From the Inkless Emailbox: Oh Nathan, you radical


This corner occasionally prints news releases from all political parties because it’s so fun to be labelled a shill for assorted political parties. If you’re bored, you can spend a few hours going through my archives to see whether I depart from rigorous aggregate impartiality! Complain to the Maclean’s ombudsman! If we ever get one!

Today I’m here to tell you what the Conservative Party thinks you should think about NDP leadership candidate Nathan Cullen. What follows is quoted verbatim and holus bolus: 

Today, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre-North, Michelle Rempel, released the following statement regarding NDP Leadership Candidate Nathan Cullen’s appearance at a hearing for the Enbridge Joint Review Panel:

“The NDP is out of touch with the needs of ordinary Canadians. In its relentless battle against energy development and trade, it has turned its back on the hundreds of thousands of Canadians employed in the energy and mining sectors.

“It has also ignored the millions more who benefit from important social programs like health care, education and pensions that are funded by royalties and taxes paid by Canada’s resource companies.

“Our Government understands the critical importance of diversifying markets for our energy products and natural resources to create jobs and economic growth across Canada, including British Columbia. There is a projected $500 billion in investments in Canada’s natural resource sector in the next decade, with significant investment opportunities in BC.

“Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently concluded a mission to China where numerous agreements on air transportation, agriculture, energy, science and technology were signed. China is on the road to becoming the largest economy in the world and our Government, along with British Columbia, has invested billions to enable trade through the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

“Canada’s environmental regulatory system is one of the strongest in the world and by reducing its inefficiencies we will unleash Canada’s economic potential. An inefficient and duplicative regulatory system does not create better environmental outcomes, it merely delays investment in Canadian sustainable resource projects that will create tens of thousands of high quality jobs.

“Canadian labour unions know that future prosperity for Canadian families lies with the responsible development of our natural resources and that’s why they publicly support major energy infrastructure projects. They include the Canadian Building Trades, United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the U.S. & Canada, General International Union of Operating Engineers, Laborers’ International Union of North America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“Meanwhile, the NDP continues to oppose all of these job-creating projects and related trade initiatives.

“Our Government is committed to maintaining Canada’s standing as the best place for investment and economic growth. That positions British Columbia’s economy, as well as the Canadian economy, to fully participate in the world’s most dynamic growing markets.”

Me again. Wells. From Cullen’s website, here’s the section dealing with environmental policy. On the website’s splash page, Cullen calls himself one of the “radicals” who have so upset  the government. 

I draw your attention to this broadside for, I think, the same reason the Conservatives brought my attention to it: because it illustrates the point I tried to make in the last third of this piece about the terrain on which the next election will be fought. 


From the Inkless Emailbox: Oh Nathan, you radical

  1. Oppo party could do jujutsu and use Ezra’s argument against Cons. Ethical trade = trans-pacific partnership, unethical trade = China.

  2. I will never understand the dippers – Cullen’s environmental policy is the same old mantra.  Thank gawd they are the opposition.  You tell it like it is Michelle  (Aaron’s perfect, little conservative, lol!)
    My nephew works for Suncor as a pipefitter in Ft. Mac; 25 years old, he averages $10-12,000 a month, depending on over-time.  Got married two years ago, wife also works for Suncor in HR, bought a house there ($650,000).  Half the guys he works with on his regular shift are FN from Ft. Chip – they have their own trade schools there – 80% work in some form of oil sands development.

    • He’d make more money selling crack. Why is the government so full of anti-crack adicals? Cack employs many, many people, and the spillover industries (police, courts, jails) employ thousands more. 

      • Nice try, but no.  Try reading Levitt & Dubner’s “Freakonomics”, specifically the chapter titled “Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?”  The earnings of most drug dealers are comparable to minimum wage.  

  3. Nathan Cullen must be an extremist who must have his internet account spied upon by Wik Töws (Vik Toews).

    •  No, only a crack NDP staffer working in the house of commons knows how to do that sort of thing.

      • You’re psychic? Or have proof?

        •  Do you have a point?

  4. I don’t think Wells is a shill for any particular party, but just because he is sometimes accused of being so doesn’t necessarily mean that all accusations of shillitude (?) made toward Macleans columnists are baseless.  

    As an example, I call your attention to this “NEED TO KNOW” piece, with this fairly obvious Democrat talking point at its centre:  “[The Republicans] decision to support the bill stands in stark contrast to their “Party of No” approach, which had been the norm so far. “

    • Good example.  The so-called party of “no” is the only party that has proposed a credible plan to do something about the deficit.  The other party has only managed to say “no” while presenting no alternative plan of their own.

      Not only that, this minuscule payroll tax cut is so small and short it will likely have no effect on anything. The recent rise in gas prices has already surpassed it entirely.

