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Rafe: Fix is in on Enbridge as Clark and Redford put on show

Posted October 17, 2013 by Rafe Mair in Energy and Resources
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Clark & Redford: What their cozy relationship means for BC pipelines

BC and Alberta Premiers Christy Clark and Alison Redford (CP photo)

I assure you that this will not take long.

We’ve been screwed, blued and tattooed folks.

You may have read the story last week that First Nations have charged that the Enbridge pipeline has already started.

At the same time, the BC/Alberta Deputy Ministers Working Group is announced and the fix is in. No doubt about it.

There are two shared goals in the document touting this partnership:

  1. Opening new markets and expanding export opportunities for oil, gas and other resources
  2. Creating jobs and strengthening the economy of each province and Canada through the development of the oil and gas sector.

The document talks about oil spillage on land and sea, but never does it say that a project might not be allowed because of the “risk” of pipelines and tankers. It’s a given that there will be pipelines and tankers, PERIOD.

It mumbles platitudes like a “world class prevention and preparedness” regime.

First Nations’ Enbridge spill concerns being ignored

I’m sure First Nations will be delighted to know Clark and Redford will supply them with “accommodation”, which “can include mitigation measures or even economic compensation”. (emphasis added)

Mitigation is a weasel word for saying that although damage is coming, we will do our very best to minimize it – honest to goodness, cross our hearts and hope to die – we will give you prosthetic devices for the arms and legs we’re going to cut off.

Health permitting (I’m a little long in the tooth) I’ll place myself in front of the first dirt remover.

And, dear friends, there may be wampum for you if you’re good little Indians and place your “Xs”on the dotted line. Somehow I don’t see First Nations being convinced by this document that they will be treated any better than the Carrier-Sekani or Haisla were at the time of Alcan’s Kemano hydroelectric project in the 50s. This government, like the Bourbons, “has learned nothing and forgotten nothing”.

Carving up the booty

The rest of this 10-page document deals with carving up the booty – partly in bribes for First Nations, but mostly between themselves.

One of the major players – are you ready for this? – is Fazil Mihlar, a former fellow of the Fraser Institute and editor of The Vancouver Sun. Mihlar recently left the paper to become the BC Liberal Government’s Assistant Deputy Minister of the new Oil and Strategic Initiatives Division.

Act as if pipelines are a done deal

There is little to say except we must now choose our weapons and we should stop beating about the bush. There is no point in pleading with these bastards for their mind is made up. We must treat the situation as if the pipelines were a done deal – because they are.

We’ve reported on the false facade of Clark’s supposed reservations about Enbridge over the past year, juxtaposed with the realties of trade deals and the province’s legal abdication of responsibility on the pipeline decision – this new information simply reinforces our concerns all along.

Peaceful civil disobedience is the only weapon left and we must prepare for that. As I have said for sometime, health permitting (I’m a little long in the tooth) I’ll place myself in front of the first dirt remover.

Writing letters is always a good idea but it does nothing. Your MLA and MP have no power to do anything.

The opposition to these pipelines and tankers must contain the solemn undertaking to physically stop them. Anything else will be taken by your government as bluff and bluster.

Rafe to Christy: Hold a referendum

For the first time in nearly 82 years on this planet I find myself ashamed – not just pissed off – but ashamed of my government. The people, indigenous or otherwise, have not been consulted and won’t be.

I leave with this challenge to Premier Clark: hold a referendum.

Or are you afraid that, as with the Charlottetown Accord in 1992, the public will be informed and let you know they want nothing to do with your disgraceful deals?

Yes, hold a referendum and let us decide the fate of our beautiful province with one of the last real wilderness areas in the world.

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About the Author

Rafe Mair

Rafe Mair, LL.B, LL.D (Hon) a B.C. MLA 1975 to 1981, was Minister of Environment from late 1978 through 1979. In 1981 he left politics for Talk Radio becoming recognized as one of B.C.'s pre-eminent journalists. An avid fly fisherman, he took a special interest in Atlantic salmon farms and private power projects as environmental calamities and became a powerful voice in opposition to them. Rafe continues to make regular appearances on radio and television, writes regularly for thetyee.ca, and writes a regular blog at rafeonline.com.

24 Comments


  1.  
    Kevin Rea

    I think a small oil spill of say 10,000 gallons in Alberta’s Bow River is what is needed to bring home the reality of the nature of oil spill incidents to the Albertans. Maybe then they and their politicians will think a little harder before pushing the crap across BC’s border and onto our coast. I didn’t vote for Christy because I knew she was full of shit from the start. Referendum is a good idea but they can cook the question so that it confuses everyone and they won’t know how to vote one way or another. Civil disobedience is the way to go, both peaceful and unpeaceful.




