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Archives – To speed up searches for older articles we will archive each previous month. We may need to post a 15 day archive for each month due to the sheer size of this page. We would then combine it at the end of the month to make a monthy archive. The archives will be PDF files, that are very easy to search using the search box in PDF, allowing readers to quickly find an article.
Last updated: Mar 29th, 2012 at 10:47 am PST
NOTE: Due to conflicting time schedules and other duties requiring our attention we will not have any new updates in this section only (due to the time involved) until this fall most likely starting again in October. In order to find tha latest articles we suggest using the following “key words” in Google.
“Northern Gateway” “Enbridge Northern Gateway” “Environment” “Pipeline Protests” “Enbridge” each will draw up separate lists, with some common links.
With the first portion of hearings underway regarding construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline, a company executive doesn’t think Grande Prairie will voice much opposition. “I think we will hear support,” said Janet Holder of Calgary, Enbridge’s executive vice-president of western access. “We have not been seeing a lot of support in media,” referring to opposition west of the Alberta-B.C. border. “We do want to hear from First Nations and what other parties have to say, and to respect the process.”
A group of 625 scientists have written to the Canadian government expressing concern that habitat protections are about to be removed from Section 35 of the Fisheries Act. The scientists believe that removing the habitat protections would jeopardise many important fish stocks and the lakes, estuaries and rivers that support them.
The Comox Valley School District will work with First Nation students to design and implement a series of courses and activities that explore and promote aboriginal traditions. The commitment came during a meeting with Vancouver Island North Member of Parliament and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development John Duncan. At the informal meeting, Duncan met with members of the K’ómoks First Nation, school board trustees, district staff and Valley students involved with Aboriginal Education Services.
“We say no to Enbridge oil,” was the resounding message heard across downtown Vancouver Monday afternoon, as more than 2,000 people gathered in the rain for a rally opposing the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. In full ceremonial regalia, members of the First Nations marched through Vancouver’s business section, beating drums. Out the windows of Canada’s largest natural resource extraction companies, employees looked down at them. And behind them, a procession of mostly well-dressed mostly twenty-somethings followed, chanting anti-pipeline
Earlier this month, we in the U.S. gained a big victory in the fight to protect wolves from dirty tar sands oil, when a bill failed in the U.S. Senate that would have overruled President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. Now thousands of Canada’s wolves are facing another threat of tar sands oil — for the “Keystone Lite.” Obama decided earlier this year to reject the Keystone XL pipeline; now President Obama announced he will start to expedite other pipeline permits like the southern leg of the Keystone XL, known as “Keystone Lite.”
Excerpt: The Oil Sands’ story and their dire environmental consequences are told in the documentary “Tipping Point: The End of Oil,” and it screens at the Vail Film Festival this week. (For show times, see info box). Written and directed by Tom Radford and Niobe Thompson, the story begins down the Athabasca River from the tar sands in the tiny Native community of Fort Chipewyan. John O’Connor, an Irish doctor serving the Native community, began noticing an alarming spike in cancers among his patients, specifically cancers that are caused by petroleum exposure. When he raised concerns, Alberta’s College of Physicians threatened to remove his license, giving him no choice but to leave his practice. Meanwhile, industry and government claimed production in the Oil Sands contributed zero pollution to the Athabasca River. Of course, it was industry and government funding the studies and all findings were kept secret.
Excerpt: EDMONTON — In Thomas Mulcair’s world, Alberta’s “tar sands” aren’t merely a massive environmental disaster. Oh no. Think bigger, friends. Much bigger. According to the newly elected federal NDP leader’s tidy view of reality, the um, oilsands (pardon my French, Thomas) are to blame for everything but Lindsay Lohan’s drug problems.
Editorial Comment: OK for people living in the real world (outside of Edmonton) does this article not read like a Conservative campaign ad? Full of Bullshit and low on substantiated truth. But then the only other thing Alberta is known for besides tarsands in excess is bullshit in excess.
