Joe Oliver, Harper’s Resources minister, is a dangerous man. Indeed so is Harper. They have flung down the gauntlet, essentially saying that violence is the inevitable consequence of BC not taking the Enbridge Pipeline, the consequent tanker traffic, increased capacity and tankers for the Kinder Morgan line - with only a grumble or two from bitching NDP types.
What should really get our juices jumping is the statement that environmental hearings should proceed speedily and obstacles removed from these projects. it obviously being unthinkable that they could stop them.
That is ill-disguised code for, “Listen you assholes, we don’t give a damn about the public process – just get it over with so we can get on with the construction. It doesn’t matter that this monstrous Tar Sands gunk is to be transported through your pristine forests, mountain and streams – get on with it.”
“Pay no attention, peasants, to the fact that Enbridge has had over 800 spills since 1998 and that experience shows that the mess can never be cleaned up.”
“Disregard your stupid bloody salmon – if Newfoundland can get by without cod, you can get by without salmon and, come to think of it, if you have adult seals, there must be pups somewhere to bludgeon and we’ll find a subsidy for you.”
“There’s lots of money there for First Nations so stop bringing them into the discussion – as soon as we find out what their price is we’ll pay it and get on with it…why we in the federal government have been dealing with these savages, er First Nations, since 1867 and they trust us.”
“And who gives a damn that the people in BC are against these projects - we run things here!”
I oppose violence with every remaining sinew in my body but I’m saying to Harper and Oliver that violence is what their policies will bring. I haven’t had a fight since about Grade VII and I lost that one but I can tell you that I’m prepared to stand in the way of that first shovel and take the consequences. And I say to you both that you’re making a mistake if you think you can do these things without very serious consequences.
There is no middle way, Prime Minister – this Tar Sands gunk has to go by train or truck through Alberta to Houston because it isn’t coming though BC or through her waters.
Do you understand what this issue means to us, Prime Minister?
Look what happened in Alberta with the National Energy Plan! There were no environmental hazards involved, just money. The country was shaken to its roots by this policy and the Tories could only get into government and stay there by promising to tube the program.
That policy was politically inconsequential compared to the pipelines and tankers.
Think on this Mr. Harper: the roar from BC has not come about from the lack of money accompanying the pipelines – because it’s not about the money – yet you tell us a bunch of barnyard droppings about the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs. Even if that crap was true we’ll not be bought off.
You talk as if First Nations will no doubt succumb to a billion dollar bribe and act as if this is just a money game and that you simply haven’t reached high enough for them.
What if you’re wrong, Mr. Harper – even you must consider the possibility of error. What then? Do you expect the First Nations to do nothing?
I believe you are dead wrong about our First Nations and you’re a damned fool if you simply go into your Ottawa shell and pull the covers over your head.
Prime Minister, you seem to be oblivious of the damage you’re doing.
The province of BC knows that these hearings are phoney but in a curious way they help us because they give people a place to vent their feelings and come together for the fight.
We know that you couldn’t care less that Enbridge has had 811 “accidents” since 1998. But take a moment, Mr. Harper, to check out the July 2010 Enbridge spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River; compare that geography with ours and you’ll see that there is no way Enbridge could do anything about a spill in British Columbia, even if they could get anything to it. It’s a problem of nature that not even you and Mr. Oliver can do anything about. Bitumen, because of its viscous nature, is like black ooze – you can’t get rid of it.
We know from experience that spills from tanker accidents last for decades.
You must know these things too, Prime Minister, so why are you doing this to us?