Imported Russian Oil Banned: Et Tu Trudeau?

imported Russian oil

U.S. President Joe Biden just announced a ban on imported Russian oil into his country. Is it the right thing to do? This latest sanction is to show support for Ukraine and disdain for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Will Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau follow suit?

Global Oil Reserves

Like it or not, crude oil is (currently) the main source of energy around the world. Until that changes (if it ever changes) oil reserves are a huge commodity. Which countries have the most oil reserves? This list from World Population Review shows the current (2022 data) facts…

Imported Russian Oil

These facts are deceiving, however. For example, Venezuela’s oil is predominantly offshore so fairly difficult to access. Saudi Arabia’s oil, on the other hand, is located inland and close to the land surface. Crude oil reserves are based not only on quantity but how readily accessible the reserves are with current technology. Regardless, you can see the general position of countries within this list of proven oil reserves. Canada is near the top, the USA is below number ten.

Oil Imports and Exports

So, from this I’m gathering Biden’s sanction banning imported Russian oil won’t have much of an impact on Russia. According to EIA the USA imports most of its oil from Canada:

Canada remained the largest exporter of total petroleum to the United States in December; exporting 4.8 million b/d. The second largest exporter of total petroleum was Mexico with 645,000 b/d.

EIA, December 2021

Canada also imports very little oil from Russia, so an imported oil sanction by Trudeau would be more symbolic (like Biden’s) than catastrophic for Putin and Russia. It might poke the bear though.

Canada sits at the top of the list of crude oil importers (predominantly from Saudi Arabia), according to the EIA:

Imported Russian Oil
EIA data, December 2021

While one of Canada’s biggest exports is, you guessed it, crude oil. This data is from Investopedia:

Are you confused yet? Canada is at the top of the list for its impressive oil reserves, something a cold-weather country should aim to be. We also sit at the top of the exporting of oil list, which economically is great. Isn’t it? But wait, we are also at the top of the imported oil list. How is that economical? Granted, I’m no economist, but I did excel in accounting 101. I am confused, not to mention annoyed and frustrated.

Using Canadian Oil Instead of Imported Oil?

This topic has come up before with Trudeau’s resistance to approving pipelines between the oil reserves in the west for use in the eastern provinces. (Most) Canadians would prefer to use the oil we have, rather than depend on foreign countries for their supply. The Russian invasion of Ukraine just emphasizes this opinion.

The National Post has a great but sad explanation:

So proud is the Trudeau government of its action on environmental stewardship and climate change that it essentially does the Saudis’ dirty work for them. By tightening the screws on domestic Canadian production while seeing an increase in Saudi-originating imports we are helping to accelerate the rate of our own energy-sector’s decline.

National Post

Canadian Pipelines: Do you Support Them?

Canadian Pipelines

The Canadian pipelines debate has been discussed from coast to coast for several years now. Rumours and speculation of who supports them and who is holding them back (and why) are rampant. Apparently, these pipelines that transport climate-changing fossil fuels are financially lucrative, job-producing investments elsewhere in the world, but not in Canada.

Pierre Poilievre takes Mark Carney to Task

I heard this exchange recently; I personally love how perseverant Poilievre is on the basic question regarding the pipelines. Do you support them or don’t you? The Canadian pipelines I mean, not the foreign ones. You could also interpret this as do you support improving the Canadian economy or is the economy of other countries more important?

Who is Mark Carney and What does he Think of Canadian Pipelines?

On his resume, Mark Carney has an impressive list of accomplishments and accolades. Governor of the Bank of Canada as well as the Bank of England, several international offices of Goldman Sachs, Canada’s department of finance, the financial stability board (FSB) of G20 countries, and most recently Brookfield Asset Management.

While Governor of the Bank of England, Carney was the chief opponent of Brexit. He tried to convince everyone that the UK economy would suffer a negative impact.

More recently (spring 2021) Carney scrambled to defend Brookfield Asset Management’s significant holdings of “carbon neutral” fossil fuels. In short, he manipulated his accounting to downplay (hide) a carbon footprint of 5,200 tons of carbon dioxide. What does carbon neutral mean to you? I admittedly don’t know that much, but I’m willing to bet that many tons of carbon dioxide are nowhere near neutral.

Hearing him dithering in this video, he (unflatteringly) sounds like his Liberal boss, our Prime Minister. Do as I say, not as I do comes to mind.

Who is Pierre Poilievre and What is his Stance?