Excerpt: I’ve had the opportunity to consider New Democratic Party leadership contender Thomas Mulcair’s article, “Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Country” published online in Policy Options Magazine. It’s an excellent article by Mulcair, who was Quebec’s Environment Minister prior to resigning from the provincial Liberal Party and running federally for the NDP in the Montreal riding of Outremount. It’s clear that Mulcair understands the need of putting sustainability at the head of decision-making processes. And Mulcair is right to point out that under the current Conservative government, Canada has taken significant steps backwards in its responsibilities to be stewards of the environment.
Excerpt: Last September Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper referred to the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline as a “no-brainer” for the United States. The pipeline would bring tar sands oil from Alberta to refineries in Texas. Nonetheless, the Obama administration rejected the pipeline’s cross-border leg starting in Alberta, based largely on concerns about its possible environmental impact on the Ogallala Aquifer in Nebraska should a spill occur. Congress made repeated attempts to reverse the decision to no avail.
Editorial Comment: Buying the minds of our children, here is another blatant attempt by business to mold the minds of those to become its loyal soldiers backing their agenda. Next you watch we will have corporate sponsored judges and courtrooms.
There is no difference between this and having McDonalds teach our children about good eating practices.
Excerpt: Refineries in Atlantic Canada should get the opportunity to process cheaper oil from Alberta, says P.E.I. Senator Mike Duffy. Duffy was responding to an application from Enbridge to the National Energy Board to reverse the flow in an existing pipeline to bring oil from Alberta to Ontario. A company spokesperson says that if the market conditions are right, Enbridge might apply to get the oil to Montreal. Duffy would like to see that happen, so Atlantic refineries could have the oil shipped from Montreal to their facilities in Atlantic Canada.
Excerpt: As e-mail chains go, the one making the rounds on the environmental circuit this week came weighted with pedigree. It was written by individuals who collectively might be called the “elders” of the conservation movement in British Columbia. Among the many contributors were Carmen Purdy, former president of the BC Wildlife Federation, Ray Demarchi, the retired chief of wildlife conservation for the province, and Dave Narver, former director of the B.C. Fisheries Branch.
Excerpt: “That sounds like a lot of employment, until you start breaking down the numbers,” says Marc Lee, senior economist at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ BC Office, and author of Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares: The Economic Costs and Benefits of the Proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. The study finds that Enbridge’s job creation estimates are based on flawed modeling and questionable assumptions. Estimates assume that workers would otherwise be unemployed, and a large share of the estimated jobs come from induced employment, i.e. the economic impact of expenditures by Enbridge workers and governments. These “induced” impacts are particularly difficult to estimate and notoriously easy to overstate.
Excerpt: Poets huddled outside the Enbridge office in Vancouver to speak out against the controversial Northern Gateway pipeline project. Rather than holding banners and chanting slogans, however, these oil sands pipeline opponents protested through rhyme and spoken word. They read works from The Enpipe Line, a collaborative book of anti-pipeline poetry that was launched at the event.
A moratorium on crude-oil supertankers on B.C.’s coast should be expanded and enshrined in legislation, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. “We know oil and water don’t mix,” said May, who was at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney Friday. After the Exxon Valdez was grounded on a reef in Prince William Sound in Alaska in 1989, it spewed 40 million litres of crude oil across approximately 2,000 kilometres of shoreline. The area has not yet recovered, May said.
Excerpt: Energy exports were the government’s new top strategic priority. Asia, led by China, was the export market to target. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline to the seaport at Kitimat, B.C., must get built. Environmental assessment for that project and dozens of others must be streamlined. Reconciliation with Aboriginal groups that could block those pipelines must be fast-tracked.
Editorial Comment: Proof that the NEB Hearings are nothing more than a false front for the pretending we have a regulatory system protecting the interests of all Canadians.
Excerpt: The heightened awareness indicated by the Mustel survey is not surprising given the Joint Review Panel sessions on the project – particularly the January 10-11 one in Kitamaat Village – received blanket coverage in the media. The next question was, “Do you support or oppose the construction of such a pipeline?” Here the opponents outnumbered the supporters 46 per cent to 36.8 per cent, a reversal of the Ipsos-Reid poll which had 48 per cent supporting and 31 per cent opposing. Undecideds numbered 7.3 per cent (20 per cent Ipsos-Reid). “It appears that at the same time knowledge of the project is growing, so is opposition,” said Cullen. In the regional breakdown of the Mustel poll, the highest percentage opposed was on the South Coast/Vancouver Island (58.3 per cent) while the least opposition was in the Southern Interior (43 per cent). The North Coast/Interior result was 43.9 per cent opposed.The Southern Interior had the highest level of support (41.2 per cent) followed by the North Coast/Interior (39 per cent).
