As Canada’s last standing industrial giant stumbles, Alberta’s anxiety rises. How the drain-circling Oil & Gas Industry of Alberta, affects every Canadian. Everywhere you look in Industrial Canada, you’ll be hard pressed to find a ‘good news story.’ Take a peek at your struggling and barely-holding-on investment portfolio. When your advisor suggests ‘diversification’ amongst your portfolio to include more international investment, trust that THIS is why.
“There are people in this country that work hard every day, not for fame or fortune do they strive.” –Alabama “Forty Hour Week”
As our US comrades wake up and get back to work in their Oil & Gas Industry; Albertans feel ‘benched’ by Rachel Notley and the Federal Government’s penchant for social reformation, and are preparing to sit out the next round of industrial prosperity promised to Americans.
Canadian industries such as softwood lumber, mining, fishing, oil & gas, agriculture, manufacturing: are all in the toilet (some for years), circling the drain, about to disappear forever in a sewage-like wasteland of shattered hopes and dreams. This is a tired, repeating pattern and every job holding Canadian wants to know: “What is the Federal Government doing about industry protection?” For the past 60 years, it appears to be disappointingly answered as: not much, and action too late, if anything. Yet, typically, if the Federal Government was too slow to act or blundering about: The Provinces were dependable to do the really heavy lifting.
LET’s CALL A SPADE A SPADE:
Our federal government historically, has poorly managed our country’s bounty and natural resources, and has a massive industry identity crisis. Who are we? What do we do? What do we have to offer? Where are we going? All these precepts are left to figure out and we’re nowhere the greater on any of it, after a 100-year attempt to define. Un-inspiring to say the least.
Canada is rich and plentiful in natural resources. We all know this. When harvested and distributed properly, we should (in theory) be able to support every Canadian with a career and a future. Under this thriving context, massive intake immigration makes much sense and is welcomed and needed. Domestically, again in theory, there should be no need to head-out-west to subsequently take your family’s security into your own hands.
You may only have to look at the alcohol consumption rates of average residents in Trinity Bay, NFDL; to learn about how they cope with a generational lifestyle ripped out of their hands since the Federal Government let them down in the mid 1980s. The Canadian government failed to protect their cod fish stocks from Japanese and Russian invaders, and thus a door was opened wide for others to come exploit, reap and collapse an entire industry, off Canada’s far east coast. The feds were too late on call-to-action to save this entire province’s economic security, and cod stocks: and Newfoundland (whoever remains) has been boozing hard, ever since. When the moratorium on cod fishing was announced, residents of Grate’s Cove, NFLD noticed immediately that as young workers and their families moved out to seek employment, their community’s future moved out also.
Left with a mere “sorry ‘bout your luck,” many easterners started the trek out west, in search of a middle-class-charge-up and way to make money to provide for their family. These tough-spirited eastern domestic migrants— on their way to Alberta, stopped on-route to pick up all the newly deflated auto and steel city workers of Ontario. They too, left to deal with the terrible iron-ore resource sale-deals and poor steel manufacturing negotiating skills of the Canadian Federal Government, in the 80s-90s. Economic recovery since, has been too slow, and un-remarkable.
Arguably, the ore-mining, steel, and manufacturing industry crash for Ontarians, created a new lifestyle of dependency on unemployment programs, and a penchant to explore socialist and communist-styled themes. Who could blame them? If your Mother-Ship squanders away your career opportunities, then you’re somewhat forced to promote “take care of me” social reformation. This newly developed ideology is understandable, but is it necessary? Or, is striving for social reform the only remaining option for Ontarians du-jour?
The collapse of Ontario’s industrial pillars opened the door for Justin Trudeau and his new cool-aid-drink, served. Popularity of this new drink: featuring 10% more ‘we’ll take care of you, even if we don’t provide a job for you,’ ensued. This left remaining operational industries saddled with more pressure to make up federal (domestic) income shortfalls. This collapse of industry, also spurred the displacement of thousands of families. For shame, Canada! -Slow clap.
for displaced industry workers, Alberta became their new home.
Alberta welcomed all with open arms. The Alberta oil & gas industry for the last 44 years ‘held down the Canadian energy fort,’ or at least kept strong and kept up. Alberta outfitted displaced workers with new trade skills to hit the drilling rigs and pipelines. Albertans heard migrant cries of despair about a charming Trinity Bay lifestyle and upbringing (that was now destroyed), and shed a tear for you. It sure sounded like a nice life to us, and we cried right alongside with you. We did our best to teach you about our industry— and set to work, to integrate you. We cared and continue to care.
Alberta “had this,” and we took humble pride upon our province’s many job opportunities; and as long as our oil & gas industry had viable markets to export our base stock oil and gas; we could guarantee thousands of international immigrants and domestic migrants a bright future and lifestyle.
True, Alberta rolled through some colorful Premier’s. They all cared about producing real results on top-priority-actions like job creation and economic growth. You might have been able to kick-around other industries in Canada, but not the strong oil & gas sector: especially not under conservative government gate-keeping.
When transfer-payment times came, the average Alberta oilfield worker was happy to help our Canadian brethren struggling out east. Sending money your way, was our way of saying: “You can count on us, to help pull the load!” We endured through greedy eastern cries suggesting that we had more to share, and that we were “hoarding our wealth.” No matter, Alberta shrugged it off and kept on keepin’ on. We knew better, we’d already gotten to know and love the thousands of easterners that naturalized here, for over 30 years in our province.
