East or West, independence or not.
I remember clearly some years ago when the competition was between Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay for the Conservative leadership. MacKay was young, too Progressive and less inspiring for the “investors” but for me, a Canadian layperson, he had the better ideas. If at that time more of us had made an effort to elect Peter we would have been better off today. History made a “play,” and the best leader sacrificed his political career for “unity” as Canada lost. I wish Alberta today had a Peter MacKay of our own.
Instead, an introvert from Toronto who changed from being a Liberal to being a right-wing Conservative won. Canada under the secretive and unyielding Stephen Harper lost some of its character and a few good opportunities. One most obvious was the Keystone pipeline which had a great effect on Alberta today. Later the hard line over Muslim headdress supported by the then minister of National Defence, Jason Kenney paved the way for Trudeau’s Liberals to come to power.
I just watched an interview CTV had with MacKay and the sentiments from years ago rekindled. Here is a very electable Conservative who truly think about workable solutions to Canada’s present challenges. He is not popular with the “make a quick buck” crowd but could set Canada up for success, if given a chance. There is enough Progressive in his character that could have won the day in today's’ political environment. Captains of ships must be very responsive to the weather regardless of what they like.
What the Conservatives missed is the fact that in 1999 in Seattle USA hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in favor of reducing the gap between the rich and the poor and becoming environmentally responsible. They didn’t win but left the Canadian population more left leaning then they used to be. The world changed.
Acknowledging that Canada suffered a blow with the recent Federal Appeals Court decision to disallow the energy transfer west under present circumstances, Peter MacKay is reawakening the more reasonable option of a pipeline to the east coast.
So many reasons to work diligently and promote the now defunct project as MacKay mentioned. Canada is sitting on oil reserves while being a net importer of oil, buying from places that we criticize for human rights violations. We don’t have to be held hostage to some crown prince who beheads people and bomb school buses in the Middle East. We can supply all the energy needs of the East and sell highly ethical Alberta oil to the energy-hungry European markets.
The East is so scared of Trump either killing jobs in the auto industry or taking away our farmers livelihood by forcing us to give up the smaller farms protections. How would this situation change if we injected all the good jobs of building a pipeline into the economy? Trump is bullying us since he is sure that we can’t get our act together and become self-sufficient. Canada is not acting like a country.
Without looking at the statistics, I seem to remember that at the beginning of the last century Canada produced 80% of what it needed and imported 20%. We later also had the most advanced jet fighter in the world. This has now reversed itself, and we are being taken advantage of while the next-door President is screaming that we are the culprits and demanding that we will buy American manufactured weapons.
I believe that there is no easy solution to the problem since previous generations skimmed the rewards leaving us to foot the bill. I see politicians pushing us to sell more of our resources cheap instead of building our capacity to be self-reliant. They think that austerity which will hurt our average Canadians is the answer.
I say NO we are not going to. We can listen to MacKay and get going on an Energy East pipeline while building capacity for cleaner energy, reducing energy waste, and growing our own food. We can slow down big chains from taking over all of our small businesses and building new export markets so we will not be hostage to American unpredictable election cycles.
It took us more than a hundred years to become fully independent from Great Britain, and now we must work on becoming free from the American economic stranglehold that we got ourselves into. All is not lost, and it is possible that the lesson we are learning the hard way will leave Canada better than it was.
Probably every Canadian loves the country, Liberal, Conservative and others. I imagine that Canadians of every religion, race or origin would volunteer to protect this land if needed. What we must decide is, do we love this country mostly to make money or to preserve its uniqueness.
Do we take action that is aimed at improving business or do we act towards uniting against those who weaken us as a nation? I view Peter MacKay as one who has the country first in his heart, and I wish he got back into politics.