Your Prime Minister has just proved how much he loves you. Panda Bears! Next year while we watch these adorable natural wonders with awe and even love, we might be able to forget for a little while what we have paid for them. Like our national sovereignty. In exchange for Canada’s resource reserves, especially the oil sands and shale gas deposits, China and private investors will reap billions of dollars in addition to the long term sales of the oil and gas. And what do we citizens get? Aside from the rise in domestic oil and gas prices? And irreparable ecological damage? Why, the loan of Panda Bears. Sweet as they are, two Panda Bears are not worth the rapid acceleration of the ecological trashing of Canada. The place where we Canadians all live. So what, some might ask. Better to be under the economic heel of a country far away than one almost in spitting distance, one, they might add, that is getting queasy about Canada’s “dirty oil”. The Chinese are not so finicky.
Perhaps. But these new developments are more than a little scary considering our Prime Minister’s rapid turn toward China after his utter disdain of that country during his first years in office. Unsettling, too, is Harper’s apparent total disinterest in, and perhaps disbelief in, any value added treatment of these same resources he has now signed away. But this has long been the federal and BC provincial stance on logging so why am I surprised that Canada will simply be shipping out oil and gas in the raw state without refining in Canada? I guess I thought in spite of being an end times fundamentalist religionist, that Harper could figure out a way to encompass value added principals to Canada’s oil and gas reserves. But apparently not. And this is a signal, in my opinion, that Canada is soon to become (actually has been becoming for years) as Alvin Toffler describes in his book “Powershift”, when speaking of the future… “The backward republics, (those who are) still dependent on agriculture and raw material extraction, may huddle together in a loose federation”.
As Canada certainly looks more and more like a backward republic of this description, who would Canada huddle with? Even drug war ridden Mexico has nationalized its oil reserves. In addition and largely ignored by the press, there is a global political elephant in the room as Harper invites China to draw a ring around the gas and oil resources of Canada. This political elephant is Iran and Syria. Both China and Russia seek to protect Iran and Syria. We are fed daily news updates (propaganda?) about how the Syrian government is killing its own people. However, the opposition forces who are led by the Muslim Brotherhood, also have its own army and apparently lots of ammunition. Which begs the question…is this really an uprising solely by unarmed citizens in Syria who are yearning for freedom, or is this a civil war with the opposition spearheaded, at least at the moment, by the Muslim Brotherhood?
Whatever the truth of that conflict, the US is in full battle gear lusting for a “regime change” in both Syria and Iran. The main thing stopping the US from invading these two countries is China. And with Harper suddenly China’s best friend, it is no wonder that Canada hasn’t recalled our ambassador to Syria as many of the European nations have done to demonstrate their displeasure about events in Syria. Recalling our ambassador from Syria might upset China no end. In fact, I suspect an agreement on this was part of the “done deals” of the economic agreements Harper brought home. And I would probably faint (delicate flower that I am) at some of the names that Harper is presently and privately being called by the American heads of state and military. I find it rather ironic that Stephen Harper’s cozying up to China, while bad for Canada economically and environmentally, may help avoid Word War Three.
Because in spite of the deaths and confusion in Syria, I am hopeful that there will be no “regime change” invasions by the US or Israel. With China and Russia both opposed this would be madness. It could very well precipitate World War Three. And if we look at the mess left in Iraq and Libya by “regime change” which was fuelled by US propaganda and outright lies, I personally don’t believe much the US government says about anything, much less about a country with a path to Iran’s oil. Neither do I believe Stephen Harper’s stories about what he said to the Chinese government “in private” about human rights. And to top it off, I don’t much believe CBC reporting on any of these matters to be unbiased. Not anymore.
What I do believe is that if Harper’s plans do go through, he has sold us so far down the river as “hewers of wood and drawers of water (and oil and gas)” that there is probably no returning. But they (the Harper government, China, private investors) can take it all from us easy, or they can take it hard. Let’s make it as hard as we can. Let’s make it so hard they might pause to reconsider a few things. Like the Canadian people. Like the environment. And that’s possible. Happy Valentine’s Day. And Panda Bears, you darlings of nature, we do love you.