Harper Government Going All in On Oil Sands While China & India Lead in Solar Power by Jamie Gilcig

359px-Ny-ottawa-jul-2006CFN –  Neil Young made a political statement participating in an event focused on First Nation’s treaties and the Oil Sands, but at the end of the day has the Harper Government gone all in on a losing bet?

High resource prices led to massive shut down of factories and industry; ie jobs, in Canada as the high Canadian dollar led to massive movement of industry offshore.

Presumably the jobs created in the oil sands were to offset; but that has never happened nor will it really ever happen.   Massive devastation to the environment around the sands also has occurred; some of which will never heal.

In the end who will buy the bitumen produced?  Even while the debate of massive pipelines across Canada is occurring the potential clients, China and Asia are rapidly developing sustainable power alternatives; chiefly Solar power which for odd reasons is scoffed at here in Canada.


China will add the equivalent of 27 nuclear reactors of solar capacity, and India will build 20 reactors’ worth (assuming an output of 1 million kilowatts per reactor).

In September, the Indian government unveiled plans for the world’s biggest solar plant: a 4 million kilowatt facility to be built in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. The first 1 million kilowatts of this so-called ultra-megasolar project is to be completed by 2016. Bharat Heavy Electricals and four other state-owned enterprises will run the facility as a joint venture. India has several other massive solar farms on the drawing board. Plans call for increasing the country’s photovoltaic generating capacity from less than 2 million kilowatts to 22 million kilowatts by 2022.

China is aiming even higher. The government in July raised its 2015 target for solar capacity from 21 million kilowatts to 35 million kilowatts — more than quadruple its existing stock.

Over the 20 years from 2010, China’s energy needs will rise by about 60% and India’s by around 90%, the International Energy Agency predicts. Both giants rely heavily on imported fossil fuels that could become dearer as other emerging markets’ appetites grow. And neither can afford to ignore the environment, hence the appeal of renewable energy.

And the trade war has begun over Solar Power as well.   LINK

Ever since the US imposed duties on solar panels from China, the industry has been waiting for retaliation, and now it’s here. India may also get into the act.

China announced it will impose tariffs on polysilicon imports from the US (up to 57%) and South Korea (up to 48.7%). 

And the end of the day if there is not a strong market for Bitumen based oil products and prices fall where does that leave our country and can we ever recover industry once we lose it to other countries?

In the meanwhile how many Canadians will be impacted by these policies?    While there are many arguments for and against oil sands development the bottom line is always money and at the end of the day where will we end up financially especially if not only can we not successfully export oil; but are behind our competitors when it comes to cheap renewable energy?

If a country like Denmark produces 45% of its power from renewable energy sources what will stop any country on the planet?

If we waive away the political arguments thrown against Neil Young and his cohorts then what are we debating from.    When it comes to dollars and cents it’s becoming more and more clear that the investment in the oil sands and pipelines are not good for Canadians or Canada; but in fact will be tying our hands for the future while creating devastation of our lands.

Does that make any sense?

You can post your comments below.

Cornwall Free News Subscribe


  1. Not only is Neil Young one of the greatest songwriters of our time, but he has dedicated most of his life to making our world a better place. Be it social issues or environmental issues, he hasn’t been afraid to get out front and raise awareness.

  2. Certainly my issues with solar, using good farm land along the strip of Ontario where people live, and the feed in tariff program. The location for windmills and the feed in tariff program, plus, the Ontario Liberals removing communities the right to say no is equally bad.

    Keeping the courts busy though http://freewco.wordpress.com/erts-and-legal-actions/

  3. Author

    Eric there are far more options that using up farmland. India is actually creating floating solar farms as the water cooling makes them more productive and efficient.

  4. Canada and the US no longer have industries and all have gone overseas and more businesses keep on going abroad as well since the cost of doing business is a great deal cheaper and there are other factors involved as well such as utility bills, taxes, etc. Canada and the US are going towards low paying jobs of the service industry. Here in Ottawa’s downtown many buildings that the federal government occupied are empty since there was a big layoff and much more to come in the near future. The days of high wages and the American Dream are over. “In order to believe in the American Dream you have to be asleep to believe it.” So many changes are coming that we will not recognize Canada any more and already starting but looking more like a third world country. If you ever saw those tar sands it sure does look like a nuclear explosion hit it and not just that but wait and see what is going to happen to the waterways and the rest of the environment. I heard Dr. Helen Caldicott from Australia speak about those tar sands and about people who live around there are getting sick and it is going to get worse with the Alaska pipeline coming on board. Neil Young makes a great deal of sense indeed and we will all regret it sooner or later. The tar sands does not benefit we Canadians but benefits the global elite of the New World Order. Canada is no longer free at all and more of a dictatorship. I no longer recognize Canada at all. This is not the country that I remember – it is gone.

