Writing about the partnership between New York hedge fund owned Postmedia, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), Rafe Mair quoted Thomas Jefferson:
The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.
Had he been able, Rafe would have denounced Colby Cosh for the Postmedia scribbler’s services to Kinder Morgan and Alberta oil companies.
Examples of Cosh’s distortions and false suppositions:
…threats from B.C.’s government just keep getting louder and less specific.
In fact, Premier Horgan has not escalated threats but has consistently said there will be citizen consulations and a scientific review of dilbit spill consequences on lands and waters of BC.
On the other hand, Premier Notley began an interprovincial conflict with a boycott of BC wines. Now, she loudly threatens additional unspecified acts to harm citizens of British Columbia.
As an Albertan I have an overall economic interest in seeing pipelines built: every extra penny that oil exports bring into the province is one less that payers of individual taxes have to supply.
Again, if fact doesn’t suit the objective, rely on fabrication. Alberta’s 2017 budget forecast a $10.3 billion deficit. According to Cosh, the shortfall would be gone if Alberta exported additional oil worth that sum. Only a fool imagines that 100 cents of every dollar paid for exported oil goes into Alberta’s treasury. Even wealthy from oil Norwegian citizens don’t take anything close to that share. The Alberta Government gets a tiny fraction of each oil dollar.
…it should be possible for Canada to undertake large economic megaprojects in a manner consistent with the rule of law.
Indeed, that’s what British Columbia proposes. Rachel Notley instead intends to create new laws to punish her western neighbours by legislating trade restraints. The notion is not consistent with the rule of law, as expressed by Section 21 of the Constitution Act, 1867:
121. All Articles of the Growth, Produce, or Manufacture of any one of the Provinces shall, from and after the Union, be admitted free into each of the other Provinces.
It was our view that the actions of the Alberta Government when we proposed a consultation with our citizens was over the top. They disagreed with our jurisdiction in the matter. We asked them to join us going to court [for resolution] and they declined.
…I have no intention of escalating controversy across the country. I have every expectation that people will respect British Columbia’s right to defend our interests and defend our coast…
Apparently, Cosh believes the rule of law should only apply in ways that favour oil producers.
The unquantifiable threat to the pipeline is not necessarily from B.C.’s government, but from construction delays created by protest tactics and possibly activist sabotage.
Here the Postmedia writer employs another common tactic of thought suppression. Kinder Morgan protests in BC involved thousands and extended over weeks. Yet, these remarkable demonstrations have been peaceful, not involving even slight property damage. The actions, often involving respected leaders of the indigenous community, have been a model of peaceful resistance to armed authorities who’ve dragged numerous people to jail, including seniors and elected members of parliament.
However, without evidence, Cosh claims that sabotage may have delayed construction. A journalists not shilling for the oil business would state the major delay is the one arising from Kinder Morgan’s decision to suspend building activities on the Trans Mountain Pipeline, a move needed because investors have become reluctant to finance a $7 billion project that is already late, over-budget and looking doomed.
While there has been activist sabotage of oil sites, that violence has been an RCMP tactic. CBC reported:
RCMP bombed a wellsite and that they did it with the full support of the energy company that owned it. The Crown admits the allegations are true.
“Operation Kabriole” was planned and executed with the direct involvement of a Calgary based oil and gas business. Alberta Energy Company has a big operation in the Peace River country.
Lawyer Richard Secord told Court of Queen’s Bench that when Alberta Energy Co. and police blew up an AEC shed last Oct. 14, they blamed it on his client, farmer Wiebo Ludwig.
Colby Cosh escalates his rhetoric, referring to “coastal saboteurs who despise Alberta.” He could more easily argue that highly respected leaders of Kinder Morgan protestors do not hate Alberta, they cry for it.
As George Straight editor Charlie Smith headlines, “Protect the Inlet is really about preventing future generations from enduring climate hell.”
I suggest a slightly revised version of Rafe Mair’s quote suits today’s situation more specifically than Jefferson’s words from 1787:
The man who reads nothing at all is far better educated than the man who reads nothing but Postmedia newspapers.
Colby Cosh and Postmedia appear to be answering a question asked by Scottish journalist Huge Rifkind:
…is the denial and incuriosity of a political and media class drifting towards its own irrelevance, like the milliners and cobblers of another age?