May 13, 2017

“Green” grip on BC politics spells trouble for TransMountain pipeline

Holly NicholasRebel Commentator

The Alberta NDP insist TransMountain will still get built despite the BC election results,  with Energy Minister Marg McQuaig-Boyd saying she’s confident because the federal government approved the pipeline, but as things stand the Greens hold all the power in BC now and that may spell trouble.

Despite the Greens only winning three seats, the BC Liberals lead a weak minority government after winning only 43 seats as compared to the BC NDP’s 42 seats.

Unless vote recounts and absentee ballots earn the Liberals a few more seats, the Greens will be the decision makers on every vote. And if they decide to form a coalition with the NDP, that would give the combined parties even more power.

While the NDP and Greens don’t agree on everything, they do agree on knee capping the oil and gas industry and blocking the TransMountain pipeline.

At the very least, they have the power to stall the pipeline by demanding more conditions regardless of whether the Federal Liberals make the final decision.

No matter how often McQuaig-Boyd and Rachel Notley wear “I heart the oilsands” t-shirts, or don hard hats and coveralls to try to get into the hearts and minds of Albertans, the citizens of this province will never believe they love the oil and gas industry.

Watch as I explain why the Notley NDP’s pro-TransMountain words and paraphernalia, don’t match some of their less obvious actions.

I might believe the Alberta NDP want to get these oil and gas projects off the ground if they’d fire the kooky anti-oil, anti-Alberta activists that fill their government ranks.

But they probably won’t - because the Alberta NDP are anti-oil and anti-Alberta themselves.

