ANALYZING ALBERTA: ‘Big Oil seems to have decided Alberta’s males are disposable.’ Readers debate the source of Alberta’s economic downturn Dec 21, 2019, The Globe and Mail
Re We Ignore Alberta Anxiety At Our Peril (Opinion, Dec. 14): The locus of anxiety is clear: Columnist Robyn Urback writes that male youth unemployment in Alberta is more than 50 per cent higher than in Ontario and growing rapidly.
However, the sole prescription seems to lie in supporting the oil industry, as “telling young Alberta men to move or find work in other fields will only fuel their feelings of ostracism.” As with the deep cultural attachment to the sea and fisheries in Atlantic provinces, it is understandable to cherish traditionally masculine and well-paid work. But given projections of uncertain oil demand past 2030, shouldn’t we also consider long-term solutions? In 2006, during an oil boom, Ralph Klein gave each Albertan $400 [I didn’t bite Klein’s bribe. I still have the cheque, in its unopened envelope, in my files. It’s dirty money, no way could or would I cash it, even going hungry as I did to pay the insane legal costs trying to access Canada’s corrupt inaccessible legal system that only serves some criminals, and the rich. Besides, four hundred dollars would pay for one delivery of safe water to my home after Encana illegally frac’d my community’s drinking water aquifers, injecting 18 million litres of frac fluid into them, contaminating my water into a time bomb that is too dangerous to even use to flush toilets! Who ordered Klein to bribe selfish money grubbing Albertans? Encana? AER, under what ever disguise it was then?] instead of investing to diversify the Alberta economy. Provincial politicians seem reliant on dispensing “cakes and ale” with a low-tax ideology based on the gooey delusion of perpetual oil revenue.
Interestingly, Alberta voters may have more diverse views than government and business leaders. An October, 2019, Angus Reid survey reported that a surprising 38 per cent of Albertans supported the current or increased carbon tax. Perhaps the youth of Alberta deserve to hear more from this sizable, forward-thinking minority.
Chester Fedoruk Toronto
I believe columnist Robyn Urback sends the wrong message in characterizing Albertans as helplessly bullied by a need to address global warming. Rather, I’ve found that jobs are disappearing because oil producers have accelerated their strategy of displacing workers with technology.
Suncor’s layoffs reached 1,700 in 2015. Chief executive Steve Williams told investors the company’s search for “operational excellence for perfection” meant workers had to go.
Suncor pioneered driverless trucks eliminating a further 400 jobs in 2018. Cenovus [Evil greedy Encana spawn] almost doubled production but laid off more than 2,500. Canadian Natural Resources redlined 400 jobs through attrition.
Big Oil seems to have decided Alberta’s males are disposable. [Tarsands companies learned long ago that they made more money hiring female operators because they were respectful and gentle with equipment, resulting in less damages/repairs, thus increased profits]
Had Alberta protected its people – as occurred in Norway – perhaps there would be enough money to support displaced workers through the transition. [Alberta and its authorities, including AER and the courts, gives no shit when it comes to the oil and gas industry for the “Rule of Law,” people, families, farms and other non oil patch businesses, water, communities, environment, air, or food, not even under the NDP (they were perhaps the worst govt Alberta had because they pretended to give a shit, while smiling, lying and enabling/deregulating to benefit the already heavily deregulated industry)]
We should all pull together in the most humane way we know how if we expect to deal with the fallout from rising temperatures. Let’s not fuel the fire of divisiveness in a generation of Albertans.
Continuing to pander to a sense of entitlement and seeking scapegoats will likely only keep them from growing up. [Brava! what a grand and accurate summation of Albertans!]
Robyn Allan Economist; Whistler, B.C.
Refer also to:
Rolling Stone reports on Compendium 5: ‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer. Dr. Sandra Steingraber: “Fracking is the worst thing I’ve ever seen.” Dr. Pouné Saberi: “There is a code of silence….” Workers rarely report injuries or hazards, for fear of losing their jobs.
Frac jobs keep getting frac’d: CNX lays off about 50 workers, “This is part of our normal course as we’re always looking…to get better.”
Alberta’s newest Frac Farce: Jason Kenney’s panel to review energy deregulation filled with only industry executives, includes CAPP’s Whine-for-More-Freebies & Propaganda Machine, Tim McMillan
Jason Kenney’s (CAPP et al’s) War Room swamped by fightin’ mad Albertans falling for lies & propaganda instead of looking honestly at industry’s greed-induced “de-manning” killing jobs & causing their suffering