If the world is ever going to mitigate the worst of climate change, the most important tool will most likely be electricity provided by nuclear energy.
In that world, a strong nuclear industry in Ontario could rival or exceed the oil sands in economic importance. The world needs nuclear expertise. Korea, Russia, Japan and France are all very keen to make a go in this area.
Harper wants Ontario dependent on the oil sands providing the main source of new industrial jobs, in order to improve his political fortunes. Workers in Ontario will not bite the industry that feeds them, or the political power backing it. Harper wants that industry to be, above all others, support for oil sands operations.
Canada could have a strong Nuclear and Oil Sands industries. They are not natural competitors, really (transport fuels and electricity don't really compete with one another). But Harper's politics can't abide it. He's not capable of dispassionately advancing the interests of ALL of Canada if they conflict with the plan to make ALL of Canada's main economic roads run through Alberta.
Harper is cunning and dangerous. He's fundamentally reshaping Canada, with his own "national energy plan", and selling it with the "energy superpower" theme: oil from Alberta and tinkertoys from everyone else. C'mon: is anyone "impressed" with the fact that Saudi Arabia is an energy superpower? I don't find much anything impressive about their society. What a dim rebranding.
I'm glad Bruce Power is willing to see through our PM's schtick (or some other word starting with ess). (Not too suprising: Bruce's CEO Hawthorne is a Scotsman)