Monday, April 13, 2015

Oil Spills And The Harper Brand

Time for a brief follow-up to Elizabeth May's fine dissection of how Harper environmental cuts contributed to the slow response to Vancouver's English Bay oil spill. In today's Star, Tim Harper repeats and reflects upon the facts May addressed.

Denunciations are flying fast and furiously from the likes of May, B.C. Premier Christie Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Of course, predictable denials of culpability are coming from the likes of Industry Minister James Moore (“Politicians piling on by spreading misinformation is unhelpful,’’) and Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford (“I won’t engage in speculation,’’ “it’s not helpful to finger point,” “I think we should all concentrate on the cleanup").

Here are the facts that set the rhetoric into perspective:
The Conservatives closed the Kitsilano Coast Guard station.

The city of Vancouver says it was not informed of the leak until 12 hours after it was detected, but the federal government disputes that.
It took six hours for the Coast Guard to get booms in place in response to the leak, but a former commander of the closed station, Fred Moxey, told the Vancouver Sun the response would have been six minutes if the station was still open.

The closed station was within hailing distance of this leak, something that should have been so easily contained, occurring in calm waters in an urban area.
Conservatives also closed the Vancouver Environment Canada station of Environmental Emergencies and the Marine Mammal Contaminants Program within the department of fisheries and oceans.

Conservatives also closed regional offices of the emergency in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Dartmouth, N.S., and St. John’s. It has been replaced by a 1-800 number which rings in Gatineau, Que., and Montreal, says Green Party Leader Elizabeth May.
We can, of course, look forward to a full-court press from the Harper regime in order contain the damage to its brand the anemic and belated response is causing.

One can only assume that will take the usual form: vilification of all Harper critics, the only strategy this hateful regime seems to know.


  1. There comes a time, Lorne, when it's obvious to everyone that the Emperor has no clothes.

    1. The problem, it seems to me, Owen, is keeping that truth front and centre in the electorate's mind.