Credits: IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY files
Shortly before she lost either her road map collection or her last marble, B.C. Liberal Premier Christy Clark actually acknowledged the fact that British Columbia is part of Canada.
When she introduced her jobs plan a year ago, for example, she was waxing poetically in a gosh-gee-whiz glow about provinces working for the common good of all.
"Our ports are not just British Columbia's, they are Saskatchewan's ports too," she swooned. "The workers building the Port Mann Bridge know they aren't just building it for the Lower Mainland, they are building it for families in places like Woodstock, Ont., so they can get auto parts delivered from Asia."
"This coast is Canada's coast."
Then along came the political heat over the Northern Gateway pipeline, and suddenly Clark was no longer an all-encompassing federalist, and B.C.'s coast is no longer "Canada's coast."
Fate had delivered her a wedge issue that she felt could lift her dismal numbers in the polls.
Now, just like it often is with Quebec, it was to hell with the Rest of Canada.
If there is one thing we have learned from years sitting atop the altar of reason, it's the electorate primarily cares about getting three things from its government.
And that's jobs, jobs, jobs.
In a Conference Board of Canada report issued this week, the economic benefits of the Alberta oilsands, and the ability to export its crude, will lead to billions of dollars in jobs and investment across the country.
All provinces will benefit in the billions.
When Christy Clark turns her back on the Northern Gateway, she turns her back on 6.7% of the supply chain employment effects that will come from the oilsands, and her share of $34.1 billion in provincial tax revenues.
Only Ontario -- at 14.8% -- will reap more supply chain benefit than B.C.
It's like unbudgeted money suddenly pouring in.
With the Conference Board estimating that the oilsands will generate $364 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years, and 880,000 person-years of employment, Clark needs to re-think her penchant for putting politics before pragmatism because her slight increase in recent polls to 19% won't last.
She thinks differently, of course.
But she is wrong.