Tuesday, July 31, 2012

They Bought Manhattan. They Bought Louisiana. They Bought Alasaka. Just a Thought.

What would the Americans give Canada for Alberta?  Let's say everything east of the Rockies to the Saskatchewan border and everything from the north end of the Athabasca tar fields down to the U.S. border.  Yep, Edmonton and Calgary are included in the package.   And if the Americans didn't offer enough, invite bids from the Chinese.   The Americans would pay anything to keep that from happening.

Look at it this way.   Albertans are far and away the closest bunch we have to Americans anywhere in Canada.   Overall they're rude and crude and oh so fond of conspicuous consumption.   They've got a bounty of bible thumpers and bigots (collectively known as the Reform Party).   Albertans seem tailor-made for FOX News and Rush Limbaugh.   Of course there are plenty of exceptions and they might want to relocate to stay in Canada but they could sell out to incoming Americans.

And America has had a greedy eye on the tar sands.   Why Dick Cheney eerily called them "ours."   All we'd be doing is formalizing the deal on a cash basis.   The U.S. could even put up one of those walls like they have along their Mexican border to keep Canadians out (and Albertans in).   We could even split the cost of something like that.

It would solve a lot of problems.   There'd be no pipelines to fuel Chinese communism, that's for sure.  The British Columbia interior and coast would be spared Alberta's depredations.   The Americans would finally have what they've longed for - real energy security, freedom from those damned Arabs.   And, quite frankly, I'd trust the American EPA to keep an eye on those tailing ponds and carbon emissions over the Alberta government's see no evil/speak no evil/hear no evil environmentalism any day.  It'd cure the Dutch Disease and allow our manufacturing base to recover under a realistically valued Loonie.

And Steve Harper might take that as his cue to di di mau back to Calgary to run for governor of the 51st State of the Union.

This is like win-win all around.  No?


Anonymous said...

And Alberta could be renamed 'North Texas', joined by a bitumen choked pipeline, to the newly renamed 'South Texas'. And they'd get the death penalty to boot.

Sounds like a win-win for Alberta and Canada. But for the US? - not so much.

Anonymous said...

Nothing robs a Canadian blogger of credibility faster than sarcastic Alberta-bashing. When Westerners do that to Eastern Canada, they're called narrow-minded or worse. Way to alienate your Canadian readers. Yes - this Albertan is still a Canadian - not an American wannabe. However, there is something very "Ugly American" about your superiority complex.

Anonymous said...

Alberta is made up of many different people. Harper may represent a Calgary riding at the moment, but he is from out east. Oliver is Ontario through and through as is Baird and Del Mastro. Peter Kent and our Minister for Science also hail from the eastern part of Canada. In fact a fair number of Harper's Chief ball-cuppers hail from outside our Province.
Recently at Provincial level the population of Alberta rejected Flanagan's Reform politics, while during the last general election Ontario embraced it.
Your rant sounded like the rants the wingnuts embark on about Quebec and is not something I thought I'd read here.
Alberta is growing and it isn't all fundagelicals humping the population upwards. Immigrants and other migrants come from elsewhere.

The Mound of Sound said...

Look, I know Alberta isn't full of rednecks. Like Jean Chretien I have many family members there.

That said, you should perhaps direct your concern to your fellow Albertans who are slagging British Columbia and our people for rejecting your damned pipeline.

Spare us your criticism. It's pretty hollow given what is coming west from Wild Rose country.

Anonymous said...

You're problem appears to be that you don't like your province being criticised for doing something that will cost some people dearly. What exactly did you expect? "oh you're right, we'll just leave it in the ground then."
You have every right as a Province to do exactly what you did. But you don't have any right to remain free from criticism for doing that. Least of all from folk who stand to lose a lot because of it.
Also I object to being given an ultimatum, "move or not be a Canadian anymore."
That doesn't sound all that different from the invective coming from the right over Khadr's citizenship.

Wow.. I mean wow.

Anonymous said...

Every Albertan I personally know was against the pipeline. My circle of anti-tarsands friends isn't your enemy - rather, we are fighting the same battle as your friends. And yet you choose to paint us all with the same tar. With that grandly ineloquent gesture, you demolished any reasonable argument you may have had.

Fail.I agree with Harebell. You are better than this, and your readers deserve better.

