Canadian government could waste more money choosing businesses

After many years of studying, debate and controversy, a Canadian federal panel has decided that a gas pipeline running from Arctic Canada and destined for the Canadian and American markets is a good idea. If it will happen, the federal government will need to fork over an undisclosed sum of money to help it along. There are some benefits to this deal, specifically adding supply of natural gas to markets that have increasing demand for it and giving a future to several local Aboriginal groups.

However, there are two concerns I have with this plan; one was raised by the panel, as reported by the Toronto Star, which is that permafrost in the Arctic needs to be evaluated first as there is the risk that it might melt it. This is especially concerning because recently there have been reports that suggest that permafrost in the Canadian Arctic has been thinning and melting at a faster than expected rate.

My second concern is that this plan is likely more expensive than the alternative means of obtaining natural gas in Canada and that is through shale rock. This would mean that once again the federal government would be using tax payer money choose which businesses to invest in, something that governments are notoriously awful at doing. It was not long ago that this same government put up money to help out Chrysler, a company who has not shown an ability to manufacture even a half-descent product line.

I am not picking on the Conservative Party in particular, as I am quite sure that the Liberals and NDP would make the same type of bad decisions, I am just letting Canadians and even Americans know that their tax money may yet again be used to choose businesses. I mention the importance for Americans because these decisions affect American companies which are invested on both sides of these decisions and the US federal government has also been selecting which companies should live or die.

The reasons why governments are so terrible at selecting the right businesses to invest in are because for starters, they have the wrong priorities in mind. Instead of looking at it from a purely long term business standpoint, they look at the political aspects and only short term gains. On top of that, most politicians are not business people and therefore lack that type of decision making skill. The few that do have a background in business have since changed the way they operate and make decisions otherwise being in government, a slow to react, high bureaucracy, not so ethical and ME based system would drive them to insanity. When our politicians wakes up every morning, they should tell themselves what their job is and what it is not. Maybe this will help them steer clear of delving in to decisions they are not qualified to make.