LETTER: Alberta must refine bitumen before shipping it

If it is in the “national interest” for Alberta to get its product to tideline, as Prime Minister Trudeau and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley claim, it is in our national interest for Alberta’s bitumen to be refined on site.

This keeps jobs in Canada while shipping a relatively safe product.

Diluted bitumen (dilbit) is not heavy crude.

Peter Lougheed, former premier of Alberta (1971-1985), advocated this decades ago. Why were his ideas not implemented or part of today’s discussion, along with proposals of the Leap Manifesto issued in 2015 by a coalition of people — including workers from Canada’s oil patch?

Decades after restructuring the global economy to siphon tax dollars and natural resources to the super-rich, on the promise their increasing wealth would benefit all through “trickle down,” why do we have increasing numbers of people needing food banks and services for homeless locally, while globally we have unprecedented numbers of people internally displaced, forced to be refugees or dying of starvation while the Earth is trashed?

To begin to answer that we need to unpack the stealth war for our hearts and minds begun in the 1930s; then accelerated and expanded since the 1970s.

I recommend three publications: John Blundell’s 1990 ideological address to the Heritage Foundation Waging the War of Ideas; Jane Mayer’s 2016 Dark Money; and Nancy MacLean’s 2017 Democracy in Chains.

Please read, weep and get involved!

Yvonne Zarowny

Qualicum Beach

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