Mr Kenney’s Announcements on TMX and KXL

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. 

Mr Kenney going on about something

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? 

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29 Responses to Mr Kenney’s Announcements on TMX and KXL

  1. Deb Lee says:

    The sad thing is that a huge number of Albertans do believe Mr Kenney’s drivel and feel very hard done to. Why is it that so many people are taken in by Kenney’s “poor us” rhetoric?

    • Dwayne says:

      Deb Lee: I have answers to that. Albertans vote for a party that has Conservative in the name, because their parents, grandparents, and great grandparents voted for the Conservatives. Also, the media, like Postmedia are very Conservative leaning, and have been for years. Look at the columnists in media, such as The Sun. The fact is that the only good Conservative government Alberta had, was the one run by Peter Lougheed. Perhaps the Blue Ribbon panel should look at why the Alberta PCs were such poor fiscal managers, ever since Peter Lougheed was not the premier of Alberta. They should look at the poor oil royalty rates, for Alberta’s oil, the millions and billions of dollars flushed on the worst types of scandals, (which was shown a few blogs back), the drained Heritage Fund, the utility deregulation boondoggle, the flat tax failure, the very hefty infrastructure repair bill, and the $260 billion cost Albertans must pay to clean up oil industry messes. The UCP has already cost Albertans billions of dollars, from very costly mistakes. Triple digit oil prices are history, just like tube type T.V sets. Another pipeline will not make Alberta get pre 2014 record oil prices. The corporate tax cuts by the UCP, in dwindling oil prices only will have one consequence, and that is more austerity, and more suffering for those who are not wealthy. Jason Kenney tells people twisted things, on things like equalization payments, when he knows how they work, as he was part of a majority federal government that gave us what we have now. People take it verbatum, without checking the facts for themselves. Jason Kenney was also in the CPC, when they had a majority government, and triple digit oil prices, yet they never assisted in getting a pipeline built, that went to the B.C coast. What also is interesting is how Brian Jean even criticized Jason Kenney recently. The Kenney’s, Moe’s and Ford’s are an example of the bad lot of Conservative governments we have in Canada right now. It will be compounded with Andrew Scheer or Maxime Bernier.

    • Deb, I’ve wondered that myself. I suspect Dwayne is right when he says so many Albertans vote Blue because that’s what they’ve always done, I also think Kenney, like Trump, is adept at fueling the amorphous fear people experience when the world around them is changing and they don’t know how to deal with it. What really galls me is Rachel Notley had a plan to transition Alberta from the old economy to a new one and these bozos replaced her with Kenney who has no plan whatsoever. When Kenney isn’t able to lift global oil prices and the old high paying jobs don’t come back, I’ll be the first to remind them that they elected Kenney and he made things worse.

    • GoinFawr says:

      re: “Albertans…feel very hard done to.”
      DL when I was growing up if ever I complained about something my Mom would always say I was feeling “hard done by.”
      I used to think that was the most exclusively ‘Canadian’ expression ever to have existed, until I read your “hard done to.”

      In answer to your question: it is an unfortunate reality that so many folk love to hear they are victims, because then they feel don’t have to take responsibility for their own situations, regardless of whether or not it is their very own stupid decision(s) that got Kenney’s Used Car Party elected; and J.Kenney knows this like he knows the back of his own hand, trust me.

      “Hey kids!
      You want a soundtrack that’s gonna make you feel tense?
      Let you express your frustration?
      Make ya scared, wanna run out and buy a gun?
      You’re looking for another rock’n’roll record that’ll make you
      Feel like a victim.
      You’re like a victim – you love to be a victim.
      You love the (J Kenney – Ed.) prime time victim show.
      Hey, bells, helicopters, machine guns.
      Listen to that! Listen to that!” – Timothy Leary

  2. David says:

    I don’t think Mr. Kenney’s ungracious response will hurt him much in Alberta and it panders to the base so it seems fairly safe politically on the surface. However, for anyone elsewhere in Canada may eventually start to see Kenney as the western version of Lucien Bouchard, who managed to turn everything the Federal government did, into yet another “humiliation”.

    I realize that Kenney doesn’t want to give the Federal Liberals any credit for anything ahead of the soon upcoming Federal election. However, if he still has any future Federal aspirations does he really want to become known as the dour and pepetually grumpy and agrieved Premier of Alberta? His act may play well in Ponoka, but not so well in Peterborough.

    Even worse for Kenney, if the Liberals do win re-election, he may end up on the bottom of the list of the premiers they ever want to call. Yes, even lower than Doug Ford, while he is quite annoying Ford is politically helpful perhaps in an unintended way, so I think the Federal Liberals are actually sort of grateful he exists.

    The Alberta NDP and the Federal government, while they had their differences and conflicts, managed to have a fairly workable relationship overall. With Kenney expect little to get accomplished with the Federal government over the next few years, if the Liberals are re-elected.

