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Beer: Dodge’s ‘False, Frightening Narrative’ Suggests ‘People Will Die’ in Trans Mountain Protests

Mark Klotz/flickr

A recent opinion piece by ex-Bank of Canada governor David Dodge, asserting that killing off a few “extremists” in the Burnaby Mountain protests might be the price Canada has to pay to get the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion built, points to a “false and frightening narrative” emerging from pipeline supporters, The Energy Mix publisher Mitchell Beer suggests in a post for National Observer.

“The fevered rhetoric coming from Trans Mountain boosters is dangerous [1],” Beer writes. “It’s provocative. And it bears no relationship to the facts on the ground.”

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Dodge’s comments came in an interview with the Edmonton Journal, following a speech to a local business audience the week before last. “We’re going to have some very unpleasant circumstances. There are some people that are going to die in protesting construction of this pipeline. We have to understand that,” he told [3] event participants.

“We have seen it other places, that equivalent of religious zeal leading to flouting of the law in a way that could lead to death,” he later added in a follow-up interview. “Inevitably, when you get that fanaticism, if you will, you’re going to have trouble.”

Echoing the horror the comments triggered across the climate and energy community, Beer noted that “Dodge may have been the worst, but he wasn’t the first”: Member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre (CPC, Nepean-Carleton), who first earned his reputation for exaggeration [4] as a Harper-era cabinet minister, repeatedly referred to “violent lawbreaking protesters” in a May 30 CBC Radio interview, in which he demanded the Trudeau government clamp down on the Burnaby Mountain blockade.

The alarming new twist in pro-pipeline rhetoric had Beer asking who the real extremists are in the wake of the Trudeau government’s decision to make every Canadian an involuntary owner of an unwanted, 65-year-old pipeline:

Dodge and Poilievre “stepped up to deliver the new storyline”, Beer writes, because “when the going gets tough, narratives matter. They determine the political space to address issues ranging from energy choices to climate strategy, job development to First Nations health. The wrong narrative sets the wrong boundaries around that political space.

He points to the successful gas industry pushback [19] on the federal government’s brief attempt to decarbonize the Centennial Flame as the best measure of the narratives that are defeating Canada’s efforts to meet and exceed its Harper-era carbon targets.

3 Comments (Open | Close)

3 Comments To "Beer: Dodge’s ‘False, Frightening Narrative’ Suggests ‘People Will Die’ in Trans Mountain Protests"

#1 Comment By Silver Donald Cameron On June 26, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

Bravo, Mitchell! This is the alchemy by which arrogance and stupidity transform into evil.

#2 Comment By Mitchell Beer On June 26, 2018 @ 11:29 AM

Thanks, Don. I guess you can only do limited damage with arrogance and stupidity when all you are is the governor of a central bank. But when you start down the road toward mass murder…things get pretty real, pretty fast.

#3 Comment By Pam FitzGerald On June 26, 2018 @ 10:09 PM

I’d like to give Pierre Poilievre a piece of my mind! I have been to Burnaby Mountain peacefully exercising my democratic rights and never saw any indication of violence. As a law-abiding citizen, I care deeply about our community and country … as we both cared, Mr. Poilievre, when we sat next to each other at secondary school graduations. If you want to call caring law-abiding citizens violent protesters, bring proof and say it to our faces.