Vive Le Canada

Canada is a rich, ugly, oily bastard—he deserves better
Date: Friday, January 13 2006
Topic:


Canada is a rich, ugly, oily bastard—he deserves better

Ross Prusakowski

It’s a common scene in bars and clubs the world over: men with features only the visually impaired could love have attention lavished upon them by women who could grace movie screens across the globe, or at the very least the pages of Playboy. The sight is puzzling at first, but the reasons for the apparent attraction become apparent as she’s presented with a constant stream of gifts, drinks and other precious resources the guy is footing the bill for.

Those girls have found themselves sugar daddies and they aren’t letting go until the flow of gifts is over and her highlife is threatened. Once that happens, the girls will be out the door faster than half-price Prada shoes and the men will be sitting alone on the floor, wondering where their good times and money went.

Though at first glance it seems unlikely that international trade relationships would exhibit this kind of behaviour, a closer look shows it happening in our own country. We need only look at our energy relationship with the United States to see that even nations can be swept off their feet and ignore the long-term consequences of certain affairs. Unfortunately, Canada has become more fretful about losing the blonde bombshell that is America than about losing respect in the international community or standing up and doing what’s in our best interests as a nation.

As an oil daddy, Canada has been overly kind to the US, serving as their largest foreign supplier of oil (2.12 million barrels a day in 2004 compared to 1.64 million barrels from Mexico and 1.56 million barrels from Saudi Arabia, according to Bloomberg), and sending them 99 per cent of our total oil exports. This is a function not only of their close proximity to us, but of the North American Free Trade Agreement that was supposed to benefit all parties involved.

Instead, the agreement hasn’t been giving America’s oil daddy more of what he wants—actual free trade on softwood lumber and a cut to the heavy subsidies the US farm industry receives that make Canadian farmers uncompetitive—but is bleeding Canada of its resources.

We need to be smarter as a nation and demand more for what we’re receiving for our precious oil and natural gas reserves. While it may negatively affect our relationship with the US, Canada must ignore the pleading cries of overly territorial politicians in Alberta and make changes to our energy relationship with America as a response to other trade disputes.

http://www.gateway.ualberta.ca/view.php?aid=5381

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