Brian Mason, heading for the exit, literally when this image was snapped (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Brian Mason, soon to be a resident of British Columbia, will seek a nomination as an NDP candidate in that province as soon as he can, is reporting.

The former leader of the Alberta New Democrats and Edmonton city councillor who announced in July he was retiring from Alberta politics, has concluded B.C. needs more New Democrats who are simpatico with the idea of piping Alberta bitumen straight to the Salish Sea, according to a source familiar with Mr. Mason who can’t be identified because he says he’s not authorized to comment on anything.

B.C. Energy Minister Mungall, late of St. Albert, Alberta (Photo: Government of British Columbia).

The source noted that Mr. Mason has a long history of insisting MLAs in the caucus he led in Alberta never, ever use the term “tar sands,” something that B.C. MLAs of all parties need to be taught.

The source also argued Mr. Mason would be a hard-working representative, and that Alberta NDP politics nowadays would fit right in with the South Okanagan.

It’s happened before, the source pointed out. Michelle Mungall, the B.C. NDP minister responsible for overseeing completion of the controversial Site C Dam on the Peace River despite its very questionable business case, grew up in St. Albert and once ran for the Alberta NDP in that riding.

UCP Leader Jason Kenney in cuddly, non-threatening Tory baby blue (Photo: Facebook).

In other news, Stephen Harper, former prime minister of Canada, will market a prêt-à-porter fashion line of non-threatening sweaters exclusively for aging conservative politicians with scary ideas.

Mr. Harper’s new “Soft Power” mid-price line of older men’s apparel had an unpublicized rollout on Saturday when Alberta United Conservative Party Leader Jason Kenney wore one of Mr. Harper’s cuddly creations at the announcement of his party’s scary election platform.

A more avant-garde line for younger conservatives – “Tory, Baby, Blue!” – is expected up next from Mr. Harper.

The former PM is said to have begun the effort to rebrand himself as a Canadian couturier in the garage of his Calgary home.

As is our normal practice in such circumstances at, we did not check with anyone to see if any of this stuff is true. Plus, it’s April 1, and therefore almost everything in this post was is made up out of whole cloth, except of course the estimation of the scariness of Mr. Kenney’s platform and the bit about Ms. Mungall and the Site C Dam, which are for real for sure.

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  1. The idea of Brian Mason entering BC politics is an intriguing idea. BC premier Brian Mason has a nice ring to it. Maybe he can “Albertaize” BC politics and transform the NDP there into watered down Social Credit so that they’re virtually indistinguishable from the Liberals or the Conservatives, if they do have a Conservative Party in BC…

    Hey wait a minute! This is an April Fools joke! You got me! Goddamit!

    1. Looks like you weren’t the only one. I promise not to do it again for at least 365 days. DJC

  2. We Dippers always welcome different points of view such as Brian Mason’s is with most of us on the Coast and, naturally, our Green compatriots. “Democratic” being our middle name, we thrive on balancing disparate points of view, no matter how foolish: it’s grist for our mill. But today’s Mason might find the stones grinding in the wrong direction for his promotion of pipelines because most West Coasters aren’t fooled by clever nomenclature: okay, okay, we get that bitumen is not technically “tar” —but neither is it oil: the “heavy oil” label still reads, no matter how fine the point or the print, “diluted bitumen” or “dilbit,” which ingredient comprises half the opposition to the proposed TMX pipeline, the other being the particular location of it terminus.

    If conventional oil instead of dilbit was to be piped to Prince Rupert which opens into deep, open ocean instead of Burnaby which is far inland through some of the heaviest sea traffic on the West Coast (the Juan de Fuca Strait also opens into the marine region known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific” just off the coast of Vancouver Island), then the opposition would be considerably less than it is now, and probably not anywheres near a “constitutional crisis,” as Albertan Dippers style their differences with BC Dippers who oppose TMX over concerns about drastically increasing supertanker traffic in Burrard Inlet, Salish Sea and Juan de Fuca (which shares traffic to and from Seattle on Puget Sound), especially when the cargo is difficult to clean-up Dilbit.

    The day almost demands a cheap, puncture-proof, submarine pipeline direct to fabled Asian markets. We’ve been told the profits would be fantastic so why not spend some of it on a way to end this stultifyingly interminable pipeline war?

    Yes, TMX proponents try to obscure the peculiar nature of dilbit by assiduously calling it “heavy oil,” and effectively dismiss the real transport safety issue West Coasters are worries about by chauvinistically focusing on the relative safety of pipelines to rail tank-cars, but the strategy’s too clever by half: its persistence rather lengthens the distance between two positions to an unbridgeable extent because we West Coasters know the difference between dilbit and oil and that railways and pipelines don’t have anything to do with our central, marine traffic and dilbit spill potential. Almost all promotion of TMX focuses on what tacticians figure is Big Bitumen’s best argument, but omission of our main concerns out here makes our longstanding close relationship with our neighbour more difficult: pipeline promoters appear to be talking past us, obviously not to negotiate with us but, rather, to steel the resolve of pipeline supporters. It’s success rather depends on fooling everyone all the time. There’s plainly no dearth of the former element, but some insist a shortage of time.

    Perhaps Mr Mason’s announcement has more to do with the current Alberta election than any future one in BC where the next scheduled one is in May, 2021. I suppose the idea is that what Albertans will get if they re-elect and NDP government is a close emissary in BC who will convince the Dipper government to take another look at TMX, one more like the truncated opus of omission Alberta has cultivated hitherto, whereas if they elect Jason KeKKenney, they will have guaranteed implacable enmity between the two neighbours. The Alberta Dipper strategy might also work the other way around—or at least it’d be hoped—by the South Okanagan riding, say, approving supposed advantages of such a trans-boundary mission: that region already approves of TMX but is not traditional Dipper country—far from it, in fact. The presumption that the BC NDP will win re-election is also as questionable as Mason’s odds of winning an NDP seat in any BC region which supports dilbit pipelines.

    I like the distinguishing tell, though: whatever the Alberta Dipper’s real plan is, and however foolish or successful it might be, it does hold out hope where the UCP model’s ‘my-way-or-the-railway’ does not: The Dippers’ foundational appeal is hope which contrasts with UCP’s base that’s most motivated by riling it within a wagon laager defensively circled in the Foothills Redoubt where it’s recuperating in preparation for vengeful retribution against its graven enemies.

    The BC-Alberta relationship often reminds me of the classic love-hate relationship between England and France, both much more alike than different, so much so that Rome imperially fraternized their ancient Celtic kinship and culture, both rumps invaded by kindred West Germanic tribes, thence aristocratically re-familiarized by the econo-strategic bonds of Roman Catholic intermarriage, poles of insular-continental trade, the centre-stage of Norman achievement, an inextricable mixing of languages, leaders and blood, both of the vein, spilled, wooly and broomy kinds, keen marine globalizers in competition around the coastal world, and still-palpable vectors of the Anglo-Franco phoney war deep into the remote, Continental theatre of their jointly pursued prize, North America, where Preston [Ger~] manni~ [c] only recently lubed the Gasfield and MaCoil version of the millennia-old feud with “The West wants in [and Quebec out]”. I’ll leave alone which province, BC or Alberta, is better cast as the central English and French characters—it could just as well be either because it actually has been ever since one checkered chieftain convinced another to ditch their bronze vendettas because “the Romans are coming, the Romans are coming…”

    Anyways, does it matter?

    Not on wisdom’s annual holiday, it doesn’t.

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