Funny how we all know ever detail of the US Republican presidential hopefuls, yet know nothing about those seeking to head up the NDP, the official opposition party in Canada. Today at this link, I got a taste of who might become the next NDP leader and got a smattering of his attitude towards mining.
The gentleman in question is one Thomas Mulcair. He is waffling on the oil sands which he refers to as tarsands. He wants to shut them down, or at best tax them into non-profitabilty. He sounds like thoroughly nasty fellow. Witness his words which could equally well apply to me:
Mulcair also once compared temporary foreign oilsands workers to Chinese “coolies” hired to build the Canadian Pacific Railway, and has as one of his closest advisors UBC professor Michael Byers, who declared while running for election in 2008, “We need to shut the tar sands down.”
This guy sound worse than Santorum, something I never expected in Canadian politics. Mr. Mulcair, like all politicians, is adept at backtracking. See this link where he says:
“I’m not saying shut them down. I’m not saying we shouldn’t develop. I’m saying we should do it sustainably. We have to change our attitude and start adding the value to our own products now. We know that it is impossible to maintain the current manner of tarsands development without seriously affecting the health of human beings — and without destroying important ecosystems forever. He (Harper) is currently placing the largest ecological and economic debt imaginable in the backpacks of our children and grandchildren. If Canada could simply apply the basic principles of sustainable development, such as the internalization of costs and polluters pay, it would have long-term beneficial effects both environmental and economic (sic). “
True, all too true. But I suspect that in the next one hundred years, houses will still be expensive in Fort McMurray and there will still be a thriving economy in Alberta. Of course, northern Alberta will be as different then as Johannesburg is today by comparison with the first time my grandmother saw it in the early 1900s. Change comes when resources are mined. Politicians will say anything to win; so let us ignore them; or better vote against them for waffling and wailing and calling us all coolies.
On the basis of personal experience, I know the guys in the oil sands are working hard, trying harder, and succeeding as no other generation of miners ever has. They deserve support and encouragement, not NDP sarcasm.