The Great Global Game

THEY SHOOT and they continuously score.

THE RUSSIANS are using ice breakers & climate change to carve out new pathways to ship oil through the Northeast Passage.  

THE SAUDIS are using a war in Yemen to gain access to deepwater ports.

THE AMERICANS are using presidential decrees and ‘economic security’ to prioritize infrastructure building: the construction of deep-water ports;  even declaring their military installations as export terminals for shipments of fossil fuels to China.


arctic_sealaneWe’re thinking about ways to refashion bitumen into hockey pucks & plastic pellets to ease shipment by rail.  Yes, the railway — it seems the smartest-guys-in-the-room have conceded that pipelines are no longer in play.


Canada cannot survive by giving away natural resources at deep-deep discounts to international competitors; neither can we succeed by rolling back production, or offering extended royalty holidays. 

We’re dead in the water as a nation if we can’t figure out how to efficiently get our primary exports to market (a sad irony since politics and stupidity are killing the best way to go about our business).


It’s known as the great global game. A daily contest that’s played with boats and shipping lanes.  A vast majority of the world’s goods — including energy — are delivered via the world’s sea lanes. If you don’t have a boat that can float your stuff to markets abroad, you can’t even play to lose

QUESTION: How long will Canada enjoy the protection of the U.S. military umbrella over our arctic shipping lanes without surrendering — completely — our sovereignty?

And another thing for consideration: America speaks of Alberta’s oil sands as if they’re a strategic North American (not Canadian) asset. After 9/11, when the world was jittery about the Middle East, the Bush Administration signalled support for Alberta oil sands development via the U.S. Department of Energy.

“When the U.S. Department of Energy formally acknowledged these reserves in 2003, it vaulted Canada’s oil reserves from 21st to 2nd in the world, behind only Saudi Arabia. It’s little wonder then that the U.S. Energy Policy Development Group has described the tar sands as “a pillar of sustained North American energy and economic security…”


Albertans know how to deal with high-sticks, elbows in the corner, and unsportsman-like conduct in hockey. Yet in the great global game of energy & economic security, we’re playing with our head down. And when clobbered, our provincial team wonders why the ref didn’t blow the whistle. That’s a rookie way to play. Minor league.

Questions about sovereignty need to be front & centre in Premier Rachel Notley’s game-plan for an economic revival in Alberta.

It’s time we stopped playing to lose.

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2 thoughts on “The Great Global Game

  1. Canadians have to start demading to be part of the Global Community, but we Canadians just find way to not hurt anybodies feelings. Qe constantly go around blaming ourselves, and apoligizing for our historical past, but even as a country we just want to live within our own means.

  2. Good one! It’s like a giant game of chess. I was stunned when I learned that Thunder Bay was made redundant for shipping grain as the producers learned they could ship more economically from James Bay to Europe.

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