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commented 2017-05-15 21:29:19 -0400
William — Quite true, and kudos on your knowledge of history. Not a niggle at all, part of the fun of Austria is watching its borders expand and contract through the ages, as 900 years of alliances and wars have swirled around it. However, explaining Austrian territorial history for the issue at hand seemed a bit off topic. So, mea culpa, I lumped it in with Switzerland.
Austria nevertheless remains a perfect example; at this period in its history it is once again landlocked, it has been since 1919 (annexation of Austria by Germany into the greater Third Reich I don’t think qualifies Austria as having its own sovereign claim to deep water) and yet it continues today as a viable country. They existed prior to the EU, and more to my point they did not automatically petition the Italians or Yugoslavians post 1919 to annex them for want of a deep water port; they survived, and there’s no reason we couldn’t either if it came down to that.
LOL, but next time I’ll just use Switzerland as an example!! Plus everyone knows about Swiss bank accounts, an example of a niche we would have to develop to ensure our product is in demand irrespective of sovereign access to deep water.
As to how to get all this on an agenda for the Canadian context, I think continued laissez faire Federal governance from afar will ensure, at some point, that a majority here will consider it foolish NOT to actively pursue it. Like I said, I don’t expect it to happen in my lifetime, but without a serious check on the institutions and underlying philosophies of the mechanisms of the Confederation (and without someone who governs for all the country, rather than for just those areas where they happen to get the most votes), it WILL happen. Canada is not so unique that it can’t have the odd border or two shuffled around – like Austria.
commented 2017-05-15 18:06:20 -0400
Ain’t gona get built until the Chinese or Germans tell the CRIMEMINISTER to do it
commented 2017-05-15 09:33:27 -0400
Jim, hate to niggle but Austria did not exist for hundreds of years as a landlocked country. Until 1919 it centred the Austro-Hungarian (Hapsburg) Empire and had ample coastline. From 1938-1945 it was part of the Third Reich. They formally joined the EU in 1995.
That said, yes include me among those who firmly support some form of Western Canadian separatism. Preferably, BC would be included. They may lead the way. The more BCers encounter Ottawa’s Aboriginal supremacist agenda, the more they will crave independence. But alas, how to congregate? How to get this on the public agenda?
commented 2017-05-15 01:34:31 -0400
LOL Leviticus. Thanks, but while I would actively support someone younger should they want to tilt at the Ottawa windmill, doing so myself would not do any favours for my blood pressure.
commented 2017-05-15 01:27:23 -0400
Not sure why the first dozen lines in my post are struck through. Aggravating.
commented 2017-05-15 01:25:30 -0400
Hey Ron -
Thanks for the feedback. A couple of things to consider perhaps:
1. Austria and Switzerland existed as landlocked countries for many hundreds of years before the EU came along with its arcane rules and bureaucratic bloat. They independently developed their own unique cultures without huge land mass or enormous populations. I completely agree the EU is a fading experiment not to be replicated in like fashion; but the EU’s current state of debacle is non sequitur with respect to both countries’ historical establishment as standalone entities.
2. Investment in upgrading infrastructure was only one example of what I was trying to get across; the main point is to find a niche. Whether that’s honing in on high tech medical research, aerospace, advanced hydroponics, or simply the world’s best automatic eavestrough cleaning system the idea is to put the effort into endeavours that take us a bit further away from being the drawers of wood and hewers of water. Develop satellite or sonar technology, or crops that can reach harvest in 60 days with next to no water. Or here’s one, even for the greenies -
invest in battery technology that doesn’t rely on toxic slurries and heavy metals but actually makes the storage of energy cheap, reliable and long lasting (because right now “green” energy is anything but). It doesn’t matter. Diversification does not mean bringing in a diverse foreign population to work a traditional industry (as with the cattle industry) — it means diversifying the number of available industries themselves. Viewing everything through one or two lenses — exporting oil and gas, raising cattle — just leads to comfortable stagnation.
3. Yes, Zeihan pretties up Manifest Destiny through the economic lens of petroleum production and distribution, and comes to the conclusion that the end is pre-ordained. Two concerns here. Firstly, we do not at all have to continue to be a one or two trick pony (see above), in fact we shouldn’t be. Secondly, I would submit that dissatisfaction with Confederation does not equate to anyone’s willingness to suddenly want to be subsumed by the American machine; regardless of the economies involved in oil and gas, there are far more considerations to examine if faced with that option.
Too bad we even have to talk about such eventualities, but there you are. None of this is likely to fully come to pass in my lifetime, but if left unchecked it will cause increasing grief and will lead to a blow out at some point.
Anyway, I’m one of only a few of my peers still gainfully employed here (so far), so I’m off to bed. Thanks for the chat, it’s been fun.
commented 2017-05-15 00:41:14 -0400
Jim … Webb outstanding post.!!!
Take the reins of leadership and make it happen.!!
commented 2017-05-14 23:20:26 -0400
Jim Webb—Again a lot of good views to agree with in your last post, however a couple small statements stick out for discussion.
1. Maybe the Swiss and Austrians made some good decisions 200 years ago, but going by the recent decisions of Western Europe ; I wouldn’t want to copy anything that they do, as in my opinion not much has worked . The end is near for the EU and its players.
2." Invest in infrastructure to finish the product, rather than sell the raw resource." This is Mulcair’s idea and it is backed up by the New BC Green Leader. I also thought it was a great idea, although many people on this site said that there was no money in it; 8% profit seemed alright to me, seeing I am making less than 2% on my savings.
Then a true Oil expert came on and explained that finished oil products have a best before date or a limited shelf life. By the time it got to many locations , it would be stale unless the refinery was built on a coast. Back where we started.
3. Alberta tried to diversify years ago by bringing in N. Africans and their families to work in your Beef Industry. They found that they could make more money selling drugs. Now they have expanded to Surrey BC.
I have lived in numerous big cities, cities and towns. The Mayors of all these places said the same line, " we will bring in clean, green Businesses that will hire all our people so they don’t have to leave town for work. It never happened once.
Now, have some fun watching some American Business people talking about Alberta being their 51st State. These videos are nearly 2 years old, but they are getting more relevant.
commented 2017-05-14 20:15:43 -0400
Should cut of all utilities to those fucking greens immediately so they can start their survival battle which is what they want.
commented 2017-05-14 18:07:50 -0400
Ron — I would never advocate joining the States; why would we exchange one basically disinterested Federal government for one located even further away? And realistically, if we’re essentially going to be limited to one buyer now because of the posturing of players like BC and Quebec, what’s the difference whether we are in or out of Confederation? Even at reduced price, outside Confederation the money received is retained by the folks who own the resource, rather than trickling its way into federal coffers for transfer elsewhere.
I’ve never bought the canard that separation would lead to annexation, or a desire to become American; seems the Swiss and Austrians have somehow managed to make a go of it for a few centuries, surely there is something to be learned there. Start to invest in infrastructure to finish the product rather than simply selling the raw resource, diversify into aerospace, banking and financials, create your own dairy industry, start building cars, whatever. Create a niche, rather than lazily riding the coat tails of what has been the world’s largest economy. Being a friendly supplier of a strategic commodity in hot demand buys a certain amount of elbow room if push ever came to shove, in my view.
But you are absolutely correct – if the country is to remain a Federal whole, at some point we’ll require statesmen making hard decisions rather than politicians taking selfies.
LOL, I always love the enviro response.
Earl I won’t even bother to address your comment, because there is no such thing as “tar sands”. Basing your whole viewpoint on living in fear over what MAY happen seems pointless; with that attitude, Man should never have tamed fire, because the consequences MIGHT have been too severe. However, if that is your underlying philosophy of life, may I suggest you instead start petitioning to have Vancouver re-built 100 miles inland, so the earthquake that WILL occur there doesn’t sweep all the toxins, plastics, garbage and heavy metals otherwise associated with a major industrialised urban centre into the Pacific when it hits.
And Christine, I’m not even sure if your comment is directed to me. Always happy to engage if you have something to add.
commented 2017-05-14 14:19:22 -0400
“Leviticus 2013 commented 23 hours ago
Only in Canada will you ever find where 3% of the voters become the majority ruling party.!!
What a scam and a farce.!! "

