Seventy per cent of Canadians support the construction of the TransMountain Pipeline (TMX) and see it as an economic benefit to the whole country.
Yet listening to Premier Jason Kenney and his $3-billion ad campaign you’d think the opposite was true.
When the not-surprising approval of the TMX was given by the federal government on June 18, Kenney’s statement that the pipeline approval “isn’t a victory to celebrate” was just weird for a Premier of a province that will benefit the most from that federal decision.
Kenney, since elected, is showing a side of narcissism that we never witnessed when he was a federal minister of the Crown.
Then he was seen as moderate, cooperative with the Opposition, respectful of immigrants, and far less confrontational than most of the front bench of the Harper government.
Today he seems focused on baiting anger, jealousy and alienation amongst Albertans towards fellow Canadians.
His attempt to distort the facts is showing signs that he wants to be another Doug Ford—uncaring and dogmatic to the majority as he panders to his personal and industry friends.
One gets the strong impression that he really wants the TMX construction to fail simply because its success would validate the federal Liberal and provincial NDP governments’ strategy of diplomacy, compromise and rule of law.
When Preston Manning led the last separation movement, “The West Wants In”, he had the four Western provinces on his side.
It was also before the United States became energy self-sufficient and a net exporter of oil and gas.
Today we have one province in the bag, Saskatchewan, and perhaps Manitoba.
Without British Columbia, we would be a landlocked country surrounded by two foreign governments.
If Manitoba joined our country, we’d have access to a port at Churchill, but that would be an expensive option with seasonal access.
Frankly, what incentive would B.C. have to facilitate, ever, the shipment of a breakaway country’s petroleum products?
Granted the breakaway of Alberta would hurt all of Canada, but the costs of nationhood and the added difficulty to access foreign markets for our petroleum and agricultural products would crush Alberta’s strength and wealth.
It would be equivalent to what’s happening in Britain as they line up to crash out of the European Union without a deal.
Every Nobel Prize winning economists, the Governor of the Bank of England, Canadian Mark Carney and the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) say throwing 50 per cent of their tariff-free trade away would hurt Europe but would unequivocally cause catastrophic consequences for British citizens.
The United States doesn’t need Canada anymore. They are energy self-sufficient.
We’ve already seen the bully of bullies, Mr. Trump, unsuccessful or uninterested in delivering the Keystone pipeline.
Then there’s the current protectionist attitude of the governing Republican Party.
They have no interest in befriending Canada or any of their traditional allies so the hope of them befriending Alberta is indeed a pipe dream.
Kenney’s approach to promoting separation from Canada rather than cooperation and scepticism towards the TMX construction are incongruent with Alberta’s current vulnerable economic situation.
We need all the friends, allies and support we can get.
Unfortunately, herein lays the problem with the UPC leadership.
If Kenney isn’t getting the glory, it matters not whether it’s beneficial to the majority of Albertans or not.