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I came across this cartoon recently and I laughed out loud. It's perfect, not because of its intended message, but because it is the perfect caricature of western alienation. And let's be clear, when we say western alienation, we really mean Alberta with support from Saskatchewan and the oil producing parts of BC. (We who are truly on the west part of Canada probably have less in common with Alberta than with the maritime provinces).

S0LZrm2.jpg

This is the image that Brad Wall and his acolytes see when they look at Canada. Poor Alberta and Saskatchewan doing all the work that will benefit everyone but the freeloaders in Ontario and Quebec don't appreciate it. Meanwhile, 6 provinces and 3 territories don't even exist. In case anyone doesn't get it, this is the image they have when Alberta is selflessly trying to build a pipeline to pump their toxic sludge across Canada to save this great nation but the ungrateful NIMBY's in Ontario and Quebec are too stupid to get it.

The reality is that Alberta and Saskatchewan, with their gold-rush mentality on shipping raw commodities as fast as possible, put Canada in this vulnerable state by artificially inflating the dollar and tilting the economy towards less skilled. more volatile economic pursuits. Meanwhile, Ontario, Quebec, BC and the other provinces, with their more diversified and sustainable economies, are now providing a stabilizing influence.

Full disclosure: I lived in Alberta and was unemployed with few marketable skills during the height of the recession in the early 80's. I heard all of the stories (mostly nonsense) about how it was all the fault of the National Energy Policy. The truth was that Alberta allowed its economy to become too dependent on a single volatile economy and didn't use the good times to diversify. And we paid the price when the inevitable downturn hit. In other words, exactly the same situation as now.

Edited by ReeferMadness

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So, is there a question that goes along with this thread or is it just you standing on a soapbox defending the eastern portion of the country?

(Full disclosure: I've lived in Alberta the vast majority of my life and that's quite a while prior to 1982)

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So, is there a question that goes along with this thread or is it just you standing on a soapbox defending the eastern portion of the country?

(Full disclosure: I've lived in Alberta the vast majority of my life and that's quite a while prior to 1982)

Living well to the west of you, and never having lived in Ontario or Quebec and also having lived in Alberta "quite a while before 1982", your contention that I am "defending the eastern portion of the country" is hilarious. You're illustrating my point perfectly.

Alberta separatists and Quebec separatists are mirror images of each other. Both perceive their provinces as under-appreciated, misunderstood, treated badly and better off without the rest of the country. And they're all wrong - tragically so.

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The reality is that Alberta and Saskatchewan, with their gold-rush mentality on shipping raw commodities as fast as possible, put Canada in this vulnerable state by artificially inflating the dollar and tilting the economy towards less skilled. more volatile economic pursuits. Meanwhile, Ontario, Quebec, BC and the other provinces, with their more diversified and sustainable economies, are now providing a stabilizing influence.

Your narrative that Canada without resources would be better off is delusional. The strength of Canada comes from the two engine economy with resources on the peripheries and manufacturing in the center. When resources are hot it brings cash into the country and boosts employment during a period when all manufacturing was facing huge competitive threats from China and elsewhere. The high currency made it a lot easier for Canadian manufacturers to invest in equipment to improve productivity. The boom also reduced the pressure on government deficits. Now resources and the dollar are down which will allow Canadian manufacturing to benefit from the productivity improvement that were made possible by the resource boom. They should carry the Canadian economy forward until the next resource boom.

The bottom line: resources are a key part of Canada's competitive advantage. It is simply ridiculous to say that should throw that advantage away.

Edited by TimG

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And there is where your assumption fails...Alberta WOULD be better off without the rest of Canada, whereas Kwebek would be completely and utterly broke.

Before anyone starts with the whole "you obviously don't know how equalization works" crap, know that I DO understand the program very well. It's just a little curious that what Alberta sends to Ottawa in overpayments, Kwebek takes out. Do the math any way you wish.

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Your narrative that Canada without resources would be better off is delusional. The strength of Canada comes from the two engine economy with resources on the peripheries and manufacturing in the center. When resources are hot it brings cash into the country and boosts employment during a period when all manufacturing was facing huge competitive threats from China and elsewhere. The high currency made it a lot easier for Canadian manufacturers to invest in equipment to improve productivity. The boom also reduced the pressure on government deficits. Now resources and the dollar are down which will allow Canadian manufacturing to benefit from the productivity improvement that were made possible by the resource boom. They should carry the Canadian economy forward until the next resource boom.

The bottom line: resources are a key part of Canada's competitive advantage. It is simply ridiculous to say that should throw that advantage away.

