Having nixed the Northern Gateway Pipeline with their over the top rhetoric -- and with the future of the Keystone Pipeline in doubt -- you would think that the Harper Conservatives would re-examine their sales pitch. Instead, Tim Harper writes in today's Toronto Star, they are using the same strategy to sell the Energy East TransCanada pipeline. Harper asks:
How can we believe in the integrity of a “science-based” environmental study of the pipeline when Harper is not only cheerleading for the project, but has left final approval in the hands of his cabinet?
It is just this type of unlevel playing field – streamlined environmental review process, political approval getting way ahead of the regulator’s appraisal, the evangelical fervor and the nation-building rhetoric from the oil industry and politicians – which galvanized opposition on the West Coast against Harper.
It is also the over-the-top political proselytizing from Harper and his key ministers, and the misreading of U.S. politics, which has thrown approval of the Keystone XL in doubt.
However, never willing to admit a mistake, they continue to barrel forward, convinced that the people of Quebec will be a pushover. The project might have more of a chance of success if Alberta and Quebec were left on their own to work something out:
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois would have a better chance of selling the project at home if she negotiated with Alberta Premier Alison Redford, not a flag-waving prime minister.
But our prime minister dreams of turning Canada into an energy superpower. Dreams can become obsessions. And obsessions can become delusions. Stephen Harper passed over from obsession to delusion some time ago.