Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Greedy Canadians and the Pipeline Follies

If I was the Prime Minister of Canada I probably definitely would not have done this. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet have again approved the Trans Mountain expansion project, a crucial next step for the much-delayed pipeline project designed to carry nearly a million barrels of oil from Alberta's oilpatch to the B.C. coast each day.

I would have told Jason Kenney to shove that pipeline where the sun don't shine, and saved a good ten inches for Andrew Scheer.

For the world needs more oil pipelines like it needs a hole in the head, or another hole in the permafrost. 

But I'm not the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has that thankless job, and as Aaron Wherry points out, like it or not this is a compromise. 

However much some politicians might stoke and raise regional grievances for their own political gain, there can be little doubt that a rejection of the Trans Mountain expansion would have sent a significant and dispiriting message to Alberta. The term "national unity" is thrown around a bit too loosely, but Trans Mountain might have provided a very real reason to worry about it. 

At a moment of climate emergency, it might be tempting to say pipelines should be forbidden and the Canadian oil industry should be wound down in short order. But it's less than obvious how that would be done while both holding the country together and replacing the oil sector's contribution to the national economy.

Thanks to the Con oil pimps there are some things a prime minister must do to try to hold a fractious country together.

Especially since even in British Columbia support for that pipeline is surprisingly strong. 

A new poll released Monday suggests a majority of the province is in favour of the controversial project and wants to see it approved. 

The poll, conducted last week by Ipsos on behalf of pro-development advocacy group Resource Works, found 60 per cent of those surveyed support the expansion while only 29 per cent oppose it.

And then there is this other inconvenient truth, the biggest one of all: 

The reason we have to sell oil to green the economy and fight climate change is because so many Canadians are too greedy to pay for that themselves. 

Canadians are deeply concerned about climate change and are willing to make adjustments in their lives to fight it — but for many people, paying as much as even a monthly Netflix subscription in extra taxes is not one of them, a new poll suggests.

The concern about cost was most starkly demonstrated when respondents were asked how much they would be willing to pay in taxes every year to help prevent climate change. 

Nearly one-third, or 32 per cent, said they were unwilling to pay anything at all, while 17 per cent said they would be willing to pay less than $100 in taxes every year. Netflix's most basic plan comes in at a yearly price tag of $120.

With only the young being the exception to the rule.

First-time voters were a notable exception. They were half as likely as the general population to want to pay nothing and markedly more willing to pay extra taxes.

But who in this aging country listens to them?

You know, Andrew Nikiforuk, the environmental writer once wrote this:

The Baby Boom generation, the most destructive and selfish generation in the history of the planet, has made its last political statement.

And I think he's right.

So nothing will really change until the new generation takes over.

And in case you wondered, I'm still voting for Justin Trudeau.

For in a greedy country he is willing to risk his job to try to green the country by whatever means necessary. 

And if Andrew Scheer becomes Prime Minister the fight against climate change won't stand a chance...


Jackie Blue said...

As Roger Daltrey said, no one knows what it's like to be the bad man behind blue eyes. Justin really has taken a lot of risks, and gotten no thanks for it. Instead he gets run out on a rail. If the worst should happen in October, I hope he's able to move on and rebuild his life. I hope he quits politics due to how ungrateful people have been for all that he's done for them. Why should he waste any more time at QP getting heckled by the juvenile delinquents? There are other ways he can help those decent Canadians who do still support him ride out the Stormfront and resist. But as a Statesider in Trumpland, I really thought Canada was a better country that would learn from our mistakes. Turns out I was wrong. Even Trump was nicer to him than his own fellow Canadians! How's that for politeness, eh?

Justin really believes in "common ground" and for that reason alone it looks like he picked the wrong line of work. He's a quantum thinker in a country full of all-or-nothing, self-serving binary absolutists, and it's proven to be detrimental to his career and his vision for the country. He tried working with the other parties on electoral reform only to have them blow it up into a chaotic shitshow and then blame him for punting it. He tried letting the two mean girls have their Festivus airing of grievances, only to have them stab him in the back. He bailed out the M$M out of a sincere belief in freedom of the press only to see them wreck his reputation with a manufactured Hillary's Emails scandal. "Because it's 2016."

Now you have this Kobayashi Maru of the pipeline wars that, again, he can't seem to satisfy anyone with. He tried to work out a King Solomon agreement between Alberta and BC, only to get zero credit from Alberta (which hates him anyway, in large part due to their forever grudge against his dead father), and piss off a lot of other folks in BC. I actually saw some eco-zealot on Twitter last night say he was going to protest by taking a piss in Kokanee Lake. Wow. Lower than low. Michel had nothing to do with this but this asshole wants to go ahead and pretend like the Greens have the moral high ground. Oh, and if anyone needed any more proof that Dizzy Miss Lizzy is a Con with a composter, she slammed Trudeau by saying Muldoon was the PM with the bestest-ever environmental record! Yeah, I know, the acid rain treaty, but is she tripping on brown acid? The Jill Stein of Canada, everybody, her brain baked from too much exposure to wifi and chemtrails. Why doesn't she go away and take up knitting?

