Proposed lawsuit against oil companies on climate change is absurd

Armchair Mayor
By Mel Rothenburger
February 5, 2019 - 5:00am Updated: February 5, 2019 - 3:51pm
Image Credit: The Canadian Press

VICTORIA IS FAST BECOMING the whack-job capital of Canada, if it isn’t already.

There’s just too much silly news coming out of there to believe. The Legislature spending scandal has kept the pundits and commentators more than busy the last few weeks.

Add Victoria City Hall to the mix and it really gets interesting. You’ll remember that the Victoria council decided Sir John A. Macdonald was not worthy of being represented outside the City Hall building, so they removed his statue to storage. In the name of reconciliation, of course.

It was the same bunch that fretted about whether the City’s Christmas decorations were too Christian.

But they’re outdoing themselves with their latest bit of nonsense. They’ve endorsed the concept of a class action lawsuit against Alberta’s oil and gas companies to recover costs incurred as a result of climate change.

According to one City councilor, the tab probably comes to billions of dollars if extended across the province. In fact, it was the resort municipality of Whistler that brought up the idea in the first place.

Understandably, Alberta is not amused. Premier Rachel Notley accurately calls the proposed lawsuit hypocritical, noting that the City of Victoria continues to pump over 100 million litres of raw sewage into the ocean every day.

The lawsuit isn’t likely to get anywhere very soon but the Victoria council intends to present it to the Union of B.C. Municipalities — the organization representing municipalities and regional districts in the province — at its annual convention in the fall.

The relationship between B.C. and Alberta is at an all-time low and likely won’t be patched up until the Trans Mountain pipeline issue is sorted out. Victoria’s penchant for absurdity doesn’t help anything in the meantime.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at [email protected].

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Editor's Note: This opinion piece reflects the views of its author, and does not necessarily represent the views of CFJC Today or the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group.