Joe Oliver probably knows nothing about the courage of people like Canadian Forces hero Trevor Greene. The Minister for Oil and Energy Companies was born to a wealthy Montreal family. After McGill University, he attended Harvard Business School, the world’s most expensive vocational institute, where the sticker price for two years in the MBA program is currently $174,400 for a single person.
After leaving academia, Oliver immersed himself in the world of investment banking. He was elected to Parliament in 2011, representing a well-heeled enclave of Upper Canada. His riding touches Lawrence Park, the country’s richest neighbourhood, where the average voter is a millionaire four times over. Nearby Rosedale Golf Club, despite a six-figure initiation fee and seven year wait list, like a handful of exclusive Toronto country clubs, enjoys a perpetual deferral of millions in property taxes. Welfare bums are plentiful in posh places.
Joe Oliver, an aging narcissist most comfortable in exclusive private clubs, has no experience in dangerous waters of Canada’s central west coast. Ignorance enables him to disregard inevitable disasters in British Columbia so that Alberta bitumen can be delivered to Chinese refineries.
Oliver should read Master Mariner Mal Walsh’s concerns about proposed Enbridge tanker routes. Walsh notes that hurricane force winds last spring resulted in waves more than 25 feet high off northern Vancouver Island. That is not a rare weather occurrence. Walsh also tags as meaningless the Enbridge promise to use ships newer than 20-years-old. Tankers are typically at the end of their service lives at that age.
In the embedded video posted here a day ago, Trevor Greene objected to Joe Oliver slapping the extremist label on people who speak of threats to the environment and complain about industrialization of wilderness. Of course, Joe Oliver and his cohort target more than environmentalists and their threats go beyond mere rhetoric. Strategies, revealed but not fully explained, focus the power of government against “vulnerable individuals” who favour aboriginal causes, animal rights and regulated capitalism.
The Harper Government asserts it won’t target “legitimate dissent” but they will define legitimacy and do it behind closed doors. That’s partly why I discuss the world in which Joe Oliver resides. This man never worried about making a rent payment, never had an empty belly or empty pocket. He’s a consummate materialist who reflects what Professor Edith Brown Weiss’ described as the opulent approach to environmentalism. It denies any obligation to future generations and tolerates present extravagance and waste.
I have zero regard for Joe Oliver’s smug self-interest but I’m amazed by Trevor Greene’s journey. I’m not referring to the Captain’s service in Canada’s armed forces but to the resolute strength he demonstrated for recovery, fighting physical and emotional challenges, day in and day out, hour by hour, minute by minute.
Joe Oliver spoke about radicals and, if you look at the dictionary, Trevor Greene is indeed a radical extremist. His dedication to a meaningful life had to be thoroughgoing and extreme. More than radical, it was heroic.