Does anyone else remember, waaaaaaaay back (well, a couple of years ago) when our premier trotted out her “five conditions” for pipelines carrying bitumen from the Alberta oil sands to our coast? What were they, now? Oh, right:
- National Energy Board approval (tough one, that)
- World leading (whatever that means) land-based spill detection and response
- World leading (as above) marine spill detection and response
- A hefty piece of the action for B.C.
- Aboriginal buy-off. I mean, in. Buy-in. Sorry about that.
Supposedly, the Kinder Morgan, TransMountain pipeline expansion, which will triple the amount of basically raw bitumen being shipped through Burrard Inlet and Vancouver Harbour, has now met those conditions. More or less. In a manner of speaking.
It was a no-brainer then, and requires none still, to see that approval was inevitable. NEB approval was a foregone conclusion. “World leading” is pretty meaningless, since it isn’t defined at all. So there are two conditions that are pretty much entirely subjective. How much of a cut did B.C. need? Apparently not a very big one. Under $50M a year. Less than some soccer players make. And as for First Nations… Let’s get serious. When was the last time one of our premiers cared about them, except as ornamentation, or in this case a bargaining chip?
So, B.C. coastal communities – and our environment – have been sold down the river, so to speak, by two Liberal leaders (one federal, one provincial) in the past six weeks. Does anyone need more proof that “liberal” does not mean “progressive” in this country?