United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, pictured at a Mar. 26, 2019 campaign event in Edmonton, holds a copy of the letter he sent to Toronto Mayor John Tory over a motion to sue oil and gas companies.
He got it through. We thought it was dead but he got the damn thing through.
The story slipped through the cracks late last month. No one was looking for it.
A friend sent me the update a couple days ago. I couldn’t believe it.
You heard about the original yarn smack in the middle of the last provincial election campaign.
It was on the Sun front page. The headline was as clear as a tabloid can be.
You see, Mike Layton, a Toronto city councillor and son of the late NDP leader Jack Layton, rode in on his hobby horse.
Layton figured Toronto should look into suing the oilpatch, among others, for climate change costs. They should take oil companies to court.
Layton said just as tobacco companies were sued for health care costs the oilpatch should fork out for climate change costs.
Like I said this was in the middle of the ballot battle back here.
Premier Kenney, then the opposition leader gunning for the top job, launched a written missile to Toronto mayor John Tory and every councillor in T.O.
He made some phone calls as well.
Kenney defended the oil biz and Alberta in no uncertain terms.
United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney, pictured at a Mar. 26, 2019 campaign event in Edmonton, holds a copy of the letter he sent to Toronto Mayor John Tory over a motion to sue oil and gas companies. Shaughn Butts / PostmediaToronto mayor Tory spoke to this page and said he was against his city suing oil companies. No question about it.
Tory said the only ones who benefit from these lawsuits are lawyers and perhaps those into political theatre. Layton, take a bow!
Tory agreed Toronto has benefited from Alberta and Layton was being insensitive to what Alberta is going through and what are you going to do, start suing folks who drive cars?And when Layton’s loopiness hit the floor of Toronto city council it was punted to a committee where smart sorts told me it would die.
On that day and on other days, Kenney said the death of the Layton lunacy showed the importance of fighting back.
But we now know Layton’s lawsuit idea didn’t die. Far from it. Like Frankenstein’s monster, it’s alive. Very much alive.Layton’s attack on the oilpatch passed that Toronto committee. It was unanimous.
City of Toronto staff will report later this year on the climate change costs in Canada’s biggest city. They will also advise how they could sue oil companies for cash to cover the costs.
It doesn’t mean there will be an actual lawsuit. But they are giving it a good hard look.On the day of his victory, Layton once again went on the offensive against the oilpatch, claiming for decades and decades the patch have been trying to blur the line between greenhouse gases, fossil fuels and climate change, much like cigarette companies tried to blur the line between cancer and smoking.“We have to make sure those that are profiting pay their fair share,” intoned Layton.
Mayor Tory once again said he was against suing oil companies.
A bunch of people appearing at the committee beat up the oilpatch, demanding dough for climate change costs.One speaker says Layton’s move “puts the blame where it belongs.”The vote came and Layton was the winner.
Greenpeace Canada called it “a great thing, a big step forward” and said this lawsuit routine is gathering momentum.
West Coast Environmental Law was “delighted” and called it “common sense.”
Back in Alberta, in Calgary, at Premier Kenney’s southern Alberta HQ, the province’s new leader speaks of the carbon tax, the pipeline, a war room he’s ramping up to fight the lies spread about the oil and gas industry.
There is good news.
When it comes to Trudeau’s plan for a tanker ban off the north coast of B.C. and a new law making it impossible to build more pipelines, more individuals are seeing the prime minister’s efforts for what they are, including the Canadian Senate.
Bad. Job killers.
Is Alberta’s message gaining some steam?
“It’s too early to claim victory,” says Kenney.“But we clearly have momentum. The wind is in our sails. Alberta is no longer isolated.”Does Kenney think Team Trudeau will cools their jets?
“If Justin Trudeau wants to win the next election he better be seen as a pro-jobs prime minister,” says the premier.
Then again, the PM does have the political depth of a finger bowl.
Still, Kenney hopes cooler heads prevail against the “ideological hotheads.”
And, while we savour possible victory, the ideological hotheads are out there and they do win some battles.
Just ask Toronto.firstname.lastname@example.org