Teck Withdraws the Frontier Application

Let’s try to have a sensible conversation about Teck, shall we?

On Sunday, Feb 23, 2020 Teck Resources Ltd pulled its application for the Frontier oil sands project.  The federal government was supposed to give Frontier the green light, or not, on Tuesday. 

Jason Kenney blames the feds, saying “It is what happens when governments lack the courage to defend the interests of Canadians in the face of a militant minority.”

Mr Kenney

And here’s where it gets sticky.

Kenney’s press releases

The Kenney government issued two press releases about Teck’s withdrawal of the Frontier project. The first press release was issued at 7:40 p.m. It said “The timing of [Teck’s] decision was not a coincidence: Teck’s allusion to ‘public safety’ concerns makes that clear.”

The second press release issued at 8:03 p.m. corrected the first press release by deleting the reference to “Teck’s allusion to public safety concerns.”

Which is a good thing because Teck made no such allusions, in fact the opposite is true. In Teck’s letter to the federal environment minister, Teck’s CEO Don Lindsay says “I want to make clear that we are not merely shying away from controversy. The nature of our business dictates that a vocal minority will almost inevitably oppose specific developments. We are prepared to face that sort of opposition.”

Kenney can say whatever he wants about the “militant minority” and concerns about public safety; but know this: Teck’s CEO would disagree with Kenney’s position that Justin Trudeau’s so-called failure to slap down a “militant minority” had anything to do with its decision to withdraw its application.

So why did Teck pull out?

Teck’s letter

In his letter to the federal environment minister, Teck’s CEO makes it clear that bigger issues are at stake.

He said global capital markets, investors, and customers are looking for jurisdictions that reconcile resource development and climate change; and Teck didn’t find that here.

He reiterated Teck’s deep belief in the need to address climate change and expressed strong support for the federal carbon tax (the one Kenney’s government is fighting in the courts) and legislated caps for oil sands emissions (the ones introduced by Rachel Notley which now require the UCP government to enforce by passing regulations).

The Teck letter sends two important messages: (1) Canada, the provinces and Indigenous governments must work through the societal implications of energy development, climate change and Indigenous rights and (2) Canada will not realize its potential as a responsible supplier of natural resources “until governments reach agreement around how climate policy considerations will be addressed in the context of future responsible energy sector development.”

The bottom line in Teck’s letter is loud and clear, jurisdictions that fail to address the impact of climate change in the context of resource development will be left in the dust and the way to address such impacts is by the federal, provincial and Indigenous governments working together to find solutions.

Pointing the finger of blame and making up stories about why Teck withdrew its application is counterproductive and runs against the advice given by Teck’s CEO who said Canadians need a “larger and more positive discussion of the path forward” or it will be very difficult to attract domestic or foreign investment.

Over to you Mr Kenney.

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53 Responses to Teck Withdraws the Frontier Application

  1. survivor says:

    Who in their right mind would invest in a project based on $95 oil? Mr Kennedy should wear this for the red herring it was. And a the bitter pill for him is this may have proceeded under Rachel Notley who at least was willing to address the climate.

  2. A view from Red Deer says:

    Kenney goes off to London, New York, Montreal and trumpets how “ethical” Alberta bitumen is, then comes back home and dismantles labour standards, makes his first legislative act killing the Climate policy, and attacks the human rights of vulnerable kids in our public schools. I guess people are noticing his hypocrisy.

    • View fr Red Deer: I agree with your definition of “ethical”, it’s more than Kenney’s narrow definition. The irony is if you limit “ethical” to the impact of oil on the climate, Saudi oil is more ethical than Alberta’s oil sands oil because it’s cleaner.

  3. Political Ranger says:

    I agree Susan. Mr. Lindsay’s letter has profound implications for this country.

    You say ” … until governments reach agreement around how climate policy considerations will be addressed …”.
    It’s not just about the ‘how’ these issues are addressed. It is about the why they are considered in the first place and who is going to be involved and the how and when they are going to be laid out on the ground.

