“I am being kind when I call her position ‘disingenuous’”

by Aaron Wherry

Conservative MP Brent Rathgeber questions Christy Clark’s position on the Northern Gateway pipeline.

If she truly believes that the possible risks of a pipeline outweigh the $6B in proposed benefits, than she should oppose it unequivocally.  That is the apparent position of the BC Opposition Leader Adrian Dix; a position shared by federal NDP Opposition Environmental Critic, Megan Leslie.  They oppose the Northern Gateway Project full stop.  I disagree with their position but at least I respect them for taking an unequivocal position and having the courage of their conviction to stand by it.

That is quite different from the position of the BC Premier.  She apparently has environmental concerns.  Fair enough, but she has publically stated that for enough money or BC’s “fair share”, she will give the project her blessing.  The BC Premier is stating that her supposed concern for the environment has an undisclosed price tag.  I am being kind when I call her position “disingenuous”.

Ms. Clark, meanwhile, wants “Alberta and Canada to come to the table and sit down with British Columbia and work to figure out how we can resolve this.”




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“I am being kind when I call her position ‘disingenuous’”

  1. The B.C. Conservatives, headed by ex Con MP John Cummins also want increased compensation and third party monitoring of the pipeline.

    • Still doesn’t make it right

      • The point is that both right of centre parties are demanding more from the deal. The NDP are against the pipeline, period. By rejecting even a discussion, Alberta is only helping the NDP win the next election.

        • The NDP don’t need Alberta’s help to win the next election. I don’t want them to win, but I’m not sure I could stomach voting for Clark or Cummins, the fact that Clark is terrible premier just makes the BC Liberals currently toxic brand even worse.

          • I don’t think the BC Libs stand a chance in hell of winning another election nor do I think they should, but I just find it curious the pro lobby is confirming the worst fears about the pipeline – that it is being shoved down out throats. It just seems politically counter-intuitive to me.

          • Perhaps the possibility of revenue sharing is anathema to Redford and Alberta, or perhaps its a negotiating ploy. Or maybe Redford is smart enough to see the writing on the wall and doesn’t want to give anything away when it’s unlikely that BC is going to end up supporting the pipeline. But I agree that it seems odd.

          • Vaughan Palmer seems convinced it’s dead in the water. If it is, it would explain Redford’s ridiculous reaction to Clark. She certainly doesn’t care about support for it in B.C. with her attitude, and she needs it if she and Harper think they’re going to force it through. Maybe it’s being kept alive to pressure the U.S. on Keystone.

        • “By rejecting even a discussion, Alberta is only helping the NDP win the next election. ”
          Jan, the BC NDP is going to win the next BC provincial election regardless of what the BC Liberals or BC Conservatives do. Also regardless of what Alberta does. The next BC provincial election is a foregone conclusion waiting to happen.

          • Probably the most likely outcome, and I wouldn’t bet against it.

            But I bet Tim Hudak thought the same thing.

          • Exactly!

          • Tim Hudak didn’t have the gift from God consisting of a newly-formed party eating his opponents’ lunch. Adrian Dix does. Whenever the right-of-centre vote in BC splits, the NDP wins. Period.

          • I believe they said that about Alberta and Wild Rose.

          • False analogy Emily, completely different situation. A Wildrose victory in Alberta would have, I suppose, been the equivalent of a BC Conservative victory in the next BC election, but that’s not what I’m predicting or saying. I’m saying the BC NDP is going to win. There’s no equivalent of the BC NDP in Alberta because there’s no viable, competitive left-of-centre party in Alberta that’s a serious contender for power.

          • It’s always a ‘different’ situation……the NDP becoming OO federally, Wild Rose getting the boot provincially….polls are often wrong lately as the electorate is volatile. Voters are ‘browsing’…..not committed.

            We can guess, and we may be right…..but now it’s just as likely we’ll be wrong too.

          • But Redford was billed as the next best thing as a socialist – a traitor to the conservative cause. And yet she won, because Smith screwed up.
            Dix is not the most talented politician ever to hit the stage, I wouldn’t hand it to him just yet.

          • Jan, I would love it if Dix lost. But in this particular situation, betting against the BC NDP is almost like betting against the law of gravity.

          • You weren’t paying attention then.

            Nobody was saying that the Liberals or NDP had a serious shot at government even with the vote split. The best you were seeing was a minority gov’t, and the only issue was whether it would be Wild Rose minority or Conservative minority.

          • Everybody was paying attention….and everybody was stunned that Wild Rose got kicked to the curb, and the Redford PCs got a majority.

          • And if that had anything to do with what Orson actually said, what you replied, and thus what I replied to, you’d have a point. As it is, you’re pointless.

