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JOHNSON – Railcars are rolling, the pipeline build has already begun

By DAVID JOHNSON

TODAY I WATCHED as trucks stacked with the actual pipe, leave the storage yard on Mission Flats road in Kamloops, and head out towards the next construction staging and storage points.  They actually started moving within the hour of Trudeau’s announcement, and there’s dozens of loaded trucks per day doing this.  It may not be a shovel in the ground, but it might as well be. It has begun

David Johnson.

Of course Trudeau approved it … he always said he was going to.

It actually wasn’t his fault lawsuits came and the courts became involved, and it wasn’t his fault that the legal process took that much time. I honestly don’t blame him or his government for that, it’s the system of justice and appeal that our society created, that took this long.  The conservatives drop that responsibility on him and continuously say ‘why is it taking so long?’ … as if Trudeau had a choice in the matter.

I’m not saying I agree or disagree with the anti-pipeline proponents who have pushed the battle into every legal alleyway they could think of, we have to remember that they have the right to use that same system to not just make their views known, but take action to have their opinion considered and the balance of their argument judged within the system made available to them.  We call that justice, and it must be respected.

The ship of a successful legal challenge has sailed

Future ideas of lawsuits to stop the pipeline will be difficult as there really isn’t any more sustainable legal argument left, that there isn’t already determined by precedent. The rhetoric and media time will probably be the most intense ever experienced in B.C. history, but actually succeeding in stopping it legally?  The ship of a successful legal challenge has sailed.

In the midst of all this …Boom … a private company chickened out.  Because of the project delay and the damage caused by it with investors the Canadian government had to bail it out and keep the project afloat by actually buying it.  Not a lot of options, their political future may ride on this oil flowing and their long term economic policy demanded revenues from this pipeline. The pipeline not being built stopped being an option a long time ago.

Within B.C., John Horgan is playing the long game.

The NDP has been clear for years that they don’t support the pipeline, but been less clear that it was pretty much for political reasons, as this platform played a role in them becoming government. They teetered on the verge of a no confidence vote by the Greens, and so he played the court card as far as he could with the jurisdiction decision, when he knew full well going in what that decision would be.

Again … Boom … he’s in office for another year because of the delay.  He knows he doesn’t have any more legal avenues, and he said basically that he wasn’t going to stop any legally applied for permits, because there is no defence to do so … and so he will continue as government from this point on.

The interesting part is that the Greens will not force out Horgan’s government in the medium term either, as they don’t really have a legal argument to force the NDP to illegally block construction, and a non-confidence vote initiated election right now would piss off voters and we would probably react against their precious three seats.  The risk is too great to do anything besides rhetoric, and Horgan knows that.

This is a long game being very carefully played

So the pipe will go in, and will probably be purchased by a First Nations consortium which all levels of government are giddy about.  Let these courageous souls and the elected First Nations leadership turn to their own land and talk to the hereditary leadership, where the mainstay of the Indigenous protest is.
Let this become an in-house conversation.

The federal government can’t do meaningful dialogue here; there’s 150 years of baggage that enters the room any time Native leadership and the Canadian government sit down together. This First Nations consortium are the only ones that have the capacity to engage in truthful dialogue as can only be understood by everyone at that table.

Only the future knows how that will go.  All our fingers should be crossed.

Those dozens of loaded pipe trucks?  Whether we like it or not, shovels and smiling politicians with white hard hats will be in our zeitgeist soon.  It has begun.

David Johnson is a Kamloops resident, community volunteer and self described maven of all things Canadian.

About Mel Rothenburger (7042 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on JOHNSON – Railcars are rolling, the pipeline build has already begun

  1. Tony Brumell // June 23, 2019 at 5:28 PM // Reply

    I’ve got a great idea. Lets pass a new motion in the house of commons that adhears to the UN declaration that we have 12 years to reduce the world green house gases to keep from over heating and oceans rising and most big cities on earth being flooded and then we can declare a climate emergency . Great idea huh ?? Then of cours the very next day we can ok the building and selling and burning of a million new barrels of crap per day. That will reduce the carbon footprint on Earth won’t it and no one will call us hypocrytes .Will They ???

  2. Without doing much research, hence precise on dates etcetera, I recall a previous prime minister who was totally enamoured with the tar sands and took a hands-off approach to its long term development and had no plan to manage the consequences of such. Because of that here is this big mess. But not only, now the prospect of getting that same philosophy back into government is a real prospect. Personally I see it as madness!

  3. Marcus Lowe // June 23, 2019 at 9:16 AM // Reply

    David presents a clear vision of this obnoxious subject: Thank You, David.

  4. Ian M MacKenzie // June 23, 2019 at 9:01 AM // Reply

    Seems to me there’s something morally wrong to shovel off this pipeline that will soon become as fossilized as the goo it will carry to a consortium of indiginous folk. We’ve done them wrong before. Must we continue?

  5. Ian M MacKenzie // June 23, 2019 at 8:33 AM // Reply

    Well David, I hope you’re wrong, because if you’re right we’ve just sold our soul to the devil.

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