    I know I’m being picky but this is a watershed decision. A corporation, a petro-corp at that, is taking a Premier and his whole party platform to the woodshed. A CEO has a fiduciary obligation to seek out profitable ventures and cannot legally wander off into some fantasy land. Reality prevails.

    Kenney and his weird and frankly pathologically defective perception of how the world works cannot and will not attract anyone responsable. I cannot imagine a normal person sitting down to a meeting with this Premier and his bizarre cadre of ideological nutcases.

    • Good clarification Political Ranger. That was a quote from the Teck letter but you’re absolutely right, it’s not just the “how” but also the “why”.
      The Teck letter confirms what we’ve been seeing for a while. The mitigation of climate change is an important factor when investors are making investment decisions. Companies like Teck get this. Kenney does not. There’s only so long you can bury your head in the sand before you suffocate.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. With Teck, I have the following to say about it. Just as video killed the radio star, low oil prices killed Teck. To my knowledge, there are around 20 oilsands projects in Alberta that were approved, but could not get ahead, because oil prices are simply too low. Jason Kenney, and the Conservative sheep, keep bleating that Justin Trudeau and the Liberals killed Teck. Somehow, they will also try to blame Rachel Notley and the NDP for this too. It was 6 years ago that oil prices went down. Triple digit oil prices are no more. Oil booms are also no more. Pierre Trudeau’s National Energy Program is not an excuse either, because Brian Mulroney quashed it. The other sad thing is that we have MPs, like Michelle Rempel claiming Alberta is not being treated fairly by the federal government, and has a list of demands. This is so juvenile. This federal government bashing has to end. Jason Kenney is also using any means he can to divert attention from his very costly debacles, (wait till the UCP’s budget comes). If Peter Lougheed were around, he’d have not so good words to say about this. He did work in the oil industry, years before he became a politician. He knew about boom bust cycles all too well. He would not support the UCP one iota.

    • Dwayne, you’re bang on with your comment that Kenney is using anything he can to divert attention from his miserable performance. He’s going to have a real fight on his hands when he releases the budget. He was asked about the cuts to doctors’ compensation and said he didn’t think doctors would leave because they’d have to move to lower paying jurisdictions. That may have been true before the cuts go into effect but it won’t be true after the doctors are cut by 30% to 50% like some I know. Then they’ll be moving from one lower paying jurisdiction to another, unless they decide to pack up and move to the US where they’ll make considerably more money than they make here. Kenney is playing a dangerous game and we’re the ones who’ll suffer the consequences.

      • Midge Lambert says:

        That’s a key point to trying to understand Kenney: he does not believe it isn’t always all about the money. In one of the best interviews I’ve ever heard, Mark Carney said “Human flourishing is much more than GDP”.I wonder if he told Jason that when they met & that’s why Kenney never talked about it.

      • Midge whenever I’m puzzled (or horrified) by something Kenney has done, I stop and ask myself “who benefits”. Invariably it’s the business sector. As you said, serving corporate interests appears to be Kenney’s lode star, period.

  5. Anon says:

    Kenney has dissociation going on. Teck backed out, but he won that court decision about the federal carbon tax today, so onward and upward to crush that tax. Does he think this will this will bring Teck back to the table, or investment in O&G in general?

    Then there’s that statement that nothing has been ruled out with regard to the Frontier project. So, it’s not good for Teck, but maybe good enough for Alberta public employees’ pension funds and their and all of our CPP, too? And how about that enema his party promised? Has the Treasury been drained yet?

    And then there’s that mysterious protection of critical infrastructure bill he refuses to explain. Is it part of the fiction of “Teck’s allusion to public safety concerns”? Or are we creeping toward the final solution to labour unrest, which will follow this week’s budget?

    We live in dangerous times.

