On Monday, British Columbia premier Christy Clark was essentially slapped in the face -- politely but publicly -- by Alberta Premier Alison Redford -- who rejected B.C.'s demand for "a fair share" of royalties from Alberta's oil pipelines. It should make for an interesting backdrop to Canada's premiers getting together in Nova Scotia this week, where energy will be front and centre on the agenda.
Once we acknowledge that virtually all of us agree that the oil sands are vital to Canada, we recognize the absurdity of claims that this is in any way a nationally divisive issue. Even Justin Trudeau, the man poised to be the next Liberal leader, knows that developing the oil sands is the only choice for Canadians.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) heard the major findings of its two-year investigation of the Enbridge tar sands pipeline spill, which released more than a million gallons of corrosive tar sands into the Kalamazoo River watershed in July 2010.
Kim Slater knows that Canada can reinvent itself, and shift from being a fossil fuel dealer to a clean energy leader. She knows her elected leaders can make it happen. But she isn't waiting for them to take the lead. In fact, she's starting without them, running across British Columbia to talk with Canadians about more sustainable forms of energy.
The federal investigation of the Kalamazoo tar sands spills clearly shows that the most expensive pipeline accident in U.S. history could have and should have been prevented.
My vision for Canada's future is one that appeals to our higher aspirations and hopes for the future, rather than to our fears, distrust, and resentment. In running for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada, I want to appeal to all those Canadians who are uncertain where they fit into Canadian politics, but want to talk about the kind of nation we are building, and what it is that makes us Canadian.
Among the countries weakening the text was that former environmental leader: Canada. But inspiration also comes from Canada.
I'm not surprised to find out that Canada is promoting the tar sands at the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development and the environment, after all, they have a long and marked history of using these conferences to promote and defend the image of the tar sands abroad. It might not be surprising, but that doesn't mean it isn't wrong.
On the surface, a call for reason sounds good when dealing with the tar sands, but it comes at a great cost to the environment where irreparable damage is being inflicted everyday. Unreasonable things are happening in Canada's North, and it's not talk that's going to solve these massive problems.
As a Liberal candidate during the 2011 federal election, many people insisted that I take a firm stand against Alberta's oil sands. I simply wouldn't do that. I urged voters to think about what they were asking me to do. Why were people ready to insist on such a radical and destructive position when they had very few facts at their disposal?
Mulcair lives in the lap of the luxury he rails against, offers ruinous prescriptions that attract headlines, and does not do his homework. On the other hand, Mulcair is good news for the Tories, but Canada faces serious choices and needs intelligent conversation. It need a smart opposition as a check and balance.
Just yesterday we saw a huge pipeline spill in northwest Alberta dumping 22,000 barrels of oil and water into the surrounding wilderness. And how could we forget that 19,500 barrels of oil our little baby spilled into Michigan's Kalamazoo River? Now, of course the tar sands have a long way to go -- in many ways he is still just a clumsy teenager, tripping over himself.
I was shocked by this week's news that the Harper Tories were closing Environment Canada's Experimental Lakes Area, cutting a smokestack emissions research group and a Department of Fisheries and Oceans contaminants program. Where are the real Tories willing to put the word "conserve" back into the Conservative Party of Canada?
The Harper government is waging war on Canada's fresh water. Industry will now have unprecedented influence over water protection policy and the Harper cabinet will make decisions about which watersheds deserve protection based on political, not scientific, grounds. What a travesty Harper has decided to sacrifice our freshwater heritage in order to please his industry friends.
In this week's editorial pages we got to meet Thomas Muclair, SCARY ENEMY OF NATIONAL UNITY when he railed against the Alberta oil industry. All the western premiers quickly fired back, calling Mulcair's grasp of economics "tenuous and "goofy." But some are conceding that Muclair is being pretty damn "clever" in rejecting one of the dominant pieces of conventional wisdom in post-Harper Canadian politics: that you need the West to win.
Canadians are generally an obedient lot, so what gives with the plan of a group of Canadians to block Warren Buffett's coal trains near Vancouver this Saturday? Those on the train tracks and those standing up for alternatives to the tar sands, while maybe considered radical, might just be the new responsible.