Andrew Nikiforuk believes that Canadian democracy is in trouble. The most recent sign of that fact is the National Energy Board's approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline:
On Thursday the scandal-plagued federal agency ruled that Kinder Morgan, a U.S. pipeline company that’s the spawn of Enron (remember that tale of corporate corruption) doesn’t have to comply with City of Burnaby bylaws.
The board effectively ruled that there are two classes in Burnaby: those who have to follow the rules and a U.S. pipeline company that doesn’t.
With Trumpian flare the NEB added that it will explain this injustice when it feels like it.
The residents of Burnaby have made it clear that they have no wish to be the terminus of the pipeline. But they have simply been ignored:
Burnaby has been dragging its feet on the Trans Mountain pipeline because its citizens have opposed a project they feel will irrevocably change their community and the province.
The city would be the unfortunate terminus for the $7.4-billion project to triple the capacity of the existing 63-year-old oil pipeline from Alberta.
The NEB heightened public discontent with a string of injustices during public hearings on the pipeline.
The dysfunctional agency did not consider the pipeline’s full impacts on climate change through offshore and upstream emissions.
It failed to examine the full impact of diluted bitumen spills on B.C.’s coast, although the pipeline would bring a sevenfold increase in tanker traffic.
It failed to assess the full economic need for the project.
It failed to even analyze the impact of stress corrosion cracking and its causes and consequences on an aging pipeline.
And it restricted the narrow review to “applied capacity” of 540,000 barrels a day as opposed to “designed capacity” of 780,000 barrels and failed to access the full costs and benefits of the project in a volatile global oil market.
And then, to add insult to industry, the Trudeau government rubber stamped the NEB decision:
In so doing Trudeau broke election promises and once again ignored the impacts on climate change and First Nations.
Why? To please the totalitarian Chinese government.
The Chinese told Trudeau that they won’t consider a new free trade deal without the removal of investment restrictions and the construction of a bitumen pipeline to the coast.
Canada has become the rarest of democracies: one willing to surrender its sovereignty for a pipeline ferrying a junk crude.
Money -- domestic and international -- calls the shots.