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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Canada West Advocating "Western Energy Accord" or NEP Lite?

In a Brandon Sun article here, Todd Hirsch an economist with the Canada West Foundation argues for a "Western Energy Accord" that would include oil, hydro, and uranium from the Prairie provinces. The proposal is that funding from these sectors is invested into other energy sectors in the region.

For example, oil sands money would go to Manitoba's hydro initiatives which in turn satisfy Ontario's consumption needs. Then monies from Manitoba hydro could be re-invested in other energy plays in Alberta.

The proposal is supposedly a way to head off NEP2, while strengthening Confederation.

For Albertans who read this article, their scepticism at the potential of monies ever coming back around for re-investment is sure to be piqued.

This would not be a 'win-win' situation, but one that provides a mere lesser of two evils. Canada West is proposing to give Alberta's money to Manitoba, so that they can supply Ontario with power.

But like the NEP, this is a case of Alberta subsidizing Ontario. Canada West is merely including Manitoba as the middleman.

If the Canada West program gets branded as NEP Lite, it will be easily ignored. If it does not, then look for the Liberals to adopt the platform in the next election.

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