Liberals’ previous energy missteps echoed in current national emergency – by Brad Wall (National Post – November 22, 2018)

Remember the last time Canadian energy CEOs, investors and industry commentators, even those famous for avoiding hyperbole, used words like “national emergency” to describe the state of their sector?

Remember hearing them very publicly call out the federal government for its seeming indifference to Canadian energy jobs and investment under threat and in retreat? How about those who have for decades invested in the vital and entrepreneurial energy sector using words like “treasonous” to describe the federal government’s action and inaction on the file. Do you remember that happening before?

If you were born at the time of the last Leafs’ Stanley Cup win or before, you might. You’d have been around for the elder Trudeau’s assault on the West and Canada’s energy sector in the form of the National Energy Program (NEP). And you’ll know that what we are hearing now from the usually staid and circumspect energy-sector leaders is not without at least one historical precedent.

I was around then. I was that guy in high school who nerded out on all things political; from running for student council vice-president on a platform to install chalkboards in the bathrooms as an acceptable alternative to more permanent graffiti and mark-leaving, to all the happenings in provincial, federal and U.S. politics. I remember supper discussions when my otherwise calm and collected small businessman dad would become uncharacteristically animated discussing what the federal government was doing to the West.

I remember seeing hats emblazoned with the map and name of a brand-new and possible country, the Republic of Western Canada, being worn in numbers that rivalled the usual millinery fare: John Deere, Roughriders, Ford Trucks, Pilsner and Roughriders.

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