So what if the ferry crash was due to a captain fucking up?
His entire point was that the strait was extremely dangerous to navigate. That may be true, but the example he used to illustrate it was a ferry crashing, so as to imply that the danger here has recently claimed a large sea vessel. I don't think that's the case, and so I don't think the incident is an example to use as evidence for his premise.
Not too mention entrenching society on a whole on a further oil path dependency, or at least that of NA.
I don't really agree with this. It may, but it doesn't have to. Where there is money and a vibrant economy there are alternatives, where there isn't, we have none. For example, I mentioned wind projects earlier - many oil companies in Alberta are increasingly investing in wind projects because we incentivize that by allowing faster depreciation for those projects and the assets associated with them - which means tax deductions. The reason oil companies invest in this notwithstanding that it's not immediately cost-effective (i.e. they're money losers) is that they have income to offset from their oil and gas businesses (less gas, lately, but you get the idea). We also allow energy companies to effectively trade in losses in other energy companies, with the result that an entrepreneur who wants to make a go of an alternative energy business has at least some risk cushion in that even if the business never gets off the ground, his accumulated losses will have value to, say, Suncor, so he can recover some of it. But Suncor's never going to want those losses if it doesn't have significant income to shelter. Those are two extremely narrow examples confined solely to tax policy.
What happens too once Suncor and Syncrude and CNRL and company start seeing the economic viability of the projects go down
What makes you think this is likely to happen any time soon? Hell, SAGD rendered a sizeable chunk of the province economically viable more or less overnight. I constantly hear from our business-side guys about some new fracking method or something that's been cooked up to increase efficiency (and understand very little of it). There are constantly new innovations being made that make recovery more economical, not less. Not to mention on a basic supply vs. demand basis, if your view that oil is so finite a commodity that scarcity will be a problem in the immediate future (which has been predicted as imminent for several decades now), that would suggest to me that there will be very few projects which AREN'T economically viable - at the most basic level, viability is cost to recover a barrel vs. price of a barrel.
It's a similar route the Conservative Gov is currently taking too, using a politics of power to say what is right or wrong. Last time I checked Canada is a democracy, one where deliberation and discourse is encouraged.
First of all, no it isn't a democracy - it's a representative polyarchy. There isn't going to be a national referendum on Gateway or Keystone, we don't vote for specific measures, we vote for representatives who create policy initiatives and set economic targets and appoint people to bodies like the NEB. That's why this is inevitable - those factors are all going to ensure that these things happen. That's reality.
Now, deliberation and discourse? Of course those are encouraged - which is why the NEB errs on the side of "oh you have an opinion? Well let's hear all about it" rather than keeping out everyone who can't demonstrate a clear and pressing stake in the approval process and speeding it up immensely. This is frustrating and at times counterproductive (if only because the people with legitimate issues to talk about can end up being mixed in with the rabble) but ultimately necessary because discourse IS important. Delay is not. Delay is essentially stalling, not contributing. The discourse as to how best to do this thing may slow the process, but that's not the kind of delay I'm talking about. If you simply try to stall, you're effectively putting pressure on a company like Enbridge's construction schedule and creating bad incentives. That is likely to lead to a less well-built pipeline. Make no mistake, these lines should be the most expensive, best made, best thought-out route wise that can possibly be built, and that can't be accomplished without having the discussion beforehand. But those costs should be directed at IMPROVING the actual line, not dealing with people who just want to stubbornly oppose for as long as they can hold it off.
Finally, using that as a segue into the main point. How is this in everyone's interest?
Simply put, projects like these are big-picture. They generate an industry boom. Particularly, this is helpful to the people of Alberta - in addition to all the new jobs, the ripple effect of piles of additional money flowing in leads to growth and development. That can't be surprising. But regardless, everyone has an interest in the Federal government having the ability to budget for things like parks maintenance, or road construction, or new schools and hospitals, or even just a tax cut - without the oil patch, I seriously doubt the GST would be at 5% right now. As I said off the bat, having money flowing into our economy from the USA and China gives us the alternatives to do a whole lot more, and the scale of what this can bring in over time makes those alternatives so significant that they very well should impact the lives of just about everyone who lives in this country. Doesn't matter if you work for oil.
While we are at it, have you ever had the pleasure of boating on a Suncor tailings pond? I, the lucky guy I am, have.
Why on Earth would you want to do that? Admiring the ducks?