Pipeline Observer

South Africa Trashes Property Rights But is Manitoba really a whole lot different?

Published in July, 2017

South Africa's leftist government appears set to expropriate farmers wholesale and redistribute land as part of the ruling African National Congress' (ANC) "social justice" agenda.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-05/zimbabwe-20-south-africa-president-proposes-land-expropriation-without-compensation >

You might think our headline is a bit on the provocative side.  But is it?

Decades ago the government of Manitoba got into the hydroelectric business via Crown corporation Manitoba Hydro.

Successive governments of all stripes in that province have embraced public ownership of electricity as part of their social justice policy framework.

Cheap electricity is said to be a right in Manitoba, even though rates continue to skyrocket.  

The current Progressive Conservative government of Manitoba is proceeding with the costly BiPole lll project despite having condemned it as a boondoggle while in Opposition.

To complete the project the Pallister PCs are following through with the NDP government's expropriation of dozens of farm families who had the misfortune of being found in the misguided project's path.

Sure, in South Africa, they are talking about expropriation without compensation.  In Manitoba, the nominally conservative government is offering partial, insufficient compensation, which they propose to pay for by expropriating other Manitobans' tax dollars.

Worse, in a move worthy of the increasingly tyrannical South African ANC, the Pallister PCs are refusing to recognize expropriated landowners' freely chosen bargaining agent, CAEPLA.

The Pallister government wants to push the disastrous BiPole lll project through some of the province's most productive farmland.

But he does not want to pay for that farmland.  Premier Pallister, who likes to be thought of as a conservative, prefers to externalize -- i.e., socialize -- the costs of his soviet style power project onto farm families instead.

Pallister poses as a fiscal conservative but believes it is legal and proper to impose the costs of a socialist electric utility onto small family farmers.

Like the communist ANC, Pallister says it is "necessary and unavoidable" to expropriate landowners in order to subsidize Hydro rates for the province, all in the name of 'the greater good.'

The article we link to warns that South Africa is headed in the same direction as its disastrous neighbor, Zimbabwe, a country that was once spectacularly wealthy, but has since arrived at Third World status following the expropriation of its farmers.

It is clear under Brian Pallister's Progressive "Conservatives," Manitoba is going the same way as South Africa -- the difference being merely one of degree, not of (policy) kind.

Property rights are as irrelevant in Pallister's Manitoba as they are in South Africa.