Lawrence Solomon: Harper’s next stand
The PM spoke out for the seal hunt. Now he must support the Alberta oil sands
Prime Minister Harper, it’s time to stand up for Alberta and for Canada. You and your government are allowing Canada’s oil sands to be tarred as an evil at home and abroad when they should, in fact, be seen as one of our greatest assets.
Two years ago, when Newfoundland and Canada were being vilified over another emotive issue — our seal hunt — you took our case to Europe during European Union trade talks. “Canada will, both domestically and in front of international tribunals, vigorously defend our sealing industry,” you said in Prague. You could have done no less — you are the chief emissary for and defender of the Canadian brand.
Now Canada needs another principled defence in another vastly overblown environmental issue that threatens us with boycotts and slanders us in the EU and United States. This time much more is at stake financially: Oil sands oil exports are on track to be worth some $200-billion per year by the end of this decade, making it our biggest export commodity by far. And this time the case to be made is a relative slam dunk. Not one condemnation that paints the oil sands as uniquely wicked stands up to scrutiny. (Financial Post)