“They hang the man, and flog the woman,
That steals the goose from off the common;
But let the greater villain loose,
That steals the common from the goose.”
I’ll not waste too many words on Prime Minister Trudeau’s treachery.
Of all the many political sins, surely the greatest of all is hypocrisy and this prime minister has taken that sin to new levels. He basked in the glory of Paris and being portrayed as the hero of the earth but had scarcely got home when he cast aside the cloak of righteousness, reverting to being a cheap hustler for the fossil fuel industry, even outshining Stephen Harper.
May takes a stand
The consequences that would flow from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline would be a monumental contribution to global warming and killing the earth’s atmosphere but he’s consoled by the fact that the fossil fuel industry loves him and with their captive pseudo-journalists are falling all over themselves in support. I can’t help but comment on Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail, who criticizes Elizabeth May because she’s said she’ll go to jail if necessary in protest of the Kinder Morgan line. Mason, the sneer undisguised, quips, “Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has already said she is willing to go to jail over Kinder Morgan. Less clear is what good she thinks she can do behind bars.”
Gary Mason knows the answer to that full well and fears it because it would do one hell of a lot of good. There’s not a public figure in BC who could rally people against Kinder Morgan in a more effective way then she. Elizabeth May behind bars would be Kinder Morgan’s all-time, number one nightmare – not to mention a political horror story for the Liberals and the Tories. She has that commodity the media has abandoned – credibility.
From Brexit to Trump
Ms. May, along with other leaders of this fight like Grand Chief Stewart Philip, head of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, understands something that Trudeau chooses to ignore: There’s been a sea change in politics in this world. The enemy is no longer the other political parties but the elite, regardless of individual political persuasion. Brewing for a decade, it recently manifested itself in the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. No one needs to explain this to Ms. May or Grand Chief Philip and I’ve neither the time nor the inclination to explain it to Trudeau.
Not long ago I said this about the Brexit result and in predicting Trump’s victory:
[quote]The media and pollsters have been caught out making outdated assumptions and asking irrelevant questions. They’re looking at this contest through the prism of elections past and are still declaring their choice of issues and missing the main one.
It’s an entirely new ballgame and I refer back to articles I’ve done here and elsewhere saying that society as we have come to know it is mortally wounded …[/quote]
The accepted media wisdom, an oxymoron if there ever was one, is that mostly kooks voted for Trump. In fact, interview after interview discloses the underlying reason was deep anger with what the Anglican Book of Prayer so neatly calls “those set in authority over us”.
The phenomenon is not Donald Trump but a worldwide movement of ordinary people who are angry. Whoever looked less elite was going to win.
Tired of being lied to
Who are these angry people?
Not the poor and disadvantaged, although they are part of it; not the traditional left, many of whom are unwelcome. These are people pissed off at the entrenched wealthy, the elite, who have the power to do as they wish. Mr. Trudeau, your ilk, sir!
What was the cause? The catalyst?
Clearly, it was pollution, a phenomenon that showed the elite to be incompetent, serial liars who, since the start of the industrial revolution, had assured the public that no harm came from gunk emitted from smokestacks even though cities like London were blackened by these emissions.
The denouement began with Rachel Carson’s 1962 Silent Spring. It was just a matter of time before people realized they had been, and were being lied to. For the first time, the need to regulate industry in order to protect the environment became widely accepted, and modern environmentalism was born.
Industry and politicians went into denial. Tobacco smoke, hitherto claimed harmless, was proved to kill both smokers and innocent bystanders, yet the companies fought every inch of the way like cornered rats. The chemical companies went into full denial, even though companies like Union Carbide became massive killers.
The list seemed endless and the evidence piled, up but the elite kept on lying and hiring pliable scientists and clever PR specialists. Governments were willing accomplices and, every day, the elite lost credibility, yet clung to their denial.
Then, in a different but related area of public health, there was that kook Ralph Nader, denying the wonders of America’s icon, the automobile and its ever-increasing safety features, in his 1965 book Unsafe At Any Speed. Suddenly, the courts demonstrated that Nader had been right all along. Jesus! Was there nothing sacred?
More valuable than money
Prime Minister, we’ve come to the crux of the matter.