    • I agree Anon. We do live in dangerous times. Kenney hit the media with a new term of derision. He labelled the protesters as “urban-green-left zealots” and says their zealotry is “slamming the door” on the economic and social future of Indigenous people. This is inflammatory and flat out wrong. Many of the protestors in eastern Canada were other FNs who set up blockades in support of the hereditary chiefs in BC. Also when Kenney characterizes the “zealots” as trying to kill the economic and social future of Indigenous people, he’s fueling the divisions within the Indigenous community, setting those who support these projects against those who do not.
      It’s irresponsible and shameful.

      • Anon says:

        And today we learned that essential goods like propane were being shipped via the U.S. in a joint venture between CP and CN. So all the hype that started about a day into the blockades was overplayed.

        I think we can see where Kenney and his Cons want to lead us…down the path to fascism. Hard to see it without the lens of history, but this could be the defining moment. Is this what Canadians want? Not in my Canada!

      • Anon, very good point. Why didn’t the media pick this up sooner?

  6. Keith McClary says:

    “Kenney has been saying: Frontier barrels would be ‘half the carbon emissions of the average North American petroleum project.’
    These statements are wrong, and mischaracterize Teck’s own claims that Frontier will be among the lowest GHG intensity oilsands projects, with a lower emissions intensity than about half of all oil refined in the United States.”

    Math is hard.

    Even the correct estimate is a bit of a stretch, since the Alberta barrel is not bitumen, but dilbit (bitumen diluted 25%) and refining bitumen is more emissions intensive than conventional crude.

    I heard on TV that Kenney is considering buying Frontier.

    • Keith, Andrew Leach and others have said Kenney is flat out wrong when he said the Frontier barrels would be half the carbon emissions of the average North American petroleum project, but he continues to say it anyway. As you point out Teck has been careful in how it describes its emissions intensity because if its CEO repeats what Kenney said it would be a material misstatement and a violation of securities laws.
      I’ve heard Kenney musing about buying Frontier. I don’t know how this would help Albertans. The feds still have to green light it and Teck’s CEO said it wasn’t viable with out the three P’s: a much higher oil price, a partner, and a completed pipeline. Remember how Kenney said conservatives don’t pick winners and losers. Seems to me he’s picking a loser here.

  7. lonewolf1 says:

    If Kkkenney decides to buy a stake in Frontier Tech…I’ll buy a stake and give him the vampire treatment he deserves…lol

    • lonewolf1: I’m hoping if Kenney buys Frontier, his supporters will finally recognize him for what he is, a touchy politician who’s prepared to stake Alberta’s future on an industry in decline. You’d have thought he learned something from Mark Carney when he visited the head of the Bank of England in December, but apparently not.

      • carlos beca says:

        LOL Jason Kenney does not learn anything that is why he is a dropout. Furthermore he already knew more than his tutors so it was a waste of time trying to get any kind of certification. He was Godly certified and that is all he needed – especially considering that he received along with Harper the market fundamentalist theory from Heaven. Ayn Rand may have helped the conversation of course, after all she was the Fundamentalist priest attracting people like Alan Greenspan. Just absolute geniuses.

  8. carlos beca says:

    This is just another consequence of an incompetent government that keeps bullying everyone and accomplishes nothing. It is ridiculous and embarrassing and hopefully it will get worse so we can find a way to get rid of these morons.
    Now is open war with the doctors and will see who else after the budget. If he thinks doctors will stay here he has another one coming.
    What a circus. Now we also have to deal with the show in the third ring with the whatever Buffalo declaration garbage with the 4 idiots that sign it, Rempel being the show face. My goodness are we ever blessed with bliss. I cannot wait for the next episode of this disgraceful soap opera

    • Dwayne says:

      carlos beca: I wholeheartedly agree with you.

    • Carlos, it’s funny you mention the Buffalo Declaration because that was what I was working on when the Teck story broke and I had to change gears at the last minute. I will be posting my Buffalo blog tomorrow. As you said, it’s yet another example of out out to lunch this group is.

