If I was the Prime Minister of Canada I
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...