It has dawned on people that the elite have only one standard of judging value – money – and that they would risk destroying the earth to make it.
More and more, people see that there’s real, tangible value to water, more than just making electricity and slaking our thirst. What, they asked, if it does no more than be beautiful in its untouched state? Can it be said that water is only valuable when destroyed for a dam?
Trees have a dollar value when they become lumber and paper. What about the life they harbour and perpetuate? Is an uncut forest not valuable in itself? Do we have to destroy it before it’s an asset?
Environmentalism went from being semi-admirable Kookism practiced by, you know, those sorts of people, to the respectable, then became mainstream, moving into the realm of the sacred.
No one believes developers or governments any more, not even Prime Ministers. Projects that once would scarcely cause a ripple of adverse reaction became hugely controversial and it was no longer just the “usual suspects” picketing and demonstrating against those in authority. Suddenly “Jack was as good as his master”, perhaps better. The elite, the “higher purpose persons”, have their knickers in a knot, unable to comprehend what’s going on or why. Lying, bribery and blatant hypocrisy constitute the only catechism they understand.
You are in denial, sir, because you can’t think of anything except business as usual, always hoping this all goes away.
Let’s move into contemporary British Columbia.
You tell us, Mr. Trudeau, that our environment and way of life is subject to what you say is in “the national interest” – whether we like it or not. Money counts, especially oil money. Your political commitments, not to say bribes, are paramount.
We must accept that pipelines carrying deadly bitumen go through virgin forest where spills can’t be reached or, more likely, there’s nothing to be done anyway. You glibly dismiss the horrible, ongoing risks of tanker traffic – plain statistics tell us what will happen.
We’re told we must, in the interests of the “nation”, put our rivers, inlets, shorelines, fjords, public safety and unbeatable environment at risk to enhance the interests of others.
Why, Prime Minister? Please spell out this national interest. Don’t you really mean the interests of the Liberal party in Alberta? The political survival of premier Notley? Don’t you mean really the masses of investment capital which hasn’t a soupçon of social conscience?
I would never hold this against them Mr. Trudeau but I remember so well going to first ministers conferences on the patriation of the constitution and watching Alberta oppose equalization for poor provinces, lecturing them that if they only managed their affairs as Alberta did, they would be fine. That these provinces had no resources and Alberta was sitting on all that oil didn’t seem to count. It seems as if shoes have changed feet in this country.
Rights and Wrongs
Let me ask you a niggling question: Are Property and Civil Rights not a provincial right under our Constitution?
Attitudes have changed, Mr. Trudeau, and people all over the world now believe that those things that you cheerfully donate to your corporate friends don’t belong to you or the government but to all of the people.
Yes, you have the legal right to give them all away but that’s because our political system is a couple of centuries out of date and reposes in your office dictatorial powers while you pretend to run a democracy. You know, as does anyone who thinks about it, that MPs, particularly in the governing party, have absolutely no power and are just expensive cyphers whose main job is to make sure that pension checks are mailed on time.
Let me put it perhaps more bluntly, Mr. Trudeau: We in British Columbia – and especially First Nations whose unceded territories are at stake – regard those mountains as ours, the rivers are ours, trees are ours; so are the oceans, the beaches, the coastlines, the lakes and on it goes. Your right to steal them from us and give them to oil companies only rests upon a political system that, frankly, stinks.
BC doesn’t belong to you
If that was just the position of one ageing pol living in Lions Bay, British Columbia, you would be able to rest easy. What I’m trying to make you understand, sir, is that the ever-increasing masses of people all over the world are fed to the teeth with a phoney political system that takes away from people what is theirs and gives it to greedy supporters of politicians in power.
In short, British Columbians regard all of our forests, rivers, coastlines, as having enormous value to us simply as they are – not in their exploitation but their existence. This is where we live. our home, our legacy.
Why can’t you understand that, Prime Minister?
You, the hero of the Paris conference, ask us to sacrifice our home so that the Tar Sands, the world’s biggest polluter, can spew its poisons full time again? Why are you telling us, Mr. Trudeau, that we must pledge what God gave us to the tender mercies of the fossil fuel industry? .
