Canada’s Nazi ovation gaffe in the House of Commons was just the tip of the iceberg. For years, the country deliberately admitted World War II Nazi collaborators in the hopes of dismantling political radicalism and suppressing labor militancy.
William Gillies is a member of the Alberta Advantage podcast. His research interests are Alberta and Nova Scotia labor history, focusing on the closure of the coal mining industry.
In 1980, Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau introduced the National Energy Program. Though flawed, the policy showed how state intervention in the energy sector could overcome the boom-and-bust of the business cycle.
Coal mining is coming to an end in Nova Scotia. But the industry’s long history of lethal accidents, labor unrest, and prolonged decline offers a lesson for the future. A green energy transition will need public investment and control, not piecemeal subsidies for private capital.