The siege of B.C.
Ottawa has eight weeks to break the backs of oil tanker opponents. Here’s how they’ll try.
Texas pipeline company Kinder Morgan issued an ultimatum yesterday: give our shareholders confidence that we can build the Trans Mountain oil tanker project, or we’re walking.
Politicians in Ottawa and Alberta leapt into action, only too eager to give the former Enron executives exactly what they want. A veritable siege is now underway that will only grow in ferocity as Kinder Morgan approaches its May 31 decision on whether to pull the plug.
Here are five ways pro-pipeline forces hope to keep the project alive:
1. Convince the B.C. government to flip flop. This will involve threats and inducements, both public and behind the scenes. Ottawa could withhold funding for affordable housing, public transit, oil spill cleanup and more – unless Premier John Horgan buckles.
2. Turn the B.C. public against Horgan. Just as Western countries impose sanctions on rogue states like North Korea, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has announced her intention to make ordinary British Columbians feel economic pain, so they turn against their leader. She already boycotted B.C. wine– she could launch a similar campaign against tourism or other industries. She could stop trains and trucks coming across the Rockies for “inspection.” Or she could try to cut off the supply of refined fuel to the Lower Mainland, which is already struggling with high gas prices. The petroleum producers hate the idea and it’s probably illegal, but it might be good to line up a carpool either way.
3. Turn Green MLAs against Horgan. This could include trying to drive a wedge on Site C, LNG, Proportional Representation – any issue where the feds see a bit of daylight between Green leader Andrew Weaver and the NDP Premier. The more Weaver talks about bringing down the government over the next eight weeks, the weaker Horgan’s position.
4. Pump cash into Kinder Morgan. Notley already announced “Alberta is prepared to be an investor in the pipeline.” Jason Kenney’s Conservatives are loudly in support. That’s right, Alberta’s anti-tax crusaders want a big taxpayer bailout for a foreign company. Through loan guarantees, government investment or other subsidies, Ottawa and Alberta can try to keep the project afloat with your tax dollars – beyond the point at which the market would otherwise kill it.
5. Minimize, ignore and deny Indigenous rights. So far Kinder Morgan’s focus is entirely on the B.C. government. They’re not talking about the Squamish, the Tsleil-Waututh, Coldwater or other First Nations currently challenging the project in court. And they’re certainly not talking about communities all along the project route who vow to stop construction on their territories. Expect Ottawa to continue this charade, ignoring the clear contradiction between violating Indigenous consent and its lofty promises of “reconciliation.”
That’s the playbook. Kinder Morgan’s plea has kicked off the Stanley Cup Playoffs of pipeline politics — an eight-week campaign culminating in a sudden death shootout in a Houston boardroom. Expect flying elbows, cheap shots and lots of end-to-end play.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Keep Horgan strong and steady. Thousands of letters of support are pouring into the Premier’s office, telling him he’s on the right side of history. Send him a note right now.
2. Make B.C.’s oil spill regulations strong. From now until the end of April, B.C.’s environment ministry is asking for public comments on their proposed spill regulations. This is what prompted Rachel Notley’s tantrum in the first place. Tell the province you want the strongest possible protections for B.C. rivers and beaches.
3. Demand a North Coast oil tanker ban. This is another one of Trudeau’s promises that he now seems to be trying to weasel out of. Heiltsuk Nation Chief Marilyn Slett has launched a House of Commons petition drawing attention to this long-delayed promise. You can sign here. Reminding people of our Enbridge victory makes the oil industry nervous – and highlights Trudeau’s betrayal of British Columbians on Kinder Morgan.
4. Amplify the resolve of all those vowing to stop Kinder Morgan. It’s not just the B.C. government. Indigenous leaders and grassroots British Columbians all over say they will not allow this pipeline to be built. Sharing their stories on social media broadens the conversation beyond the politicians and makes Texas pipeline investors nervous.
5. Get ready to support First Nations plaintiffs. If any of the court cases against Kinder Morgan land in our favour, the public will need to mobilize quickly to force governments to respect the decision. If round one goes against the plaintiffs, they will need to fundraise for appeals. You can help First Nations defend their rights and title – and the air, land and water we all depend on – with a donation to the legal fund supporting these cases.
What if Ottawa decides to take extreme measures? Oil Minister Jim Carr threatened last fall to bring in “defence forces” – the Canadian Army – to ensure the pipeline is built. Both he and Trudeau were adamant yesterday that the project will go ahead.
If Ottawa decides to hit the constitutional override switch, declaring the project “a work in the national interest” and threatening force to get it built, B.C. will need help beyond its borders. We’ll need to reach out to Quebec and other provinces to push back against the federal government.
If things get really ugly we may have to turn to the international community. The UN, after all, is the forum where Trudeau signed the Paris accord, pledging to curtail climate pollution and keep global warming well below two degrees. The UN is also the body that passed the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples which Trudeau so enthusiastically endorsed.
Using soldiers against First Nations on behalf of a climate-wrecking foreign pipeline company would throw Confederation into upheaval and destroy Trudeau’s international brand. We’ll see if he takes it that far. In the meantime, let’s focus on the things we can control – and the May 31 deadline set by Kinder Morgan.
I’ve written my letter and send a donation. Tons of support and loving energy coming from a little Nana with 5 beautiful grandchildren on the East coast of Canada.
your choice of photo is counterproductive … it will scare all but the most anrchist away … maybe you could switch it up with one showing people power
Maybe we should start to inform the International Community BEFORE things start to get ugly. If the International people become aware sooner, they could help put the pressure on Against Kinder Morgan.
All good points but there is a concern by KM on indigenous rights and say in the courts. KM CEO stated that all stakeholder concerns – incl Prov of BC and indigenous native groups – must be ratified in courts first. See Globe and Mail report today (April 9/18). Very clear KM is concerned about First Nations decisions and rights in law.
Support First Nations
Stay strong B.C.
Dear Premier John Horgan,
No no no. Today brings up a burning harbour in the Far East, a gigantic contaminating underground spill in farmland in North Dakota in a new pipeline, and a powerless drifting tanker in the Georgia Basin.