            Orson said ” Whenever the right-of-centre vote in BC splits, the NDP wins.”

            To which you replied, “I believe they said that about Alberta and Wild Rose.”

            Which is completely wrong. Nobody was saying that the NDP would win with the right-of-centre vote split in Alberta. At least, nobody who anybody took at all seriously.

            So I don’t know what the hell conversation you think you’re in when you’re talking about polling and how it was wrong, because it certainly wasn’t this one.

          • I don’t know why you have such a problem connecting the dots….maybe it’s because it’s not your conversation.

            Everyone on here is insisting the NDP will win BC…..and everyone was insisting Wild Rose would win Alberta.

          • You weren’t replying to everyone. You were replying to Orson.

            Perhaps if you learned how to properly use the reply feature.. or better yet, learned how to write so that it’s clear to people that you aren’t actually replying to anything specific, but rather making your own general commentary.

          • Yup….I wasn’t replying to you.

            So sod off

  2. The higher the risk, the higher the price you offer…..I thought Cons were supposed to know something about business.

    • The insurance business certainly understands this.

      • Well they sure want top dollar when they’re selling AND they insult people…..but when they’re buying they’re not only cheap about it, they start insulting people then too. Not very businesslike!

  3. Well, technically, if we’re dealing with an open free for all market (which AB/CAPP/CPC support), BC should demand up to the full incremental profit, $81 B, less one dollar. Then all parties are ahead economically. If they chose a different route, it will cost them more (assuming the economics are correct.)

    [Why I think we need some sort of high level plan/understanding].

  4. Rathgeber goes on to say “In actuality, it is Enbridge, the owner of the line, which would be 100% liable for any potential problems. BC taxpayers face no risk or liability if there is a spill. So according to her own numbers, the taxpayers of BC will receive at least some of the benefit but the financial risk involving a clean-up is borne by the owner, not by the taxpayers.”
    We should all be aware that these oil companies spin things so much that they pay/contribute the least amount possible into liability and clean-ups.
    What about the loss of livelihoods from contaminated fisheries and lands when, not if, an oil leak happens? Is that considered in the “taxpayer” part at all? Or, what about the loss of living organisms that perhaps we haven’t managed to capitalize/comercialize?

    • Exactly. The idea that Enbridge would be able to clean up a massive spill is laughable, given that BP (a company that even today has a market cap 3x that of Enbridge) gave up on the cleanup and instead focused on paying hush money to the people affected. Needless to say, Enbridge is eager to run a pipeline through sparsely-inhabited Northern B.C.; potential payouts would be smaller, especially if a leak occurs when there is a pro-oil government in Victoria or Ottawa.

      If the oil is so goddamn crucial, put the stuff on trains and send it out that way. No risk of the thing spewing thousands of gallons of oil for 17 hours before someone bothers to notice, eh?

      • That only reduces the risk on land. The big risk is the ocean. The thinned bitumen doesn’t stay on the surface – how on earth do they clean it up, given the seas they would be dealing with especially in winter.

        • No question there are risks, but nobody’s talking about shutting down the tar sands/oil sands/bitumen sands outright, not even Elizabeth May. That being the case, we must choose between sending the stuff through a working world-class port facility located right on the ocean (Vancouver) and a small Northern B.C. town 150 km inland of some of the most treacherous waters in Canada.

          I’d prefer to see us refine the stuff in Canada, rather than exporting it raw. That *would* increase Canada’s GHG emissions, but it would be a damn sight cleaner than if processed in China. GHGs affect the globe, so exporting this dirty oil to stay “green” while China spews and profits from it is retarded.

          Processing the crude here would also yield more economic benefit per barrel of oil to the Albertans who own the resource, and mean that we could command premium prices for oil products from our southern neighbours.

          Of course, in a perfect world, we’d stop burning fossil fuels altogether. But the system being what it is, it will take real and sustained political will to change it. That will must come from the people, who apparently are too f***ing dopey to give a sh*t. [sigh]

  5. The BC citizens don’t care how unimpressed, Premier Redford is with Christy Clark. The BC citizens and the F.N. people, don’t want the Enbridge pipeline for any amount of money. Keep your money and your dirty lethal Bitumen too. We want neither. Redford has a gall. She just had three spills in her own damned province. Christy Clark and her BC Liberals work for Harper, just as Gordon Campbell did before her. She is busy selling off the rest of BC’s assets. Pretty much everything has been thieved and sold, out of this province.

