Wake up Canada! We need to move oil across this country to tidewater – and soon!

Let’s face it, changing your mind is just re-targeting to a more ‘hittable target,’ or focusing on the ‘focusable.’

Recently, two people come to mind who have changed their minds and are re-focusing — Alberta’s Premier, Rachel Notely, and me — insofar as my opinion of her goes.

Out of sheer frustration, reinforced by unshielded anger, Premier Notely has embarked on a crusade through the ice floes of the politics of this country, berating the right, left, and any other direction that may get in her way, which is not as self-centered and egotistical as her audiences but is a sincere attempt to wake up this country on the value of pipelines before the economic lifeline is de-plugged.

I feel that many, or maybe most outside of Alberta (including their nearest neighbour to the west), have looked at Alberta as just “lucky” to have the world’s third largest oil reserve, so they should ‘suck it up’ when times get bad. May I suggest to the “have not” provinces, or its fiefdoms in Ontario and Quebec, that they will become the “never have” provinces if Alberta can’t move oil across this country to tidewater — and soon.

Lest they forget, Alberta sends $21.8 billion per year more to Ottawa in transfer payments to the rest of us than it receives.

That Alberta would entrust these revenues for Ottawa’s disbursement to the ever-hungry provincial nestling sparrows at Ottawa’s discretion is delusional, because Ottawa is dysfunctional, and I have proof:

  • How can we trust a government that can’t even explain what the National Energy Board (NEB) does or who they are?
  • How do I become a member? Would I receive an indexed pension? Certainly, it seems our very own and elected by, ‘we the people’ Natural Resources Minister, Jim Carr, cannot, or will not, answer this question.

When asked why the Federal Government, Jim’s employer, wouldn’t participate in the TransMountain pipeline expansion hearings now stalled at the edge of the City of Burnaby’s ego moat, his response was, and I‘m not making this up: “Ottawa is not participating in the hearings because it is unusual for the Government of Canada to intervene in a quasi-independent independent arm’s length agency.”

Carr continued, and this is even more priceless: “Arguments would be made by other interveners, particularly the governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan.”

Over to you Rachel! Nothing to do with us, but keep up those transfer payments because Quebec and Ontario are counting on you.

So, if the NEB is just “quasi,” are Rachel and I, as well as the rest of the country, just “crazi?” Does quasi mean “sorta but not really?” If so, why does the NEB have the ear of the Ottawans? I thought this was an arm’s length relationship.
But wait, the TransMountain crosses the Alberta/B.C. border, therefore it falls under federal jurisdiction.

No, no silly, because Jim Carr says the feds don’t want to “intervene.”

Lack of intervention sounds more like lack of interest to me. Something Rachel Notely is not lacking in.

So take note Canada and, oh, yes, Ottawa.

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Roger McKnight is the Chief Petroleum Analyst with En-Pro International Inc.
Roger has over 25 years experience in the oil industry, and has held senior marketing management positions responsible for national and international accounts. He is the originator of the card lock concept of marketing on-road diesel that is now the predominant purchase method of diesel in Canada. Roger's knowledge of the oil industry in North America, and pricing structures has resulted in his expertise being sought as a commentator by local, national, and international media. Roger is a regular guest on radio and television programs, and he is quoted regularly in newspapers and magazines across Canada.

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  • To Roger McKnight. Good article, Alberta seems to be getting all kinds of problems getting our oil to markets, Trudeau and Quebec has put a damper on oil going east, BC is also giving us problems and we are having problems in the States going south.
    Heres the only answer to this, is to refine our own oil here in Alberta and give Albertans a break on the price of fuel. That will cut the price of having to pay to ship it to the refineries in the States and pay again to bring it back. I notice the gas in US is cheaper in the States than here in Alberta.

  • Everyone is ignoring the carbon that is emitted to bring oil from arabia also to send alta s down south and bring back up refined. Also procrastinating on building refineries and pipelines because oil will be obsolete in decade or two is not helping and not based on reality since renewables require oil as well.