Politics on TV: Vaughan, pipelines and a Bulgarian bombing - Macleans.ca

Politics on TV: Vaughan, pipelines and a Bulgarian bombing

The three things you need to see


Here are the three things you should not have missed:

  1. The Environment Commissioner
  2. Premiers Redford and Alward
  3. A Canadian connection to a Bulgarian bombing

Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan:

Power Play spoke with Environment Commissioner Scott Vaughan, whose final report said that the absolute liability limit for oil spills in Canada is $30 million, as opposed to UK’s limit of $250 million, or Norway’s being unlimited. By comparison, the Deepwater Horizon leak in the Gulf of Mexico has cost $40 billion to date. Vaughan said that these limits were last looked at 20 years ago, and that nuclear liability was last looked at 30 years ago. Vaughan noted that the government has been doing consultations on these, but there have been no changes yet. Vaughan’s report also noted the uncertainty over chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and that the new laws don’t touch exploratory drilling, such as Deepwater Horizon.

Over on Power & Politics, Vaughan added that the federal government has an existing $8.3 billion liability for contaminated sites, that 70 per cent of mines in the North are not being inspected, and the “world-class” monitoring plan is still being negotiated, and not in place yet.

Premiers on an East-West Pipeline:

Power & Politics spoke with Alberta premier Alison Redford and New Brunswick Premier David Alward, who met in Edmonton today about a planned east-west pipeline. Alward said that all three parties in his province are onboard with the project, and that the project makes sense because of job creation and the fact that Alberta is not getting value for its resources. Alward also said that the federal regulatory process matters, and he hopes the pipeline will be approved in 18 months to two years. Redford said that she’s been working with Quebec premier Pauline Marois about the pipeline going through that province, that she wants to ensure that they are providing helpful information, and that she respects that decisions need to be made in local jurisdictions.

Bulgarian bombing:

Evan Solomon hosted an MP Panel of Bob Dechert, Paul Dewar, and John McKay to discuss the revelation that a dual Canadian citizen is suspected of blowing up a busload of Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. Dechert said that he wasn’t surprised there is a link to Hezbollah and that Bill S-7, currently under debate, would allow officials to prevent someone from leaving Canada if they are known to be planning terrorist activities. Dewar wondered about the level of information sharing, and whether Canadian officials have been in the loop since the beginning. McKay said that he was concerned about what else could be done to secure the use and abuse of Canadian passports and what it would mean to our reputation if our passports become the choice of terrorists – to which Dechert assured him the new passports have biometric data.

Worth Noting:

  • CBC has learned that Senator Mike Duffy doesn’t receive the PEI provincial tax credit for residence, which is a blow to his quest to prove his primary residence.
  • Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson wondered why the street across from Parliament Hill is becoming a ghost town, and reiterated his desire for the former US embassy to become a “treasure chest” of Canadian mementos.