BC Premier Christy Clark met with Alberta Premier Alison Redford yesterday in Calgary. The meeting reportedly lasted 15-20 minutes.
The announced purpose of the meeting was to discuss BC’s demands for Alberta to receive support in the building of the Enbridge pipeline Northern Gateway through BC.
Nothing happened; no progress was made, but that is no surprise.
The real purpose of the visit was for Clark to play up to the BC domestic media. Her opposition to the pipeline and her five conditions to be on side were designed to boost her sagging voter support with an election just around the corner, and it has worked. It is just about the only thing that has given her much traction with BC voters.
A quick loot at The Vancouver Sun shows Clark’s success. The lead quote in the story has Clark saying: “As it stands right now, there is absolutely no way that British Columbia will support this proposal.” Mission accomplished. To Clark, that quote is worth the trip.
What is more, Clark also succeeded in leaving the problem at Redford’s doorstep. Clark declared that it was not her job to find solutions to this problem, but Alberta’s –a clever weaving of “not in my back yard” with “not my problem.”
It doesn’t hurt Premier Clark that the focused attention on the Alberta trip has successfully distracted the BC media from asking questions about the conditions under which her chief of staff hastily departed last week. Mission accomplished there too. Well played by Clark’s press advisers.
Redford doesn’t lose in Alberta. She stood her ground in front of her home crowd by repeating that there will be no sharing of Alberta’s royalties, which Clark refused to take off the table.
Both premiers win points in the local markets.
Nationally, it’s one more for Clark against Redford. Clark left Redford with the responsibility of finding a solution to the Clark problem, and made Redford look money-focused –a commonly used slur against Albertans.
- My previous post on the Clark-Redford Meeting is here.