The Mound of Sound said...

It's more than passing curious that a bit of satirical commentary gets you Albertans so hot. Here where your province's environmental monstrosity is about to be rammed down our throats, a good many decent, law-abiding people are facing the prospect of arrest and imprisonment to resist what your province has unleashed on us.

So pardon me if you can't take a bit of humour. Believe me, indignation and sanctimony comes cheap to you folks. Given the stakes, this is one of those situations where you're either firmly anti-bitumen or loosely for it. If you don't oppose it in a meaningful way, you oppose us. And don't expect us to be sympathetic to your refined sensibilities for that. We're way past that point already.

The prime minister of our Alberta East legislature has already convened an agency of police and even CSIS to monitor us. His cabinet ministers call us dangerous radicals. And you're worried about a bit of satire? Give it a rest.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ harebell. I wanted to take a bit of time before responding to your comment.

Let's parse your remarks. You write, "you don't like your province being criticised for doing something that will cost some people dearly." Some people dearly? Oh you jest! Yes it will cost some people dearly only they're the people of British Columbia and no one - not Alberta, not the oil producers, not Enbridge, not Ottawa, not the tanker operators - will make good the losses they inflict. There are so many liability cut-outs engineered into this scam that it's British Columbia that's left on the hook.

We deserve criticism? All we want is to be left alone. It's not you jerks who "stand to lose a lot because of" the Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan. It's my province. And what gives you the right to do that?

You are at least intelligent enough to grasp what I wrote was satirical. If not, stay well away from Twain - that stuff would drive you bonkers.

And, always remember your own bumper sticker, "Dear Lord give us just one more oil boom and we promise this time we won't piss it all away." Tar money is easy come, easy go with you Albertans. You've proven that. Our coastline is forever and we'll prove that if need be.

What gives you the right to impose this catastrophe on us? Nothing, nada, zip, zilch. Our ecology isn't the solution to your problems. You don't have our consent to that. So, if I can be polite about this, piss off.

Anonymous said...

Your responses clearly illustrate that there is no humour, let alone satire in your remarks.
I'm not a big fan of the bitumen extraction industry and will work to make sure a less nasty alternative is developed.
However I will not throw Canadians under the bus in a hissy fit.I will not say you are either with us or you are not a Canadian. I will not insist that people are no longer citizens because they disagree with me or consign them to live under a violent and oppressive regime for the same reason. Citizenship is irrevocable and I've argued with many a wingnut over Khadr about this. I never thought I'd have to do that with a Lib.
You can talk all you want about the past and the NEP sloganeering but I arrived in 2000 and became a citizen as soon as I could after that. That BS is old school crap and not my bag at all; the bumper sticker was not mine and was well before my time.
As for the imposition of catastrophe... it appears your premier is happy to accept that risk as long as the price is right.
Motes and beams my friend, motes and beams.

kootcoot said...

" the bumper sticker was not mine and was well before my time."

So is your time sometime in the future? Because the bumper sticker is right up to date and appropriate today. Here is Alberta, the economic engine of Harper's Canada, yet thanks to its lapdog relationships with foreign oil companies it runs annual deficits and has to cut back on social and infrastructure spending. Hell, Alberta can't even be bothered, or afford, to build a decent road to Fort Mac.

The Mound of Sound said...

And I assume you saw my subsequent post, Harebell, on the Wisconsin spill and the US Transportation Secretary's ruling that Enbridge is not to restart that pipeline until it "proves" they should be allowed to continue as operator.

Here are a few facts you need to digest.

The pipeline routes chosen are the cheapest, not the safest. It's cheaper and more profitable for Enbridge to build high-risk lines through the wilderness than through easily accessible, easily monitored routes.

The product you're shipping, dilbit, is the cheapest, most profitable, not the safest. Why don't you refine the shit out of that stuff in Alberta instead of pumping raw crud that has to be mixed with chemical dilutents, the latter shipped across British Columbia twice.

There is no safe marine route for supertankers on the B.C. coast. There's a good reason we and the Americans agreed many years ago that Alaska supertankers bound for the lower 48 would stay well out to sea, safely removed from the B.C. coast. Any idea why?

