-zero emissions. The prime minister wants to shut down the fossil fuel industry altogether — and he wants to do it soon.

For those unfamiliar with Steven Guilbeault’s history, he has been involved in extreme environmental actions for decades. In 2001, Guilbeault was arrested and charged for hanging from the CN Tower in Toronto in a Greenpeace protest. His act put emergency responders in real danger. Guilbeault was involved with a group of protestors who terrorized then Alberta Premier Ralph Klein’s family as they climbed upon the roof of the premier’s home as a protest stunt in 2002. Guilbeault is not a run of the mill environmental activist; he is from the extreme fringe of activists.

Government cabinets are very carefully selected. The people chosen to fill cabinet roles represent the direction the government plans to go in. Justin Trudeau never made a secret of his ambitions to be known to posterity as The Prime Minister Who Saved The World from Climate Change. The cabinet selections of Tuesday make clear that Trudeau no longer wants to just talk and tax about climate change; he wants to act. Westerners had best take heed.

With six years in office as prime minister, Trudeau has little he can point to as an established legacy besides a crippling debt that will last generations. The clock is ticking and if nothing changes, he will be remembered as being little aside from a vacuous placeholder with a famous name in the Prime Minister’s Office. Justin Trudeau’s almost debilitating vanity is well established. He does not want to go out that way, and he plans to make battling climate change his legacy.

While battling climate change could be accomplished though mitigating efforts such as carbon-capture and selling clean burning natural gas to the world, in appointing Guilbeault as Canada’s environment minister Trudeau made it clear he wants to fight climate change through shutting down Canada’s fossil fuel and petrochemical sector. Guilbeault has expressly stated that it is is goal, and it was no mistake that Trudeau gave him the authority to do it.

Trudeau has been candid in stating he doesn’t pay attention to monetary policy and fiscal issues. He doesn’t care that the world is in an energy crisis and doesn’t understand what shutting down Canada’s petrochemical industry will do to the economy. Trudeau’s foresight doesn’t extend beyond his own nose and all he’s envisioning is being enshrined as the crusader who defeated the hated oil industry.

Alberta should be the leading province standing up for and defending the energy sector against an ideologically driven federal government. Unfortunately, Premier Jason Kenney has proven himself to be long on talk and short on action when it comes to standing up to Ottawa. Kenney is also now distracted with a breaking sexual harassment lawsuit against one of his cabinet ministers. He won’t have the time to mount a spirited defense of Alberta’s industries, nor does he have the public support to be taken seriously in such a defence. Western Canadian energy companies and workers are vulnerable and Trudeau knows it.

There will be no help coming from our new federal natural resources minister either. Minister Jonathan Wilkanson comes from a history of renewable energy development. He will be tickled pink to see petrochemical companies driven from Canada’s economy.

The chill is already happening. Getting investment into Canadian conventional energy projects was already a tough task due to Ottawa’s hostility towards the sector. In light of the new federal cabinet in Ottawa, finding investment will be nearly impossible. Would you invest in a Canadian energy project when the prime minister has appointed a cabinet determined to shut down the industry?

The only advice I can offer to Canadians right now is to buckle in and get ready for a rough ride. Trudeau will be attending the 26th UN Climate Conference in Glasgow next week and he will be strutting. You can imagine Trudeau will be bragging to them all about how he will be setting up Canada as an example on how to battle climate change. Trudeau has always had trouble being taken seriously by other world leaders. He sees this as an opportunity to set himself up as a player on the world stage.

When Justin Trudeau gets back from the Glasgow summit, watch out. He has loaded the gun with his new cabinet. He will be fired up and ready to shoot and the first target will be Alberta.

Cory Morgan is the Alberta Political Columnist for the Western Standard and Host of the Cory Morgan Show

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. d.r.cmolloy@gmail.com

    October 29, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Edmonton and Calgary will decide Alberta’s fate.The relevant people out side the cities have long known the only way is out.The hope for change after each fed election grows dimmer.Real leadership is needed and CTV and CBC must be identified as reporting only gov released info. Time to move be active maybe already too late .

  2. Major Tom

    October 29, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Be assured that this ‘environmental minister’s life style will improve while ours will be reduced…..show me the climate in that?

  3. K

    October 28, 2021 at 7:50 am

    This country is DONE

  4. Seven-Zero-One

    October 28, 2021 at 2:30 am

    Until Alberta controls the following:
    Police
    Taxation
    Pension fund
    Border control

    Everything else is empty conversation.

  5. The Real Kevin

    October 28, 2021 at 2:27 am

    The only way forward for the west, is out. #WEXIT

  6. The Real Kevin

    October 28, 2021 at 2:27 am

    So, just like Trudeau’s previous energy minister. And, the one before that. And, the one before that. And, the one before that, And, …

  7. Dennis

    October 27, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Hey Albertans, remind me once again why we should remain part of a dysfunctional, corrupt and openly hostile country that wants to kill us. Wildrosenation.com is our ONLY option to get rid of this moron and his pack of idiots.

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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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