Sunday, January 24, 2016

I am surprised by the disrespectful comments about Mr. Trudeau as well. I can't understand the negative views of his speech. Maybe I missed all the underlying messaging but what I got from his talk was that brains matter more than resources which seems to be eminently reasonable a statement. Our people are more important than our oil and gas resources. I also don't see how Mr. Trudeau is responsible for the current economic problems in Alberta. The NDP aren't responsible for the bust either. The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta was responsible for the poor management of our resources while at the federal level it did not help to have Mr. Harper encourage disrespect of environmentalists who do have some facts supporting their views. I would think that Mr. Harper is mainly responsible for the problems we are having here in Alberta about the resistance to pipelines. When you do not respect other peoples' views and simply call them names, it doesn't encourage collaboration and solutions to national problems. When you have a poor record of environmental oversight as exemplified in the fracking contamination lawsuits of Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer, when you call ordinary citizens who have such concerns environmental radicals, when you do not take into consideration that there are negatives to the oil and gas industry such as pollution--I guess this all adds up to distrust. Social license will not happen in the rest of Canada until we see regulators respecting the landowners and citizens who have concerns that must be addressed. In Alberta, these concerns have not been addressed and will not be addressed--- the AER is in my opinion an industry front office. I think Mr. Trudeau is a bright young man and he will do well as our Prime Minister. Despite all the antagonism, I imagine we will all keep on trucking voting the Liberals in the next time around. There is no reason to vote conservative; they had their chance and they spectacularly blew it




I was reading this column in  a bemused fashion since I liked what Mr. Trudeau had said and I could not understand why the Coyne guy would find problems with the talk.


Andrew Coyne: Trudeau digs a hole for himself in Davos

Andrew Coyne | January 22, 2016 10:01 PM ET
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Trudeau urges world to \\\'look to Canada\\\' at World Economic Forum
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Every now and then with Justin Trudeau the mask slips: when that bottomless reservoir of self-assurance of his, which in his best moments presents itself as graciousness and magnanimity, instead bubbles up as arrogance and hubris. For some reason this seems most often to happen when he’s abroad. Remember that post-election boast to the BBC about having left his critics “in my dust”?
This time, it was in the middle of his speech to the annual conference of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. For the most part the speech was chamber of commerce-stye boosterism, mixed with the usual assortment of buzzwords that festoon most of Trudeau’s speeches: diversity, infrastructure, middle class, etc.
But then there was that line that must have seemed too good to resist. “My predecessor,” he began, “wanted you to know Canada for its resources. I want you to know Canadians for our resourcefulness.”
If ever there were a phrase for which the advice given to countless writers, to “kill your darlings,” might have been devised, this was it. There is always something classless and off-key, for starters, in taking a shot at your defeated opponent overseas — outside the family, as it were.
Moreover, this seemingly offhand bit of wordplay bespeaks a number of other attitudes and assumptions, none of them attractive. Consider, at its heart, the contrast he wants his listeners to take away, between “resources” and “resourcefulness.”
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty ImagesJustin Trudeau’s self-assurance came across as arrogance and hubris when he spoke in Davos, Andrew Coyne writes.
The canard is so common, the underlying assumption so entrenched among those of a certain set, that many readers may have missed it. But of course: resources are just something we pull out of the dirt. That’s easy. Any idiot could do that. If that was the view the rest of the world had of us — simple resource extractors — well, Trudeau would soon put that right. He would remake Canada’s economic brand in his own image: stylish, hip, clev— er, well, resourceful, at any rate.
Be clear on this. He chose these words for a reason. Indeed, he repeated the point, just to be sure. While acknowledging that Canada’s natural resources were “substantial,” he went on: “But Canadians also know that growth and prosperity is not just a matter of what lies under our feet, but what lies between our ears.” Because apparently getting at the one does not require the other.
The contrast is not only false, but insulting. Extracting bitumen from the oilsands, in particular, has required the most extraordinary feats of scientific ingenuity, of which humankind was not capable until comparatively recently. It is the furthest thing from easy.
If it strikes you I am making too much of this, there is a context. The prejudice to which Trudeau was appealing is extremely common. Remember the Globe and Mail debate on the economy during the election, and that question from the moderator to the leaders: “Do you have a jobs plan for industry beyond taking things out of the ground?” This was in Calgary, but the idea that we must get “beyond taking things out of the ground” seemed so natural that it did not occur to him that he was insulting the audience.
Which is to say, for a significant section of Canadian opinion, the prejudice against resources is not just random snobbery: it is a central tenet of their economics, or at least of their aesthetics. Every time some exquisite frets that Canadians might be condemned to remain “hewers of wood and drawers of water,” every time a luncheon speaker weighs in on the need to “move up the value-added chain,” what they are really saying is that “mere” resource extraction is not fit work for such an advanced nation, when everybody knows we should be in aerospace or biotechnology or whatnot. But resources? I mean I ask you.

