Sunday, June 23, 2019

Michael Harris Has Questions for the "Prime Minister of Pipelines."

We loved Michael Harris when he used to rip into that hypocrite, Stephen Harper. Now he's going after the next Grand Dissembler, the Prime Minister of Pipelines and Climate Emergency.

Read the entire article but, in the meantime, here are Harris' eight hard questions for Justin Trudeau:

1. Since Canada is already on track to miss its emission targets set in Paris by 79 megatonnes (only Gambia and Morocco are on target), how do you justify greenlighting a project that will add 20 per cent to carbon emissions from the Alberta tar sands? 
2. You once said that only communities could issue the social license for mega projects like this. So what do you say to the Squamish Nation, and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby who have not granted that social license? 
3. If expanding Trans Mountain is such an economic winner, why did Kinder Morgan happily unload this project on the Canadian people? Where were the rugged captains of private industry when this “jewel” went up for sale? 
4. You have said time after time that getting a pipeline to tidewater to ship this highest-cost, low-quality product to Asian markets was critical. Since Canadians now own Trans Mountain, can you reveal any contracts with Asian countries, including China, that back up that assertion? 
5. You have publicly committed to saving endangered resident orcas, now down to 74, in the Salish Sea off the B.C. coast. How does increasing the tanker traffic seven-fold in that area support that goal, especially given the National Energy Board’s own assessment that the project would have “significant adverse effects” on the whales? 
6. A foundational value you constantly espouse is evidence-based policy, as opposed to Stephen Harper’s practice of consulting his belly button. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world has just 11 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or the damage will be catastrophic and irreversible. How is expanding Trans Mountain, and continuing to develop more fossil fuels a policy based on science? 
7. In announcing the Trans Mountain decision, you said that you would not have made it if you thought it would put the B.C. coast at risk. Part of your optimism is based on alleged improvements to oil spill responses, which you now call “world-class.” Where was that world-class response in Newfoundland last year, when 250,000 litres of oil spilled from Husky Energy’s SeaRose Platform? None of the pollutant was recovered. 
8. The true stewards of the land, particularly in British Columbia, have been Indigenous Peoples. They have seen a little further down the planetary road than a business sector obsessed with profit. Do you think it is an accomplishment to try to lure them into your world of development and consumption beyond sustainable limits by offering to sell them Trans Mountain, lock, stock and barrel?
Well, at least Harris didn't come right out and call Trudeau a wanton, shameless liar. I suppose it wasn't really necessary.

Twice in my lifetime I have witnessed resources tragedies. Both dealt with important items of commerce — asbestos in Quebec and the northern cod in Newfoundland. 
In the case of asbestos, it was the foundation of an important industry. Quebec had the largest asbestos mine in the world and the industry was seen as untouchable. 

In the latter case, the northern cod was the legendary fishery that fed millions worldwide and was fished consecutively for 400 years by scores of nations. 
But asbestos-caused cancer, and northern cod inspired the cold-hearted greed of overfishing. When questions were raised about banning asbestos and closing the fishery, the forces of the status quo kicked in with a vengeance. 
Jobs would be lost if asbestos was banned, and whole communities and a way of life would collapse in outport Newfoundland if the cod fishery was closed. And so the politicians dithered, and people died of cancer until asbestos was finally banned and the northern cod were fished out. 
And now a resource that is choking the planet is being defended the way that asbestos and the cod fishery were. 
And like Stephen Harper before him, who defended asbestos, and Brian Mulroney who refused to close the fishery until there were no fish, Justin Trudeau is now buying and building pipelines. And that more or less guarantees more oil and gas development. 
You get the picture.
By the way, although it's behind a hard-as-concrete paywall, the Washington Post just weighed in on the Justin Trudeau Memorial Pipeline, calling his feeble attempts to justify it a "mantra of extinction."


Anonymous said...

So, a single pipeline is the only issue facing Canadians? (BTW - There are two others that did not get built.)


The Mound of Sound said...

UU, stop being a partisan dick. No one said the pipeline is the "only issue" facing Canadians - except you. You want more? How about democratic restoration? More? Where do you want to go?

Brian Dundas said...

Hi Mound. Essential reading. I am not a reactive Trudeau supporter. In fact, I have been dismayed with not only him but the center left everywhere (Joe Biden anyone). But, something, perhaps naive, crossed my addled mind tonight when I read Sheer's alert pertaining to the Liberal's changes to environmental approvals, which he is approving and moving forward on. Is it possible that the Libs have calculated that letting a new approval system kill carbon in this country, taking it out of the realm of politics and back into the realm of science and expertise, providing the political cover of science, is what he, and the Libs are up to?

The Mound of Sound said...

Brian, I can't say that's impossible. Would it be plausible given that the feds have coughed up nearly 5 billion on an aging, end-of-life pipeline? I think that's unlikely but we'll know soon enough won't we?

Brian Dundas said...

We will, Mound. My hard earned experience puts the laugh to my thesis, but, I have to hold out some hope. Otherwise...