Friday, July 13, 2007

China Says Au Revoir Canada - Buenos Dias Venezuela

Is China saying they would rather deal with Venezuela who is nationalizing it oil resources, than Stephen Harper? The media today is full of PetroChina’s announcement yesterday speaking of investing in Canada saying “The environment is not comfortable. We tried to come here and we can’t.”

They went further to say “We sincerely wanted to do something and open up a new market for Canadian crude…but Canada doesn’t want to open up is own markets to us.” OUCH!

So we can thank our "business friendly PM for the $4B pullout of Chinese investment in the Gateway pipeline project to the new Prince Rupert Port that was to carry 400,000 barrels per day.

This smells of bad politics. How much have Mr. Harper and his “New” government succumbed to the status quo of Canadian energy export being essentially to only one market…the American market. How is this in the long term best interest of Canada in a new globalized and interdependent world? Is Harper only interest in Canada being dependent on one market source for our energy?

I am all in favour of continental energy supply. It is a key to the Americans getting out of Iraq – which then need to do sooner than later. I wonder of the wisdom of sacrificing investment, market access and geo-political and even environmental relations with the rest of the world – particularly like China and India - as a consequence of a continental energy arrangement. We essentially have continental energy established under NAFTA – if only the Americans would honour the NAFTA accord in areas like beef and softwood.

America is Canada’s friend and neighbour. In a globalized world as an exporting nation we need many more friends and neighbours. Looks like Alberta better get be ready to go it alone with attracting foreign investment. We need the capital and the markets to optimize the opportunities before us. Mr. Harper is more interested in his relationship with the deceptive and duplicitous Bush administration than the best positioning of Canada. I am no Alberta separatist or even a Firewall supporter but boy oh boy does Harper ever given those perceptions a leg up in this province.
Stephen Harper has once again undermined Alberta, his home province, because he can take it for granted - and he does...regularly. He has not done the rest of Canada any favours with this attitude towards China either. It looks more like we will have Harper in power until November 2009 - a whole year longer than George Bush will be President. We all are astonished over how much more harm Bush has done and still can do to the States (and the planet) in the time he has left. Harper is a small player but with up to 16 months more, he can be a disaster akin to Bush if only on a Canadian scale.