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Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Day After

It kept snowing most of the day, though by 5pm it had turned to slush and then rain. Clearing night skies made for freezing temperatures and when watching the morning news reports of road carnage were streaming in. Stupid big-city drivers had caused accidents all around the city and traffic was backed up just about everywhere. I really wonder where some people have their thoughts when they get behind the wheel on a morning like today.
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Edmonton has still a solid layer of snow in the open terrain, but when I yesterday drove 15kms west of the city Spruce Grove people were gawking at the snow cover on my van. Spruce Grove had no snow at all. I really wonder how snow-laden clouds could linger over the city for so long.

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It is also the day after election and media have started asking questions about how the new Alberta government is going to interact with the business world. First comments from business leaders have confirmed my expectations that big oil is going to try to blackmail this new government into making concessions to the industry. Of course, giving in to that would equal political suicide and I don’t think that the NDP will go for that.
One of the most interesting points on their agenda is the long overdue increase of minimum wages to $15/hr. Alberta would be the first province in Canada to reach out to workers, especially in the notoriously exploitive food-and hospitality industry.
If the increase in minimum wages becomes reality it will have consequences for the other provinces as well and could lead to interesting Canada-wide discussions.
It’s sure going to be an interesting year.

Thanks for dropping by!

2 comments:

  1. Interesting how your own perspective can colour your opinion of the reporting you hear.

    Now don't go mistaking me for an NDP fan my vote went much farther right than that but down here in Southern Alberta all the reports I have heard from oil executives and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers have been of a more wait and see attitude. After 40 years of working in the oil industry the one thing I am certain of is folks in that industry have been able to work with governments of all ilk, from the extreme left, which Alberta's NDP is not one of, to the far right.

    It all comes down to business, if there is a profit to be made all sorts of arrangements can and will be facilitated.

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    1. I am not the CBC, but I do watch the news and make up my mind, as I am sure you do as well. And it IS interesting that my general opinion about the relationship between the Alberta government and Big Oil currently coincides to be the same with many, many Albertans. Your own statement confirms it: The oil industry has been and will always be dishonest wherever “a profit can be made”. I do not mind anyone or any industry make money. It’s necessary and part of our system and I have not the slightest problem with that. But when it comes to natural resources belonging to the people of a country or province it should also be clear that the owners should get paid appropriately.
      Royalties paid to the people are meant to be the payment for exploiting natural resources. Alberta’s PC government has been a bit too welcoming to the oil industry and has even been put under hard pressure when the Ed Stelmach government put royalties under review. Putting on “Pressure” in this case means blackmailing by threatening to withdraw from Alberta (which was a totally empty bluff) The PC government gave in to these threats and among others this has been haunting them now under the recent election. Besides, it is extremely unhealthy for any democracy to have a 44 year long lasting dynasty of the ruling party. We already learned that in school in the sixties. J
      I have lived 25 years in Norway where the government early on laid down the rules for how the oil industry has to behave and how much they have to pay. Interestingly they still made enough money to prosper despite the fact that their off-shore oil exploration is a lot more expensive than what is the case in Alberta. So I should think BIG OIL will not be suffering too hard in Alberta – even under an NDP-government.

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