Great eh? What will tomorrow bring? Just say no to their crap. The NEB hearings were rigged. And the submissions were ignored as the fix was in from the start. I went to two hearings. it was pretty obvious what was going on.
Just say no to pipelines and more tankers on the west coast of BC.
The petition is not allowing a signature.
Hi Carol — which petition isn’t working for you? Chief Slett’s petition is on the House of Commons website, so not much we can do if you’re experiencing technical difficulties.
It’s important that the Pipeline be stopped and not just for a few days, weeks, months or years… the message to the dirty oil producers must be clear. I wonder if there’s any way to disrupt tanker traffic? If they won’t come there’s no reason for a pipeline…. let’s not forget that those tankers are big polluters too! Maybe BC should ban dirty tankers!
Sad, really sad, the extent people will go to, trashing our common biosphere. I switched from academic papers to climate fiction a few years ago, seeking to inform, and in one story envisioned trouble at the BC/AB border … “Blown Bridge Valley”, an excerpt from a climate reality novel series … a free e-book at the link here
KM is just looking for an exit strategy to pay their bills. The project already makes no financial sense at all in the global markets. This is only about who they can sue for stopping them.
Well… We could also tell them that the way Canada treats its BC citizens, its first nations and the environment does not fit with what BC expects from the Federation. .. So they better be careful we don’t vote out of it… Then we would be sovereing and would be able to do what’s best for BC and its constituants !
So the Canadian government will send in the army AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE ??? Sounds rather like Germany under the Nazis in the 1930s !!!!
Thank you for this sensible synopsis of the latest happenings and possible next steps to expect. I am mainly a “chequebook warrior” but hopefully can play my role too. I share your posts on FB and sent a note to Premier Horgan on your form. Important days are upon us and I feel encouraged by your strong and intelligent leadership. I’m on board.
I’m from Minnesota and I sent a note to the premier. The whole world is watching.
Yes, it’s not helpful for sharing on social media
Same as the U.S. did at standing rock
Can people in the USA help? Can we sign the petitions, especially if we are in NW Washington where we too are fighting Kinder Morgan? If our numbers would help on the petitions, I will make this post viral on facebook.
Mr Horgan you need to run for Priminister of the country of British Columbia
1990 Canadian government sent in the military against its own people at Oka.
2017 USA sent in National Guard against its own people at Standing Rock.
Is there a news article anywhere that looks at both sides of this issue?
There is so much that needs to be considered if Canada is to remain strong.
This article smacks of hate mongering, prompting comments characteristic of mob mentality…leading people to, for example, compare the Government of Canada to the Nazis (see Catharine Bushe’s comment April 9 5:06 p.m.).
I understand the concerns regarding the pipeline. I am a nature girl.
On the other hand, I have many questions:
What are we willing to give up as a country in order to be able to afford to NOT have this pipeline?
What services will have to be cut or cancelled?
Who will suffer from lack of funds?
Who will be affected by decreased equalization payments from Alberta?
– People struggling in our poorer provinces?
– Our seniors who can’t get into a care facility due to lack of funding for staffing?
– Our First Nations people in other parts of Canada who need clean water supplies?
From where will the money come to pay for social and mental health programs for those affected by the residential schools, for others struggling with addiction, mental illness, unemployment…
Will it come from the Government of Canada?
Where does the Government of Canada get this money?
How much do we stand to lose in oil royalties and taxes if this pipeline doesn’t go through?
If Canada is hindered in getting its oil to market, people will get it from somewhere else and burn it. It’s the burning of it that is the biggest problem. In light of this fact, will stopping the pipeline decrease global warming, or just make other countries richer and more powerful, and Canada poorer and weaker?
It is imperative that we protect our environment, but what good is that if we can’t afford to sufficiently fund our military to defend our borders and we lose our freedom?
Is it simplistic to label oil companies “dirty” (Henry Borkowski’s comment)?
Can a nation divided still stand?
Does hate mongering and polarizing lead to war?
My Syrian friends could not believe that anything like that could happen in their country.
As a family, we sit down and discuss what we want, what we can afford, and what is best for everyone. Those who look at the budget may seem like enemies to those who look at nobler things.
There is so much that needs to be considered if Canada is to remain strong.
Maybe it is time for BC to consider removing itself from confederation and become an independent country where decisions in Ottawa and Bay Street can not be shoved down our throats!!!
We also need to mobilize the rest of Canada, so KM seen as a national issue, not just BC issue. Would love to see a massive cross country caravan to the arrest site. Will again write my letters, phone, donate as I have already done. Will get arrested. A reminder that the Canadian and BC government under an NDP provincial govt under Ujjal Dosanjh sent in the army to squash the Gustafson Standoff, one of the largest, if not largest military operations within Canada. I was there. Was insane and could happen again.
I agree wholeheartedly, this was my fist thought too.
Thank you <3
I think the photo is just telling the truth, plain and simple. The government has already threatened to send in the military. I wonder if our military is willing to fight it’s own people on Canadian soil. I doubt it.
Power to the people. A movement can stop anything in its path. When something is just wrong. People from all over Canada will rise to
the cause. Military Government or 1% percent
Big company can be stopped. In the end this
will not be built. Regards from Ontario
They also want as much as they can scam in subsidies
To which I would add: Get ready to support all those arrested blocking the gate, who may now be facing criminal contempt charges. Whether to lay criminal rather than civil contempt charges is up the B.C. Prosecution Service, which falls under the Ministry of Attorney General. Criminal contempt is typically reserved for cases where there has been “a failure for an effective civil enforcement, there has been particularly egregious conduct, repeat offenders or sentences where there have been violence or damaged property.” None of which seem to apply. Let the Attorney General know that Kinder Morgan does not get to run our legal system.
If you do the research you will discover that the project makes not economic, environmental, or common sense. Climate scientists, using the most vetted and peer-reviewed research have told us that we are in crisis. We need to transist to renewables or we’re toast. This pipeline is to transport the dirtiest fuel on the planet. KM does not pay their fair share of taxes. I implore you to do the research about fossil fuels. Allowing more fossil fuel infrastructure will ensure that we do not meet the commitments made on our behalf in Paris.
