Friday, August 24, 2012

The ROC Stands With B.C.

Respondents were given information about BC Premier Christy Clark’s conditions for supporting the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  The most contentious, that BC receives its fair share of tax revenue for the environmental risk it is taking, was told to respondents.  They were then asked which of two statements came closest to their view.

Overall, a large majority of Canadians surveyed (71%) believed that Christy Clark was right in her demand.  If B.C. is assuming most of the risk for oil spills and environmental damage, it should receive more of the economic benefit then it would currently receive.

A couple of things.  As has been pointed out elsewhere, Clark's demands never specifically mentioned a greater slice of royalties, although pipeline supporters have interpreted her words to imply this.  Canadians, though, understand the underlying issue: Alberta and the federal government are not offering enough.  If the pipeline is to go through, they will have to put more on the table.  Who owes and who is owed is clear enough.  Its up to Alberta and the feds to decide what currency they will use to pay.

Not that I think money is the be all and end all in the case of Northern Gateway.  But, if you were to consider things in purely financial terms, it is clear that B.C.ers are owed the courtesy of a serious offer.  They have not received one as of yet.

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