‘Regressives Force Hearing Cancellation’

“These three hooligans are a perfect example of the holier-than-thou mentality that pervades the modern environmental movement. Storm a meeting, scream slogans, insult the industry, play the victim, taunt the police, harass, intimidate and act like a thug…” –Rex Murphy

Arrests At NEB Hearings on Energy East pipeline, Montreal, Aug. 29, 2016 (John Kenney - MONTREAL GAZETTE)

Arrests At NEB Hearings on Energy East pipeline, Montreal, Aug. 29, 2016 (John Kenney – MONTREAL GAZETTE)

“The National Energy Board’s Montreal hearings on TransCanada’s ‘Energy East’ pipeline proposal got off to a revealingly awful start on Monday. A small knot of protesters rushed in, politicians walked out, and the process disintegrated. The NEB has now suspended the hearings indefinitely {What a cowardly, appeasing response! Is there NO leadership left in this country???}.

“Is it really necessary to note that storming the podium, wrestling with police and haranguing witnesses are not the means by which mature democracies make important decisions? {But they were allowed to get their way, right? So, Canada is no longer a ‘mature democracy’…}

“Progressives” maintain that this sort of “direct action”, or whatever term is used to excuse it, reflects an advanced social conscience. What it really does is substitute disorder for reasoned argument.

“NEB hearings are straightforward affairs. Commissioners sit at a table listening to people’s views. Their job is to ascertain the facts in an impartial manner. It’s about as basic an example of the democratic process as you can get. Obstructing them through bellicose means, as happened Monday, simply robs those wishing to impart valuable information, or raise serious concerns, of their opportunity to do so. What are pipeline opponents afraid of hearing?

“If the current process unfolds fairly, all sides will be heard, the evidence will be considered and a recommendation issued. It could go for or against the pipeline proposal. We believe that, with appropriate safeguards, ‘Energy East’ should be built. But that’s how democracy works. “Social licence” should arise from informed debate, not by trashing the place to get your way.

“Critics now argue the commission has been compromised by meetings held in advance with interested parties. Two of the three members of the board met former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who was acting as a consultant for ‘TransCanada’ at the time. They also met Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and the environmental group ‘Equiterre’. Both Coderre and Equiterre now say the meeting with Charest damages the board’s credibility, though they apparently have no such concern about it meeting with them {!?!}.

“Such hypocrisy on the part of environmentalists may come as no surprise. Disinformation is a key part of many environmental campaigns, and it may serve the purpose of protesters like those who shut down Monday’s meeting to prevent undecided onlookers from hearing views that contradict their own. But Coderre’s performance raises serious questions about his integrity.

“Like Charest, Coderre is a former senior Liberal. He has made little secret of his opposition to Energy East, although many other pipelines operate safely and effectively in Quebec. For years, the province has profited greatly from the energy industry, which contributes substantially to the $10 billion it receives in annual equalization payments. But Coderre is now one of the main roadblocks to other Canadians continuing to benefit from those energy resources. He walked out of Monday’s hearings when the protests erupted, contributing to the “circus” he derided.

“…Canada is a sophisticated country with the technical skills to tackle safety issues related to pipelines. Disparaging the process, rather than addressing those issues, benefits no one.

“The fracas in Montreal can only increase the pipeline problem for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Trudeau has tried to play both sides of the fence, declaring his support for the industry’s need to ship its product to buyers, while insisting it be done in the safest possible manner and via an open and transparent process.

“It’s important we have confidence in our regulators,” he said in March. “We are going to allow them to do their job without political interference.”

“That may now be impossible. There are already calls for NEB members to be replaced. In opposition, Trudeau accused the Conservatives of politicizing the approval process, but Liberals like Coderre seem content to continue playing politics with the national interest.

“Trudeau recently warned his caucus to brace for a difficult year as the government confronts numerous challenges. Few will be more demanding than the future of Energy East and the repercussions it holds for one of Canada’s most vital industries. It’s time to quit playing spectator. The prime minister must ensure the NEB enjoys the trust it needs to do its job, and that it can operate safely and effectively as a neutral and fair-minded body without threat of disruption or political meddling. And he needs to move quickly, before a national consultation falls victim to mob mentality.”

–‘NEB protesters substitute disorder for reasoned argument’,
National Post Editorial, August 31, 2016
COMMENT: “I don’t accept that these boors were ‘progressive’. Progress is not made in any direction by adults imitating scared puppies and biting at people’s heels. As for self-esteem, again I don’t see it. A confident person will express a point of view in as coherent a way as possible.”
“I don’t think any more pipelines will ever be built in this country. Not until someone takes the political brass knuckles to these people and shuts them down, hard. I only wish the oil companies had a way to embargo them… like, distribute their names to gas stations, fuel companies and so forth and refuse to sell to them. Anything to fight back.”
The actions of the protestors aren’t direct democracy — they are the antithesis of it. This is not a passionate objection, it is more along the lines of totalitarian oppression perpetrated by the people who think they know better but really don’t. They aren’t net contributors to our society; more like thugs and bullies set on destruction if they don’t get their way. Now if their supporters in the media and other places think this is OK to act in this manner, it sets precedent for others, and when does violence replace threats and intimidation? The protestors will be the first people to scream if they are subject to the same kind of bullying now, won’t they? I find the behaviour extremely un-Canadian and I see it as a threat to democracy.”
This is Canada in 2016. A pathetic handful of wingnuts can stop a pipeline project beneficial to the whole country.”


