First published in the Chronicle Journal
Saturday, March 21, 2015
I suppose that Stephen Harper must believe that if he plays the terrorist card he will win a majority of votes in the upcoming election — but I think he’s wrong. This time I believe voters will see through Bill C-51 and its overblown scare tactics. In truth, I’m more concerned about the terrorists we know.
At a Conservative networking conference on March 6, in the context of the security Bill C-51, Conservative Finance Minister, Joe Oliver, said that social licence should not allow “a small minority to block a project that is in the national interest where the elected government has put its imprint after a regulatory review.” If this brings the Energy East pipeline project to mind, it should. It was in 2012 that Oliver labelled the opponents of pipelines as radical environmental groups who were funded by foreign interests.
Also, consider the words of Hunter Harrison, the new CEO of CP Rail. Last month he blamed the Lac Megantic rail explosion, which killed 47 people and levelled the downtown, on human error. He stated that it would be an overreaction to further regulate rail safety because “it won’t stop human behaviour.”
Not surprisingly, Harrison has simultaneously been arguing for increased rail speeds — equating the speedier delivery of goods with greater profits for his company.
As background, we should know that Harrison was put in his position by hedge-fund activist Bill Ackerman after a successful shareholder coup at CP in May, 2012.
Then, of course, there is Russ Girling, CEO of TransCanada Corporation whose Energy East pipeline proposes to cross Northwest Ontario by 2018. In view of Stephen Harper’s avowed aim to make Canada an energy superpower, Mr. Girling exclaimed to the Globe and Mail on Feb. 4, “As Canadians I think that we should be screaming right now, saying, just a second, are we a resource-based nation or not?”
As for me, I’m just a parent and grandparent who, unlike the above villains, actually lives here. And I really care for our future. I’m not a terrorist, not foreign, nor even paid to be an environmental activist. I do what I do because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I believe that the reasonable thing for us all is to hang Mr. Harper and his big oil allies out to dry in this next federal election. Then we’d better engage our governments, at all levels, in a full discussion of our economic and energy needs and priorities.
Somehow, after 150 years of being a nation, the above so-called leaders are still pegging Canada’s economy on being ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water.’ We can do much better. And, really, who’s fooling who?