Jagmeet Singh is trying to define himself as the one and only progressive leader in the House of Commons. But two provincial premiers -- Rachel Notley and John Horgan --are making it hard for Singh to make his case. Michael Harris writes:
NDP Premier Rachel Notley has done a better job of promoting new pipelines than any Conservative premier before her.
In fact, it is hard to see how a Premier Jason Kenney could out-perform Notley at cheerleading for fossil fuels and the tar sands — or at completely obfuscating the mortal threat of climate change.
And in B.C, environmental concerns are gumming up Singh's pledge to be the environment's champion:
British Columbia represents another danger to Singh which is not his fault but might end up as his problem — the Site C dam dilemma.
This obvious boondoggle from the Christy Clark era was given approval and permits by the Trudeau Liberals. Opponents of the $9 billion dam have been fighting a pitched battle to stop the project, which is already over-budget, behind schedule and, in the opinion of many experts, completely unnecessary.
On the merits, the Site C decision should be a no-brainer. Even a former president of B.C. Hydro, Marc Eliesen, thinks the true cost of the project will be 30 per cent higher than the utility’s $9 billion estimate. A similar cost overrun in Newfoundland’s Muskrat Falls hydro dam could end up costing Newfoundland ratepayers a staggering $1,800 more per year on their hydro bills.
Construction on Site C is behind schedule and will only fall further behind now that two “cracks” have appeared in the banks of the Peace River. These “geotechnical problems,” as B.C. Hydro’s president Chris O’Reilly called them, will delay work for another year.
With other energy alternatives available (geothermal, wind and solar) and no immediate customer or provincial need for Site C’s power, one would think that pulling the plug $2 billion into a nightmare in the making would not be a hard call to make.