Oil industry should be nationalized

Re: Productive politicking nowhere on horizon, Letters, July 17.

To the Editor

Re: Productive politicking nowhere on horizon, Letters, July 17.

What ‘Big Oil’ in Alberta is exploiting is bitumen and whether you call it ‘oil’ or ‘tar’, it’s hard to deny that current policy (including ‘fracking’) is causing some pretty serious environmental consequences, whatever the economic advantages may be.

Perhaps it’s time for the government to make some refinements to the old National Energy Program to subsidize those ‘social programs’ in Quebec (and Man., Ont., N.S., N.B., and P.E.I.) to which Jim Corder alludes. We’re all in this together, eh?

My Canada includes Quebec and I wouldn’t mind nationalizing our oil industry to keep Canadian gas prices down.

Regarding Corder’s dismay at politicians who tailor their message depending on their audience, I’d like to point out that our Prime Minister Stephen Harper uses the word ‘separatist’ in his English language speeches and ‘souverainiste’ (which means ‘sovereigntist’) in French.

But he also thinks Calgary is Canada’s best city, an opinion with which I’d have to disagree. Sure goes a long way toward explaining some of his policy decisions.

As early as 1894, the State Fish and Game Commissioner of North Dakota pointed out that, “Present needs and present gains was the rule of action – which seems to be a sort of transmitted quality which we in our now enlightened time have not wholly outgrown, for even now a few men can be found who seem willing to destroy the last tree, the last fish and the last game bird and animal, and leave nothing for posterity, if thereby some money can be made.”

And as Saint Paul pointed out “…the love of money is the root of all evil…”.

Perhaps neither Harper nor Corder have watched the 1963 Paul Newman film Hud, or taken to heart the wisdom of Hud Bannon’s father Homer.

To wit, “What’s oil to me? What can I do with a bunch of oil wells? I can’t ride out every day and prowl amongst ‘em like I can my cattle. I can’t breed ‘em or tend ‘em or rope ‘em or chase ‘em or nothing. I can’t feel a smidgen of pride in ‘em ‘cause they ain’t none of my doing.”

Hud: “There’s money in it.” Homer: “I don’t want that kind of money. I want mine to come from something that keeps a man doing for himself.”

Ian Poole

Nanaimo