Friday, March 04, 2016
Justin Trudeau, the Oil Pimp, and the Carbon Trap
Well it was a brave attempt. Get the Premiers together in one room to talk about climate change.
But when the meeting was over there was little to celebrate.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the provincial premiers emerged from their meeting in Vancouver to say they are working toward a national climate change plan that includes an agreement in principle for a carbon-pricing mechanism — although they did not offer specifics on how it would work.
And the main reason there wasn't was because Brad Wall, the oil pimp from Saskatchewan, led the charge to make sure there was nothing resembling a national carbon tax.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, who is the most outspoken critic of a nationally imposed price on carbon, welcomed the agreement today, noting that something has to be done on the climate change file and his home province was "a high per capita emitter," within the federation.
"It's no small feat to come to the consensus that we did. Recognizing that fact ... that we don't want a national carbon levy," said Wall. "It's one of the tools, it's not the only tool."
By according to some reports, refusing to even talk about the subject. Or let anything come between him and his precious Energy East pipeline.
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says Quebec’s decision to seek an injunction against the Energy East pipeline is “divisive” and pits eastern Canadians against the interests of Westerners.
Which is not the way a responsible Canadian leader should act, even one who has an election coming up soon.
But does make him Stephen Harper's natural successor...
For that oil pimp also never saw a carbon tax he liked, real or imagined.
And as he has with so many other things, Harper has left Justin Trudeau trapped in a very difficult position.
Unable to impose a national price for carbon, which is the only way we can achieve our climate change goals, or transition to a greener economy.
Without risking a national unity crisis that could tear this country apart.
Because as you can imagine this kind of talk from Wall and his oil pimp cousin Brian Jean in Alberta...
Goes down like a bomb in Quebec.
And the PQ's leader Pierre-Karl Peladeau was quick to post this on his Facebook page:
It's up to Quebecers to decide what will pass over our territory, and not Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ottawa, and the National Energy Board.
So you can see where this one could go.
And the good news?
As Michael Harris writes, if Brad Wall is the future of the Conservative party, as most people believe he wants to be, despite his claims to the contrary.
The Cons will also be trapped. In the past.
If Brad Wall is the the Great Right Hope of the Conservative Party of Canada, the Cons are doomed. They’re likely doomed for two elections anyway, given how deeply they’ve buried their heads in the sand since the election. But if they select Wall as their leader in 2017, they may be pitching their tents in the political wilderness for a long, long time.
For Wall is Stephen Harper's natural successor, his little oily monster...
Here is a politician who boasts about not signing any cap-and-trade agreement. There was even word out of the First Ministers Conference that he didn’t even want to talk about it in a workshop.
His reason? Pure Harperism: Wall says the time to regulate the energy industry is not when it is hurting. He couldn’t give a hoot about what the Trudeau government just committed to in Paris, even though it was broadly applauded by Canadians: the reduction of this country’s carbon footprint and a move to renewable energy.
The premier of Saskatchewan is like a passenger complaining about the air-conditioning in his cabin when the cruise ship is on fire.
And by helping to keep Harper's oily legacy alive...
And by refusing to move with the times.
Brad Wall may be a popular dinosaur, but he’s a dinosaur all the same. The last thing Canada needs, let alone the shattered CPC, is another cheerleader for the oil industry when Planet Earth is running a fever.
If Brad Wall ever does become the new leader of the Cons, he will almost certainly be seen as more of the same, or Harper Two.
And with a little luck, help lead them to their oily destiny...
The Con clowns of Canada. Cheerfully torching the planet, happily threatening Canada's national unity.
Caught in their own carbon trap.
And mercifully heading for extinction...