Clearly, it is better to have resources than not to have resources. Clearly, it is better to use that resource revenue to help diversify the economy rather than give the resources away to multinational corporations in exchange for jobs that can be chopped on little notice when the commodity prices drop (as they inevitably do). Clearly, it would be better if there were some level of control over the rate of exploitation of said resources so that our currency wouldn't get dragged around when the commodity prices change. Clearly, none of this has been happening, thanks to happy-go-lucky politicians in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and an economic fundamentalist in Ottawa.

And clearly, you would prefer to debate some fictional point you wish I had made rather than the points I am actually making.

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And there is where your assumption fails...Alberta WOULD be better off without the rest of Canada, whereas Kwebek would be completely and utterly broke.

There was a time when I would have said that pretty much exactly word for word. But I've become wiser as I've become older.

That pile of sludge in northeastern Alberta isn't going to last forever. And the world is going to move on from burning dirty fuel. If anyone in Alberta has seriously started to plan for that eventuality, it's a well kept secret.

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The reality is that Alberta and Saskatchewan, with their gold-rush mentality on shipping raw commodities as fast as possible, put Canada in this vulnerable state by artificially inflating the dollar and tilting the economy towards less skilled. more volatile economic pursuits. Meanwhile, Ontario, Quebec, BC and the other provinces, with their more diversified and sustainable economies, are now providing a stabilizing influence.

What utter claptrap. You act as if each province should act like a country with it's own independent economy. What part of "country" do you not understand? To use your analogy, the fault lies with the rest of Canada fore not developing vibrant industries outside of resources to soften the blow. The obvious truth is that provinces bring different strengths to the table and Alberta - and lately, Saskatchewan ands Newfoundland have brought energy to the forefront. Like a sports team, the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole when we all pull together. We should be defending our resources - not alienating them. It should be less about the endless criticism coming from the squeaky wheels - and more about how we can all pull together and make this work.

Your attitude is nothing short of disgusting....oh - and I'm from Quebec and have been in Ontario for years. I'm what they call - a Canadian.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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Why are Ontario and Quebec,with their diversified economies,have-not provinces?Quebec part of a stabilizing influence?Perhaps in the sense that Quebec consistently makes demands on the rest of the country.The West does have a right to complain in my opinion.

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What utter claptrap. You act as if each province should act like a country with it's own independent economy.

Not exactly. I'm saying each province does act, to a large extent, as an independent country. This federation was formed by awarding almost all of the responsibilities to the provinces. When Alberta decides to throw open the tarsands to whatever foreign state-owned companies want to come and dig up the sludge, they do it without regard for what the impact of that activity will be on Ontario.

The one key power Ottawa does have its ability to tax and use that economic clout to hold the country together. It's nothing short of miraculous that the country has held together all this time.

What part of "country" do you not understand? To use your analogy, the fault lies with the rest of Canada fore not developing vibrant industries outside of resources to soften the blow. The obvious truth is that provinces bring different strengths to the table and Alberta - and lately, Saskatchewan ands Newfoundland have brought energy to the forefront.

I don't know what you're reading but it must not have been anything I've written. The gold-rush-like opening of the tar sands and Saskatchewan bakken (with little regard for niceties like the environment) has created an unnecessarily large vortex that has drawn investment and people from other areas of the country, while artificially inflating the dollar, making it harder for other industries to compete internationally. This wouldn't have been so bad, had the oil-producing provinces captured a reasonable rate of the resource value (like Norway). But the giveaway resource rates further strengthened the vortex while ensuring little of that money remained after the gold rush,

Like a sports team, the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole when we all pull together. We should be defending our resources - not alienating them. It should be less about the endless criticism coming from the squeaky wheels - and more about how we can all pull together and make this work..

Yes, and pulling together will mean economic policy that is geared towards sustainable industries, not one-time gold-rush ventures.

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Reefer,that "pile of sludge"out west greatly benefits all Canadians,including you.

That's what they keep telling me.

I take the long view on things and try to look at the big picture. In 50 years, Alberta will be left with the world's largest toxic wasteland and not much else to show for it. And lots of people calculate the benefits of that sludge, very few look at the costs.

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Yes, and pulling together will mean economic policy that is geared towards sustainable industries, not one-time gold-rush ventures.

You're feeling pretty hip with your new-found "gold-rush" term. Pretty silly. What do you consider to be "sustainable" - that trendy, definition-elusive term? Canada's mining, logging, fishing and energy industries have built Canada into the best country in the world over two centuries - and you demean it as a "gold rush"? That's just naïve, teeny-bopper talk. Our policies should not be a pessimistic one that dictates we're not going to do resource projects until undefined this-and-that's are done. Policies should be optimistic in sending messages that it's critical that we do these projects - now how can we satisfy genuine stakeholders in a reasonably thorough - but perhaps not perfect manner.

Edited by Keepitsimple

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Why isn't Ontario tossing out water too? It could symbolize manufacturing jobs.

