Canada’s #enemygate open for questionable business

the regina mom‘s amassed a number of links about the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline and, though other bloggers have moved on to the HarperCon’s potential attack on Old Age Security (OAS) [See Alison@Creekside], trm‘s staying on this issue a bit longer.  Now, let’s see where those links take us.

First, let’s note that this fiasco has been dubbed “EnemyGate” by none other than one of Canada’s finest wordsmiths, Margaret Atwood, according to the stream #enemygate on Twitter.  trm thinks it a very apt term.

A case in point.  Marc Jaccard is one of those environmental people the HarperCons would likely paint as an enemy.  He’s a sustainable energy researcher and over at the Vancouver Sun he points out the HarperCons promise, in 2007 and recently re-confirmed. that Canada will reduce her greenhouse gas emissions 65 per cent by 2050.  He says that in order for that statement

 

… not to be a lie, Harper cannot allow expansion of tarsands and associated pipelines, and he must require a growing market share of near-zero-emission vehicles. He knows this because his analysts are privy to the work of the world’s leading researchers. Canadians on all sides of the issue should read a 20-page report from MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change entitled Canada’s Bitumen Industry Under CO2 Constraints … The report shows how and why the Canadian tarsands must contract as part of a global effort to prevent a 4 degree increase in temperatures and catastrophic climate change.

Is our PM banking on us not figuring this out?  On not knowing this?  On us not putting two and two together?  Jaccard concludes,

 

The facts are simple. Our political leaders are lying to us if they aid and abet the expansion of tarsands while promising to take action to prevent the imminent climate catastrophe. If you love this planet and your children, and are humble and objective in considering the findings of science, you have no choice but to battle hard to stop Gateway and other tarsands pipelines. It is time to face up to this challenge with honesty and courage.

We already know the HarperCons are dishonest and that our PM is a bully and that bullies lack courage, so is it even realistic to expect the PM to act with honesty and courage?  trm notes that the PM was not courageous enough to announce his major policy shift for Canada on Canadian soil.  Instead, he used his time at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to announce, among the previously mentioned OAS attack, that

energy policy will be dictated by the need of the economy, not environmentalists, First Nations and other “adversaries” to development. New mines and energy projects would be expedited and regulatory red tape cut in Harper’s brave new world order.

A member of the First Nations community in Canada, Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee, says that’s a bunch of bullshit, that First Nations are not adversaries to development. He said it more politely, though.

Madahbee said Canada is missing out on an opportunity to be seen as a leader on the world stage. “The National Chief has told Prime Minister Harper that a comprehensive action plan would add $400 billion to the Canadian economy, and eliminate $150 billion in social costs. There are 400 million Indigenous peoples around the globe – over a million in Canada. We are the fastest growing population. We are the students and workers of the future. Why do governments constantly overlook us?

“If financial self-sufficiency of First Nations” is truly the “end-goal” of the Canadian government, they need to be talking to us about the treaty promises and resource revenue-sharing. This is the only way to create certainty for corporate projects. They can no longer expect to barge into our territories without dealing with First Nations peoples.”

Marc Lee, at the Progressive Economics Forum, has something to say about the economic side of things, too, and in some detail.  Go ahead and read the full piece; it’s very informative.  But, trm will cut to the chase:
Bottom line: the Enbridge pipeline makes odious profits and they must be weighed against the costs of GHG emissions and oil spills. Privatize gains, socialize losses. Which is why the industry and their government make no reference to either the profits to be gained or climate change. While there will be some jobs created along the way, they are very small in number. Governments get a cut, too, through royalties and taxes (though the latter are being phased out for people fortunate enough to be corporations), but these are like the royalties on export of blood diamonds.
And why are we singing to China’s tune, anyway? Terry Glavin’s been doing some damned fine research and writing on that issue.  He says we’ve been hoodwinked:

Over the past decade, Canadians have sunk more than $20-billion of mostly public money into port, rail and highway infrastructure on the West Coast, all to expand Canadian trade into Asian economies. The whole point was to diversify our markets and reduce our reliance on the United States. But none of it has worked out like we were told. We’ve been hooped.

Ten years and $20-billion later, it’s all China, all the time. China plays by its own trade rules and everybody’s let them get away with it. The result is that in 10 years the annual value of Canadian exports to Japan hasn’t budged, and last year, as a destination for Canadian exports, India (the largest country on Earth) was overtaken by Norway. As a Canadian trading partner, Taiwan is now down there with Algeria.

Canada’s collective $20-billion Pacific “gateway” investments have ended up transforming Canada’s West Coast transportation infrastructure into the portal that has enabled Beijing to flood North American markets with goods manufactured in sweatshops where they’ll chuck you in prison if you even wonder aloud what it might be like to belong to an independent labour union. As for free elections or political parties, don’t you dare even think about it.

 

The HarperCons are going against everything Canada has stood for in the global community.  As the headline writer at the Times Colonist points out, “Oil policy [is] turning good guy Canada into global bad boy.”

And we, who dare challenge their edicts are enemies of the state.  Can you say fascism?

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2 Comments

  1. Great writing and research. keep it going.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for the encouragement! 🙂

    Reply

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