Calgary paper dispenses free parenting advice to BC's Kinder Morgan opponents

Calgary paper dispenses free parenting advice to BC’s Kinder Morgan opponents

Kim Fink-Jensen (left) and daughter Kate pose with MP Kennedy Stewart after protesting the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline at Burnaby Mountain (Photo: Kim Fink-Jensen/facebook)
Kim Fink-Jensen (left) and daughter Kate pose with MP Kennedy Stewart after protesting the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline at Burnaby Mountain (Photo: Kim Fink-Jensen/facebook)

I say two cheers and a hey nonny nonny for the Vancouver Province. How good it was of them to re-print, on the op-ed page yesterday a lecture from one David Marsden of the Calgary Herald editorial board, entitled “Pipeline foes could use a lesson in civility”.

Energy politics, Alberta-style

Now the Calgary Herald is an unqualified supporter of the Oil Patch and the Province of Alberta’s energy policy. They are indifferent to the noxious gases streaming out of the Tar Sands into the lungs of nearby First Nations folk, and who gives a damn about and those pesky fish upon which they feed?

They ignore the “hysterical” claims of cancer deaths linked to the Tar Sands and all of the other diseases the medical profession has uncovered in the area. They realize that piping all that highly noxious bitumen through British Columbia to the Far East brings money and lots of it into to the producers’ hands, thus bundles of taxes to the Alberta government, and that money far outweighs any of these silly social concerns possessed by “liberal” bleeding hearts who are against all development.

I might add for those who are not great fans of the Alberta government’s energy policy, you might look at Andrew Nikiforuk’s Tyee articles on Ann Croft, a lady in Alberta who was apparently personally injured and lost her drinking supply due to “fracking”. You’ll see that the Alberta government, in keeping with its obligation to the people to cut down costs, has so stonewalled this poor woman that she may be forced to accept a totally inadequate settlement from Encana and nothing from the government’s energy regulator nor environment department.

In that article is an amazing recording of a nationally known lawyer, Glenn Solomon, who acts for the Alberta government and told this lady that they will throw every obstacle in her way to prevent her getting what she childishly thinks is justice.

Free parenting advice from Calgary

Now, Mr. Marsden, who apparently doesn’t have enough to worry about in Alberta, has advice for those ignorant, anti-capitalist demonstrators in Burnaby who, he tells us, spat on the police and said naughty things.

I would be the first to agree that peaceful demonstration does not include spitting for any kind of physically aggressive act. But to say that people must maintain the politeness of a Sunday morning at church is at asking a bit too much when you consider what it is they’re demonstrating against.

Is it a burden on their intellect to ask the Marsdens of the world to understand that this is their home, their neighbourhood and that they have had some experience with what happens when a Kinder Morgan pipeline bursts?

Not content with this, Mr. Marsden specifically takes a run at the Fink-Jensen family for allowing their 11 year daughter to be part of the demonstration and to court arrest. Marsden referred this matter to some professor in the far east of the United States who clucked his tongue about children flouting the law. I gather Mr. Marsden had to go far and wide to find such a prof.

Kinder Morgan flouted the law

The fact that it was Kinder Morgan who was flouting the law, and that the case against them is pending in the courts, seems to have escaped Mr. Marsden’s attention. Are Canadian citizens not to be permitted to defend their homes and neighbourhoods from pipelines carrying highly noxious bitumen?

He also ignores the basic points raised here and by so many readers supporting Kate and her folks.

Kate asked to protest the use of her park and her neighborhood in the manner proposed by the company. She fully understood what the consequences were. In fact, her parents carefully advised her about flouting what was apparently the law and what consequences could flow.

What should we be teaching our children anyway?

There are many, including me and countless other British Columbians, who believe that it’s first class citizenship for parents to advise their children what the issues are in the world and what they can do about them.

Sometimes these are beyond the comprehension of children, but in this case, surely not. Here was a park and a neighbourhood proposed to be desecrated by a company wishing to put a dangerous pipeline through it and it is suggested that young Kate didn’t understand those issues! The question of course arises as to who was really breaking the law.

I realize that the Vancouver Province feels a special obligation to right wing zealots like the Fraser Institute, the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, the BC Fish Farmers’ Association, any and all pipelines, the Tar Sands, the Alberta government’s energy policy and so on, but in discharging what it believes to be its obligation, surely it can spare us the lectures of the Tar Sands fraternity through the editorial board of its sister paper, the Calgary Herald.

Having to put up with the Vancouver Province itself is cross enough to bear by a public deprived of anything resembling an independent media.

Listen to the above-mentioned audio recording of a Calgary lawyer discussing the government and fracking industry’s legal methods – courtesy of Will Koop.


About 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 is the co-founder of The Common Sense Canadian and writes a regular blog at

6 thoughts on “Calgary paper dispenses free parenting advice to BC’s Kinder Morgan opponents

  1. “Marsden referred this matter to some professor in the far east of the United States”

    Since when is Dalhousie, Halifax, in the Eastern United States? Did you actually read the original article?

    “Professor Robert Huish teaches a course at Halifax’s Dalhousie University that requires students to organize a protest as part of their course work.”

  2. If you’re going to be active, knowledgeable citizens, you need to start when you are young. Wise parents, those at the Kinder Morgan site!

  3. Generally I agree with the tone and content of this article. But “common sense” is quite absent from one section.
    There is indeed an increased incidence of cancer in First Nations people downstream from Fort McMurray. However, there is no cause and efect relationship between these particular cancers and Fort McMurray’s pollution. In other words, these contaminants are not the cause of these malignancies. Consequently the Calgary Herald is exercising common sense in ignoring these specific claims

    1. “these contaminants are not the cause of these malignancies”

      That is an assertion which requires conclusive evidence. Perhaps you could provide a reference to the definitive study disproving any connection.

  4. I gave up my subscription to the Province for exactly these reasons and told them I would get my news from a more ethical source!

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