  9. Bill Malcolm says:

    It’s estimated that the cost of remediating existing old oil and gas wells and the filthy lagoons and tailings of tar ponds in Alberta is a minimum of $260 billion. Who is supposed to pay that? I think kenney expects persons like me down east and the rest of Canada will step up to the plate and assist, while they argue over not paying a piddling carbon tax in the meantime. Threatening Wexit will land that remediation plum onto Albertans alone if separation were to come true, let us not forget. Meanwhile world CO2 levels now pass 416 ppm. Of course, running the oil and gas industry like enthusiastic cowboys with few rules and little enforcement even at that, saving nothing from royalties, and handing the bulk of the sovereign wealth off to foreigners by having little local refining capacity could all be forgotten when times were good. And provincial sales tax? Please! We’re Albertans! Special people. I suppose only similar special people win lotteries, for that is all the luck of resource location draw is, and confers no power on local humans to be somehow better judges of the way society should be governed. But to hear Alberta politicians, you’d think the laws of logic were repealed for them and them alone, and their advice to Canada has only been to be more like them. No thanks.

    I was trained as an engineer in the late 1960s, so am now retired. Even back then we used to wonder as students, where the heck is our manufacturing industry? It was all branch plant economy, pulp mills and steel production, very basic. Little national pride except as a resource country and Expo 67. As Canadians, we dug up or cut down our natural resources and flogged it off as fast and as cheap as we could to foreigners. Made some people very wealthy. So Alberta continues this second-rate approach to nationhood today. South Korea has made us look like complete incompetents in the manufacturing sector just in the last thirty-five years. All our “leaders” have done is seek people to come and dig up our resources for essentially nothing, and called that “investment” as they preened for photo ops. We were nobodies decades ago, and we’re still nobodies, a hollow shell of a country, and people with no imagination like kenney are so out-of-date and unwilling to change, it’s a rather peculiar mania both they and he exhibit. The denial of climate change before he makes his share of the money pie actually left is to be expected. Mindless dunces of the Rempel Buffalo variety are rife from the prairie west, apparently incapable of seeing the woods for the trees. It’s a lot of intellectually inconsequential hand waving as we all disappear down the toilet. Shameful, really.

    Pension funds, insurance company investments (who also will now not write insurance policies on flood-prone land caused by climate change and are very climate awake so as to, you know, stay in business), and the hedge fund and general oligarch money folks don’t seem that keen on investing in fossil fuel projects any more. Only the rabid remain. Teck is in favour of a carbon tax, but ideological and social regressive kenney fights it tooth and nail. Reality hasn’t completely bitten him on his behind yet. But it’s coming. So the inchoate rage he feels will be instead be taken out on Albertans who had the temerity to have say, a provincial government job, or be paid from the treasury like physicians for services rendered. It’s utter nonsense, but one gets the impression from afar that the general moo-cow population of Alberta is on the same page as kenney is. Introspection does not compete with expecting the good life to continue forever, and moreover, demanding it regardless of externalities.

    Coastal Gas Pipeline, nominally run by Trans Canada Energy, nee Pipelines, of current blockade fame, has sold off a big portion of its investment. That occurred about two months ago, and besides the US KKR hedgefund, a decent slice was purchased by the Alberta Investment Management Company AIMCo. My understanding is that AIMCo has been charged by kenney to take over the investment strategy of the formerly professionally managed pension funds of Alberta teachers and public service workers. So Albertans likely “inimical” to the mini-tyrant’s rants of nonsense will be forced to “invest” in energy projects regardless. I keep using the term kenney without capitalization, because I accord the man zero respect. He’s on an ideological rampage – the third-raters he uses as cabinet ministers never utter a peep unless it’s cleared by the autocrat at the helm.

    I’d say, Albertans! Wake up before it’s too late!, if I thought it would actually get through into local mainstream consciousness. Not much chance of that – I have relatives in Cagary to convince first. So the rest of the country has to put up with the whining and complaining emanating from what is still by far the richest per capita province. It’s the standard complaint of the already wealthy that they’re not wealthy enough so tax cuts are needed, transmogrified into – we need free money from poorer people who inhabit the rest of Canada. Good luck with that approach long term.