So what do we have here? A country on the verge of a "bipolar" meltdown, as astroturf trolls make fun of Justin's mental health. But the Cons are obsessed with Justin's banana, and the Greens and Dippers are obsessed with where he puts his pipeline. Justin no doubt must under a lot of stress and has struggled with depression in his life, but he's not the one who's crazy. Seems like Canada itself is afflicted with some kind of Freudian breakdown and needs to get on a couch.

All I can say is, vote smart, and I'm still looking forward to reading "his truth." THE truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Trudeau.

Simon said...

Hi Jackie....Thanks to you and the others for being so patient. I was up at my uncle's cottage where I may have to live if the Cons win. 😉 Seriously though, I still think that Justin Trudeau has a very good chance of surviving the present madness and winning the next election. Scheer is starting to get the scrutiny he has been able to avoid for so long. And I am confident that the more Canadians check him out, the less they will like him....

lagatta à montréal said...

I'm an evil Baby Boomer. I've been an environmental activist at least since 1970, and an antiwar and leftist activist since before that. Generational analysis is very lame unless it is aligned with other factors. And I have never in my life voted for a bourgeois party. Or driven a car. (Note that I'm urban - rural or remote area people have no choice, but the overwhelming share of motor vehicle pollution comes from urban and especially suburban people who do have a choice or could mobilise for one).

Anonymous said...

Declaring a climate emergency followed hours later by a pipeline approval is the sort of monstrous cynicism worthy of Mitch McConnell. Seeing it come from JT is shocking, and it will cost the Libs my vote in the fall.

Aaron Wherry is wrong. This isn't compromise, it's capitulation to the corporate interests whose greed is literally killing the planet.

Anonymous said...

The only thing hopeful about this is if would be able to maintain his liberal seats in Alberta plus a few more who could win. As if this might shut up some conservatives, right?

Jackie Blue said...

The word realpolitik doesn't enter into your vocabulary? What do you want him to do, arrest Kenney and declare war on Alberta? It sounds like you'd rather go all-in with a white-supremacist Christian petrostate that has zero environmental policies whatsoever, versus a realistic transitory stopgap under a government that looks out for human rights. O Iranada, our home in Scheeria land. To "send a message" about "neoliberal shills." Sounds familiar. Crooked Hillary. I guess the idea of Common Ground really didn't age well, and that's really sad. The prion disease of the pox populi has infected the north. Yeats' law of suicidal political purism: Things fall apart and the center cannot hold.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:56 you weren't going to vote for Libs in the first place.

I'm enjoying watching the Con trolls trying to push Libs to the Greens but it's hard because they support the pipeline and try to make it sound bad because of the aspirational climate emergency. In an emergency, two memes come to mind. "if you want an omelette you'll have to break some eggs". Or how about "It takes money to make money". It is even more critical to get some bitumen revenue so we can fund the coming changes. If we are at the forefront of this research and development ongoing we make a lot of money. As a small population 2% of the world but over 4% of emissions, we can be the test bed for new technologies then scale them up.

Seriously, the climate change ship has already sailed. While it took 25 years for the horse infrastructure to be replaced by cars, the replacement of the gas engine for routine transportation will happen like an avalanche, probably before 2030. Do you recall the "before time", before everyone had cell phones? It changed virtually overnight from early adopters, then business people, then everyone else.

World consumption is 80 million barrels a day. This will add less than a million. If we do not supply it, someone else will, likely with fewer social benefits from the profits. The US fracking interests are the ones that would like to keep the bitumen in the ground and pretend to be environmentalists. The Chinese want to buy it and use it to pave the Belt Road. Any idea what is the carbon footprint of bitumen that is not burned, but instead of staying in the ground, it stays on the ground as pavement? That's why bitumen is in fact a desired product. Pavement.

The pipeline is consistent with the Liberal way of looking at things. We actually want fewer abortions, but we don't try to outlaw the activity, we try to have a society where more consensually started pregnancies will be willingly continued. Similarly, we can try to keep the bitumen in the ground, or build a pipeline that we hope will eventually become obsolete.

Jackie Blue said...

What I want to know is why are bananas and goat herders the Conservative way of looking at things. Did Doug dose them with some of Rob's leftover stash? This party needs professional help.

Frank said...