The greater the volume of product, the greater the number of tankers required, the greater the likelihood and frequency of tanker accidents. All because you want to ship crud on the cheap and leave B.C. to bear the environmental risks.

Harper has stripped the west coast of Fisheries and Coast Guard protections and monitors. He has relocated the West Coast Oil Spill Emergency Centre to Quebec. The bastard has blinded us and left us woefully vulnerable to spills.

The liability cut-outs show that the key players - Alberta, Ottawa, the bitumen producers, Enbridge and the tanker operators - all know the potential liability and have implemented provisions to escape it. Enbridge is planning to run the pipeline via a shell company. A deal has been worked out for the supertanker operators where they're liable only to the limits of a miniscule insurance coverage that would finance about 7-days of oil spill recovery efforts.

The people of British Columbia are finally learning about what Alberta and Ottawa have in store for us. The closer they look into it the more pernicious they discover it truly is.

And you have the audacity to posit Alberta as the victim of B.C. intransigence. That's pathetic.

Anyong said...

This has been mentioned a couple of times by this commentator when living in South Korea and back in this country. Many people read your blog and many of us know what is written is well read and intelligent commentary. However, there are times when the writing becomes offensive. Just as offensive as an Albertan broadcast on CBC out of Calgary talking about how people from BC are all on welfare and living on money received from the rest of the country. Intelligent people who live in Alberta know that not to be correct. How about a little anger management when writing about Alberta. Often, the tone of these blogs sound mean.

Anonymous said...

This taken from the "Sir Robert Bond Paper" Those friggers from [insert name of province] #nlpoli
Anyone steeped in the whole Quebec-Newfoundland fight over hydro-electricity exports will look at the whole Alberta-British Columbia fight over oil exports and see the connections.
Sure, they are there.
The most obvious: one province wants to get somewhere to export its energy product and there’s another province standing in the way What else could there be?
Well, lots actually.
Some will point to the difference. In the Quebec racket, the federal government supposedly sided with Quebec. "In British Columbia, meanwhile, the pipeline will be an interprovincial undertaking of national consequence. As a result, it’s a federal thing under section 92.10 (a) of the Constitution Act, 1867 so it will happen despite any BC objections"

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon, we see it much differently. We're not "standing in the way." We're standing up for ourselves, in defence of our province. I think your constitutional take on it, strictly speaking, is probably correct but this is an issue that has gone far beyond constitutional niceties. The constituional argument is merely the fuel for civil disobedience and I think the country will see that on a wide scale in British Columbia.

I'd also like to speak with a constitutional law scholar to explore whether the fed's power is absolute or conditional. I think it could be readily argued that the federal power is not absolute and does not permit the government to use it to imperil a province. In fact that would seem to be a logical interpretation of an implied condition.

Anonymous said...

I never painted Albert as the victim of BC's intransigence, I just complained that you were quite happy to throw everyone in a defined area under the totalitarian bus because you didn't get your way immediately. Apparently we are all to blame and none of us are trying to do anything to oppose the bitumen extraction from inside this Province. Nice to know how you define how someone can be declared unCanadian.
I also pointed out that your government seems happy to play ball as long as they are paid enough.
But feel free to interpret what I say as you wish.
I'm a Canadian who lives in Alberta. Regardless of the activities of anyone here anyone trying to take that from me is in for a hell of a battle.

Anonymous said...

having read this
I don't think that we are that far apart in our views with respect to the tar sands and their exploitation.

Zyzmog said...

Ah, but Manhattan, Louisiana and Alaska were all bargains. As much as we'd enjoy welcoming Alberta into the Union, we don't want to get into a bidding war. Things always get overvalued in bidding wars.

And besides, including Steve Harper in the deal is no bargain.

Anonymous said...

M of S,

I love your idea of Stephen Harper being relegated to the first Governor of the 51st state:) Those of you from Alberta that have no sense of humor hang your heads, you may as well kiss your a** good bye because there is nothing worth living for you these days.

M of S I promise you the pipeline will not go in. If it does they have laid it over my dead body.

There is no way we can let this go, this land was stolen and now you have peaceful 1st nations wanting to be left alone and continue their traditional lifestyle...

Before this supposed pipeline even has a spill it will disrupt that peaceful lifestyle...

And after?

No Harper and Allison tell your Chinese masters to go back to whence they. came

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