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Bob Plecas has an op-ed piece in the Vancouver Sun – they whose recent papers are celebrating their 100th birthday have carried the art of media masturbation to new heights once thought unreachable.

I assume that the editor in charge of its op-ed page, being a Fellow of the far right Fraser Institute, chooses his op-ed writers with care and, if part of that mandate is to push the government’s agenda, Fazil Milhar has done well indeed with Mr. Plecas.

Mr. Plecas was a deputy minister when I was in government and has written a biography of former premier, Bill Bennett.

I always thought he was a bright lad but clearly he is captive of the right as his article clearly demonstrates.

In this screed, Plecas is telling Premier Christy how to win the next election. Here is one of his suggestions, indeed his first choice:

The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Demand Alberta share in the revenue from the pipeline between the oil (sic) sands and Kitimat as a condition for BC’s support. As proposed Alberta would gain all the benefits while BC takes all the “risks’’ (emphasis mine). Royalty splitting would have BC dedicate its share towards safety, first nations and communities in the North…

You will note that Mr. Plecas, as a faithful follower of the right, says the “oil” sands which is Liberal Party’s mantra. Oil sounds so much better than “tar” sands which has the nasty problem of the accurate description.

Now, Bob, repeat after me: there is no “risk” to BC from these two pipelines – THEY ARE MATHEMATICAL CERTAINTIES WHICH WILL RE-OCCUR FOR THE LIFETIME OF THE PIPELINES.

Bob, your article is simply untrue. Not only will these pipelines burst, you can’t clean up this stuff, called bitumen. Please look at the Enbridge disaster in the Kalamazoo River which happened 18 months ago and has not been cleaned up and never will. And now we learn the company is back at it with a new spill in Michigan this week! The Kalamazoo River is in populated Michigan not the wilds of British Columbia.

You casually toss aside First Nations, as if Victoria had some vague responsibility to look after the helpless Indians thus ought to give them a share of the revenue.

Bob, you know better than this having been involved in aboriginal affairs as a Deputy Minister.

The truth of the matter – better brace yourself (I would take a shot or two of single malt whisky) – is that First Nations make no case for sharing royalties because they oppose the pipelines. They’re no longer clients of the government but have a special place under our constitution as declared by the Supreme Court of Canada. This pipeline is mostly on unceded land the status of which has not yet been determined. Didn’t you know that, Bob?

How dare you patronize them!

I suppose you’ve done them a favour since your remark clearly shows that you and the government haven’t kept up to date and are wrapped in a time warp of 35 years ago.

Bob, I notice you haven’t dealt with the tankers issue. The First Nations on our coast are dead set against tanker traffic and saw what happened after the Exxon Valdez spill.

Yes, the tankers may be double hulled. Do you not know that in the past two years there have been four double hulled major spills and these vessels weren’t in dangerous waters as we have on our coast?

Bob, how could you be so wrong? Don’t you care for our Great Bear Rainforest? Does it not bother you that these two* pipelines traverse 1,100 km through the Rockies and Coast range only accessible by helicopter. Do you simply not give a damn that 1,000 rivers and streams will be crossed including three essential to wild salmon?

I can’t believe that you would dissemble – nor can I believe you’re stupid.

Unfortunately, Bob, it’s one or the other.

* the second pipeline which runs parallel to the one carrying the bitumen, takes the condensate which is mixed with the bitumen so it will flow, back to the Tar Sands.

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