The Greens actually got 17% of the vote. They got 3 seats, which is about 4%.

If you look at the popular vote, the Libs got 41%, the NDP, 40. A coalition of either party with the Greens thus represents 57-58% of the vote, which is a simple majority.
commented 2017-05-14 14:19:22 -0400
“Leviticus 2013 commented 23 hours ago
Only in Canada will you ever find where 3% of the voters become the majority ruling party.!!
What a scam and a farce.!! "

The Greens actually got 17% of the vote. They got 3 seats, which is about 4%.

If you look at the popular vote, the Libs got 41%, the NDP, 40. A coalition of either party with the Greens thus represents 57-58% of the vote, which is a simple majority.
commented 2017-05-14 13:32:22 -0400
Jim Webb—-You put mounds of well thought out information in your last post, and already you have two replies from the left. It doesn’t matter that the Michigan pipeline was 50 years old, or the watchman on duty was asleep and when he woke up he waited 17 more hours to report the spill.
Like you,I would also push for Alberta and Saskatchewan to leave Confederation as these Provinces are like the battered wife in the Canadian marriage, plus they pay many of the bills.
The only future problem you would have is like Canada, you only have one customer. Because of this the future is doomed unless you JOIN THEM. When a Country or two Provinces only have one customer, the price they will receive goes down, never an increase.
Even if Kinder Morgan goes through, (I’m sure it will) the oil industry still needs Northern Gateway and Energy East. It will take a powerful Federal Government to accomplish that.
commented 2017-05-14 11:26:23 -0400
commented 2017-05-14 10:00:47 -0400
Fact check – the NDP won 41 seats in the preliminary count not the 42 figure found in both written and video portions of this article.
As to substantive matters: the question is whether the Province of BC can thwart this pipeline now that it has been approved by the NEB. Environmentalist have launched a number of suits but none are likely to succeed and none focus on the federal-provincial issue. We shall hold our breath until May 24 when we see the final count. An NDP-Green coalition is possible.
Build Transmountain, build Northern Gateway, build Keystone, build Energy East, build the Mackenzie Valley…
commented 2017-05-14 08:20:17 -0400
Kinder Morgan’s pipeline has to be stopped, because there is no equipment to clean-up a toxic, tar sands spill. A spill from Kinder Morgan’s pipeline down into the Fraser River watershed will kill most of BC’s commercial and sport salmon industries. To understand the destructiveness of a tar sands spill, Google and read, “Michigan oil spill effects could be repeated here”, by Michelle Barlond-Smith. What happened to the Kalamazoo River, we do not want to happen in the Fraser River. Let’s keep beautiful BC.
commented 2017-05-14 03:50:17 -0400
Ron, I agree the foot soldiers carrying the Green banners are ideologues to whom logic is a foreign concept, so they are unlikely to care about anything but their narrow view of existence (i.e., Mankind is an evil infestation).

However I believe outweighing that is a government’s never ending thirst for revenues, to fuel pet projects, live their extravagant lifestyles, and grease palms. Sooner or later some bright light in the Ottawa bureaucracy (oxymoron?) is going to realize the cash is no longer coming in from the formerly “have” provinces, and they will “engage” the government in BC to accept the pipeline – not because they actually give a damn about folks in Alberta and Saskatchewan, or care about whether the country actually works as it should, but because they will need a source of cash that doesn’t involve simply raising taxes or relies on rampant deficit spending (which will look less and less attractive the closer we get to the next election, where they may be called to pay the piper). The BC government will grudgingly give in, all in the spirit of Confederation of course, AND (by the way) for a cut of the action to ease their worries over environmental concerns.

