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Pipeline drama provides great politics, dubious policy

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Canada’s latest political drama has come from the state of jeopardy of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The federal government has announced it will take over the project from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion.

The B.C. government is asking the courts if it can block the pipeline, creating bipartisan agreement by Alberta politicians for some radical policies.

The United Conservative Party (UCP) of Alberta and the NDP government of Alberta co-operated to fast track legislation that gives Alberta the right to stop the flow of oil to British Columbia. More surprisingly, they both said they supported provincial and federal involvement and tax dollars to save the project (although the UCP criticized the deal when it was finally announced).

This is as close as Canadian politics gets to reality TV, with self-interested actors allied by necessity when embroiled in conflict against a common enemy.

Unfortunately, political drama doesn’t equal good policy. Canadians, and especially Albertans, have every reason to be wary of recent developments given the history of this drama and the potential consequences.

Since 2000, Americans have been involved in subverting the Canadian oil sands. For instance, more than half of the David Suzuki Foundation contributions come from American sources. And at the request and funding of the Tides Foundation and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Corporate Ethics International launched the Tar Sands Campaign, whose strategy “was to land-lock the tar sands so their crude could not reach the........

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