Sir, we aren’t fools. We’ve seen how your lot cares about BC. When we hear soothing words from industry and the federal government about how they will treat our assets with care and respect, we think of our sacred salmon, which has been at the mercy of industry and the federal government – a government flooding our waters with diseased foreign fish to this day – ever since Confederation.
You are dead wrong, sir, letting hubris overcome common sense and you’re clearly spoiling for a fight.
If that’s what you truly want, you shall have it.
67 thoughts on “Rafe Mair to Justin Trudeau: BC is not yours to give away”
So, I know o person who worked for hydro. This person was a part of a project that hydro did. The gist of this project was to run water through some pipes from A to B. Said projects pipes are darn near exactly the same place and identical landscape as the Kinder Morgan line. This person (who is extremely credible ) said a spill happened in an area where the Kinder Morgan pipeline is projected to go.
They said the amount of devastation and the logistics of the clean up were a nightmare, the spill was in virtual inaccessible terrain.That was water.
They said they absolutely disagree with where Kinder Morgan proposes their line to run and say there would be absolute devastation with no way of ever having it cleaned up..EVER
food for thought
Thank-you Rafe for standing up for our environment. I have been to one of your lectures on fracking and the impacts on our water. I admit I was unaware at the time how destructive this practice is. I have further researched the matter to discover how on the money you are. You are an excellent tool of educating the public and what you say can be trusted. Thank-you for all your good work because future generations will appreciate it if we can get more people to stand behind you in the present.
The people who voted for Trump, in the main don’t believe in global warming, climate change or whatever it will be called next. They are sick to Wrong Rafe. death of the airy-fairy elites., and what they want to jam down Joe’s throat. Wrong Rafe… They don’t like people like Gore, Suzuki,Robertson, and I quess you.Liberals are the enemy.
I predict strongly that this Kinder Morgan pipeline will never happen in it’s current form. The protesting is going to be one of those things that just leads to something that could get out of control . To the point of risking politicians jobs. It could get ugly and very ugly.
It will either be abandoned or drastically changed ( rerouted somewhere else at great expense).
I just don’t think the people will allow this one. Justin misjudged the people on this one. There are economic reasons for doing this’ however, if the people of BC want to stop this, they will. It is going to be a deep stain on his legacy as this will get messy.
So I summarize, this will never happen in it’s current form as the protesting and aggression from the people will stop it. We do, as people, have the power. Sadly, 99% of the time, we chose not to use it.
Coming from Mr. Social Credit himself, and seemingly a Trump fan, Rafe and his ultra right-wing buddies would have supported every environmental disaster possible in B.C.Now that it’s coming from a liberal p.m., he’s getting all sanctimonious.
You might want to read the last 2 years of Rafe’s blog before saying he is ultra right wing and would support environmental disaster. What you may perceive he supported in 1979 is long gone….. he is certainly not that in 2016.
Well said, Dave. In fact, Rafe and I have been publishing CSC since 2010 and you’ll find hundreds of editorials from him in these pages arguing against expanding our fossil fuel economy in various forms. Even if you go all the way back, though Rafe’s Hall of Fame Broadcasting career, during which he was a strong advocate for the environment, to his days as BC environment minister under the Socreds, I think you’ll find someone who cared a great deal for the environment. As minister, Rafe banned the mining of uranium in BC, stopped the slaughter of wolves (something today’s right wing government is all in favour of), and prevented the flooding of the Skadgit River through the raising of the Ross Dam. Your problem, Fred, is that you don’t recognize how much the governing party of the right has changed over the past 4 decades – from Socred to “Liberal”. Here are a few more of my own thoughts on the subject, describing the ruination of WAC Bennett’s legacy under Campbell and Clark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtJimgNPdE8
More from Rafe on the subject…”Now comes Gary Mason and the Toronto Globe and Mail telling us that British Columbians are wrong to be proud of caring about their surroundings and taking increasing steps to protect them and that when the likes of Justin Trudeau tells them they owe it to Canada to sacrifice them for the Tar Sands we should cheerfully do so.”
Well spoke Rafe! You be the motivator, we’ll be the army.
Go Rafe Go!
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Thanks, Rafe, for this excellent piece.
After reading all these comments…….Does this mean the Trudeau “honeymoon” is over?
Well I guess I have my answer….
