“We have established what you are madam, now we’re just haggling over the price.”
This famous quotation attributed to George Bernard Shaw or to Winston Churchill springs to mind when considering Christy Clark’s earlier statements to Alberta Premier Redford about BC’s price for endorsing the Northern Gateway pipelines and Clark’s own recent endorsement of David Black’s proposed $25 billion refinery in Kitimat.
We already know that the oil industry in Alberta has been flooding Clark’s election coffers to stave off a win by the NDP that has come out against both the pipelines and oil tanker traffic, so I guess the price of her compliance has been paid.
The timing of Black’s announcement that he has the funding and of Clark’s endorsement of the refinery is, of course, no accident.
With just weeks to go to the provincial election that almost everyone expects to send the provincial so-called “Liberals” into well-deserved oblivion, Clark is desperately trying to create the impression that after years of mismanaging it, she can miraculously kick start BC’s economy with the promise of thousands of jobs from exporting liquefied natural gas and now, oil.
Even if these pipedreams were attainable, citizens of British Columbia need to remember two important things: the concerns about the impacts of pipelines and oil tankers on our rivers, mountains and coastline remain; and we would still have to trust the cowboys at Enbridge.
Almost three years after the initial spill and almost a billion dollars spent, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has recently instructed Enbridge to dredge and remove the substrate of the Kalamazoo River because the EPA’s tests have show that not only does dilbit sink – despite Enbridge’s test results to the contrary – but it is also migrating downstream and collecting in the impoundments along the river.
Imagine, if you can, a similar spill, not in a slow-moving, flat-land river with dams, but on a fast-flowing, glacial, mountain tributary on the Skeena, or in the Douglas Channel with its deep, rocky bottom.
That bitumen would be there forever.
Why would anyone in his right mind trust anything Enbridge says?
While participating in the hearings of the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel – that has never turned down an oil pipeline – the company along with other oil corporations was successfully lobbying the Harpies in Ottawa for the elimination of protection for the very rivers that the Northern Gateway pipeline would cross.
The result was Bill C-45 and Bill C-38.
We need to make clear to Christy Clark, David Black, Premier Redford, Prime Minister Harper and the oil corporations they represent that, unlike our premier, this province is not for sale, at any price.