Well, his opinion and support or loyalty are much more obvious. This video and other forms of social media display his stance on crucial issues. Considered the political opposition’s bulldog to many, Pierre Poilievre is a Conservative member of parliament (MP) representing the Carleton suburb of Ottawa. With a Bachelor of Arts and some commerce courses under his belt, his own modest description of himself says it all:

“a political junkie with a passion for public debating and a special interest in international relations”

Perhaps Poilievre is not as polished or successful (career-wise) as Mark Carney. Yet. He (Pierre) is definitely more articulate and fun to listen to. His debating skills are legendary within the house of commons. I, for one, love his doggedness. Is that a word? Maybe perseverent is better.

As Shadow Minister of Finance, it is, appropriately, his job to hold our Finance Minister (and Deputy Prime Minister) Chrystia Freeland accountable. Recently though, Poilievre announced a higher ambition, with intentions of running for the Conservative leadership, en route to the goal of becoming our next Prime Minister. If a drama teacher can do it, a self-acclaimed political junkie and well-spoken, if somewhat annoying, bulldog can too. The level of annoyance depends purely on which side of the debate you represent. He is one of those guys you want on your team instead of playing against him.

If you don’t yet know of Pierre Poilievre, you will soon.

photo credit: Wikipedia

Platform Compromised: Time to Move on!

platform compromised

Protesters in the Freedom Convoy have occupied downtown Ottawa for the fourth day now. Hopefully, some of us heard the intended message. Most Canadians are ready to reopen the country. As feared though, the ugliness of the bandwagon radicals compromised the peaceful and (somewhat) reasonable, original platform.

Doug Ford, the Premier of Ontario has issued the following statement:

The right to peaceful protest is core to our Canadian identity. I was extremely disturbed, however, to see some individuals desecrate our most sacred monuments and wave swastikas and other symbols of hate and intolerance this weekend. That has no place in Ontario or Canada. Not now. Not ever.

Doug Ford

Downtown Businesses and Residents

The problem is, those not so enamoured with the protest have had their freedom compromised too.

Like everyone else in Ontario, (other provinces have different schedules) Ottawa’s businesses were eagerly anticipating the reopening of their businesses yesterday, January 31. Small businesses have taken the brunt of pandemic restrictions, some forced to close altogether.

The large presence within the downtown core of protesters has forced businesses to delay their re-opening. Non-compliant protesters who refuse to wear masks on the premises are impacting hotels too.

platform compromised

photo credit

Residents in the area suffer the incoveniences. Obnoxiously loud horns, the smell of diesel fuel permeating the area, as well as reports of violence and vandalism have them frustrated and angry. The unmitigated stress of the situation helped compromise the platform.

Violence and Disrespect

There have been reports and signs that there has been some violence and disrespect during the protest. Unfortunately, it has been difficult to differentiate between truth and manufactured propaganda. Blatantly skewed media attention is to blame there.

For example, an ambulance pelted with rocks, and an attendant bombarded with racial slurs as he exited his vehicle to examine the damage is unacceptable.

Misinformation is Dangerous

Another report said that a patient within an ambulance died as a result of delayed response time due to protest-induced traffic congestion. Social media quickly disputed this as “not true” however.

Other reports say the protests have been peaceful and respectful, mostly by those in attendance though. Protesters themselves removed the (reportedly) single confederate flag and individual Nazi symbol. To listen to the media attention though those two disrespectful symbols outnumbered the Canadian flags by far.

Yet another rumour reports that Trudeau himself hired those committing the violence, abuse, disrespect, vandalism etc to discredit the movement. Another says that “the Russians” are fueling the protest. Really?

Our prime minister, (supposedly) isolating with a positive covid test, has refused to address the protesters or their message. Mixed messages and rumours are circulating about that as well. Some say he is in hiding to avoid the “fringe group” he claimed the protesters represented.

Quite the variation in interpretations and messages wouldn’t you say?

Unfortunately, bad reporting and misinformation on social media can be as destructive as physical threats, particularly for the platform in question.


The truckers started the national protest when Justin Trudeau suddenly removed the vaccine exemption for truckers. Most truckers have received their vaccinations. This mandate was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Individual provinces govern most pandemic restrictions though. Organizers did not plan the protest well. That’s just my humble opinion. Instead, it was an emotional, knee jerk reaction of Covid-stressed, bored organizers and their followers.

The passionate message of Canadians tired and frustrated with pandemic restrictions took on a life of its own as the Freedom Convoy moved across Canada. From coast to coast in fact. In trucks and on foot. Spectators galore showed up to support the truckers along the way. Unfortunately, so did the hate-spewing, disrespectful small interest groups and radicals.

The bad apples have ruined the barrel. Did organizers encourage the bad apples? Or did someone plant them to spoil the effect? Who knows? The bottom line? A compromised platform, well-intended or not.

It is time to move on! My personal belief is that Canadians must use their democratic right to vote to voice their non-confidence in a government. Protests never accomplish much.

Put your voice on your ballot!

As soon as possible!