    • David, you’re right that Kenney is loathe to give the Liberals credit for anything, but surely he can bring himself to stop misleading the public. As I wrote that I realized how silly it was. Misleading the public with the “horrible” equalization plan and our sad-sack condition is what got him elected so why would he stop.
      I agree with your comment that while this grumpy whiny persona is working in Alberta it won’t work in the rest of Canada. It’s hard for the rest of Canada to have any sympathy for the premier of a province who insists that equalization isn’t working because the lower income provinces are not transferring funds to the richest province. Or who points the finger at Quebec when Alberta’s average family income is $94,000 and Quebec’s is $60,000. We look greedy and entitled. It’s not a good look for a premier who aspires to be prime minister.

  3. diamondwalker says:

    .. mister Jason Kenney is the antithesis of what an ‘elected public servant’ in Canada should be. He proved & polished this his entire ‘working life’. A shrill partisan political animal is hardly a ‘public servant’ but more a parasite.. and that’s Jason Kenney folks.. political parasite & carpetbagger who ended up in Alberta. My view is he deserves only to be blind sided for concientious media – in public. Where is his ‘comment’ or concern on remediation for the dreadful pollution from the tar sands and well drilling? Never a word, ever. Where is his comment or concern on the trashing of the Amazon? What comment or concern re his part in Harper stripping away our protective legislation for inland and coastal marine waters? The destruction of air, land and water, habitat, species? Nada – nowhere – ever. Look for him to emulate Stephen Harper and Ray Novak.. and that other creep Andrew Scheer regarding expanded mags for military assault style weaponry to hunt deer, gophers or those frightening prairie quail. Classic ‘all hat-no cattle’ glib cow porker failure in a blue pickup truck. The list of his sins is astonishing. I also note that like most people weeping for pipelines to ‘tidewater’ he cannot actually answer this question. Who is actually going to purchase expanded production of diluted bitumin – you know, those mysterious asian clients ? California? Washington State? Same with his wet dream for natural gas. At what price? And the real clinker of a question.. can he tell Canadians what % of Canada’s ‘vast oil reserves’ – 3rd largest reserves on slaceship earth – ‘all that wealth in the ground’ as Trudeau says… is actually bitumin. Ya.. bitumin.. well kids, its about 96% bitumin.. and its in the tar sands.. and that should tell us what plans he has re REMEDIATION.. and why he never mentions it. And finally, has he ever spoken with or listened to Andrew Leach at U of Alberta.. and actual Energy Economist? Or does he just run on the slanted partisan political drivel of Vivien Krause & The Foreign Funded Fraser ‘Institute’ and his dear friends at foreign owned PostMedia?

    Don’t snow the snowman Mr Kenney.. i know sellout scumbags when I see them.. I expert level at smelling em out.. and you are among the worst I have ever seen !

    • That is an excellent observation diamondwalker. Kenney has made an effort to comment on all sorts of national and international issues…when it suits him.
      He applauded the re-election of Prime Minister Modi of India in the Legislature, calling Modi his friend but has had nothing to say about his “friend” stripping the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir of its autonomy. Maybe it’s part of the populists code of honour, no besmirching fellow travellers, you never know when you’ll need a raving populist to have your back.

  4. Judy J. Johnson says:

    Oh, Susan, if only the G7 leaders would’ve been as courageous as you are to stand up to Trump (“nutbar”) they might’ve started a new movement that could lead us away from the global dangers that the growth of extreme, far-right populism presents. Kenney, relative to national leaders, is as dangerous at the provincial level, and you’re doing all you can to expose his lack of human decency. Thank you for your efforts to wake us up–may your blogs be read far and wide, across this province and country. Your voice is strong. Keep it going!

    • Thank you Judy! I absolutely agree Kenney is as dangerous at the provincial level as national leaders are at the national level. One of Kenney’s most successful scams is the way he’s convinced seemingly rational Albertans they’re being “pushed out” of Canada. Consider how clever that is. The rest of Canada reviled Quebec for saying “we want to leave”, and yet here’s Alberta taking the moral high ground with the argument that “we’re not saying we want to leave, we’re saying you’re pushing us out, poor us.” To make matters even more absurd Albertans point to equalization (where the richest “have” province whines about helping the poorest “have not” provinces) and Bills C-69 and C-48 (which don’t have any impact on anything at all at this stage) as proof Canada is “pushing” us out. It’s time for Alberta to grow up!

      • Deb says:

        Are Albertans wanting to leave Canada as much as the right wing media and Mr Kenneys repetitive statements would have us think? The last poll that I heard indicated that only a small percentage want to leave Canada… but following the Trump tactics book, saying it often enough makes it seem right…. but we can’t let him away with it here !

      • I agree Deb. When people like Brett Wilson say Kenney has the “mandate” to pull Alberta out of Canada if the equalization referendum goes in Kenney’s favour I really have to wonder what’s gotten into everybody. A referendum on equalization is NOT the same thing as a referendum on separation. Good grief!

  5. John McManus says:

    The Standing Rock people have filed suit to stop Keystone. !/3 of the landowners on the Transmountain route have not signed access agreements . Both these projects are far from meeting their obligations to proceed.

    Both problems could be easily solved if the pipeline companies simply treat the landowners fairly. Unfortunately they are oil men and they never deal in good faith.