Given the Canadian Governments past history in dealing with Indigenous communities, asking the UN for International monitoring and protection would seem prudent. Need I remind everyone that they slapped Canada with a truly disgusting report on the human rights abuses that Canada has historically and systemically committed and continues to commit.
I sense a spiritual fervor in the determination to defend and protect the land. This resonates deeply with me as someone who communes with nature on a daily basis in the boreal wilderness.
And yet, I struggle to resolve what appears to me a glaring contradiction.
When the Province of B.C. approved the Site C Dam, I was grieved to the core.
This dam project does not bring danger of a potential spill; this is a certain spill that will destroy vast amounts of vital farmland, forests, and wildlife habitat and turn a massive carbon sink into a methane bomb. http://www.alternativesjournal.ca/science-and-solutions/debunking-dams
There is no hope of cleanup or restoration.
The Province of B.C. is willing to make significant environmental sacrifices for projects that will bring economic benefits to the Province of B.C.
On the other hand, they will block a project needed by a land-locked sister province, a project that would benefit all of Canada, claiming that they are doing so because they must protect the environment, protect the land from damage and reduce global warming.
Blocking the rest of Canada from the west coast on an approved project is not lawful. How can we function as a country if a single province can do whatever they like on federal matters regardless of how it affects the other provinces?
Single-focused environmental fervor can be just as dangerous, damaging and divisive as religious fundamentalism.
In light of the approved dam, any unlawful blockages against the pipeline will be considered by most of Canada to be hypocritical.
Please, let us reason together, considering all perspectives, and work as a team to deal with the here and now and make improvements for the future. Currently, the world still needs fossil fuels. I would freeze to death without them. Our biggest danger right now is not a dam or a pipeline, but the US and THEM mentality that brings countries down.
I agree .. it nearly stopped me opening this.
Great questions Sharon K – I too wonder the answers to them ?
I agree it is scary and may scare away moderates but I have witnessed another Trudeau reacting in fear to a constitutional crisis and tanks in the streets of Montreal. Unthinkable then as it is now. “Just watch me”
Yes, you have a stake in this too. If one of those tankers go down the San Juan Islands and the north coast of Washington are in the path of destruction. Both your and our tourism industries would take a huge hit. Not to mention the impact on both of our migratory fish and birds and our pods of resident killer whales and all other sea-life in the area. The border means nothing to them.
Hi, I respect your point of view and your valid questions deserve answers. Hopefully, through this process we will get the answers you seek and the rest of us deserve to hear. However, the bottom line for me is that today we do not have the technology to clean up a spill of bitumen. No one does because it does not exist. Shipping the oil with the knowledge that you have a very good chance of cleaning it up is one thing. Shipping it knowing you have no ability to clean up the spill is quite another. The figures I have seen show that over 20 years Canada stands to make 45 billion from this pipeline. However, when you consider that the Deep Horizon spill cost 42 Billion US to clean up and they only recovered 3% of the oil while 250 million of birds, thousands of mammals, unknown millions of fish, and countless numbers of mammals, whales, turtles shellfish, and other marine life were killed. Not to mention real-estate values plummeted, local tourism industry was decimated, and people living in the area were made sick, I could go on (or you can google it). The potential fallout is just to big a risk to put on the province of BC especially when the cost of trying to clean up a major spill equates to an overall net loss. This is only a great project if nothing ever goes wrong, To much of a gamble for me no matter how tempting the money is. We need to find a better way. One option would be to refine the oil here. This would create thousands of jobs, increase the value of the oil, make it much safer to transport and clean up and buys us time to figure out how to get off our fossil fuel addiction.
Lets keep the dialog going…
You got me, I didn’t get the sarcasm at first.
I’m sorry to say that your dead right about this . Thanks to the about to expire NAFTA provision .
Or the United States
I have been a member of the CFIB for over 10 years but today had to cancel my membership after reading the one sided article “Trudeau Must Act Forcefully On Pipeline Issue” posted in today Vancouver Sun by CFIB’s Laura Jones. I am all for business, but not business at any cost. She is concerned about protecting Canada economically and from a business reputation perspective. Who will protect Canada’s environment and its environmental and indigenous rights reputation, who will protect BC coastline. There is middle ground here, but both sides will have to work hard to find it. She had an opportunity to call for intelligent discussion towards that end, but chose only to fan the flames of dissent. It would have been slightly more palatable had she at least provided commentary on both sides of the argument, but sadly, she did not. After reading her comments I realized that our values are no longer aligned, called in and severed ties with the CFIB organization.
didn’t scare me away, but agree there could be a much better one maybe just the beauty of our Coast –
grand idea, let the people beyond know what’s going on…
To open response…
Honor the lands…and peaceful protectors of the land…prayers are with you! How is the behaviour of our leaders that we voted for…are not hearing the voice of its citizens…and coming at them with tanks and guns….dictatorship…communism…what is this madness that money moves you to carelessly bleed the land….and the earth….and threaten by force voices silenced….this is immoral…unethical. Are they now culling people.
Contrary to the Prime Minister and Premier Notley’s statement, the Kinder Morgan expansion is not in the national interest. What is in the national interest is preserving our lands, rivers, lakes and oceans for future generations. So not only is this proposal not in the national interest, it is not in the global interest for it will further erode Canada’s and the world’s prospects for meeting the climate accord. The entire endeavor is madness and a failure of vision on the part of our politicians. Instead of putting our efforts toward renewables and energy storage, we continue to subsidize our oil and gas industry. The dark state at its best or worst, depending on your perspective.
Iim going to match this. I’ve five beautiful grandchildren in Alberta….and they deserve to feel as blessed by their grand babies in 50 years, as I do by them now.
FN never got to vote on confederation in 1871. They were not allowed to vote by the canadian settler government who wanted total control over the land and resources. The vote for fake confederation was controlled by the colonizers. @rachelnotley and @justintrudeau need to learn their settler history.
Some of us scare easier than others.
Yes. Perhaps we should start a pledge sheet across this country, as to what we are willing to do, if our government has the audacity to use the military against peaceful civil disobedience. But they should be careful…the days are here…when the 99% is ever more willing to stand up. I worry that the real danger might be the polarization between coast defenders and those who think oil and gas projects are essential for their economic futures.
