Wednesday, August 14, 2013

From Dream To Obsession To Delusion

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.


Lorne said...

And unfortunately, Owen, as with so many obsessions, the public trust and the environment will be the collateral damage.

Owen Gray said...

Like bulls in the national china shop, Lorne, they will leave mountains of debris -- and a much warmer planet -- in their wake.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Any Federal government that thinks it can push Quebec around to do it's bidding is clearly delusional. Like the Republican in the US Quebec will do nothing that makes the Federal Administration look good.

Owen Gray said...

Absolutely correct, Philip. The ineptitude displayed by Harper and Co. when it comes to dealing with Quebec is simply astounding.

Rene said...

It's hardly a done deal. The Quebec nationalists will oppose out of principle. The left nationalists of Quebec Solidaire have been campaigning against Harper's oil policies since day one. The various First Nations are unlikely to be supportive. Which leaves the federalist camp, and of those, NDP, Liberals, Greens, only the Liberals, both federal and provincial, might waver but it would be electorally unwise for them to do so if there was mass opposition to such a project.

Which leaves Harper with his Conservative base of corrupt real estate developers, mob owned construction firms, Hells Angels, the Chairman of Hydro-Quebec and a variety of opportunists, not a very solid base.

What Harper will achieve if he goes into this heavy-handed, demonizing the opposition as "separatist" as he is wont to do, is to set off another national unity crisis and provide the PQ with sufficient cause to rally the nation against an outside federal threat being imposed upon them...

Owen Gray said...

That scenario is entirely possible, Rene. If Harper were capable of intelligent self criticism, such a scenario might be avoided.

However, to date, the man does not appear willing to undertake such a task.

Anonymous said...

Harper being Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation of 1989? His Dictatorship and being a control freak, rings true with His Northern Foundation policies. Harper was linked with Christian Fundamentalist among, many other dubious links.

Harper as a paranoid Dictator is far too arrogant to listen to any, objections to his evil designs for Canada.

I doubt Quebec has any more love for Harper, than BC does when it comes to pipelines. Harper has kicked far too many Canadians in the face, to ever believe one word he says.

Owen Gray said...

In the final analysis, Anon, that is the issue: Can Canadians take Harper at his word?

It seems pretty clear that they cannot.

LeDaro said...

Owen, I saw your comments on Mound's and Lorne's blog and I thought I will check out your blog. I am glad I did.

There is a strong opposition against this pipeline in N.B too. But it looks Premier will ignore that opposition. Government is like puppets when it comes to Irving here.

When King Harper visited Saint John recently a Globe and Mail reporter tried to ask him a question. Harper's staff removed all the reporters from his bus. Only photographers were allowed.

That is how Harper behaves when he visits one of the "culture of defeat" Provinces.

Owen Gray said...

Harper does his best to shut down all information which he can't control, LeDaro.

And that mania for control drives everything he does. He assumes he can control the pipeline debate. However, as in so many things, it appears that his grip is slipping.

Thanks for stopping by.