By CACOR Member Gordon Kubanek, three time Green Party of Ontario candidate and long time GPC supporter.
The Greens should ‘lose’ this battle in order to win the Climate War that requires a Unified Canada. Reference…
The Greens hold the balance of power in British Columbia. Thus, for the provincial NDPs in BC to retain power they need Green support and with the Greens and most voters opposing all fossil fuel development it is a no brainer that the provincial government in BC is opposing the federally approved Kinder Morgan pipeline.
While this makes sense from a political perspective those who claim the moral high ground should be careful about throwing stones while they live in a glass house for the citizens of BC still rely on hydrocarbons to move their cars and heat their homes. When they, and all Canadians, start reducing their driving of gasoline powered cars and trucks by replacing them with electric vehicles (currently 1% of the market) and begin to heat many buildings with electric heat pumps (5% of the market) Canadians will no longer be the hypocrites that they are today who say ‘no to pipelines’ and then fill up new gas guzzling SUVs at the pumps.
As the mission of the Greens is to ensure that ALL Canadians move towards a Zero Carbon economy Canadians need a National Carbon policy that is not obstructed by self-centred Provincial squabbling, as evidenced by the Kinder Morgan pipeline bickering between Alberta and British Columbia. In an ideal world this pipeline would not be built but we do not live in an ideal world and I believe that focussing on developing a National Carbon Tax that can move us towards a zero carbon future is more important stopping the construction of one pipeline whose oil is already being sold and burned to the USA for stopping the pipeline will not stop the sale of the oil if there is demand for it.
To add insult to injury it is being sold at a discount of $20/barrel because the Americans know we have no other way to bring it to market except via the US. This hurts Canada economically and demonstrates the folly in having allowed past governments to allow provincial resources to be developed without a national framework to ensure that they can be efficiently delivered to the International market. To add to our hypocrisy I read in today’s Globe and Mail that twice as many trucks as cars are being now sold in Canada (see
graph above, note that the reverse ratio was once true), proving once again that until Canadians as consumers of fossil fuels reduce their ‘lust’ for oil we have no credibility in demanding a stop to the development and selling of oil.
A more constructive approach for BC would be to extract an accelerated time frame for the price increases and even a higher price for carbon in the proposed Federal Carbon Tax strategy from the federal government. This would have a greater impact in reducing carbon emissions than stopping the Kinder Morgan pipeline and could create a win-win situation where Alberta gets its needed pipeline, BC gets reductions in long term carbon emissions desired by its citizens and its provincial Green Party coalition partners and national unity is preserved.
Just as the recent tragic deaths of 15 members of the Humboldt hockey team and supporters has united Canadians across the country to put out hockey sticks to show that they share in the pain we need to remain united both in our grief and our desire to work together. This tragic accident should motivate all Canadians to find ways to make our roads safer, without pointing fingers at each other. Similarly, we the only way we can have a long term, sustained response to climate change is to stick together by not allowing a
provincial self-centred perspective block us from working hard together to create a zero carbon economy that our grandchildren can benefit from.