Excerpt: TransCanada Corp. is proposing a major shift in the way oil moves across Canada, urging the oil patch to consider a massive $5.6-billion new pipeline system that would carry large volumes of western crude to refineries in Ontario, Quebec and beyond. The East Coast Pipeline Project, as TransCanada has dubbed it in presentations to energy companies, could do more than supply the east with fuels made from oil sands crude. It could serve as an alternative to Northern Gateway, the controversial West Coast export pipeline project from TransCanada competitor Enbridge Inc. that has faced a wall of opposition from first nations and environmental groups.
Excerpt: Award-winning author and investigative journalist Andrew Nikiforuk will speak at THE. Nikiforuk will be at the Fernie Heritage Library on Monday April 2 at 7:00 pm. Mr. Nikiforuk will be speaking primarily about his recent books, Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests and Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent.
Excerpt: A group of Canadians, including Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, is winding up a trip which has seen them travel to France, the Netherlands, England and beginning Mar. 23rd, Germany. The focus of the trip is to convince European governments to support the Fuel Quality Directive, which would severely sanction the use of tar sands-based oil on the continent if passed by the European Parliament. Erasmus said the group, which includes the Climate Action Network and the Council of Canadians, is trying to have a dialogue on the tar sands issue, something the federal government isn’t doing. “We believe that Canada is trying to hinder that. They don’t want to have a discussion,” said Erasmus, “ There is no policy at home. There is no plan. It’s essentially cabinets decision to move with this.”
Excerpt: The Canadian government isn’t alone in lobbying European governments about the European Commission’s proposed new fuel quality directive (FQD). A trio of stakeholder groups concerned about oilsands development were in London, England, Thursday, looking to counter the Harper government’s attempt at blocking the directive. Representatives from the Council of Canadians, Climate Action Network and the Assembly of First Nations met with members of the U.K. Liberal Democrats at their party headquarters near the British Parliament at Westminster.
Excerpt: The group Environmental Defence will have to now defend itself following allegations it broke strict limits on political activity by charities. In a letter to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the group EthicalOil.org argues Environmental Defence should have its charitable status revoked – or at least face sanctions – over “targeted, partisan political activity.” EthicalOil.org spokesman Jamie Ellerton accuses Environmental Defence of breaking the rules in how it has gone after federal Environment Minister Peter Kent.
Editorial Comment: To be honest let’s put things in perspective, first up is that Sun News is really Fox News (from the USA) disguised to promote extreme right wing agenda. Now once you understand that you can see the double hypocrisy involved when EthicalOil.org will not disclose its funding, but expects Environmental Defense to disclose theirs.
Excerpt: Questioned on the remarks by reporters, Oliver said he was merely speaking about a lack of economic opportunities, and denied accusations of paternalism towards First Nations people. But the head of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, which represents First Nations in BC, said Oliver’s comments are representative of a pattern. “It goes beyond paternalism – there’s definitely a colour of racism in a lot of his remarks towards Indigenous or Aboriginal or First Nations people,” Grand Chief Stewart Phillip told The Vancouver Observer. “We certainly don’t appreciate those incredibly ignorant public declarations. It serves no purpose but to intensify an already volatile situation. It’s not helpful. Regardless of his excuses, his intent is very clear: shamelessly cheerleading the corporate agenda as it pertains to these large-scale resource development projects.”
Excerpt: Reform is coming within months, Oliver said. “We’re talking months, not years. We’re trying to expedite the process, so we need to expedite ourselves.”
Excerpt: More than 600 Canadian scientists, including some of the county’s leading experts in environmental protection and animal research, are asking Stephen Harper to abandon plans to remove habitat protections from the federal Fisheries Act. In a letter to the Prime Minister, they changing the law “would be a most unwise action, which would jeopardize many important fish stocks and the lakes, estuaries and rivers that support them. We urge you to abandon this initiative as it is currently drafted.”
