Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Federal Minister of Natural Resources, Joseph Oliver; and Enbridge CEO, Patrick Daniel recently travelled with a group of business leaders to China to promote Canadian trade, and in particular Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline.
Through their pronouncements to their Chinese hosts, the federal Conservatives once again made clear their disdain for the Joint Review Panel (JRP) hearings, for Canadians who oppose the Gateway project and for the process of democratic dissent.
Mr. Harper told his Chinese audience, “We have abundant supplies of virtually every form of energy. And you know, we want to sell our energy to people who want to buy our energy – it’s that simple.”
He restated his government’s commitment to pushing Gateway through and his frustration, which the Chinese made clear they share, with the lengthy delay imposed by the JRP hearings.
So far, Harper and Oliver have threatened legislation to speed up the review process, labelled critics of the pipeline and tanker traffic foreign-funded “radical environmentalists,” and tried to smear opponents as being “adversaries” who have “hijacked” the JRP hea rings.
Since Harper seems to have forgotten his earlier misgivings about the appalling human rights record and lack of democratic freedoms in the world’s largest communist dictatorship, perhaps he could learn from his new friends how to more effectively stifle dissent.
He seems well on his way when his government starts warning about “eco-extremists.” This government’s paranoia would be as laughable as Ezra Levant’s “ethical oil” campaign, if it weren’t so scary.
Mr. Harper should start acting like the Prime Minister of Canada instead of like a CEO of an oil company.
He should be leading a national discussion about the wisdom of selling off oil leases to Sinopec and other Chinese government owned corporations and of exporting this one-time bonanza of fossil fuels, rather than keeping it in Canada to be processed.
Why is Eastern Canada importing oil from the Middle East, while Alberta crude goes overseas?
Even Alberta Premier Alison Redford is calling for a national energy strategy.
Harper sounds more a tinpot dictator than a Prime Minister of a democracy when it portrays those of us who do not want to let Enbridge put BC’s mountains, rivers and coastlines at risk for a quick buck as being enemies of the state.
Andrew Williams, Terrace, BC