So, as politicians do everywhere, they will put a spin on taking the cash and essentially sell out their base, maybe publicly blaming the Feds for forcing their hand but secretly happy to have the new income to misspend as they see fit. Hence the tenor of my post; if it gets through, it will do so only via stylized extortion. Using the same “logic”, we should therefore have licence to be able to extort back in kind.

The alternative? Well, with Alberta and Saskatchewan both landlocked, and provinces to both the East and the West essentially indicating they would be willing to block the transport of output to tidewater, I’d suggest Confederation will at that point have reached an end. There’d be no real point in pretending this country had any overarching Federal cohesion if the Provincial governments were allowed to be able to call the shots on extra-provincial matters. As we are already selling somewhere north of 3 million barrels of oil a day to the US, all without the necessity of involving provinces like BC or Ontario / Quebec, the question here will then grow louder as to whether our long term interest is best expressed by sharing the income with competing, self-interested (if not hostile) jurisdictions under the flaccid excuse for Federalism currently in vogue, or whether we should be charting our own course and using exports to existing markets for the sole benefit of the folks who live here, and who actually own the resource.
commented 2017-05-14 02:40:40 -0400
Jim Webb—Most of these Greens and NDPs don’t care about extra environmental fees; they want anything to do with Gas & Oil stopped, even if Canada goes bankrupt.
Mayor Gregor Robinson and the rest of the Green Gang have no idea what will replace fossil fuels. If you have lived in Vancouver in the Winter you may only see the sun 2 or 3 days a month; that isn’t ideal for solar. They want Electric Cars, however they don’t want the Site C Dam, where Billions have already been spent.
I agree that the Federal Government has to make decisions for the Country, even if they lose some votes in a city.
commented 2017-05-14 00:54:05 -0400
Any federal government with balls – Liberal or Conservative, the NDP have theirs removed at birth – should look to the unity and prosperity of the country for once, instead of only being concerned with their chances of staying at the trough for their own ends. Too many politicians, no statesmen.
If this gets through only after environmental “fees” have been paid to the BC government as ransom, then I’d suggest an equal environmental “fee” be put on the transport of ANY goods of whatever nature, delivered to or transported from BC, which have to cross Alberta and Saskatchewan to reach their destination.
After all, these fees obviously represent a serious and well thought out attempt to save the environment; surely the Candy Bar Coast will be more than understanding if we just do our bit to help the environment too, by taxing the noxious fumes emitted by the trucks, trains and aircraft used deliver BC’s goods either way. All for the planet, you understand.
OK, sarcasm off. Enjoy the 150th, Canada as we know it won’t be around for a 200th.
commented 2017-05-13 23:30:07 -0400
More headaches for Kinder Morgan & more loony toons running the country.
The BC voters who voted NDP & Green must be living in a cave, never to come out except to vote because they have no idea MB finally booted the NDP out because they were destroying the province & Alberta right next door is being destroyed as well. They’ve gotta be living in a cave not to know this, otherwise, surely that would be the last parties they would vote for.
commented 2017-05-13 20:31:12 -0400
The pipeline will have to be built despite the NDP and Greens, otherwise Trudeau’s word will mean nothing.
The problem may be that Liberals doesn’t care if they go back on their word; remember PM Chretien
“Axe the Tax.”
commented 2017-05-13 20:06:24 -0400
The oil can always be sent by rail.
commented 2017-05-13 16:28:12 -0400
They will filibuster every issue until the government is non functional then they will force an election. Lotus landers, you must all be suicidal putting your your birthright in the hands of insane Marxist destructors.
commented 2017-05-13 15:51:51 -0400
Assholes who feed at the government trough, flatulate giant carbon footprints flying to private islands in december, expense everything to the taxpayer, wag their fking fingers at everyone else. About as useful as tits on a bull. Do as I say, not as I do, civil ‘servant’ scum. Now let me tell you how I really feel about the ‘greens’.
commented 2017-05-13 15:38:16 -0400
So the reality of the situation is the NDP represent the majority government.
It’s too bad the liberals in BC didn’t have a party to represent them thru proxy
commented 2017-05-13 15:36:37 -0400
Well so much for BC having a somewhat decent economy.
commented 2017-05-13 15:36:00 -0400
Only in Canada will you ever find where 3% of the voters become the majority ruling party.!!
What a scam and a farce.!!