    And so here we are. Getting nowhere fast, as usual.

    • Bill, you nailed it right across the board. You mentioned the need to convince your Calgary relatives. I was curious about why they continue to support Kenney and the UCP. I look around me and see the impact of budget cuts on education and health services and can’t for the life of me understand why people who are negatively impacted by Kenney’s policies continue to support him. I’ve observed a bit of softening of UCP support here in Calgary, but the rural areas are still rock solid UCPers. Frankly I can’t understand it.
      I wonder whether it’s similar to the phenomenon described by Rick Wilson in the book Everything Trump Touches Dies. Wilson says the wealthy love Trump because he cuts their taxes, the middle class and poor people like Trump because he bullies “those people” (the blacks, the Mexicans, the immigrants) and they believe he’ll give them jobs and they’ll get rich. It reminds me of Kenney’s speeches which focus on people of destiny and prosperity. We’re the chosen ones and we will be financially rewarded for our loyalty to him.

  10. Tony Boschmann says:

    Cancelling TECK, is first step to healing the Athabasca River. Water is life, but for people living downriver of oil sands in Fort Chipewyan, water is death.
    In oil sands mining, the oil sands ore is converted into valuable bitumen, by using vast amounts of fresh water, “twice as much water as ore” (Suncor 2010), (or said another way by the Alberta Research Council in 1988 – 1.15 litres of water for every 500 grams of ore), in what’s called the Clark Hot Water Process. Per day the industry processes 2.5 million tons of ore (= 5 million m3 of H2O, per day) But what’s worse, what is tantamount to the largest environmental, even criminal negligence level deception, is what they then do with the waste water. It’s in the public record, the industry has NEVER been able to REUSE the filthy dirty waste water. To hide this industrial reality from everyone they changed a single term in their water license from “return flow” (back to river), to “recycle”. And no one is the wiser.
    The Athabasca River has been used as a massive sewer for over 50 years, and it’s been killing the downriver community. Cancelling TECK is a step forward, period!.

    • papajaxn says:

      We keep trying and maybe one-day people may say “you know what you said about… I now realize you were right!” It is indeed hard being a prophet in your own land and now dangerous according the “warmongers message”. See you soon.

    • Dwayne says:

      Tony Boschmann: An elderly Mètis trapper, who lives in the vicinity of Fort McMurray, said how pollution from the oilsands industry affected his way of life. He can’t eat moose, because the meat’s no good, because the moose eat the weeds that are sprayed along the pipeline route. He can’t eat the fish from the river, because it’s contaminated with toxins. Not a good state of affairs. We simply cannot eat money.

      • Dwayne: well put “we simply cannot eat money.”
        Papajaxn: I was talking to a climate activist the other day. People tell him he’s very passionate about his cause, he tells them it’s not passion, it’s fear that if we don’t do all that we can now, it will be too late.

    • Tony, you raise an extremely important point. In their ABlawg article Andrew Leach and Martin Olszynski say “Frontier is among the most destructive oil sands projects assessed to date.” They list its impact on wetlands, old-growth forests, species at risk (including Canada lynx and woodland caribou), the Ronald Lake bison herd, and the asserted rights, use of lands, and culture of Indigenous groups as example. They say its reclamation plans are uncertain, and its reclamation liabilities on the site will peak at $4.3 billion in 2037. They point out $2.9 billion of reclamation liability will remain after the mine ceases production in 2066 and it will require 45 to 65 years or more” of post-closure care after its shut down. That puts the obligation out to the year 2131.
      The end-pit lakes will be filled with water drawn from the Athabasca River which, they say “are expected to be completely integrated into the local water system, including discharges into the Athabasca River.” They point out no one knows if this is going to work, but “in in what can only be described as a traditional oil sands shrug” Teck and others are sure they’ll figure out a way to deal with this when the time comes.
      I liken it to someone asking me to get in the passenger seat of a car and then the driver gunning it as hard as he can as he heads for a cliff, and telling me don’t worry, someone will figure out how to fix the brakes before we fly off into oblivion.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      I remember when Chief Dorothy McDonald sued Suncor over a leak into the Athabasca River in the early 1980s.

