Bill Morneau’s neoliberalism.

We should make it clear that neoliberalism is something a real liberal abhors. Neoliberalism is like the corporatism of the Italian fascists of Benito Mussolini of the 1920s and 30s. It lets the corporate world manage its own affairs. It is like finance minister Bill Morneau announcing that the government will indemnify Texas-based Kinder Morgan against losses occurred in trying to run its current pipeline expansion across the Rockies to Burnaby, B.C. The expansion is being resisted by the British Columbia New Democratic government.

It is a sweetheart deal for Kinder Morgan!

To a real liberal, it is unconscionable. This offer by Morneau and the Ottawa liberals indemnifies Kinder Morgan from actions by the people and the government of British Columbia. It indemnifies Kinder Morgan from actions by our first nations. The federal government is offering to take responsibility for the costs of legitimate protest. It is saying the environmental concerns of Canadians do not matter.

Just what is Morneau thinking? How can a government even consider indemnifying a company against the possible actions of the people who elect that government?

We are not in Italy of 90-years ago.

What is also the tragedy in this political and environmental argument is that Canadians are not hearing the truth. People with the pipeline on their agenda, lie about the tar sands; they call them ‘oil sands.’ They lie about what the expanded Trans Mountain pipeline is designed to ship to Burnaby to be transferred to ocean tankers. They call it ‘heavy oil.’ It is not yet oil. It is diluted bitumen.

Humans have used bitumen for thousands of years. In the time of building the pyramids, bitumen was the tarry substance used to caulk the bottoms of boats that plied the Mediterranean. Converting bitumen to synthetic crude oil is one of the most polluting processes known. It creates more than three times the pollution of normal oil refining. It creates huge piles of carbon slag.

When you transmit bitumen by pipeline, it has to be thinned with lighter polymers, heated to keep it fluid and travels under increased pressure. And when bitumen is spilled, you can never completely clean it up if it gets into local streams and rivers.

If we let this neoliberalism get by us, just wait until these neoliberals try to get VIA Rail to run their trains on time. If our railways become self-regulating, we will have even more reason to remember Lac Mégantic!


Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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