Keep in mind that none of us is perfect.
That said – and freely admitting that, like every other adult on the planet, I have been guilty of this from time to time – I hate hypocrisy.
I really, really wonder who Christy Clark thinks she’s fooling.
The BC premier, who on Friday walked out on the other provincial premiers as they were trying to forge a national energy strategy at the Council of the Federation meetings in Halifax, said she can’t sign on to any such deal before discussions take place with Alberta and Ottawa over how BC would be compensated for allowing the Northern Gateway Pipeline to be built.
Never mind that two months ago Christy Clark supported a national energy strategy.
Never mind that she doesn’t have the constitutional authority to demand a share of Alberta’s oil and gas revenues, anymore than we would have the authority to demand a share of her province’s revenues from resources that go into the Alliance Pipeline in British Columbia and cross our land on their way to customers in the US.
Christy Clark says her province would bear too much risk from potential oil spills while receiving only eight percent in tax benefits.
So here’s the question: At exactly what dollar amount does the environmental risk to British Columbia disappear? Or to put it a little less politely, at what price is Christy Clark willing to pimp out British Columbia’s coastline, the water, the whales, the seabirds and the salmon?
Because if she really gave a damn about any of that, she’d be asking for Enbridge, or Alberta, or Ottawa, or maybe all three to establish a Superfund or otherwise guarantee to cover the cost of cleaning up any oil spill either on land from the pipeline itself, or on the water from a supertanker. And that would be a fair and reasonable request. This is not BC’s bitumen. Just as BC has no claim to the royalties from it, BC should be absolved from any responsibility to pay cleanup costs if it spills.
But she’s not asking for that. She’s asking for a cut of the profits, and hinting strongly that if BC gets its palms sufficiently greased, the pipeline will get built. The whales and the salmon and the seabirds, apparently, can go hang.
I support the Northern Gateway pipeline. But I’ve got a lot more time and a lot more respect for British Columbians who oppose it because they just don’t want to risk their coastal environment, than for a duplicitous politician who pretends to care about the environment only until she gets enough cash from us to make it worth her while not to.