Congratulations all around today in certain circles as the story came out via twitter that longtime Vancouver Sun associate editor/columnist Fazil Mihlar has left the dwindling world of newspapers for greener pastures.
Very gr$$n pastures in fact – Mihlar is the new Assistant Deputy Minister for the the B.C. Government new oil and strategic initiatives division. This is the first important development you need to pay attention to.
Hardly a surprise and likely a perfect fit, considering Mihlar editorialized often about the benefits of pipelines, and the oil and gas industry. In fact, Enbridge has been posting his editorials along with other favourable press on their facebook page going back as far as 2011:
Of course, as several commenters on my facebook page remarked, no one can fault Mihlar for making the jump to a steady,secure job with nice bennies, from one in an industry that is in a steady decline.
However, I’ve already heard plenty of public comment on the perception this leaves, and perhaps, should leave, on the public who still believes that newspapers are paragons of objective reporting. I don’t know why the public still believes this, because newspapers have been endorsing political candidates left right and centre. Ok, that’s a lie, they usually endorse the right ;)
Joking aside, it’s a credibility issue. Kind of like after writing extensively about the liberals, I suddenly took a communications job with the NDP.
You’d likely question whether I had been writing because I believed in what I was writing, or because it helped the political party I now worked for. Never going to happen but it’s a good example.
Another commenter, Stephen Rees , brought up an equally pertinent point:
“Once upon a time hiring and promotion in the BC public service was based on ability and qualifications. There was a process to determine first the requirements of each job, and then candidates were assessed on their ability to meet those requirements. Public service was apolitical. While at work, officials were supposed to put away their political beliefs and preferences, and work in the best interests of the province and all its people. “
One hopes that the new ADM will be able to separate his personal political leaning and ideology from his professional obligations, and put the publics interest first and foremost in everything he does.
Moving on to the second important development today…. another strategic initiative relating to the oil in BC… or should I say oil moving through BC.
A parade of cabinet ministers and senior bureaucrats will head to British Columbia starting next week as part of a major push to mollify opponents of building oil pipelines to the West Coast, CBC News has learned.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is signalling he intends to make progress on proposals to connect Alberta’s oilsands with ports in British Columbia and the lucrative Asian markets beyond.
The new initiative is in large part a response to a report from the prime minister’s special pipelines representative in British Columbia.
Quite interesting to have a new pro-oil & pipeline Assistant Deputy Minister on board in the oil and strategic initiatives division on the West coast… at the same time Harper is ramping up his strategic initiative for British Columbians back East.
Some might say that’s quite a coincidence – I’d say BC is in for some interesting times ahead.