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Some NDP hypocrisy on oil pipelines

I want to remark on an online/social media phenomenon I’ve seen, (mostly on Twitter) the past couple of days, where NDP activists, particularly ones who are active in the Toronto Centre by-election, are going after Justin Trudeau on his spoken support at a US conference (attended by ex-Australian PM Julia Gillard and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, among others) for Keystone XL and the proposed oil pipeline running south (yet to be approved by the US). This is not a new position he’s taken, though its being played up by some as that (and to be fair, a lot of the US activists he was talking to at the US Conference he attended were not aware that he supports it. He is on record as not supporting the Northern Gateway proposed pipeline to BC, and on other pipelines, he says it has to be based on environmental assessments).

Some of my NDP friends and canvassers in Toronto-Centre are remarking how they’re playing up Justin and the LPC supporting the Keystone pipeline and attacking him/the LPC for this environmentally unfriendly position. What I say to that is this: it’s all fine and dandy to attack JT and the LPC for supporting Keystone, but I’d like NDP supporters to explain how an East-West pipeline – which Thomas Mulcair and the NDP is on record as supporting – is great, while a Keystone/XL running north-south is “environmentally incompatible”.

I don’t particularly support Keystone/XL either (though Northern Gateway is much more of a concern for me), but there’s a tad bit of hypocrisy on some NDP’ers part for attacking the LPC and JT for supporting the one while seemingly supporting the East-West pipeline without any apparent fear of “environmental non-sustainability”

A lot of this NDP howling from the supporters/activists is probably poll-driven; every time a new poll comes out that either shows the Liberals leading the national polls, or the NDP languishing in 3rd (or both), it seems to turn up the volume, and they’ve had several polls this past week saying that; consequently, the partisan rhetoric has trebled from them.

All this crying and moaning about KXL from the NDP in the Toronto-Centre riding about environment is a bit much, when they’re on record as wanting the E-W pipeline at the same time. It’s a sneaky attempt to try and get some voter leverage in a byelection they badly want to win (and make no mistake, the Liberals are favoured in this riding).

If the NDP wants to take the position about keeping refining jobs in Canada, that’s one thing, but don’t go around attacking political opponents and claiming you’re concerned about the environment on Keystone XL, when both pipelines have bad environmental potential.

EDIT: One other minor thing that bothers me is some aforementioned NDP’ers attacking JT for saying he wasn’t going to criticize Prime Minister Harper on foreign soil over any shortcomings on environmental policy about the environment or oil pipelines in general. I never got up in arms over Mulcair’s comments in the US going after the PM (as some others on he conservative right-wing did), but I fail to see why Justin should get a put down for extending a courtesy and deciding not to take that path.

5 comments to Some NDP hypocrisy on oil pipelines

  • billg

    “Yeah he’s been as consistantly rightwing and regressive as Harper..”
    And, thats why JT will keep the Cons to a small majority or large minority, and, will be Leader of the Opposition. Right wing in Canada now means center, where the LPC once stood, and, Justin Trudeau understands that, and “regressive” is opposing pipelines that employ the middle class. It is true that of all the leaders Mulcair probably has been on top of his game more then the others, but, it doesnt matter, Justin’s last name will carry Quebec for him and reduce the NDP seat count, mind you, that last name will cost him seats west of Ontario as well, he knows it which is why he has constantly endorsed Keystone. And, stealing policys of other partys…isnt that part and parcel of our democratic system?

  • Brachina

    Yeah he’s been as consistantly rightwing and regressive as Harper, that’s the only thing I have to give to Justin.

    Tom’s the one with the ideas and Tom’s the one doing all the work in Parliamant, not Justin, who simply steals Tory policies and repackages them.

  • billg

    “No solution is perfect but the NDPs is much more preferable”.
    And thats how Harper wins.
    Funny way to win votes telling voters that you dont approve of how they make their living but you’ll put up with it if they obey your orders.
    Gotta give this one to JT, he’s been consistant.
    What will be fun to watch is how ol’ Lizzy May contorts herself with her response, if you want to see some political hypocrisy be sure to tune into that sideshow.
    Young Mr Trudeau gets it, which, is good for Liberals everywhere and the NDP and the Greens will go back to being what they are, fringe partys.

  • rockfish

    Keystone is an American decision, not Canadian. It’s results include investment dollars into our oil industry, a little bit of construction, and subsidiary profits. While Canada does not look like a major winner in it, supporting it from a Canadian standpoint is all about ensuring access to the marketplace for our products. We would be responsible for the environmental impact studies and requirements on this side of the border — the US would do the same on its side. Fortunately they don’t have a Stephen Harper running their country into the ground.
    The NDP are contrarians to a fault. They oppose anything that doesn’t fall under the old manifesto, are suspicious of everything and are especially restrictive when it comes to corporations doing business.
    Yes, we need to make sure our environment is taken care of, that development and industry work under strict requirements. But we also have to deal in the real world. Yes, getting more refineries in Canada is a must — especially when it comes to exporting energy to the pacific rim; but we also need to acknowledge the marketplace as it stands.
    This is all about a scared NDP going after Trudeau because it appears he’s going to eat their lunch. Let Linda MQ talk up 80-90 % tax brackets on the rich, as i’m sure that’s a winning strategy. And keep Mulcair’s beard in the tv soundbytes, because he’s winning people left over right.

  • Brachina

    The NDP supports a hypothetical pipeline W-E when there has been a proper mechanism for enviromental assement are in place, including dealing with the problem of bitamen erosion of the pipelines, and that is in Canadian enviromental control and subject to cap and trade policies, and that keeps the jobs created in Canada. So the NDP’s objections are both economic and ecological to the Keystone pipeline.

    And yes the NDP supports the idea of an w-e pipeline, but not the current propals like line 9. We have standards.

    Sustainable development, not no development at all.

    Money raised from cap and trade would go to funding green energy, carbon offsets like regrowing forests and so on.

    No solution is perfect but the NDPs is much more preferable to the free ride for Keystone, which has not recieved a proper enviromental assessment, at least on this side of the boarder, thanks to Harper, that Justin gave Keystone.

    Its all about sustainable development really, a reasonable compromise for all stakeholders.

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