We all loved Michael Harris when he would sink his teeth into Stephen Harper. Now some of us don't love him quite so much when he calls Justin Trudeau out for the same things.
Among those "things" are the Kinder Morgan pipeline and Trudeau's betrayal of the people of British Columbia. Harris writes that Trudeau is giving BC a northern 'Standing Rock.'
Last week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Affleck granted the U.S. oil company a permanent injunction to keep protesters away from the construction zone.
A day after that, the Mounties moved in and arrested an unlikely group of villains — Indigenous leaders and “water protectors.” These are middle-aged moms and housewives worried about native rights and the environment, and the odd university student.
Back in 2015, while Trudeau was campaigning for the top job, he said governments may grant permits, but only local communities can give permission. On this, as in many other issues, the ‘Great Promiser’ changes his tune more times than a DJ at a wedding reception.
The fact is, the prime minister doesn’t have the support of the Musqueam, Squamish or Tsleil-Waututh nations. Nor does he have the support of elements of the Secwepemc nation, who do not want pipelines across their vast, unceded territories in British Columbia.
As reported in The Guardian, when the original Trans Mountain project was built in 1951, the Secwepemc nation couldn’t oppose because they were firmly under the thumb of the white establishment. First Nations people could neither organize politically, nor hire a lawyer.
But elements of the First Nations are not the only ones against Kinder Morgan. The project is also opposed by the province of British Columbia, the cities of Vancouver, Burnaby, Victoria, and 19 other municipalities, as well as 23,000 coast protectors, and a quarter of a million petitioners. That’s a lot of local rejection by anyone’s measure.
But as the late, great Stephen Hawking, scientist extraordinaire and master spirit of reason, might have put it, what is a politician’s fate compared to the destiny of an entire planet?
That is the saddest part of Trudeau’s stand on this project. No matter how he twists the truth, the science is not with him on this desperate role of the dice to save Notley’s political bacon. In fact, the science is not on anyone’s side, as internationally acclaimed Canadian scientist David Schindler wrote last week in the Vancouver Sun.
This is how complete the government’s ignorance is on the question of the impact of a major spill of diluted bitumen on the B.C. coast.
According to Schindler, no one really knows if the stuff would sink or float. No one knows the actual effect on marine life. No one knows how long it would hang around in the event of a major spill. There is a reason. No one has conducted the ocean research. ...
Trudeau is resolving doubt in favour of a potentially catastrophic product for B.C.’s coast line, marine life and rivers. Because there is no indisputable evidence that a spill of bitumen would spell disaster for the environment, the prime minister is proceeding as if it is safe to do so. It is the oldest con of all.Ask yourself this. Why hasn't the federal government done the necessary research? Why hasn't the province of Alberta, which stands, supposedly, to gain so much, done the research? Why haven't the Alberta bitumen barons done the research? Why not? They've had twenty years, more, to do that research. They've had all that time to make their case, to assuage the anger and worry of our First Nations and coastal British Columbians.
The "precautionary principle" which is the law of Canada, upheld by the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada, puts the onus on those forcing this pipeline on us to prove it safe. Trudeau and Notley flout that law and, instead, threaten British Columbia when its premier seeks to do the very research and testing they've shirked.
So, you proud Liberals, tell me something. Why do you think your government and your prime minister (no, he's not my prime minister) can run roughshod over this province, our people, my friends, my family, me? Why do you imagine your prime minister can feed us endless lies and place our environment and our coastal waters in peril for the sake of his political fortunes? Why?