Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Man Of Science

Stephen Harper said yesterday that there would be an independent review of the  proposed Northern Gateway Project:

“The only way that governments can handle controversial projects of this manner is to ensure that things are evaluated on an independent basis scientifically, and not simply on political criteria,” Harper told reporters at a news conference in Vancouver.

He also added that he was going to stay out of the dispute which that project has caused between Alberta and British Columbia:

“I’m not going to get into an argument or a discussion about how we divide hypothetical revenues.”

As is typical with Mr. Harper, he stirs the pot then leaves the scene. And, as always, when you parse what he says, you have to set his words alongside his actions. Under the recently passed budget bill, the cabinet -- not the National Energy Board -- will decide the fate of Northern Gateway. The pipeline's future is in the hands of Canada's most powerful politicians.

It's worth remembering what Jack Layton said about Stephen Harper: "For me it's a question of trust. I do not believe you can trust Mr. Harper with his word." Layton could work with Mr. Harper. But he had no illusions about the prime minister.

When Harper claims that science will determine the fate of Northern Gateway, Canadians should remember Layton's warning.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Harper's announcement that the future of the Northern Gateway Pipeline will be decided by science, not politics, appears is big news. From "coast to coast(to coast?)" Canadian newspapers are carrying the story.

When you consider Mr. Harper has cut much of the science designed to protect Canada's environment, and appears to believe there's no such thing as scientific truth, it's a news worthy statement indeed. After all, what's at stake here is a pipeline which he describes as vital to the nation's interests (like our railroads or Air Canada). Imagine, Stephen Harper abandoning the guts of Canada to the vagaries of science! Can you believe it?

I suppose the announcement does make him look a little more like twenty-first century man - something which most Canadians are no doubt relieved to see. However, his core supporters, many of whom appear to favour the nineteenth century, might not approve of that look.

What daring, what courage that man possesses! It clearly overshadows his lack of honesty.

Owen Gray said...

Mr. Harper will do whatever it takes to get his way, Anon. With opposition to Northern Gateway building, he's trying to appear like a reasonable man.

If donning the robes of an ignorant yahoo would win the argument, he'd wear that mask.

kirbycairo said...

Coming from Harper, this is almost comical. We can be sure that there will be nothing "independent" about any review undertaken concerning the Northern Gateway Pipeline. I think Harper has probably realized (like the oil companies) that even among scientists there are those who can be bribed or properly 'encouraged' to represent the government's agenda. From here on we can probably depend upon hearing an array of yahoo scientists selected to speak out for more oil development etc.

Owen Gray said...

Oh, the fix is in Kirby. Big Oil has bought and paid for the Harper government.

They intend to get their money's worth.

Beijing York said...

Harper and his oil buddies have already used science to justify the project and the government scientists (those that remain) are supposed to provide independent review of the proponent's findings, except that thanks to Harper they are now practically co-proponents and will rubber stamp those studies.

The only chance for independent scientific review is from 3rd party stakeholders like environmental groups but this government has already branded them as terrorists. As for the FNs opposed to the route, I doubt they have been given the funding to apply Aboriginal traditional knowledge (ATK) in assessing the project's impact on their lands, waters and traditions. I'm not sure how much ATK was conducted and by whom but I believe it was a requirement under the Environmental Assessment act at the time that the proponent first submitted their Environmental Impact Statement.

All that to say that Harper's use of the word "science" is just a PR smokescreen.

Owen Gray said...

It most certainly is a smoke screen, Bejiing. In the end, I suspect the review will wind up in court -- which means it will be delayed. But who knows if that will stop the pipeline?

Anonymous said...

Harper should bring over, his Communist China army. There will be civil disobedience, over the Enbridge pipeline coming into BC. 80% of the BC citizens, are supporting the F.N. to keep that dirty, lethal chemical laced Bitumen, the hell out of our province, and out of our sea.

We know Harper is permitting Communist China to buy up the dirty tar sands. They also bring their own people, to work their tar sands. Harper is permitting Communist China to bring swarms over, to build the Enbridge pipeline. Even the refining jobs, go to China.

CSIS has warned of, Communist China's huge inroads into Canada. BC was specifically named, and is under Communist China's control.

We know, Harper gives billions of our tax dollars to, mines, corrupt banks, oil and gas corporations and huge wealthy businesses. He also gives them, huge tax reductions.

Harper is under control of big oil and Communist China. Big oil says, burn baby burn. They also want another war, to thrive on. Communist China controls Canada's resource's. We were warned.

Owen Gray said...

Joe Clark warned was along time ago to beware of Harper, Anon. We didn't listen.