“If voting made any difference, do you think they’d let us do it?” — Mark Twain.
Opponents of pipeline projects must be feeling betrayed by the federal announcement approving two of the three proposals. While the Prime Minister enjoys honeymoon-like approval ratings after more than a year in office, the media, both mainstream and social, seems to be uniformly aghast that “Sunny Ways” Trudeau would be so callous as to promote fossil fuels given his government’s promises to trend towards sustainable energy in some sort of new economy.
Canada remains a “hewer of wood and a drawer of water.” Many words have been mouthed by various administrations to diversify our economy but nothing has really changed since Confederation and the fur trade before that. Oh sure, we have had some tech success and large scale manufacturing until Ontario became our very own rust belt when it foolishly embarked upon high tax and green energy policies. And of course the natural beauty of the land meant tourism paid a few bills, but nothing particularly distinguishes Canada in terms of creative and technical prowess.
Ottawa, the provinces, First Nations and many communities along pipeline routes need cold, hard cash. That’s why the oil industry must “partner” with them, essentially greasing government palms and extracting as much money as possible while pretending they didn’t make this decision lightly. You know, the environment and all. If this were baseball: Strike one!
Strike two against the governing Liberals was the recent rejection of the Parliamentary report on electoral reform. The minister in charge pooh-poohed the report and the government quickly removed it from its priorities. When any regime wins a majority with 40 per cent of the vote, it’s not likely to be enthusiastic about ensuring “every vote counts,” like they did when they were in opposition. People on the left and academics will stay unsatisfied, while the Conservatives will rework their message in order to present a more palatable choice than the unlamented former PM Mr. Harper. The rest of us won’t care.
Australia has had proportional representation for a while now. It has also had six Prime Ministers in six years. It makes Bolivia, Brazil and even B.C. look stable! We won’t be discussing it again in Canada for a long while.
The marijuana business has always been a textbook case of the free market in action. Buyers, sellers and stoners interacted sensibly, got the quality product they wanted and everyone was happy. Large amounts of cash money (no digital economy here!) changed hands. Numerous cops, lawyers and judges had lucrative careers trying to enforce laws nobody cared about.
I suspect Trudeau has probably smoked pot (the rascal!). As Prime Minister of a large organization with many expensive promises to fulfill, he needs the money. That’s why the Pot File is taking so long. He wants to extract as much from the business as possible while looking over his shoulders knowing that the ever resourceful and very experienced black market will easily outfox and clumsily attempt to serve the demand for the product. This could be strike three.