British Columbia Premier Christy Clark went to the Council of the Federation declaring that her province was unwilling to see the Northern Gateway Pipeline travel through its territory unless there was some greater compensation for the risk they would be taking. Alberta Premier Alison Redford had one of her ministers respond that it was unusual for another province to profit from Alberta’s natural resources. Redford said any ‘compensation’ was out of the question. She said that if British Columbia wanted to see any financial benefit from the pipeline, they should negotiate with Enbridge, the commercial interest wanting to build it.
A relatively civil political discussion with both women taking sides to protect their own interests and making their points heard. Both women are being relatively diplomatic while trying to impress the electorate.
From the Calgary Herald:
Redford said that she believes Clark is suggesting “that somehow the fundamental fiscal arrangements of confederation need to change.
“When you start doing that, that means every commercial project in Canada will now become or would become a matter for interprovincial negotiation.”
Clark’s response bordered on insulting.
“I think it’s a little unreasonable to suggest that I’m trying to destroy confederation. I’m only trying to get B.C.’s fair share out of this project and make sure we’re protecting our environment. It’s as simple as that,” she said.
“It doesn’t have to be some massive project to reopen the constitution for heaven’s sake. That’s just silly,” she added.
Those comments are akin to a cat hissing, raising it’s [sic] hackles and baring its teeth.
Presumably, no fight between two male leaders would get the same sort of coverage. Why should female Premiers, who have passed all the same tests on their way to leadership, have to face this type of belittling coverage?
Clark, who is facing falling numbers in the polls in BC, is doing something that will help her politically with those who are opposed to the pipeline, and she could see some economic gain for her province as a result. If a male Premier were behind it, he would surely be hailed for acting so shrewdly.