On back to back days the federal Tories did the right thing on two issues that are likely much closer to the hearts of most progressives than to their own base. On Tuesday they vetoed the proposed Prosperity mining project because of adverse environmental effects. This is a project that the BC Liberals had already approved and so in vetoing it the Conservative Party have prevented Fish Lake from being turned into a tailings dump. This decision has ended months of uncertainty and bickering over the $800-million project.
In all likelihood this was done to avoid yet another international black eye for Canada as the Tsilhquot’in National Government, which represents six native bands in the area, had campaigned passionately against the project as the mine would destroy the traditional lands and the sacred Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) of the Xeni Gwet’in and its sister Tsilhqot’in nations and threaten area watersheds. Regardless of the reason, this is a victory for Canada and the environment.
This was followed today by their ruling against the hostile takeover of Potash Corp. by BHP Billiton today. Now there are caveats as the door apparently is still open for 30 more days for someone to improve on the bid ,and it is true that the Tories, as Michael Ignatieff notes, had to be dragged kicking screaming into taking this action. Still, for lots of reasons it's the right course of action as Saskatchewan produces 30 per cent of the world's potash which is a crop nutrient and it's strategically smart to keep it in the hands of Canadians. Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall was enthusiastic in his praise for Industry Minister Tony Clement and was grateful that his pleas to save Potash Corp. hadn't fallen on deaf ears... so far.
Reports are the provincial legislature erupted in cheers when the federal decision was announced. So it's hard not to get the feeling that if the Conservatives somehow find an excuse to change their minds over the next 30 days they will be giving over the 13 of Saskatchewan's 14 seats that they now hold. I'm willing to bet those seats trump so-called conservative principles which again is a win for Canada.