The last traces of the…
… hated-by-the-west National Energy Program (NEP) were gone by the end of 1986 under PM Brian Mulroney (who is, incidentally the last true Conservative PM… unless you count Liberal PM Paul Martin, but I digress…). Using my superior mathematical skills, that makes it 26 years since the NEP was around.
And still some Westerners obsess about it.
I have a theory about this. It isn’t your average Albertan who is still oh-so obsessed and who decries any and all Liberals as the NEP Party: it’s really only those who have another agenda. An agenda not grounded in energy policy nor of a national vision. Nope. This hatred carries on because there are some in the West- especially in Alberta- who want to drive a wedge between the West and the RoC. They’d like nothing more than to rid themselves of the have-not provinces to the East and the dope-smokers of B.C.
And many of these folks are prominent in the Alberta CPC caucus and the far right Wild Rose Party.
Call me crazy but it is a possible explanation of the unabated huffing and puffing over a policy that hasn’t been around for a quarter century.
In the meantime, Albertans and other Westerners should pay heed that their energy wealth can end as quickly as it began. Energy efficient transportation and industrial production practices may one day drive prices down to a point where tar sand exploitation is no longer viable. And the oil will one day run out.
As well, the American economy will one day be once again robust. With that will come a rebirth and resurgence of Ontario and Quebec. Western provinces may one day be once again have-nots.
We Easterners will remember these days when Westerners called the political shots.
Oh yeah, we will not ever forget.