This is why I could never vote for the NDP in its current form. The so called "gressroots" are the most vocal part of the party and they demand 'ideological purity' or else. Well I can tell you now, an Andrew Scheer government will be far detrimental to Canada than a second term for Trudeau.

the salamander said...

.. good n fair post Simon.. thanks

Certainly the most pressing issue for Canadians is whether Justin Trudeau will 'gift' us with Andrew Scheer and his scumbucket Party & Associates.. what a punishing four years of astonishing misery that would be.. A 2nd term majority was in the works.. hardly a doubt, but Trudeau, Morneau & Butts Inc fell into captured government syndrome, sellout to corporate interest entanglement.. rookie stuff.. and as Tom Wolfe might say 'augered in' - screwed the pooch - lost the picture.. reminded me of the Harper bitter years n tears as the late saint Jim Flaherty held the annual corporate 'retreat' to collect orders from CEO's & lobbyists in Finance, Energy, Resources, Communications, Taxation, Transportation, Media Propaganda, Military Procurement, Manufacturing, Fish Farms.. which Harper was quick to legislate for accordingly.. it was an annual firesale sellout.. and OUR Privy Council was well practiced at executing the shopping lists forwarded by Ray Novak

Seems the fearsome threesome thought they could dangle there too.. Lavalin, Irving, PostMedia, Suncor.. and here we are getting the holy roller daily asshatness from Andrew Scheer, Jason th Kenney & Dug Ford etc..Sunny Daze.. right. Justin needs to grow a pair. If he thinks he gets an inch of slack by exposing US.. and our country.. to Andrew Scheer, the hidden scum like Arthur Hamilton, Jenni Byrne, Tony Clement, Michael Cooper.. & the aforementioned provincial dimwits.. then he should face reality.. There's grave responsibility comes with being PM.. it aint hassling Ms Philpott or Ms wilson-Reybould.. or dicking in chorus with Scott Brison over an f'n supply boat for our missing in action 'Royal Navy'

It may have escaped his notice.. but Canada is poised to provide Climate Leadership, Guts, Vibrant Peoples, Courage, Coherence in a gathering storm.. we the big country with the small population, wealthy in waters, lands, scale.. we are 50 % women, we are young n we are old, we are in between.. and we are yet to be born, or to die.. We are the perfect killer antidote to creeps like Donald Trump, Mitch McConnell, Alex Jones.. and nobody... nobody could tell D the Trump to fluck off better.. than a Canadian.. seeing as few others have the parts to do so.. Our fabric, our will, our individualities need nourishment, fertile ground..

What we do not need is weakass political & partisan crap.. outdated & archaic political processes, outmoded jaded political parties, toxic litigious arrangment, insults to First Nations, more insult.. to our LGBT peoples, we do not need hate, or dogwhistle manipulating mainstream media.. We needing electoral riding free & clean of corruption & meddling.. we need exemplars - not loser..

Keep kickin at the darkness lad.. lots more like you out there.. lots

salamanders have spoken.. & we come from fire

Anonymous said...

An impossible choice in an impossible situation. JT says yes and they still piss and moan. Had he said no, they'd piss, moan and throw a conniption fit.
It's the only choice he could make and I have to agree to it with the understanding that it's still a long way off before the tarry bubbly is gurgling over the mountains, if it ever gets there.

lagatta à montréal said...

Feminists I know want women to have exactly the number of abortions they want to have. Obviously fewer, but that would take both foolproof contraception and better living conditions. None denied (remember Chantal Daigle and her violent, manipulative impregnator?) BUT ALSO no forced abortions or sterilisations - which has been a shameful practice in Indigenous communities.

Jackie Blue said...

Justin Trudeau didn't "gift" or curse anyone with anything, though. If Canada ends up with Scheer it's the fault of the low-info voters putting their own selfish concerns over the country's, and the forces that have conspired to smear him and bring him down. He's been framed and he deserves to clear his name. What happened was, a disgruntled egotist who thought she was entitled to her "dream job" lashed out at her boss by interpreting retaliatory malice in what amounts to an innocuous department reorganization. Her partner in slime "stood up for her" in stabbing Trudeau in the back. A gender-swapped Brutus and Cassius taking on Caesar North. Most likely, the two of them were in cahoots with a demented Svengali who has his own disturbing vendetta against the prodigal son. Like I said, I look forward to reading his burn book. Although he really is such a nice guy that I don't think he would slam the mean girls and Wornout the way they deserve. I have my own Arya Stark fantasies, though, but I'll leave it at that.

