The Greens are trying their hand at populism and its just as disingenuous as anything on the far right

unpopular opinion

I get the antipathy towards fracking; its a drilling technique fraught with risks to carbon pollution; potential groundwater contamination and seismic activity.

Its also the exclusive technique used to extract natural gas and shale oil. Now for the sake of this article, I’m not considering the environmental aspect of the Green’s argument – because at this point, it doesn’t have legal or constitutional standing.

92a

This however is the snippet of the Constitution Act (1982) that the Green Party hasn’t considered.

If the Green Party was to win an election outright and invoke this part of their platform, they would immediately be met with a challenge from energy producing provinces. As they should: infringing upon a clear right of a provincial government will trigger a very serious national unity crisis.

Worse, imagine the Greens playing a role in a minority government where this pillar is key to their cooperation.

While this awkward promise sits out there unchallenged by anyone in the media, Elizabeth May went on the offensive against the announced bus expansion of the Victoria regional transit service. Accusing Justin Trudeau of playing ‘lip service’ to climate change, she rips the agreement. See here.

For reference.

space-required-to-transport-60-people-car-bus-bicycle

Granted, some of these new buses would be powered by natural gas, the larger objective is to get more people out of their cars and into transit. The advantage is two fold: folks save fuel and pollution by taking a bus instead, and it clears up some congestion from roads and highways.

Seriously, Liz. WTF.

Look, fracking is controversial. But its also a changing science; and fracking looks different today than what it did 40 years ago when it was pumping up natural gas in BC. There’s no reason why it cannot continue to evolve.

Whether or not the Greens sentiment is right or wrong is up to you. But for them to advocate something they cannot constitutionally do will have unintended consequences.

Upon losing a Supreme Court case against the provinces who move quickly to uphold their rights under 92(a), the Greens would further strengthen the hand of pro-fossil fuel parties and may serve to elect even more conservative regimes across the country.

How does that look? See Alberta where they elected the UCP government out of a frustration to get their tar sands oil industry back on track, but are getting a hard right socially conservative administration that’s rolling back rights of LGBTQ folks ‘while they’re at it’.

There are seriously dangerous consequences to opting for a rhetorically populist party.

My2bits

Update: new Green MP joins the attack on new buses for Victoria.

Fair question, but poor timing, Ben.

By now, most Canadians have heard the story of the Victoria city councillor who put forward a motion to city hall to ask the Department of National Defence to help defray the policing costs of Remembrance Day and related events.

This request originated from the city’s police board as costs predictably increased.

So far so good, right? How about asking this of city hall on D-Day itself..

Ooops. Very poor timing Ben Isit.

He was met with howls of outrage from folks across the nation; seeing this as a deliberate poke at veterans.

Hold on a moment.

I have no personal connection with Ben Isit, but I’m pretty certain that he does not have a hate on for our military veterans.

We, on the left, have deep admiration for those who gave so much in the defense of our freedoms. We will always honour their sacrifice.

But if it makes it any easier, pretend it was another topic for which this is based.

Ben has inadvertently opened up a discussion on superior government offloading to local government the associated, unfunded costs of a virtually mandated event.

Nobody seems to have caught on to this. Strange that none of the taxpayer guardian organizations spoke up.

Ben didn’t suggest that the city cancel it’s Remembrance Day events or drastically reduce its scope (funding); he asked a question.

I’m not suggesting that Ben was right or even smart to lay this egg on D-Day, but his right to pose the question at all is exactly the thing that our veterans fought to defend.

If it’s true that the unfunded part of the issue is well over $100k, then someone had to speak up for taxpayers. Otherwise, city hall would have had to find funds from elsewhere to cover this gap; and given the fact that local government cannot legally run a deficit, this means either funding cuts somewhere or tax increases everywhere.

I’m sure I’m in the minority opinion here, as some would brush aside questions over “who’s gonna pay for this” because it’s the *right* thing to do.

Asking who’s going to pay for things is also the right thing to do.

My2bits.

Edit: I’ve been told that the date when the above mentioned ‘motion’ wasn’t picked by Ben Isit, but as assigned by city staff. So there’s that.