northern gateway pipeline
Activists in British Columbia have responded to the National Energy Board's approval of the Northern Gateway oil pipeline with threats of illegal activism reminiscent of the 1990s. Greenpeace spokesman Mike Hudema, for example, said his group will "do what it takes" to ensure the pipeline is never built (and he specifically mentioned civil disobedience).
Alberta Premier Alison Redford and B.C. Premier Christy Clark recently announced a "framework agreement" on the proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline, removing what was seen as a serious barrier to development.
BC Premier Christy Clarks demand for payments in return for permission to ship oil across BC lands is ill advised. It does not matter whether this payment takes the form of a claim on Albertas royalties or is based on the amount of oil flowing through the pipe; it is equivalent to a tax on trade and which, like tariffs on imports from abroad, results in high administrative costs, raises consumer prices and lowers living standards of all Canadians. It is rightly prohibited by federal legislation.
With her demand that either Alberta or Ottawa ante up more cash before the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline can proceed through parts of British Columbia, BC Premier Christy Clark is playing a risky and ill-advised game of economic chicken. But before getting into details of that, consider Clarks five demands, some of which are reasonable, if occasionally superfluous.