Trail Times Editorial: Pipeline opens the tap

It took approximately one hour before my inbox received the first email concerning the Trans Mountain pipeline approval.

Guy Bertrand

Guy Bertrand

It took approximately one hour before my inbox received the first email concerning the Canadian government’s approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

Fifteen minutes later came another, and another, and another.

The Green Party was, without a surprise, totally against it.

The petroleum industry was, without a surprise, totally for it.

And so it went as the tennis volleys of for-and-against emails kept flowing in.

Some were actually funny to read as it pitted groups that should be of one voice but offering different views on the same decision.

The national NDP party said the Prime Minister betrayed Canadians.

The Alberta provincial NDP party thanked the Prime Minister.

The Mayor of Vancouver was profoundly disappointed.

The Vancouver Board of Trade applauded the decision.

Some were both happy and sad.

The Sierra Club was happy about the Northern Gateway decision but mad about Trans Mountain.

The organization Stand.earth applauded one decision but vowed to fight the other.

All this spinning by organizations was enough to make your head spin.

Although they all offered opposing views, they all shared a supposed common theme that they were speaking out on behalf of Canadians coast-to-coast.

There were so many groups speaking on behalf of “Canadians,” that I’m left wondering, which Canadians are they speaking for? Nobody asked me. And I certainly didn’t ask them to speak for me.

I asked a few of my friends and nobody asked them.

In fact the only time I was asked my opinion was the federal election in 2015. I voted, the results were counted and the majority ruled.

End of story.

Or is it?

I loathe to mention you-know-who from the U.S. election in yet another editorial but I can’t help but compare the two major decisions.

In the U.S. everyone had their say and, according to the rules, the “comb-over” guy won.

In Canada, we picked someone to make these national decisions and the guy with the “nice hair” won and he made a decision.

Now, in both instances, the voices on the other side didn’t get their way so they vow to “fight,” “disrupt,” “litigate,” “pout,” “stomp their feet,” and “refuse to eat their vegetables.”

Okay I made up the last three, but the point of governing is to make tough decisions that won’t please everyone.

We often shake our collective heads on how dysfunctional government can be in making decisions, so the door was open for the Prime Minister to “throw some shade” (I can thank my daughter for my cool lingo) on the discussion in Parliament.

“One side of this House wants us to approve everything and ignore indigenous communities and environmental responsibilities,” Trudeau said in the House of Commons.

“The other side of the House doesn’t care about the jobs or the economic growth that comes with getting our resources to market.”

You’re dammed if you do and dammed if you don’t. He said he chose the middle ground. Can you blame him?

Is it impossible to use our resources to help the economy while still being stewards of the environment? I think we have to take the middle ground so I agree with both his decisions on Trans Mountain and Northern Gateway.

Everyone had an opinion on Tuesday’s announcement. And they came so fast that you would think their versions were written well in advance and the finger poised over the send button awaiting the final word.

Some resorted to the apocalyptic predictions such as the Raincoast Conservation Society, which said the decision will mean the probable extinction of the killer whales.

The only ones not yet claimed to be harmed by the pipeline decision appear to be puppies and bunnies for now.

Surely an email is in the works to tell me how they are going to suffer some horrible death thanks to our Prime Minister.

Well if puppies and bunnies are getting hurt, now I have an issue </s

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