There is an elephant in the cabinet room and it can only be dealt with if the occupiers of that room don’t oppose any of the proposed pipelines to run through BC – this thanks to the Campbell/Clark HST mess.
In simple terms, we owe Ottawa $1.6 BILLION by backing out of the HST. It’s not brain surgery – any deal Prime Minister Harper makes to lessen this burden will require Premier Clark to not oppose the pipelines.
What other explanation can be made when you consider how quickly and enthusiastically she supported David Black’s proposed refinery in Kitimat? How is the bitumen to get to this refinery? By carrier pigeon?
Going back to the beginning of her premiership, Clark has shown sympathy for pipelines, albeit opaquely at first, until she moved to the position that if the money’s right, no problem. Of course she will demand that the pipelines be built very carefully and that any leaks are promptly taken care of by “world class” methods and, of course, Enbridge will – cross its heart and hope to die – promise that this will be done.
In reality, it’s down to money. There is now a price tag on her approval and that will, she supposes, make it all better for those nutty citizens who are so opposed to “progress”.
The Campbell/Clark government is utterly without a soul. Social costs are paid grudgingly. They love building things, no matter what the environmental cost will be. They are astonished that so many British Columbians regard the Pacific Salmon and the waters in which they reside as sacred. They think that all they must do is approve a project in principle then run it through a phony economic and “environmental assessment” process and they’ve been good little boys and girls.
This government assumes the corporations are telling the truth when they promise to practice according to the rules, so they never police and enforce rules. If a corporation does disobey the rules, they need have no fear, because even if the government does inspect, there won’t be any fines or other punishment – in fact with fish farms, when they were fined for breaches of the rules by an NDP government, they were instantly refunded when the Liberals took over. Indeed, the minister in charge used to warn the fish farms when the enforcers were going to visit!
The NDP policy re: pipelines is timid to say the least. We will see their actual policy when they lay out their platform in a couple of weeks.
What we know for sure is that Enbridge – indeed all corporations that wish to destroy our environment further – will jump for joy if the Liberals win.
And when that happens, the British Columbia we know and love will no longer be protected, for this surrender to large government and corporate interests will be the precedent by which further and more serious incursions will be approved by our political masters.
Postscript: The latest buzz word for those who support the despoliation of our land, which includes the Federal Conservatives and Provincial Liberals to a person, means that there must be a trial before the hanging. It denotes a cute little pas de deux, where the government says OK – but only after an environmental “process”. A little thought shows that we are deprived of saying we don’t want the damned thing in the first place.
There is no better example l know of this than the proposed McNab Creek gravel quarry. We are all invited to suggest environmental safeguards instead of being asked if we want it at all.
Here is one of three salmon spawning rivers in Howe Sound and we’ll throw that away for a gravel pit!
If you were to ask the local MP to help stop it he would say it must go through the “process”, which is a sham like the old Soviet Union “show trials” were.