Clark Misses the Mark with 5-Point Criteria for Enbridge


The competition has been tight, but I think Christy Clark has finally won the prize for the Canadian Leader most out of touch with her constituents.

On her new 5-point criteria regarding the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project, she strikes out on 4 out of the 5 points.

First, Clark says we must wait for approval from the Enbridge Joint Review Panel (the federal review process currently underway, and in limbo with Harper’s Bill C-38). Well that’s the one she got right – at least she didn’t join the likes of Harper and publicly state her support for the proposal before the process plays out.

Second, Clark indicates that more money would seal the deal for the Provincial government! Excuse me; hasn’t our illustrious Premier heard anything at all this year? When did the 130 First Nations unequivocally opposed to the Northern Gateway, in addition to a majority of British Columbians, ever say “we’re against the project, unless we get more money out of the deal?” Money has NEVER been the issue, and for Clark to think that’s what the people of this province value, then she’s had her head in the sand for the past 10 months or she’s been preoccupied strategizing her latest publicity stunts and secret rendezvous (personally, I think it’s the latter).  

Third, Clark insists we must have “world-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline”. I have to wonder, does she mean like the ones at Kalamazoo, or maybe the BP ones in the Gulf, or how about the 800+ spills in the Enbridge system over 10 years? Exactly where does Clark figure this new “world-leading…spill prevention and recovery” will come from? To clean up more than 15% of a spill is impossible and to clean up bitumen is harder and has many unknowns. Pretending that there is a “recovery system” out there that will suddenly solve this issue is why she wins the competition – she’s the only one who thinks this is a reality.

If there were ever an oil spill in Hecate Strait there is no cleanup system. I repeat, there would be no recovery system in place. The only one you’re impressing with this rhetoric is Enbridge – I’m sure she’s won their support with the provincial government’s token requirements.

Fourth, Clark wants to ensure the “Legal and Treaty Rights of FN are addressed”. If you hadn’t noticed, there are over 130 First Nations standing together that are adamantly against this project and most of what they’re saying is about the land, sea and environment and not some legal point that must be “addressed”. 

Finally, “Enbridge must make every effort to engage First Nations to provide them with opportunities”. And, we’re back to the money again. The loud and clear message I’ve been hearing is that there isn’t enough money that could offset the risk of an oil spill on our ecosystems and the natural environment that sustains us. Does Clark figure the people of Kalamazoo would be fine now if only they’d loaded up on the benefits earlier in the decade?
No means no. Fortunately for British Columbians, the Liberals aren’t fairing well in recent polls. Clark should have taken a lesson from NDP Leader Dix, who took a firm stance against the Northern Gateway a while back.

John Disney is the economic development officer of the The Old Massett Village Council, a band government of the Haida people.


About Damien Gillis

Damien Gillis is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker with a focus on environmental and social justice issues - especially relating to water, energy, and saving Canada's wild salmon - working with many environmental organizations in BC and around the world. He is the co-founder, along with Rafe Mair, of The Common Sense Canadian, and a board member of both the BC Environmental Network and the Haig-Brown Institute.

7 thoughts on “Clark Misses the Mark with 5-Point Criteria for Enbridge

  1. It is indeed rare for dummy to get any point correct unless her handlers tell her to.

    The picture above shows exactly what BC has leading it into the final flush.

  2. oops i chopped some out by mistake…

    those cruise ships may not stop at all the ports on their journey. and leave coin. BUT passengers do fly in and out of Vancouver.. stay in hotels, shop in stores, eat in restaurants.. this in only ONE segment of the revenue BC sees every year..

  3. I think that we need to slam the message home (again) about what (else) would be lost in the event of a pipe break or oil spill.

    Putting it in terms that the likes of Premier Clark could understand:
    Billions of dollars in existing annual revenue in the Province of BC..

    I don’t know if it could be accurately calculated how many jobs a tanker spill would affect when you factor in the employees on the many cruise ships that pass thru at a rate of about 300 times a summer season.. dead sea life and black gunk would not be a tourist attraction..

    When asking for insurance and guarantees about clean up costs has that part of the financial picture been tallied?

  4. Leaving politics aside, we, the people, say no to this insanity (pieline and tankers) regardless of the who, what, where or when.

    We, the people, will probably have to demonstrate this in a graphic way with the likes of the politics as they are. We must do this for our grandchildren, all grandchildren, and those to follow.
    All my relations

  5. Read an article in Rolling Stone Magazine by Bill McKibben, which says scientists agree conslusively that the world’s atmosphere can absorb 565 gigatons of C02 before we go over the tipping point of raising the our global temperature more than 2 degrees Celsius.

    Go to if you want to read Global Warming’s terrifying new math.

    The article notes that Alberta’s oil sands alone would use up half that atmospheric buffer. If all the oil reserves of all the oil companies and oil states are burned, upwards of 2,795 gigatons of C02 would be added to the greenhouse gas load (five times the tipping point limit).

    Even if not a single drop of Tar sands bitumen is spilled onto our lands or into our revers and oceans, the Enbridge and Kinder Morgan pipelines will qualify as full-fledged environmental disasters. Why are none of our political parties or environmental groups making that point?

  6. She does sound alot like Premier Mom here doesn’t she?

    ITs akin to telling your child. I have five demands in order for me to let you play hockey.

    You have to tie your skates tight.
    You have to where your jock
    You have to have a certified helmut
    You have to listen to the referee
    And Do what the coach tells you.

    Meet those “demands” and everything is fine.

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