Sunday, May 01, 2016

Justin, Rachel and Brad - Completely Out of Touch with Canadians

Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley and Brad Wall are determined to continue Canada's sullied fossil fuel past but the Canadian people want a fossil free future for Canada.

An Ekos poll found the controversial Leap Manifesto has already gathered a lot of support. Among those familiar with it, as many support the call for Canada to slash carbon emissions and be completely free of fossil energy by 2050 as those opposed.

The only party whose members oppose Leap is, predictably, the Conservatives. Justin's own Liberals support leap by a two to one, 50 to 25 margin. The strongest support, the Green Party, comes in at 59% followed by the NDP at 54%.

You would think that, with numbers like these, Trudeau wouldn't be quite as spineless in caving in to the demand for ever more hazmat dilbit coursing through ever more hazmat pipelines. You might think... but.


crf said...

That iPolitics question is a bit loaded, since the Leap manifesto is more than those things it mentions in the question. Various combinations of Leap policies within any particular question may garner different responses, even among those familiar with the Leap.

Those numbers for and against the Leap may also change when the government actually implements a carbon pricing mechanism. Right now, Leap is the most prominent policy document out there in terms of action on climate change. So, for those that care a lot about climate, Leap is something they can latch onto and support.

Should the government propose a climate plan, Liberal voters could reduce their support for Leap in favour of Trudeau's plan, and Conservatives voters ought not to care too much. And I'm afraid large chunks of NDP supporters would also leap away from the Leap, to support the government's plan, just like as happened last election.

I'm not sure that this poll of leap-familiar voters can tell use much about pipeline support in Canada, even within blocs of voters. Here is a story from CBC about the latest pipeline poll. Quick take: A slim majority do not like pipelines. A majority think pipelines are the safest way to transport oil. A slim majority supports Energy East. Support for particular pipelines is correlated with greater distance between the respondent and pipeline. Generally, environmental concerns still pale towards economic concerns.

(For the record, I am for a carbon tax. In terms of current climate policy, I think Patrick Brown (Ontario PC leader) has the best proposed policy. McGuinty/Wynne has delivered fairly bad climate change policy. I'm not completely against pipelines from AB to somewhere.)

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes but I think the level of support is remarkable given the brief time Leap has had to soak into the public consciousness.

As for pipelines I approach it from a coastal British Columbian perspective. To me it's unacceptable for the transportation of dilbit in any circumstance. That is a hazardous material laced with a variety of abrasives, corrosives and carcinogenic heavy metals not to mention the pet coke problem. It's bad enough that the Exxon Valdez spill has still not been cleaned up more than two decades later but that was a spill of only conventional crude oil. A dilbit spill is of an order of magnitude more dangerous and impossible to clean. When someone demonstrates that they have the technology to clean a dilbit spill and then produces the infrastructure for the job on site then I would have to listen. That's not going to happen.

I very luckily survived a storm on the Hecate Strait and I know that's no place for a heavily laden supertanker. Alberta's broke. Saskatchewan isn't much better off. Do you think either province would come up with the massive amounts that would be needed to deal with a tanker catastrophe in our northern waters? No, we would be left to deal with their devastation for decades.

Carbon taxes would be helpful but they would have to be far more substantial than someone with Trudeau's demonstrated fortitude would entertain. Time is running out, Chris. Options are narrowing. Hardly a time to be beset with a government afraid of its shadow.

crf said...

If a pipeline is built during Justin Trudeau's tenure it will likely be energy east. For all the reasons you mention, a dilbit pipeline through the Rockies, crossing the Fraser, and then terminating somewhere on the stormy west coast is a very tough sell. And Harper couldn't swing it when oil was much more valuable.

I also agree with you about the Trudeau government appearing, so far, to be quite timid, and I'd say scatter-brained, about climate policy (and this is likely the McGuinty-ites doing). Nevertheless, we'll just have to wait and see what happens: there are some very knowledgeable people in his cabinet. If one were to look at any potential comprehensive and useful climate policy, a carbon tax is very likely to be a major component. The export and finance of low carbon energy technology elsewhere in the world will also be very important, potentially of greater importance than the emission reductions made within Canada itself. If there is to be a dilbit export policy as the price to pay for Canadian climate legislation, it would be inexcusably shameful not to include a comprehensive clean energy export policy as well.

Dana said...

It's all very reminiscent of Obama's first two years isn't it. When he had a majority in both Houses and spent his time waffling about trying to get someone in the Repugnican side to give him permission to govern.


Anonymous said...

Carbon taxes; paying for subsidies to the fossil fuel industry in BC for the last decade...


The Mound of Sound said...

Dana, I've read a few reports suggesting some of Trudeau's cabinet and perhaps JT himself have been pushed around by the mandarins, deputy ministers and ADMs left around from the Harper days. Something happened. Despite Trudeau's campaign promise the F-35 is still in the running. Trudeau's mandate letter to Garneau to reinstate a tanker moratorium on the north coast is not being implemented but supposedly remains under review. Catherine McKenna who was so vocal at the Paris climate summit last December now mutters about "national unity" instead. Dion now plays the simpleton, his best defence for government policy a shrug. I can't think of one major issue on which they're forging ahead. The hopes of progressives for some type of new deal are deflated, perhaps crushed. Harper may be out but his influence remains alive and well.

The Mound of Sound said...

Trailblazer, you're right. If we are going to implement a meaningful, national carbon tax scheme it must be accompanied by an outright end to fossil fuel subsidies of every variety - deferrals, grants, preferential terms for access to natural resources, the lot.

The Mound of Sound said...

Chris, do you really think Team McGuinty holds that much sway with Trudeau?

Pamela Mac Neil said...

"Something happened." Any thoughts on what you think happened Mound? They seem very cowed these days.

Dana said...

Just sent this off the Anna Gainey, Pres of the LPC, who invites people to reach out regarding preparations for the next election.

"Frankly, so far, preparing for the next election looks a lot like backpedaling on promises made during the last election.

Replacing hope and enthusiasm with disillusionment and anger is most definitely not a recipe for success.

First impressions are great but they won't win the next campaign.

I'm 68. I've been observing Canadian politics for quite a while now.

I want to believe that Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are being manipulated, lied to, and possibly bullied, by Harper's left over senior bureaucrats and mandarins.

I want to believe that because the alternative is to believe that Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are just as spineless, unprincipled and deceitful as almost every other government we've had in Canada.

The betrayals are starting to pile up.

If you need a list of them then sadly you're part of the problem."

The Mound of Sound said...

Pamela, Dana - I think you'll find the essay I just posted relevant to your remarks.

Anonymous said...

Soak the tax payer of this country some more to further support big business. When do you think it will stop, and better still, how Mound?

The Mound of Sound said...

Anon, I honestly don't know. You would think it would be a politically astute move to cancel all the subsidies - grants, deferrals, access to undervalued natural resources - government lavishes on the fossil fuel giants but no one ever takes that step. It doesn't even rise to the level of a bogus campaign promise.