Perhaps it is time for the Canadian government to consider owning an oil and gas company like it did with Petro-Canada during the ‘70s-’90s.
The corporation’s articles, government regulations and statues should all state that only federal, provincial and municipal governments of Canada can own common shares; while other citizens (including corporations) can only own preferred shares. Furthermore, every city within Canada should be given, not sold, options (preferably without expiration date) to buy shares: totalling up to 20 per cent of common shares available at the time. These options should be based on population. The provinces should be given the option to buy 40 per cent of common shares available at the time, based on population.
This would hopefully prevent privatization of the company like happened with Petro-Canada, and the company’s articles should state that if common shares are sold to corporations then the company becomes dissolved. The allowing preferred shares, without the option to convert to common shares, leaves the option to generate sources of financing through shares. By allowing common share ownership by local municipalities this should increase the voice of the electorate.
This oil and gas company should also have as part of its articles that it is only allowed to operate within the limits of supply and demand, not by the prices set by its competitors. This would allow the company to regulate gas prices in a fair manner, but still in accordance with (quasi-) market principles.
Statues and its articles should also state that this oil and gas company will not artificially offer lower prices at the pumps (P1) or pay less than fair market prices (as set by what supply and demand should offer) for products along the supply chain (P2). Furthermore, a goal should be set that this oil and gas company should be a complete supply chain from oil drilling to retailing. Once the goal is achieved, these two principles should be maintained to both keep fair market regulation as well as to prevent carrying a deficit on the books from one part of the chain which would have to be made up by another part (which if large enough may not be able to be done).
The articles of this company and statues should also state that this company’s management is independently ran from the government in power, and is answerable to a parliamentary committee that is composed of an equal number of seats of all official parties.