  2.  
    Ron Waller

    I am more shocked that the taxpayers in BC believed Clark about her 5 points. This was a shell game to get past the election. Wake up people. This is just the beginning and if we don’t stop it now our Province is doomed.




  3.  
    lynn

    did u have to ruin my Friday. Please




  4.  
    Iggy

    Christy is better looking than Alison…..If you are gonna get screwed…..ya , you know…:D




    •  

      They’re both a couple of skanks, and they’re not going to screw us. I’ll be standing right beside you, Rafe, and I’m no spring chicken either. I hope we won’t be the only ones brave enough to stand up for our beautiful province.




  5.  

    Many guessed that these ‘Iron Ladies’ ,with their new 4 year mandates ,were just kidding when then feigned some doubt about the revenue generating Northern Gateway pipeline–only the ‘tooth fairy’ believers bought their ‘phony’ objection …P.M. Harper however is a little more circumvent—he too wants a new 4 year mandate–but for now he will use the usual bafflegab about ‘let science’ help us to decide ! Are there any scientists left ?The PM of course has the ‘executive decision’ power to declare this a project ‘in the National Interest’–at some political risk for him–that ‘pup’ Justin rapidly is turning into ‘Big Dog’. Harper therefore is left with a risky political decision–Now someone please show how a major bunker spill will be contained and recovered from a stormy sea on a rocky beach ??! The folks in Michigan(of ‘Keystone Kops’ fame) are still poking around on the river bottom looking for that ‘floating’ bunker..
    Your move Steve…




  6.  
    Riskgettingfired

    Why should we strip mine all of N Alberta, pipe the tar all the way across some of the best untouched land in BC just to send it over to China so they can refine it and burn it and send it back across the ocean as smog to pollute us?




  7.  
    Dave H.

    Petition for a referendum. HST did it, SensibleBC is doing it…




  8.  

    Canada, our bought and paid for land. When will everyone see what is going on??? The Gov’t is a cover only. It is a company run by crooks. We have as much say in what this company does with it’s employees and resources as we do with Walmart. Actually you’d probably have a better chance at getting Walmart to listen to you.




  9.  
    sharon

    We really need this issue front and centre in BC. Campbell River’s LNG, the tankers, the leaking pipelines, water use, and now fracking. Like mining tailings’ leaking storage facilities, fracking damages will never be healed – it cannot be.

    Check out Ernst v Encana – Jessica Ernst knows first hand the ills of this oil & gas system in Rosebud, AB. My family in Bearspaw (near Calgary), surrounded by multi-million dollar properties, are also on the fracking pathway, but must fight the multi-billion industry, supported by the wannabe rich politicians in power.

    Legal reasoning on the Jessica Ernst case (Robin Matthews, rmathews@telus.net has an excellent opinion piece perhaps he would share) and Mr. Nikiforuk of the Tyee have much to offer.

    If you want proofs of the fight ahead, check out this website:
    http://www.ernstversusencana.ca/news-multimedia/fracing-multimedia

    Only the combined efforts of all people, environmental, justice, political and legal groups can possibly stop this insanity!




  10.  
    Lucy

    It is interesting to note that the very same day July 26th 2013 that Clark and Redford formed this “Working Group” the BC Minister of the Environment ‘Mary Polak’ announced an operation to remove OIL from a ship that sank in 1946 in Grenville Channel…right in the path that Northern Gateway Tankers are proposed to take and only 90 feet down. I have no doubt that as this ship “the US owned Kalinski” would be disturbed by huge tankers passing over it.
    The Kalinski has been known to be leaking oil since 2003 and after trying to plug the leak they have decided it is deteriorating further and needs to be pumped. Coincidence?




  11.  
    Craig Hubley

    Canadian troops and police that enter Yinka Dene territory with the intent to survey, explore or enforce any order to violate the integrity of that territory are committing acts of war, period.

    Make no mistake, if they do so under orders from Ottawa or Victoria they are committing very serious crimes, and can be arrested, imprisoned or (if they resist) shot or otherwise harmed.

    Her Majesty needs to personally consider whether members of her family will remain as nominal legal heads of military units that may be ordered in by Harper, Clark, Redford or any other genocidal criminal under international law, violating the UN DRIP to which UK & Canada are both signatory. Wherever on Earth they reside, they will be subject to arrest or worse, if they appear to sanction these actions by remaining heads of Canadian military units.

    Oka and Rexton are nothing compared to what will happen if Enbridge buys this approval, which it has already bought. No neutral standard of regulatory integrity could be satisfied by any “process” that changes halfway through, restricts most interested and involved parties from commenting at all, and has clear biased support from major political leaders in power.