Elites are good at pitting the people against each other. We need to watch for that tactic as well.
Theres are all good questions, but many of them you need to answer for yourself. You can bust the myth of oil paying for our current lifestyles quite easily. We exact the lowest royalties of any country…and after the NDP won in Alberta, those rates were lowered further.
There is a myth that somehow energy extraction makes Canada rich….and strong….but there’s lots of holes in that theory. Check out what %age of our GDP the oil industry contributes. I think its around 2%….tell me how that amount is a sum we need to hang our national hat on?
And then there’s the nature of dilbit. And the reality of CO2 production along every part of its extraction, transportation, upgrading and refining.
Finally, I don’t see how exporting it, in raw form, through a Texas owned pipeline….makes us rich…or stands in for citizens paying taxes. In fact, the latest word is both Rachel and Justin can’t wait to use our taxes to help fund the pipeline.
So good questions…but do some research, and draw your own conclusions. Is this an industry you want running through Vancouver for the next 50 years?
And too often, they get those subsidies. Even though I do believe the Paris agreement we signed said all governments would end Fossil fuel subsidies ASAP. Not offer them more financial aid over the will of the people.
Yeah, LOVE the article but not keen on this photo.
I’m with you Steve Weeks, though the way they compile replies on this site may mean you never learn of it. Regardless, what they did to the Gulf region with the BP spill could easily happen to our Pacific North West Coast. I don’t live in B.C., but that is my coastline also…and as in our national anthem, I intend to ‘Stand on Guard for all of Canada….not just the oily province where I happen to reside. Stay Strong John Horgan.
Thank you for your support.
I agree. Nothing makes you lose credibility faster than throwing in an image like this one. Waging a fear campaign focusing on the most unlikely government response to this issue makes you sound like chicken little. Please, if I may, keep the focus on environmental and indigenous issues. Trudeau won’t want to see his international reputation diminished. Taking the high road is the most honourable path.
Thank you so much… I think we need all the help we can get. There are British Columbians who think that the Governor of Washington is offering his support to shut down Kinder Morgan so business can go to Washington and they can reap the benefit… so these are the lies that confuse people. He actually vetoed the building of an oil by rail terminal in Vancouver Washington.
My sentiments exactly! Clean up the bitumen here so it is much safer to transport and we will have the chance to clean up a spill that will happen due to weather, ship failure or human failure at some point!
It will also add value and thousands of jobs building a refinery in Alberta to ship a product that is much safer to ship.
Hello Sophie, our own Canadian Army against us Canadian people? Ahahha! I dont think so, booo hoo! The individuals in our army, our generals, our captains, our soldiers.. they will not fight agains us… if they do… hummm the begining of bigger problems. Lets see…
This is so nice Adeline Thomas. Thank you. 🙂 BC really appreciates it, and I will help to support the East Coast in anyway I can!
We are not trying to shut down the existing pipeline we don’t want a bigger pipeline and more oil filled tankers on our waters. It’s a money grab on the part of pro-oil. If there is a spill it will be more extensive… what will to BC residents (and wildlife) do when industries that rely on our pristine environment and clean water are destroyed. I get the thing about the ‘greater good’ but BC taxpayers should be able to decide what happens in their province… I think you call that ‘self determination’. We have a treasure trove of bright young minds that should be offered an opportunity to develop/ build technology that does not increase our carbon foot print and put our province and environment at risk. You talk about seniors and poorer provinces… where are all our tax dollars going if not to pay for the hefty severance packages/ legal fees/ moving fees/ accommodations/ daily stipends for the politicians. The middle class seems get it no matter what way they turn. This situation wouldn’t have happened if the EPA had done their job and reported that an oil spill is inevitable and would be disasterous. Their study only went as far as Burnaby and did not include the area from Burnaby to the coast… what kind of study is that when only half the information is provided. You can blame this riff on Trudeau… he’s a liar and an angry little man that does not like anyone saying ‘no’ to him. I feel for the residents of Alberta but they should not be the ones to force their industry down our throats. Besides, they should be processing this slug in their own province and sending a cleaner product abroad. Oh right… that would cost money.
Totally agree. Let’s not denigrate the many struggle around the planet that use force so atrociously
Don’t wait. Go to Leap Now campaign, and maybe reach out to those people living in Louisana whose fisheries was destroyed by in the Deepwater Horizon spill. These arrogant people really have a stinko social reputation.
Imagine blackmailing us beyond the rule of our laws.
BC is not trying to shut down the existing pipeline we just don’t want a bigger pipeline that threatens our environment and livelihood. Alberta should be processing this slug into a cleaner product to be sent abroad. I find it interesting that Alberta under Klein did not share the prosperity bonus with the rest of Canada when they had a surplus from the oil boom. Now they want to relive the glory days by increasing the amount of oil flowing from the tar sands at any cost. Residents of BC are being demonized… we pay taxes we should have self determination!
When the Canadian Army was called in at Oka to stand against the Mohawks. It clearly stated that the Mohawks constituted a sovereign nation. A nations army can only be used against another nation.
So, does Trudeau want to affirm the sovereignty of the BC natives?
It can only help! Please go for it.
There is no analysis available that shows risk(earthquake zone), lack of cleanup technology, evacuation of population surrounding Burrard inlet as well as fisheries,wildlife and tourism losses to BC and Washington state- for what gain to Canada, to BC?
Thank you Adeline! So very much appreciated.
There’s some pretty huge money involved, and unfortunately governments need all the money they can get. Big oil waves their dirty money and the politicians eyes light up. It’s going to be a tough fight.
This is all about greed at any expense. I expected more from Trudeau, but he has shown he is just as much a weasel as any other politician.
I’d feel a bit better if they were going to use the revenue to expand our economy so we aren’t just resource based, but governments see a way to get more so they can spend it buying votes. It’s really sad.
Thank you, Steve Weeks, for your comments.
Like Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, with his famous line, “On the other hand…”, I too appreciate discussion that includes more than one perspective. I found this article “The Siege of B.C.,” like the one-sided article you mention above, fanned the flames of dissent, which is why I felt compelled to comment.