    Harper and Gordon Campbell did enough dirt to the BC people and this province. They are the worst two corrupt, politicians in the history of Canada. Where is everybody’s heads at. Harper selling out control of the tar sands, to Communist China. China hacked into other country’s secret files. There are other country’s, that are furious with Harper. He is not any country’s favorite person, at the best of times. They can’t stand his bullying and his hissy fits, when he doesn’t get his own way.

    Enbridge lied, right from day one. They haven’t cleaned up, their first 804 spills.

    All we have left of BC is, our beautiful marine life. the Orca whales numbers have just started to come back. We prize our woodland animals. Our Spirit Bears, the unique small wolves. the dirty tar oil, is a direct threat, to everything we hold dear in BC. All of those animals and marine life, are in the direct path of the massive dirty tar tankers. This is the direct path to our rain forests, where the spirit Bears are. It’s bad enough, Harper and Campbell permitted, filthy diseased fish farms, that are killing our wild Salmon and other fish.

    We will fight to the last ditch, to save our beautiful province from, this out and out greed. Perhaps all of them should vacation at the dirty tar sands, instead of coming to BC.

    • I guess I missed the part where the entire citizenry of BC unanimously elected you as their spokesperson. Could you provide me with a link or citation to that?

      • Stop it Bean….everybody has the right to an opinion.

        • Emily, go get some reading comp skills, will you? I’m not disputing the poster’s right to express an opinion. What I’m objecting to is the fact that the poster is purporting to speak for ALL British Columbians, as though she were our duly elected or appointed spokesperson, by using language like this:
          “The BC citizens don’t care how unimpressed, Premier Redford is with Christy Clark. The BC citizens and the F.N. people, don’t want the Enbridge pipeline for any amount of money. Keep your money and your dirty lethal Bitumen too. We want neither.”
          This is merely the poster’s personal opinion, not the opinion of 100% of the residents of British Columbia.

          • You also make it sound as though you speak for everyone when you comment. It’s human nature to do so in anything outside a thesis.

            Stop being such a fusspot about other people, and discuss the topic.

            We don’t need any more pedants on here,

          • Judging from Cummins and Clark’s position, it seems obvious the polling the’re seeing supports Gloria’s position. And next time the Cons are telling us what real Canadians are thinking, I expect you to correct them.

          • If the poster had said that a majority of British Columbians think this or that (and was actually backed up by polling data), that would be one thing. But that’s not what the poster did or said.
            As for your second point, it’s not my job to correct or clarify what Conservatives say.

          • Stop playing hall monitor, it’s tedious and juvenile.

          • I agree with you here. It drives me crazy when people do this. I used to mention it, but I’ve given up. The problem is, it is more striking when you don’t like what the self-appointed spokesperson has to say–therefore you may miss it, and not speak against it, when they are saying something you completely agree with. Meaning that we end up giving a crap only to refute what we don’t want to hear, which harms our own credibility.

          • The related practice that really drives me up the wall is when lazy journalists (of whom there are many) don’t call BS on this practice, and in fact propagate and amplify it. E.g., one member of a group representing, let’s say, some lawyers (e.g., a CBA subsection) takes a position on an issue and issues a press release. Next thing you know, the headline in a newspaper says “Lawyers oppose _____”. As though this group speaks for all lawyers in Canada, when in fact they don’t. There are tons of similar examples. The fact of the matter is that certain activists and partisans take advantage of this journalistic laziness, thus giving the illusion that such people have more support, credibility and legitimacy than they actually have.

          • True. And that can be downright dangerous.

    • Sure and we will do the same – you spoiled ignorant brat

  6. I’m confused. Do the federal Tories want the pipeline built, or not?

    ‘Cause the B.C. Liberals and the B.C. Tories essentially want the same sort of deal to let the pipeline through, and the B.C. NDP don’t want the pipeline to go through, full-stop. It seems to me that, if you want the pipeline to go through B.C., attacking the people who want to make a deal, and ignoring (or even PRAISING!) the people who will let the pipeline go through B.C. over their dead bodies perhaps isn’t the best way to go.

    If the pipeline’s so important, I’d be doing everything I could to get a deal done with the current government of B.C. while the getting’s good, before they get replaced by the party that will never let the pipeline go through.

    ETA: Just read a comment from JanBC from earlier and a rational explanation for this reaction from Alberta and the federal Tories became clear, and I think it’s plausible. Perhaps the government of Alberta and the federal Tories have already concluded that the pipeline project is dead in the water. In other words, they’re not trying to cajole B.C. into cooperating, they’re lashing out at the fact that B.C. isn’t going to cooperate. So this is all about complaining, not persuasion.

  7. Clark really missed the boat when she declined Richard Branson’s offer. She could be grasping Sir Richard on one of his private islands instead of straws in her party’s war room.

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