      At the time, people in Fort Chip said their dogs wouldn’t eat the fish.

  11. Carl HUNT says:

    Has Teck ‘cancelled’ the Frontier Mine or just put it on ‘hold’ until the oil prices recover? I’ll believe the mine is cancelled when the industry gives up the mineral lease (and the area dedicated as a National Park :>). Meanwhile, Teck is still in business and probably researching potential metallurgical coal from mountain mines in our Eastern Slopes.

    • papajaxn says:

      Yes Carl you are correct. Also you can be sure they won’t be paying the legislated royalty rate on each tonne of coal.

      • papajaxn: Given Kenney’s prediliction for cutting the fossil fuel sector a break (including when they stop paying municipal taxes) I fully understand your skepticism about how the coal sector will be treated from a royalty rate perspective.

    • Carl, good clarification. Teck hasn’t “cancelled” the project. It’s on hold, but Teck’s CEO said there is “no timeline for any potential resubmission” of the project. Teck said the project was viable as long as oil prices stayed above $95/bbl. Those days are gone. In fact Teck had to take a $910 million write down on its existing oilsands interests in Fort Hills due to lower market expectations for future oil prices. Most of the financial analysts are saying this project will not be revived and want Teck to focus on its other business units. Bottom line, if Teck knows what’s good for it, it will do what the analysts want or its share price will drop even more. It fell 37.5% since the start of the year. That is very difficult thing for a CEO to explain to his board. I think Teck’s board finally got it through their heads that they have enough on their plate without the Frontier oilsands application. I just hope Kenney doesn’t take it off their hands because the analysts are valuing it at zero.

  12. Dave says:

    Premier Kenney could probably save a few million in his communications budget, by just hiring a few trained monkeys instead to cut and paste “It’s Trudeau’s fault” as a response to everything negative that happens. Of course, jobs are actually increasing and the economy is doing fairly well in the rest of Canada except here, so it does cause one to really wonder who is the better economic manager – Trudeau or Kenney. However, Kenney is very experienced and polished at exploiting the politics of perceived victim-hood, so some people here still buy it.

    Most corporate CEO’s would not be eager to write off a billion dollar plus investment, so it is not a surprise Teck did not do so earlier. Perhaps there was a faint hope of oil prices increasing soon, until Trump’s trade wars, Greta and now the economic impacts of the corona virus killed it the chance of oil prices rising significantly any time in the near future.

    If Teck knew this project was unlikely to go ahead soon, why risk getting a “no” from the Feds in this increasingly hostile and partisan environment in Canada, which Kenney with his bellicose belligerence is partly responsible for. The Teck letter was quite clear, it referred to governments (not just the Federal one) as not being able to reconcile the environment and resource development. With its high carbon emissions, oil sands expansion is a tough sell to investors, especially due to increased oil production in the US, it is not needed much currently. The gaffe prone war room and the pompous and belligerent approach consistently taken by Kenney, also do not make selling oil sands expansion to international financial markets any easier.

    For those Albertans who might be wondering why do bad things keep happening to us; maybe the problems are being exacerbated by the incompetence of our provincial government in dealing with them.

    • papajaxn says:

      Amen – Brother – Amen!!

    • Dave, as you so eloquently put it, those Albertans who are wondering why bad things keep happening to them should take a cold hard look at who they elected to lead them. Kenney is a poor economic manager without a strategy, let alone a vision, to point Alberta’s economy towards the future. He goes on and on about Trudeau and the urban-green-lefty zealots killing investment without recognizing the fact Alberta needs to attract all kinds of investment for all sorts of industries. The sooner we find ways to promote and invest in other sectors the faster we can diversify our economy and get ourselves out of this interminable do loop.
      But as you said, Kenney is a polished politician, who can whip out the victim-hood card with the best of them. Too bad Albertans continue to fall for it.