Excerpt: Government vs. oil companies: who gets the upper hand? Even if Canada were to hike up royalties and put more resource revenues into pension funds, there’s still a broader issue at play that separates our case from Norway’s. In Norway, the state has the upper hand—they ultimately retain control of the resources and oil companies generally play by the government’s rules. Here in Canada, however, industry players appear to have an increasingly dominant role in determining policy.
Excerpt: Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver, making similar appearances this week in Regina, Winnipeg and Sudbury, Ont., is warning that thousands of Canadian jobs are at stake because of long delays flowing from a needlessly complex regulatory system.
Excerpt: While the media framing of the pipeline project has been jobs vs. the environment, the harsh reality is that very few jobs are being created by the pipeline. We can bank on no more than 3,000 jobs per year for three years during the construction phase (Enbridge’s own numbers say 1,850 per year for three years laying the pipe, and if we assume that the steel and pipe will be manufactured in Canada that would be, generously, another 1,000 jobs for three years). Once complete, Enbridge estimates 217 direct jobs in pipeline operations. This is not really a surprise because the oil and gas industry is one of the most capital-intensive in the world, employing less than 1 per cent of Canadian workers.
Excerpt: British Columbians, especially in the northwest, value some things more than money, like healthy freshwater ecosystems and wild salmon. By pro-posing a pipeline and tanker project that impacts those while offering very few benefits (pipelines are simply not job creators), Enbridge has united a broad cross-section of northern B.C.-rednecks and hippies, cowboys and Indians, conservative and progressive voters. Together, we will defend our assets.
Excerpt: Nor is there any evidence that it will have any impact on future gas prices. As we’ve highlighted continually, there is no guarantee that any of this refined oil will stay in the U.S. In fact, most likely, Keystone will be an export pipeline that will send oil to whoever pays the most for it, like India or China.
Excerpt: Keystone XL is a tar sands pipeline through the United States, not to it. The proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, whether seen as a whole or as a northern and southern segment, would pump some of the world’s dirtiest oil that is strip-mined and drilled from under the boreal forests of Alberta, Canada, straight through the heart of America’s breadbasket to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Keystone XL won’t bring additional oil into the United States for over a decade – it just diverts oil from the Midwest to the Gulf Coast where it can be refined and exported.
Excerpt: Should we be shocked that Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is apparently looking at stripping fish habitat protection out of the Fisheries Act? Probably not. The Conservatives seem to have no shame where the environment is concerned. From Kyoto to the Athabasca tarsands, they seem to be intent on proving to their business supporters that the economy trumps the environment in all areas. Currently, any project that interferes with fish habitat must undergo an environmental assessment to obtain an authorization and must compensate for any loss of habitat.
Excerpt: Ottawa is casting a cold eye at the Fisheries Act with the idea of doing some word tweaking to make it user friendly for private industry. Those words: Habitat protection. Yet those words are the cornerstone of the entire the Act. According to leaked documents, the feds want to drop the ‘habitat’ reference to ‘modernize’ the legislation and speed up approvals for projects, especially for those businesses in resource extraction
Excerpt: Estimates of job creation promoted by Enbridge, the company behind the pipeline, are about 10 times too high, according to economist Marc Lee of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “I think there are a lot of wild claims being made about the economic benefits of the pipeline, that it’s in Canada’s national interest, but if you look really closely there are fairly few jobs being delivered by the pipeline,” he told CTV News.
Excerpt: The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives argues in “Enbridge Pipe Dreams and Nightmares,” that the Alberta-to-B.C. pipeline will create 1,850 construction jobs per year for three years and a “handful of permanent new jobs” when complete. The report, released today, is the latest claim in the a contentious debate over the impact that the 1,177-kilometre dual-pipeline will have on the country’s jobs market. Enbridge has long maintained that the pipeline will create 62,700 person years of construction employment across Canada over three years and 1,150 long-term jobs.
Excerpt: Should we be shocked that Stephen Harper’s Conservative government is apparently looking at stripping fish habitat protection out of the Fisheries Act? Probably not. The Conservatives seem to have no shame where the environment is concerned. From Kyoto to the Athabasca tar sands, they seem to be intent on proving to their business supporters that the economy trumps the environment in all areas.