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And there is where your assumption fails...Alberta WOULD be better off without the rest of Canada, whereas Kwebek would be completely and utterly broke.

Before anyone starts with the whole "you obviously don't know how equalization works" crap, know that I DO understand the program very well. It's just a little curious that what Alberta sends to Ottawa in overpayments, Kwebek takes out. Do the math any way you wish.

"Kwebek" - oh right... it wouldn't be a complete post from you if you didn't drop your lil' gem! You've done this for years, and I'll keep calling you on it. Why do you use that spelling for the province of Quebec?

and no, you still show you don't know how equalization works... equalization monies, proper, are relatively small in relation to overall federal revenues and TOTAL federal expenditures to the respective provinces. Again, there is no such thing as an "equalization transfer of Alberta monies" to the federal government. What you're really speaking to is the difference between revenues and expenditures... in that regard, more pointedly, the federal government does not receive anything directly from any province; rather, federal taxes/revenue are collected WITHIN a respective province, not FROM a respective province... be that personal income tax, corporate income tax, GST, investment income, etc. And most pointedly, federal expenditures to the provinces are, of course, more than just the so-called 'formal transfers' like health (CHT), social (CST) and equalization... they also include all manner of spending like for infrastructure, transportation, education, national defence, grant/funds for recreation & cultural events/festivals, environment, security, etc..

what you're really highlighting is the distinction between federal revenue collected within the province of Alberta versus the amount of federal expenditure... and, of course, you're too focused on the distinction of so-called "have versus have-not" provinces within the equalization program. Your supposed premise of a disparity for Alberta... as compared to any province, needs to be in terms of federal revenues collected within the respective provinces versus federal expenditures spent within the respective provinces. Additionally proper attribution of any monetary disparity is necessary factoring, for example, that the fundamental principle being followed with most federal transfers/expenditures is that it is done on a per capita basis. Wait now, don't those Eastern Provinces of Ontario and Quebec have significantly more population than any other provinces... all other provinces/territories combined? Of course, federal expenditures in any province reflect upon many things, particularly such things as election campaign promises to spend big-time monies on infrastructure projects throughout Canada. Why, as I post this, PM Trudeau is meeting with Alberta Premier Notley (she with hat in hand, he with federal money to burn)!

.

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Clearly, it is better to have resources than not to have resources. Clearly, it is better to use that resource revenue to help diversify the economy rather than give the resources away to multinational corporations in exchange for jobs that can be chopped on little notice when the commodity prices drop (as they inevitably do).

Dishonest platitudes. There is a plan to refine oil sands crude in Canada but you oppose it.

Clearly, none of this has been happening, thanks to happy-go-lucky politicians in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and an economic fundamentalist in Ottawa.

And now we have a bunch of eco-fundamentalists in Ottawa who are much more irrational than people believe in the market. It is not clear why you think this will be good for Canada.

And clearly, you would prefer to debate some fictional point you wish I had made rather than the points I am actually making

Sorry. Your opposition to energy east says more about your real objectives than any of your words. So unless you start to demonstrate otherwise then the reasonable conclusion is your words in this thread are a subterfuge to promote your real objective which is the end of the resource industry in Canada. Edited by TimG

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Why are Ontario and Quebec,with their diversified economies,have-not provinces?

Don't count on Ontario being have not for long. Ontario's economy is growing faster than the average, and Equalization transfers have fallen 40% in the last couple of years.

Edited by Smallc

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Don't count on Ontario being have not for long. Ontario's economy is growing faster than the average, and Equalization transfers have fallen 40% in the last couple of years.

Indeed, many Canadian businesses (the ones that don't make their money digging sludge out of Alberta) are already feeling the benefit of a lower dollar.

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Probably the best thing for those unemployed workers to do while living on EI, is to take courses and get a job change until the oil sector comes back and that could be a while.

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There was a time when I would have said that pretty much exactly word for word. But I've become wiser as I've become older.

That pile of sludge in northeastern Alberta isn't going to last forever. And the world is going to move on from burning dirty fuel. If anyone in Alberta has seriously started to plan for that eventuality, it's a well kept secret.

You might enjoy a series called "Occupied" on Netflix, if you haven't seen it already. Norway develops an alternate energy that has the capability to supply Europe with energy, and eliminate fossil fuels - but rather than rejoicing, Europe sends Russia in to make sure Norway keeps the oil flowing.

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You might enjoy a series called "Occupied" on Netflix, if you haven't seen it already. Norway develops an alternate energy that has the capability to supply Europe with energy, and eliminate fossil fuels - but rather than rejoicing, Europe sends Russia in to make sure Norway keeps the oil flowing.

Thanks - I recently read about it but I didn't realize it's on Netflix. Is it on the Canadian version? I know it's possible to see what the US sees but I understand that Netflix is starting to crack down on that.

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