Well written for sure …but in Bc we do not own our forest, Timberwest, and other forest companies own our forests.logging roads all around Bc are being gated. We do not own our rivers, and lakes BC hydro is taking land around lakes and rivers….We do not really even the land our houses sit on. don’t pay your tax’s and see how much you own. The Citizen own nothing in Canada.
Right on the money! Thank you for wordsmithing this so very well, so we can all share it far and wide. I have to admit that when I received All 4 Democracy’s admonition this morning to start gathering signatures on current petition to ask for a provincial vote on Kindermorgan I saw RED!
A4D were a huge push behind the “strategic vote” last September and how did that work out?
The time to vote again is May, 2017. Put your money and action the only place it counts, and that is voting for the party who actually will support your real green values. There is nothing to lose this time. BC Libs and NDP are both putting jobs and economy over environment. John Horgan attended his $10,000 a plate fundraiser dinner last week with reps from the resource industry, at the same time there was a Green Jobs conference happening in New Westminster that he could have/should have been attending and supporting. I will happily be in jail along with Elizabeth May and Adrien Carr. I am DONE with petitions and am gearing up for provincial election instead, and setting my blockade boots at the door if they are needed first.
RIGHT ON RAFE!
To take Rafe’s excellent piece one degree further: governance is becoming corporatized, in my opinion. Corporations have too much power in all aspects of society, from owning the media to owning governments to profiting from unnecessary wars.
Check out IntegrityBC to learn which party receives the most corporate donations (no fair guessing!).
ban all forms of lobbyist contributions.
get politicians back to their roots.
Represent the people NOT big business or Big money…..
I can dream cant I?
People only voted in Trudeau because they wanted to oust out the last government. Not realizing that Trudeau has no political experience at all, especially when it comes to international stage. The not only BC but the entire nation is not his to give, nor is it right for him to be like Hillary Clinton and start taking in donation funds. Will we wake up now and oust out Trudeau, or will we sit idolly by as Trudeau ruins our country.
I overwhelmingly agree with this Rafe and you have inspired this old girl to want to be on the forefront of the protests. Sadly however will he even see or hear of this commentary. I must admit I was also blindsided by this idiot. I felt his youth was in his favour and he would be the one to make a stand. I now feel so sad about this whole turn of events.
I didn’t vote for the Twerp, I was lucky, there was an NDP candidate in my riding I could support, and she got elected.. for all the good that will do…The Toddler In Charge has broken not only the promises he made, he has broken the trust a lot of good people had in him and his party. And now our Premier Puff’n’Stuff wants to pretend she’s going to seriously study the situation and ensure all her conditions are met; and we know enough about her and her cabal to be able to predict how that will end. Trump will in-do what O’Bomber did when he nixed the big pipeline. The greedyguts will continue to try to rake in the money and to hell with our coast, to hell with all of us.
Well, Lizzie won’t be lonely in jail!
And to answer the arstle who asked what good she’d be in jail…hey, sonny, Nelson Mandela did a lot of good in jail…
Good article, Rafe.
The uproar is going to make “the war in the woods” look like recess time! The Twerp just demonstrated why Majority Government is not a good thing!
Some thoughts to compliment my colleague Rafe’s analysis – in this week’s Tyee:
Thanks for all your work Damien…..some of us Islanders (especially C.R. locals) are proud to have you representing us. From one old Salmon King to another…..Thank You.
Thanks Koby 🙂 Good to hear from you – been awhile! Hope you and Jordy are keeping well.
I don’t live in BC but two month ago I was standing on the pier in Sidney fishing for crab with my son and grandson who do. So beautiful there. Good for Liz. I will come out there and join her in jail.
Farmers are not happy in the Peace region where pipelines are on farmland where farmers work . People raising our families, cattle, etc..wildlife Environment also. They put they where they want even if we ask if they can be moved so we can work around them so they aren’t in the way. Our one and only 1/4 cut in half we can’t utilize it the way we want nothing heavy can cross it without their permission. We pay the taxes on it for their prophet. If we want them moved we fight at our own cost and time very stressful. Still most of the time people lose cause they have the employes to do the workload and the money. Flaring gases all over up here 30ft in the air looks like candles on little cake. People living all around this with families and livestock. Nobody listens until this happens in a bigger centre. Hope it all works out but fairness needs to be shared all over BC. Thanks to our government who wants clean energy for other countries except her own Province. 🙁
Site C Dam…Feds giving permission and the go ahead to this strange monument, this unnecessary folly, that will silt up in less than 100 years and ruin the best farmland in the North for eternity. Justin, we are disappointed in you as Christie Clarke’s new best friend.
