Before joining the Vancouver Sun, Fazil Mihlar was Senior Policy Analyst at The Fraser Institute. In his years with the newspaper’s editorial board, Mihlar has continued to serve goals of the reactionary foundations that finance his former employer. Additionally, he ensures uncritical echoes are published in the Vancouver Sun whenever the Fraser Institute or similar think tanks promote unfettered corporate power or champion friendly politicians as they did with “Campbell judged best premier for financial management.”
After examining Mihlar’s collection of writings, one may conclude that he holds a senior newspaper position, not for cogent analysis or deft word construction, but for reliable parroting of talking points from obscurantist ‘research’ facilities. Mihlar is not one to provide graceful penetration of complicated economic questions. Instead, we get repetition of chatter from the right-wing information machine.
One of Mihlar’s roles at the Fraser Institute was to promote industrial and commercial deregulation so his response to the roll out of Christy Clark’s Jobs Plan was predictable. Mihlar applauds BC Liberals’ willingness to get out of the way so the private sector can produce jobs, after having taxpayers finance needed infrastructure. He is very happy with Clark for being:
re-focused on what is called the dirty industries because that’s where our bread and butter lies.
His message reminded me of statements by June Kunka, a booster of Taseko Mine’s ‘New Prosperity Project.’ Her central argument was:
Without growth, there is nothing.
The principle is one that most would dispute. For the high profile Prosperity mine proposal, a more sophisticated view was expressed by Tsilhqot’in tribal chair Joe Alphonse and Xeni Gwet’in chief Marilyn Baptiste. They argue that:
…proceeding further with this [New Prosperity] rebid will detract from efforts to pursue more sustainable developments in the region, the sustainable developments that B.C. Mines Minister Rich Coleman earlier this year said was his new priority.
Fazil Mihlar would classify Alphonse and Baptiste as part of the “banana crowd”:
The naysayers who want to say no to anything which creates jobs and income.
This is not an issue of saying you are going to relax environmental standards and so on. No, British Columbians care about the environment; we all do…. Its a question of proportion and balance. You have to look at the risks. Life is not risk free, ok? …We have to take calculated risks in order to build the Enbridge pipeline, build the Kitimat LNG, build the Prosperity Mine. You need to take certain risks.
He makes a perfunctory wave to ecological standards but dismisses the need for them because we need “to take certain risks.” Risk taking is exactly what Christy Clark’s government proposes as part of the promise to wipe away delays in granting water permits and approvals for whatever the province’s extractive industries aim to do.
I recommend reading the presentation of Communications professor Donald Gutstein and The Tyee, in which Fazil Milhlar’s sources and inspirations are examined. Fazil Mihlar’s Monday Morning Sermons.
By the way, Elections BC records show that Prosperity promoter Taseko Mines Ltd. donated $33,650 to BC Liberals. Taseko CEO Russell Hallbauer contributed $50,000 to the BC Liberals In November 2010, mere weeks before Christy Clark took office as party leader. In the same month, RCMP began an investigation into allegations of illegal insider trading involving a sudden drop in Taseko Mines shares about 2½ weeks before the federal government delayed construction of its main mining project.
RCMP to probe complaint of insider trading of Taseko Mines, LUANN LASALLE, Canadian Press, November 26, 2010.