In the last couple of months, the NDP has been speaking out both sides of its mouth when it comes to pipelines. While the party says it opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge, it makes other statements that contradict and undermine that opposition.
NDP energy critic Peter Julian supports the notion of a refinery on the west coast of BC to treat the bitumen that would be transported there from the oil sands, in the interests of “job creation.” But the pipeline is the only option being actively talked about to transport the bitumen from Alberta.
And as noted in the Globe &Mail, “In a speech aimed at easing fears that his party is opposed to oil sands development, Mr. Mulcair said shipping western oil to Eastern Canada is a ‘pro-business, common sense solution’ that will create jobs and boost the country’s energy security. Mr. Mulcair later told reporters he has long said he would not speak against the oil sands expansion. ‘I said you have to include the environmental price in the way you are doing it and enforce legislation,’ he said.”
And at the October 22 rally in Victoria to oppose the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines into BC, the BC NDP’s Rob Fleming said that the current federal review process should be scrapped and replaced with a “made in BC” review. This falls far short of saying “Stop the pipeline.” It is no wonder, then, that Green Party leader Elizabeth May received far louder applause than Fleming with her unequivocal opposition to the pipeline.
It’s time we take the NDP leadership to task for undermining the efforts to stop the development of the tar sands and all the refining, pipelines and shipping associated with them. Instead, the NDP should be spearheading action to create a green economy, with green jobs and sustainable energy.