    • carlosbeca says:

      I would add that we do not have a government – we have a bunch of amateurs trying to push us into a black hole. The thought that these people actually criticized the NDP government on every single move they made is more pathetic than Monty Python or Faulty Towers. The condescending attitude and the blaming of everyone else for the disaster that Alberta is experiencing right now is to say the least mentally retarded.

      • Jerrymacgp says:

        Mr Beca: I would agree, except that both Monty Python & Fawlty Towers were hilarious comedy, but this government is not for laughing at. The appropriate reaction should not be amusement, but deep trepidation.

        Also, please avoid using the term, “mentally retarded”. This is an outmoded & unkind pejorative term formerly used to label people who are developmentally delayed. It is no longer considered acceptable.

      • carlos beca says:

        Well there are a lot of very politically correct and literally right people in this blog.
        I apologize to all of you. This will be my last post to avoid creating any possible embarrassment to you.
        I have had my life experience and from that I formed the person I am and I am seriously not interested in being part of whatever is that is taking us in the wrong direction. Being part of the status quo and pretend reality is based on words and fads and political junk does not interest me at all.
        Just for clarification, I feel that Monty Python or Fawlty Towers is a type of comedy I think is sillier rather than funny – that is what I was referring to.
        Secondly the substitution of words that sound nice to define something is to me also absurd.
        There are many examples and mentally retarded is one of them. Why is it derogatory? Did you make that decision? It is not any different than now calling employees – Associates, or garbage collectors – garbage engineers. The newest one I know is Printer Engineers for the people that come fix our printers. Most of them a capitalist way of making professions sound better and pay them less.
        It is the same with died or passed away – somehow a person cannot die anymore they have to pass somewhere. I am sorry but when I use language I use it to best describe what I mean and if that offends you I apologize and move on. You do not have to talk to me and vice versa.
        Unfortunately in my past lives my family was seriously affected by terrorists who you now call freedom fighters. That is the way it is. We all have different intellectual development. Standardizing human beings is one of the worst events that has happened to us.

      • Carlos, let me say this before I go on to discuss the comments made by some of the previous commentators: I hope you continue to comment on the blog.
        Okay, now to address the comments from others. They seem to fall into three categories. The first was made early on, it suggested comments are more effective if their point isn’t obscured by angry rhetoric; the concern is if we hit the anger button too often we sound like the UCP and lose our message. This is a valid point, I’ve tried (with varying degrees of success) to crank down the “snark-o-metre” a notch. The second was a simple disagreement on how to characterize Monty Python, I took that comment as a general comment to everyone reading the post, not just you, I’m pretty sure you view the UCP government with trepredation, in addition to being a gong show. The third was a request to refrain from using terminology now considered to be outdated and unkind. This is valid. I fully understand your point that our past influences how we express ourselves. I too was raised in a different time, and have been corrected by my children for using certain terms that are now considered pejorative. To be honest, these conversations leave me feeling surprised and defensive, but I’ve learned to overcome my initial reaction because I’ve come to realize that I don’t have the right to tell anyone how they should be called. If they prefer a different term, then it’s up to me to learn the term, not up to them to learn to live with my stubborn insistence on using the old term.
        There are so many real issues out there that we can’t let these minor disagreements divide us. So like I said at the beginning, I hope you continue to comment on the blog, but respect your decision if you decide otherwise.

  13. GoinFawr says:

    I am so torn about this decision, though mostly I just feel badly for Albertans. On the one hand, let’s face it, the facts show that the global demand for the end products of this resource is not abating, at all, so maybe it is ultimately good for Albertans if this stuff stays in the ground for now (it’s not going anywhere). I mean, it almost certainly will be extracted at some point, by someone.

    Perhaps then the market price will actually reflect the un-“externalized” cost of that extraction, if I may borrow from the Mankiw duckspeak.

