First, they were the best of friends. Then, they weren’t. Then, they were the best of friends, again. Now, suddenly, once again, they’re not. Follow the bouncing ball, folks, as those good old neighbouring premiers, our own Christy Clark and Alberta’s Alison Redford enact their own version of climate change. From warm and sunny, to frosty, to….well, you get the picture. The latest icy blast seems to have happened all in an instant.
According to Globe and Mail columnist Gary Mason, Redford landed in Vancouver on Monday, ahead of her Tuesday speech to the city’s Board of Trade, fully expecting to meet at some point during the day with Christy Clark. In fact, she said she was looking forward to their long-planned meeting. All at once, she learned the meeting was off. Yikes!
The premiers’ latest falling out, of course, is over that that darned Northern Gateway pipeline proposal. Mason, who broke the story, said their get-together is now kaput, apparently because of B.C.’s continued demand for some sort of compensation from Alberta for allowing the pipeline to cross the hallowed turf of beautiful British Columbia.
But oh, the timing. As recently as Saturday, on CBC’s The House, Redford talked warmly of Premier Clark, praising her leadership on energy matters. She reminded host Evan Solomon of their private pipeline palaver on Tuesday, and yes, she was looking forward to meeting her again, after their friendly discussion this summer.
So what the heck happened to kibosh this pending love-in? Why the spat now, with Alison Redford right here, in the heart of Vancouver? What is this, As the World Turns? But even for a soap, the timing of the rupture doesn’t make sense.
Anyway, read Gary Mason’s fine piece on the Globe’s website, then take a gander below at what Alison Redford said just a few days ago about her warm and fuzzy feelings toward Christy Clark. Astonishing. Real scratch-your-head stuff.
From On the House, broadcast Saturday, Nov. 2:
REDFORD: I’ve never regarded our relationship as being frosty. I mean, we’re both premiers. We both represent our province’s interests. I like to think I do that well, and she’s certainly done that well. But in terms of personal relationships, we’ve gotten along very well, and this will be my third or fourth meeting with her in the last year on this issue.
We’ve had really good dialogue. You may know that we have a partnership with our deputy ministers to deal with some of the issues around Gateway. This [meeting] will be a continuation of that work, to really update, and make sure that we’re still on the same track.
Premier Clark has really been important in the Canadian dialogue and what it means in terms of a Canadian energy strategy to get product to market. And she’s taken a really firm view on that in the last three or four months, talking about the fact that she understands the people in British Columbia do have a role in ensuring that we get product to market, cuz that’s good for Canada. So that’s the spirit of what we’re talking about right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing her.
EVAN SOLOMON: But given all the opposition, is this pipeline really possible?
REDFORD: It’s not too far in the future. It’s something we do need now to get our product to market, so that we can get the best possible price. The other thing is, it’s a bit of a misnomer, and some people in British Columbia, in government, understand this. The Premier certainly does. You actually have to connect LNG projects to oil sands projects, because very often the companies involved in investing in LNG have major investments in oil sands, and it’s all part of their corporate approach to how they invest in Canada. …There’s lots of work to do, but I think it can happen.
Now, the two aren’t talking. Winter appears to have come early….Brrrrr….