Monday, April 13, 2015

Incompetence Writ Large


There was an oil spill in English Bay last week. And we finally got a chance to see what Harperian austerity has accomplished. Michael Harris writes:

It should be noted that the oil spill, from a brand new ship on its maiden voyage, happened in calm waters. If Mother Nature had been having a bad hair day, things would have been much worse — two tonnes of toxic sludge sloshing hither and yon looking for ducks to coat and gills to clog.

Had it been bitumen, which sinks, as compared to bunker fuel that floats; had it been oozing from a ruptured tanker instead of a leaking grain ship; had it been the Burrard Inlet instead of English Bay, well, let’s just put it this way: it would have been way worse than Sharknado 3.

Six hours went by before skimming operations began. Nine more passed before encircling the leaking vessel with a boom. And while workers from other first responders showed up, Transport Canada and Environment Canada were apparently still looking for their gumboots ashore. As it was, it took 13 hours before local residents and municipal governments were even informed of the toxic spill. Thirty six hours later, it was all taken care of — except for 20 per cent of the oil that ‘must have evaporated.’

Nonetheless, Harper's acolytes took a bow:

Industry Minister James Moore thought the response was “very impressive.” More than that, fear-mongering about the event was misplaced.

“I think it’s irresponsible for people to dial up fear and anxiety,” said Moore. This from the government that made fear mongering a tactic in Canadian politics!

Moore was not the only Conservative cabinet minister who thought the feds deserved a gold star on their homework. Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford bloviated about Canada’s “world-class” safety system.

They didn't mention, of course, that:

Since 2011, when Harper received his majority and no one could stop him anymore, he cut 10 Coast Guard stations. In places like Kitsilano, Comox, and Tofino, federal cutbacks weakened the ability of the Coast Guard to monitor and manage pollution offences. As former Canadian Coast Guard Captain Tony Toxopeus told CBC, the Kitsilano station could have been on the scene of the spill with a dedicated oil pollution response vessel and 300 metres of boom “within 15 minutes.”

What has Harper accomplished? He has destroyed a world class safety system. He is, Harris writes, simply incompetent.


ron wilton said...

harpers first slap in the face of all BC'rs was 'appointing' our disgraced and abhorred last premier gordon scambull to high commissioner to England against all the protestations and wishes of the citizens of BC who rode him out of the province on a BC rail and will tar and feather him if he ever returns.

harper's next finger up our collective BC noses was to send his failed federal appointee gwyn morgan out here to 'advise' our fledgling and hopelessly inept new preemy on ways of getting out of the cabbage patch and into the corporate confold.

morgan's intrusion was followed by a stream of harper directed manning institute grads into the preemy's burgeoning office complex, most of whom have returned dutifully to the harper fold after subverting our electoral processes out here.

This debacle with dismantling and closing our last lines of defence against oil tankers, foreign fish farms, lake and river protections that approached near disaster and then downplayed by his con reps out here have finally focused 'eastern' attention on how reckless and dangerous harper is.

Fear not ye hitherto oblivious of BC concerns, we in BC will save you a similar fate by not electing any more harpercons in BC to represent and protect our sacred interests, thus denying him another majority or even, god willing(if there is one) a full fledged defeat in October.

Owen Gray said...

BCers know who Harper is, ron. If he is defeated, it will because he has lost his toe hold in British Columbia.

Anonymous said...

Gordon Campbell's UK term is up this summer. There was a poll out: Which of these five names would you distrust? Gordon Campbell's name jumped out at everyone. I don't think anyone likes him. We should grab Campbell by the scruff of his neck and charge him for, his theft and corrupt sale of the BCR.

And you are right. We detest Harper as much as we despise Gordon Campbell. Ditsy Christy is merely Harper's mouthpiece and has no say on anything. She too, lies a lot and also cheated to win as Harper and Campbell did.

Owen Gray said...

The election results in BC could be very interesting, Anon.