Home Regular Contributors David Yager What is the NDP Government Really Doing?

What is the NDP Government Really Doing?

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David Yager.

The Government of Alberta, and the mainstream media which by default assumes any government must have some idea what it is doing, must take full responsibility for the complete bungling of the Pacific Ocean oil export access file.

There has been enormous political trumpeting about how the thoughtful progressive actions of Alberta’s NDP government – and its peculiar collection of labour lawyers, union leaders, social workers, carbon taxes, corporate taxes, emission caps, labour laws, credit downgrades, deficit spending and allegedly superior caring about ordinary people and the environment – is vastly superior to the knuckle-dragging conservatives that once formed governments in Edmonton and Ottawa.

Ever since Prime Minister Trudeau approved Kinder Morgan’s expansion late last year, there has been much said and reported on how this modern, responsible approach to oil development would get infrastructure built where previous governments have not.

We got pipe. They failed.

But it is utter rubbish. Only when the ditch is dug and pipe is buried can Premier Notley claim victory. Phoning Ottawa and asking for help won’t sell oil. Will the prime minister enforce the law in the face of mounting opposition? Because as the anti-pipeline political coalition among the Green party and the NDP in B.C. takes shape, the behaviour of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and her curious collection of socialist activists must be held responsible and accountable.

Your writer is a shameless supporter of oil development, wealth creation and trickle-down capitalist prosperity. So you’ll forgive me when I question why the CEOs of four major oilsands developers were on TV with the premier in 2015 supporting carbon taxes and emission caps as a key step toward securing a “social licence to operate”; whatever that is. Remember, one of the major public supporters – Shell – has sold out of the Canadian oilsands and is taking its money elsewhere.

The much-touted social licence is apparently a method by which resource development can continue so long as its proponents pretend it is not what it actually is. And this non-existent activity is being done in a manner shrouded with socially-responsible platitudes and concerns.

But read the fine print of the social licence. Yes, we are indeed continuing to develop the oilsands. In a big way. But we’re doing it differently than we used to. So it would be greatly appreciated if much or all opposition would disappear.

It is even more intellectually dishonest than that. When the NDP invented the emissions cap, the government created the Oil Sands Advisory Group. It appointed two B.C.-based oilsands and pipeline haters – Tzeporah Berman and Karen Mahon – who despite sitting on this board on the payroll of the taxpayers of Alberta, openly campaigned against Kinder Morgan and for the B.C. Green and NDP parties in the last election. There has been no admission from the government this is anything but a stroke of genius.

Come on Rachel. This is bonkers.

We who write for a living try to make intelligent, logic-based arguments on controversial issues because we believe when folks are presented with the facts they will arrive at the appropriate conclusion without the need to be vitriolic or doctrinaire. I don’t want to turn up the rhetoric rheostat.

But the only accurate description of the Notley government approach is fraudulent and disingenuous. What a mess.

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