Tensions at an anti-pipeline blockade came to a head when the RCMP arrested 14 members of the Gidimt’en clan of the Wet'suwet'en First Nation.
"New tar sands pipelines don't make sense."
Things don’t happen just because Donald Trump wants them to.
As the year draws to a close, it's worth looking back at some of the public policy issues that made headlines over the past 12 months, and that have a good chance of being in the news during the next 12 as well.
As the month of August draws to a close, the National Energy Board (NEB) begins its hearings on the Energy East pipeline project amidst a swirl of controversy. But the most objectionable aspect of the hearings of the NEB is the fact that it is engulfed in a sea of questionable ethical considerations.
I think I'm reasonably well versed in issues surrounding the Energy East Pipeline, both economic and environmental. But I am struck by how, in any official TransCanada communications about environmental implications of the project, climate change is never mentioned.
President Obama rejected Keystone XL because he was convinced it was not "in the best interest" of his country. Unhappy with this decision, TransCanada Pipelines chose to directly challenge the sovereignty of the government of the United States with this $15-billion lawsuit.
Trump wants America to have a share of the Keystone pipeline's profits.
It sometimes sounds as though pipeline proponents are the true environmentalists among us. Commentary in favour of the pipelines has followed suit with generous explanations of our current needs and the realities of energy consumption. They ask: are opponents of the pipelines in denial about our current reliance on fossil fuels? And if these bleeding hearts do admit that we do need fossil fuels to power our country, are they comfortable importing Saudi oil forever? I believe that such questions willfully miss the point.
If the pipelines are not approved, Alberta will suffer a huge fall, perhaps a kind of collapse. The Canadian economy will take a hit. But it will also turn us away from the unsustainable direction fostered by the last government. New, cleaner industries more befitting an educated, technologically advanced Canada will continue to be developed and in time produce economic growth. They won't make us rich right now, or in this election cycle, but it is a certainty that the alternative energy sector is not going away; in fact, it is a certainty that it will take over.