    • John, you’ve brought up a very important point. A few years ago I became aware of a landowners group that was opposing a relatively small pipeline project in the US. One landowner reported that the pipeline company promised her they would not cut down a large hedge windbreak on her property. She woke up one day to find a subcontractor bulldozing the whole thing. She tried to stop him and he got abusive. When she complained to the pipeline company they said it was too late to do anything.
      Kenney and Vivian Krause et all say the only people holding up pipelines are rabid environmentalists, they forget that landowners and First Nations are also aggrieved and rightly so.

  6. Addie Bullock says:

    Mr.Kenney seems to fit the diagnostic criteria for narcissistic personality disorder as does President Trump.

  7. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. An apt description of this is that Jason Kenney is boxing at shadows. He is diverting all the attention he can away from his kamikaze scandal, using anything else he can to try and do so. Sadly, the media and many Albertans go right along with this. In the federal government, where Jason Kenney was, there was a majority government, and triple digit oil prices, and nothing was accomplished on helping get a pipeline going, that went to the B.C coast. Why is he griping about the federal government not doing anything about this now, (when they have been)? What’s more, is that Stephen Harper said that the oilsands had to be phased out. In any case, having another pipeline will not make oil prices return to triple digit levels.Those days are over, and Jason Kenney can’t change that. Nor can any war room. It was predicted recently that oil prices would go down to $40 levels. With what Donald Trump is doing, there is concerns that we may be heading into another recession. It is going to be ugly. Jason Kenney will not be concerned about this. He has a sizeable pension going for him. The well off will be sheltered too, but everyone else will be pay dearly. Jason Kenney has not prepared Alberta to survive low oil prices, or another recession. In my opinion, premiers like Peter Lougheed and Rachel Notley are missed. Look at what we have now. Someone who is carrying on the poor legacy of the Alberta PCs, starting when Peter Lougheed was not the premier.

    • Dwayne, thanks for these great points. I’d like to pick up on your comments about Kenney’s conduct when he was an Alberta cabinet minister in the Harper government. When he was serving Harper, Kenney was just fine with equalization, he was okay with billions of dollars in deficits year after year, and he supported Harper when he said corporate tax cuts were the LEAST effective way to create jobs (investment in infrastructure and income support for lower income households was more effective). Now that Kenney is in charge he wants to change equalization, eliminate the deficit even if it means butchering public services and reduce corporate taxes from 12% to 8%. What happened? Is he suffering from amnesia? Or does he truly not have a clue?

  8. Carlos Beca says:

    Jason Kenney rise to the level of statesmanship? That cannot happen because he is not one. He actually has a new title to his name – Mr. Ikea – he has put together so many panels it makes Rachel Notley look like a genius. She and her caucus could actually make decisions.
    I have said all that I can say about this idiot. I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder just thinking that 63% of Albertans voted for this nutbar II

    • Excellent point Carlos. Before Kenney was elected he said he was going to move with great speed because (1) speed is good and (2) it makes it harder for people to oppose him (why he care about opposition is beyond me, he’s got a clear majority). The minute he got into power he called back the Legislature and pushed through a bunch of bills, but the most important bill, the budget, will be delayed until well after the McKinnon Blue Ribbon committee reports back on the spending side of the budget, this is a simply a ploy to give Kenney an excuse to hack away at the public sector and delay the budget until after the Federal election just in case his butchered budget hurts Scheer’s chances. .
      It’s easy to respect someone like Rachel Notley who set up legitimate panels of experts and wasn’t afraid to take their advice. I can’t say the same about Kenney.

  9. James Bolen says:

    He’s doing exactly what he was elected to do. And he’s right to be skeptical, and to re-state his convictions to fight for Alberta, even with limited means with which to do so. If Trudeau were to be re-elected the fight will be even more difficult and he knows that. Nothing inappropriate here at all. And certainly nothing less appropriate than all of Notley’s rhetoric for four years, or Horgan’s, or Maye’s, or Trudeau’s…

    • James, perhaps where we differ is how much rhetoric we think is appropriate in a good news press release about TMX and KXL. As I said, even Notley and Carr found it in their hearts to applaud Trump for issuing the executive order allowing KXL to reapply for an export permit without turning their statements into political rhetoric.

    • Carlos Beca says:

      Well James his means are no less than Rachel Notley’s. If the pipeline is moving we can thank to the work she did in those four years. She certainly accomplish way more than what Jason Kenney and is buddy Harper got in 9 years. Their usual threats got them zilch.
      If you cannot see the difference between Jason Kenney’s rhetoric and Rachel Notley’s, I am sorry but it is quite obvious. .

      • I’d like to add another example to Carlos’ point. Look at Kenney’s recent rhetoric about the Government’s Q1 fiscal update. Kenney claimed in June that “the NDP massively overstated revenues. They were dishonest with Albertans and and fudged the numbers.” The U of C economist Trevor Tombe compared the numbers for 2018 with 2019 and said the April-June 2019 numbers look “remarkably similar to 2018.” In other words Kenney is wrong. Either he doesn’t know how to read a quarterly update or he’s misleading the public for political gain. Neither scenario is good for Albertans.

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