‘Byers Bomb’: “Shut Down the Tar Sands”

September 25, 2008

Sept 25th, 2008

Michael Byers, the NDP Candidate for Vancouver Centre, said today that “we need to shut the tar sands down” at an all-candidates debate at the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism. Byers made the comment in a question and answer period while urging that “we have to do something to address the climate change crisis, we need to do so now, we need to go after the big polluters.”

Byers, who is also the Chair of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ “Climate Justice Project,” later appeared to back down from his statement, suggesting that the tar sands would not be economically feasible without the support of “massive tax cuts” that previous governments “have given to the big oil producers.”

In response, Liberal incumbent Hedy Fry lauded Byers as “a profound politician,” for his ability to “say yes or no, and to suck and blow at the same time.”

Byers comments followed an earlier statement where he outlined his party’s platform, based on a cap and trade system, as “the mainstream progressive policy” on climate change.



  1. The tar sands are the only think keeping the Canadian economy afloat right now.

    “Climate Change” is just a buzzword. These bozos have no intention of doing anything and we shouldn’t be expecting them to do little more than lip service.

  2. The tar sands are definitely important to the Canadian economy, and that’s what made Byers’s comment such an extreme (the other parties reacted pretty strongly to his comment). No parties, even the Greens, advocate shutting the tar sands down.

    Lip service: I think we always have to remember which party says these kinds of things. Jack Layton is not going to be prime minister, so in a way, it really doesn’t matter what an NDP candidate might say about the tar sands (Hedy Fry called it ‘rhetoric’). Especially in downtown Vancouver!

    But I think there might a growing impetus for change. The tenor of this election has been different than any previous ones, but of course there is reason to be cynical that any one will want to commit political suicide and make us pay for our carbon footprints.

  3. It isn’t chaeper and producers now will not care if its sustainable, that can only matter when we use up other fuels.

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