Monday, January 09, 2017

Trudeau's Pipeline May Get to Tidewater. His Legitimacy Won't.

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump have some things in common. They both garnered a lot of votes on the strength of outright lies. For Trudeau, nowhere is that more apparent than in coastal British Columbia.

On Nov. 29 of last year, as Justin Trudeau began to reveal his decision about an oil sands pipeline to Vancouver’s harbour, he announced he was a “grandson of British Columbia” with special ties to “our spectacular West Coast.” He then granted approval of the project while admitting many British Columbians would be “bitterly disappointed.”

Most bitter, probably, were those British Columbians who voted Liberal in the last election thinking they were halting just this sort of project pushed by Harper Conservatives in the face of environmental cautions.

The go-ahead for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion was one of many Liberal government decisions made in the past year that likely left such voters feeling betrayed. They include approved permits for the Woodfibre LNG plant in Squamish, the Site C dam in northern B.C. and the Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas plant near Prince Rupert, as well as helping to defeat an NDP bill meant to protect wild salmon.

Analysts have noted that Trudeau and his government may pay a high political price for backing the Trans Mountain project, given the populous ridings it affects and the extra tanker traffic and safety risks it involves.

Add fall-out from the list of other decisions above, and critics are wondering if Trudeau is either taking environmentally minded B.C. voters for granted – or just writing off some of the province in order to please other parts of the country.


Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and First Nations leader, also represents a slice of Vancouver. Before being elected, she blasted the Site C dam project for trampling Indigenous rights, but when her government backed the project she was mum. On the Kinder Morgan expansion she wrote a letter to B.C.’s Dogwood Initiative in 2015 calling the project “misguided,” but has been silent since its approval.


[New Democrat MP Fin] Donnelly wonders whether Trudeau, the Liberals and central Canada in general have any understanding of the will, culture and values of British Columbia’s southwest coast.

In defending his approval of sending more oil to B.C. and tankers into its waters, Trudeau was firm his government “won’t be swayed by political arguments” from locals or otherwise. A few days later, to an Edmonton room full of oil executives, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr suggested he’d send in the military to deal with those protesting the pipeline.

There's no other way to put it. British Columbians handed the Trudeau Liberals a basket full of seats on the strength of false promises and outright lies by the prime minister himself and several of his top cabinet ministers. They may well reap what they have sown. Here's to a Liberal-free British Columbia in 2019.


Bill said...

Thanks for this Mound.

Your take on the BC pipeline promotions is exactly how I and my family feel - totally played and betrayed by the Fed Liberal party that we strategically voted for. They campaigned and 'promised' that their decision would be fair, based on listening to affected communities, and decided on non biased science... blah, blah, blah, fail. Surprise, Justin Harper - instead of standing up slithered.

It appears we wasted a lot of time and energy for a predetermined outcome. We dutifully went to the KM dog and pony 'open houses', wrote numerous letters to our Liberal candidate before and after the election and basically were totally disregarded in a very calculated and cynical way.

My family can not and will not forgive them for their betrayal.

The Mound of Sound said...

I'm as outraged as you and your family, Bill. It was made worse when Trudeau said he knew many of us would be "bitterly disappointed." Typical Justin. Disappointment is for failures. This was something beyond a failure. It was an outright betrayal. Let's send them packing in 2019.

the salamander said...

.. Splitting of the Vote ..

I think BC adults, in particular need to examine belief or trust in political legitimacy.. and decide if current political parties are just executing a shell game.. You know.. with 3 half walnut shells. Harper gamed and groomed a somewhat stupified population by doing so, and Trudeau simply inherited the scam. Hey, in the US of A the game is played with just two shells ! And as we know, the simple math in the 3 shell game just makes it even weirder.

Is there time for a new political alliance to form in BC ? Or will zero legitimacy Christy Clark, in conjunction with Trudeau, just work the game again? Hell, she just shut down your Legislature for the fall sitting.. that was interesting. I don't recall outrage from the Prime Minister over that takedown of democratic process.. which seemed to me to be a spontaneous 'prorogue' but without a subsequent election. During that cone of silence dropped on BC governance, look what Trudeau and Clark pulled off. Where were the howls of outrage from BC and nation media?

Of course here in Ontario, Dalton MaGuinty simply took it on the lam & like it or not the electorate heard rumors of the old triple delete of any government files or communication re failed gas plant & hydro scandals. Alberta just plain hid and blew the money.. and one cannot keep up with the odd politics to the east.. or Quebec. It will take a Standing Rock level awakening over pipelines and resource giveways & subsidies .. bodies in the forest etc.. over 'not leaving that wealth in the ground' to bone up mainstream media from their extended hibernation. There are Pulitzer Prizes out there for intrepid and valorous journalists - who just need to glance at the various smokescreens, scandals, gaming and grooming & choose which politicians and which parties they need to fry. They certainly enjoyed the feast of Pierre Poutine, and the Duffy Affair.. perhaps the extirpation of wild salmon & takedown of the marine and boreal food chains will catch their interest? Polar bears? That's the legacy of Harper / Trudeau .. and getting Dilbit and LNG and raw logs to Asia..

The Mound of Sound said...

Sal, I think BC needs a new and aggressive political initiative at the federal level. Going along to get along works in some provinces' interests but does little for us. I think we need to begin approaching Ottawa with open hostility and a refusal to cooperate when that's not to our direct benefit. Let's see which side - BC or the rest of Canada - has the best case. Ottawa is looking increasingly to Asia. The path to Asia crosses British Columbia.

the salamander said...

.. Amen .. but I suspect BC needs to get rid of Christy Clark & any or all her complicits. We all know - right across Canada that Site C is tied into her trash the environment LNG pipedream, which in the long run is likely worse for BC than the tar sands are. The overall ancillary infrastucture of the entire BC LNG industry will tie into Alberta's LNG expansion, infrastructure buildup & delivery. The recurring lie is its all about The Economy, Energy Security & Jobs. BC already saw how Campbell simpy gave away environmental oversight to Stephen Harper - then became High Commissioner to Great Britain and left his province unprotected. Clark will keep sniffing for votes and any deals she can make will be dubious if that's what she thinks she can get away with. I don't anyone knows what is really being cooked up in Ottawa, Edmonton & Victoria along with Energy conglomerate boardrooms. Clean up whether old wells, old pipe or spills will never happen. Its a disaster that will also have dreadful impact on other existing industries of far far more value.. These are not public servants.. or at least they don't respect that as the prime directive they were elected for.