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In Trudeau’s case it emerges in that tiresome refrain, to the effect that the Harper government had foolishly put all of our “eggs in one basket,” betting the economy on oil and gas and thus leaving us exposed when the price of oil collapsed. Again, there is not a shred of truth to this. In fact, the entire energy sector — oil, gas, hydro, nuclear, the works — today adds up to just over 9 per cent of GDP. It was 10 per cent when Harper took office.
Of course, even if resource extraction were every bit as cloddish as its critics imagine, it would still be worth doing, so long as the world was willing to pay us $100 a barrel for the stuff. Now that it’s fetching closer to $30, investors have ample signal to shift into other sectors, without the prime minister piling on. Still, for all his chatter about the need for economic “diversification,” the broad fundamentals of Canada’s economy are unlikely to change much. We are not as resource-dependent as he makes out, but neither, I suspect, will Canada be markedly more “resourceful” when he is done.
Harmless rhetoric, then? Hardly. Emotions are raw enough as it is in Alberta and Saskatchewan: witness the burst of outrage over Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre’s declaration of opposition to the Energy East pipeline. People there are feeling besieged, abandoned, even betrayed, the pipelines that would bring their oil to market held to ransom by opportunistic political leaders in the rest of Canada, while the federal government stands by. The last thing they need is their prime minister making lame puns overseas at their expense, or implying their livelihoods are infra dig.
National Post
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I did not see any betrayal of the oil and gas industry in this speech. But certainly Mr. Coyne is of the view that there is a lash being applied to backs of folks in the West.


http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-trudeau-digs-a-hole-for-himself-in-davos

Harmless rhetoric, then? Hardly. Emotions are raw enough as it is in Alberta and Saskatchewan: witness the burst of outrage over Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre’s declaration of opposition to the Energy East pipeline. People there are feeling besieged, abandoned, even betrayed, the pipelines that would bring their oil to market held to ransom by opportunistic political leaders in the rest of Canada, while the federal government stands by. The last thing they need is their prime minister making lame puns overseas at their expense, or implying their livelihoods are infra dig.


This columnist seems to answer my question of what he is doing here. What he seems to be doing is making mud out of a river and a grassy slope.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-trudeau-digs-a-hole-for-himself-in-davos
If it strikes you I am making too much of this, there is a context. 


After the bizarre column --I came upon a long line of vitriolic commentary. It is not easy being Mr. Trudeau--poor man.

I happen to think that Mr. Coyne was a bit grumpy when he wrote this column and I disagree with his summation:
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-trudeau-digs-a-hole-for-himself-in-davos
We are not as resource-dependent as he makes out, but neither, I suspect, will Canada be markedly more “resourceful” when he is done.


I think we will be far more interesting a country under Mr. Trudeau than under Mr. Harper. And I do think we will be more resourceful, creative and willing to try new things. Why do I say this? I guess because under Mr. Harper it was simply so constrained in terms of thinking, actions and philosophy. The previous prime minister made Canada seem like a ball and chain. With Mr. Trudeau it feels like we are wearing wings.

