Following the Quebec Separatist Referendum of 1995, the leaders of Canada, Ontario, and Quebec struck up a deal whereby Ontario would pay Quebec to be a part of Canada. Thereon out, the policy of the Canadian government has been to do everything possible to keep Quebec in Canada.
While transfer payments are the most obvious example countless others exist. My personal favorite is the organization and operation of the Canadian military. Billions of dollars are spent bloating the senior ranks of the Canadian Forces with “bilingual” (read: Quebec) officers or awarding lucrative contracts to Quebec manufacturing and technology companies.
In this way, the Canadian government forces dependence upon the province and people of Quebec to keep them in Canada against their will.
How do the Canadians pay for such an arrangement?
For the first decade or so, the excess revenues of the Ontario manufacturing sector covered much of the bill. Ontario manufacturing was a major economic driver of the entire Canadian economy. Throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, it was mainly the Ontarians who paid for Quebec’s inclusion into Canada.
Today, Ontario is a recipient of transfer payments, not a payer.
Years of leftist governments have made Ontario’s formerly proud manufacturing industry non-competitive. If not for NAFTA and Western Canada, Ontario manufacturing would not exist.
Leftist “green” energy initiatives have made Ontario have some of the highest electricity rates in the country. The consequences of which are two fold.
First, it wrecks havoc on the population by increasing the cost of living and forcing those who cannot afford it to move away. Second, it greatly reduces the competitiveness of their economy as electricity is one of the most important inputs to manufacturing.
The mass exodus of Ontarians is one of the main reasons Alberta has an NDP government. The destruction of Saskatchewan at the hands of the Saskatchewan NDP and the unsustainable real estate market of Vancouver (a by-product of the leftist, Canadian immigration policy) are two others.
Over the past two decades, leftist governments throughout Canada but especially Ontario have destroyed their economies. Simultaneously, as far as one could within Canadian Confederation, Alberta Premier Ralph Klein positioned Alberta to reap the benefits of it’s oil boom. Even under the moronic leadership of his successors, Alberta became the only place in the country left for people to go to. The problem for Alberta was that Canadians who voted for economy destroying governments in their home provinces carried their leftist beliefs with them to Alberta.
The decline of Ontario is especially important as Ontario manufacturing was the main financial contributor to the arrangement of forcing Quebec to be Canadian. Without Ontario manufacturing the only industry that could shoulder that burden is Alberta oil.
The recent approvals of the Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline projects by Justin Trudeau are a clear illustration of the Canadian intentions of primarily using Alberta oil to glue Canada together.
By approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline, Justin Trudeau threw some of his hardest won electoral support under a bus. That is a tremendous amount of political capital to expend, although admittedly, it was not as if the support of the Vancouver hippies really even mattered to Trudeau.
Ontario and Quebec decided the election outcome before the polls in Vancouver had even closed.
Regardless, Trudeau’s betrayal of a major block of supporters (even those he did not need) is very suggestive of his future intentions to use Alberta oil to keep Canada together.
The Americans lead by President Trump, will undoubtedly frack their shale resources like there is no tomorrow. The two pipelines Trudeau approved are an obvious recognition of that fact.
Kinder Morgan will allow Alberta oil to be exported to Pacific markets. Enbridge Line 3 will allow Alberta oil to be exported into the East American markets and potentially to Atlantic markets through the Great Lakes.
Trudeau will be faced with two major negotiations for which President Trump will hold all the cards: NAFTA and Keystone XL.
If Canada only had Keystone XL, Alberta oil would be almost completely at the mercy of the Americans, who need our oil less than ever.
With the shale revolution, much of Alberta’s oil has less and less of a market in the US. Simultaneously, the Americans can produce so much oil by fracking, they can deprive Alberta of a market in Eastern Canada by loading their shale oil onto tankers and sailing them up the East Coast.
President Trump can (and probably will) negotiate a sweet deal for Keystone XL that benefits the US far more than it does Canada. He undoubtedly knows the Alberta oil industry faces extinction without it and that Alberta oil is the only thing that could maintain Canadian national unity.
Unfortunately for Ontario, the Great Lake States swing to support President Trump also reveal trouble is brewing. There are significant shale basins in those states that the Americans will frack. When they do, the price of electricity in those states will go into a free fall as they retool their electrical grids to make use of the shale natural gas.
Cheap electricity opens the door to all kinds of innovation, but most importantly, to industrial 3D printing in manufacturing. With Ontario’s already ridiculously expensive electricity and bloated labour costs due to a work force that mostly moved to Alberta, American manufacturing will drive Ontario manufacturing out of business.
Even NAFTA, one of Ontario’s saving graces is not safe. President Elect Trump repeatedly campaigned to pull out of NAFTA. With Ontario’s ability to export into the United States diminished and a resurgence of American manufacturing, Ontario manufacturing’s days are numbered.
Even exporting Ontario manufactured goods to Western Canada is in jeopardy. The American manufacturing states could transport goods to the West cheaper (and with far fewer green house gas emissions) than could Ontario and only tariffs could stop the Americans from dominating that market when they revitalize their industries.
Alberta oil and Ontario manufacturing may have been enough to keep Canada together the past 20 years. What will keep it together for the next 20 years?
Without Ontario manufacturing, the billions of dollars needed to deceive the common people of Quebec into believing they are Canadian are just not there. Even Alberta oil cannot cover the entire costs.
Every Canadian industry under the sun from Manitoba agriculture, to Saskatchewan mining, to British Columbia softwood will become targets of the Federal government.
The inevitable outcomes are clear.
Either Canada takes all of the wealth of the rest of the country to maintain the charade of Quebecois inclusion or Canada forces Quebec into austerity and incites traditional Quebecois separatism that has never truly left.
The only way this ends is with the end of Canada.