      Labelling them the “party of no” is nothing other than repeating the typical Democrat press release.

      •  Refusing to look at revenues at all and focusing only on spending, nothing more, is not a credible plan.

  5. It might be relevant to point out that Nathan Cullen represents the riding of Skeena-Bulkey Valley and was last elected with 55.5% of the vote.

    His riding, not coincidentally, contains Kitimat (the proposed Enbridge tanker terminal) and includes much of the land where the pipeline is routed through.

  6. The  National Post  and TVOntario  have been given notice that *
    now included the claims  and charges of the Crown in Ontario versus National Post and TVO.
    Both National Post and TVO now use a wide variety of electronic  counter measures (e.g. “Sign in please” with only two  buttons, both “Exit”) and the  censor’s alternative “Divert to Waste-bin on recognition of the name” of
    Yours truly, Arnold Guetta, mathematician in Ottawa Centre, where the big-time crooks hangout.*

  7. They say they only really attack you when they feAr you. And since his riding is key the con propaganda blitz should surprise no one. I’m not quite sure if this is one of Paul’s points, or. If his lArger one is that that the ndp are on the wrong side of the political equation? painting the cons as yesterdAys man will st up an interesting choice for the next go round, and is likely to pay off in bc at the very least.

  8. I’m fascinated by how Harper occasionally shows he has no real understanding of all of this country; his gaffes in Quebec have been obvious and well documented, but less so are blunders elsewhere, where he should know better.
    As things stand now and even more so if the ndp win the provincial election, Harper’s lifeline to China strategy will run into major and likely insurmountable opposition. He will not win the fight in a straght up slugfest with an npd premier and and a fired up BC FNs – particularly the cosatal ones. A generation ago he might have bulled his way through but there are more weapons available to the FNs these days – particularly the courts – and they aren’t deferential anymore. We needn’t even get into the very real possibility of civil disobedience if the NEB come down on the oil industries side and the FNs and large chunks of BC remain unconvinced.
    So, why is Harper rolling the dice so to speak against such odds and in such a bullheaded manner? As PW’s linked chairmen piece points out this could well be SH’s legacy push – his final push against Trudeau’s legacy, something that he can make a real dent against since he’s unlikely to succeed in seriously damaging any of the other Legacies of pet.
    Some of us have seen this kind of revenge/competitive driven attempt to build legacy projects before; seen them blow up and end badly. That PM too seemed to hold all the cards and seemed at times unstoppable; he too he seemed to read the tea leaves wrong when it seemed his foresight and logic were unassailable – Canadian’s eventually convinced him they had other ideas.
    Not saying history repeats itself or that many Canadian’s who worry about our place in an economically fragile world wont see SH’s point, but i’m just pointing out how things can go terribly wrong for a PM when he thinks he and only he has all the answers, is so convined of it that he misses obvious storm clouds massing ahead; thinks he can win by calling people names and subverting the process.
    Yeah we’ve seen that movie before, so has SH – he should know better? But he wont!

    • As PW’s linked chairmen piece points out this could well be SH’s legacy push – his final push against Trudeau’s legacy, something that he can make a real dent against since he’s unlikely to succeed in seriously damaging any of the other Legacies of pet.

      This is revisionist nonsense, trying to flame the old NEP boogeyman. Trudeau, in fact, beat Nixon in travelling to China, and Mulroney dismantled what remained of the NEP (with Lougheed pushing, I believe Trudeau enshrined provincial rights over energy in the Constitution), and allowed open unfettered free market sales of oil and energy by redirecting the NEB (National Energy Board).

      Wells has taken the bait hook line and sinker. And it appears he has you as company.

      • Dear Fake or is it Dot? [sorry if i got it wrong]
        First off i don’t dispute your pov re: the nep. i’m surprised you seem to have forgotten we have had this conversation a couple of times.I agree, at least a fair amount of the Trudeau ruined the west meme is bilge and Tory propaganda; i imagine, i hope Wells knows this too!
        More importantly i think you’re allowing your personal opinion of Wells to colour your view of this piece. I see it as straight reportage. I don’t see an endorsement of Harper’s plan to rewrite an historical wrong; PWs may have sympathy for this but i just don’t see it unduly slanting this piece.
        So as it stands i don’t think PWs has taken any bait, neither have I.

        • Ok reread your quote from my post. I can see why you thought I was making a point in support of harper’s alleged legacy – my bad.


  9. What working Canadian families will continue to see, Harper’s masters in the Oilpatch get richer and an ever inflating Harper petrodollar killing off most of Ontario’s middle-class wage earning jobs. What’s the point of exploiting the Oilsands if none of this wealth filters down to working families? 

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