This wouldn't have amounted to anything if the Con media didn't make a volcano out of a mole hill and run with the same Crooked Hillary's Emails manufactured scandal template that got the U.S. Trump. Or if Fife the Knife had done his due diligence in checking the validity of the allegations before running with the tattle-tale so he could sell subscriptions and make a name for himself as a wannabe Daniel Ellsberg. Nobody took mitigating circumstances into account, which is especially shameful since JWR is a lawyer (and according to her former supervisor, not a very good one at that). The angle of her father's disturbing, obsessive grudge against her boss' father (who has been dead some 20 years and can't stick up for himself or his son) has also been conveniently ignored, as is the fact that she was spectacularly awful at her job and promoted to the level of her own incompetence. Kovrig and Spavor's blood, if they are executed by China, is all on her hands. "My way or the Huawei." Another myopic purist who either doesn't get nuance or refuses to see past the nose on her smug face.

Trudeau is not corporate-captured or corrupt. Naive, perhaps, and the victim of bad advice (particularly from his "hiring managers" Butts and Telford), but not corrupt in the least, and nowhere near the hyperbolic caricature that's been made of him. His first error was that in his sincere, good-faith attempt to give the opportunity of a lifetime to a member of Canada's most visible minority group who he genuinely wanted to pursue reconciliation with, either he or his team failed to do proper vetting of this individual that would have flagged her for a propensity toward vindictive behavior when crossed. His second error was in "doing politics differently" and letting them air their grievances like a group therapy session, rather than kicking them to the curb the minute they started showing signs of restless mutiny. For all the allegations that he's a top-down dictator, obviously he's not, and it's proven harmful to him professionally. I hate to say it but Trudeau is Benton Fraser, when what the Liberals really needed to smash the enemy in solidarity was a Hank Voight.

Note that Doug shuffled two women out of his cabinet today and crickets from the Con media as to the poor souls being "fired" or "demoted." IOKIYAR North. Not getting mad at you, just so you know. I'm just correcting the record for a kind and decent man who is maybe not the most astute politician but who is nevertheless a good leader, and whose reputation deserves to be fixed.

Steve said...

The DEEP STATE does not want a refinery in Canada, but that is the logical choice no party will chose on threat of deeath

Jackie Blue said...

@Frank the Cons are pushing the horseshoe/horse's ass strategy of elevating the Greens to split the vote. As I wrote here earlier, someone reported on Twitter seeing a CPC volunteer dropping off Green flyers around their neighborhood. That ought to be illegal. Charles Adler with his fake epiphany is boosting the saboteur all over Twitter and she's appearing more and more on CTV to bash the Liberals. Tells you all you need to know about what she and her movement cult are really all about. Even Sandi Garossino isn't having her Jill Stein purity crap and sees right through Adler's Con game. Single-issue obsessiveness rather than big-picture compromise will be the death of us all.

Jackie Blue said...

It's Trudeau Derangement Syndrome. Nothing really to do with the pipeline but the man caught in the middle. The man in the arena.

I just feel like at this point, the hateful narrative on the right has gone past the point of no return. They were never going to be happy with anything Trudeau did and now they have him bending over backwards to try and appease them while enabling genocide and ignoring a crisis.

Yup. It’s out of control. Mobilize the entire left, and get behind ensuring the Cons are not voted in. And I am not happy with the messaging coming from the Greens or the NDP at Federal Level. I see what’s at stake. And throwing knives at the LPC is not helping.

What do we get if it's a Liberal-NDP coalition to form a minority government? Besides another election? Any advantages?

Unfortunately the NDP have said they would support Andrew Scheer. Destroying the country to own Trudeau. This is why they are trending at 12% nationally.

Which is unfortunately enough to split 25% of the vote when combined with the pied-piper EcoCons. I never thought there'd be a more nationally disastrous politician named May than Theresa, but Liz is certainly in the running.

Canadians better ignore the noise, get over their ad-hominem hatred of the name Justin Trudeau, and vote strategically, or you guys are immensely fucked. I'm warning you, from the country that couldn't get past a visceral reaction to the name Hillary Clinton and now has concentration camps full of refugee children. Don't make the same mistake we did. Don't think "it can't happen here."

brawnfire said...

Hi Simon.
Re this part, you posted:
"The Baby Boom generation, the most destructive and selfish generation in the history of the planet, has made its last political statement."

"And I think he's right."

"So nothing will really change until the new generation takes over."

No offense taken, but just so you know, I'm a Baby Boomer, and I do not resemble those remarks!
I'm one of my generation who has stayed true to the values I held in my youth. Peace Corp values and the like.
As such, the movie 'The Big Chill', which was the pic(k) of TIFF Toronto in '83, really hit home with me. if anything, reinforced those core values, despite the old saw: "anyone who was not a liberal at 20 years of age had no heart, while anyone who was still a liberal at 40 had no head"
(I confess, I did vote conservative once, in my life, at the provincial level, and lived to regret it. Not that it hurt ME personally, but it did hurt my province--to the point that all these years later, we STILL haven't fully recovered from the Harris set back to our hospitals.