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To hell with this

May 29, 2018

I wake up this morning to the news that Justin Trudeau has decided to give Texas-based Kinder Morgan $4.5 billion to take over their controversial pipeline project from the Alberta tar sands to the British Columbia coast.

What a piece of work this prime minister is.

He went into politics with his eye firmly on the prize. His attendance record as an MP was appalling. Nonetheless he was elected leader of the Liberal Party, which had almost been wiped off the map in the previous election. Clearly the party was hoping the old Trudeau magic would work.

To hell with this

And it did. During the 2015 election campaign he crisscrossed the country saying and promising everything Harper-weary Canadians wanted to hear. In British Columbia he talked about the time he’d lived in the province and his love of its environment. Across the country (except in Alberta, where he knew his father’s legacy meant his party would never win a seat), he abhorred Stephen Harper’s stance on climate change. He met with First Nations leaders and promised a new era of nation-to-nation consultation. Expecting to be leading a minority government with the New Democratic Party, he promised a change to proportional representation. And for politically disengaged young voters he threw in the legalisation of marijuana consumption.

I foresaw a landslide win for the Liberals in 2015 and I was right. (As I also foresaw, with a large majority, the first promise to go out the window was his ending the first-past-the-post politics.)

Once elected he proclaimed at various international fora that “Canada is back”. This was certainly his message at the Paris climate talks in November 2015, where he and his environment minister swanned around proclaiming Canada’s commitment to tackling climate change.

A year later Canadians found how strong that supposed commitment was when Trudeau announced federal approval of Kinder Morgan’s proposal to treble the capacity of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

People in BC have long known that Alberta views our province as that annoying landmass between their noxious diluted bitumen and Asian markets. Now we know the federal government feels the same way.

To hell with BC and the devastating threat to our environment – and economy – posed by a seven-fold increase in the possibility of a tanker spill in our coastal waters. It only takes one. Nearly thirty years after the Exxon Valdez spill the local ecosystem is still reeling. And that was oil that floats on water, not dilbit most of which will quickly sink to the bottom.

To hell with those promised nation-to-nation consultations. To hell with the Alberta First Nations whose land and water has been destroyed by the tar sands. To hell with the BC First Nations who are completely and utterly opposed to the increased flow of tanker traffic through their territory.

To hell with Canada’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To hell with all that election talk of investing in sustainable energy.

Tell me, Justin, if you suddenly discovered $4.5 billion in the government’s coffers and are confident you can also find the estimated $7.5 billion cost of building the pipeline, could you really think of nothing better to do with the money than sucking up to Alberta? How about investing in an electric car factory or subsidising the cost of putting solar panels on every home in Canada?

Well, to hell with you, Justin, and your entire illiberal cabinet. (Oh, and to hell with the CBC and its one-sided “pipeline in the national interest” coverage of the issue. Apparently BC is some sort of spoiled brat who is not entitled to a concern or an opinion.)

Remember Oka? Remember Clayoquot Sound? Well, fasten your seatbelt, Justin, and enjoy the global news coverage. You might need a soon-to-be legal joint to soften the blow to your rock star international reputation.

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From → Columns

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    Well said. It’s absolutely infuriating.

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