wasn’t surprised at what Alberta Premier Alison Redford recently said, namely:
Alberta government is looking to clear a path for the oil sands through
British Columbia by upping the economic benefits for its western
neighbour – including the option of paying to modernize and expand West
Premier Redford’s government stressed Tuesday
there were no formal discussions, much less a formal proposal, but some
in the Alberta government acknowledge that British Columbians need to
see a tangible benefit if they are to bear the risks of an oil pipeline
and associated West Coast tanker traffic headed to Asia.
only surprised that it took so long for this vague testing of British
Columbia opinion - and we must understand that this is all part of
proposing bribes to BC to overcome its fast-growing aversion to the
n old golfing pal of mine and I were in same
meeting which was trying to get pros to come to a golf tournament our
club was putting on. One of the group suggested some incentives,
whereupon John Kelly said, “I stand foursquare against bribery – unless,
of course, it gets the job done.”
We have just seen the beginning of a bribery process.
Redford made her remarks in a speech – premiers are very careful what
they say in speeches so one thing is clear: these remarks were not made
just for the hell of it or off the cuff. This statement outlined vaguely
what is to come.
The Harper government is in a pickle. When the
PM told the Chinese that their investment in the Tar Sands (NOT the Oil
Sands as the flacks want it) was safe, it didn’t seem possible that the
people of BC would make a fuss about The Northern Gateway, a two way
pipeline from the Tar Sands to Kitimat.
In making his
commitment, Harper has painted himself into a corner, big time. How do
you tell the Chinese that environmentalists, for God’s sake, have
scuppered their huge commitment?
I’ll tell you what I think has happened:
- Harper reminded Premier Photo-Op that she’s in a serious financial
bind which Ottawa could be of assistance over, say, the HST money
Victoria owes. It would help, Harper probably told his new pal Christy,
if you would butt out of this and don’t, in the name of all that’s
sacred, talk about tanker traffic in the Inner Passage and good things
will happen for you.
- Harper then told Premier Redford that Ottawa and Edmonton must
prepare an incentive package for BC in order to stop those radical
neo-communists from making massive protests and civil disobedience.
- Harper urged Redford to put up a trial balloon such as offering
money to help building quays to handle the 300 or so tankers out of
Kitimat every year.
- When the Prime Minister returns from China there will be meetings in
Ottawa and Edmonton where we’ll put some meat on the bones of our
bribe, er, incentive package for BC.
In the next year or so, we’re going to see just what British
Columbians are made of as we get money thrown at us - serious money - in
exchange for the right to ruin our great and very rare wilderness.
That this or something like it will happen is sure. We just don’t know when and how much.
For me and The Common Sense Canadian,
there isn’t enough money in the world, much less than in the country,
that would compel us to sacrifice a square a millimetre of our natural
heritage and environment to a pipeline.
I close with this: Prime
Minister Harper, if he doesn’t back off, is asking for, to use his
words, “consequences” – serious consequences.
In the words of First Nations leader Gerald Amos, this so-called Northern Gateway project is "not going to happen."