    Of course this is exactly what would have happened, one way or another, if there were currently a(n) NDP partnership with industry. Which, as we are all aware, was shaping up quite nicely for awhile there.

    Alternately, we have this decision by Teck along with the financial sector and their credit downgrade indicating as clearly as an azure sky of warmest winter that such a partnership will not exist with the current provincial government.

    “Evidence of the ol’ glazzies” eh you FUBARS? How’s that working out for you then, really being FUBAR?

  14. GoinFawr, it’s a mess, a god awful mess. I’ve been thinking about Kenney’s rationale for balancing the budget (we have to endure this pain now because we can’t saddle our children and grandchildren with all this debt) and trying to understand why the same rationale doesn’t apply to addressing climate change (we have to endure this pain now because we can’t saddle our children and grandchildren with a sick planet). I suspect it’s because a balanced budget results in money saved (at least on the ledger) whereas climate mitigation results in money lost.
    The human cost doesn’t factor into either calculus and that, to me, is the real problem.

  15. carlos beca says:

    There is something wrong with this site – two messages just did no go through – I wonder if the War Room is acting because I like them so much.

    Here is something that does not need a comment


    • Carlos, sometimes the WordPress site balks at comment that contain links, I’m not sure why some get through and some do not. But it was very interesting to read this link, Teck putting a solar power installation on a former mine site. It’s not a huge step but it is a step in the right direction.

      • carlos beca says:

        Yes companies are finally starting to get the message – the problem is our hard headed Premier that has less than a gram of brain.
        Yes WordPress is not reliable and I lost two messages and did not have the patience to redo them. Just more of the same anyway, by now people already know I love the UCP anyway and I should shut up.
        I am at the point where only removing this idiot physically will do it for me. The lies and the lack of political vision and even the lack of intelligence is just absurd. Furthermore he is embedded in a caucus of rednecks and evangelicals that make it all out of reality. Now he is blaming the ‘GREEN LEFTIES’ – so where is the 30 million dollar war room? it was supposed to discredit the horrible commies.
        This is all beyond description and it seems tomorrow we will have budget announcement of government investment of the public pension fund on more disasters that no one needs.
        Public money for investments in oil development??? from a market fundamentalist that does not allow the market to function?
        Message to UCP and JK – IDIOT the market is telling us investment in oil is no longer desirable!!!!! It is not the LEFTIES you hard brain.

  16. Carl HUNT says:

    Carlos, I suspect you are ‘singing to the choir’ but take it easy on the insults or you’ll sound like an eloquent red-neck and get kidnapped by the UCP to work for the War Room..

    • carlos beca says:

      Hi Carl
      Frankly I am definitely thinking of not participating on this blog for long. I know that your comment is a friendly reminder with a joke type cover.
      At this point of my life and what was my previous life, it would be a gift to be able to get close to one of these war roomers. I seriously do not care or fear any of them at all.
      Ideology is one thing, but arrogance, bullying and openly condescending attitudes is another.
      These people are on an egocentric trip and do not deserve any respect from us the public.
      They are lucky that they are in Canada and in Alberta.

    • CallmeHal: my husband and I and hundreds and hundreds of others were there in Calgary. We listened to many speakers and one thing is becoming crystal clear, there will be a general strike and we must all get on board.

  17. CallmeHal2000 says:

    After today, Alberta could be moving toward fulfilling its mission as “an average stone-age community nestled in a bleak valley, between two cheap and uninteresting hills somewhere.” That’s Al Capp’s description of Dogpatch.

    Two residents made steps in this direction with the latest “Logogate”. Stone Age? Check. A sign of these bleak times in the cheap and uninteresting hills somewhere in Alberta. This is our unique and distinctive Alberta culture. No thanks.

    • CallmeHal, when I worked in the private sector we were told that corporate culture is set by the tone at the top. After four years of Jason Kenney we’ll have a “unique and distinctive Alberta culture” but it won’t be something to brag about.

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