Premiers of Canada’s two western provinces have announced that the way is now open for Alberta’s energy raw material to be carried to international markets around the Pacific Rim via pipelines that will pass through B.C. territory.
In their joint announcement, premiers Alison Redford of AB and Christy Clark of B.C have said they have resolved their differences over the conditions set by the B.C government to ensure that the venture must not negatively impact the environment in the territory of Canada’s westernmost province.
No doubt, this is great news for Alberta economy: revenues will jump up, there will be a lot of cash for the provincial government to allow them to woo voters with massive social programs (while at the same time continuing to cut funding to healthcare and education) in order to perpetuate their grip on the governance machinery.
The question is whether the ruling Progressive Conservatives (I have always wondered if there can be any better, dictionary-perfect fit to the term “oxymoron” than the name of this party) can demonstrate for the people and environment of this province a fraction of the concerns that the B.C. governments have persistently maintained as the basis for any agreement in this deal.
It is an open secret that the “carbon capture” technology, previously declared by both the federal and provincial governments as the solution to the problem of environmental pollution created by oil sands exploitation cannot work.
In an ideal world, in such a situation, the PC government would take the leadership to encourage universities and research institutions to work on delivering environment friendly solutions to the problem at hand and would not refrain from spending a generous portion of the bitumen royalties for the purpose.
But we are not living in an ideal world, and the PC government cannot even make up its mind on how to manage its budget, by cutting funding to education at first and then restoring some of it for no apparent reason.
Maybe it is too much to expect of them.