This just in from the how-to-make-a-good-news-story-sound-bad department:
Mr Kenney’s government issued two press releases this week, one about the restart of construction of the TMX pipeline project, the other about the favourable ruling of the Nebraska Supreme Court on Keystone XL. Both of these announcements are about a good result achieved by someone else.
And that’s why Mr Kenney’s knickers are in a knot.
Good news isn’t really good news because…
The TMX press release contains just one word that’s not critical or negative. It appears in this sentence: “The news that construction will restart on this project is positive; however there is still not reason to celebrate.”
The Keystone XL press release contains two words that aren’t critical or negative. They appear in these sentences: “Today’s approval is encouraging news for both Alberta and our nation as a whole. This court victory is another step forward for this vital pipeline project after far too many years of regulatory delays and hurdles.” No wait, there’s a third positive word, Mr Kenney expressed gratitude to the US administration (is he afraid to say the word “Trump”) for issuing the second permit for Keystone XL.
After offering those tepid “attaboys” the press releases shift into campaign rhetoric and misleading information.
Mr Kenney promises his government will “fight” those who “obstruct progress,” and who must not be allowed to “illegally block” construction and “essentially veto a project.” He fails to mention that TMX protestors (including Elizabeth May) who violated the injunction protecting the TMX work site in Burnaby were arrested and fined and will be arrested and fined if they violate injunctions in the future. And that Canada has no jurisdiction to fight those who illegally block the construction of Keystone XL in the US.
In case his rhetoric isn’t persuasive enough, Mr Kenney ends both press releases with a demand that the federal government repeal what he calls the ‘No More Pipelines’ Bill (C-69) and the West Coast Tanker Ban (C-48), but neglects to mention that neither bill has any impact on TMX or Keystone XL whatsoever and may have minimal impact in the future because some oilsands executives say Canada will have enough takeaway capacity for quite some time if TMX, Keystone XL and Enbridge Line 3 are completed.
Mr Kenney’s references to Bills C-69 and C-48 are red herrings intended to divert our attention from the fact his government had nothing to do with TMX and Keystone XL achieving these milestones.
Mr Kenney may argue he’s just being realistic. If so, he should have mentioned Keystone XL and Enbridge Line 3 (and Line 5) are facing additional legal challenges in the US. If Mr Kenney wants to get in on the action, perhaps he can aim the big guns in his $30 million War Room in the Americans’ direction. (NOTE: “big guns” is a metaphor, Ms Soapbox is not for a moment suggesting Mr Kenney take up arms and declare war on the United States).
Where’s a stateman when you need one?
Even the former premier, Rachel Notley (NDP) and the former Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr (Liberal) were able to overcome their lack of affection for Donald Trump (nutbar) when he reissued the federal cross-border permit through an expedited presidential order that allowed Keystone XL to proceed. They issued press releases welcoming the news.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Mr Kenney could rise to the level of statesman instead of defaulting to cheap partisanship and misleading attacks on the federal Liberal government?
Just once? Please?