It is nearly impossible for a Canadian politician to criticize the oil industry, says Dominique Perron, author of a new book that looks at identities, myths and the discourse surrounding the oil industry in Western Canada.
That fact is a major impediment that prevents the country from having a real debate about the big issues – like the oil sands – that involve the oil industry.
That lack of debate risks undermining the Alberta economy in the long term, she warns. And Quebec, she adds, should not be complacent: Its Caisse de dépôt, the fund that manages public pension plan money in Quebec, invests heavily in Alberta, and is exposed to the same long-term risks as Albertans.
Perron, a retired University of Calgary professor, has received the...