As you may already be aware, the politics have changed drastically in Alberta since 2013. If you were to tell me in 2013 that there would be an NDP government in office in Alberta, I would have told you to get your head examined.
Well guess what, the NDP did win back in May. The jury is still out, but my feelings are that the honeymoon is going to be over very soon.
So far, Rachel Notley, our illustrious premier, has decided to raise corporate and personal taxes. The flat rate of 10% is now 12%. I would not have an issue with that, but I fear for the notorious reputation of the NDP which is spend spend spend. It doesn't help that our goose that lays the golden egg, the energy industry, is hurting...bad. This is not the downturn of 2008, this is more like the crash when the NEP came to town. Over 35000 Albertans have lost their jobs so far with the latest developments in the oil and gas sector. The price of oil closed yesterday under $40/barrel.
Now they (the NDP government) are talking about closing down the coal plants for cleaner greener energy. Apparently Canada is a naughty boy in the climate change game, even though our CO2 emissions are negligible compared to the USA, China and India. Doesn't help that Notley referred to Alberta as the 'embarrassing cousin'.
The Keystone pipeline was kaiboshed. Apparently the USA thinks its a better idea to buy and ship oil across the ocean from despotic, tyrannical dictators in the Middle East who have appalling human rights records, than to buy it from their friendly neighbour to the north who has fair wages, high environmental controls and lots of oil. *If you call it the tar sands, you are showing ignorance. The correct term is oil sands and the material that is mined is called bitumen. And another thing? All of those photos that environmentalists love to post showing plumes of white smoke coming out of chimneys? Well that is steam, from the Steam Assisted Gravity Drilling, that separates the oil from the sand.
And do you know who is going to benefit the most from the rejection of the Keystone pipeline? Warren Buffet. He owns a major stake in the railroad, which will be the only way (right now) to get our landlocked oil to tide water. Need I say that pipelines are safer to transport oil than railcars and they leave a smaller carbon footprint than rail and truck? You still have a doubt? I have two words for you- Lac Megantic.
My city, Calgary, is hurting. There is a lot of fear. Its close to Christmas and it will not be a very Merry one at that. Domestic violence has spiked, yet the agencies who assist those in need are in desperate need themselves. Trips to the Food Bank are becoming more common. Crime is rising with car prowling and house breakins becoming commonplace.