Arrests At NEB Hearings on Energy East pipeline, Montreal, Aug. 29, 2016 (John Kenney - MONTREAL GAZETTE)

Arrests At NEB Hearings on Energy East pipeline, Montreal, Aug. 29, 2016 (John Kenney – MONTREAL GAZETTE)

“The environmental protesters who are determined to throttle Alberta’s oil industry are so invested in the narrow, regressive world of their own doom-laden vision of the future, and the fanatic, narcissistic righteousness that is the hallmark of that vision, that they see themselves as having a licence to to do just about anything, no matter how morally reprehensible, in the pursuit of their cause.

Civilized debate, respect for one’s opponents, listening to differing opinions and good manners: these are the practices and mores of every other social and political exchange, and are necessary for reasoned debate to take place in a democratic society. Yet the anti-pipeline zealots seems to think that these standards don’t apply to them.

“Witness that gruesome, arrogant invasion of the National Energy Board (NEB) hearing into the ‘Energy East’ pipeline in Montreal this week. Three — just three — typically overzealous pipeline justice warriors flamed into the hearing room on Monday, screaming,

“It has to stay in the ground.”

“One of them charged the panel members sitting at the front of the room, forcing the RCMP to subdue and shackle the bellicose buffoon. It was, of course, a stunt — precisely the kind of stunt that passes for protest these days, whenever the save-the-planet gang smells a camera in the distance, a headline in the making or an opportunity derail any legitimate airing of a contentious public issue.

“They were only three protesters. But these three hooligans are a perfect example of the holier-than-thou mentality the pervades the modern environmental movement. Storm a meeting, scream slogans, insult the industry, play the victim, taunt the police, harass, intimidate and act like a thug — you may call it protesting if you wish, but bullying and boorishness are far closer to the mark.

“And just what are they trying to stop? Great swathes of Fort McMurray, Alta., are still in ashes. Hundreds of homes have been levelled, families have been displaced, businesses are in ruin, the city is still in shock. Alberta is bleeding, its economy in tatters, its confidence shaken. The country as a whole has been wounded by the collapse of the oil industry. From Newfoundland to British Columbia, the drop in the price of oil has affected the lives of the hundreds and thousands of people who are no longer working. Projects have stalled or stopped. Government revenues are in decline. It is the bleakest moment in modern Alberta history.

“One would assume that, under these circumstances, every socially-conscious individual in the country would be concerned about all the people in desperate straits; all the newly-unemployed and homeless, yearning for an opportunity for a better life.

“Yeah, sure. So long as there is a ‘Greenpeace’, a ‘Sierra Club’, a ‘Green’ party — or, for that matter, while Denis Coderre is Mayor of Montreal, fresh from the ‘Great Flush’ of eight billion gallons of raw sewage into that city’s historic and polluted harbour — there will be no flag of hope raised for any project — and particularly any pipeline running from Alberta’s landlocked oil deposits — that might aid that province in its darkest time. Instead, a troika of agitators is allowed to put a halt to the national energy regulator’s hearings, merely by showing up and playing the bullies for a few moments.

“Where is the real “exalted warrior”, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in all this? Well, today he is in China, which must be a welcome intermission from his travails on the hot sands of Tofino Beach, under a constant drizzle of selfies and photo-bombs, in weeks past. Perhaps after his sojourn in the Far East, he might interject his voice into this national debate. Does the Prime Minister of Canada favour Canadian oil over Middle Eastern crude? Does he think three protesters should shut down the NEB hearings? Does he like the idea of creating jobs for Canadians?

“And, more to the point, will he stop playing the grand equivocator? Is he a supporter of the Energy East pipeline, its jobs and the relief it will bring to the economically-desperate province of Alberta and unemployed people across the country? Or is he on the side of the fanatic protesters, who, rather than see one drop of Alberta oil find its way into a pipeline, would, if they had the means, bring us back to the days of candles and campfires?

“P.S. If Alberta Premier Rachel Notley believes her concessions to the anti-pipeline forces will give her “social licence” to build pipelines, she is a child. That crowd knows no compromise. Montreal was just a taste of their tactics. And Premier Notley should recognize that she has to fight for the oil industry, or its opponents will eventually close it down altogether.”

–‘The environmental crowd knows no compromise’,
Rex Murphy, National Post, September 2, 2016
COMMENT: “As usual Rex Murphy nails it. And where is Trudeau in all this? Is he content to let a few loudmouths hold up our prosperity because he never had any intent on letting pipelines get approved? Don’t forget the one whispering in his ear, none other than Gerald Butts once said that he thinks oil should stay in the ground.
And who is paying these protesters? The Rockefellers? Tides USA? George Soros? Why are they not protesting the Saudi oil coming into port?”
“Thank you, Mr. Murphy. As one of those Albertans that is being shunned and blamed for every evil on the planet at this point in time, I want to tell you it means so much to have someone defend us. Our family is frightened and angry. For the second time in recent memory, we sit helplessly at the whim of a government that does not care about or understand our circumstances. Trudeau Sr. did to my parents exactly what his son is doing to us. The only difference is this time, we are also battling a small army of paid protesters funded by billions of dollars from US activist organizations that are giving the government a ‘social license’ to trample on and destroy Alberta, with no regard to the personal hardship and devastation this is causing… Not only financially, but personally.

“Families are suffering, divorce rates are up, bankruptcies and foreclosures are skyrocketing and suicide rates are at an extreme level. This is unacceptable. Alberta is strong, we will make it through, but it would be nice to feel as though we were in this as a country… together as ‘Canada’, not just Alberta, fighting against the world. We have supported Canada financially and economically for generations, welcoming thousands in to work from across the country whenever anyone needed a job, sending billions in transfer payments to support federal social programs. All we are asking for is permission to build infrastructure that will benefit Canada immensely, and also benefit the world… Too much to ask???”



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