Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Pressure Is Building

Tim Harper writes that Justin Trudeau will soon be under pressure to approve a pipeline -- whether he wants to or not:

When the economic cost of this tragedy is tallied, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government is going to be under renewed pressure to approve a pipeline and get oil to market from a province staggering under the weight of historic economic troubles.

Oil production in Alberta is down a million barrels a day — this in a province already coping with jobless rates unseen in 20 years, which bled 21,000 jobs last month before the fires, and now must cope with oil patch shutdowns and international investor nervousness.

Beyond Alberta, the fires are going to have a huge impact on the Canadian economy.

How he can do that and meet his commitments to reduce greenhouse gases seems impossible. Add to that the Liberals commitment -- announced yesterday by Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett -- to sign the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and it's clear that Trudeau has to try and unscramble a political Rubik's Cube.

Mr. Harper is right: "The expectations and moral suasion from Alberta will be even greater. The pipeline-environmental-aboriginal axis on which Trudeau spins is about to get a lot more dizzying."



the salamander said...

.. the notion of resource stripping and all ancillory infrastructure - supportive legislation - seems founded in that old monarchist christo colonial mythology.. Melted down to its most bare naked aspects, would seem its best stated 'let nothing and nobody stand in the path of our profit' as spoken by the prophets of materialism.. Its odd stuff eh? Not sure how distanced it is from denying access to public washrooms - assaulting children because your parents assaulted you.. or Election Fraud because 'the people just don't understand how important we are..' .. Paramountcy as our previous PM once proclaimed along with multiple prorogues to get away with his nonsence.

So young middle aged mr Trudeau can listen to the soothsayings - perhaps rehab Tom Flanagan - make nice with Laureen if not with her MIA hubby - but the reality is.. where Stephen Harper would have ordered RCMP, spies & Canadian Armed Forces into the temperate coastal rain forest or the boreal forest to combat First Nations & Canadian citizens.. I don't think Justin Trudeau will do so. Only a complete asshole psychopath would go down that road.. and fortunately Canada sent the leading candidate for that title down the road.

Owen Gray said...

As personalities, salamander, Trudeau and Harper couldn't be more different. Whether that difference will show up in policy on climate change is still open to question.

Dana said...

Politicus vincit vitae. .

Owen Gray said...

It should be the other way around, Dana.

Dana said...

Yes, one would think it should yet here on Earth it somehow isn't.

2036 is predicted to be the year the climate hits the 2 degree rise. It all begins to crash around our heads then.

20 years. I may still be alive if I live to the age my mother is today.

But I wonder what Justin will tell his adult children when they ask why he let something as shallow and ephemeral as mere politics stand in the way of doing what was needed.

For that matter I wonder what everyone's children will do 20 as this tragi-comic episode unfolds.

Perhaps Frank Zappa will prove to have been right all along. "If your children ever find out how lame you really are, they'll murder you in your sleep."

Owen Gray said...

Crosby, Stills and Nash hoped that we would teach our children well, Dana. Zappa may have been right.

The Mound of Sound said...

There's a lot more but also a lot less to Trudeau than meets the eye. This is the guy who dismissed the Saudi death wagons by calling them "jeeps." The same youngster who downplayed the Fort Mac fires by saying "there have always been fires" mimicking the rhetoric of the denialist community. This is the guy who assures Canadians that the key to transitioning to a green economy is to extract and export massively more of the world's highest-carbon synthetic oil. Hazmat dilbit delivered through hazmat pipelines to "tidewater."

We know that today's forest wildfires are twice as bad as they were in the 70s and science types warn us they'll be twice as bad again in 30 more years. Some of this is already locked in. We can't fix it. However, if we follow Trudeau's bitumen energy policy, we can certainly see to it that the future is a lot worse than it need be.

In form he's nicer than the last guy. In substance, he's not all that different, not on the big issues.

Owen Gray said...

A change of face doesn't necessarily signal a change in policy, Mound.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

Trudeau is not good under pressure Owen. I think he will give in to building a pipeline and yes I think he will call out the troops when the protests start. Bill C-51 is yet to be repealed or amended. It's a good piece of legislation to prevent dissent.I don't think he's got the integrity or substance to say no to the energy powers.I wish it were otherwise.

Owen Gray said...

Trudeau could wind up being a big disappointment, Pam.