Saturday, January 27, 2007

Hands off! NEP 2!

Would anyone care to predict what the reaction from the usual suspects would be if a Federal Liberal suggested that perhaps Alberta’s oil boom is causing skills issues for the rest of the country, and perhaps Alberta should share the wealth a bit by outsourcing some work to other provinces?

Luckily, we won’t be treated to any fits of righteous indignation, cries of National Energy Plan Deux and references to the dark, cold deaths of Eastern bastards: the comments were made by a Federal Conservative minister.

Alberta should export work, federal labour minister says
FREDERICTON (Jan 27, 2007)

Alberta should start exporting work, instead of only importing workers, federal Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn said yesterday.

Blackburn, who was in Fredericton for an annual meeting of labour ministers, said that by attracting out-of-province workers to combat its skilled labour shortage, Alberta is causing the same shortages in other provinces.


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Anonymous said...

Hmmm, Alberta's premier met with the 3 Atlantic premiers to discuss the issues.

Wouldn't one assume that since that meeting was reported, that Blackburn was responding to something he already knew?

I don't know what other point you were trying to make in suggesting that Alberta has not shared their wealth. You cannot be seriously making that point, can you?

As for the NEP, people were hurt terribly by that move.

It will not be forgotten by those who lived through it. Making light of it would be a huge mistake.

And frankly, the memory of the NEP is SO strong, that it would not matter if that federal minister was a Conservative, or a Liberal.

It does seem that the new premier of Alberta may take a different tack to things.

It would seem fair to see what his approach is before swatting at babble-bees.

Kuri said...

Liberal, Tory, same old story, eh? ;-)

But actually, I don't believe the NEP provoked so much reaction simply based on the idea of it, but because of Trudeau's arrogant and dictatorial leadership style. (Not that Harper can be expected to be much better on his own, but perhaps his current minority situation will keep him humble.)

Scott Tribe said...

Anonymous, are you playing dumb or did this column totally go over your head?

The point is rather obvious: if a Liberal cabinet minister had made the remarks Blackburn did, we'd never hear the end of outrage coming from the Calgary Sun, the provincial government, and various Blogging Tories based out of Alberta.. but since it's a Tory Cabinet minister, you won't hear a peep out of anyone out there.

It doesn't gain partisan points with the Alberta electorate for bashing a fellow ideological soulmate.

Anonymous said...

You tried to connect mention of cooperation between provinces, with the NEP.

My point is clear...if any government attempted another NEP, Albertans will speak out loud and clear.

That however, wasn't what Blackburn said, was it? He was remarking on outsourcing work.

wilson61 said...

The worker (and housing) situation here is VERY serious BCer.
(We get mail delivery every 3 days, due to lack of postal workers, and we have superboxes, not door to door)
Alberta companies need to expand elsewhere to keep up, so the visit from the Atlantic Premiers was very welcome.
By 2020, 44% of the jobs created by the oilsands will go to other provinces.

This is a chance for the other provinces to share the wealth of Alberta's oil, not by skimming off the top (NEP2) but by creating jobs at home.

robedger said...

Great point. The equalization debate has been another example of (many) conservatives singing a different tune because it's a Conservative making the statement.

bigcitylib said...

Create jobs at home, but in what field? Building houses and shipping them to Alberta (the only concrete proposal mentioned in the article) would probably add thousands to costs, especially if they came from somewhere in the Atlantic provinces.

Nice thought, but how practical. Its probably cheaper just to tell Albertans to send us money.