Program energy national
Introduced after the energy crises of the Years 1970, the PEN aimed:
- to promote the oil Self-sufficiency of Canada,
- to maintain the crude oil reserves, particularly for the industrial base in the east of Canada,
- to promote the Canadian possession of the industry of energy,
- to support the low price,
- to promote oil exploration in Canada,
- to promote the alternative sources of energy,
- and to increase the incomes of the government of the oil sales through a variety of taxes and agreements.
Before the installation of this program, even with the payments of Equalization, there was a transfer of the richness starting from the provinces of the east, particularly the Ontario and the Quebec, very dependant on oil, towards the oil provinces of the West.
The program was extremely unpopular in the Western Canadian, where most of Canadian oil is produced, and increased the resentments towards the federal government, especially in Alberta, Colombia-British and Saskatchewan. The majority of Albertains considered that the PEN was an unjustified intrusion of the federal government in fields of competence provincial, and was built with an aim of concealing the natural wealth with their province. By keeping the oil prices under the world market prices, the program subsidized primarily the provinces of the East, where was the political base of Trudeau.
However, Trudeau had underestimated the determination of the Prime Minister albertain Peter Lougheed, who retorted by slowing down the development of several projects for the bituminous Sables. Lougheed gained the affection of Albertains when it appeared national on television to announce that oil forwardings towards the remainder of Canada would cease. This had as a result the revision of the PEN so that the Canadian oil price possibly approaches the world prices.
The justification of the program disappeared when the oil prices fell at the beginning of the Années 1980. With the elections of 1984, the Parti progressist-conservative Brian Mulroney makes countryside against the program; its government gave up it once with the capacity, as promised.
The consequences of the PEN are still the object, in XXIe century, of debates. Shortly after its implementation, the economy of the whole of Canada, in particular from the provinces of the west, fell into a recession which lasted several years. Many residents of the west always make take the responsibility for the recession with the PEN, whereas many residents of the east rather call upon factors external with the country.
AnecdotesWithin the framework of the PEN, Petro-Canada was the nationalized oil company, with its head office with Calgary. In English, the opponents of the PEN gave him the name of Pierre Elliott Trudeau Rips Off - Canada (“Pierre Elliott Trudeau plunders Canada”), and the Petro-Canada Center in Calgary was known under the name of Red Square (“Red Place”, recall of the Communist regime in the USSR) by these same opponents.
At the time of the PEN, one often saw on the stickers for car in the Canadian west the slogan Let the Eastern Bastards Freeze in the Dark (which one can translate by “Leave the bastard ones Is to freeze in blackness”).
Files of Radio-Canada on the national energy Program and the oil history albertaine
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