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...


  1. Anonymous8:48 AM

    So, according to Brad Wall, Quebec shouldn't be able to veto a pipeline, but Saskatchewan should be able to veto a national carbon tax. What a hypocrite!

    1. hi anon...yes, Wall really is a hypocrite. And not too bright either. He seems to think that attacking Quebec will make Quebecers like his pipeline. I'm afraid he is for a brutal realty check....

  2. Anonymous8:50 AM

    The population of Saskatchewan could be put in the city of Hamilton and yet here is little Wally wagging the dog. Don't back up Justin! Keep pounding the little twerp.

    1. hi anon...what really disgusts me is the selfishness of Brad Wall. He says he will not give up what he calls the "Saskatchewan advantage." So damn the rest of Canada and too bad for the planet...

  3. Anonymous9:26 AM

    and meanwhile, Ontarians are carrying 60% of the nation's tax burden as usual while suffering increasing levies on gas, hydro, natural gas with skyrocketing inflation, decreasing mien incomes, higher taxes on property and everything else in this province and we're supposed to be joyous about that? W.T.F.?
    Who's drinking the party line kool aid now?

    1. hi anon...I know it's not easy, but grit your teeth, close your eyes and shout "Viva El Wall !!!!

  4. Anonymous10:50 AM

    English white guy baby boomer Wall gives millennials a reason to hate. Luckily, he is a dinasour in a silo. Hence, I believe there's hope for our future. Great post Simon!


    1. hi TS...He is indeed a monster in a silo, but somebody left the door open, and now he's running wild. Thank goodness hope has returned to Canada. But we are going to have to guard it with both hands....

  5. It seems like Adan Smith himself has taken a hand in the Energy East fiasco. With Alberta dilbit at $8.35 when Brent is $32 is no way for the pipeline to break even. Even if thee was a market ( not likely ) for this explosive filth, what investor wants to lose money just to shut Brad up?

    1. hi rumleyfips....the reasons that pipeline is being pushed in such a feverish manner are more political than economic. Wall is just making an unseemly fuss and stirring up regional tensions, to try to win more votes in the upcoming provincial election. Which should forever disqualify him as a national leader...

  6. Here is an article that looks at what the oil sands mining operations look like in Northern Alberta:

    Obviously, greenhouse gas emissions are not the only environmental issue associated with Canada's oil sands. (sorry for posting another of my blog entries Simon)

    1. hi political junkie...sometimes pictures and graphs are better than a thousand words

      " In 2020, it is expected that the size of the area mined for oil sands will increase by an average of 18.6 hectares or the size of 34.5 football fields daily.

      And it is an apocalyptic wonderland or nightmare...

  7. Anonymous 8:50, I certainly agree about the petropimp Brad Wall, but small provinces are important. Remember that we owe our universal health system to Tommy Douglas and Saskatchewan. And more recently, Idle No More began in Saskatoon.

    1. hi lagatta...Saskatchewan used to be a quintessential Canadian province, and the proud home of medicare. But that was before Big Oil corrupted many of its people, as it always does, and made them selfish and greedy...

  8. Anonymous1:42 PM

    Although a failing of many politicians;the Cons have the strategy of attacking people rather than issues baked into their DNA.Its like carrying a banana peel around in your back pocket, when the winds of change start blowing hard you whip it out and double down on the blame game. Progressive conservatives can serve society through helping ensure the best path forward is chosen but retro cons deny the future and glorify a fictitious past.Double banana peels!
    The "Energy East" pipeline is a mystery to me. The purpose seems to be to export up to 1 million barrels of dibit per day while eastern refineries import an equivalent amount from the Saudis and other sources. Perhaps China can process dibit cheaper because of lower environmental standards, perhaps easteners are more concerned about the environment than supporting a socially repressive Saudi regime, perhaps big oil and the bureaucrats fleeces us in both directions of flow. The facts are elusive but I am sure they would not be pretty if exposed.

    1. hi RT....yes the Cons have made attacking others, and dividing Canadians an ugly art form. But when they make a pipeline a measure of national unity they go too far, and act like maniacs...

  9. At least Justin had the courage to meet with all the premiers, which Harper rarely did. If a concensus on a carbon tax can't be reached, then it should be imposed by the federal gov't.

    1. hi David...yes, it was a worthwhile exercise. This country can't work unless the federal and provincial governments can work together to make this country stronger. And hollow boasts and empty threats will get us nowhere...

  10. e.a.f.9:14 PM

    The lack of a market for the tar will settle the issue of a pipeline to the east. If the product is too expensive, who will buy.

    Brad Wall is an "idiot". The rest of the provinces can go ahead without him. Isolate him. Sooner than we think, carbon won't be the issue it currently is. The world will have moved on to a new technology. As the price of solar panels come down, more will go up. Germany has been moving in the right direction for decades and its working for them. It can work for Canada also.

    Brad is simply stamping his feet and having a tantrum. Just ignore him and the rest can get on with the adult business of running the country.

  11. Wall is such a poser. I think he wants to be the next Con PM and is just giving their base what they want to hear.