BC Premier Christy Clark - pictured here with Alberta Premier Alison Redford - has softened her support for Enbridge this past week

Rafe Responds to Liberals’ Shifting Position on Enbridge: Clark Still Missing the Mark


I would be delighted to report that Premier Clark’s recent musings about the proposed Enbridge pipeline were a positive step but unfortunately must report that she misses the point – badly.
Her position evidently is that BC is not benefiting sufficiently from the pipeline.
The first and fatal flaw is that she doesn’t include tanker traffic, for if Enbridge goes through it must be accompanied by tanker traffic or the whole exercise is pointless.
The second and also fatal flaw is that the Premier puts the argument in monetary terms. Enbridge itself admits that it will have leaks in the same way an airplane company will have crashes. This is the critical point, for to say we’re not getting enough money from Enbridge says that we’re OK with a spill here and there as long as we’re adequately compensated. This will result in Enbridge, the government of Alberta and Ottawa coming up with a compensation package suitable to the Clark government.
Let’s remember three things: there will be spills, they will be in places no clean-up crew can reach, and there is no way bitumen, freed from the condensate which allows it to be piped, can be cleaned up anyway.
Never mind the terrible response by Enbridge to its Kalamazoo spill – the message there is that clean-up, even in a readily accessible location, can never happen. To that gloomy fact, add the admission by Enbridge and remember that there will be many spills over the years and, because cleanup is impossible, we will have more and more of our wilderness destroyed. We’ll be looking at Enbridge, a serial polluter, with the only questions being when and how bad.
I, for one, care about our land and the ecologies it supports, such that to me money doesn’t even enter the discussion.
What Premier Clark is doing is looking for a price for our wilderness and I say that this is irrelevant – no price is enough.


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 rafeonline.com.

6 thoughts on “Rafe Responds to Liberals’ Shifting Position on Enbridge: Clark Still Missing the Mark

  1. LM, so because we live in an oil-dependent world, none of us has any right to question the means of extraction or transmission of oil? What kind of logic is that?! We dedicate many column inches in this publication to alternatives to an oil-dependent culture, such as public transit, conservation, alternate energy, re-localized food production and manufacturing. Moreover, do you know that this pipeline would create virtually ZERO jobs for British Columbians? Or that Tar Sands operations are increasingly looking to imported, discount foreign labour to do the work of extraction? Even Christy Clark is now saying the risk vs. reward proposition of Enbridge for BC is severely out of whack. If you really care about jobs for Canadians, why not follow Thomas Mulcair and former Alberta PC Premier Peter Lougheed’s lead and build refining capacity here, rather than piping zero-value-add, highly toxic raw bitumen to tankers on our perilous coast and shipping it to China, Korea, the US to create jobs there? Speaking of butts, you, sir, are talking out of yours.

  2. bottom line, we need money. countries around the world would love to have the pipeline opportunity we have here. We can’t all hug trees and then wipe our butts with toilet paper at the same time. We need to extract every penny possible from this project to help support our society needs. If you have a better plan than a pipeline, then I am all ears. The jet you all are going to take to your next holiday destination will be fueled with oil…not too many solar powered 737’s out there right?

  3. Of course Christy supports the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tankers, as did Campbell before her.

    Harper and Campbell signed a sneak deal, behind our very backs. The deal permits Harper, to force the Enbridge pipeline onto BC and the people. Christy even had Harper’s boy, Boessenkool working for her. Boessenkool lobbies for Enbridge.

    The BC Conservatives, also support Harper on the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tankers.

    The only politicians, that are standing up to save BC, are the NDP. The Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, are busy selling off what is left of our province. They intend to leave a scorched earth, for the NDP. The Campbell/Clark BC Liberals, are every bit as spiteful, as Harper is.

    BC is in so much debt, because of Harper and the BC Liberals thefts. Harper and Campbell frantically worked, to dismantle BC, before Campbell got the boot. Christy is now selling off, what is left of BC.

  4. Perhaps BCers could come up with some sum of money that could be paid to the BC gov’t to NOT allow these pipelines of dilbit and to never put BC at risk of devastation, ever.
    SO! How much will it cost us, Christy Clark, to protect our land, water, fisheries wildlife, food supplies, clean air & drinking water & future generations?

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