The lively debate over Alberta’s Carbon tax brings about the question: Do we need a social license to sell our products?
Premier Notley and the Alberta NDP think so, so does our Prime Minister, but the Conservative Party, Wildrose Party and many Albertans do not.
So, why is a social license to sell Alberta products necessary? The short answer is because most of the countries Alberta is exporting to are transitioning to alternative energy sources and understand the dangers of climate change.
It really doesn’t matter whether Alberta oilmen, the right wing and some Albertans think that our oil industry is one of the cleanest in the world, if we want to export, it matters what the importing countries think about Alberta’s oil, and they think it’s dirty.
Stephen Harper’s vision for Canada to be an oil superpower and the methods sanctioned by him to extract Alberta oil has left a long standing stain on Canada and especially Alberta with most countries we depend on for export.
The USA said “No” to Keystone XL after years of negotiations and countless large demonstrations over environmental concerns against Keystone and Alberta tar sands.
The European Union has a long history of condemning Albertans tar sands, fracking (outlawed in the E.U.) as well as Alberta’s hormone beef and genetically modified organism (GMO) produce. The nine hormones, mostly growth hormones added to fatten up the cattle have always been prohibited in the E.U., so have GMO produce, due to many studies confirming a negative affect on human health. The 23 year long “war over importing hormone meat” was only solved in 2012 when the USA and Canada agreed to export 45,000 plus tonnes of HORMONE FREE beef to the E.U.,while North Americans are still served up hormone-laced meat and unlabeled GMO produce.
CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement) has failed after 7 years of tough negotiations and hundreds of thousands of people demonstrating against it again over environmental concerns of bringing fracked and tar sand oil to the E.U. and Neoliberal trading principals, i.e. too many concessions to corporations and rights taken away from workers.
Do we need a social license to sell our products? Absolutely, the sooner Albertans wake up to that fact, the better for our economy, and fortunately Premier Notley understood that from the start.
Ed Mew, Ponoka County