Real leadership needed on oil plans

In Mr. Harper and Ms. Clark, we have one “leader” who is a hypocritical flunky of Big Oil and a second who is a fence sitting follower.

What Canada needs are leaders who operate with the best interests of the country as their paramount guiding principle. In Mr. Harper and Ms. Clark, we have one “leader” who is a hypocritical flunky of Big Oil and a second who is a fence sitting follower.

Mr. Harper believes the markets should decide what happens to Canada’s petroleum resource, maintaining that “ethical” Alberta tar sand bitumen is better than “unethical” oil obtained from foreign despotic regimes. Hence his government’s support for the Northern Gateway pipeline, since that’s what the oil industry (Enbridge) wants.

Strange then that he is bending over backwards to send this Alberta bitumen to China, a nation with very questionable ethics. At the same time all of eastern Canada (from Ontario east) obtains all of its oil from those same “unethical” foreign states he decries. What could be more hypocritical?

Mr. Harper seems to forget that those Alberta tar sands belong to all Canadians, not to the many foreign owned oil companies (one of which is China’s state owned oil company) which are exploiting them. If Mr. Harper were actually a leader, he and his Conservative government would be setting out a Canadian energy plan in which we, the citizens of Canada, set the rules as to where the oil is sent and that Canada’s domestic supply is guaranteed first.

Harper’s support for the extremely rapid exploitation of the tar sands must be very difficult for him to rationalize given his commitment to lower Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent from 2005 levels by 2020.

Ms. Clark says she is waiting to see the outcome of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project hearings before making a decision for or against. How disingenuous can she be and how naïve does she think the citizens of B.C. are?

Two of Ms. Clarks’s top advisors are Gwyn Morgan and Ken Boessen-kool. Morgan’s former job was head of Encana, the largest Albertan gas company while Boessenkool served as a policy advisor and strategist for Harper. Does she really think she’s fooling us?

With the vast majority of B.C. citizens clearly opposed to the proposed pipeline and associated tanker traffic, Ms. Clark should be acting as the public voice of opposition to the Gateway project. B.C. has very little to gain from the project and an immeasurable amount to lose when the first pipeline rupture and the first tanker spill occur.

While it is not until next year that Ms. Clark and not until 2015 that Mr. Harper will face the electorate, it is of immediate importance that all concerned citizens of B.C. voice their opinion about the Northern Gateway project. Please do so by writing to both Mr. Harper and Ms. Clark. Construction of this pipeline must not be allowed to proceed.

Norm and Loni Funnell