After a summer of traveling north of Superior and visiting my eldest son in South Korea, I returned home to Canada to find that, in the face of increasing opposition, Prime Sinister Stephen Harper had quietly proclaimed that "science" would determine the fate of the Northern Gateway Pipeline.
I wondered for a moment if I had missed a convergence of heavenly bodies and the dawning of a new age. Alas, it turned out to be merely more political greenwash on a done deal. You see, the only science that Mr. Harper has applied to any environmental issue has been the "science" of economics.From the early days when he first took office and shut down the One Tonne Challenge and the Environment Canada website so it could be rewritten in his image, to the current lobbying he is doing on behalf of the oil and gas industry, Stephen has consistently ignored any science other than economics.
Research scientists at Environment Canada were and still are routinely muzzled and their research projects are terminated if they produce data embarrassing to the government's position on climate change, resource extraction, and industrial development. His most trusted advisors on environmental issues tend to be climate change deniers and corporate lobbyists. He certainly will not take advice from those foreign funded environmentalists like the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Nor from those Oceans and Fisheries scientists decrying the insidious changes in the recent Omnibus Budget Bill. They are not economists. They do not get a voice at the table.
No, our natural science illiterate PM made it quite clear on his recent trip to the Arctic, that he intends to streamline resource projects and Canada is open for business. Once you have the power to retroactively bypass environmental legislation and reports, it all becomes so easy. But it's not about the money. Really. He is doing this to ease the social burden that so many Canadians are facing under the current global downturn and his Economic Action Plan.
"Look," he said yesterday to the residents of Minto Mine, Yukon, "Those things become so much simpler if we can get economic development driving some wealth accumulation here." Right. Look what Canada's economic development has done for the people of Attiwapiskat.
Nothing has changed, Canada, and the science behind this Prime Minister is the stuff peddled by snake-oil salesmen. The only thing that wlll determine the fate of the Northern Gateway Pipeline is money. Unless we get some real angry scientists and citizens to say otherwise and rally Canadians to their sides, it is still a done deal.