Very good article. Agree completely. I suspect many are sorry they voted Liberal. And it looks in regards to pipelines, that Justin and Christy are on the same page.
Donkey’s years ago, you were an MLA, and I worked down the hall, responding to constituency mail for Allan Williams. You were a rollicking poltergeist, cheering the legislative halls with puckish good humour and pungent commentary. I thought you were awesome then. You have become greater. Thank you!
Hi Donna – happily that’s not so. They have an interest in the land just as we who own homes in fee simple do but the “owner”‘ at the top of the chain is almost 100% the BC Crown and that is us. Our representatives, the government, exercise our power but, in legal theory at least, we the people control them.
Grace – I admired Allan as much as anyone I’ve ever known. He was wise, courteous with a great dry sense of humour.
He did me the huge honour of asking me to be the guest speaker at his re-nomination meeting in 1979, an honour I shall never forget.
He was an inspiring colleague and friend and respected by all on both sides of the House. Bless you for your kind words.
Let’s hope he is not as bad as Trump??? Hugs Irene
Can’t thank you enough for stating the seriousness of the matter with the words, British Columbians regard all our forests, rivers, lakes, coastlines, etc. as having enormous value to us simply as they are just to enjoy, not in their exploitation, but in their existence.”
Words that need to be impressed upon our premier as well, as unfortunately we are still not doing the stewardship of proper protected that is needed.
Beautifully said, Rafe! Your way with words is undiminished. Sadly, our PM seems only to have a way with cameras. He’ll live to regret that, as cameras will document our protests, as well as every spill and fire and leak and tornado and flood and drought that these elite have unleashed.
Oh and I forgot to say Rafe,as far as I’m concerned Justin just gave the finger to B.C.just like his old man did
I agree with your article 100%. Thank you for stating the seriousness of this so well. I am retired and have all the time in the world to stand up for cleaning up the mess that is our governments. Heavy emphasis on the plural!
It has only rained almost every day in Lower Mainland for October and November. 14 double digit days in Kelowna. Wildfires in Tennessee, 37 Tornadoes in Tornado Alley on Nov 30th. Florida sitting on swiss cheese limestone and at high tide in poorer neighbourhoods is having sewer and oil coming to the surface.Wells in California dropped from 80 feet to 800 feet. Massive flooding in Italy. Most of Africa close to the Equator not inhabitable. 1/3 of all the honeybees gone so Monsanto can make money.National Geographic (The Year of Living Dangerously)is sounding the alarm bells why is nobody in power listening.We don’t even know what is taking place in the rest of the world. It won’t matter how much money these corporations if this continues there will be no insurance industry and governments will be broke. Oh yeah almost all the countries of the world are running massive deficits. See how fast Donald gets to 30 Trillion. When you give the breaks to the wealthy they just get wealthier. What happens if the 99.7% of scientists are correct, goodbye Earth. Thanks Christy, Justin, Donald, Steven,etc. Your legacy will show up on Wikipedia (Oh yeah there won’t be any humans left).
I agree with your article 100%. Thank you for stating the seriousness of this so well. I am retired and have all the time in the world to stand up for cleaning up the mess that is our governments. Heavy emphasis on the plural!
Thank You Rafe! We are with you! Beautiful BC is ours! Together we stand atrong!
They havn’t been able to wipe out those pesky Fraser sockeye with fishfarms and mine tailings,so i guess it’s time to try bitumin..someone should sue over the false advertiseing showing them towing a boom in a river like thats going to clean up a spill of that crap when it sinks like a rock
Hit the proverbial nail on the head.. Oops.. I mean the Oil Barons of the head
Oh my gosh. THANK YOU so much for this. These words are, I am sure, what every person in BC who truly cares about our environment and our province wish to say. This should get sent directly to Trudeau with the expectation of a response to your very pointed questions and comments in this article. We need to stand up and say firmly and loudly just what you said, this province is OURS and not yours to give away.
