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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

“My daddy told me so” says little Thomas, "and he wouldn't tell me a lie. Would you, Daddy?"


Here’s a few interesting quotes and facts to consider today ... first from British Columbia:

George Heyman, BC
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on February 22nd stated on Twitter:

I share British Columbians deep concerns about the risk that an oil spill poses to Indigenous communities and BC's environment, economy and our coast... This project is not in the best interests of the tens of thousands of people who depend on our coast for their livelihoods. We're going to continue to assert our right to defend BC's env't in court & will continue to insist the federal gov't take BC's concerns seriously.

NOTE:  Heyman also stated that:  Not only have they re-approved the project, they've imposed no new conditions. This is actually NOT TRUE.

The NEB is recommending the project be approved subject to 16 new conditions, in addition to the 156 conditions it had proposed in its previous recommendation.

BC NDP Premier John Horgan
That same day BC NDP Premier John Horgan also stated on Twitter:
Minister @GeorgeHeyman & I remain convinced #TransMountain is not in the best interests of British Columbians. We will continue to stand up for BC and defend our environment, the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on it & southern resident orcas from the risk of an oil spill.


From the National Post ... April 9th, 2018
Horgan denies his government is harassing the project. That’s rich, since his government made it its priority to use “every tool in the toolbox” to frustrate it. It has done that through lawsuits, regulations, support for Burnaby’s denial of municipal permits, even working closely with foreign-funded eco-activists orchestrating protests to disrupt work at the pipeline’s Westridge terminal.


Then there’s this one which should be of grave concern for all British Columbians.  It is something that should send shivers up the backs of all but the wackiest of enviro-protesters who will shout its praises, without regard to future implications.  It should also give professionals in their fields cause for concern as to what will happen if their ‘science based’ findings disagree with the governments pre-determined position.  


The B.C. government has introduced legislation aimed at making sure decisions affecting the province’s natural resources are science-based, transparent and protect B.C.’s unique environment for future generations.

... will modernize and strengthen the roles and expectations of qualified professionals in the province ... will also establish an office of the superintendent of professional governance to ensure consistency and best practices are applied in the work of qualified professionals moving forward.

In other words, this legislation will have the ability ... IF misused ... to direct, or influence how and what decisions are made.  It clearly states that this government legislation will provide greater, science-based public oversight of how B.C.’s natural resources are managed

HERE’S THE PROBLEM WITH THAT:
We already have a government that has been vocal and clear on ITS direction with regards to resource projects, and their (lack of) ability to move forward.  As I have already noted, here is how our BC government feels about resource projects, and the objectionist standards they have, and will put in place to ensure they do not go ahead.


  • We're going to continue to assert our right to defend BC's env't in court

  • We will continue to stand up for BC and defend our environment

  • BC New Democrat platform promises to use “every tool in the toolbox” to stop Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion from going ahead ~~ John Horgan

  • We are committed to use every tool to defend B.C.’s coast [from] threat of tanker traffic ~~ George Heyman


MEANTIME ... next door in the neighbouring NDP province of Alberta, here is what’s happening today:

Alberta Premier Rachael Notley
Premier Rachel Notley will be in Ottawa to appear before a Senate committee on Bill C-69, a bill which will create a new, far-reaching impact assessment process for resource development projects, including pipeline construction.

Yesterday in a government media release, Notley stated:
I am standing up for Albertans and for this province’s future prosperity. Ottawa just doesn’t get it. They don’t understand Alberta – and what this province contributes to the national economy and the well-being of all Canadians.”

“I will make the case as clearly as I can that Bill C-69, in its current form, doesn’t work for Alberta. And, therefore, it does not work for Canada
.”

The release also indicated that she will be making a formal submission outlining a number of proposed amendments to the current legislation, including those that seek to:


  • exclude certain project types so that we can be assured that existing projects, pipelines and in-situ facilities are not subject to additional oversight.

  • compel greater legislative certainty around the factors that must be considered in assessing a project.

  • formally recognize our Climate Leadership Plan so that projects approved under it could be exempt from further environmental assessment.

  • ensure the federal government is acting in the public interest as it evaluates potential projects, and that socio-economic benefits of a project are evaluated and considered.

  • limit the federal minister’s discretion to add projects to the existing projects list. This would maintain clear lines between federal and provincial jurisdictions, and would ensure there isn’t duplication of the efforts or a serious stall in project approvals.


Some will remember this from school days long past -- the decadent and unpopular Nero, “fiddled while Rome burned.” – and so you will likely understand why I use it in relation to BC NDP Premier John Horgan, and George Heyman, his Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

BC’s resource economy is going up in flames while they decide what projects (few as they have been) go ahead ... while others with huge potential to create thousands of union jobs, and taxes that can be used for desperately needed hospitals and schools ... sit stalled and stuck behind and every changing logjam of rules and regulations.

That along with the likelihood of worry for environmental experts who will be in fear of their jobs if the recommend approval of a project the government wants dead in its tracks.

Again, meantime in neighbouring Alberta, NDP Premier Rachael Notley has taken the fight directly to the backyard of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa, who like Horgan and Heyman are using their own stalling tactics.

Bill C-69 must be fixed – for the sake of our economy and our country. In Alberta, we are nation-builders”, stated Notley.

“We contribute much to this country and we punch above our weight. We have done our part and we have worked hard for the benefit of all Canadians. I will never stop fighting for Alberta families, and I’m proud to be taking that fight right to Ottawa.”

Meanwhile, here in BC Premier Horgan says he will fight using “every tool in the toolbox” and argues that the Trans Mountain Pipeline (as just one example) “is not in the best interests of British Columbians”.

All the while BC Stats showed, in its latest round of information, that in British Columbia, the number of men and women receiving Employment Insurance rose by 2.0% to 38,500 in December.

Yes indeed; environmentally regulated and approved projects can just sit on the back-burner as they die a slow death ... but hey, these projects are NOT in the best interests of British Columbia.  That’s because Premier John Horgan, and Enviro Minister told us so, and they would lie to us, would they?

Let me just use a brief clip from the movie a Miracle on 34th Street, to show how facts can be twisted a bit (or a lot) when needed:

"Gosh, everybody knows you shouldn't tell a lie, especially in court," replies Tommy forthrightly.

"How do you know Santa exists?" asks Gayley, pursuant to present rule 704.

"My daddy told me so," says little Thomas, "and he wouldn't tell me a lie. Would you, Daddy?"

Now in reality I do not believe that Horgan is in actual fact lying – however I believe he has found himself, just like the Judge and the District Attorney in the movie, stuck between a rock and a hard place.  He needs to hold his fragile government together -- especially the environmental faction.

I’m Alan Forseth in Kamloops.  If you have any thoughts on this, or anything else you read on the blog, I welcome you to share them in the Comments Section below.

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