An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
WAS THERE EVER a more absurd scheme than Andrew Scheer’s proposal to create what he calls a “national energy corridor”?
The timing of his idea was perfect, coming as the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the NDP government has no right to control the flow of diluted bitumen through the province.
They’re the latest chapters in the national pipeline debate.
According to Scheer, he would establish a corridor to move oil, gas, electricity, telecommunications “and potentially anything else that runs along the ground.” He would, as if by magic, resolve Indigenous, environmental and provincial jurisdictional concerns in one swell foop.
It will take “a lot of work” to balance those concerns, he says. Ya think? The idea has been around for a long time, in the minds of academics, and has never gotten serious uptake because it’s totally impractical.
Let’s take B.C. as just one example. The province has a pipeline corridor already. It’s called the Trans Mountain pipeline. There’s so much disagreement on its proposed expansion that it can’t get off the ground.
Environmentalists oppose it. Many politicians oppose it. Some indigenous people oppose it. Other indigenous people want to buy it. The unanimous court ruling has simply led to another vow by the B.C. government to take it to a higher court.
The mayor of Kamloops says we should get on with building it. The mayor of Burnaby says it should be scrapped.
Pray tell, if we can’t even agree on what to do with an existing pipeline corridor, how does Scheer figure he’s going to create a corridor for oil, telecommunications and a whole bunch of other things that stretches from sea to sea?
This is nothing more than another pipe dream from another ambitious politician.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.