Excerpt: During a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday, Canadian environmental advocates from Greenpeace and the Pembina Institute shared their compelling testimony regarding Alberta’s oil sands. Despite the hearing’s focus on “successes” in reducing oil sands industry impacts, Pembina policy director Simon Dyer and Greenpeace campaigner Melina Laboucan-Massimo both agreed that it was a step in the right direction.
Excerpt: More than anything else, coal fuelled the Industrial Revolution. It was, and still is, plentiful and cheap. It’s also always been relatively easy to get at, especially if you don’t mind sending kids into mines, endangering the lives of miners, or blasting the tops off mountains. Coal is an 18th-century fuel source, but we’re still relying on it for much of our energy needs in the 21st century. Because it’s so abundant and inexpensive, there’s been little incentive to switch to cleaner but often more expensive sources.
Excerpt: Over the past three days I have had about 10 meetings with European decision- and policy-makers to talk about the impacts of tar sands on Canada’s domestic and international policy. Together with members of First Nations, Chief Bill Erasmus and Ben Powless, trade expert Stuart Trew, and evironmentalist Steven Guilbeault we are tackling the impacts of the Canadian government’s fixation on the reckless expansion of the tar sands in order to offer up a different, and critical, perspective to a European audience who has been on the receiving end of aggressive Canadian government lobbying.
Excerpt: The Canadian and provincial government of Alberta have a “lax and failing” set of regulations regarding tar sands oil, a Greenpeace delegate said. The U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power heard testimony about the safety of so-called tar sands oil from Canada. Melina Laboucan-Massimo, an aboriginal Canadian and advocate from Greenpeace, told lawmakers that Canadian governments have shown little respect for environmental laws. “In reality Canada and more specifically the province of Alberta have a lax and failing environmental monitoring system with little enforcement for its own laws when it comes to producing the tar sands,” she said.
Excerpt: Dix says the decision on the pipeline lies within the process “The Federal Government is doing the regulatory review on Enbridge, and what that means is, people, first and foremost, have to get involved there. That’s why our MLAs Robin Austin and Gary Coons and Doug Donaldson, from the region are speaking at the hearings. Our environment critic Rob Fleming is speaking at the hearings. I think these people are right to this extent, that while there are other things that can be done, the primary place for the decision that will be made on Enbridge is in this Federal regulatory process and they have to get involved, and they are. I think people in the northwest in particular, but all over the north are getting involved in this process and I think that’s a good thing.”
Editorial Comment: The cowards way of saying that he is going to allow the project to proceed without any of his government’s interference.
Excerpt: The National Energy Board will conduct hearings for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal March 30 and 31 at the Comox Community Centre. The Comox Valley chapters of the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club have organized a rally on the Saturday dubbed Our Coast, Our Decision — No Tankers, No Pipeline. Attendees are asked to bring banners and to wear a blue scarf in opposition to the multi-billion dollar twin pipeline system proposed to run from Bruderheim, Alta. near Edmonton to a new marine terminal in Kitimat. Enbridge proposes to ship an average of 525,000 barrels of oil per day to Kitimat.
Excerpt: A second former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister has levelled a scathing broadside at the Harper government, saying the reported plan to gut the Fisheries Act is “foolish” and shows the government isn’t truly conservative. John Fraser was responding to speculation that Ottawa is planning to remove any reference to habitat protection in the legislation, a move critics say is partly intended to help Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. get approval to build an oilsands pipeline to the West Coast. “To take habitat out of the Fisheries Act is a very serious error because you can’t save fish if you don’t save habitat, and I say this as a lifelong conservative,” Fraser said in an interview Tuesday.
Excerpt: Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty plans to include new measures to expedite environmental approvals for energy projects in next week’s budget, as part of efforts to build new pipelines that will help the country tap into growing Asian demand for oil, a person familiar with the document said.
Excerpt: Enbridge has been invited back to Kitimat. This time, to defend concerns raised by a local community group. Douglas Channel Watch member, Murray Minchin approached council two weeks ago, detailing the dangers of building the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline through the Nimbus Mountain area. Minchin said the mountain region is known for frequent avalanches, that could result in the pipe breaking and spilling bitumen into the Kitimat river.
