TransCanada and the provincial government of Alberta are paying former advisors to the Obama administration - as well as former staff of the Hillary Clinton and John Kerry presidential campaigns - to help them lobby for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to transport tar sands fuel to the U.S.
Greeting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he arrived at the UK’s Parliament Thursday morning was a barrage of environmental activists who came to declare that “dirty tar sands fuels have no place in the UK or Europe.”
If the Harper government were honest about its policies, it would proclaim for all to hear: “Our goal is to make the rich richer.”
Many Canadians would agree that has been the effect of Conservative domestic policies, but may be surprised to learn the extent to which it is also true in international affairs.
Amidst the ongoing jobs-vs-environment debate, however, one voice is noticeably absent: the bitumen workers in Canada who are largely against long-term tar sands extraction and the building of the pipeline.
“We’re diametrically opposed to the construction of it,” said David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), which represents 35,000 Canadian oil and gas workers, including thousands laboring in the country’s tar sands. “The Keystone XL is not good for the economy, it’s not good for the environment, it violates all kinds of First Nations rights.”