The “merciful” hand of Trudeau: Ottawa offers more financial aid to oil and gas

Ottawa will offer a bailout, instead of solving the problem at hand.

Joseph Fang Toronto Ontario

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has once again gone against his own campaign promises, this time on the very clear promise he made to Canadians that his government would stop subsidizing fossil fuels in Canada.

Ottawa is set to announce a $1.6B bailout for the struggling energy sector.

It is no secret that Alberta's oil prices have hit recent lows, an embarrassing fact that reminds us all of our government's mismanagement, and seemingly willful ignorance towards an actually appropriate solution.

What's Prime Minister Trudeau’s approach, in this scenario?

Yet another hand out and more Canadian tax dollars to be given away.

We can add it to the never ending list of what we as citizens see taken off our paycheck every couple of weeks

As you may remember, it wasn’t too long ago in 2016 that the Trudeau government handed out another $3.3B subsidy to the energy sector. This again going against his heart felt pledge to reduce Canada’s environment impact.

To really understand how out of hand the government handouts have gotten, this study by Motherboard reveals a worrying truth: Each and every Canadian man, woman, and child pays close to $100 CAD a year straight to oil and gas. A figure that puts us on top compared to economies of a similar size.

It appears that Prime Minister Trudeau is aiming to follow in his father’s footsteps once again.

This time, by frequently showing just how out of touch he is with the needs of every day Albertans.

Justin, like his father Pierre, will be remembered in Alberta and throughout Canada, among other things, for mismanagement of oil and gas.

Mismanagement whose roots very well could be traced back to the energy policies his father implemented in the 1980’s.

Trudeau has recently said that the recent oil price lows in Alberta are “very much a crisis”. The gravity of the situation becoming more and more clear as we go along.

What’s also becoming clear is the mismanagement. The level of competence we attribute to our elected officials has quickly diminished and gone by the wayside.

Trudeau has stated recently in Calgary that he hears the “concerns and fears” of Albertans, but meaningful and effective action has yet to be taken.

The oil price gap is not to be taken lightly; the spokesperson for Natural Resource Minister Amarjeet Sohi said that it is “an urgent priority”.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has come out and stated that Prime Minister Trudeau is “directly responsible” for the huge hit Canadian oil has taken.

“When you look at the Prime Minister talking down our energy sector, when you see him go on the international cocktail circuit and say that he’s “frustrated” that he can't fase out the energy sector quicker, I believe what we’re seeing is a systematic strangulation of our energy sector by this Liberal government. They don’t believe in it. You look at their senior officials, they say the way to transition Canada out of the energy business all together. “

What Scheer says is true. Trudeau’s comments about “phasing out” the oilsands are as alarming as they come. To many Albertans, the oil sand jobs are their livelihood. Not to mention that the oil and gas jobs in Alberta attribute for more than 25% of the provincial GDP.

One can easily think back to a famous quote by former U.S. president Ronald Reagan:

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

Words that ring too true today.

It’s another unfortunate misstep in the long, messy saga that has left Albertans apoplectic.

In an almost formulaic fashion, the industry business boomed, the government came to regulate it to make their share, and once the life has been sucked out of it, the merciful hands of federal power come to “save the day” and do us the decency of keeping the once strong oil industry alive.

What do you think of the Trudeau government's handling of the oil and gas industry?

Do you agree with Scheer?

How much responsibility should the Liberals take for the ongoing fiasco?

Join the conversation by commenting below!


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