Excerpt: The Comox Valley chapters of the Council of Canadians and the Sierra Club are calling on all concerned British Columbians to stand up for: the environment, the rights of First Nations through whose lands the pipeline will pass, those whose livelihoods and way of life will be irreparably harmed by an oil spill, and, our democratic right to participate in making the decisions which impact our land and waters as well as our social and economic environment.
Excerpt: Thomas Mulcair, the New Democratic Party leadership candidate most likely to assume the prime-minister-in-waiting mantle after next Saturday’s final balloting, has issued some soothing words about his plans for the oilsands. “You’ll never hear me speaking against the development of the oilsands,” he told the Toronto Star last week before laying out his polluter-pay policy for the oil and gas industry.
Excerpt: Local MP Nathan Cullen is accusing the federal Conservatives of “gutting the environmental assessment process,” which he says is a Tory concession to Albertan Oil and Gas industry, to limit a project’s opponents ability to fight it at the regulatory level which is what is happening with the Enbridge Pipeline hearings.
Editorial Comment: Here we go again. How many million people repeating the following will get you to understand, it’s not about money, it’s about not destroying what we already own! But then you already knew that, the argument you use is in fact one of many attempts to divide and conquer; however the citizens of BC know BS when they see it, and won’t bite here either.
Excerpt: As the world struggles to restrict carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Canada stands out. Although many countries emit larger absolute amounts of carbon, we are, among developed countries, the second-largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases, (after Australia). We need to recognize this status, and show leadership on carbon. If we fail to do so, our economy will attract negative attention and possibly even sanctions on our exports. Anyone who does not take this risk seriously should consider the current difficulties of the Keystone XL Pipeline in the U.S. and proposals in the EU to label oilsands products as “dirty” fuel.
Excerpt: Today kicks off a week-long tour of European capitals, led by a First Nation Chief and members of leading Canadian civil society organizations. The tour will urge European decision makers to stand up to Canadian government and industry lobbying against policies that will help Europe continue to be a leader in the fight against global climate change. The tour is in Paris today, and will continue to The Hague, London and finish in Berlin on Monday, March 26th. The tour is in response to aggressive attempts by the Canadian and Albertan governments’ together with industry to undermine or kill the European Union’s efforts to reduce their transportation pollution through the Fuel Quality Directive. Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver reinforced Canada’s position that the Directive is discriminatory and non-science based in a meeting with a number of EU ministers at the International Energy Forum in Kuwait just last week.
Excerpt: Murphy is a well-known critic of the scientific consensus on climate change. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he is giving speaker after speaker free reign to trash environmentalists. One man even called greenies “anti-science, anti-business and anti-human”, with nary a response from Murphy. That shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you want to know what Murphy really thinks about climate change and the Alberta tar sands, check out this video:
Excerpt: A concern is also growing about the Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion by Kinder Morgan, which plans to formally announce the pipeline expansion this month. This pipeline is the the only one that runs oil sands bitumen from Alberta to the West Coast. Kinder Morgan’s current pipeline is 1,150 km; their expansion would twin that pipeline and increase oil transport from 300,000 to 600,000 barrels a day. The Burrard Inlet will see more tankers in its waters, and we may also see dredging of the Second Narrows and a widening of the Westridge Marine Terminal in order to make way for supertankers that could carry 1,000,000 barrels of oil. While the pipeline has enough commercial support, it faces a similar fate as the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline due to strong opposition from First Nations, BC residents, municipalities, and environmental groups. Fears of leaks and spills abound.
Editorial Comment: The lunatics that run Ottowa don’t care about helping eastern Canada; they are sworn to turn the owners of these Tarsands into richer than Saudi Oil Sheiks.
Excerpt: Ottawa is going to war on the environment. This week, Harper Government plans to gut environmental assessment and fisheries laws became public while the Senate held unprecedented hearings into environmental groups’ so-called “un-Canadian” activities. When the dust settles, the victims of this war on the environment will be anglers, New Canadians, and children – and, of course, nature itself.