I really like your thoughts on refining the oil here. The Scotford Refinery is a great example of what can be done (https://www.shell.ca/en_ca/media/news-and-media-releases/news-releases-2016/shell-successfully-completes-project-to-increase-production.html), but their capacity is relatively limited. My understanding is that building a refinery is over-the-top expensive.
It’s too bad we couldn’t get our oil to the refinery on the east coast, so they wouldn’t have to import so much product from Saudi Arabia. . . Alberta’s frustrations . . . blocked from both directions . . . stuck . . . land locked . . . after years of paying billions of dollars in equalization payments to help the rest of Canada.
‘Tis a complex issue indeed.
Regarding the Deepwater Horizon disaster, there is an excellent article analyzing the causes… “It was years of cutting corners, not one careless mistake, that caused the explosion…the normalization of deviance…It was BP’s decision to attempt extraordinarily deep and hazardous drilling operations….” http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2016/09/bp_is_to_blame_for_deepwater_horizon_but_its_mistake_was_actually_years.html
An analysis by University of California–Berkeley’s Center for Catastrophic Risk Management concluded: “This disaster was preventable if existing progressive guidelines and practices had been followed…
“They forgot to be afraid.”
Hopefully, if the pipeline does go through, the demands and protests going on now will serve to inspire the government and industry to remember to be afraid.
Recent studies have shown that the oil sands are only 2% of the Alberta economy and are not profitable at current market prices, so their effect on the national economy is minuscule. Back in January, I wrote Trudeau asking how he justifies this project being in the national interest. I have yet to get a reply. I think the national interest is best served by leaving the bitumen in the ground.
Your questions seem focussed on the current reality, that fossil fuel extraction is the ONLY solution. Please check the sustainable renewable alternatives, many of which are already happening: wind turbines, photo voltaic panels, geothermal sources, etc. Also, please look up the Leap Manifesto to see how all these issues are connected, AND how the paradigm shift the Manifesto proposes WILL address them all.
I am almost ready for that contingency, Mr. Davis!
Please look outside the bix of your comments here, and see the big picture which includes two main foci: 1. Canada’s environmental committments, which WILL be blown out of the water by this pipeline, and
2. UNDRIP and the TRC, which Canada signed and promoted, which will become nothing but hot air with this dirty pipeline!
The ONLY, TRUE material resource we earthlings have is a healthy, thriving earth. Instead of looking at this issue as a sister province turning it’s back on the other, we can look at it as a protective gesture for everyone, beyond borders. Yes, there is a lot to loose if the pipeline doesn’t get built, but there is more to loose if it does. How can we support Alberta in ways that are healthy for everyone?
As i said in the letter to J. Horgan: most of us still know the undeniable truth of a healthy and giving garden, the undeniable truth of a clear running stream from which we can drink, the undeniable truth of an ocean that is alive. Do we really need to turn our back on these simple, yet profound truths? Where else can we, our children, their children, their children’s children, find the security that a healthy and thriving earth offer? I’m sure not in oil and pipelines. We have to do better than that.
What are we willing to give up or change to move further away from oil, plastics, fossil fuels, away from debt, greed, unsustainability? All of which create room for pipelines and their like, all of which weights too much on the earth. How can i not be such a hypocrite, and choose simplicity in my everyday life?
BC’s position as the only practical access to the Pacific west coast for shipment of any and all exports to the rest of the world makes it a critical component of every export-based Canadian industry sending large scale product shipments. It’s contribution to the national economy in this regard is unmatched, and its efficiency at providing those services is largely unrewarded – high-volumes with very low labour costs i.e. few BC jobs and wages. The risk to shutting BC out of our economy in some ways is therefore largely Canada’s, not BC’s. Oh and where do all those imports going to the east of Canada come from – through BC! Slow BC down either way and you slow Canada down tenfold. It’s time other provinces realised they are being held hostage by AB not BC.
To answer a few of your questions, exporting bitumen from Canada’s west coast will not make the country any stronger, only the Texas oil company a little richer, and the earth much more in peril.
a promise given that needs to be honored.support first nations
you need to press the button “Sign the petition” (green, on top) or just go to this hyperlink directly there:
(copy/paste the link in your browser)
I too lament the passing of the Site C damn. But the issue here is not about hypocrisy among politicians. It’s about standing up to another mega project that brings huge negative environmental impacts and potential ecosystem destruction to the west coast. The only real question is, where do you stand on that?
@ Sharon Krushel
It appears that you have overestimated the value of this project to BC. After construction is completed it will generate only 50 or so permanent jobs. There is no guarantee that the construction workers will be from BC (or even Canada, considering the temporary foreign workers scandals) or that the company will buy materials here. There are no listed royalties published in any document that I am aware of that indicate they will end up in BC budgets under ‘revenue.’ There have been no negotiations over the contractual specifics on spill cleanup measures (just promises by Trudeau, who is becoming known for talking a lot, being incoherent on policy, and for breaking promises) and no public discussion by proponents on supplying adequate bonding to cover spill cleanup costs and damage repair, if that’s even possible with diluted bitumen. On top of the near vacuum in benefits to BC, we are expected to assume all the risks. What’s wrong with this picture?
The Kinder Morgan pipeline will be exclusively for export, not for domestic Canadian use. Exporting raw resources always exports jobs. There is no proof that KM has any Asian buyers lined up who will pay the premium price proponents say they will get, despite bitumen being a low quality product. This is to say, the economic fundamentals suck even before one brings up climate change and spills.
If you Googled “BC GDP” you’d find that BC’s tech industry employs more people than BC’s oil & gas, mining and forestry industries combined. Vancouver’s cruise ship industry just opened for the season today and is expected to generate $2 billion in economic activity in just six months and accommodate 900,000 passengers. The remaining BC tourism industry will generate another $2 billion this year. The film industry created $3 billion in wealth last year and employed 40,000 people. Add marine-based activity like fishing, local marine freight and related services, even the ferries and you’re up around $10 billion a year. All of the above and more will be affected to some degree by a major spill.
