Thursday, July 26, 2012

Show Her The Money



Andrew Coyne, in this morning's National Post, accuses B.C. premier Christy Clark of engaging in political extortion:

Clark’s real weapon is political: the opposition of much of the B.C. public to the project, and the price the federal Tories would likely pay at the polls were they seen to be overriding the government of B.C. on the matter — her own, or her likely NDP successor’s. The list of demands she has suddenly produced, far behind in the polls with less than a year to go before the provincial election, are an obvious attempt to inoculate herself on the Gateway issue, without actually coming out against it.

While it's true that Clark's demands look like a desperate attempt to stave off political defeat, the real question is: What say do British Columbians have in the natter? Given the Harper government's approach to federal-provincial relations, the answer would appear to be none. So what are they to do in the face of Harper's indifference?  Precisely what Clark is doing.

At the end of his column, Coyne calls for an end to political games. China's proposed purchase of Nexan Energy and the Northern Gateway pipeline should both be subject to transparency, he writes. But Coyne is whistling into the wind. This, after all, is the Harper government -- which was found in contempt of parliament for its lack of transparency.

Clark's gamut is an understandable response to the way Harper has played his cards. She's calling his bluff. It will be up to Clark's successors -- and Canada's native peoples -- to shut the pipeline down.

8 comments:

karen said...

As an opponent of the pipeline and tanker traffic on the BC coast, this is just the most galling thing. It's as if the woman suddenly realized on July 11, the day the National Transport report was released that there might be risks.
There have been protests and information sessions and film screenings all over BC for more than a year and they are attended by people who do not want this pipeline, The JRP has been going on for nearly a year in communities all over the province, the hearings are public, they are broadcast in real time, and the transcripts of every single presentation and written submission to the NEB are available online. Yet Clark acts like the NTreport is the first she heard of it. And now the media is framing this as some kind of a bidding war.
I know that I have no price on this subject. We have to start somewhere and the lives and livings of those immediately threatened are worth more than money to me. Any money. It makes me sick that my premier is willing to prostitue those lives.

Owen Gray said...

I don't think anyone should see Clark's stand as a matter of principle, Karen.

In fact, it strikes me that she and Harper are birds of a feather engaged in a high stakes poker game. The chips in the game are voters; and both Harper and Clark are prepared to risk a lot of money to buy their votes.

That said, this is a problem of Harper's own making. He now finds himself in the middle between two women. He has always been uncomfortable in the middle. And he's also pretty inept when it comes to dealing with strong willed women.

Remember Belinda Stronach?

Kim said...

I agree with Karen, above. I'd also add that the bidding war is a concerted effort to change the question from, "Should we build it?" to "What's in it for us?" This is a classic endrun around the will of the people of BC and we must insist on our original position. No pipeline, No tankers.

Anonymous said...

Harper and his partner in crime Gordon Campbell, signed a sneak deal behind the BC's citizens backs. The deal is, Harper can force the Enbridge pipeline and the dirty tar tankers, onto BC and the people.

Christy and her BC Liberals work for Harper, as did Campbell before her.

Premier Redford can keep her, precious money and her lethal chemical laced Bitumen. The people of BC want neither one of them. She can even have Christy Clark. The people of BC, don't want her either. Christy does not speak for the citizens of BC. Christy looks out for Christy, and to hell with the BC people.

Harper doesn't speak for the Canadian people. 3/4 of Canadians don't want him either. We know Harper cheated to win the election.

Owen Gray said...

This is a case where the people of B.C. -- and the rest of Canada, frankly -- have to take a stand, Kim.

It's possible that Harper will try to buy Clark off. But the price will be high. And the King of Austerity will look foolish.

Saying no in B.C. could be the beginning of the end for Stephen Harper.

Owen Gray said...

Kim has it right, Anon. No pipeline. No tankers.

Mogs said...

Where I live Owen the coal trains bound for the port of Vancouver come on an average of once in four hours...

Then loaded in a tanker and shipped to Stephen Harper's masters in RED China and I want everyone in Canada to know this.

Because that's what they want to do with the Alberta bitumen off to the red chinese...

Through a pipeline that the BC people do not support and Kitamat...

There is no hope in hell that a tanker could safely navigate that fiord...

Two 90 degree turns with at times winds whipping up the waters to 100 feet, I ain't teasing, look it up on Google...

Owen Gray said...

Only the self absorbed ignore Mother Nature's warnings, Mogs. And these people are nothing, if not self absorbed.