Canadian Pipedreams: Harper, Enbridge and the Pipeline with a Problem

Canadian Pipedreams: Harper, Enbridge and the Pipeline with a Problem

Did you believe Stephen Harper, leader of the Federal Conservative Party of Canada, would not have engineered delivery of the permit to build the northern gateway pipeline to Enbridge?  Me don’t think so. You, I, and every cockroach with a hearing aid in Ottawa knew Harper would deliver.

But now Harper has a problem: he has either prayed too loud to his G_d or cursed the Devil once too often: he is caught between the Devil and a very hard place. He has pleased his corporate sponsors at the expense of his base in British Columbia with 25 Conservative seats in the balance and Federal elections set for 2015.

In delivering one half of the promise made to Canada’s petrocracy (the other: Keystone pipeline to Texas) our Stephen is sweating in body parts too delicate to mention, the parts that made you possible, as is evidenced by his unwillingness, and those of his BC Conservative Party members, to endorse the victory care of the National Energy Board’s conditional approval of the pipeline on Tuesday June 17th, 2014. For them, they did not make the decision, the National Energy Board did: don’t blame me, blame them. They have anticipated the revolt of the BC electorate and have started to panic and sweat: They might lose their seats in the next federal elections and Harper his parliamentary majority.

But Harper had no choice. Perrin Beatty (Canadian Chamber of Commerce) says:  “Across the wide Pacific, Asian economies are growing at incredible speed. The centre of demand for energy of all kinds is shifting from traditional markets to these new Asian ones. Our economic opportunity is obvious and enormous. With this project and others, we can seize it.” In other words, necessity commands Canada seize the moment to exploit its oil resources for global markets. Harper and the Conservative Party were the assigned political capitalists to engineer the National Energy Board’s conditional approval. They did; now the price has to be paid–and how.

The stinging nettle of peoples democracy and the Constitutional right of protest, has arranged against Harper, the Conservative Party and Enbridge, aboriginal opposition via treaty rights, the secular of G_d of scientific research, environmental activism and governmental opposition via regulations and statutes in BC (no!: not Before Christ; but, British Columbia)

The Northern Gateway oil sands pipeline is encountering the immediate legal activism of First Nations groups affected by the potential pipeline in their territories, where 130 First Nations groups have said “NO” to the pipeline and have nearly a dozen legal challenges waiting. Over 300 independent scientists have challenged the government to reject the National Energy Board’s Joint Review Panel’s decision based on scientific errors and dubious assumptions. (John Bennett, Sierra Club Canada).

The environmental movement has publicly voiced their opposition and willingness to take to the streets for protests. In addition, the very National Energy Board Joint Review Panel that made the decision to authorize the go-ahead for the building of the pipeline did so making over 200 recommendations. When their recommendations are added to those of Christy Clark’s Liberal Government of BC, then the task of Enbridge looks like a pipe dream, for Clark has set out five conditions that needs be met before the sixty plus licenses and permits would be granted by her government (John Bennett, Sierra Club Canada). It appears all relevant authorities anticipate the organized wrath of a public betrayed and are posturing to separate from Enbridge and preserve their goodwill with that public.

Harper has delegated the task of promoting the permit victory to Enbridge, its owner; he has kept a distance from further public identification because his Party stands to lose 25 seats in British Columbia. For many in BC he has betrayed the popular will. We will now have to read both his lips and those of his fellow Conservative Party MP’s for many have lost their voice for fear of speaking, and this in a liberal democracy where all have the right to freedom of speech. Ouch! I thought Steppin Fetchit was a black actor in Hollyweird, California.

Word count: 650

Name: Charles Simon-Aaron

June 22nd, 2014











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