This letter, by CUSJ Past President Frances Deverell, was published in the Victoria Times Colonist.
In the National Interest?
According to Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Horgan should compromise because this pipeline is in the national interest. Why is that? He doesn’t say. I see the national interest as one where all of us move in a planned and purposeful way toward an economy that does not depend on oil and gas. In that worldview, giving oil companies breaks on environmental assessments or emissions rules or buying pipelines so they can move their oil is against the national interest. It is the interest of oil companies not to leave stranded assets. The national interest is to move forward into a low-carbon future in Canada and around the world.
Mr. Trudeau speaks out of both sides of his mouth. “Yes,” he says, “we will meet our Paris targets.” Then he approves drilling in Nova Scotia, refuses to sign on to an Arctic heavy oil treaty, and permits Alberta oil to triple production of a very inefficient, high GHG emissions product, and approves a Pipeline without ever reviewing its climate impacts or demonstrating that bitumen can be cleaned up. Meanwhile we have never met our emissions targets as a country and are not projected to meet those targets any time soon.
And how can he say he has consulted with First Nations when the BC Federation of Indian Chiefs is standing at the Watch Tower, committing civil disobedience, and getting arrested to make their voices heard? Yes, let’s act in the national interest. Let’s all of us move toward a low-carbon future in right relations with our first peoples.