Premier Christy Clark catches religion on the environment to try to keep her job
Christy Clark's Northern Gateway paroxysm appears to be all about saving her premiership
For years, critics have highlighted the risk to B.C.'s coastline that could arise from Enbridge's proposal to build 1,172-kilometre pipelines shipping condensate from Kitimat to Alberta and bitumen back the other way.
Vancouver Island writer Andrew Findlay wrote a cover story on this topic for the Georgia Straight back in February 2009.
I wrote a cover story for the Straight in May 2010 about how Big Oil was eyeing the B.C. coast.
In my article, a range of people were quoted with concerns, including Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt, Living Oceans Society spokesperson Jennifer Lash, and pipeline-safety expert Rick Kuprewicz.
Clark didn't wake up and express any serious concerns on this issue until this month—after being repeatedly hammered in public opinion polls.
As a talk-show host on CKNW Radio, she wasn't worried about the Enbridge pipeline or Kinder Morgan's planned expansion. She wasn't bothered by pipelines when she sought the B.C. Liberal leadership. And she was blasé about this issue when she ran in the Vancouver–Point Grey by-election.
Her silence was very telling.
Now, three-and-a-half years after the first major alarms were being raised, the premier is rushing to the ramparts to defend British Columbia.
There's a war of words with Alberta and lots of huffing and puffing about how Clark is standing up for her province.
When Clark is cornered, she can turn vicious on her opponents, as Alberta's premier Alison Redford is about to discover.
The media will give Clark plenty of airtime to show how she's caught religion on the environment. Expect to see photo-ops of Clark on the beaches, possibly accompanied by some third-party endorsers, looking as green as she can possibly appear to be.
Given her approach to this issue in recent years, I'm sure it will all ring very hollow to hardworking activists who've tried in the past without success to get her attention.