Skills shortage in Alberta
From the unfolding saga of “how Canada can suck ever more oil from the ground” we get this little news item:
Canada and Mexico should accelerate efforts to import temporary Mexican energy workers to alleviate the skills shortage in Alberta and other provinces as oil sands development ramps up, top North American CEOs will recommend today.
It’s mildly amusing that the most heavily
Republican Conservative region of Canada is so desperate for workers that Mexicans are apparently necessary. But the facts are that there’s very little in the way of opposition to major developments in Alberta. Both provincial and federal levels of government have historically favored a strategy of growing the tar sands as rapidly as possible. The low-ball estimates see Canadian oil production tripling by 2020, with all the increase coming from the tar sands. And if something as trivial as “wages” or “willing bodies” is keeping the precious, precious crude from flowing, then it’s clearly time to bring in replacements.
It’s not so much that everyone loves the idea of defiling cubic kilometers of land and water to keep U.S. cars running, it’s that nobody has any strong vision of an alternative — selling Americans raw materials is kind of what we do up here, and it’s a tough habit to break.