Watching Joe Oliver’s response to the Nova Scotia fracking ban was painful. He paused after every word. He hummed and hawed.
Presumably what he would like to say but can’t is that this issue could end up putting a whopping fracture in Confederation itself.
Eventually the three western Canadian provinces will realize they are depleting their oil and gas reserves using the techniques that are being banned in Quebec, Nova Scotia and if the Libs get elected in New Brunswick, here too. A portion of the government revenue generated by that depletion is finding its way down to QC, NS and NB in the form of Equalization.
Should western Canada’s oil and gas revenue be used to pay for Equalization in Quebec and the Maritimes if those provinces refuse to develop their own oil and gas industry using the exact same techniques?
As a kid my brothers and sister used to pick on my for hoarding. We would all get a candy bar and they would gobble theirs down and I would save mine for later. At some point I would whip mine out and slowly savour it while the others watched with envy.
BC, AB and SK could make a similar case here.
Now there are constitutional issues that would come into play here but if the public in a part of Canada with the fastest growing population and the economic might decided to think about the fracking bans in Quebec and the Maritimes we might not like the outcome.