Great summary Raife. Our Pretty Boy in Ottawa must buck up or just leave. Is there any way to Impeach in Canada?
I question whether enough people of BC are off the complacency bench yet.
I believe though, the Greens have just been handed enough votes to put the Provincial NDP out of their pathetic misery.
I listened to Mr. Dix on John McComb last week and gagged. If ever he had an opportunity to take full advantage of the common mood, it was in that 20 minutes or so. Instead, he went old school and eluded every question about NDP action. He doesn’t get it, nor, I believe, do the rest of the NDP.
Bye, bye, Mr. Dix.
Thank you, Tank you, Rafe, I hear the drums beating…. Some facts are self evident. We have a preeminent moral duty to protect our only Earthly home, especially when there are folk on board, living among us, some in positions of power, who are intent upon damaging its life support systems.
As Obama once said, “Fired Up, Ready to Go?”
Long Live Cascadia!!!!
Hi Rafe, I believe you are wrong on the cause of the discontent. I think it’s about falling real wages and standard of living for the majority of people. The neoliberal globalist agenda has left most behind, and only really benefited the elite. Of course the destruction of nature is an issue, but not the main one causing the anger for the majority.
Hi David, with respect I think your cause is actually a very serious consequence but it doesn’t really matter. Clearly the elite have not been restrained by the system that is supposed to do just that and people, for many reasons, no longer accept their authority nor the system on which they base their claim of “legitimacy”.. We’ve been in a very long period of “drift” and have accepted eroding democracy with nary a whimper. This has happened all over the “West” with, you might note, the largest recent conversion to democracy, Germany, being the most stable because it has had the most recent breakdowns and is most conscious of how their government works in practice not comfortable fiction.
Perhaps we can all agree on this critical point – whatever the cause the problem goes to the very root of our social contract and while we can and must best back this latest unforgivable arrogance, more importantly we must understand what has gone wrong, what has happened and fix it. Just as the US must, France, the U.K., Italy, Israel and other nominal democracies must. If Trudeau has done nothing else he has demonstrated graphically that we have a problem which goes to the root of how we live as a society and while we must deal with him in the shorter term, the system is broke and we must fix it.
Thanks for getting involved.
This response to David is even better than the original column.
So many Canadians, while wanting to be rid of Harper, actually voted FOR the JT because they believed he understood the problems and would be a first step in an overdue exorcism.
Now Clark trots out the same arrogance by declaring the Feds will meet her demands and pipeline royalties will go to the environment.
Elizabeth May, though flawed, has the right stuff.
Cheap hustler for the fossil fuel industry,as you say Rafe, is very accurate and true. He is also a cheap hustler for the private banks and investment firms, a cheap hustler for the Chinese investment banks, a cheap hustler for Saudi Arabia’s light armoured vehicle needs and a cheap hustler and con on his promises on behalf of canada on the Paris Climate Agreement.
In the words go chief Stewart Phillip it seems our Mr. Trudeau is a “Serial Liar.”
Every promise made to canadians during his campaign has been broken. This in the space of one year, whether it be election reform, First nation relations honouring U.N. directives, desolving the NEB, the list goes on and on now. He has lied constantly and without shame.
His ministers do the same! In a news letter this morning from DESMOG CANADA was a letter l written by Jody Wilson Reybould last year stating that Kinder Morgan should never be built and that if that proposal came before them now it would not even be considered. What Happened in that one year??
We are in an ugly place right now under this Trudeau government. As the world looks on and sees and hears the lies they can only witness the collateral damage. Nothing is sacred to these people, not the environment, not our debt or well being and most important not the truth.
Well said Rafe! That these clods do not understand the new reality will have them come a real cropper very soon. The KM pipeline will NEVER be built, and nor will any other which runs through BC to the pacific coast.
As a child of the 60s I am compelled to get of my cozy couch and get involved . I am so on board with a revolution involving all the 99%. Our grandchildren need us now . We must protect Our environment for them . Come on hippies ! stand up and lets do this.
Thanks Rafe. Truth is inspirational. We shall defend our democracy.
Agreed. Damn that hit it right on Rafe!
Bravo Rafe! Nailed it!
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