Since they could afford to fly, there are no trucks parked on Wellington Street in Ottawa this week. This convoy from the west is made up of senior executives from the Alberta oil industry as well as entrepreneurs and other Alberta industry leaders. We are told, they come in peace.
They are not exactly there to deny the comments and stratagem of Alberta premier Danielle Smith, they just smile a lot when her plans for a separatist Alberta are questioned. They have already been welcomed by prime minister Justin Trudeau. They might not want to publicize their meetings with conservative leader Pierre Poilievre—no doubt their names are prominent on the Ottawa cowboy’s donor lists.
This convoy seeks, they say, collaboration. They are selling the friendly face of Alberta. They have named the convoy as “One Alberta, One Canada” We are not overly sure just what that means but they say it with a happy face.
While the group was put together by Alberta’s oil industry, chambers of commerce, and Alberta economic development agencies, its natural leader is the executive chair of Cenovus Energy, Alberta’s largest company in the tar sands extraction business. His name is Alex Pourbaix and he seems to be central to all the interviews by eastern news media.
It is a chance for him to pump the unproven carbon capture plan of Pathways Alliance. This is a consortium of various tar sands companies who want the federal government to fund their sketchy plan. What is cramping his presentation is the advertising campaign by the Alberta provincial government saying that the federal government’s clean electricity plan, that is coming soon, will increase the cost of electricity. That is very brave of the Danielle Smith government to suggest that will be the outcome of a plan they have never seen.
But easterners are coming to expect this type of presumption from Alberta’s united conservatives. Their recent display of erratic arithmetic to claim they own more than half of the funds in the Canada Pension Plan must have taken a lot of chutzpah.
But more and more, you get the impression that Alberta premier Danielle Smith and the leader of the opposition in Ottawa, Pierre Poilievre, have the same speech writers.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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