Further, BC has been a net and often a leading contributor to transfer payments for decades with few exceptions. So has Saskatchewan. BC’s economy is quite well diversified and it maintained a steady increase in growth without wavering when oil prices collapsed. Alberta’s tanked, and their unemployment rate is still several points higher than BC’s. Alberta is not the centre of the known universe, and a decarbonizing world will pass it by if it doesn’t change tack from being exclusively shackled to extraction and export.
This is very sad for what was once my home province.
I can tell by your comment, you never have been on the other side of An army invasion. Canada has sent in the Army against its own people..etc “Oka” 1991. Now Trudeau is threating to do exactly the same in B.C. I am a First Nations woman who will stand my ground to protect this Land we call Trutle Island. And yes I witnessed this madness in Oka…look up “Oka-270 years of Resistance.” and then tell me Why you would find it counter productive. It speaks of a Dark Truth in Dealing with First Nations Issues.
From the U.S./Turtle Island, I stand in solidarity with the Native American, First Nations,
and other indigenous nations, near, far, and wide against ALL fossil fuel pipeline projects!!
Kill The Black Snake!!
MNI WICONI….WATER IS LIFE!!!
I have been talking about BC leaving Canada for a while now as a last resort. Trudeau does not want to be the PM that let Canada break up.
Thank-you. This is what we really need in B.C. global support. I hope Amy Goodman at Democracy Now starts giving the Kinder Morgan just a wee sliver of time cause this is the whole worlds concern. A lot of dirty oil is going to come out of the tar sands, be refined in China and create enough Co2 to push the planet into climate disaster. So much at stake for all humanity. Keep It In The Ground!!! Thanks again…sending love to Minnesota.
We can defeat these fascists! Together we’re stronger! Let’s put Ian Anderson and KM in jail! They should be there already for their role in the Enron scandal!
I’m from Washington, and our Governor has been an influential factor in blocking coal export terminals and Arctic exploration drills.
We’ve seen litigation by coastal communities, railway activists, tribal communities, and even conservatives who claim our state is not for the explotative profit by companies from outside our state.
American states do enjoy greater discretion thanks to federalism, but our Governor has been influential, co-establishing the US Climate Alliance with the governors of California and New York after the US’s departure from the Paris Climate Agreement.
All this can’t be done without support of our state’s residents. Premier Horgan is an anomaly in BC, and is of a minority that is holding true to the interests of British Columbians. So too is our state, and so far, we’ve won 5/5 court cases against our very own President.
Now there’s a thought. How could the Feds counter that outside of the cuts they’ll make anyway. Anyone remember the old movie ‘The Russians are Coming’? People power.
Let’s be real. No one in BC has wanted dilbit, ever, coming over the mountains to the coast. This is not a drama, this is real. There is no way to clean it, period. Want this resolved? Refine oil products in Alberta. Do not send poison out a pipeline that cannot be managed with the expectation that you are entitled Alberta, and certainly do not expect to increase the amount 7 fold without expectation there will be huge push back.
Meanwhile, we will be bullied some more by our federal government and neighboring provincial government , because we are protecting our land water and coast. Want to drive up gas prices in BC, and threaten Native and non -native protesters with the military? That will be your choice respectively governments of Alberta and Canada. The world is watching and more than aware of the constant lies you repeat to justify whatever back room deals were made.
Alberta does not get more money for their products in Asia. They get the most from America. The experts are speaking, the politicians are not listening to them at all.
Nothing but talk has been done regarding dilbit spills, yes “world class recovery ” of a product that cannot be recovered.
It speaks volumes that while campaigning for leadership Trudeau promised, in my hometown, that there would be a new NEB hearing. Kai got it on cam. This new hearing has never happened. Anyone who participated in the hearings know what a sham it was, so did Trudeau once, and those that don’t should get educated before professing opinions and hurling animosity.
We have been mislead, lied to, had votes stolen with false promises, by the federal liberals in BC.
There are options to resolve this. Refine products in Alberta. Create more jobs in Alberta. Stop lying to Albertans, more money would be coming into Alberta if it went south.
Albertans, you are being lied to as well. Don’t let your government invest in something that does not command the highest dollar. That would be simply sending it south, not sending it to Asia.
From an Anna on the west side, I thank you.
Yes. Social media can help with this. They are watching already.
This is 110% right.
People (on both sides) are so busy screaming at each other that rational conversation and discussion about this very difficult scenario keeps getting pushed to the side.
Extremism (again, on both sides of the table) is killing this country. We need discussion. Calm, level-headed examination and balanced reporting of what the salient points are.
Canada is better than being duped by fear and hate. We *have* to be, for ourselves and our progeny.
That would be an excellent strategy…..
Jughead Trudope and the fed libtards,not that they’re any less/more obedient to the multinational corporate czars than other political puppets infesting these institutions,wasted no time whipping Catherine McKenna into action right from the get go. Another lawyer with a fresh new invented title,Minister of Climate Change.What exactly is it that makes a lawyer an expert on the subject,anyways? What a farce!
Playing on the general publics’ naivety,the libtards propped up Jughead Trudope and ran with “legalize marijuana” at the forefront of their election platform.Hook,line and sinker the electorate fell for this nonsense.Jughead Trudope doesn’t know what “legalize” means.How quickly the fed libtards put that front and centre election platform on the backburner. Two and a half years into the mandate and no real result on the election promise.This sort of thing is par for the course,though.A tactic played over and over which the general public doesn’t seem to be able to grasp.
A rebel,an outsider is what the Canadian Political arena desperately needs.No more puppets catering to goliath multinational corporate interest.
I have yet to see any proof that the TMX expansion is in the interests of provinces east or west of the prairies. Supply and demand dictate that increased supply will drop price of bitumen. We are already subsidizing big oil. And now the feds and Alberta want the country to assume the risk of the pipeline thru direct investment!!!???
We need to stand strong to protect our air, land and water. Unfortunately, it seems environmental issues always are trumped by big business
Help =out and supply an alternate photo and repost please
I agree with the above.
