Editorial – Nothing to lose badmouthing

Jeff Burgar

Last week, we wrote about different approaches to Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn used by some local governments.

The Town of Slave Lake threw Rehn under the bus. Town of High Prairie not at all. Big Lakes County sent a secret letter. M.D. of Lesser Slave River sent a critical letter but left it at that.

At the end of the day, it seems local governments really working hard to deal with our provincial government were the most unhappy. And those the least miffed were the ones who barely tried to connect with Rehn, and thereby the provincial government. Barely at all.

Perhaps branding, a guaranteed helipad for the High Prairie hospital by a still unnamed contractor, landfill cleanup costs, attracting local doctors, a dialysis project 10 years behind and much more, were simply more important.

Or are absolutely “well in hand.” No reason to bother Mr. Rehn. Thus, not even a choice between honey or vinegar as said last week.

Today, we have something similar. New American President Joe Biden cancelled Keystone XL. Using former president Donald Trump’s, it’s “Promises Made. Promises Kept,” slogan.

Despite American media interminable hammering of Trump, [and religious and unquestionable following by most Canadian media] it has to be said, politicians mostly make promises and never keep them. Trump kept his. Joe Biden is already hailed by his ever cheerleading media for keeping promises, among them the XL cancellation.

Back in Canada, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is angry. He really doesn’t have a choice. Biden is playing politics. Biden’s political party, the Democrats, don’t like “dirty” oil. Every chance they get, they call it tar sands.

These days, America is self-sufficient in oil, given the right price. That’s partly a Trump achievement. But given the Democrat position against oilsands, which already accounts for much of foreign oil imports to America, countries with horrible human rights records are in line to sell oil.

As an example, Venezuela has lots of heavy oil just right for American refineries. Skip environment concerns here. Let’s just bring it in. Nobody will notice.

So, whether it be good cop – bad cop with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Kenney taking their respective roles against America, or honey and vinegar, Kenney has little to lose by bad mouthing Biden. For the most part, Canada and particularly Alberta, are nothing but bugs to American politics. Kenney’s bite is nothing more than what a mosquito delivers.

The sad part of all this, ever since oil became a big part of the world in the 1970s, Alberta attempts to diversify, to put money away in rainy day funds, to be the best and cleanest energy producer in the world, all just kind of never went far enough, especially considering the immense wealth that flowed. Thank goodness for forestry, agriculture and all the small businesses in this province.

So hey Jason, yes we know we have big problems in energy. But you know, too, there is a whole bunch of tourism opportunities up here in northern Alberta. Just saying, you know.

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