Though Justin Trudeau’s election was largely a reaction to the oil patch politics of the Harper regime, it also marked a renaissance of faith in our nation’s democratic process. Under the Conservatives, this was a one day event that happened every four years. Providing he has the fortitude to endure the criticisms of “radicals,” the Prime Minister was largely free to impose upon the nation. Trudeau promised to change that. Aside from lavish public displays like our procession at COP 21 and the a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, this new government does not appear to be substantially more democratic that its’ predecessor. The question, after this week’s convention, is will the NDP give British Columbians a voice?
Prior to his election as Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau promised that the National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion would not go forward. We need a new review process, which both focuses on science and seeks social license in the areas where projects like this are being suggested. That changed after his election. The hearings resumed and, sometime before May 20, the National Energy Board is expected to recommend the Trans Mountain project be approved. If the Prime Minister agrees, there will be a seven-fold increase of diluted bitument coming through the most populated area of British Columbia. In anticipation of the proposed pipeline, the province of British Columbia is drawing up legislation for “world-leading provincial spills regime.” This is the backdrop for the ECOreport’s Monday, April 11, program on CKTZ: Bitumen sinks and is almost impossible to clean up.