Love and respect to you from another old lady on Vancouver Island…
Mother nature has given all of us who live here in British Columbia an awesome gift to enjoy and to protect. It is beyond comprehension to me that we would even consider threatening that gift for – let’s be honest about it – dirty money. It is even more beyond comprehension to me when I realize that the vast majority of that dirty money will in no way benefit British Columbia – it will go mostly to wealthy and powerful financial investors and to American oil profiteers.
I agree. you fooled me into thinking there were actually a convoy of military on their way. please do not use misleading pictures to cause fear! such tactics will polarize support. I need to trust dogwood. please just tell it as it is. the truth is evidence enough!
Hello Sharon, such great questions you are asking! I don’t know the answers to all of them, but have researched quite a bit about pipelines. Here are responses to a few of your questions. I hope others will.also do so.
Pipelines which transport bitumen (in the form of dilbit) from Alta carry the “crude oil” product which has the highest GHG emissions, both in extracting and in burning. The research organization Oil Change International and other research organizations have concluded that, because of this high GHG emission feature, in order to meet our Paris Accord commitment (and save a habitable planet for future generations) 80% of the Tar Sands must ‘stay in the ground’. Canada subsidizes the Fossil Fuel Industry about $3B annually, Quebec subsidizes the Industry about $300 million. Royalties received from the Industry by the province of Alberta are about 3-4% currently, whereas when Lougheed was in government, the rate was over 25%. Canada is a Petro State that would be wise to gradually manage a decline in fossil fuel extraction, as other countries should also be doing, and many are, as we transition to a post-carbon economy( in some countries, even the US, this economy is booming.) Yet our federal government, having made promises to us taxpayers/ citizens and to the world cannot even meet our 2020 goals, and is allowing the Alberta industry to increase their extraction of bitumen by 40% with the ‘cap’. ( not really a cap!)
I really appreciate your great questions. I plan to do more research myself on them.
Final note: I didn’t see the Feds helping out the manufacturing sector in Ontario, nor the fishing industry in the Maritimes when their jobs crashed because of external factors! We should all remember that the Industry has known this would happen over thirty years ago … by their own science. They hid it, lied about it and financed climate denialism. All of which slowed down an appropriate response when we could have done this gradually. They are not the victims. I believe Alberta citizens are victims as they will be dealing with abandoned wells, tailings ponds and massive environmental degradation for decades and the industry will not be paying those bills!
Re Sharon K – There is no economic gain for the Province of BC in regards to Site C Dam. The report to the B.C. Utilities Commission by Deloitte LLP, (the consulting firm hired to scrutinize Hydro’s numbers) as part of the cabinet-ordered review of the Site C dam, is available online for anyone that takes the time to inform themselves about the financial viability of this project.
Site C Dam should have been cancelled for numerous reasons, environmental, financial and it’s actual lack of need
but cannot be compared to the potential disaster that hundreds of tankers loaded with up to 500,000 barrels of bitumen would cause to the BC coastline and all the people and commercial enterprise that it supports. Provincial governments make mistakes too…just the the federal government does…mostly based upon their own survival.
“To The Benefit Of Canada” but a detriment to the Planet Earth? Canada will not fall into financial ruin if this country does not exploit bitumen reserves in Alberta, Canada has survived this long without them and will continue to do so, not to mention the federal government has obligated itself to the Paris Climate Accord so having “your cake and eating it too” seems to be the unrealistic goal of this two faced federal government.
If you truly want to satisfy your concerns regarding your perceived “glaring contradiction”… I respectfully suggest that you do your own research, the answers to all of your concerns are not hard to find.
PS: The KM pipeline was not lawfully approved..the approval process was critically flawed from its onset…and in reality is in conflict with lawful first nations treaty agreements across BC.
PSS: British Columbia’s “sister province” is ready, able and willing to throw her under the bus…along with billions of other human beings that will be negatively affected by global climate change..a high price for others to pay for one provinces, or countries personal gain.
Yes, other countries might get oil from elsewhere, but it will be more expensive. And if you’re concerned about the government losing money, you must know that your facts are upside-down. Canada spends billions every year subsidizing the fossil fuel industry. With a cleaner economy we would actually have much more government money to spend on healthcare.
And no, we will NOT lose freedom if we make cuts to military funding. The US has had our back for years. Canada has scarcely been threatened, and our primary threat right now is CLIMATE CHANGE. I see the military as nothing more than a huge money pit, a hinderance to our potential.
With less military, we have more money. With less oil, we have more money, and cleaner money, not dirty money built on externalized costs, lies, and poor economics. With more money the government can spend more on the people, on care and infrastructure.
We don’t want a future based on dirty money, lies, and warfare. We want a clean, sustainable, healthy, happy future. And less oil is part of that future.
Thank you for taking the time to read this comment : )
Seriously??? You’re talking semantics here. The photo shows people exactly what kind of dictator Trudeau is. If you THINK there’ll be an election next year, think again. He’ll pull what his father did and stretch it to 2020. He is dangerous and the photo is a true depiction of what he is willing to do to Canadians- the REAL Canadians, our Indigenous brothers and sisters. Notley is a traitor and Quebec won’t do a thing. They’ve sent the army in against the indigenous living in Quebec.
We don’t need more time to “figure out how to get off our fossil fuel addiction”. We have solutions NOW. There’s no point, no time to make slow, incremental changes.
– DRIVE LESS: Carpool, take transit, bike, walk. Live closer to where you go. Live urban.
– HAVE FEWER CHILDREN. I know it’s a cliche and it’s rather personal, but it takes away the carbon footprint of an entire human!
– EAT LESS MEAT. This is a big one. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of Amazon rainforest destruction. 1.5 acres can produce 37,000lbs of plant based food, or 375lbs of beef. Vegans use 1/11th as much oil. The personal health benefits are also huge.
Building oil facilities here would be a silly gamble and it wouldn’t produce nearly as many jobs as cleantech (renewable energy) will soon. Building such facilities would also take so much time and money and at that point the world would already have moved on.
I am a young Canadian and I might grow up in a prosperous, healthy future or I might grow up in a scarce, drought-ridden, war-torn one. And I will do what I know is right to make sure the latter doesn’t happen, to me, or anyone.
