MONTREAL — Political satirist Rick Mercer is being attacked by comedians, political leaders and others across the country.
Mercer attacked Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre for opposing TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project.
“Denis, this has nothing to do with Montreal, this has nothing to do with Quebec,” he said on the Rick Mercer Report.
Mercer linked the pipeline project to national unity claiming Quebec is a net beneficiary of equalization payments so the province should allow the construction of a pipeline to carry heavy crude from Alberta’s oil sands to New Brunswick.
However, while Mercer picks out Coderre, yet fails to mention other politicians who oppose the project, including the premier of British Columbia and some of the mayors in the West Coast province.
Since the video appeared online, many others, including comedian Scott Vrooman attacked Mercer’s online diatribe.
“Canada doesn’t need a pipeline. What it needs is an economy for the 21st century,” he said in his online rant recorded at the same location as Mercer.
Some analysts argue Mercer’s attack on Coderre and others against the pipeline could backfire.
“Anyone who knows the history of this country knows that when the rest of the country tells Quebec to shut up and sit down, they usually lose that argument,” Ethan Cox, editor of Ricochet.media told Global News.
Robert Sokoro, marketing professor at McGill University, told Global News that the war of words being played out online is a strong example of people using social media to make their case and try to sway public opinion.
Sokoro was especially impressed with Sol Zanetti, leader of Option Nationale.
“I think the Option Nationale video is very compelling argument and that may sway some constituents in what their opinions are,” he said.
The final decision on whether the pipeline will be built will be made by the National Energy Board.