  5. @ Jules. I agree that Canada will be a different place once Dear Leader Harper is done his work. Right now, decades of scientific data and research are being destroyed by our federal government. Why? Because, like your friend Newton, PM Harper believes that science is the work of the devil. I’m being totally serious here. He has demonstrated over and over that he is not interested in evidence based or science based facts. He’s more of a “Second Coming”, “fire and brimstone” kinda guy.

  6. Based on junk science based facts. Al Gore and Dr. David (Geneticist) Suzuki et al predictions and opinions are not facts just ask the climate change group that are stuck in the ice in Antarctica in a region where there has not been ice before and keeping in mind that it is summer right now in that region as well . Not getting this country going crazy for carbon credit trading which would accomplish only a redistribution of wealth has saved us all from higher taxes to save the planet almost single handed . Remember the worlds population has just passed 7.2 billion and Canada has only 35 million or just shy of 1/2 of 1% of the total world population.

  7. @ David. Hundreds of studies by thousands of scientists… The evidence is in that the average global temperature is rising year after year. I tend to go with scientific evidence rather than the asinine BS spouted by likes of Esra Levant.

  8. {MODERATED} Just a reminder that in order to post using a pseudonym on CFN you have to email us and register with your full name, mailing address, phone number and name you wish to use just as you would a Letter to the Editor. Email info@cornwallfreenews.com

    Cheers and thanks

  9. Furtz we have much warmer winters compared to the ones of the past and that is true but I think that it is a natural phenomena. If you look at the Arctic the ice is melting even in Greenland. All this global warming garbage has been going on for ions. Every so many years we have horrific winters and other winters are mild. Al Gore and his bunch of scoundrels are out to fleece the sheeple and doing quite a job of it.

  10. Furtz you might like to recheck the latest scientific studies and data. I also subscribe to fact rather than politically motivated fiction often perpetuated by government granted scientists. We went through the coming out of the scientific community having contributed to the hoax of global warming. Why do you think the term was changed world wide to the now used climate change ? Do not be taken or deceived by out of date data or clipshots which do not in an way portray the whole picture. I would be interested in your reference source so that I can understand your perspective and arrival to your current opinion.

  11. @ Jules and David. As I said, I’ll stick with scientific data rather than Esra Levant.
    Believe whatever you want.

  12. “Climate change” and “global warming” is one and the same thing, and has been since the beginning of this epic, except of course when the media gets involved. The latest scientific “facts” and “data” still shows that approx. 97 percent of the world’s CLIMATE scientists are in agreement. For those who have a hard time seeing that things are changing might find it easier to use the words air pollution. There are already vast areas of the planet where the air is more toxic than cigaret smoke. In places like the 401 corridor through Toronto, children’s lungs do not develop properly. “Based on junk science based facts”? Better study aerial photos of the Arctic, or world famous glaciers, followed up with a trip on site. You don’t even need scientific data to see what’s happening. Scientists have always stated some parts of the world would actually get colder as the climate changed. There are all kinds of scientists, and like everyone else on the planet, they sometimes express opinions on things that are way out of their field of expertise. A proctologist can tell you a lot about climate change and hot air, but it won’t have much to do with “unnatural” climate change. A grade schooler can tell you that you can only blow so much smoke into a house before the people and their pets have to get out or die. Compare our atmosphere to the shell we call a house and maybe that would make it easier for the conspiracy theorists to understand what’s going on. We still have morons walking around saying DDT was safe. They should drink a glass full and see how long they last.

  13. I would feel a great deal safer with solar energy than those nuclear plants any day. The only problem is that here in Canada with our harsh weather we don’t get too much sun to make all that much difference but I will take that over those nuclear plants any day. The problem is that electricity as well as everything else is climbing drastically in price. You watch housing will go down and a great deal. People can no longer afford it and even to rent out a house takes as long as it does to sell one. I see it everyday here in Ottawa. I read about retired people who have to go back to work because they thought that they were going to live the easy life and then find out how much they are being fleeced. We will be living in a servitude type of life where the standard of living is going to drop and people will not be able to afford to live the nice lifestyle. What I know would shock you and I won’t write another manuscript. LOL LOL.

  14. “Believe whatever you want’, but don’t prove or back up what you believe. Is that how it is?

    Do you think
    I can change it in a day?
    How can I place you above me?
    Am I lying to you when I say
    That I believe in you
    I believe in you. N. Young

  15. For informed comment and discussion of the pressing issues of the day, such as climate change and the Harper government’s ongoing abuses of our democracy and natural environment, follow BC’s online newsletter The Tyee at:


  16. Roger you come across as an extremist who watches to many documentaries. Opinions are formulated from different perspectives which is why they are neither right or wrong and why there are so many varying opinions. Facts do not vary. Interpretations of data can vary for the same reasons as an opinion. I certainly agree that “climate change” is a naturally occurring geological feature of this planet, it has been going on for a considerable length of time. Pastor Tom Newton would likely inform you that that time is some five thousand years, I might have a different opinion but it would not change the fact that the current day argument revolves around what impact mans presence has contributed to altering the natural course of our world and whether or not world trading of carbon credits will fix everything. Keep learning and keep an open mind.

