Rafe: Trudeau, Notley’s defence of Kinder Morgan doesn’t wash for BC
I listened to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley on CBC with Rick Cluff this week and must say she said nothing to give me cause to change my mind on Kinder Morgan. To the contrary, I asked myself how could she be so indifferent to the problems 400-plus tankers a year full of bitumen would bring to the BC coast.
I have a lot of trouble with the Trudeau/Notley attitude because the position British Columbians take is so obviously rational and natural. Just why people in the rest of Canada can’t understand eludes me. Wouldn’t they protect themselves and their homes?
Clark cutting a deal for BC?
The light went on when premier Notley talked about Christy Clark trying to make a deal with Kinder Morgan for money, saying that she understood that they were pretty close.
Of course! Clark, being a far-right-wing airhead (forgive the redundancy) has never concerned herself with the impacts all these extra tankers plus would have on our coast.
It would never occur to her that the colossal damage done by the inevitable spill would be permanent. It would never cross her mind that a simple understanding of the law of probabilities tells you accidents will happen over and over again and that, given the filthy nature of the cargo of these tankers, the damage is bound to be extremely serious. If these things don’t bother her, why would others care?
I dare say that if you mentioned Kalamazoo to Christy Clark, she would immediately think of the old Glenn Miller song of the 40s; it wouldn’t occur to her that it now signified the worst pipeline spill in history, six years ago, which has never been cleaned up and never will.
If the premier of our province is not telling other Canadian leaders how serious the Kinder Morgan issue is to her province, then the press, such as it is, won’t pick up the story and all people east of the Rockies will have read is Gary Mason in the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Horgan ready to make Kinder Morgan an election issue?
Until very recently, John Horgan, leader of the BC NDP has been waffling, so any who gauge the opinion of a province by the pronouncements of their politicians would conclude that it was only a small group of crazies that were opposed to this pipeline. Somebody has obviously had a word with Mr. Horgan and he now realizes this is an issue upon which an election might depend. He’s seen the error of his ways and is now enthusiastically opposed.
The result of this misrepresentation of our general position makes us look bad in the eyes of other Canadians who simply don’t understand what our problem is. Although it is difficult for me to keep my cool on this subject I will try to put this in clear terms.
Public opposition based on common sense
Other Canadians must understand that the case against a multitude of bitumen loaded tankers on the BC Coast has never been stated by the government for the people. Quite, the opposite: the BC Liberal Government went as far as to sign away the province’s constitutional authority to represent its constituents on this matter, through a controversial “equivalency agreement”, which we’ve documented in these pages. Thus, it has been left to private individuals and groups. This is taken to mean that the environmentalists are hysterical and the government is calm and accurate.
In fact, environmentalists have all of the science as well as common sense on their side and, importantly, the law of probabilities. When you have this many tankers constantly using water ways such as exist in the routes out of Vancouver through the harbour and all of the channels involved, the law of probabilities says there’ll be more accidents as this traffic increases, as it surely will.
What’s worse, the bitumen cargo ensures that an accident will have very serious consequences, especially near populated areas. Added to to this, Mr. Trudeau has approved an LNG plant near Squamish, sending tankers loaded with LNG through Howe Sound to meet with the tankers coming from Vancouver. Mr. Trudeau chose to overlook the fact that even by standards of the tanker industry organization,SIGGTO, Howe Sound is far too narrow for the necessary tanker traffic. He doesn’t give a damn and neither does careless Christy.
It must also he understood that clean-up is a very iffy proposition. Both Kinder Morgan and the government play down the frequency and seriousness of spills and their inability to handle them, but they don’t mention that bitumen is impossible to clean up under the best of circumstances. I mentioned the Enbridge spill in the Kalamazoo River in 2010 and if one takes a moment to Google this tragedy, they’ll learn how catastrophic bitumen spills are, even when easily accessed.
Fellow Canadians, this is merely a thumbnail sketch of the consequences of the Kinder Morgan proposed pipeline extension.
Bad deal for BC
Now, here is the deal proposed to us by Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley:
Alberta gets to fully reopen the world’s biggest polluter, the Tar Sands, and ship its shit through BC by pipeline and then, by some 400 and ever-increasing bitumen tankers a year, ship it through the hazardous Salish Sea (formerly Straits of Georgia) to foreign markets. It bears no risk and neither do the Feds.
For its part, BC stops complaining about statistically certain ruptures in the pipeline and statistically certain bitumen spills on their coast with the calamitous consequences they bring, including the safety of citizens, and agrees to support the pipeline and bear the damage.
That way, we’re advised, both Albertans and British Columbian will then be good Canadians.
Well, Madame Premier and Mr. Prime Minister, in the politest phrase I can think of, get lost. Don’t go away mad, just go away.
Neither the Kinder Morgan line, nor any other, is going to get built, next year or any other year. We have the inherent right, like all good Canadians, to protect our homes from any outside threat and that sure as hell includes the Tar Sands.
You have pushed us too far.