Daily Prompt: Dear Prime Minister Harper
If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing in 2013, what would you like that to be?
In among the multitude of priorities you will face in 2013. I believe that our government needs to readopt the long term thinking that has worked well for Canada in the past. Starting with the National Dream of a transcontinental railroad which was planned and built between 1871 and the last spike in 1885 at Craigellachie, BC. Canada was built on planning that ignored the next election and did what was right to build our country, for ourselves and the generations to follow.
As the railway was being completed the government, started our National Parks with Banff, AB in 1885. Today we have 36 National parks spanning all parts of Canada, 8 National Reserves which will become parks, and 4 National Marine Conservation areas. These parks are helping to keep our natural areas, protect and reestablish native animals populations, protect indigenous rights, and in some cases allow people from around the world to enjoy the natural beauty of Canada.
In 1949 after the two World wars, Canada decided to build a highway from east to west, spanning 8030km from Victoria, BC to St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. It wasn’t till 1971 that the project was complete, and lead to the adopting of the National Highway system in 1988, now covering over 38,000km of roads that link our cities, regions and economic zones of national importance.
In 1953 Canada decided to build it’s own jet fighter uniquely suited to Canadian conditions and requirements. This lead to the Avro Arrow project, beginning in July 1953. This plane was ahead of it’s time featuring fly by wire electronic control systems, with tactile feedback, that wouldn’t become common for another two decades. The plane was superior to all aircraft available or under design when it was being developed, and was not put into production as a budget cutting measure. Canada lost a vital chance to become a world leader in the 50s and 60s as an aviation supplier.
Today the world economy balances on a razors edge. Our climate is showing the signs of global stress with increased wild and severe weather systems lashing out with damages in the hundreds of millions. Coastal cities are having to draw up plans which are estimated in the billions of dollars to decrease the damage from rising water levels and severe storms. The estimate for the Fraser Valley in BC is a 120cm increase by the year 2100. The world economy needs oil, and Canada needs to get the world price for what it extracts. Currently the price for Canadian oil is $33 barrel less than the benchmark of West Texas Intermediate crude, currently $88 barrel, while the world price for Brent Crude is just under $109 barrel. This is an opportunity for Canada, to use that price difference to promote the refining of the crude extracted in Canada, to be done in Canada. These refineries must be held to the highest environmental standards, along with the extraction process being done with an eye to environmental protection. No more tailings pond mishaps killing thousands of migratory waterfowl. Make the production of Canada’s oil sans a national priority, while at the same time creating a regulatory environment that protects the environment, with carbon capture, improved inspection and maintenance tracking programs, world leading rapid response for spills, full reclamation policies. This can be done with the spread between the $55/barrel current price for Canadian crude and the $109/barrel Brent Crude price. Yes the price will fluctuate, but having programs in place to produce our oil, at a net carbon cost lower than other suppliers, will be an advantage in the coming years. So my wish for 2013, is that you adopt the seven generation thinking the indigenous people had, when making decisions about our oil. “Is this decision good for those who will follow in seven generations?” Those who cry that we must turn off the oil taps would have us hope new technologies will quickly appear. Instead, start a National program to improve the extraction, refining, and shipping of oil to decrease environmental concerns. While at the same time creating a tax system to encourage research and development of new sources of energy, here in Canada.
For other wishes for 2013; http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/daily-prompt-dear-leader/
A few friends have also published their Dear Leaders;