Canadian bitumen befouled the Kalamazoo River back in 2010. Now it slurps down the streets of Mayflower, Arkansas. And the Harper government keeps telling Americans that the Keystone XL Pipeline will be a godsend.
That sales pitch rings hollow. After all, it comes from the country which withdrew from the Kyoto Accord and is now the only country to withdraw from the UN Anti-Drought Convention. Tasha Kheiriddin writes that the Harper government has managed to sabotage its path to power:
The pipeline represents not just an economic, but a political lynchpin of their long-term national strategy: displacing the power centre of Canada westward.
If they had built a record of environmental stewardship, they might have succeeded. Certainly, Preston Manning has been saying for years that the road to power for conservatives is as green as grass. However,
This government’s greatest failing — and Achilles heel — may be squandering the opportunity to converge environmentalism and conservatism. Over the past nine years, the Tories could have taken Canadian environmental policy in a whole new direction. They could have championed market-based conservatism in areas from land preservation to fish stocks. They could have encouraged energy conservation through market pricing. They could have initiated consultation processes on projects such as Northern Gateway that were more than just “for show”, to give people the sense that their views were actually being heard.
But true to their Manichean roots -- every issue is a struggle between good and evil -- the Harperites pitted the economy against the environment, painting environmentalists as economic illiterates. Now they are reaping what they have sown -- and proving that they really are the gang who can't shoot straight