Thanks for reading this 🙂
Corporations need to change their focus and begin investing in clean energy – not promoting the continued use of chemicals and products that are destroying the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. If Canada is to remain strong, it needs to become a world leader in change – as it has in the past. When you speak of the programs and people that will be impacted, instead think of the reduction in cancer, the increase in marine life, the removal of plastics from the bottled water being sold… the list goes on. People need to look outside of the box and realize that solar panels on homes in remote communities would provide energy without the costs needed to put in roads, water pipelines, electricity lines, etc. Their off grid power could immediately be used to put in water filtration systems in their homes. All of this would cost less than the infrastructure required to add those items if supplied by huge corporations.
The same holds true for the continued use of petroleum products. You would think that the only source of employment in Alberta is oil – yet the clean energy sector provides more jobs than pipelines and doesn’t contribute to exposure to poisons and toxins with the potential for long term damage to the environment.
Consider this: the US is increasing its own production of natural gas – much cleaner than tar sands oil. It is expected that it will no longer need to import any gas with a decade or so. What then – do you not think they will happily sell us their “clean” oil? If we do have a major spill, do you think for one minute that a US company will clean up a mess on Canadian soil? Canadians will be left footing the bill and living with the consequences for many years to come.
Please spend some time researching the answers to your questions – you may be very surprised by what you learn.
Please don’t use reference communism as a form of oppression. It’s simply a political system, that happens to be associated with things such as the Soviet Regime and Gulag.
There is no such thing as safely transporting bitumen. I have seen it and it is nasty stuff. Besides, there is no point in making it any “cleaner”, it is far easier than it appears to reduce our oil consumption. Drive less, eat less meat, have fewer children. There is no “chance of cleaning up a bitumen spill”. Those jobs are only temporary, those jobs are dirty, and those jobs are a tiny proportion of Canada’s wealth. Big oil makes big money, but only for the privileged few rich guys that run these businesses.
yES I agree. It better not be Standing Rock all over again?
That is an intriguing idea and you might just be right considering the TPP would give them the right to sue Canada for lost future profits!
Also not into the sensational click-bait photo/title, and the certainty that you make these predictions with. The political climate is polarized and nervous enough right now. Useful analysis though.
I imagine the opposition to Big Oil will take any and all help offered!! I live in BC and have signed petitions against your President’s plans to pillage your National Parks for the sake of coal and oil extraction!! Wishing you good luck in your fight against KM too !! The incomparably beautiful Pacific NorthWest, and the whole world biosphere, must be protected for all of us !! 👍👍
Arlene this is an excellent suggestion that I’ve been thinking about myself for some time now… we need to get the international community and those involved in the Paris Climate Accord to pressure Trudeau about his responsibilities to that Accord… Trudeau is all about his international reputation and photo ops so this is where we need to hurt him and have him pressured… he’s no climate leader but wants the international community to believe his falsehoods and his hypocrisy needs to be exposed… how do we make this happen imminently??!!! Obviously it’s out there but we need international pressure now.. we need the world’s focus on this like Standing Rock!
I agree, I don’t think tanks will be rolling in any time soon.
I think Alberta has to pull the equalization payments to BC if the pipe line doesn’t go through. BC is not the richest province so they have benefited. As for the US having our Backs ever stop to think some day we may land up being US citizens. Someone said BC should separate. Maybe that is the answer. Although I said it when Quebec wanted to separate and I say it to any other province that wishes to separate. Any province that separates should take exactly what they had when they joined Confederation not anything given to them after. Whatever the out come is we will have to live with it. Cleaner air could mean electricity instead of oil. Then I ask Why is it so dam expensive?
I wondered the same thing if the military would fire on canadian citizens. …
The chance of a significant release of bitumen on the coast or along the pipeline is slim at best. Diluted bitumen will stay afloat (For over 6 weeks) even longer than conventional crude. When released to salt water it floats even longer due to salt water and cool sea temperatures. Containment and clean up techniques are state of the art and very effective for cleaning up bitumen. What the BC government, Dogwood and protesters bring up is a bunch of rhetoric. Why have none of you stopped Site C Dam. The Bennett Dam built by BC on the Peace River has done huge actual damage to one of the largest fresh water deltas in the world (The Peace – Athabasca Delta, UNESCO World Heritage Site). The Dam prevents the natural fluctuations to water levels needed to maintain biodiversity in the delta. Site C Dam is now putting the nail into the coffin for the delta and none of you are doing anything to stop it. The is happening for real and you are letting it happen. Yet you protest pipeline on a slight chance of a release. What hypocrisy!
I agree..about changing this photo..I almost did not sign this because of it..don’t be like the other news people..be positive and strong..show us standing strong against this but using a photo that inspires us. Thanks
Good comments 🙂
I agree with you
its earth day after all
The solutions are not that difficult, they just require commitment. First, urbanites need to grow up and get responsible for your commons: a.k.a. city infrastructure, food and water delivery, how you clothe and house yourselves, instead of letting your corporate step-parents look after you – they’re only doing it for the money and they don’t have your best interests in mind.
Second, there are a few far too wealthy individuals who don’t know how to spend their money in socially and environmentally responsible ways – nobody needs millions of dollars when all of the beneficial things you identify would go unfunded.
Third, divert the sustainable use of the vast wealth of this country to healing, the land, the ecology, the people, instead of just continuing to allow those greedy psychopaths to sweep it all off the table into their pockets.
We’re at a line in the sand here, where we can continue blindly marching over the cliff, or we can get a grip: ramp down fossil fuel use immediately, get an economic system geared to fixing up the mess we’ve made instead of enriching the few who already have far more than enough, nourish an ideology of cooperation instead of competition, and put the technology to more intelligent uses than convenience and mindless diversion.
On behalf of a Grandma in B.C., thank you Adeline Thomas! I am fighting this pipeline because it puts my children’s and grandchildren’s lives at risk.
Funny how BC hopes to team up with Quebec, both who have access to Oil from eastern producers. BC doesn’t mind polluting as long as it’s not in their back yard. Pretty hypocritical if you ask me.
Lets act like a Union and get our resources to market. Your not going to stop Oil production any time soon, and the only people you are hurting is yourselves.
They already did it once before. To help some GOLF CLUB to expand it’s area over indigenous burial grounds.