The comments that followed the column--- are more odd than I ever expected. I decide to leave a comment supporting Mr. Trudeau.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/andrew-coyne-trudeau-digs-a-hole-for-himself-in-davos
Katherine Wall
Please show me in the syntax of the statement how it was a contrast. It was a balanced and parallel structure. He never undermined our resources. He emphasized that we have resourcefulness, and he built on Harper's previous pitches at Davos. Remember though, the theme of this Convention was the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so yes, he played more on the innovative side of things, but then again, who has the innovative thinking skills? The same people who contributed to the feats of scientific ingenuity which made extracting bitumen possible. Folks, if we are really going to move forward and pl...See More
Like · Reply · Jan 23, 2016 1:34am
Kevin Landry
Katherine Wall Work together? Like liberals do. Right now they are tripping over each other stabbing themselves in the back over pipelines. The fourth industrial revolution will require commodities, food and other products we can currently provide. People don't live on or in electrons.
Like · Reply · 10 · Jan 23, 2016 3:28am
Pingo Pin
Katherine Wall Very well articulated Catherine. Regardless of which PM takes the podium, Canada should be mindful of the growth challengs ahead of us over the next 10-20 years and we will make no headway unless there is a major shift in the way Canada looks at its overall resources pool (I am not refering to underground resourrces alone).
Like · Reply · 2 · Jan 23, 2016 6:59pm
Katherine Wall
Pingo Pin Sadly, after participating in this discussion, I am losing hope of seeing a shift in how Canadians interact with each other. It appears there are many who want to search for the negative, find the divisions, seek offense. It is East vs West - I have lived in both, and people tend to be pretty much the same, if you are willing to get to know them. It is Conservative vs Liberal with some sideline issues with other parties.

I thought, if there was ever a country that could use their diverse ideas to build something great, it would be Canada. Sure we can disagree, but why do we have to take potshots at each other.

When I listen, really listen, to someone who disagrees with me, I learn a lot. I may not change my mind, but I am still learning. When I listen to someone who agrees with me, I learn nothing.

If someone, anyone, had actually answered my questions about why they see this as a negative statement, an attack on Harper, the West, or a segment of the population, I would at least know why they thought that way, even if I did not agree. Being non-partisan can be very lonely sometimes. Maybe I should jump on one of your group-think trains and give up on trying to find common ground.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 23 hrs
Jayne Persaud
Katherine Wall Lets just make this easy, the West separate!
Like · Reply · 22 hrs
Julie Ali ·
Katherine Wall I am surprised by the disrespectful comments about Mr. Trudeau as well.

I can't understand the negative views of his speech. Maybe I missed all the underlying messaging but what I got from his talk was that brains matter more than resources which seems to be eminently reasonable a statement. Our people are more important than our oil and gas resources.

I also don't see how Mr. Trudeau is responsible for the current economic problems in Alberta. The NDP aren't responsible for the bust either. The Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta was responsible for the poor management of our resources while at the federal level it did not help to have Mr. Harper encourage disrespect of environmentalists who do have some facts supporting their views. I would think that Mr. Harper is mainly responsible for the problems we are having here in Alberta about the resistance to pipelines. When you do not respect other peoples' views and simply call them names, it doesn't encourage collaboration and solutions to national problems.

When you have a poor record of environmental oversight as exemplified in the fracking contamination lawsuits of Jessica Ernst and Diana Daunheimer, when you call ordinary citizens who have such concerns environmental radicals, when you do not take into consideration that there are negatives to the oil and gas industry such as pollution--I guess this all adds up to distrust. Social license will not happen in the rest of Canada until we see regulators respecting the landowners and citizens who have concerns that must be addressed. In Alberta, these concerns have not been addressed and will not be addressed--- the AER is in my opinion an industry front office.

I think Mr. Trudeau is a bright young man and he will do well as our Prime Minister. Despite all the antagonism, I imagine we will all keep on trucking voting the Liberals in the next time around. There is no reason to vote conservative; they had their chance and they spectacularly blew it.
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