  17. Here is a tidbit to check out. The James Bay project has the potential to generate 25% of the worlds current electrical demand at a wholesale cost of approximately 7 cents per kwh. Quebec is part of Canada. Why would anyone agree to throw money at an ineffective solar or wind power system that cannot feasible meet demand when an available, cheap, environmentally friendly source is right at hand (Cornwall currently uses this source through Fortis and will until Dec. 2019 at which time our provincial exemption to the Green Energy Act expires and we are forced to purchase from Hydro One). This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a fact and I invite anyone to inform themselves. The answer is simple, follow the money.

  18. “trading of carbon credits will fix everything “- Didn’t the European Union drop “carbon taxes” long ago? It almost bankrupt their whole economy. Just like the Green energy act in Canada is doing. Taxing us to death, while driving out good paying jobs out of Ontario, and yes, all over Canada. We get what we paid for.

  19. Don’t get me wrong – I love me some Neil Young. However, there are aspects of Mr. Young’s rockstar lifestyle that could suggest a case of cognitive dissonance. The massive gas -guzzling twin touring buses he employs on the road, for instance, don’t jive with his fossil fuel activism.

    Our Prime Minister is attacking Neil Young on this point right now and sadly, it probably will hurt Neil’s efforts to some extent.

  20. David, I don’t know where you get the idea I’m an extremist. My statements are all based on very easily verified facts, from extremely reliable sources. No need for opinions there.

  21. Our PM attacking Neil Young on gas-guzzling buses. That’s rich coming from someone who had bullet-proof, armour-plated limousines shipped to India for his use at a cost to the taxpayer of (was it?) $20 Million.

    Besides, if Harper is all for oil, why would he not salute all owners of gas-guzzling vehicles? Hypocrite!

  22. @Furtz
    I’m with you, it’s just the optics are bad. Same with the big ol’ Estate vehicle he drives with the electric hybrid system. Bad optics. Sadly people just see the big bus and the big car. It’s an easy target.

  23. The tour that is wrapping up tonight looks to be a huge success. Every major media outlet has had multiple opinion pieces, mostly trashing Neil Young. You can’t buy advertising like that. The purpose of the tour was to raise money to help the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation pay for their legal costs for trying to preserve their land.
    As a bonus, a lot of people got to hear some good music, and it got people talking.

  24. It shouldn’t be too long in the not too distant future what we will see of the results of the Alberta Oil Sands disaster. When the fresh water is attacked God help us all and it will to from the west to the east. Nothing stops the flow of pollution. Look at the Pacific Ocean now which has led to the kind of disaster where fish and animals are dying and so are the plants in the bottom because of the radiation coming from Fukushima and it isn’t over yet.

  25. @Jules…..the starfish recently dying off is not attributed to radiation according to marine biologists currently researching the event. Radiation, according to scientific opinions, is not a likely cause and the occurrence is under investigation. At some later date we may discover the cause but anything that you might hear at this point is speculative or extremism in action and not factual in nature.

  26. Mr. Oldman it has been a while since I ate seafood and with the radiation scare I won’t touch it unfortunately. We won’t know for a while what is going on with the Pacific Ocean but according to what I heard fish and mamals and the food in the bottom are dying. We will all have to watch and see as things go on.

  27. Talk about Hot Air and Pollution…Mr. Harper and contingent of 208 people travel overseas ON OUR DIME

    Well our Prime Minister is prancing around Israeli saying NEVER AGAIN
    One can only pray that Canadians will feel the same about his government!!!

    Guess it was Open Mic night yesterday as a Conservative member begged PMO
    staff let him become part of the “Six million dollar photo OP at the wailing wall
    And they turned him down flat…he was almost begging at the end

    Then I will never touch another drop of alcohol..Mayor Rob Ford is not only hammered
    but he is hanging around with his drug dealer Lizi…but..his poll numbers are going up
    One, Conservative MP Mark Adler, was pressing to the edge of the media area where photographers watched, and pleaded with one of Mr. Harper’s aides, Jeremy Hunt, to be let past the security barrier to be part of the photo op.

    The video below shows Mr. Harper at the wall – and Mr. Adler’s voice can be clearly heard.

    “Jeremy! Jeremy! Can I get in?” Mr. Adler said.

    “No,” Mr. Hunt replied.

    “It’s the re-election! This is the million-dollar shot.”

    He then asked Mr. Hunt to bring Mr. Harper over to shake hands later. In the end, after Mr. Harper had started to walk away from the wall, Mr. Adler and another Tory, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, were allowed past the barrier, and scrambled to have their photos taken with the Prime Minister.

    Mr. Harper and contingent of 208 people, including Canadian politicians, religious leaders and business executives, are on a week-long trip to Israel and Jordan.

    Proving its not only Toronto Maple Leaf fans that are deluded

Leave a Reply