Since the introduction of Rachel Notley and a give-it-a-try-orange-government in Alberta, the oil & gas industry has sustained repeated gut-punching from NDP gloves. Terrible provincial-level-deal-making was quickly upon us, and this has been evidenced with Notley’s lacklustre performance to promote the energy sector, at home and abroad. First up on her to-do-list was revision of the energy royalty negotiations. That proved painful, and was the first nail hammered in our energy sector’s coffin.
NDP platforms, combined with global socialist narratives driven by environmental fervor, had quickly brought the strong energy sector to stumble about: seemingly lost and unconfident with who was now in the ‘wheel-house,’ steering our giant ship. 44 years of holding down our Albertan energy ‘fort,’ was quickly reduced to— nobody wants to buy our (now) too-expensive-oil, and left producers spooked with little incentive to forge ahead with (now) risk-filled capital construction projects. NDP budget balancing blunders led straight to a provincial downgrade of rock-star-credit, within the first year.
Rachel Notley and her administration (year 3 into office) have failed to fight for and market Alberta’s chief income generating energy industry. As, Notley began to miss every prime opportunity to showcase how world-class our energy harvest and production standards really are: our hearts sunk in tandem with our confidence in her Premiership.
True, to evolve unilaterally with global demands for improved worker health and extreme consideration for environmental conservationism: a re-invention of outdated industrial practices, is required. Alberta’s oil & gas sector has not only risen to that bar of standard, but we exceed these standards. We hoped Notley could be the champion to show just how safe and evolved our industry is. Alberta’s energy sector has far less reportable worker death and injury than all other major nations’, in comparison to their energy production volume and operational practices. We’re proud as punch of our OH&S compliance, and would appreciate others to know and learn about how we’ve re-defined the traditional way oil is harvested. SAGD and thermal extraction pursuance is unique to only this part of the entire globe. Our US production competitors cannot boast the same statistics. In typical Canadian fashion, we’ve kept top environmental regard and worker safety included in our business plan.
Simultaneously to this poor-industrial representation, tax digs here and there on average Albertans, have vilified Notley’s occupancy.
Subsequently, nobody seemed to trust her when she expressed remorse over failed Energy East Pipeline negotiations. That failed attempt particularly stung Albertans. Energy East could have near-completely provided our eastern Canadian patriots with all the oil they could use, primarily, and secondarily: Energy East was inspiring and meant a break-away from dependence on West Texas Oil commodity fluctuations and market uncertainty for our oil base-stock. Energy East could have created a new primary market for our product. An energy independent Canada, used to be our dream.
Can anyone take authentic comfort knowing that oil tankers from Libya dock in our beautiful central national harbours to supply eastern Canada’s energy demands? Albertans still can’t understand how conflict-oil procurement lines up with Canadian global participation, and our touted values? Surely this is not the Canadian-way?
However, PM Trudeau’s hypocrisy is a story for another day *wink.
Alberta residents, overall, continue to click their nails impatiently waiting out Notely’s Premiership, and her inactions due to timeline delays on data collection from countless expert referrals. The pinch of taking a chance on an NDP government was felt instantly; and voter-regret runs deep amongst average Albertans. Obtuse prioritization of residents’ need, does not promote confidence with Albertans— and neither does stabbing the main arteries of our energy sector, with big socialist-looking “I have a dream,” knives.
In fairness, typically, belief that thriving industry could save everyone’s day had been marred by rumblings that industrial figure-heads are akin to oligarchs, where perhaps profits would be hoarded and shielded from noticeable improvement to an average Canadian’s standard of living: But average workers AND retailers would beg to differ. It’s simple and time tested: If an individual makes good income, has job security— they WILL spend more. They will part with their money faster than you can say “let’s buy an RV.”
If you don’t believe that thriving industry can save the day : then a nation on-the-run, is your consequence.
Lastly, ask yourself: From a federal industry management concern, who cares about a new table discussion of the Canadian Free Trade Agreement proposition (CFTA), when you’ve got pittance remains left to trade with? Again, appearing to be a nice theory, yet soon, no need to apply.
Let’s get back to your investment portfolio: You can easily predict that Canadian markets will continue to lack provision for investor-confidence, over the next few years. Potash, perhaps?! Commodity price reporting, shows Potash strong and having a bit of a ‘run.’ However, while Potash seems relatively stable— Potash is not going to save Canada’s bacon: but maybe real pork-bellies will?? Argh, it’s hard to know where to place your money confidently in Canada, these days. Cannabis de-regulation, seems like an new-industry-bonus investment opportunity for Canadians, but it’s too infant-stage and riddled with controversy to be certain.
What is dead-certain, is that Albertans really want get back to work, and to pay their bills and thrive. We want to take more international immigrants and give them real (not empty-promised) opportunities, we want 2nd generation domestic migrants from Ontario and Newfoundland (especially), to feel like they made a safe choice to move out west, all those years ago. Albertans are saddened to report that we can’t assure new-comers a land-of-milk-and-honey-like energy industry opportunity, any longer.
To be vulnerable and to honestly share with you; we’re scared to produce an entire province that will become dependent upon government handouts, because we’ve gotten comfortable with un-employment, and the fruitless job-hunt beat us down. Which leads us to ask: What happens to a thoroughbred that doesn’t get to run? Short answer: Nothing good. Soon, its muscle tissues start to atrophy and its once impressive capabilities cease to improve and win. Commiseration, bitterness and substance abuse easily become constant companions. Currently, it’s slippery meets slope, in Alberta.
LIKE IT OR DON’t: DEATH to industry = welcome to welfarism. happening now, everywhere, alberta.
- Additional Source Credit: Brendon Meadus: Grate’s Cove, NFLD (Former Mayor)