Federal governments have been reluctant to touch Alberta's dismal record on climate change because they're scared of the consequences, says environmental activist David Suzuki.
"Ottawa kind of tiptoes around Alberta all the time, because they're afraid. The closest thing to separation is Alberta, not Quebec," Suzuki said Saturday night after a sold-out talk to over 800 people at the University of Alberta.
"So Alberta is treated with kid gloves."
"Right now, if you look at Fort McMurray, it's an economic, it's a social and an ecological disaster zone."
While Prime Minister Stephen Harper "seems to think that any kind of tax imposed on the oil industry to deal with the emissions is like a socialist plot to drain money out of the economy," Suzuki lauds a call by the Alberta-based Pembina Institute for a tax of up to $1.50 per barrel of oil extracted from the oilsands.
Someone needs to say it:
"If it takes someone to come in and very loudly and vociferously call a spade a spade ... sometimes it's necessary to have those kinds of challenges to get people out of the rut of denial," said Brian Pincott of the Sierra Club of Canada.
You can't even mention curbing oil sands development without the howls of economic ruin, accompanied by the requisite "anti-Alberta" crap. I'm glad that Dr. Suzuki isn't playing nice this time, we don't need timid rhetoric.