Excerpt: Rex Murphy must either be looking for a senate appointment like some of his colleagues did, or he is revealing the true insanity comes to all old commentators that should have retired a long time ago.
Excerpt: A former Progressive Conservative fisheries minister urged the Harper government Friday to reject private sector appeals, which are particularly loud in Western Canada, to water down the federal Fisheries Act. Tom Siddon, who introduced the policy in 1986 under thenPrime Minister Brian Mulroney, said there’s “no justifiable excuse” for removing provisions ensuring the protection of fisheries habitat.
Editorial Comment: Recall the saying, dumb, dumb, and dumber, well Graham Hicks is most certainly tries to fit the bill in this article. Mind you some of the people commenting down below the article have shown just how their stupid desperation has turned them into idiots that argue like rude 6 year old kids.
Excerpt: You don’t want to give too much credence to the unhinged accusations of crotchety Conservative senators, but their recent attacks on environmentalists suggest a bold escalation in the government’s anti-green messaging. At a recent meeting of a Senate committee examining foreign contributions to Canadian charities, Conservative Senator Percy Mockler described some respected environmental organizations – including the Sierra Club and David Suzuki foundations – as “bad, not to mention, ugly.” (“They’re all anti-Canadian,” chimed in Conservative Senator Mike Duffy.)
Excerpt: “Mr. Speaker, a leaked document has revealed a new Conservative plan to attack the Fisheries Act. It shines light on the government’s plan to gut important environmental protections,” Donnelly said Wednesday. “Eliminating habitat protection will set us back decades, making it easier to ram through big industrial projects, like the Enbridge pipeline, which we know will have a devastating impact on the environment.” Donnelly asked Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield if the government is “to gut the habitat fisheries.” Ashfield replied that current fisheries policies go well beyond what is required to protect fish and fish habitat.
Excerpt: Should we be shocked that the Tories are apparently looking at stripping fish habitat protection out of the Fisheries Act? Probably not. The Conservatives seem to have no shame where the environment is concerned. From Kyoto to the oilsands, they seem to be intent on proving to their business supporters that the economy trumps the environment in all areas. We broke the story in our paper this past week, and, while the Tories insist that “no decision has been taken,” they also replied to our questions with this statement: “Federal fisheries policies designed to protect fish are outdated and unfocused in terms of balancing environmental and economic realities.”
Excerpt: Protester Kaleen McNamara said Kent had no place at such an event given the federal government’s record on the environment. “They are muzzling climate-change scientists. They are shutting down climate-change research centres. They are pushing forward with tar-sands development and pipelines through B.C. despite opposition,” McNamara told the Straight. “It’s clear that he [the minister] is not in favour of sustainability. He is not innovative and thinking about the future,” she said. “We’re just trying to call attention to the greenwashing that’s going on here.”
Excerpt: “The government has been criticizing environmental groups for bringing foreign influence into a domestic issue. Meanwhile, there’s extensive foreign investment in oil and gas, and Conservative MPs have also been shown to have used US strategy firms to help win the 2011 election. Is that not seen as foreign influence in domestic issues as well?” VO asked Kent. “I won’t speak to specifics,” Kent answered, with a stiff expression. “But I will say this: on one hand, concerns have been raised and they’re being examined by the Finance Committee of the Standing Committee of the House. With regards to foreign funds which are channeled through Canadian charitable agencies …. I think the questions that are being asked are, do those funds put the charitable status of those agencies at risk? Because there are quite stringent regulations.”
Excerpt: The Northern Gateway pipeline is a done deal. Protesters can protest. First Nations can blockade. Potential environmental hazards can blow in the wind. This pipeline is going through. Stephen Harper and the Conservatives have the power to change laws in such a way that all impediments to the pipeline will be erased. What is said they are about to do is a prime example.
Excerpt: Changing the Fisheries Act to make things easier for companies like Enbridge is not going to solve the opposition to this project, and it’s a huge step in the wrong direction. What unites rednecks and hippies, cowboys and Indians, Conservative and progressive voters in northwest British Columbia, is wild salmon. We will continue to rise up together to protect wild salmon watersheds against corporate and government threats.
