This morning the Sun’s editorialists take the BCNDP to task for their pledge to withdraw from the Federal Enbridge environmental review process, while convening a made in BC process. A big bad message to business, the Sun warns.
There are a lot of assumptions there, such as the pipeline is in the interests of all business while effective environmental reviews aren’t. And, of course, that the Federal review will be a fair and effective one, based on science and risk. Most of them aren’t very supportable.
In fact they lead to another assumption: the Sun’s editorialists don’t read their own paper.
On August 20th, the Sun published a story calling into question the ability of the current review to assess the project in a serious scientific way. Why? Because the science won’t be done by the arbitrary deadline set by Harper.
According to the Sun’s story, “While Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the fate of Enbridge’s proposed pipeline from the Alberta oilsands(sic) to tankers on the British Columbia coast will be based on science and not politics, documents show some of that science isn’t forthcoming.
“And critics say there is no time for the science to be completed before a federal deadline for the environmental assessment that is now underway.”
The Sun story went on to detail the enormous cuts the Harper government has made to the now semi non-existent scientific agencies expected to do the work:
“the federal government recently sent letters to 92 habitat staff members within Fisheries and Oceans in B.C., telling them their positions will be cut. Thirty-two of them will be laid off outright.
“The cuts will leave the department in B.C. with half the habitat staff it had a decade ago.
“All but five of the province’s Fisheries field offices will be cut as part of a $79-million – 5.8 per cent – cut to the department’s operational budget, including the offices in Prince George and Smithers that would have had the lead in monitoring pipeline effects.”
The result: the analysis required to properly access the environmental impacts and risk of the pipeline cannot be completed by the deadline for a decision imposed in legislation by the Harper government.
The Sun’s editorialists are either ignorant of or just plain okay with that. I suspect the latter. According to them rushing through an inadequate assessment without full analysis is just fine. Running a properly funded analysis based on adequate research is “bad for business”.
It makes you think the Sun’s editorialists, like wild-eyed ideologists everywhere, aren’t interested in the facts. They just want a pipeline because Enbridge wants a pipeline and that’s good enough for them.