The Joint Review Panel (JRP) ‘reviewing‘ the proposed Enbridge pipeline approved the proposal yesterday. After a year or more of public hearings in which 1200 submissions spoke against the project and only two spoke in favour, the panel (after much consideration) decided to approve what Stephen Harper and the Conservative Government of Canada has already been selling to Asian interests for the last three years. The decision was not a surprise.
I suppose a rejection of the pipeline proposal could have proven embarrassing to the government. But, then again, nothing seems to embarrass them so maybe not. Don’t forget, Harper and Flaherty are good friends with Rob Ford. They appointed Duffy, Wallin and Brazeau to the senate. They have a high tolerance for embarrassment.
More likely, the fix was already in and the panel was not reviewing anything and only providing ‘window dressing’ to the public.
I confess to suspecting that early on, myself. All of the members of the panel were appointed from the petroleum industry. All of the panel members were already deeply in the pockets of that industry and not one of them had a history of ever doing anything but what they were told. They had spines and hearts of heavy oil. There was not even a semblance of neutrality in their appointments. It was a violation of administrative justice from the get-go.
A female friend of mine who belongs to a bookclub asked me the other day, “We, in the bookclub, are getting a bit fed up with the erosion of Democracy in this country but we don’t know what to do about it. If you were making suggestions, what would they be?”
“My first suggestion is to pay for everything in cash. It is a very small and quiet protest and largely ineffectual but it is easy and it hits Big Bro at least a little. Makes you harder to track, too. Plus it will help you manage your own budget. Also buy local only if it is made or grown locally.
(Another friend wrote: I am into reading about GMO’s and our globe food supplier. Corporate Agriculture (land grabs, deforestation, mono-crops, herbicides, pesticides, artificially produced nitrogen fertilizers, usable phosphorus depletion, Monsanto and patented food crops, seed control, changing global eating habits, packaged convenient foods for the working world.)
“But the main thing is this: people do not vote anymore. They do not write their MP/Mla anymore. They don’t even watch the news because they know that, too, is a waste of their time. They know that their media only lies and entertains and their government is out of touch with the people. They know their government is more invested in the corporations and big institutions than it is the people. They know that they-the-little-people don’t count. Sadly, they have largely opted out of the too-big-to-fail system.
“So, that means that we have to create a new parallel system. We have to enact people politics and see that local decisions get made by local people. That means a lot of social media, a lot of citizen participation and a lot of rule-breaking if the rule does not benefit the community. Basically we have been rejected by our own governments as too insignificant for them to care about and we have to conceive of a replacement for that. We have to organize and act on our own behalf because those who are elected are not doing that for us.
But we don’t have to fight.
Civil disobedience is not necessary. Think instead: workaround.
“We have to do what is right and workaround the government when we can. And that does not mean fighting the state in any kind of getting-tasered way. If we do that, we lose. We go to jail. We might die from chronic tasering. We have to simply do what we can to take the government out of ‘our‘ equation. Passive rebellion. Resistance by parallel paths. Ignore tham in every way possible. Shun the bastards!”
“How do we do that?”
“I am not exactly sure. But I do know that resistance in any form is useful. And passive resistance is the safest. Pay cash. Drive less. Barter. Grow your own. Buy and sell direct amongst community members. Never, ever give them permission to do anything in your neighbourhood. Ever. Reject, refuse, rebel and be legally as uncooperative as possible. In all things.
“And never ever vote for the mainstream political parties. Ever! They have all drunk the Kool-Aid. They are all in on it. They believe in the system. We don’t!
Well, vote for me if I run Green, OK? They are trying to be mainstream, I admit, but they have such a long way to go, we may be able to keep them rooted in the community for a while longer. And, so far, Elizabeth May is excellent!
“Pass the Kool-Aid!”