Conservative Party Leader John Cummins supports Enbridge - what is he thinking?

Rafe on Cummins’ Foolhardy Support for Enbridge – Plus Reflections on Cohen


I must say I was surprised to see that Conservative leader John Cummins supports the proposed Enbridge pipeline from the Tar Sands to Kitimat and I have since wondered if that would impact the NDP, the Liberals, both – or anyone.
John has never been strong on complicated issues and I wonder if he realizes that by supporting Enbridge he is also supporting tanker traffic? This may come as a surprise, nay shock, to Mr. Cummins, but it’s like the old song, “you can’t have one without the other”.
Perhaps Mr. Cummins has forgotten that Enbridge would cross 1000 rivers and streams, including 3 major salmon spawning rivers. Or does he have trouble with geography and thus is unable to trace these rivers into the Pacific Ocean thus doesn’t think there are any salmon around?
I wonder what’s next? Will we soon have a statement from Mr. Cummins that he favours fish farms as long as they do it right? Will we see him embracing his old Tory comrade, John Duncan, who is the only politician I know who likes fish farms and a man Cummins heartily disliked in his previous life?
Mr. Cummins has long had trouble with First Nations, especially in the area of fish – does the fact that First Nations oppose Enbridge and tankers account for the Tory leader’s decision?
I can’t see this announcement affecting the NDP one way or another – their goal remains namely getting 40% of the popular vote.
Maybe this shows that the same old whacko right-wing bunch still controls the unhappy band of no-hopers called the BC Conservative Party and that Cummins fooled people like me who thought he had a bit of decent Red Toryism in him.

In other matters, I followed much of the Cohen Commission and it seems to me that one thing has been clearly established: the fish farm industry has been obstructive in the extreme, withholding evidence and lying through their teeth.
They are now backed into a corner where their sole escape is to say “these diseases predated our arrival so that any disease in our fish was not our fault” – the old sea lice defence. Even if this is so, the defence fails as it does with sea lice.
Here is the meat of the matter – hundreds of thousands of penned fish provide a huge number of hosts to become infected and thus create a huge aura of disease that migrating salmon must go through. Be it viruses or sea lice, the fish cages become so infectious that wild fish passing them can’t help being stricken. In other words, migrating salmon can deal with lice and disease when it’s in the normal quantity – in nature’s balance – but they haven’t a chance passing fish cages.
The Cohen Commission has exposed a corrupt industry that puts money far ahead of moral obligation. It does more than that, for when you analyze them alongside other industries in the environment, they demonstrate beyond doubt, whether you’re talking power, mining, extracting, transporting product – none of them gives a damn about the environment. Corporate Responsibility is an oxymoron.
What truly makes one want to throw up are the ads these lying bastards display and the shit that pours from their flacks. The news media that take their high priced ads and give endless free space for the flacks are beneath contempt.
Hard as it is to believe, the politicians are even worse. There’s Premier Photo-op in her year-end review saying that she will wait for all the evidence to come in before dealing with pipelines and tankers.
What evidence to come in? Another Kalamazoo spill from Enbridge? Another Exxon Valdez? Some help with basic arithmetic showing how leaks and spills are not risks but downright certainties?
You can measure the Campbell/Clark governments concern about our cherished environment and all within it by comparing it to the concerns of large corporations – except it’s worse, for the corporations have no morality, while the governments hold our possessions in trust; they have a solemn moral obligation to the voters.
To say they all have the morals of an alley cat does a grave injustice to cats.


About Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at

8 thoughts on “Rafe on Cummins’ Foolhardy Support for Enbridge – Plus Reflections on Cohen

  1. Why people consider a BC Conservative Party as a viable alternative has always boggled my mind. The BC faux-Liberals aren’t right wing enough for people?

  2. I would be surprised if Cummins felt anything like an affinity with the BC Coast…he feels no affinity for anything that isn’t within the Emperor Steve millieu..and I do not think that he is anything like a Red Tory..rather more a Socred leftover with a dash of neo-Con psychosis…

  3. What makes you think Cummins thinks? He is busy cleaning the barns at his horse farm, shovelling s–t, so to speak.

    He is stuck firmly in the past with his anti-abortion, any gays, and anti gay marriages. That’s why he has moved into the Valley, in search of like-minded neanderthols.

  4. We should take a page from Jimmy Pattison and and fire the most objectionable politician every month. Make it a little more interesting by putting a collar on each and every one of them – fill the collar with plastic explosives and blow the uncaring SOB up by means of popular vote on a ‘Kill Your Lying Representative’ website. Put it on pay-per-view and billions would pour in from angry electorates around the world eager to see justice done. Charge extra for bankers.
    Our representatives would become more dog like, their eyes even shiftier than usual, tails vibrating in hopes of public approval rather than corporate approval. (with apologies to dogs everywhere) Because that, my friends, is the only way our current system could ever work for us.

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