Excerpt: Opponents are already at work. A tanker ban would be largely federal jurisdiction, so opposition MPs from B.C. have repeatedly tabled private member’s bills to enact a ban. There is one before the Commons today. Under the current federal government, such legislation stands little chance, but that could change. Governments come and go, and approval for Northern Gateway will almost certainly take longer than the life of any Parliament.
Excerpt: The loss of peatlands covering the oil sands in the Canadian province of Alberta causes carbon emissions of a magnitude between 11 and 47 mton. These figures of the Albertan University were published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The Canadian scientist calculated that these peatland-carbon losses will be equal to the already huge emissions of 7 years of oil sand mining in the region. Restoration of mined areas by reforestation leads to far less carbon sequestration compared to an area with peatlands.
Excerpt: ‘SpOil’ (45 min.) is the beautiful documentary produced by the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) that tells the story of the threats facing the Great Bear Rainforest and the continued efforts of the First Nations communities and conservation groups to protect this wild landscape. ‘SpOil’, voted Best Environmental Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, follows the Great Bear Rainforest Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition (RAVE) swat team of photographers and filmmakers to the Great Bear Rainforest to document the beauty and the threats to this wild landscape.
Excerpt: The huge volume of natural gas that would be diverted from BC and Alberta to several liquid natural gas (LNG) plants on the West Coast would bypass the Henry Hub on its way to Asia. Besides depleting a non-renewable resource with massive exports, the new market would force up the price of natural gas – if not for Canadians, then certainly for British Columbians.
Excerpt: A leaked document that alleges the Conservative government is looking at removing fish habitat protection from the Fisheries Act is raising the alarm among Fraser Valley fishermen. Frank Kwak, president of the Fraser Valley Salmon Society, although clearly concerned about the report, said he didn’t want to comment publicly on allegations made in a leaked document until it’s discussed by the society executive. But Fin Donnelly, the NDP’s fisheries critic in Ottawa, said the response of the fisheries minister during question period left him no doubt the government is seriously considering stripping fish habitat from the wording of the act.
Excerpt: Otto Langer is a highly respected fisheries expert who had a long distinguished career with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and got fed up with the politicization of the DFO. He was hardly alone – back in the early 90s at the time of the Kemano II fight, there were a number of DFO officers who left DFO by early retirement, being shuffled elsewhere, denied a deserved promotion, etc.
Excerpt: Builder Enbridge Inc. has offered 40 First Nations and Metis communities along the pipeline corridor a 10% equity interest. The APG, which represents four First Nations affected by the Mackenzie pipeline, owns 33%, is a full partner, sits on the project’s board and helps make the rules.
Excerpt: “Let me ask you this, honourable senators: If environmentalists are willing to accept money from Martians, where would they draw the line on where they receive money from? Would they take money from Al Qaeda, the Hamas or the Taliban?,” said Senator Plett.
Excerpt: The recent hissy fit by the federal Conservatives (backed by one of their insane public relations partners, Ethical Oil) against environmental groups opposed to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline is well documented. What’s happening now is more troubling. After opposing the existence of the Senate when he wasn’t in power, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has realized how useful it can be when stacked in his favour. And he seems to have put a whole lot o’ crazy into the chamber of sober second thought. Recently, Conservative senators launched an inquiry (basically a gabfest without teeth) into removing the charitable status of environmental groups that oppose developing Alberta’s oilsands.
Excerpt: Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield indicated Wednesday that changes are coming to the federal Fisheries Act, which critics say are designed to ease the way for the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline linking Alberta and the B.C. coast. The federal government was blasted by B.C. NDP and Liberal MPs who accused the Conservatives of trying to “gut” what Green party Leader Elizabeth May calls the “cornerstone” of federal environment policy. MPs said it’s part of a broader plan by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to assist Enbridge Inc.’s oilsands pipeline, since it would cross hundreds of rivers and streams.
Excerpt: Denying science is how Harper, the foreign oil companies, and the flat earthers in the fundamentalist mass insanity movements, all conspire against this country and those who want to protect its environment. Harper has muzzled the scientific community. He says that all scientific findings must go through his office to make sure they are correct. He has no right in a democracy to censor anything, especially scientists. Science must never be controlled by government paranoia or make Harper’s oil patch friends very wealthy.
JLS ……For What It’s Worth