Exports only fuel boom and bust cycles

I fail to comprehend the rationale behind racing to enhance the export of raw materials faster

Exports only fuel boom and bust cycles

Re: Discussions around the federal government paying for the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

I fail to comprehend the rationale behind racing to enhance the export of raw materials faster and in larger volumes while the resource industries in Canada are so sensitive to the fluctuations of world prices that are completely out of our control. Here on Vancouver Island and in B.C. we have been trying to slow down the export of raw logs for decades and have been forced to watch the closing of value added mills and facilities which were a huge sector of employment in the forest industry. We enjoyed many years of huge numbers of high paying jobs in the forest industry that have dwindled to a fraction of the mills that were once operating, while the log export “pipelines” are thriving, supplying thousands and thousands of jobs in mills in the U.S. and abroad.

At one time, there were five oil refineries, (mills?), operating and employing thousands of people on the B.C. Lower Mainland, turning the raw resources into value added products. Now there is only one I believe. Unfortunately, we have allowed the large, raw resource producing corporations to position their business models to handle the raw resources as little as possible, selling the raw materials so other jurisdictions and countries can add value to it while employing thousands of workers, and sell it back to us, (and globally), just like our timber.

The oil and gas industry has always been boom and bust. The federal government has always offered up tax relief, incentives, and other subsidies to some of the most profitable corporations on the planet when the global markets “bust”. So again, we have allowed the large corporations to become dependent on those subsidies. All they have to do is propose large projects with great fanfare and promises of prosperity for all, then after a year or two, decide it is no longer economically feasible. Then the governments, (provincial and federal), step in and keep giving away taxpayer dollars in subsidies and incentives until they have no choice but to go ahead with the project as it costs them so little, or worse yet, the government take it over 100 per cent funded by us taxpayers. The “federal”, Kinder Morgan pipeline is little more than a multi billion dollar government subsidy to provide the raw resource producers a faster export venue, so they can sell more product that they are now crying they are selling at a loss. That seems like they will be able to accrue larger losses much faster, as the market fluctuates. Seems like a similar situation as the electric coal trains to Prince Rupert, paid for by the taxpayers and then abandoned after several years of operation when the bottom fell out of the coal market, (again: surprise, surprise), and the subsidies or the value of the subsidies were surpassed by the real costs.

Our grandchildren and greatgrandchildren will need our natural resources. The exploiting of those resources has the potential to supply good, long term jobs in value added industries.

If the Liberals invested $4 billion into valued added programs for the oil and gas between Fort MacMurray and the B.C. coast instead of encouraging the boom and bust of raw exports, there would be the formation of long term, good paying jobs and research and development on Canadian soil. A much better “plan” than the short sighted approach of getting as much of it out and sold as fast as possible for short term “booms” of subsidized pipeline construction, and then employment “busts” when all we can do is watch the oil flow, (or logs float), with the money flowing back up the pipelines and not stopping in any of the affected communities along the way.

We’ve allowed the large resource based corporations to convince the governments that we need to keep planning for short term gains and keep pretending the “busts” will never come. What we need is the corporations to restructure for long term moderate profits in less unstable value added markets and provide local, long term employment opportunities.

Check out “Unpacking Canada’s Fossil Fuel Subsidies” on the International Institute for Sustainable Development website. https://www.iisd.org/faq/unpacking-canadas-fossil-fuel-subsidies

Paul Slade

Sahtlam

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Gran’pa grew it, says young Stephen Nahirnick as he maintains a tight grip on one of Steve Nahirnick’s Hallowe’en pumpkins. Stephen is son of Jack and Joan Nahirnick and he took the opportunity last week to enjoy splendid autumn weather while perched on grandfather’s knee while the elder Nahirnick was harvesting luxuriant and large garden.’ (Lake News/Oct. 22, 1980)
Flashback: Halloween night full of activities, crime

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Cowichan Valley riding being called for Sonia Furstenau; Nanaimo-North Cowichan for Doug Routley

It’s officially Election Day in B.C.’s 2020 provincial snap election and the… Continue reading

Tanya Kaul, the Liberal candidate for Cowichan Valley, waves with her team on election night. (Submitted photo)
Kaul energized to run again for the Liberals in 4 years

“I have a team already in place so we’ll be ready.”

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read