|Pictured: Kathryn Marshall who, upon seeing this photo,|
will be embarrassed only by the CBC logo above.
I can't help it. When I think of laying pipe, I think of Kathryn Marshall.
That's in no small part due to the fact that as Ethical Oil's spokeswoman, she's a big proponent of Enbridge's proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The project that stretches 1,177 km of pipes from Alberta to British Columbia was the topic of choice when Marshall debated John Bennett of Sierra Club Canada on the CBC's "Power and Politics" on the 11th of January, 2012.
As a true Conservative, she was short on arguments and long on talking points. The first of which was the insult she felt at the comparison between Bennett's assertion that the West's dependence on oil is akin to heroin addiction. But she left out the emphasis on addiction... an inadvertent omission I'm sure. The second... and last talking point was that environmental groups are funded by foreign groups with deep pockets that want to hijack the Canadian regulatory process that will... give a non-binding assessment of the project.
But simply reducing Kathryn Marshall's appearance to two talking points would be a disservice to her debating ability. Here are some excerpts of her more remarkable moments:
Marshall: 'Why are you taking foreign money to fight against Canadian interests?'
Bennett: 'We're not fighting against Canadian interests...'
Marshall: 'Yes you are.'
Bennett: '...No, that's your definition...'
Marshall: 'Yes you are.'
It needs to be stated that Marshall is studying to become a lawyer. If the University of Calgary hands her a law degree, then I think it's only fair that they also give one to every 4th grader in Canada.
Her finest display however was her refusal to answer whether or not Enbridge was a donor to Ethical Oil. The question by Evan Solomon was meant simply as a launchpad to the natural follow-up of: "Wouldn't that put you in direct conflict of interest with the environmental interests of Canadians?" Marshall refused to confirm that Ethical Oil - a small front group for oil and gas interests - is a front group for oil and gas interests.
Her constant refusal to answer the question which would allow for greater transparency is the very thing she was railing about when she was claiming that the Sierra Group is not honest about its funding.
She finishes the segment with "I'm a student. I do this because I'm passionate about it."
Yes, she's just a law student plucked out of academia due to her intelligence, debating ability and intellectual rigour. That or she's married to Hamish Marshall, Stephen Harper's former "manager of strategic planning". Either way: qualified!