Pipeline decision imperfect, but let's get on with it

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
November 30, 2016 - 6:24am Updated: November 30, 2016 - 3:54pm

KAMLOOPS — The pipeline decision is so typically Canadian, isn’t it?

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway is a no go and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain twinning gets the green light. 

It only looks as though the baby is being cut in half, of course, because the prime minister assures us the decisions were based on science, not politics.

I confess I’m flummoxed by his logic that the best way to get to green energy is to triple the capacity of an existing oil pipeline, but science was never my best subject.

Anyway, the environmentalists are applauding the Enbridge decision and condemning the Kinder Morgan part, while business is applauding the Kinder Morgan decision and condemning the one on Enbridge.

Bottom line being that everybody’s a little bit happy, and a whole lot unhappy.

Even within the Liberals, MPs differ; add First Nations discontent and the whole thing is as messy as spilled bitumen.

Alberta mayors are all smiles over Trans Mountain, while Lower Mainland mayors here in B.C. are as mad as a sack of badgers. The determining factor, obviously, is whether you’re giving or receiving the stuff that comes down the pipe.

Here in the Interior, where we’re halfway down that pipe, mayors are rather sanguine about the whole thing because Kinder Morgan has been busily writing millions in cheques for “community benefits” packages.

So now what? All in all, this pipeline decision is destined to generate more blockades, civil disobedience and political rhetoric than ever.

That’s what compromises get you when profit, the environment, politics — and, of course, science —are involved. Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May even says she’ll go to jail if need be.

Question is, though, what’s the point of it all? Doubling down will accomplish absolutely nothing. 

Those we elected have made a decision. Time to accept what is, and move on — I’m pretty sure we’ll soon have other made-in-Canada compromises to fight over.

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