Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why I don't believe Alberta is bullied by extractive industries such as Big Oil

Over the years I have read many articles discussing how people believe the province of Alberta has a cycle of abuse with Big Oil.

Until recently I agreed with this sentiment, that Alberta is the victim of an abusive relationship with extractive industries such as Big Oil.

Since my anti-racism training lead me to a different understanding of Canada, and a more unbiased understanding of its history, I now have a very different perspective.

Canada was created unilaterally by the passage in the British Parliament of the British North America Act 1867 to effectively be a corporate subsidiary of Britain, to be part of the British Empire, and to provide cheap resources to the empire (affirmative action for Whites and all that). It was never created to be a democracy, or to think independently.  It retains pretty much all of the British systems which were unilaterally imposed on this homeland.

The British Parliament passed many laws called the "British North America Act" between 1867 and 1964 (only 4 years before I was born).  Up until the passage of the Canada Act 1982, British law was automatically Canadian law, and the British Parliament could pass any laws it wanted to enforce in Canada. It was an Act of the British parliament in 1949 which added the Orwellian doublespeak titled "New Found Land" to "Canada". (George Orwell's 1984 was published in 1949).

Alberta was unilaterally created in 1905 by the Alberta Act out of a subset of what the British called the Northwest Territories in order to better administrate colonial expansion (meaning, free land, free resource extraction, affirmative action for whites, etc). It was created by the British corporate subsidiary, not by its inhabitants. Canada did not "buy" Rupert's Land, which Alberta was carved out of, from the Hudson's Bay Company.  The Hudson's bay company only owned an exclusive patent from the British Crown to do business in a region, and didn't own land which they could sell.

see Territorial Evolution, as well as Maps: 1667-1999 (And ask yourself why LAC removed these pages in the summer of 2021).

This article on farming in the Prairies gives a hint to what has been happening since the unilateral creation of Alberta.

Undermined at every turn: the lie of the failed native farm on the Prairies.

Why believe that it is the oil and gas industry that are bullying "Alberta", when "Alberta" was created as a corporate subsidiary to do what it is doing?

Understood in this context, Alberta was created as a type of permanent foreign worker program, which is quite different than the more recent temporary foreign worker programs.  This workforce was desired in part to replace the existing inhabitants, but largely to create a loyal workforce for extractive industries.  Given the loyalty to British worldviews, laws, and extractive industries exhibited by a majority of the settler inhabitants in the prairies today, this program was obviously very successful.

People confusing Alberta with a government created by the inhabitants of the region which Alberta claims control over creates confusion as to who and what is really in control.

The core problem is that these corporate subsidiaries acting as "provinces" have existed for far too long, and it is time to fold them in a responsible manner (make them pay for the damage they have caused, and the debt they have accumulated) as they are replaced with domestic naturalized (meaning, Indigenous) governance.

From the article:

Industries pay royalties to places where they extract resources, but Alberta’s royalty rates are embarrassingly, laughably puny. On the world stage, no one else on the planet comes nearly as close to simply giving their resources away for free than Alberta does. That’s why Norway has amassed a sovereign wealth fund worth more than $200,000 USD for every single citizen from the sale of its oil reserves — exactly the sort of thing that comes in handy when a crisis like Covid comes along — while Alberta has sold 45% more oil than Norway did over the same time period and still managed to end up nearly $100 Billion in debt.

For the people on Turtle Island to have done what the people of Norway did, this region would need to have been governed by people naturalized to the nations and worldviews of this homeland. Ongoing colonialism doesn't allow that to happen.

As with many problems with "Canada" and its subsidiary governments, I strongly believe LandBack is the only long-term solution.

1 comment:

Ingamarie said...

Interesting...........and your argument has much merit.

But what I see as a transplanted Albertan, is the silence of Albertan activists when it comes to environmental issues....in particular issues of rapid global warming.

We know its happening; we're aware of the major causes; but in Alberta, we try to make change without directly confronting the black elephant in the room. And that has more to do with how inherently violent many defenders of the oil and gas Alberta advantage we have enjoyed since we struck black gold in Turner Valley.

Citizens are intimidated by the Oil barons......they have no idea that perhaps the province was created for extrativist purposes, period........but they are deeply conscious of the reprisals that follow speaking up about abandoned wells or unpaid municipal taxes.

It's changing a little recently...........but a dying industry is still too firmly in the saddle (big hats no cattle) where I live.