On Venezuela, And What A ‘Green Economy’ Looks Like

June 25, 2020

Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd.

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world, with over 300 billion barrels of proven reserves.

With a population of just under 32 million people, it was the wealthiest country in South America up until the 1980’s. Since then, a combination of pseudo-democratic – read socialist – government and fluctuating oil prices has created economic chaos that had produced runaway inflation and millions of people leaving the country. The state controlled oil and gas sector now produces less and one third of what it did during prosperous times.

There’s a real warning for Canada in their story.

The COVID-19 pandemic has enabled governments like Canada’s to exert control over its citizens that is unheard of in the nation’s history, with a neutered parliament that provides virtually no opposition to the ruling party, a government-paid for national broadcaster and all mainstream media members receiving direct government subsidies. Are we surprised that the messaging is all the same? Freedom and choice we once held dear have disappeared by virtue of extensive government lockdowns and social-limiting regulations.

Canada’s current federal government has turned its back on the petroleum industry and nationalized what’s left of it. Canadian oil reserves are an estimated 171 billion barrels identified as of yet, which presents enormous potential.

When, not if, world oil markets stabilize, that sector presents the largest and quickest way to generate governmental revenue. Yet every single signal the Liberals have sent out indicates that won’t be the route they’ll take.

Which leaves us to this question: What industry/sector will be the future backbone of Canada’s economy, to replace oil and gas revenues? Films? Tourism? Technology? Every country wants more high tech, but that ride is historically wilder than what we’re seeing in petroleum.

Besides, tech and it’s brainpower will go where tax rates allow that highly educated workforce to grow and prosper. Tech will come to Canada if it makes cents, and this country has already doubled back to cross the non-competitive tax threshold identified by the Conference Board of Canada – 50 per cent. BC’s highest personal tax rate is now 55 per cent. . .last year’s withdrawn federal government tax assault would have pushed Ontario professionals into the 70 per cent tax bracket.

Surely the intelligence of brightest and best extends to analyzing the top and bottom lines of their paycheques.

Much of Canada’s population of just under 38 million people is surviving on government handouts due to the same government’s restrictions – and the debt load, which its leadership stated recently really can’t be calculated – will eventually be unleashed on the taxpaying public. It always is, and always will be, as government deficits are really deferred payments.

It’s ironic that the generation of Canadians that view oil and gas extraction as anathema will be the ones that will be paying deficit bills that won’t be covered by oil and gas revenues. The question is, with what will these bills be paid? The single biggest economic contributor to Canada’s wealth has been resource industries, and they’re all in regression, much of that due directly to government policies that placate environmental lobbyists and protesters, and pander to the “green” vote.

If we’ve ever wondered what type of economy the Green Party would actually introduce if it ever gained power, it’s right here, right now.

Resource industries muted, curtailed or almost completely shut down? Check.

Tourism industries inundating our shores, attractions, parks and restaurants – bringing “unwanted” extra people to desecrate nature? Choked off.

What’s left?

Horgan has handed off leadership of the province to an unelected official, who, despite no question of professional competence, is guided solely by the Hippocratic Oath. Unfortunately, the Oath doesn’t say much about the complex balancing act between economic wellbeing with health of the populace.

Government policy and messaging has terrified ordinary citizens, amidst the suggestion that contacting COVID-19 equals a death sentence, even though mortality rates are either .2 or 5 per cent, depending on the source.

We can’t wait until the government’s rolls out a “solution” to protect us from the common cold. . .

We used to wonder if an NDP government could possibly come up with another way to destroy the economy, other than their usual tax and spend ways. Well, they have, and it’s their response to COVID-19.

Horgan’s abdication of leadership may prove to be genius, at least in political terms. If it works, he can take credit. If it doesn’t, then he can blame the person he left in charge.

This must be an amazing time for governments, with the populace crying out for protection and provision simultaneously, with no concern about how much it will cost, or how much freedom they’ve lost.

President Franklin Roosevelt calmed Americans during the Great Depression, and coined a phrase that resonated: “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.” Well, fear is here, and it is a formidable foe, and Big Brother couldn’t be happier.

Freedom includes being able to go to the store when we want and gathering with others if we want to. That freedom empowers individuals to make financial decisions on their own, which is the bottom line that ignites a free market economy. If we want to stay home and feel safer by doing so, then we have that right.

Governments that dictate and limit our freedoms, are called socialist or dictatorships.

We’re now over halfway there in this country.

Remember Venezuela, Canada. Never say never.

Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd. and can be reached at mark@communicationInk.ca

Share This