Well, you’ve probably all heard about Rob Ford by now. You know, smoking crack, allegations of domestic abuse, recently said this while defending himself to a crowd of reporters [Warning: for mild language]:
I’m not actually a Torontonian, in fact, I live on the other side of the country so other than my irritation that people like Ford are able to retain leadership in our country, the Ford story doesn’t really affect me. I’m not even going to get into the embarrassing antics of Ford since I’m sure you’ve heard most of them already, but if you would like all the details I’ve heard thus far, you could check out this episode of the Fifth Estate. It features practically all the allegations against Ford that are out there, and delves into the danger this controversy has caused for the community where it took place.
Do you know what really frustrates me about all this though? Ford’s face has been splashed on every major news network and comedy station. Meanwhile it’s actually hard to find detailed and reliable media coverage of this event, even though it was happening at the exact same time:
As you can see from that video, the British Columbia and Alberta premiers have decided to push forward with the Enbridge project in B.C., although with a few minor adjustments. Dene Moore explains what that agreement means in HuffPost BC:
“British Columbia has agreed it will keep its hands out of Alberta’s pockets where oil pipeline royalties are concerned with an agreement that removes the prospect of the neighbouring province holding B.C.’s natural gas hostage, but gives British Columbia little else.”
That’s right, none of the oil pipeline profits will be coming to BC. Truth be told, even that isn’t the most frustrating part. What is even worse is reading studies like this one from Simon Fraser University explaining that the the Enbridge project has a risk of failure that is greater than 90%. That’s right, there is more than a 90% chance of a marine tanker spill off the coast of British Columbia during the operating life of the project.
As you can see from the video above, there is also a fully negative response to the project in first nations communities. According to the Dogwood Campaign over 100 First Nations groups have banned the pipeline on their territory hoping to halt the project. It really makes sense, considering many of their communities would be hit by the pollution of the (essentially) inevitable spill.Honestly, the remaining British Columbians aren’t overly keen on the project either, although the framing of surveys has drastically affected results. While opponents of the Enbridge project discovered results of nearly 80% general opposition, even a survey done by proponents of Enbridge, where key terms like “tanker” and “oil sands” were avoided, found that 32% of British Columbians still oppose the project.
So I’m irritated with our Canadian government because Rob Ford gets to keep a job that he obviously doesn’t take very seriously, but I’m even more frustrated that Ford gossip has taken center stage while the Enbridge project quietly moves forward. What does this say about Canadian politics? I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t good.