The Harper government is pushing for acceleration of the Northern Gateway approval process now that the Keystone project through the U.S. has been delayed.
There have been great efforts to explain the dangers of the project. But there are other aspects which are objectionable. With tar sands extraction expansion, mayors in the affected regions have pleaded with the oil industry to slow down. They cannot keep up with housing and infrastructure for more workers trained elsewhere. The service sector cannot attract workers for lower-paying jobs in these gold-rush communities. Housing costs are so high that people cannot afford to move there and raise families, an important factor for any civilized society. Workers drive vast distances in large vehicles every week or two, and many are flown in and out. There are 90,000 “temporary” workers in camps. Camp culture is not healthy for a society.
Jobs are created where they are not needed while manufacturing jobs in traditional employment areas evaporate in Ontario, Quebec, B.C.
The revenues for oil in Canada are the lowest in the world. When revenues were minimal during Peter Lougheed’s tenure, the royalties were $3/barrel. This was reduced to $2/barrel. When the price of oil sky rocketed, it was proposed to return to $3/barrel. The oil industry objected and got their way. Who is really in control of the provincial and federal governments? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we live in a petro-state.
When some people in government suggested that one or two refineries ought to be built here, the oil giants once again cried foul and demanded that government put up the money for construction. As a taxpayer, I’m insulted when they produce oil for $25 a barrel, sell it for $90 and then insist the taxpayer contribute the cost of building a plant to refine it. The federal government (taxpayer) shelled out $1.3 billion for tar sands expansion.
Ontario and Quebec still import the oil from off-shore. Would it not make more sense to use our own resources and product? Why are we paying “world price” for our own oil? This doesn’t happen in other oil producing countries.
It should be quite clear with information from many, many sources that the oil industry cares little about you, me and the country. They look strictly at the bottom line with support from some of our governments.
To hell with the environment, climate change, inflation; it only really affects the common people. Stand up and fight for something irreplaceable and against short-term profits for multinational corporations.
Dieter Wagner, Kitimat, B.C.