Wednesday, March 20, 2013
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thomas Mulcair’s anti-Keystone rhetoric
Tom Mulcair got himself elected leader of the federal New Democratic Party on a promise he would bring hard-headed realism and a centrist political ethic to the job. He was to be, it was murmured at the time, the NDP’s Tony Blair.
As it turns out, there’s little indeed of Blair’s famous economic pragmatism in Mulcair. He talks the talk but, when push comes to shove, quacks like a duck. Currently, the NDP leader is tromping with big, gnarled feet all over the delicate buds of the Keystone XL pipeline. Criticism of his criticisms, while on a recent Washington D.C. trip, he dismisses as Conservative hypocrisy. All opposition leaders attack the governing party’s positions when travelling overseas!
Except, that Keystone and the issues tied to it are not just political baubles to be toyed with. These are fundamental, shared economic problems – the greatest Canadians now face. The Obama administration’s pending approval or rejection will affect us all from coast to coast to coast, for many years to come. And much of Mulcair’s rhetoric about Keystone is either poorly researched, half-true or spun-up by ideological assumptions that do not hold up for a second in the cold light of day.
First let’s address the idea that Alberta’s nefarious Big Oil oligarchs are foisting oilsands development on a reluctant Eastern Canada, whose citizens will only suffer as the resultant global warming turns James Bay into a gigantic hot tub. This is the putative value proposition: Albertans benefit economically from the oilsands, but the rest of us are harmed. Why should their interests subsume ours? (Source: National Post)