rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Fact check: Untangling the NDP and Bloc's pipeline wrangling in Quebec

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

The claim: the Bloc Québécois says that Quebec progressives can't support the NDP because they support pipelines. Is this true?

The Bloc has tried to position themselves as the only real option for progressive Quebecers who oppose pipelines. This past week, the Bloc released an ad that painted the NDP as being pro-pipelines and pro-Niqab, where a pipeline cartoon morphed into the face of a woman, covered by a veil. NDP spokesperson Karl Bélanger asked if the Bloc had been seeking advice from France's far right-wing party the National Front.

"The bloc canadien (the Liberals, Conservatives and the NPD) support the project, regardless of Quebecers' opposition. The bloc canadien choose oil from the West while the Bloc Québécois chooses the rivers of Quebec,” said Gilles Duceppe in Le Devoir last June.

At the start of the election, Duceppe challenged Tom Mulcair to clearly state his party's position on pipelines. He argued that Mulcair had been saying different things in French and English about the NDP's position on pipelines to try and confuse voters and their position.

How different are the two positions?

First, it's critical to examine the Bloc's commitment to the environment through the lens of an independent Quebec. They believe that Quebecers need to be in control of their resources, rather than having Ottawa decide what is exploited and how.

This means that while the Bloc is opposed to pipelines (and in particular Energy East, as it runs through Quebec), their primary contention is that the program doesn't have the approval of Quebec's Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE).

The NDP essentially has the same position. At a campaign stop in Québec City, Mulcair said that the NDP would only support Energy East if there was a strong environmental assessment, and that Harper's environmental assessments aren't good enough. Last week, the National Observer profiled Mulcair's pipelines position essentially saying the same thing, in English.

Mulcair was the Minister of the Environment when he was a Quebec Liberal and governed under a regime that included the BAPE as part of public consultations.

Both parties are playing politics and neither position on pipelines should be good enough for anti-pipeline activists. But the Bloc's characterization that they're more progressive than the NDP, especially on pipelines, isn't exactly true. Indeed, a look at the responses from the candidates in the riding of Terrebonne (the Liberals included) demonstrates just how close the Bloc, the NDP and the Liberals really are on the question of Energy East.

Very little attention has been paid to the fact that as the election drags on, the National Energy Board is continuing its work to approve Energy East and the Line 9B reversal projects. Municipal consultations are being held in Montreal and recommendations will be submitted to the BAPE and the NEB.

The real question is which party has the best odds to intervene in the consultations immediately after forming Canada's next government?

Verdict: 


Want to see an election campaign fact rich and spin poor? Chip in to keep our fact check blog up to date.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.