Don’t kid yourself. Smiling Joe Biden is no friend of Canada. Other than Trump, he’s the first U.S. President not to visit Canada after his election. He is the first President to reach out to Australia, instead of Canada to form a security alliance. He is intervening in Canada’s Enbridge number 5 pipeline that runs through Michigan and provides heating and gas to Quebec and Ontario, but only because had that pipeline closed, the state would have to get its propane and other gases elsewhere at a much higher cost, and Joe Biden cannot afford to lose more support, especially from such a vital state like Michigan. It doesn’t matter to him what would have happened to Canadian provinces.
Buy U.S. policy completely disregards its largest trading partner, Canada, supplier of water, gas, and oil at less than wholesale prices to our neighbour. Canada to Joe Biden is just another Mexico.
And sadly, not a peep from Canada’s opposition parties. The NDP is in bed with the Liberals so it’s not expected to voice concern, but the Conservatives have not complained about American policy. There has been no outcry over the absurd rise in the cost of groceries due to inflation, expected to reach 5%, in part due to our Prime Minister’s “gargantuan and furious spending” over the last year, and no one has voiced concern over the delay in reconvening parliament. Frankly we are devoid of representation. Especially with a new government that was elected with support from fewer than one in three Canadians.
And so, the three amigos are having a sit down in Washington this week. Whatever Joe wants to discuss, Trudeau must not cave in, like he did at the ludicrous and hypocritical COP26 (26th meeting of the Conference of the Parties) in Glasgow Scotland.
Canada sent more delegates than any other country. It included “277 bureaucrats, not including the prime minister’s official photographer, official videographer and lead speechwriter, 17 press secretaries and communications directors” with the Canadian aircraft parked next to hundreds from other countries, plus over 100 private jets, and thousands of vehicles in each leader’s motorcades. A fine example by world leaders to help curb carbon emissions.
Mr. Trudeau saw fit to make his contribution on the world stage, by boastfully announcing a cap on Canada’s oil and gas emissions in a way that would decimate an already beaten and battered Alberta economy, where almost 20% of our GDP is generated. I am stunned that not one of our political leaders complained. Even Conservative Erin O’Toole was only mildly critical, actually gutless.
Why the oil and gas industry? Why not cap Canada’s aerospace empire, “one of the biggest growths of global emissions”, which happens to be centered in Trudeau’s priority electoral province, Quebec? Nor did our Prime Minister single out friendly British Columbia, where the Port of Vancouver is the largest exporter of thermal coal in North America. No, just Canada’s gas and oil industry.
Why berate what is so vital to Canada instead of striking a positive note and sighting true Canadian advancements in the climate change debate.
Trudeau could have boasted about Canada’s outstanding technological achievements in capturing carbon dioxide. Alberta has two commercial-scale projects reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2.76 million tonnes each year. We have a phenomenal, and growing carbon capture industry, in fact Canada is a leader in carbon capture, utilization and storage.
Like him or hate him, Stephen Harper, has a realistic view, citing political will is not the issue at the COP26 Climate Summit. Harper says that wind mills and sun power cannot yet deliver the power to electrical grids to allow us to operate as we do today. Says Harper “the technological developments simply have not occurred yet, or suffer from resource deficiency”. He is right on.
And how about some transparency and accountability from COP26, when billions are donated to countries for the environment, as there were with the Paris Accord, but are often diverted to other sources. Some have called it ‘kleptocrat corruption’. None of these leaders has addressed that.
It’s easy and popular to shout about the need to reduce carbon emissions, and promise reaching zero carbon emission by 2050. What the rich world does, matters little. We all know that countries like India, the third largest world polluter, will not be able to afford this kind of radical turn around. China, the largest polluter in the world, where 60% of its energy is still produced by coal, did not even attend the Summit. So, let’s be realistic about carbon emissions and stop with these grandiose promises.
The Financial Post suggests accelerating “investment into R&D of cheaper, low-CO2 energy, from fusion and fission, solar, wind and batteries to second generation biofuels” and many other brilliant ideas will follow. Strong government incentives to extract lithium from depleted oil and gas reservoirs, and harness geothermal energy.
Wouldn’t this be cheaper, and achieve giant step results, rather than carbon taxes that increase every year, adding to the cost of everything.
The reality is, the end result will bring breakthroughs for new and greener energy, without the flowery empty promises, and the brutal cost to all taxpayers.
That’s what I’m Thinking.