This just in! I've got a yet-to-be authenticated advance copy of Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver's "streamlining" plan for hearings on things like Enbridge's proposed tar sands pipeline that would bring supertankers to B.C.'s coastline to take bitumen to China.
It's a 5-point plan, written for him by Sun Media:
1. They will no longer be called "hearings," but "tellings" -- as in, I don't really care what you think and will tell you what is in the national interest. Oh, and we may as well get the definition of "national interest" out of the way here -- it's whatever accelerates the strip mining of Northern Alberta.
2. All meetings will henceforth be held in the places that matter, namely Beijing, Houston, and Calgary. Meetings will also be held in raquet clubs so that my investment banker buddies can put in a brief appearance between sets. We one per centers don't like to be greatly inconvenienced.
3. The only foreign radicals allowed to testify will be oil companies like Sinopec, Exxon, Shell and Total. And by "radical" here I mean of course the undermining of life support systems that sustain seven billion humans on planet Earth, as opposed to wanting your children to have a future.
4. No panelists will be from the affected province. Oh, wait, that's already done.
5. Anyone expressing opposition will be sent to the Spoiled Children re-education camp in Edson, Alberta.
Welcome to the new Canadian democracy, people. Hope you like it!