“Canadians who want to tell the National Energy Board what they think about proposed pipeline projects – either in person or in writing – must now complete a 10-page application form proving they would be directly affected by the development or that they have relevant expertise.
“The new rules the NEB unveiled on Friday stem from provisions in omnibus budget legislation drafted by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government and passed into law last year…”
I am convinced that citizens operate less on fact than on myth and artifice. It is wrong to assume that oversight exists for effective protection of the environment. It exists instead to minimize public concerns as industries plot whatever courses they wish.
The Conservative Party of Canada and the National Energy Board pretend to conduct an independent examination of the Northern Gateway project but government ministers have already announced intention to proceed. The NEB, an agency staffed and controlled by the energy industry, will concur. No thinking person can expect a different outcome.
Recently, the Alberta government, according to Andrew Nikiforuk, appointed
“the founding president of the Canada’s most powerful oil and gas group as well as an active energy lobbyist to head its new energy regulator.”
No one should imagine the energy business will not have every intended move facilitated by Alberta regulators. Regulation and oversight is like Santa Claus, a myth we choose to believe because of the comfort it provides.
Thinking about this subject, I had the radio playing and heard a BC Liberal advertisement for an oinker trying to find a place at the trough. The intro accused the NDP of unrestrained spending after that party formed government a couple of decades ago. Additionally, Liberals stated that families were broken apart as workers fled the province because of destroyed opportunities.
However, it seems the Liberal claims are actually based on myth and artifice, falsehoods that lazy and compliant media members, like the ones described here, echo and reinforce.
In fact, spending under Gordon Campbell and Christy Clark has been less restrained than it was under NDP Premiers Mike Harcourt and Glen Clark. The difference is dramatic when population statistics are included. Growth under 10 years of NDP was 19% but during the first 10 years of BC Liberal rule, it grew 13%.
The comparison would be worse for Liberals if I factored in all the “off balance sheet” transactions done through private agencies, government owned corporations, public private partnerships and by unrecorded future commitments such as those that financed billions in private power expansion.