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Friday, January 16, 2009

michael ignatieff on alberta's tar sands.

(h/t Scott Ross)


Oemissions said...

Well that's another reason for me to give up on the Liberal Party.

Anonymous said...

"Awe inspiring"?

Also, as a reminder, they're known as the Tar Sands, not Oil Sands.

Anonymous said...

The real answer: NO ONE HAS A REAL PLAN FOR THE OIL SANDS. This is the largest problem. We're allowing this resource to be extracted without any real thought or plans for a long-term sustainability.

Anonymous said...

It's nice to see someone taking a rational approach to the problem instead of aligning himself with either one of the unrealistic extremes.

Anonymous said...

Liberal Party is now taking a turn to the right I see. Well, can't blame Iggy. It is getting rather crowded on the left.

But how well does that sit with Liberals? Of course, what choice was given. And what choice will there be in May?

Aden said...

Interesting. We'll see how Iggy shakes out.

As a lengthy aside:
For all our talk of being an energy superpower, we appear to be running things in a remarkably slip-shod fashion. There's no long-term plan for the tar/oil sands, there's no cumulative environmental impact assessments, there's no plan to deal with the social or infrastructure strains in Ft. Mac, nor is there any meaningful look at how the oil/tar sands affect and often distort the rest of the Albertan economy. The government didn't have a plan for the growth and now doesn't have a plan for the tax void caused by its royalty addiction. The various tar sands projects are being allowed build massive tailings dams in close proximity with the Athabasca river without any insurance, deposit or plan of how the companies will deal with these high-risk, high-maintenance structures in the decades to come.

In short, we're trying to play in the big leagues while still running things like we're in a bush-league. This is not the fault of the tarsand companies, who are just following the total lack of framework from the government. For or against the tarsands, the issue needs to be dealt with professionally. Stelmach and Harper haven't yet. We'll see about Iggy.

Oemissions said...

The Most Important Video you'll Ever See. (You Tube)
This is the video that prompted a commentor at the Tyee to say Ignatieff lies.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aden, for the commercial brought to you by the Pembina Institute in partnership with the Liberal party.

Anonymous said...

Good on Iggy for making that statement, especially for continuing through that vein given the audience.

I could almost vote for him on that speech alone, if he wasn't dragging the carcass of the same party that tried the Green Shift just months earlier.

His comments especially with respect to Alberta were very encouraging. But I wonder if some of the rank-and-file are suffering from whiplash, as the party is lead in the opposite direction the previous leader was pushing it towards. Very interesting to see how this turns out. At the very least, it might force Harper to quit taking Albertans - and Western Canadians in general, basically for granted.

Denny said...

Any idea when this was?

TM said...

In context to climate change, the reality is that the world needs to reduce GHG emissions drastically. Canada requires a government that begins the race out of carbon and transitions to a clean-energy economy.

Although the production of oil is naturally value-creating, it is not the only means of generating value or wealth. The oil sands shouldn't be treated like the Klondike.

Transitioning to a clean-energy economy won't throw the entire Canadian economy down the drain. Sure, the Alberta oil and gas industry is a big economic engine today, but that doesn't mean it has to remain one in the future.

Perhaps a plan would be such that a percentage of the wealth generated from fossil fuel production (coal, conventional and oil sands) is reinvested in clean-energy and low GHG emission infrastructure.

Haha, and admittedly this would be easier if some oil and gas and power companies were publicly owned, or a price on carbon was put in. Not to mention that such a transition could contribute to stimulating the economy.

The tap of fossil fuel production should be gradually shut off and in proportion to turning on the tap of clean-energy production w/ reduced demand.

This isn't too preposterous, is it?

Scott said...

With regards to this clip, it is strange to hear a Liberal leader that doesn't pander to thinly veiled Alberta-bashing and demonizing oil companies. He speaks frankly about the challenges that face the industry and the province, while recognizing the power, both economic and political, that the oil sands afford Canada.

In general, for the first time in my adult life there is a Liberal leader that acts and speaks like an adult. Liberals, welcome back to the grown-up table. Hopefully this pushes both parties to come up with better, more innovative policies to help deal with the challenges facing Canada. I can't wait to see Ignatieff and Harper sparring during Question Period.

Simon said...

Sorry, am I the only one who thinks this is utterly uninteresting?
I didn't really hear anything serious at all.
to me, this is classic politician-speak. "The oil sands are awesome and they make us powerful. But they're dirty and we have to clean them up. The federal government's powers in the field of environmental protection have been slashed. But the dumbest thing to do is to run against Alberta."

So what????????

I don't see what this means at all.

Generation Jones said...

While oil is a commodity it has a special feature. It is one commodity that the U.S. will go to war for in order to secure supply.

Thus pipelines will deliver bitumin to the U. S. for refining whether it looks politically cool or not.

That said it is a very polluting industry. The impact North to the native communities combined with life expentacy stats for Ft. McMurray residents are clear signs that the technology must improve.

Oemissions said...

Simon: I enjoyed your comment!
He did seem to be doing a bit of a promo for the Alberta tourist industry.

Put it on my list of places to see.
Strange,after that "spiel that it wasn't listed as one of CBC's 7 Wonders of Canada!

Oemissions said...

Well... lookee here:
The Globe and Male has a review in the Saturday edition: A book review of "Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent" by Andrew Nikiforuk.
It says that "PM harper has likened them to the building of the Egyptian pyramids and the Great Wall of China."
Albertans better get those B&B's up and ready. Banff might take a beating.
This week Rick Mercer was helping Mr. Ignatieff move into his new digs. I couldn"t help but notice our new Opposition leader was wearing a red sweater for the occasion.
Just like the PM's blue sweater, only red.
A couple of Canadian pundits have suggested Harper and Ignatieff should form a Coalition.
Looks like they have somewhat similar tastes!

Nastyboy said...

Meaningless talk. Once the next election rolls around he'll realize that demonizing Alberta is a quick easy way to get eastern votes. Just like every other Liberal leader since PET.

rc said...

"Denny said...

Any idea when this was?"

According to the info box on YouTube, that was on January 14th of this year.

Nastyboy said...


A couple of Canadian pundits have suggested Harper and Ignatieff should form a Coalition.
Looks like they have somewhat similar tastes!

Turning a hard left got the Libs nowhere. Iggy and the LPC know that they need to swing back to the centre to get back in power.

tjk said...

I appreciate that Ignatieff often raises the discourse. Everyone in political life should appreciate that. Now the Conservatives need to respond by messaging and eventually running on positives and platform. That's what voters respect and what will put them over the top.

And should we fall some; at least its not Dion. Or Rae. Or McCallum. Or Martin. Or...yeah, you get it.