What do the mayors of Fort St. John, Dawson Creek and Grande Prairie all have in common?
Are they concerned, like so many of our northern neighbours, by ridiculously high gasoline prices? Do they want more rail cars to ship producer’s crops? Do they care about drinking water quality on First Nations?
Perhaps, citizens being fried if North Korea and America trade nukes, and some fall out of the sky right over us all? Sure. All that and maybe more!
But oh, tsk! In our typical Canadian way, none are terribly troubling themselves over our federal government’s lackadaisy approach to pipelines.
Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given, as reported on CBC, says “This is the kind of thing where we need both provincial governments and federal government to take a leadership role.” Yawn!
Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead says, among other things, “We want it [the pipeline] done. We want it done responsibly. We want it done safely.” Ho, hum!
Fort St. John’s Mayor Lori Ackerman says, “It concerns us there is this battle going on between the two provinces. We get both sides of the argument. We just need to have cooler heads and leadership.”
Double yawn, double ho hum, and of course, just pass the buck!
Compare that to Dennis McConaghy, a former executive at pipeline company TransCanada, as he commented last year when energy giant Petronas cancelled their $36 billion natural gas project in B.C.
“This is a tragedy for Canada. It’s a real condemnation of this country and the utterly unproductive entities in it that simply make any development virtually impossible.”
Now, that’s the kind of talk that should wake up people. Not another story about foot-dragging “leaders” with lame stories, finger pointing at other “leaders”, and all the other interminable, dreary, predictable objections from ever smaller niche complainers.
Anyone who reads the mayors’ comments above and finds themselves comforted that wise people are preparing our communities for the future are deluding themselves. As example, after years of polite conversation, drawing ‘red lines’, catering to Iran and North Korea and other disastrous foreign and domestic policies, America finds itself needing to reset.
Of course, Canadian liberals keep sneering at American President Donald Trump. Oh my, we are so much better, are we not? Smug in our political correctness and our striving for mediocrity. All while every day, we piffle wealth and opportunity away.
Canadian columnist and author Mark Steyn said a few years ago, “We are rich enough we can afford to be stupid.” One wonders, as he did then, for how long we can mouth about cooler heads while hoping someone, somewhere, even in other countries, will fix our problems, maintain our wealth, and make everything just dandy.
Thank you, “leaders.”
UPDATE FEBRUARY 23, 2018
With provincial premiers Rachel Notley and John Horgan, Alberta and British Columbia respectively declaring a truce, does the “cooler head” theory hold true?
Don’t count on it. Average business people and average politicians don’t like to make waves. That might indeed be deemed sensible. But, it leaves the field wide open to vocal activists. Noise makers, whether right or wrong, are what media loves. A calm, cool, collected observer sitting on a stool in a coffee shop, no matter how intelligent, gets no attention. A sign-waving, screaming protester outside a factory, no matter what the event, gets coverage.
There is a fine line between between over-reaction, a moderate response, and fiddling while Rome burns. In this case, those arguing for cooler heads might have served everybody’s interest better by ramping up the rhetoric. We are all Canadians. The world eats our lunch while we are indeed being stupid.
Contributed by High Prairie, Alberta South Peace News