    When the war begins I will be firmly on the side of resisting First Nations and will do my part to undermine, discredit, disavow and destroy the regimes that order attacks on them or violations of their sovereign territories and waters, which have never been ceded to any “Canada” or “British Columbia” or other colonial fraud.




  12.  
    Dave Hall

    Rafe,

    I agree with one of the earlier posters. The Northern Gateway pipeline is dead and will be used as political fodder prior to the next election. The real goal now is to allow Kinder Morgan’s Pipeline Project to go ahead. The recent announcement of the removal of the Massey Tunnel and the building of the new bridge I would argue has nothing to do with transportation (see the dumbfounded reaction of the Metro Vancouver planners) and has everything to do with removing the last barrier to allowing deep sea oil tankers into the Fraser River. Kinder Morgan’s project will be redesigned to create a new export terminal along the south bank of the Fraser River. You can bet on it. I wonder why no one has asked why the tunnel removal/bridge project all of a sudden became a priority for the government?




    •  
      D. M. Johnston

      Dead right!

      The Massey tunnel replacement has everything to do with McQuarrie/SNC Lavalin owned Surrey docks and Kinder Morgan oil.

      A grounding and oil spill in the Fraser estuary would be catastrophic.

      Contrary to the myth of doubled hulled tankers, the mas bulk of Panama-Max oil tankers and the fantastic kinetic energies created when a ship grounds would ensure a hull breach and oil spill.




      •  
        Kevin Logan

        ITs difficult to imagine oil tankers going up the Fraser.

        More likely KM oil got to Roberts bank ….. its all in the can actually.




        •  
          D.M. Johnston

          But if the oil was loaded at Robert’s Bank, the McQuarrie/SNC owned Surrey docks would not get any business. It is all about big corporations dictating to corrupt provincial/federal politicians.




        •  
          Dave Hall

          Dredge it and they will come.




  13.  
    Kevin Logan

    The fix is in, and has been for many years as TILMA was established a long time ago, the Equivalency Agreement is also a few years old and involves 4 projects.

    The oil and gas export infrastructure agenda is old in the tooth as governments have been establishing the legal and administrative framework essentially since the BC Liberals were elected. ITs a massive agenda and the enabling trade agreements and legal and legislative framework is all in place and locked in.

    I know this first hand as much of the ground work was just beginning to be established by them when I was working for a Premier and minister responsible for Energy Mines and Northern Development in the dying days of the NDP administration in the late 90s.

    That said, the fix on Enbridge has been “in” since its inception and that does not mean it is going to be successful. The Enbridge proposal will be political cannon fodder for Harper, he will, closer to the next election, end Enbridge once and for all.

    However that does not mean heavy oil pipelines will not cross BC. IT just means the Enbridge proposal served its purpose and distracted everyone from the entirety of the oil and gas agenda. Specifically it ensured the success of the natural gas agenda, that was all put in place while everyone was point at Enbridge. (However the beginings of the nat gas lng agenda are just now getting under way, as huge framework, long term deals are being establsihed as we speak, focus needs to be put there right now!)

    Harper and EPIC along with complacent Provincial Governments in both BC and Alberta assisted by ENGOs have undertaken a sophisticated communications exercise. Aided and abetted by Mainstream media, all of which resulted in handing over the country to the oil and gas crowd.

    It has involved a great deal of deception and perception management.

    When people realize the reality, it will be very disturbing. Refineries and LNG plants are intensely polluting. The LNG process alone requires removing CO2 from the natural gas BEFORE the freezing process. It also needs CO2 removed to save on pipeline corrosion, which means it will be processed twice, once closer to the wellhead and again at the LNG plant.

    Natural gas is not clean…. it is far more of an environmental concern than a proposed paper pipeline. In fact the LNG agenda in BC is so huge, so environmentally destructive, if you had the choice between a modern day oil pipeline or letting lose the gas industry to produce gargantuan amounts of LNG, even the greenest amongst would choose the pipe.

    But as a result of a sophisticated strategy, BC is going to get both PLUS refineries!

    Refining dilbit no matter how “Green” black tells you it is, is the single most filthiest undertaking on earth. And it will be fed by a pipeline (not Enbridge) which will also export dilbit.

    So we are gonna get it all, oil pipes, refineries, fracking natural gas and lng plants and once we are well and truly down the road,… off shore oil and gas exploration and drilling.

    Its a slippery slope and we are well on our way down.




  14.  
    Kat

    Gosh, this is just EVER so shocking I can hardly believe it. Who would have thought?




  15.  
    Cameron Hood

    Go Rafe. You are better than EVER, man! Love your stuff. Sharing…





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