How did the Conservatives manage to get away with so much for so long? For years the Alberta Conservatives beat their drums with the same old story (and still do); the bad guys from the east are going to eat us alive!
The National Energy Program was the best thing that ever happened to the Alberta Conservative. It allowed them to build a pyramid of lies and misrepresentations that lasts until this day!
The National Energy Program "NEP" was brought in by the Trudeau Liberals in 1981. It was signed by Peter Laugheed Premier of Alberta at that time who had reviewed it thoroughly and agreed after protests, boycotts, and court challenges.
The NEP had 3 purposes:
1. Increase Canadian content in the oil industry by giving incentives to Canadian companies.
2. Keep the price of oil bellow the world price to protect consumers.
3. Tax oil exports to increase the federal share of the profits.
All of these would effect the revenue of the US Oil Companies who had put the Conservatives into power in Alberta.
At the time of the NEP Canada did not control its own oil! However after the NEP was in place for 2 years, control of the oil industry rose from 25% to 50%. It also left Canada more resilient to world events, more self-reliant, and getting a larger profit from the pie OPEC baked.
The real harm to the finance at the time was not the NEP however, it was a situation very similar to what we are going through now. The oil industry in the States and the World tanked at the same time and the NEP did not cause the world price of oil to fall. Trudeau was willing to renegotiate the NEP on multiple occasions as the price of oil fell.
Albertans were encouraged to invest in the new industry. They invested their homes and levered their fledgling businesses and many; a great many lost it all!
The real problem took hold; inflation took hold and interest rates went through the roof; above 20% on mortgages! The cost of borrowing was close to 25% of the business income. Oil supply businesses went bankrupt. Unemployment shot up as business across the country (not just this Province) failed and all the while the Alberta Conservatives were burning up the media telling Albertans it was all the fault of the NEP.
During this time as the price of oil fell, Trudeau renegotiated the federal take on oil several times as the price of oil dropped to the floor, as did Lougheed.
Yes, the Alberta conservatives blamed it all, in total on the NEP and the Liberals. They did not bother to tell Albertans that in the 1930s, Ontario bailed out Alberta and kept the province from declaring bankruptcy!
This BS flew so well they spent another several years saying Quebec was getting a far better deal than Alberta and that difference was the cause of our problems. Ralph Klein especially would sing out hate and dissent against Quebec at every opportunity. The Physic of the Alberta population was not so different then as it is now. The person from the next village or city is considered a foreigner and Quebec is just the ogre someplace east that is waiting to do us in.
Albertans feel in their minds there is no choice in the political scheme. There is only Conservative even if the crew takes the bread off their table and drives them into poverty as is the case now.
So all the years have passed and the children still "know" the NEP and the Liberals did them in. All because of carefully orchestrated lies and misleading by the Alberta Conservatives who found they exercise so good they find it hard to stop.
Outright on going lies told time and time again has been the main stay for the Alberta Conservatives all told to the populace for whom they have absolutely no respect, laughing at their backward ways when in private.