STOP: Stop Tar Sands Operations Permanently

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STOP: Speech from the throne

Posted by mhudema on February 4, 2008

Fellow Albertans, welcome to the Third Session of the Twenty-sixth Alberta Legislature.

I am honoured, once again, to deliver the Speech from the Throne, wherein I will outline the ambiguous and vague initiatives – if any – that this government will take.

As we continue our journey into Alberta’s second century, Albertans have much to be embarrassed about, and much more to be ashamed of…

Our current “prosperity” [sarcastic tone of voice] is the result of the lack of foresight by those in the power of the previous government and that of this government as well: under our watch we have cut social spending, allowing municipal infrastructure to crumble, allowed for classroom sizes to reach 40 students per class, health care premiums to sky rocket and affordable housing available to residents to disappear, but not only that, no, we have also had the complete and irresponsible degradation and destruction of Alberta’s environment resulting in the exploitation of millions of Albertans for a favourable “business” atmosphere for foreign multinational corporations in the Alberta tar sands.

Alberta is bold, strong and free. We boldly boast and encourage exploitation in this province. To maintain this, in our previous Sitting, we pushed forth Bill 46, which has allowed us to spy on Albertans, to tap phones and prohibit Albertans from attending community meetings. This totalitarian and undemocratic move is necessary to keep dissidence in Alberta to a minimum; a crucial step in allowing the Government to do its job, and rubberstamp anything and everything for the Industry and the Corporations.

Alberta, being one of the richest states in the world, will not commit to spending money on renewable energy or energy efficiency technologies to protect the health and livelihood of Albertans in the process of protecting the environment; at least, while there is still oil in the ground.

It is imperative to keep a balanced and politically stable atmosphere for the foreign nation corporations to invest in Alberta. With low taxes and an abysmal royalty rate, we are able to appease the wishes of Big Oil instead of the People of Alberta. It would be devastating for those corporations to pull out of Alberta and move their operations elsewhere. Although where exactly that elsewhere is we are not quite sure.

Just recently, the Alberta government announced its “climate change plan”. We are proud that the plan will see emissions continue to rise until 2020 when we will see gradual reduction. Our 2050 target is 18% above 1990 levels and 25% above Kyoto levels so we wukk be doing our part to de-stabilize the climate.
The Alberta Plan will see emissions increase by 2020 even though the world scientific community demands a 30% reduction by 2020 based on 1990 levels. By 2050, the Alberta Plan will see an increase by 18% increase based on 1990 levels while the world scientific community demands 90% reduction by 2050 based on 1990 levels. We are out of step with the world but what big oil wants they get.

Climate change is a problem worldwide, in fact, in 2005 climate refugees outnumbered war refugees on this planet. Alberta’s actions are contributing to the killing of ecosystems, the increased severity of storms like Hurricane Katrina, and the mass migration of people as their traditional lands become uninhabitable. We, the government, expect the rest of the world to deal with our unwillingness to look ahead and make appropriate change now in fear of ruining our very undiversified economy.

The tar sands: our unmitigated growth allows for the destruction of one-quarter of the province, and the clear-cutting of the second largest forest in the world, the Alberta Boreal forest. The rivers are poisoned, and wildlife are being born deformed and dead. Cancer and leukemia rates are skyrocketing in Fort Chipewan, but all this is a sacrifice our government is willing to make to maintain economic growth.
These are all hollow promises in our mandate for this sitting of Legislature – The Alberta disadvantage. We don’t believe in public healthcare, or public education. We don’t care about the environment or our ‘green’ plan. We care about Big Oil, the richest international corporations in the world not silly things like people and the planet.

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