The Alberta Enterprise Group is a anti-tax business lobby, a good number of the corporate members involved with that province’s oil patch. It’s board of directors is entirely made up of men – white men.
Speaking at a recent luncheon, AEG President Tim Shipton complained how it was difficult to develop the Canadian economy because of regulatory and political challenges.
He said “Canada is paralysed by special interests and complacency.”
The AEG doesn’t like things like taxes, although they claim they need to do away with regulations and all this opposition to their projects in order to make money so the same taxes they don’t like can pay for hospitals and schools and roads. It’s about public services they say. Yeah, right.
What they are really vexed about is communities not wanting energy pipelines running through their backyard. Apparently the people who live in the path of these pipelines are special interests, whereas the companies that want to profit from these pipelines are doing so in the national interest.
“This virtual internal blockade is not just a problem in Canada’s board rooms – it’s a problem in our classrooms and hospitals as well,” he says, making us really wonder what AEG is trying to get at?
Could it be the AEG views public support for Medicare as a blockade to the national interest? Public education?
This would be absurdly funny if it weren’t for the fact that groups like this really do have the ear of politicians. Their ideas are much more likely to get picked up in the mainstream media without any reporter questioning how a bunch of Alberta businessmen could ever claim to speak in the public interest and question the legitimacy of other groups.
It is also ironic that the AEG calls for a national debate on the economy and jobs while simultaneously talking about political challenges stifling their projects.
Aren’t the “political challenges” he’s speaking about really about people exercising their rights in a democracy?
The AEG site lists a number of their corporate members, including SNC Lavalin which, as we understand, is having to answer some rather interesting questions over the conduct of two former executives in the McGill University Health Centre public-private partnership project.
Turns out their conduct may not have been entirely in the national interest.