What's it gonna be? Will Harper weld the manhole cover shut on election financing? Will he shut down any effort to clean up the Tar Sands? Will he transform the public and armed services into agencies of the Conservative Party? Will he shove two-tier healthcare down our throats? Will he shred what remains of our social safety net? Will he synchronize Canada to America's wishes? Will he festoon the landscape with mega-prisons? Will the most authoritarian prime minister in living memory sabotage what remains of our democracy?
Oh, I forgot, Jack Layton's going to stop him. Whew, what a relief!
I don't know where Harper will begin but I do know what's coming to us in British Columbia. Long before we get another trip to the polls, we're going to have a privately owned and operated supertanker port in Kitimat and a pipeline drawing toxic bitumen sludge out of the Tar Sands.
Who can forget the Exxon Valdez fiasco in Alaska's Prince William Sound? That supertanker was only loaded with Alaskan crude oil, not utterly toxic, highly corrosive, bitumen sludge.
Just around the corner from where the Queen of the North rests on the seabed hundreds of feet below the surface, we're going to have a supertanker port that will enrich Alberta and Big Oil and leave British Columbians holding the bag for the awful risks.
Rafe Mair puts it most aptly:
As the old saying has it, if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. So it is with us who have taken environmental issues on as a lifetime issue. It’s not that we don’t see, understand and have passion for other issues – rather that we see the environment being urgent. If we get it wrong over the next few years – and the BC government and the Harper government have got it wrong – then the damage is forever. You simply cannot restore wild salmon runs or erase the damage of a catastrophic oil spill. On the economic side of the environment issue, if you lose your public power to private interests as we seem determined to do, it’s gone forever.
Harper wants nothing more than to forfeit public power to private interests, his permanent solution and we're just going to have to sit by and watch.