OIL: it’s an imposing and multi-faceted topic, into whose orbit come geopolitical intrigue, war and empire building. Oil fuels our modern industrial comforts and conveniences, as well as our controversies. In many parts of the petroleum-rich world — Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Nigeria — it has engendered violence and state corruption. A blessing of mixed character, oil production and its inevitable politics have arrived on a massive scale to Canada, most of it in the form of bitumen. Civil war and autocracy are unlikely in this democratic, rule-of-law nation, but don’t expect a smooth journey. There are battles ahead, and the evidence suggests Canada is ill-prepared both for its scope and scale.