EDITORIAL: One crisis down...

When crisis looms, our leaders act. With polls detecting a potentially irreversible drop in the Liberals’ popularity and an election fast approaching, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet again approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Work is slated to begin later this year.

Now, about that other crisis. The House of Commons just declared a national climate emergency. That motion was non-binding.

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It’s true that profits from the $7.4-billion pipeline are slated to fund a new, clean economy; but that prospect feels a bit like feeding the cat to save the mice.

We have no doubt the greatest care will be taken with each of the 890,000 barrels worth of oil that slosh through the pipeline daily. We trust the Aframax tankers, while perhaps capable of knocking the Second Narrows Rail Bridge off its foundations, probably never will.

But what is likelier and more frightening is that Canada will continue substituting expedient political compromise for leadership. In B.C., we now call it “wildfire season,” as though manmade calamity were as natural as spring or autumn.

Amid united rollers, calls to “show me the pipeline,” and academic handwringing inexplicably equating the construction of the pipeline with the fate of democracy, perhaps the most profound pipeline statement belongs to an Alberta Conservative MP who recently said: “Canada has never had an anti-oil and gas government like the current Liberal government.”

That isn’t true. But the day may come when we wish it were.

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