One small problem with Jason Kenney’s “Russian bots” theory

Guess who’s lining the pockets of Russian oligarchs? Kinder Morgan

Jason Kenney has no evidence, he’s just asking questions: Is the Kremlin pulling the strings of Canadian opponents to Kinder Morgan’s new pipeline? Could these so-called environmentalists, in fact, be fictitious St. Petersburg bots?

Nyet. But British Columbians did have some wholesome social media fun with that one:

And while these everyday British Columbians have no ties to Vladimir Putin, Kinder Morgan does. If Kenney is fond of conspiracy theories, he should look at the Russian businessmen who have every interest in seeing this pipeline built.

Russian steel company

Enter Evraz, the global steel company Kinder Morgan signed up to supply 250,000 tonnes of pipe for their new Trans Mountain line. That’s more than three quarters of the steel needed for the entire project.

Evraz is owned by Russian billionaires, including Roman Abramovich, a close confidant of Vladimir Putin. Abramovich is one of the Russian oligarchs on a new American list for potential sanctions. His net worth totals nearly 15 billion Canadian dollars — his personal yacht alone is worth half a billion. And he’s not just tight with Putin. Ambramovich counts the Trumps among his family friends.

But while I can get pretty riled up about far-away billionaires profiting off pollution and the violation of Indigenous rights, there’s a yet more concerning component of Kinder Morgan’s Russian pipe deal.

More corporate rule-breaking

This pipe could be in violation of Canada’s quality-control requirements. Yes, the very pipe that would ship toxic, explosive substances through B.C. neighbourhoods and elementary school playgrounds.

Kinder Morgan was supposed to have a quality management plan in place for their pipe — four months before beginning to manufacture it. And while the National Energy Board had yet to approve the company’s pipe quality plan, Evraz began manufacturing anyway, back in October.

Federal politicians keep repeating that they approved Kinder Morgan’s oil tanker expansion with 157 conditions. But we already know they’re not enforcing these conditions. Like that time the Texas company illegally installed anti-salmon spawning nets in B.C. riverbeds, facing no consequences. Or when oil minister Jim Carr asked the NEB to exempt Kinder Morgan from condition 2, to expedite construction.

It’s the kind of thing you might expect in a corrupt petrostate — like Russia. Perhaps Jason Kenney is right. Perhaps we do have more in common than we’d like to admit.

11 Responses to “One small problem with Jason Kenney’s “Russian bots” theory”

  1. David Todtman says:

    The research and writing that went into this is terrific. Thank you, Dogwood and Sophie

  2. GORD O'KELL says:

    Jason Kenny hes a weasel up to no good with his lies and nonsense rhetoric hope fully hes fully exposed so the people of Alberta and Canada flush him down the bowel hes a Conservative shyster

  3. JoAnne Jarvis says:

    I hope you are going o give this info to people who can rapidly make this common knowledge!

  4. John Collinson says:

    Okay folks. I’ve worked for “Evraz” now for 18 years. I live here in Calgary and am closely related work wise to our brothers in Regina who are making the kinder Morgan pipe. I can assure you that ANY pipe made by me, or our brothers in Regina are of the highest quality possible. We are held to tight API Specifications, and fully comply with ISO 14001 environmental regulations. A little history lesson here. The original company was called IPSCO. Inter provincial steel and coil. A Canadian company based out of Regina started over 60 years ago. The company started from nothing and grew into a successful multinational company, building numerous facilities across Canada and the US. It became a leader in the Steel industry in many areas. Ie. recycler of steel to make new steel, profitability during a time when US companies were Getting their asses kicked, a leader in quality Oil Country Tubular Goods, pipe line pipe etc….

    This Canadian company has supported generations of workers with great wages and benefits (also thanks to my union) and will hopefully continue to do so far into the future. Evraz only purchased IPSCO about 10 or so years ago for a huge sum. About 7.5 billion dollars. That’s how successful IPSCO had become.

    What has changed over the last 10 years? Not much. We’re still fiercely and proudly Canadian , we still make the best, safest and most cost competitive pipe in the world.

    You can take this conspiracy shit and shove it up your ass.

    We might make a lot of money for our new owners, but that’s what they paid for.

    You should all be proud that so much Canadian talent and steel is going into this pipeline. As far as I’m concerned it should be all of it.

    • Lisa Sammartino says:

      Thanks Mike for your thoughtful response. I mean no disrespect to the workers who manufacture the pipe, and I have no doubt they are people of great integrity. But I wanted to make clear two main points. Firstly, Jason Kenney’s accusations that oil tanker expansion opponents are tools of the Kremlin has no basis; meanwhile, Kinder Morgan actually is partnering with Russian billionaires. Secondly, Kinder Morgan failed to file adequate documentation before pipe manufacturing began, and Canadians deserve a stronger regulator looking out for our safety and wellbeing. – Sophie

  5. Diana Watson says:

    Thanks Sophie, your commentary made my day and renewed my hope that perhaps we wouldn’t have to have more tankers on our coast. I was amazed when they began to infer that we were all Russian spies after the feed back he received at his ‘town meeting’. Does he have a hearing problem?
    Diana

  6. B. Bailey says:

    ermmmm…. doesn’t steel…. corrode? Isn’t sands oil dilbit…. corrosive???

    Haven’t a whole bunch of pipelines already been leaking and have outlived their useful life -meaning they need replacement? Or are they just going to pollute our lands and waters as profiteers rush to build new pipelines for fossil fuel export of crude?

    All of this makes ZERO sense!

  7. Don Goddard says:

    Hey Mike, the United brothers in the Carpenters’ Union in both Saskatoon and Regina, years ago, voted not to work at Eldorado Nuclear up north. The conditions were so bad we were wading through yellowcake. Some did, some didnt, but it’s not all about stupid chest thumping and bad language, man. Its about really researching and examining the issues, the history, the contracts and the cost to people who will be wiped out when things go wrong. And they will. You know that as well as I. Let’s run a pipeline by your house and under your kids playground…whaddya say? How much is it worth to you to imperil YOUR livlihood, community, and family? There’s more to this than the standard union mantra, “jobs, jobs, jobs”. Take care, bro.

  8. ingamarie says:

    Well are you a Russian owned company or aren’t you? It seems a bit beside the point to call an article that connects Kinder Morgan to a Russian oligarch a piece of ‘conspiracy shit’…….it in fact, the article’s facts are true.

    The article is responding to the irony of Kenny calling people who oppose the pipeline, Russian bots working to defeat it………….when in actual fact, Russian interests likely want it to succeed.

    Where the steel is made….in Canada apparently….might give us a bit more security vis a vis quality control….but it doesn’t change the facts this article is underscoring.

    Don’t be so thin skinned. Regardless of how good your job is, and how many benefits you have……….JASON STILL GOT IT BACKWARDS….WRONG….AND SPIN JUNK STUPID.

    And I think that is the point of this article. Russia isn’t funding any environmentalist bots…….its solidly behind the pipeline….for economic reasons. As is Jason, for ideological reasons.

    And as to being proud of Canada’s ability with steel………what has that got to do with the price of dilbit in China??LOL

  9. Hugh McNab says:

    Its Jason Kenny with the conspiracy shit.
    Glad about your talents.

  10. Onni Milne says:

    What is becoming clear is that this government was elected for change and what we have been given is “business as usual, profit above all else for corporations”. It is corporations who are running our nation, not our elected representatives. Is this what “democracy” look like? Niet! I feel outraged that bullying and threats are considered effective management by Trudeau and Co. when what we need is integrity and standing up for the interests of Canadian citizens.

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